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Keeping Global knives razor-sharp?

Any hints/tips/advice? Thanks....

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  1. The best advice on sharpening I ever got was from a knifemaker whose motto was "The best way to have a really sharp knife is to never let it get dull". In other words, whatever your favorite means and tools for sharpening and honing might be, it's better, safer (sharp knives are actually safer than dull ones) and easier, once you get in the habit, to touch up your blades frequently than to let them ever get to the point where they need a major sharpening effort.

    For Japanese steel, I suppose that the traditional tools would be Japanese water stones, but in the end, it's a matter or whatever tool works best for you - one that you are comfortable using and one that you can learn to master.

    The only other advice I would give is that *in general* it's worth learning how to manually sharpen. While it is possible to do a good job on some types of steel and blade shapes with some of the automated/motorized tools that are on the market, I've seen far too many knives whose working lifespan has been seriously reduced by overly aggressive removal of metal by mis-use of automated sharpeners of various sorts.

    If you've spent the money to buy a good knife, spend the money and time to learn how to care for it and use it, and you'll likely be able to pass it on to your children or grandchildren.

    1. Warthog gives excellent advice. I recommend Shapton water stones, DMT diamond bench stones, and for a quick touch up, the Spyderco Sharpmaker.

      1. It's true that wetstones probably give the best result. It's also true that if you don't know what you're doing, you can end up making matters worse.

        After several knife sharpening gadets owned over the years, I finally have one that I'm satisifed with.


        Looks a bit ungainly (and mine doesn't have the bright orange handle in the amazon picture), but it does /seem/ to do the job better than others that I've tried in the past.

        Of course, your wetstone technique may be much less inept than mine :-)

        1. As always, it depends on what you consider razor sharp.

          Global factory edge is about 15 degrees, with a convex grind. See the sixth paragragh down in the link below from the Yoshikin website. If you want to replicate the factory edge, you need a method that can give you a 15 degree convex edge. But you can still get them sharper with smaller angles, which is what I do with most of my knives, including Globals. However, I grind flat edges, rather than convex.

          One of the advantages of hand-sharpening with stones is that you can customize your edges, including sharpening each side with different angles.


          2 Replies
          1. re: a priori

            I think I saw on a site that the best way to determine the angle against a stone, for a japanese blade, is to place two coins stacked under the spine. That's about the right angle.

            1. re: tzakiel

              The only issue with this is it depends on the height of your blade! What if you're sharpening a petty versus a chinese cleaver? Something to keep in mind. And what coins? Quarters? Dimes? Pennies?

          2. If you don't want (at this point) to buy the equipment or learn how to use stones, you can always mail your knives to a good sharpener and then learn to hone your knives well so you can keep them in good shape in between sharpenings.

            A good mail order service is D & R Sharpening Solutions through Japanese Knife Sharpening. Dave Martell is one of the best sharpeners in the US and his prices are very reasonable.

            Here is his site:

            You can also check out Korin and Epicurean Edge for their sharpening services or look locally. Often there will be posts in your regional Chowhound board about professional knife sharpening services in your area, but still be careful as they may not be that experienced with the different angles for Japanese blades.

            I don't want to turn you away from sharpening on your own, but it does take some money and time to learn, so I wanted to offer mail-order as one option to start off.

            Once you learn to hone well and maintain a blade edge, then maybe move on to sharpening. Just my thoughts. Good luck.

            3 Replies
            1. re: smkit

              Or get an EdgePro Apex. Even a novice can do it and it will rival the freehand sharpening of many. I sharpen mostly freehand and have been doing it for more than a year but the EP does a better job than my freehand. I keep it around to keep me humble.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                Interesting. I was just thinking that same thing about free hand + Edge Pro today. The discussion came up in Knifeforums about sharpening for sharpening sake (the fun of it) or sharpening as an end (cutting food) and I think Edge Pro is more about sharp knives for food. ...But I am still going to try my hand at waterstones first.

                1. re: smkit

                  I don't have an edge pro, but I suppose edge pro is a good substitution for professional knife sharpeners. It may save money if you have a lot of knives, but it definitely save time -- no more sending and waiting for knives.

                  Free hand sharpening on waterstones is just fun. I see that as a both a mean and a end. It can be very fun, but it is also very practical. One may say the same thing about cooking. Cooking food is very practical but it can be fun as well. Where as learning to play Blackjack is just for fun.