Teach a (young) man to fish (or in this case, sharpen)

How are your knives sharpened?

  • Stones

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Belt sander

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Machine

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

thecarver

Banned
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Joined Jul 17, 2016

Dexter Russell V-lo Duo Edge Santoku Style Chefs Knife, 9 inch (v144-9GE)


Wusthof Pro 28cm


SG140-12GE Dexter Russell SofGrip 12" Duo-Edge Roast Slicer


SG140-12GE Dexter Russell SofGrip 12" Duo-Edge Roast Slicer

[h1]Zwilling J.A.Henckels - 9.5" Twin Master Chef's Knife - 32108-250[/h1]

Intoduction:  I am a young restauranteur in a small tourist city in Southern Ontario Canada. 

I have been following cheftalk for 10 months, first time signing up

These are my knives.

I have been in business 2.5 years, but i keep on running into the same problem

In this city we have one restaurant equipment store that uses a machine to sharpen every and any knife and a sharpening store where the guy uses a belt sander to sharpen knives. 

I have been using the fellow with the belt sander with satisfactory results up until two months ago.  About 3 months ago,  he sharpened my knives as usual, only they weren't sharp and lost their edge quickly, so i have taken them back 3x (at no charge, he is an honest guy) to fix them but to no avail.

WHAT I WANT and need, is for the experts on here to suggest sharpening stones that i can use so i don't depend on anyone.  I am young, willing and eager to learn.

I just want this problem resolved.
 
2,563
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
At least two of your slicers seem to have been sharpened all the way up to the 'dimples'.  Which means it's not a straight edge you can sharpen.  Your edge probably looks like this pickle cutter:


It can't be sharpened at that point really.  This is why i don't recommend those kinds of dimple things.

All your knives are soft stainless.  You can sharpen on stones but expect 15-20 minutes of work to go through all the stone progressions.  There's a reason why all those knife sharpening guys use a belt sander.  For this type of knife it's fast and good enough.

Are you sharpening only your own knives or all the house knives?  Depending on your answer it may or may not be worth your time to do it on stones.  

if your knife sharpener failed to put an edge that holds on these a couple times on a belt, the edge might be overheated.  IDK what happens when steel is taken above the tempering temperature.  Above 200C i think it starts to become a problem.  You can reach this on a belt sander if you're not careful.  Light short strokes, sometimes dip in water to keep the temp down.  

I had a vintage knife I was restoring I suspect that it was sharpened badly and overheated like that.  I had to remove a LOT of metal to get to something that would hold an edge. 
 
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 I would guess 15 minutes a knife yeah.  Stainless is abrasion resistant that's why people go electric on these.   That's why I said if it's only your knives once a week it might be okay.  If you are sharpening everything in the shop for staff house knives it would be too much time.

If you're only working stainless then I would recommend stay off the japanese waterstones.  They cut real slow on this type of steel.

Better off getting like india stone coarse and fine side,  then go to a hard arkansas stone for finishing.
 

thecarver

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What do you mean by this, "people go electric on these"

1.  I was always under the illusion that these dimples would disallow food from being stuck to the knife, is that true?

2.  What you say, makes sense, not only because i have read most of your posts and you clearly know your stuff, but because my yellow handled henckel is sharper than the rest even though it hasn't been sharpened in 4months, whereas the rest have gone through 2-3 sharpenings in the last month.  Coincidence?  i personally don't think so
 
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electric =  power tools 

I don't know if they help food release or not.  Food release is not an issue when you slice meat.  Sweet potato maybe..

Obviouisly if you sharpen up to that point on the knife,  you can't set a clean bevel.  It's an S shape.  How do you make all points contact your whetstone, grinder, etc.? 
 

thecarver

Banned
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Joined Jul 17, 2016
 
electric =  power tools 
ie.  an electric belt sander?
 
electric =  power tools 

I don't know if they help food release or not.  Food release is not an issue when you slice meat.  Sweet potato maybe..

Obviouisly if you sharpen up to that point on the knife,  you can't set a clean bevel.  It's an S shape.  How do you make all points contact your whetstone, grinder, etc.? 
By that point you mean the dimple, but i don't understand what you mean by S shape
 

thecarver

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SO why the heck make knives like these with the dimples if once you reach the dimples, its extremely hard to sharpen correctly.  Or is it that once you reach the dimples, the knife is trash (but that can't be can it?)
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
hmm lets see... imagine you took a marker and drew a straight line through the dimples.  Then you cut straight through that line and look at your knife.   What are you going to see?  A bunch of curves.  It's not flat and you can't sharpen it.
 
SO why the heck make knives like these with the dimples if once you reach the dimples, its extremely hard to sharpen correctly.  Or is it that once you reach the dimples, the knife is trash (but that can't be can it?)
Good question!  Marketing mostly.  What sells to the masses is a good story, not necessarily a product.  Look at any number of kickstarter knives and what millions they have made for made in china products that haven't even shipped yet.
 

thecarver

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Joined Jul 17, 2016
 
hmm lets see... imagine you took a marker and drew a straight line through the dimples.  Then you cut straight through that line and look at your knife.   What are you going to see?  A bunch of curves.  It's not flat and you can't sharpen it.

