Without stones, what is the best product on the market to keep your knives sharp?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by abrown221, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. abrown221

    abrown221

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    I have no desire to learn out to use stones to sharpen my knives, but I love sharp knives.  Please don't give me the "stones or die, bro" speech, I just don't have the time to tackle them.  I was looking at some of the adjustable sharpeners out there, such as 

    http://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=8209&gclid=CKS77srKprwCFWYaOgodZjMA-g

    So i could really get any edge i want.  I know it wont be perfect, but will it work?

    Thanks in advance! 

    AB
     
  2. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    Welcome to cheftalk! It also depends on what types of knives you are going to sharpen. Chefs Choice has a number of models and is ranked pretty hi as far as the pull through electric sharpeners go. You could also use the knife sharpening service in your area which is what a lot of pro chefs do (normally you can find one at the cutlery store) but you will still want to get a steel and learn how to use it (easy peasy) so you can keep your knives true (sharp) between trips to the sharpener. Good cooking..............
     
  3. abrown221

    abrown221

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    I was looking more toward the spyderco Sharpmaker or the one linked above.... anything along those lines/price point?
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The Sharpmaker is a versatile tool and the easiest to learn. You can slip magazines or door mounting wedges under the edge to tilt the sticks to achieve different angles. Many find it a little slow and others complain about the rounding of the tip that is common when used as the instructions direct. 

    It is a bit slow until you are comfortable with it but still slower than stones in the hands of a practiced sharpener.  There used to be a diamond loaded sleeve you could slip over the rods to do faster reprofiling and such. You can still lay a diamond stone against the rods to set the angle and then make slow strokes, the off hand keeping the stone in place.

    It's generally better practice to work one side completely for the flat or corner of the rod, then work the other side instead of alternating strokes as the instructions direct. 

    To avoid rounding the tip, Start your sharpening stroke at the tip of the knife instead of the heel.  

    The Sharpmaker can sharpen the better designs of serrations as well.

    The primary disadvantage of the Sharpmaker is that it struggles with anything over 8 inches and is optimal for blades 6 inches or less. And it's not the fastest system.  Larger blades are best worked in sections on the Sharpmaker. 

    With a light hand on the flats of the white rods, you can achieve a surprising polish on the edge, That will come with experience and its' not very fast to do.

    Wet/dry sandpaper is an option too. Cheap to start with lots of grits, the cost comes more as the paper doesn't last that long. 

    You should read Chad Ward's An Edge in the Kitchen. He covers lots about knives, sharpening with traditional tools as well as the Sharpmaker. I read it from my local library. 

    Using the sharpmaker, you can develop the needed familiarity with the proper angles to transfer to freehand stones more readily. 

    I like my Sharpmaker, but it's only one of my sharpening tools. Whether I use it or not depends what sort of edge I'm trying to put on a particular blade. 

    One last caveat. I think the Sharpmaker struggles with hardness over 61. If you're buying a very hard high grade steel blade hardened at 62 and up, a different tool is needed. 
     
  5. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  6. abrown221

    abrown221

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    What is the angle on the minosharp? 
     
  7. abrown221

    abrown221

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    Phatch, when you say not very fast for a polished edge, what are we talking? 20 minutes of rubbing stones? 
     
  8. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    . . . . I wonder if you've fallen off the hyperbole cliff of the knife fanatics.
    like the fellow who explained how he spent hours and hours and hours getting a perfect edge and was able to cut up three apples (count 'em, t-h-r-e-e) before he "had to take it back to the stones"  

    wonderful for him, not my idea of a practical knife or edge.

    I have more than one knife - meaning I use different lengths / styles to suit the task at hand - meaning my "one and only knife" is not used for everything in the kitchen - which would obviously cause more "wear"

    my 8" chef and my 7" santuko are hands down the most heavily used.

    the santuko I keep at a sharper angle.  
    the chef's less so, as it tends to get more of the brute work.

    in the home scenerio I sharpen the chef knife 2x / year; the santuko 3x / year as I do luv a sharp knife for vegetable prep.

    I use a steel pretty much every trip out of the block.

    the other day I bumped up against the knife edge - which was laying flat on the board - while scooping up some chopped onions for the pot. yeah yeah, shudda laid it with the edge facing away....my bad.

    very nice 3" gash on the sole of my hand.  yeah, they stay sharp - without 2 hours per day in a waterstone slurry.  did that knife just before Thanksgiving.

    after 20+ years, I got the EdgePro system - before that I free handed on a tri-corner block.  takes me about 20 minutes per knife.

    don't know how much time you don't have, but I don't find it burdensome.

    the pull thru sharpeners scrape along the length of the blade; stones work perpendicular to the length.
    there's a difference, you'll notice it.
     
  9. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    I'm not positive but I believe it is very close to 15°
     
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a lot built into my statement about the polished edge.  You have to develop the skills with the Sharpmaker, with the knife, and have a knife that can take that sort of edge. All of that takes time and repeated sessions with the tools. 

    If you want to to that sort of thing from the start, get an EdgePro. 
     
  11. mhpr262

    mhpr262

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    Get a stone or die, bro.

    all you need is one or max two stones for a fraction of the price of one of those other crappy gadges. Those

    will, in the long run, either take much more of your time to sharpen your knife than stones ever would, or ruin your edges, or profile, or deliver generally inferior results.

