Henckels Bevel Angle, actual

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Joined May 4, 2018
Long time lurker and first time poster here.
We received a set of Henckels pro S a while back and I’ve sharpened a few blades once or twice with decent results but I never considered what the bevel angle really is.

I see that Zwilling’s website says 12-15 deg/side for all blades and 10/side for santokus. Are those real numbers with German steel? As far as I know my santoku knife is the same steel as all the rest, can it really tolerate a 10 deg grind? Even the regular blades, can they really be 15 deg? I’ve seen posts saying that’s marketing nonsense. If not those angles, what are they?

For what it’s worth I mostly use a 1000/6000 water stone with a 400/600 diamond stone for any serious reshaping.
 
2,865
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
wusthof Ikon is hardened close to the max for 4116 steel and it can be easy enough sharpened to a 12deg/side angle. But any board contact does indeed degrade it rapidly, and upon resharpening you will have a lot of fatigued metal to remove. Relatively thick edges and big angles/microbevels the way to go with this steel.

Bottom line, there is no good reason to spend real money on top of the line German 4116 stainless knives, they simply are not worth half of it.
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
I'm betting these edges are around 18-20 degrees per side. If setting a new edge, I'd be very cautious about taking them under 15 degrees.
 
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Joined May 4, 2018
I compared my pro s chefs knife that I’ve sharpened before to my mother in law’s brand new 4 star chefs...I think they really try to grind a 15 degree bevel on it. The length of her bevel was loooong compared to my knife. It seems like it has no place on soft german steel. I’ll remember that when she needs a sharpening.

Regarding the value of german knives, we got her block set for dirt cheap, like $120 after coupon. That seemed like a can’t-lose (her prior knifes we’re horrid). I can’t see splurging for Ikons.

Have german knives been completely obsoleted by Japanese cutlery or do they still serve a purpose?
 
510
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Joined May 29, 2013
As a beater knife, a German knife can be sharpened to work, but for general cutting, a decent basic Japanese knife (such as a Mac chef series) will cut rings around any 4116 steel blade (pun semi-intended). I can get a good Japanese blade to sharpen faster and hold that edge longer while resisting dulling longer.

The trade-off is that good Japanese steel isn't as tenacious as 4116 steel, and is more likely to chip if used against bone or frozen foods.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
“... serving a huge market of uneducated users, and professionals with poor habits. “

That’s just ignorant. It may be your opinion but...
 
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2,486
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
Now be fair, guys. Those heavy German knives stand up to punishment that decent Japanese knives won't. A great many professional kitchens in the US (and elsewhere) are run in such a way that knives need to be extremely durable, because there isn't time or willingness to treat edges delicately. It's been pointed out to me that the pace of an average Western pro kitchen is much, much faster than a Japanese one. So these knives do have a legitimate function. I think that for home cooks, there is no real reason to use them any more, but when you see how many home cooks treat knives, I'm going to recommend that they go German too.

Ultimately, the real question is whether a kitchen is capable of treating fine Japanese knives as they must be treated. If so, there's no reason to use anything else. If not, stick with a product that will tolerate the conditions.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Sorry benuser, I may have been a bit too terse. Maybe this will help you understand my clarification:

... home or pro kitchen... stick with a product that will tolerate the conditions... including user preference. It has little to do with “being uneducated “ or “pros having bad habits”... however that is assessed. Value judgements like that really aren’t useful contributions to this particular question.
 
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Not just a value judgment: I gave examples of poor habits incompatible with other, harder, thinner blades. "Think rock-chopping and walking, and steeling."

+1

Some folks know what they're talking about, others just BS, and who knows why.
 

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