When to sharpen?

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Joined May 26, 2017
I hope im posting in the right section,

So i just got a new Vnox 8in chef's knife, the grand maitre with rosewood handle. I also have a combo stone (400/1000) from Mercer.

I've heard and read different things on when to sharpen your knives so i was hoping to get some insight from knowledgeable individuals in that matter :)

Should i always sharpen my knife out of the box? I havent used mine yet whatsoever. 

Also my level isnt crazy high, im a student and i will be using my knives all summer working and cooking at a summer camp, prepping 450+ meals a day!!!

Any tips is very welcome :)
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Hi Loo1201, welcome to cheftalk

Start practicing your ​sharpening skills when you can if you haven't already

Hard to say in your case whether you should sharpen first. If you can do better than the out of the box edge then certainly. The Victorinox edges that I've had experience with were just okay but that's relative to my standards.
I'd thin more behind the edge then stick on a smaller, conservative edge bevel, finishing around 1000-2000 grit, deburr as much as possible on the stones then pull the edge through a piece of cork. This is just one example of a way to go about things

Look up on YouTube 'Knife Sharpening playlist' by Japanese Knife imports. The videos on double beveled knives sharpening will apply to your Victorinox

Best of luck this summer!
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
My exp with victorinox is you can knock off the shoulders and thin a bit and it is way better cutter.  When to sharpen...  When you struggle with tomato, onion, or pepper skin is a good indicator.
 
8
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Joined May 26, 2017
Hi Loo1201, welcome to cheftalk

Start practicing your sharpening skills when you can if you haven't already

Hard to say in your case whether you should sharpen first. If you can do better than the out of the box edge then certainly. The Victorinox edges that I've had experience with were just okay but that's relative to my standards.
I'd thin more behind the edge then stick on a smaller, conservative edge bevel, finishing around 1000-2000 grit, deburr as much as possible on the stones then pull the edge through a piece of cork. This is just one example of a way to go about things

Look up on YouTube 'Knife Sharpening playlist' by Japanese Knife imports. The videos on double beveled knives sharpening will apply to your Victorinox

Best of luck this summer!
Okay thank you! Ill check the videos out!

Ill give it a few swipes on the 1000 !
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Okay thank you! Ill check the videos out!

Ill give it a few swipes on the 1000 !

Whenever you're comfortable to do so, it'll benefit from you hitting behind the edge with the 400 to thin it a bit
 
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8
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Joined May 26, 2017
Whenever you're comfortable to do so, it'll benefit from you hitting behind the edge with the 400 to thin it a bit
Ive been told to only use the 400 on a very dull or chipped knife so i wont lay the Vnox on it.
 
8
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Joined May 26, 2017
The sooner you scratch the knife, the sooner you'll get with sharpening.
You mean on the side of the blade? Cause i have a cheap Japanese knife i bought for 35$ and i tried sharpening it and it has crazy marks on the side now like scratches
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
 
Ive been told to only use the 400 on a very dull or chipped knife so i wont lay the Vnox on it.
Behind the edge so you thin the thing and it cuts better. 

I've seen like half a dozen new or close to new Victorinox chef knives as well as was playing with and tweaking one at home to gift out. Making suggestions that fit the knife in question in terms of improving performance while keeping some edge durability
 
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Joined May 26, 2017
 
Behind the edge so you thin the thing and it cuts better. 

I've seen like half a dozen new or close to new Victorinox chef knives as well as was playing with and tweaking one at home to gift out. Making suggestions that fit the knife in question in terms of improving performance while keeping some edge durability
Okay im very confused lol. Like i said im a beginner at sharpening. You mean the back of the knife?

I know i have to sharpen a knife when it becomes dull or after a while but all i want to know is if its recommended to sharpen traditionally right away when i buy a new knife and if yes, is the 1000 enough? 
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
If you refer to the photo above you can see that there's consistent scratch marks maybe around 1cm behind the edge all along the blade. I thinned that portion with a low grit stone like 400-500 grit because it wasn't performing to my liking. Then came back and stuck a sturdier edge bevel onto it. Made a noticeable difference in performance

Bottom line - it's a thicker knife than I like to use as my main knife, doesn't cut as well without modification, hence thinning behind the edge.

Again, from a response earlier 
Hard to say in your case whether you should sharpen first. If you can do better than the out of the box edge then certainly. The Victorinox edges that I've had experience with were just okay but that's relative to my standards.
 
And my thought would be that everyone else who has commented so far sharpens far better than the out of the box edge of the Victorinox gives. It's not a mind blowing edge But I can't say if your case is the same.
 
8
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Joined May 26, 2017
 
If you refer to the photo above you can see that there's consistent scratch marks maybe around 1cm behind the edge all along the blade. I thinned that portion with a low grit stone like 400-500 grit because it wasn't performing to my liking. Then came back and stuck a sturdier edge bevel onto it. Made a noticeable difference in performance

Bottom line - it's a thicker knife than I like to use as my main knife, doesn't cut as well without modification, hence thinning behind the edge.

