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What is this knife and how to sharpen it?

Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:02 pm

I was digging around my pantry and came across an old knife I inherited from some house I lived in in college - it was old then and that was almost 40 years ago. It was always a favorite knife of mine, even though it was very beat up. I realize now it must be a carbon blade, with lots of patina and a little rust. The blade is about 9 inches, rather thin and somewhat flexible. It has very small serrations on one side, that alternate forward and backward every inch or so, the back side of the blade is flat. It's still the sharpest knife I own, so my questions are:

1) what is it?

2) how should I sharpen it?


(the edge didn't show in the pictures too well)

Re: What is this knife and how to sharpen it?

Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:25 am

1) It looks like a Chicago Cutlery, judging by the fact that it has a Walnut slab handle and three brass rivets. But I've only seen their Chef's and Bread knives with straight handles like that without the wood subhilt thingy. Old Hickory makes handles like that, but they have always used 2 rivets, not three.

I am talking about the handle because that is about the only thing I can tell from these. I would need to see pics of any kind of stamp, writing, mark, or otherwise. Plus whatever it was originally, it is no longer. It has been sharpened and worn down to a massive degree, and has lost most of whatever it was. It looks most like a butcher's knife, but it could have been a Chef's. Unless down by the heel it is actually thicker and unsharpened at that little flat spot. Or is that just rust damage?

2) On stones, like any other knife.

But you aren't going to just sharpen and use it, are you? It is entirely unfit for food use without some serious TLC! It is first off a massive health hazard, and secondly it needs tweaking because the geometry has been changed over time through sharpening/repair/damage/whatever.

I can't see the serrations from your pic, are you certain it's not just chipped?

Re: What is this knife and how to sharpen it?

Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:37 am

Definitely tiny serations. Why a health hazard? If I like this knive, I am going to love my new gyuto.

Re: What is this knife and how to sharpen it?

Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:57 pm

A knife in that condition is what you call "neglected" it needs some surface cleaning, bevel restoration, sharpening, and polishing before it could be deemed useable in a kitchen.

Re: What is this knife and how to sharpen it?

Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:57 pm

It can harbor bacteria and food borne illness like no other. Metal in that condition can grow a lot of things, including Tetanus.

It needs cleaning. It'd be like finding a rusty pot in your grandma's backyard and putting it on a stove and making soup. You gotta clean it!
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