Looking for Clarification on J-Knife Sharpening - Micro Bevel?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by manofgirolles, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. manofgirolles


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    Line Cook
    Hi all,

    So, I own a few different japanese knives. Namely, two Masakae Yukis, a Moritaka deba and a Moritaka honesuki.

    I've owned these knives for about 2 years now and after thousands of hours in professional kitchens, still look fresh out of the box.

    I've recently come across information stating that J-knives don't need secondary bevels like western knives and can be sharpened using the primary bevel as a guide... Is this true?

    I've been using a 50/50 secondary bevel of 12° or so on my Yukis and everything's been fine... Now I worry I've been sharpening them wrong. Can anyone clarify?

    Thank you in advance for your time,

  2. millionsknives


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    Professional Caterer
    They are talking single bevel or wide bevel knife sharpening. Doesnt apply to yours.

    All of yours are double bevel. The moritaka deba is a western deba. The only one sharpened different is the honesuki. sharpen the right side and deburr the left basically.
  3. benuser


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    Home Cook
    Most Japanese double-bevelled knives are far from being symmetric. Not only the right face is more convexed while the left one is flatter: the edge is usually off-centered to the left. Even if some salesmen sell them as ambidextrous or 50/50.
    Putting a symmetric edge on a basically asymmetric blade is no good idea. After a few sharpenings wedging and steering will occur. Better follow the blade's geometry, and let the right bevel follow the face's convexity. For the small left bevel, use it to correct for steering if necessary. With middle-of-the-road blades, this will lead to a convexed right bevel ending at some 10-12 degree, and a left one between 15 and 20 degree. Test for steering and change accordingly, by balancing the friction on both sides. If it still steers clockwise, increase the left angle and thin behind the edge on the right side.
    Here some about asymmetry.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018 at 6:24 PM
  4. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    At home cook
    benuser is right. For Japanese knives without a bolster along the heel, it's usually not difficult to visually see what side of your blade is flat and what side has a curve. Hold your blade up so that you have the edge up, the tip pointed away from you and the handle pointed at your eye, and you can sight along the heel towards something light-colored (such as a white or beige painted wall or ceiling). You should be able to see what side is curved, and sharpen accordingly.

    For most knives with very acute angles, a microbevel is useful, in that it relieves pressure on the individual crystals at the immediate edge, without much loss of sharpness. You don't need much of a microbevel - just a few very light strokes will do.


  5. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Cook At Home
    I typically sharpen all knives (except butchering types) to about 10deg/side, then strop on a micro bevel at about 15 and up/side. This consists of just a few light stropping strokes on a finishing stone.

    For board work I'll do 20+ for conventional steel, 25+ for butchery. Some Pm steel like SRS-15 simply don't need over 20, their edge retention starts getting crazy at 16, though not much below that and they suffer from poor edge stability.

    Edge thickness is also important. Your typical Japanese gyuto or suji need be no thicker than 0.010"/0.25mm. Softer steels (like 50-55 RC) need .015"/0.38mm, especially if you are going to bump up against bone as you often do with such knives, or your technique is none to good. For butchery 0.020"/0.50mm is good, unless you're actually hacking through bone.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018 at 12:13 AM
  6. mike9


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    Former Chef
    Did you see this one?