Zwilling Knife Angles and Sharpening Advice

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Joined Nov 2, 2016
Hey there, 

I'm a newbie around here and have just bought a few nicer knives for the first time.  I picked up a Zwilling Pro S 8 inch Chef's Knife and a Zwilling Four Star 7 inch Santoku knife for home use.  I've just gotten into cooking more and thought these would be a good place to start, especially since I got them on a good deal.

My question is for honing and sharpening - after talking with the guy at the store and doing some research online, Zwilling recommends to hone and sharpen the Chef's knife to 15 degrees and the Santoku to 10 degrees.  Would you guys recommend to also sharpen the Santoku to 10 degrees or is this a bit too much for this type of steel (i.e. would it not hold an edge for long).  Also, along the same lines, has anyone used and can recommend a manual or electric sharpener?  I've read up quite a bit on Chef's Choice models but am wondering if it's more worthwhile to learn the techniques on a whetstone.

Thanks!
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
I don't know what pull through or electric is going to set you a 10 degree angle. It'll fold over pretty fast on that German steel

You're probably going to need for find an 'Asian angle' sharpener for 15 degrees. Not that I know much more than that about the tabletop devices - I have used exclusively waterstones for the past year and a half
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
There's nothing Japanese about your santoku,   The grind and the metal are very german.  I would sharpen it to 20+ degrees per side.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Those 10 and 15 degrees per side are just marketing humbug. No way their Krupp 4116 will ever hold such an edge when actually used for food preparation on a board.
Until a few years ago Wüsthof and Zwilling / Henckels used to deliver with convexed edges ending at some 20 degrees per side. Perfectly appropriate, but a bit more work than a straight edge. And as they are rather fat behind the edge it doesn't feel very sharp.

Indeed... Among the most egregious marketing humbug ever seen!
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2016
Thanks a lot everyone! I figured a 10 degree angle wasn't really reasonable to expect. Could I sharpen at 15 degrees? I guess I would be expecting to hone a bit more frequently then.

Since pull through sharpeners seem to have questionable reviews here, would most of you recommend sucking it up and trying my hand at using a whetstone? I've been looking at King 1000/6000 combi stone and wondering if this would be a good place to start. Guess I'm just nervous of causing some damage (scratches and whatnot)
 
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If you sharpen at 15 degrees, expect to thin the knife for a while.  On stainless abrasion resistant steel it will take a long time and wear down stones.  Do you have a grinder or belt sander?
 
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I converted my Henckel Four-star knives from 20 deg to 15 deg by hand. Took some time but starting with a coarse stone (oil stone, in my case) actually made it happen in a rather expeditious manner. I, personally, would not use power tools... too easy to burn the steel.  But some do and if cautious it could be okay. The performance at 15 deg is noticeably better. The edge retention and durability didn't seem to change much at all.

I would not use a pull through, manual or power, sharpener to do the conversion but they may be useful to some in maintaining the edge. But if converted by hand then maintaining by hand is no challenge or chore

Regarding scratches on the blade... you need to accept a certain amount of that as a fact of life; it happens!
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
That you are thinking about what are more performance oriented bevel angles indicates to me that you care about having a knife that cuts better. And IMO it's better to risk scuffing up your knife while sharpening it properly than having a dull knife that doesn't cut
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2016
I converted my Henckel Four-star knives from 20 deg to 15 deg by hand. Took some time but starting with a coarse stone (oil stone, in my case) actually made it happen in a rather expeditious manner. I, personally, would not use power tools... too easy to burn the steel.  But some do and if cautious it could be okay. The performance at 15 deg is noticeably better. The edge retention and durability didn't seem to change much at all.

I would not use a pull through, manual or power, sharpener to do the conversion but they may be useful to some in maintaining the edge. But if converted by hand then maintaining by hand is no challenge or chore

Regarding scratches on the blade... you need to accept a certain amount of that as a fact of life; it happens!
You're right..if I wanted it pristine I guess I wouldn't be talking about sharpening or even using it in the first place.

Does anyone have any info on flattening a stone? I'm not sure entirely what this process is and what it does.

