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Reply to "Knives"

I see that this thread goes back awhile. I was interested since it has been revived and read the whole. I was interested to see that the majority of chefs that post seem to have W├╝sthof knives, which means that I made a good choice ... in 1982.

In that time I have re-sharpened them twice.

I shudder when I read of the suggestions of how to sharpen such beautiful implements.

Steels DO NOT sharpen knives. They simply remove the minute burr that occurs with use.

Water wheels (as one member posted), are excellent but very coarse. Looked at under a 30 or 60 power microscope you will see a serrated edge. Of course, for general work this even aids cutting. (tomatoes and capsicum skins are quite resistant to cutting).

Time was that my grand-dad had five stones, from 80 grit waterstone, through 250, 400 Arkansas to a white Arkansas "soap-stone" which was reputedly 800 grit. I used these for years for knives and plane blades (with another set for chisel-blades).

Then someone sold me diamond "stones". As the traditional stones needed replacing I did so with these. All still 8" x 2" but now I can cut chips out of a blade in half the time and the "fine" option is 1200 grit. Extra superb!!!

I also got a little fanatical and have honed down to 2000 grit using 2000 paper glued to an 8 x 2 hard-rubber block. Looked at with the 60 power and edge now has a mirror surface.

What did I learn using the m'scope? DON'T use oil on your oil stone. It creates a slurry and the larger chips of stone and steel cause a ghastly mess with you edge. Just dry-hone, brushing the stone frequently with a dry stiff bristled brush.

Secondly, when using a steel .. ONE pass, very, very gently down each edge; not the repeated whip-whap that you see butchers do.

Thirdly, your every day pocket knife should have a "blunter" edge (cut the second edge at 25 to 30 deg) as the finer edge won't wear well for this sort of use.

I've shaved a beard with an axe ... for charity ... so just about any implement can get to this sharpness with patience.