Good question!  Marketing mostly.  What sells to the masses is a good story, not necessarily a product.  Look at any number of kickstarter knives and what millions they have made for made in china products that haven't even shipped yet.
To be fair, most of these were picked out by friend who is a Red Seal chef and who has worked in the biz for a good 30 years

Damn, that bites
 
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It's a consumable product. If you pick knives without dimples and sharpen by hand, less metal is removed and it should last longer. The important thing is that like on a car you should maintain it so it is running at peak performance until the end.
 
1,061
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Have you had this same set for the past 2.5 years? It might also be likely that Mr. Machines or Belt Sander has been taking off too much metal per sharpening, seeing that most all the dimpled knives are at the dimples. For sharpening on a stone you'd need to thin the sides so that there are no more dimples so that you can evenly get to the edge again, or more realistically, replace some of those knives.

I've got waterstones because of my personal knives, but I also take a subset of them to the community kitchen to help sharpen their knives on a monthly basis or so. 3-4 stone progression, 220, 500, 1200, and sometimes 3k stone (not really necessary tbh), 15-20 minutes per knife, primarily chefs knives (been sharpening for about a year so still not too fast). This is for soft stainless knives used most every day for several hours a day and banged around in metal sinks and tubs during cleaning (there are always dings and chips to take out).

Considering the above, if you were just doing your own kit on a weekly basis, I think that after you get the hang of stone sharpening, you would be spending less than 15-20 min per knife and only needing to use 1-2 stones on most occasions.
 

thecarver

Banned
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Joined Jul 17, 2016
It's a consumable product. If you pick knives without dimples and sharpen by hand, less metal is removed and it should last longer. The important thing is that like on a car you should maintain it so it is running at peak performance until the end.
1.  These are all my knives as i own the restaurant, i lend them out to employees as needed (in response to your question about

whose knives these are)

2.  ya i mean, we have a Wusthof steel that we use in between sharpenings, if thats what you mean by maintenance
 

thecarver

Banned
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Joined Jul 17, 2016
I appreciate the help all you guys have provided but i would like to say something.

I can understand Dexter having these dimpled knives but for Wusthof which has a reputation to protect and has been in business for so long, for them to sell these knives is shameful and imo is a blight on their rep and company.

my 2 cents
 

thecarver

Banned
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Joined Jul 17, 2016
The waste of money and material is in the idea of dimples. I have seventy years old chef's knives that still serve me very well after good thinning -- e.g. for slicing. But once dimples have been reached I hardly can see any usage for such a knife, as good sharpening has become impossible.
Thats my point, why would a reputable company like Wusthof sell these, with such a long and credible history?  Dexter is Dexter, they are American (which doesn't mean anything really) but they are like MEH while Wusthof is like well, the industry standard
 
1,061
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
They'll make/market what they can sell. Maybe there was hype about the food release of the Granton knives (with the dimples) that other makers jumped onto. Typical consumers tend not to think very hard about their knives' traits and relative performance and how it compares to other types or brands. You can go for a long time yet perpetuating that a certain brand is 'quality', even when some of the offerings are not really, especially when most buyers don't have much different to judge by. But mainly, they have to make stuff a typical user can use and abuse for a while in order to sell to a larger market...
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Well actually you can sharpen a worn-to-the-dimples knife, but to make that reasonable you may have to thin them at about a 2deg/side angle.  Too time consuming for stones, too tricky for a beginner to do on a belt.

Time for some new knives.  You can stick with the same old stuff if you feel the economies here warrant ie, factoring hired-help abuse and potential for theft.

$2-400 is the range for a reasonable belt sander, then there are the price of the belts.  It's worth it.  If it doesn't come already with a speed controller you can get them on ebay for <$25. A 1K belt will touch your knives up real quick and possible not get you into any real trouble starting out.

JKI sells "professional" grade diamond stones, the 1k/6k set is $300, again worth the money as they are very fast cutting and easier to handle than the BS.  They of course also have course stones for serious thinning.

FoodPump is an owner/operator here who sharpens {and also repairs] the house knives himself, I think he even manages with conventional waterstones, and possible some power stuff for the heavier repairs.  Maybe he'll chime in here.  It's all about making the effort pay off and some one like him would know about that better than us home kitchen jockies.  So would Jon at JKI, he'd be glad to give you advice there.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Honestly?

Go to a Lee Valley store and get a 1"belt sander they sell for sharpening, you'll have to buy a motor, but the sander itself is good quality. You can get any type of 1" sanding belts from L.V., many are designed for sharpening tools, they even sell a leather belt you can use with honing compound and put a mirror finish on your tools. What I'm trying to say is that you are going to have to learn how to sharpen yourself. L. V. Also has classes on sharpening, and a lot of knowledegable staff.

The dimpled knives? Don't get mad with me, but I would grind them down to a boning knife profile, and then stay away from that style from now on. The dimples make sense for ham/roast beef slicers, cheeseknives maybe, does any one still slice their own smoked salmon? The dimples make sense for moist, sticky foods, useless as mammaries on a stud bull for general prep though.
 

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