As for using the stone I think I'll give it a shot by looking at some tutorials...seems more satisfying than using a pull through sharpener.

That you are thinking about what are more performance oriented bevel angles indicates to me that you care about having a knife that cuts better. And IMO it's better to risk scuffing up your knife while sharpening it properly than having a dull knife that doesn't cut
Good point..I think that's a good way to think of it
 
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When you use a sharpening stone, the middle will probably get used more than the corners.  No matter what direction you are sharpening in, the middle part gets hit, so it is used twice as much.

At some point your stone starts dishing.  Harder stones take longer to dish, softer muddy stones will dish faster.    If your stone is dished, your edge will be convex whether you intend it to be or not.  This isn't the worst thing actually, it works on a lot of double bevel knives up to a point.  You need a real flat stone for single bevel and razors.

Something like this

https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...accessories/products/diamond-flattening-plate

There are other brands, some good, some bad.   If you push down too hard the diamonds will fall off.
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2016
When you use a sharpening stone, the middle will probably get used more than the corners.  No matter what direction you are sharpening in, the middle part gets hit, so it is used twice as much.

At some point your stone starts dishing.  Harder stones take longer to dish, softer muddy stones will dish faster.    If your stone is dished, your edge will be convex whether you intend it to be or not.  This isn't the worst thing actually, it works on a lot of double bevel knives up to a point.  You need a real flat stone for single bevel and razors.

Something like this
https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...accessories/products/diamond-flattening-plate

There are other brands, some good, some bad.   If you push down too hard the diamonds will fall off.

Got it. Thanks for the advice! I would assume a stone doesn't need flattening too often? Also do you or anyone else have an opinion on picking up a King 1000/6000 combi stone to start? Would the grit of these be alright for me to start and learn with?
 
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I would start with something on the coarser end like Beston 500 to do a more acute angle bevel set.
1k will take longer and hard to cut in a more acute angle with finer grits without letting the angle click into where it's already at, especially for beginners. And you'll wear out more of the stone
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2016
I would start with something on the coarser end like Beston 500 to do a more acute angle bevel set.
1k will take longer and hard to cut in a more acute angle with finer grits without letting the angle click into where it's already at, especially for beginners. And you'll wear out more of the stone
Thanks for the advice. Then would I still want a higher grit for polishing?
 
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I sharpen soft German stainless with a Chosera 400, and use higher grits only for deburring. Polishing is useless, expect unstable edges. Chromium carbides will break out of the soft matrix.

There was quite a bit there I didn't understand hahaha. I didn't know there was deburring as well as polishing, I thought it was use a lower grit stone then finish with a higher grit. Guess there's quite a bit to know eh
 
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Deburr along the edge, after stropping on the stone. And add one or two stropping strokes after it. With soft stainless skip the stropping at the end.
What are you doing for deburring? Lateral stroke across the stone? Or draw through cork/wood?

@Jonjtyu  I finish soft stainless on like a 1-2k grit but mainly because I feel like I can get the burr closer to fully removed by not ending on the 400-500 grit. A good part of that is probably still technique that can be refined, though
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2016
What are you doing for deburring? Lateral stroke across the stone? Or draw through cork/wood?

@Jonjtyu
 I finish soft stainless on like a 1-2k grit but mainly because I feel like I can get the burr closer to fully removed by not ending on the 400-500 grit. A good part of that is probably still technique that can be refined, though

Ok, so two stones or a combi stone of 400-500 grit and 1000-2000 would be better? Is that cause the rougher grit would allow me to sharpen quicker?
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2015
Ok, so two stones or a combi stone of 400-500 grit and 1000-2000 would be better? Is that cause the rougher grit would allow me to sharpen quicker?
Entirely how much money you want to spend. Yes the coarser grit cuts more quickly - more metal removal 
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2016
List a budget range and you'll get recs :)

I'm thinking of around $50-$75. Is that reasonable? I was also wondering if at a sharpening grit like 500 or so if it'd be easier for me to screw up haha. Since I've never done this before, would 1000 grit for sharpening be more forgiving?
 
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