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Sharpening tips needed

Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:11 am

My first attempt at hand sharpening was disappointing at best; five hours, a swiss army knife and a Henkels 4" stamped blade paring knife. Last night I watched Kem's videos and started again this morning. I had more success today; successfully sharpened the Victorinox and Henkels then got brave and tried my hand at thinning my (favorite) old Wusthof 8" chef's knife. The first two went very slowly but the Wusthof was easily successful..finally. All the knives required a lot of leather stropping..don't know if that's normal.

Today's experience has me questioning if I chose the right stones. My good knives are Shuns, a Nakiri (my new favorite) and Chef and I don't want to damage them. I'm a newbie sort of Vegan (4 months now) which started me with wanting good knives and the skills to maintain them myself while using them daily on fruits and vegetables..enjoyable.

Do you think I need more than the 500, 1,200 and 5000 better Japanese knives? I've been searching the boards and Craigs list for used, damaged kitchen knives to practice on. Which inexpensive knives will give me the closest sharpening experience?

Please don't waste your weekend answering this..any time will do.

Thank you.

Re: Sharpening tips needed

Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:13 am

Hi Marty,

Well done! It get's easier quickly now. Just practice and don't worry about ruining you new knives. It's just steel and it's hard to mess it up once you have a little success.

Here are a couple tips that you may or may not have tried.

Use the marker trick to find and sharpen the edge. Don't worry about thinning for a while. You want to build muscle memory and get a feel for sharpening on the edge.

Only sharpen until you get a burr. I've never spent more than 30 minutes on a single knife so you are most likely spending a lot of time off the edge (thinning) or over grinding the knife.

Stropping is a form of fine sharpening and it always improves my edges.

After you are done sharpening on the Rika rinse off all the mud until it's clean and the strop on that stone first. This will improve your edge and allow you to strop less on leather (or whatever you use next).

Kind Regards

Mark Richmond
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