I need the best electric sharpener

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by chefboy2160, May 10, 2012.

  1. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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     I know this has been discussed plenty but I am in a pickle. I thought I was out of the food biz due to a workers comp injury (carpal tunnel) which came about by being a one man kitchen for 40+ people but am a preferred worker for the state of oregon so I have been hired as the chef for a 62 apartment retirement community with the condition that I would not have to wash dishes or pots and pans (this is what realy brought on this condition). The state of Oregon will help me financially up to $20,000 to accomodate my disability with equipment to save my hands from doing all the work. I know from experience that useing the stones again will bring back the knumb hands so I have got to get a sharpener and since the state is getting it for me I want tne best. Knives to be sharpened will be euro from forschner to sabatier to f-dick with a couple old chicago cutlery.

    Suggestions appreciated. Thanks Doug.............
     
  2. allanm

    allanm

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    You may want to check out Chef's Choice. You will probably want one of the three slot sharpeners. If you read and follow the instructions you won't damage or excessively wear your knives. You can expect to get a pretty decent edge as well.

    http://www.edgecraft.com/index.html

    On the non-electric end you may want to check out the Edge Pro system. Hard to describe but with a little practice it will put a fantastic edge on your blades.

    http://www.edgeproinc.com/
     
  3. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    Depends what motion will not aggravate your CTS.

    If a pull through motion is OK the edge pro would be best edgewise but takes many motions as you are pulling a waterstone across the blade.

    If you need a electric wheel there are several options from F Dick and Truhone.

    Since you used to sharpen by hand the pull through sharpeners may leave you wanting.

    If you can move a blade side to side you may want to consider a belt sander, but you have to be fast, or a Tormek T7. Both you can freehand the angle but a belt is going to give a convex edge and the Tormek a slight hollow grind as it is a 10inch rotating wheel.

    Jim
     
  4. chinacats

    chinacats

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    I did a quick search and found a few that looked interesting...have no experience with this contaption, but it looks promising...like it came out of someone's garage (in a good way)

    http://sungoldgroupinc.com/equipment.html

    this is described as a hybrid japanese/american sharpening system, runs ~$2200 and looks like it is made in the us of a...with some parts from japan

    they also have a few other interesting models that are in the same ballpark price wise...
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  5. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    Wow , thanks for the link! They have a lot of cool options and this just might be my cup of tea for my situation. Off to work but will let you know what I am able to get. Thanks, Doug..........
     
  6. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    Most of those things are for hairs shears and other scissors. Jason does have a low speed belt sander on that page for knives but all those discs are 5-6" diameter and are intended for shears.

    Give him a call and see what he has that may meet your motion limitations. I was up there training on shears last week and his shop is loaded with various gear.

    Jim
     
     
  7. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Wow that T7 looks like a serious machine. Have you used one of those Jim or do you have any idea what they cost?

    http://www.tormek.com/en/machines/t7/index.php

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  8. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    I learned to use one when I trained with Steve Bottorff. He lists one at $630.00

    When I am at the farmers market turning 25 to 40 blades in 4 hours it is essential.

    I use a belt sander for coarse work, the Tormek graded at 1000 grit for medium to fine shaping and after deburring the Tormek leather wheel does final polishing.

    Kicks ass on western blades but not good for japanese ones. I bring them home to waterstones. 

    I freehand on it and seldom use the jigs. As said it is a 10" diameter wheel at 90 rpm through a waterbath and does leave a slight hollow grind.

    They offer a silicone oxide and a 4000 grit waterstone as options.

    If I had to use one machine only it would be the Tormek.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  9. spikedog

    spikedog

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    knifesavers why would you not use it on japanese blades the tormek is waterstones too right 
     
  10. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    They are stones that rotate through water to aid in cooling but 2 of the 3 available aren't really waterstone material. They have the gray stock wheel, a blackstone of silicone oxide for harder steels, and a real waterstone.

    I don't trust it for true japanese, due to the slight hollow grinding action. Jon at JKI drew quite a few diagrams for me detailing the angles in the blade path and how they are shaped and how the hollow grinding will not fit it properly.

    It can sharpen them, but just not the right way.

    Jim
     
  11. spikedog

    spikedog

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    what is hollow grinding?
     
  12. wunderbier

    wunderbier

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    There's a picture on this page. As you can imagine, it's the inevitable outcome of sharpening on a wheel. Which isn't to say that wheels aren't use in making traditional Japanese knives, just that they're inappropriate for the final edge. Here's a Tormek in action for comparison.
     
  13. duckfat

    duckfat

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    A Tormek T3 just went on my want list. I have an el cheapo from Tractor supply that I use for lawn mower blades and other tools. That's a major upgrade from what I'm using now. It looks like Tormek has a 4K blade as well.

    Dave
     
  14. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    Watch it on the T-3 Dave. It can only run for 1/2 hour at a time and I don't think the 4K waterstone wheel is available for the T-3. I know the Blackstone isn't available for it.

    Jim
     
  15. spikedog

    spikedog

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    thanks wuderbier, i do not think i can get one of Mr. Nomara's wheels so the tormek it is. i will just be careful not to hollow grind.
     
  16. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    I will give him a call this week and see if he has something that will save these old hands.

    Thanks for the tips everyone, Doug
     
  17. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    You can get a Kalamazoo 1" x 42" belt grinder for $200 or so shipped that will do pretty much everything you'd ever need.  It's not my preferred method for sharpening Japanese knives but it will do an excellent job on them if needs be.  The learning curve is very short and the results you can obtain are superb.  Nice thing is that with the correct assortment of belts you can get a shaving edge from about 8-10 passes.  That shouldn't aggrevate your CT.
     
  18. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Thanks for the info Doug. I'll have to take a closer look. The T3 is leaps and bounds above what I have now but the T7 looks awesome.

    Dave
     
  19. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    Very true Phaedrus one can work also. I run both a belt and the Tormek to take advantage of what both can deliver. Had someone bring a hatchet yesterday and that was all belt work.

    Depending the OPs limitations and environment will make the determination.

    The belt sanding is messier and is all freehand. The Tormek captures all grit in the water and has jigs if needed.

    I take the belt sander outside to let the grit fly and use the Tormek anywhere since there is none thrown off except a little from the leather wheel but at 90rpm it doesn't go far. I lay a newspaper down behind it and it catches all.

    Jim
     
  20. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Yeah, a belt grinder won't work in everyone's situation.  I happen to have a dry & tight unfinished basement where I have my shop/ sharpening dungeon.  But the noise and dust might be problematic in an apt, for instance.  Although I will say that the Kali runs very quite; almost no noise at all when you're running the motor but not actually grinding.  And while it's freehand if you work in the slack an inch or two off the platen the convexity reduces the need to keep a very steady angle to get a screaming edge.  Plus choosing belts judiciously can minimize the number of passes you need, further minimizing cumulative errors.  Belt nOObs often are fearful of using very coarse belts, and with good reason, but when you get a bit of experience those coarse belts are your best friend.  They remove enough steel to get down to a real edge in very few passes while generating minimal heat.

    I haven't had a chance to use a Tormek.  IIRC there's another machine very similar to it but a bit cheaper, too.