My favorite knife sharpener


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/27/521589.html


#2

Apparently Ramsey’s camera operator does the Jitterbug while filming. Seriously, do the kids filming TV these days have no concept of restraint? Were they graded in school on how many fast cuts they could jam in a minute?

Oh, and nice sharpener. I have something similar and absolutely love it.


#3

I like this guy:

Found him on Grindr


#4

I thought that steel rod thing was honing, not sharpening.


#5

Right–it straightens the edge, but can’t make a new edge. At some point, you will need to actually put a new edge on, and that means grinding it with a stone. Because I am clumsy, I use an EdgePro Apex kit that holds the stone and the knife edge at a fixed angle as you sharpen; it works pretty well.

Most cheap electric sharpeners are junk that will shorten the life of your knives.


#6

I have one of these:

(Disclaimer: I’m in culinary school, so I both got this at a discount and actually sharpen knives stupidly often. And yes I had to do it by hand for school, too.)

Before school I could’ve cared less about knife sharpness. Once I started developing some knife skills I realized how critical knife edge care really is (and yes, fuller knives are more dangerous! You don’t want the knife edge bouncing off of what you’re trying to cut and cutting you instead!).

The trizor will actually grind a western 30 degree knife to the more Japanese-custom 20/30 degree dual-bevel. The difference is stark. There’s never resistance cutting anything.

The downside with a thinner blade is needing to sharpen more often (and care when you hone), but a knife with good strong steel will help, and, hey, that’s why I bought the nice, easy sharpener in the first place, even if I have to use it more often. :slight_smile:

And yes, 1) lean how to hone your blades and 2) do so before each session. :slight_smile:


#7

I use these…

http://boingboing.net/tag/sharpening


#8

We have that one at home. We’re into cooking (read: eating great) and are fairly anal about having sharp knives at the ready. It took me a little while to learn how not to bear down on the knives as they’re pulled through each stage of the sharpening!


#9

I don’t know why, but the hat seems to fit his occupation. Something like… this is what I do… and this is what I wear!


#10

I personally approve the CRKT keychain sharpener. It is one of the things I always carry.


I should point out that if you use Japanese knives with very hard steel, you should be very careful about sharpening. Sharpeners that use carbide or diamond to shave tiny bits of metal off of a softer knife can cause chunks to break off of harder steel.
If you want to get slightly more committed to the cult of sharpness, I suggest Lansky or similar:

If you have decided to go most of the way to being serious about sharpening, Tormek is great, especially if you upgrade to a finer stone

If you have got religion, and want to go all in:
http://www.knifemaking.com/category-s/140.htm
If you are committed to sharpening and polishing old school-

Fun fact: I met my wife when we worked together at a custom knife shop in Texas.


#11

What would you recommend for Globals?


#12

Fine Japanese Waterstone. 100%.


#13

I have an older version, and it’s worth the cost over the cheap sharpeners.

My previous favorite was the rolling ceramic wheels kind like Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Steel Knife Sharpener and Fiskars Axe and Knife Sharpener. They’re inexpensive and I think they do a somewhat better job than the scrape-through sharpener style recommended by Mark.


#14

The Chef’s Choice are pricey, but practically the only electric sharpener worth buying.


#15

I have no idea how well this works, but the ergonomics give me pause. The left hand holding the sharpener steady seems very close to the knife being sharpened and there’s no real guard. It looks like a nasty accident waiting to happen.


#16

If you follow much of the online advice on knife sharpening you’ll find yourself with no hair on your arms and a phone book in tatters.


#17

Yesssss…

While I don’t go insane and use the full kit on kitchen knives, I love my waterstones.

And please, if you’re going to use knives, learn how to sharpen them. Yes it’s a skill. No, it’s never as easy as haphazardly dragging the edge through a pair of carbide scrapers. I’ve seen so many blades with f-ed up edges because of these drag and pull type sharpeners. Get a set of stones. Water stones. Oil stones. Diamond stones. That’s your preference. Learn your angles. Become sharpening masters!

And for the love of all that is holy, when you buy a steel, do not buy one of those ridged ones. Why do they even make those? Get a smooth steel. Everyone else posting here is exactly right about them solely being for honing/edge realignment. They’re not supposed to scrape the hell out of your edge.

And since I usually post info about being a Veterinarian, this is why I’m super retentive about sharpening knives:


(one of mine, handmade, from scratch…)
((If I caught you dragging this through a “V” sharpener, I’d show up at your house, give you your money back, and take back the poor abused knife.))


#18

I used to be a grinder, too. Mostly dado bits, sheet metal punches, and butterfly tips on drillbits.


#19

To me, this is the Gentoo vs Red Hat debate. Yes, sure, I can take pride in a perfect edge the way a Gentoo user does with getting the exact compile flags for their specific hardware configuration exactly right to maximize every spare cycle from their system, but alternatively, I can use my Trizor, which creates a 20 degree bevel (sharper than my blades were when I bought them), and I can do it in two minutes, just like an RPM install from a RH system. and if my blade ever gets nicked, I just run it through the rough wheels again.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking pride in a hand-sharpened, precision blade, any more than there is taking pride in hand-tweaked compiles. But for me, these are tools I am going to use crazily often thanks to school, and they’re going to need frequent sharpening. The effort:reward ratio isn’t there for me.

But yes, your hand-sharpened blade looks wonderful and I give you kudos for choosing that path.


#20

I think @Bobo was referring to the one Mark posted. Cheap carbide scrapers (like the coarse slot in that one) give you the illusion of a sharp knife, but can ruin some steels and leave a nasty edge. Yours sounds like an electric version of a standard fixed-angle flat diamond stone. It won’t impress the sharpening fanatics who like mirror-polished edges, but they won’t be happy until all the forearms in the world are shaved smooth.