    Seriously, all you need is one or two stones and to watch a youtube video or three and you can produce an edge that can remove hair from your arm the first time you use them. And you will only get better from there. Free hand sharpening can be something really calming and gratifying, it's not a dreary toil.
     
  12. mike9

    mike9

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    OK - someone's got to say it . . . might as well just get a . . . . . . . . GINSU /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif  
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  13. denverveggienut

    denverveggienut

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    The item you linked to is unlikely to work well. For what you're talking, the Sharpmaker is your best bet. Give it maybe 10 minutes to learn, pay around $60, have decent but slow sharpening. I used a V-angled round ceramic rod sharpener for years. It works getting your knives sharp, isn't too hard to learn to use, and it was cheap. But after a number of years, none of my knives cut particularly well. They needed thinning. You sound dead set against water stones, but for around the same price ($50 for a King combo stone, and some drywall screen for the occasional flattening), and around an hour of your time, you'll be sharpening as well as you would with any gadget, it will take less time to sharpen each time, and you'll be getting better and better edges as you go along. AND you'll be on your way to understanding what to do, way down the road, when you need to thin a knife.

    But, if you're still stone-phobic, the Sharpmaker can get you a decent edge. I haven't used one, but it is very similar to my old ceramic v-sharpener, just with a flat surface on the rods rather than a round one, for more surface contact. Honestly, though, your question is like asking "What the best way to eat soup with a fork? I've heard spoons are hard to use."
     
  14. cuts and scraps

    cuts and scraps

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    I love my ceramic sharpening rods. Stay away from diamond sharpening stones or rods. They scratch the crap out of your edge and give the illusion of a sharp blade.
     
  15. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I don't understand the mentality....

    A knife is  hunk of steel.  Where two edges meet, it is sharp, if the two edges do not  meet at a point,, the edge is dull.  In order to get the edges to meet together again(sharp) you need an abrasive to remove excess metal.

    There are a zillion options for abrasives, but you will need some kind of an abrasive to remove metal and re-establish your edges.

    Now, as cruel and harsh and a-holeish as I sound, if you can't comprehend this concept--which zillions of people do, and have so for thousands of years-- then I suggest either sending your knives out to a sharpener, or not to use knives at all.

    And you have had some excellent advice up there, which people have taken time to write, so respect that fact and don't keep on looking for a holy grail, it doesn't exist.
     
  16. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I also vote for the Spyderco Sharpmaker.  It will do a good job of maintenance on almost any knife (but it's not ideal for sharpening a knife that has gotten very dull).  If your knives are Japanese that's probably as good is it gets if you can't/won't learn to actually sharpen.  If your knives are German or similar then I'd suggest you try the Edgemaker Pro set.  No BS, it really will keep common knives razor sharp.  They're cheap and effective, and I've recommended them for many years and never heard a complaint about them.
     
  17. chefkimberley

    chefkimberley

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    I am currently testing the "Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener" the Ken Onion edition. It has an adjustable angle guide from 15 - 30 degrees in 1degree increments, variable speeds and comes with six different belts varying in coarseness from 120 to 6000. I haven't tried any of my chef knives on it yet but I've had great success sharpening cheap household knives from duller than dull to shave your hairs off sharp! I bought it at a sportsman trade show in Washington for $150, including replacement belts. Check it out, it might be just what you're looking for!
     
  18. foodpump

    foodpump

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    This is what the o.p. wrote.

    I repeat, no desire to learn how to use stones to sharpen knives.

    Any method that previous posters talk about to sharpen knives uses some type of stone or some form of abrasive. And yes, there is a learning curve and skill involved, no matter how slight.  Even with the spyderco system that Phadreus suggested, which I find excellent and have shown many people with "0" culinary of knife skills how to use properly.

    I just don't understand the mentality of the O.P..

    It's like, you could be richer than B.Gates, or better looking and more popular than than a supermodel, but none of that will help you fight the law of gravity.  So why fight it?

    Want sharp knives but can't be bothered "with all of that stuff"?   Send them out to be sharpened.

    Why do you want us to look for your holy grail?
     
  19. mike9

    mike9

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    I agree with Murray -



    And there is a Zen Zone you can get into when freehand sharpening half dozen blades or so at a crack.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  20. excelsior

    excelsior

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    I just got an Edge Pro myself and I'm loving it. It makes knife sharpening easy and enjoyable and helps keep the angles consistent. I got 220, 500, 2k, 4k and 8k Shapton Glass stones for it. I agree with everything you posted but for goodness sake please learn to spell Santoku correctly.

    Another point I want to make not mentioned often enough is knife blade thickness. All else being equal a thin blade will seem sharper than a thick blade especially for the harder vegetables like carrot, celery, onion, potatoes, etc. This is because the blade has to push apart the vegetable as it is being cut. Guess who has to provide the force to do that? You do. So look for as thin a blade as you can find while not sacrificing durability. Don't use it to pry things, but do learn to sharpen it.

    If you really can't be bothered sharpening, you should send your knives out to be sharpened by a reputable knife sharpener if you can find one. Good luck, have fun cooking!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014