Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:26 pm
I bought a Tojiro gyuto from Chef Knives probably about a year ago. It hadn't received much use because it arrived dull and it wasn't until just recently that I was able to put an edge on it.
I have had a Spyperco triangle sharpener for years that I've used for my folding knife. Spyderco just came out with a new version of this sharpener that includes stone positions for 30º as well as 40º. The former is intended for reprofiling, but it also will do Japanese knives. So I was finally able to bring the Tojiro to a razor edge.
However, unlike my two Shuns, the Tojiro doesn't hold the edge any better than my Wustof chef's. I understood that the blade in this knife was three-layered, the middle being VG10, same as the Shuns. Is this not the case?
Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:26 pm
Yes Tojiro uses VG-10 just like Shun but with different heat treatment.
Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:26 pm
Does it make sense that honing on a ceramic rod would not maintain a sharp edge? I sharpened it a few days ago on the Sharpmaker and it's quite dull after only a few uses cutting vegetables on an end-grain board. Even though $65 (I think I paid) is not a lot of money, I expected far better edge-retention than I'm getting. I assumed it was a 30º inclusive angle, but maybe not? Any suggestions would be helpful.
Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:29 pm
This is always hard for me to tell what is the matter since I don't watch you sharpen or use the knife. My guess is you're experienced from what little you told me. I know of the Lansky but I have never used it. It has those ceramic rods in a V shape right? My best guess is you could do better with a different sharpening routine but I have other guesses.
Try giving me your entire sharpening routine and your cutting habbits with the knife in as much detail as you can and I'll see if I can identify anything you're doing that might lead to a quick dull edge. Or better yet, post a video here so I can watch you sharpen. That's always the best way to see what's going on. In general when I hear people say they have it sharp knife and then it's dull after a very short amount of time my first thought is that you didn't remove the burr and it fell over on you. Second thought is you sharpened it at too acute an angle for the steel to support (15 degrees on each side is not too acute). Third thought is you cut on something too hard and you folded the edge on itself. 4th thought is your sharpening routine didn't really sharpen the knife you may have just straightened out the edge a little and since you're using the Lansky this is my best guess as to your problem. Harder steel takes longer to grind. Did you get a nice burr on the edge before you traded sides? Did you remove the burr and if so when and how? Did you use a progression of grits and if so what were they? Did you strop the knife when you were finished? If so what materials did you use for substrate and compound?
I do have quite a bit of experience sharpening and selling Wusthofs, Shuns and Tojiros. I would say Tojiros keep and hold an edge every bit as well as a Shun and better than a Wusthof but I tend to sharpen free hand and I may be doing something different than you. Perhaps some of the guys on our forum can give you their experience as well and a few tips with your sharpener. Tojiros are not great knives, they're good knives that are very reasonably priced. That said, they should stay sharp for more than a day or two with a good edge put on it.
So, please write me back here and we'll try and diagnose your problem.
Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:41 pm
Is it like the sticks or triangles sticking up at an angle, like crocksticks?? I tried that type of sharpener before and it left a very coarse edge and big burrs. VG-10 can be chippy to begin with, but a burr on the edge will roll over quickly and the knife will feel dull. For a quick touch up, couple of passes per side on the finest stone with light pressure, may be OK to maintaining an edge, but not for full sharpening, especially with a Japanese style kitchen knife. It puts a good amount of pressure on a small area of the blade, too, which isn't always a good thing.
Try sharpening it on some stones and deburring until the burr/wire edge is completely removed, then cut with it. If the burr/wire edge isn't removed, it's not going to cut well at all.
Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:49 pm
I sharpen VG-10 tojiros more than any other knife, they will walk circles around any German knife when sharpened correctly. Try using waterstones to sharpen.
Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:15 pm
Jason B. wrote:...VG-10 tojiros...walk circles around any German knife when sharpened correctly. Try using waterstones to sharpen.
Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:50 am
Of the several problems you enumerate, two seem likely possibilities: I'm not really removing the burr, and/or I'm not really sharpening in the first place but only straightening the burr. As for sharpening (see photo), both rods are ceramic and (if I remember correctly) roughly correspond to 500 (gray) and 1000 (white) grit. I am doing about 10 passes each on the gray angle, gray flat, white angle, white flat. I can certainly experiment doing more passes. How would you recommend deburring the Tojiro? I usually slice through cardboard stock but that may not be doing the trick.
Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:52 am
I kind of have fun with these types of threads. It's like a little detective exercise.
The more I think about it the more I think it's your rod system.
I'll give you some tips when I get to work that should help while using it but I agree with the others that switching to a couple good stones would most likely improve your results.
Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:49 am
So considering the rod system you're using, besides replacing it I would recommend you do not count strokes. This is guessing as to whether you're grinding an edge or not. Feel for a burr on the oposite side of the edge you are grinding until you feel it along the entirety of the edge before you flip it over and do the other side. Then grind again until you feel the burr. Once you've got this accomplished you can deburr the knife. Cardboard works pretty well but you can also use a couple alternating light strokes on your jig to abrade the burr. Synthetic cork works pretty well too. Then move on to the next finer rod in your system.
Once you try this let me know how it works. I'm pretty sure what's happening is the steel on the Tojiro is harder and you're not grinding the edge completely with your system.
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