Cheap knives for learning how to sharpen?

Joined Jun 9, 2015

Since I'll be getting a nice knife soon, I wanted to get a knife that I could use as a sharpening tool, to learn how to sharpen.  I saw the term earlier called a "Beater," but not sure if that is just a knife you beat the crap out of using, or if it's a knife for something that I want?  I'm assuming it covers a wide range of uses, as it seems to mean a cheap knife, for again, abusing.

Someone mentioned to me 

 If you want practice, pick up a vintage carbon steel knife off ebay. You could get like a forgecraft bullnose butchers knife for #15
So I'm not sure if I should just look for the knife he mentioned, or if someone else has a better recommendation?

At first I thought he mentioned the knife would cost 10$, but I don't see that anymore, so not sure where I read that.

I don't want to spend TOO MUCH on a cheap knife just for sharpening, but I guess, in the end, it might be useful to use on food, because how else will I know if I sharpened correctly, right (besides possibly looking at it, but I don't know at what level in the "learning stage" you learn to be able to understand an edge)....?

Thanks all :)
Joined Dec 18, 2010
To learn sharpening you need a knife that is sharpen able. Otherwise you never know if you have succeeded.

Beater does not mean the knife that you will abuse, but one that will be used for tough duty... Whether that is cutting or learning to sharpen. Beater means a knife that you will not cry over when it picks up the inevitable sharpening scratches.

Good luck trying to find something as cheap as 10 bucks. Maybe yes but probably not.

I've found carbon steel to be good for learning sharpening with stones. Other opinions inevitably exist.
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
If you're going to buy a good gyuto why learn to sharpen a bull nose?  A 10" Forgecraft chef has the perfect profile.  AND they are excellent knives once you get them cleaned up and squared away - worthy of a rehandle as well.

From the bottom - Forgecraft, an unknown, vintage USA carbon 10" chef, rehandled Tojiro honesuki, damascus boning/fillet knife I made, to the right is a damascus bird and trout knife I made.  The cleavers are just cleavers - one for veg and one for bone.
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
I certainly agree with Mike, but that will be one of the more expensive Forgies. They are not seen as often (or as affordable) as the butcher knife, for instance. There is some value in knowing how to sharpen a curved blade even if that isn't your ultimate blade type.
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