Sharpening and Profiling MAC Knives

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by timtro, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. timtro


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    Home Cook
    Hi all,

    I recently bought a few MAC knives. Now, sharpening will be an issue. I've never sharpened Japanese knives before. I've read plenty of tutorials and watched videos (although if you'd like to recommend your favorites, I'm always interested), but I have some questions.

    Equipment I have available:

    10" DiaSharp® Stone, 220x

    10" 600x/1200x DuoSharp® Bench Stone

    Norton 4000x/8000x Combo. Water Stone

    Henckels Honing Steel Rockwell 65

    MAC Ceramic honing rod.

    The angles on my 9.5" chef (MBK-95) looks asymmetric, but apparently it's supposed to be 10* 50:50? Is that right?

    Normally when I sharpen, I try to find the angle at which the knife bites the stone and then simply flatten the bevel at that angle. Should I take that approach if the angle seems messed up on my MAC?

    I heard BDL saying that the MAC preforms better with a double bevel, how should I move forward with that? I've never really done a double bevel, aside from thinning and then putting the normal edge on the thinned bevel, which I suppose is sort of a double bevel. Is that something I should work out over the course of a few sharpening sessions, or in a single sitting?

    I've also heard BDL say that he would thin the knife along the entire body of the knife. Won't that ruin the finish, or will it polish up nicely on higher grits? Will an 8000 do the trick? Is it as simple as laying the blade flat on the stone and stroking it? I've never heard of thinning in this way. Normally, if I need to think, I would just do something like double bevel (in the sense of 50:50 double bevels, not asymmetry) with a very shallow angle and then a regular 15* angle.

    Is there anything I should know about taking my stones to the MAC knives?

    My JU-65 (a Usuba) has a nice brushed finish above the cutting edge, which seems to reduce drag. Is there any way for me to care for that and maintain it?

    Thank you all. Sorry for the naive questions.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  2. elpelotero


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    Line Cook
    I have a Mac petty knife, 6 inches or so, that also was not a true 50/50 out of the box. It looked more like a 70/30. It was extremely sharp. After it lost its edge and I called Mac with questions about how to resharpen, they could not believe me over the phone that the knife did not have a true 50/50 edge.

    I've had the knife about 2 years now with occasional use only (it's a petty, after all). It now has taken more of a 50.50 bevel. It's really up to you how to keep it. MAC's are billed as 50/50 though. They sharpen very quickly and hold it for a while just with some honing on the ceramic rod. They have a 15* angle out of the box (confirmed by them on the phone also). They ship them without a micro bevel (double bevel as you said). To sharpen I just find the factory angle and give it a go...I'm sure after a while it will need to be thinned, but I don't think I'm there yet. These knives can get very sharp! So much so that they grab the board with each stroke!