Again, from a response earlier 

And my thought would be that everyone else who has commented so far sharpens far better than the out of the box edge of the Victorinox gives. It's not a mind blowing edge But I can't say if your case is the same.
Now that makes sense! Haha :p

Thank you for the answer. Ill definitely hit the Vnox on the 1000 then!
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
I did a post on the Vic Rosewood and some mods to do to blade and handle. http://www.cheftalk.com/t/81804/victorinox-forschner-as-starter-knives.

The gaps in the scales really should be filled in, and the clunky handle needs some dremel work to make it comfortable for pinch grip.

They come in thin behind the edge for German knives, mine at .014-.015 inches, but taking it a few thou down to .010 makes a significant difference.  You do have to be more careful at this level as the relatively soft steel will show dimples in your edge if your technique is poor.

Where it really needs thinning is the last 3.5 inches to the tip, adding in some distal taper there. Big dif when doing stuff like prepping onions for dicing, the initial sectioning and horizontal cuts.  This takes a bit of work with just a 400 stone but you can do a bit every time you sharpen.

Most here say to finish sharpen on a 1K stone for a lasting edge, but I finish much higher than this, 4K and even higher, with very good results.  I do initial shapening at 10deg/side, then microbevel to 20 using stropping strokes.
 
8
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Joined May 26, 2017
 
I did a post on the Vic Rosewood and some mods to do to blade and handle. http://www.cheftalk.com/t/81804/victorinox-forschner-as-starter-knives.

The gaps in the scales really should be filled in, and the clunky handle needs some dremel work to make it comfortable for pinch grip.

They come in thin behind the edge for German knives, mine at .014-.015 inches, but taking it a few thou down to .010 makes a significant difference.  You do have to be more careful at this level as the relatively soft steel will show dimples in your edge if your technique is poor.

Where it really needs thinning is the last 3.5 inches to the tip, adding in some distal taper there. Big dif when doing stuff like prepping onions for dicing, the initial sectioning and horizontal cuts.  This takes a bit of work with just a 400 stone but you can do a bit every time you sharpen.

Most here say to finish sharpen on a 1K stone for a lasting edge, but I finish much higher than this, 4K and even higher, with very good results.  I do initial shapening at 10deg/side, then microbevel to 20 using stropping strokes.
Thank for your message. I do not use the same Vnox as you do, i have the grand maitre collection one but im sure it is pretty similar.

Now, what do you mean by thinning? Is that sharpening? I dont think ill use it on the 400 as the edge is brand new and ive been told to use the 400 only on a dull edge. Im still very very unfamiliar with knife jargon so its hard to decrypt what most of you say when it becomes too specific haha. Til now ive always used the knives offered by the school but i felt like i wanted my own and didnt feel like i had enough knowledge to buy a Japanese blade. However i still spent 125$ for my knife (bought in store) and i really want to keep it in the best shape as possible :)
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
The performance mods mentioned repeatedly in this thread have to do with making the knife thinner so that it moves through foods more easily. This means it needs to get skinnier. This means you need to remove steel *behind the edge*. Again please refer to where the scratch pattern is on my photo on post #9

No one is saying to grind down your edge at your finishing bevel angles​ with a 400 grit. The knife is only gonna get skinnier if you take off metal from behind the edge before you get the very edge which would of course thicken it and move the edge further up the blade.

When you get a chance to, please watch the thinning a knife video in the sharpening playlist previously mentioned

Please help me understand if the rest of the knife that is *behind the edge* is not making sense to you

Next time you're up to buy knives, chime in here. We can help your money go further.
Frankly, seeing your location, I'm fairly tempted to suggest you return the Victorinox and go buy a Tojiro DP. $125 for a Victorinox is a lot. I got a nearly new 10 inch Vic rosewood for
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
You should not have been afraid of Japanese knives, or some French ones for the matter, but what is done is done,  And yes, your handle can do without the dremeling and, for the money spent, the scales would hopefully fit tight.

Thinning is not sharpening, and doesn't need to involve touching the edge itself except for right where it meets the cutting edge at what is referred to as the "shoulder" I believe.  It involves what is just behind the primary bevel (the angle leading right into the cutting edge itself, not including any microbevel though).  This and anywhere from about a quarter inch to as much as an inch back in a typical gyuto/chefs knife.  Typically put in at about a 2 degree angle, give or take some depending on whether we are talking a laser or rough workhorse.  I said typically because in what is known as a "Wide Bevel" knife, that angle would be anywhere from about 3 to over 4 degrees.  This done for excellent food release at the cost of some wedging in cutting thick sections, particularly in hard product.

Do you get the picture now?  You are essentially making a very, very thin wedge of the area leading up to the cutting edge.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Excuse me but it was late last night that I posted and did not have the braincells fully awake, the "shoulder" resides at what is the thick end of the wedge I mentioned.
 
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