Good sharpener for heavy duty meat cleaver?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by mystic, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. mystic

    mystic

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    Hey guys, I am tired of spending so much time and effort trying to sharpen my meat chopper, mine is a heavy duty one and very hard to sharpen manually, it is an 8" x 3" thicker cleaver and very heavy and I am seeking some sort of a sharpening tool which will not require any or much technical skill,I was always using a sharpening stone to sharpen it but after cutting meat one or two time I would need to sharpen again and now with my arthritis issues it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep sharpening this thing. I don't have a big budget but I am seeking something affordable which will require minimal effort from me, any recommendations please?
     
  2. rick alan

    rick alan

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    A good used belt sander is what you really need here I think.  At this point I'd say your cleaver needs a bit of thinning, the thicker you get at the edge the more stone/finishing work you need to do.  You could also send it out for $30 or so.  Maybe use a less acute angle also.  Exactly what kind of cutting are you doing that it dulls with 1-2 uses?

    Rick
     
  3. mystic

    mystic

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    Yes, I have been told by a few construction friends exactly w
    Yes Rick, that's exactly what a few of my construction friends have said and they suggested using a grinder to create a thinner edge, since they have grinding disks which they use on their job I am wondering is we can go that way? I had thought of taking it to some place to get it sharpened but over time I will have spent a lot of money for this so I might be better off either purchasing something which I will always have? I use this cleaver only to cut up meat but I think the meat bones is what is dulling the edge?
     
  4. rick alan

    rick alan

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    When I suggested sending it out that would be to someone who would thin it for you.  If you are very careful you can use a bench grinder for this, just be careful not to hit the edge itself with the grinder, but everything just behind it, and dip it in water frequently to keep things cool, you don't want to loose the temper.

    You can use a small hand-held grinding disk and drill, but best to hold the cleaver in a vice for this, and make sure the disks rotation will move the tool away from the edge, otherwise you will damage the edge for sure.

    For cutting into bone you absolutely have to micro bevel the edge to 30deg/side.  Sharpen to your usual angle then microbevel, just a few light swipes per side with the finishing stone.  I do this for my boning knives.  But if you're cutting into bone you can't expect that knife to be great for slicing through meet, unless you keep the far end of the blade sharp and only use the back end for hacking bone.

    Rick
     
  5. mystic

    mystic

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  6. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    That thing is only working the edge, not thinning.  The best for what you want to do is a wet grinder, something like this:

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-Wet-Grinder-Kit/T10010

    Hiring someone to do the thinning for you or just buying a whole new meat cleaver would be cheaper.
     
  7. mystic

    mystic

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    Well, at least we are narrowing this down, that machine would still require some expertise so ok my 2 best options would be hiring someone, not sure where I might find such a person, guess I could ask my fish market guy to sharpen for me when needed but problem is how often would I need to sharpen since using my cleaver needs sharpening after one or two uses? If I were to buy a new cleaver then I would be in the same boat with the sharpening issue?
     
  8. ordo

    ordo

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    You do not "thin" a chopping cleaver. That's a contradiction in its own terms.
     
  9. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    A heavy duty cleaver has a broad edge that has more in common with a hatchet than a kitchen knife.

    A Chinese vegetable cleaver is very thin and is nothing like a hatchet.

    Bone cleavers don't need thinning but if the blade wasn't maintained they are a lot of work to restore just due to the amount of metal involved.

    Post a picture of the cleaver.

    Jim
     
  10. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Hmmm, at 284sfm I don't think that wet-grinder isn't going to be Speedy Gonzales even with a 40 grit wheel to replace the 220, which doesn't seem available.

    Again I believe that I guy with a belt sander can easily put a secondary bevel of 3deg/side, bring the edge thickness to .025" (still pretty thick I think) or whatever minimum is desired in a bone hacker, and that should work for a reasonable while.  A belt sander is what gets typically used by knife makers for mass stock removal.  I could check with kitchenknivesforum to see what these guys typically charge.

    Then as I said sharpening the blade differently front to back should greatly extend the edge life.  Maybe 3" at the front acute, the rest obtuse.  I don't use a cleaver, but I the Mad Cow guy might still be hanging around this forum, he'd really be the one to ask about these things.

    Rick
     
  11. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    The Ken Onion machine you linked to is actually an excellent piece of equipment, and better still with the new aftermarket belts you can get.  The learning curve is very gentle, you can learn to use it in a very short amount of time. The machine will sharpen quickly enough but runs at low enough speed to avoid harming the temper of the blade.  If I say it's idiot proof then someone will come along with a better idiot, but it's certainly close!  It has the benefit of being compact, too.

    I use stones and belts.  My main belt grinder is a 1"x42" Kalamazoo which I can't recommend highly enough.  It's a fantastic machine!  Probably overkill for what you want, though.  The KO Worksharp should serve you well.  Short of that maybe find someone local to do the work, but it's very satisfying to do your own sharpening.
     
  12. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Phadreus, just out of curiosity, what would someone typically charge for thinning the OP's 8" cleaver?

    As to the KO, those little belts must wear out pretty quick.

    Rick
     
  13. dcarch

    dcarch

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    You may want to consider two cleavers, one heavy for bone chopping, one lighter for meat.

    This way you may not need sharpening that often. I don't think I have sharpened my heavy one at all.

    dcarch
     
  14. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I used a heavy old chefs knife for breaking up chicken bones, before taking to a 5 pound hammer, it never required sharpening either, the hammer or the knife.  ;-)~   I sharpened it as I recommended for the OP, so it was also very good for breaking down whole chickens.  After taking up the hammer I thinned it down and used it for squash, swede, etc.  The Vic I reviewed recently now takes its place.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  15. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    A heavy cleaver may run $8-15 depending the condition. Dull only about the $8 but damaged edge that needs reformation maybe 15+

    I did a 2 lb cleaver that had a big ding in it and the whole edge had to reduce by about 3-5mm and that was eating a lot of steel.

    The KO would not be up to that kind of heavy duty task but It can be fine otherwise and comes with a respectable sequence of grit belts.

    Jim
     
  16. mystic

    mystic

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  17. mystic

    mystic

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    As you can see probably see guys, the edge is kinda thick which makes it very hard to sharpen manually. I am thinking I try 2 things right now from the advice given here, first option to take my existing cleaver to my fish market and ask the guy if he can sharpen for me, then i will know the cost and how long it will last before next sharpening is due. If that does not work out then meantime can you guys suggest a cleaver which will be suitable for cutting whole chickens and duck and pork slabs and goat slabs which will not need sharpening  after using only a few times please?
     
  18. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    If you were a hog butcher in hong kong this is what you'd use :)

    http://www.chefsmall.net/chinese-butchers-knives?zenid=bca0ca3c7cd74308f38446b94fdca91b

    These are the type of guys that do the whole roasted pigs and ducks and then chop through the bone.  It should be able to handle both bones and meat. I saw a guy on Iron Chef Thailand chop through alligator with these.  Most are carbon so they'd be easier to sharpen.  But you have to make sure to clean them and dry them when you're done cutting.
     
  19. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    are you not entertained?
     
  20. mystic

    mystic

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    This is incredible, how in the world did you know this cleaver was made in Hong Kong? The words "Made in Hong Kong" is ingrained in the metal.

    Those are some serious cleavers in your link [thanks], will look into them and get back here.