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Nov 14, 2007 02:45 PM

Rachael Ray Knife Sharpener?

Does anyone have any experience with this thing? My parents bought it to sharpen their knives and I'm trying to convince them not to use it. Any yea's or nay's?

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  1. I bought one at Marshall's at a good price, but I don't like it. I do better with a stone. I don't think it will ruin any knives I just didn't find it to work very well.

    1. My personal prejudice: Stay far away from anything with the name Rachel Ray.

      1. Let's hope Rachel Ray didn't actually have anything to do with designing the thing. I've never used one, but from what I can tell from the description I found on a website, there are two fittings with diamond dust encrusted "fingers" and one fitting that looks like it may be a carbide v-notch for use on a really dull or badly nicked blade. Nothing beats professional sharpening, but the diamond fingers will probably maintain a fairly good edge without doing any serious damage to the blades. But tell them to throw that other thing away. I'm not kidding. Really throw it away. V-notch sharpeners shave substantial amounts of metal off the blade. Use one just a few times and you will change the curve of the blade. Use one too much and you can turn a chef's knife into a boning knife. When I was young and ignorant I ruined my first Henkels knife that way.

        If your folks have some knives that are really dull or badly nicked, get them sharpened at a cutlery shop, then maintain the edges with the diamond fingers. And don't go to Sur la Table or some general store to get them sharpened. That's a real crap shoot. Your knives will probably be sharpened by a sales clerk with 10 minutes of training in how to use a bench grinder.

        1. Besides cooking, I do a good deal of woodworking and have a fetish about sharp tools. My wife bought this contraption, and I had misgivings about letting any good knives near it. I finally tried it on an old knife I hadn't sharpened in years. I was very surprised at the results. Its a cleverly designed, fairly idiot-proof system that will put a pretty good edge a knife if use per the instructions. It's not one of those coarse things that ruins a blade. It uses a set of progressive spring-tensioned "forks" that act on the edge pretty much the same way as a stone would. We've used for two years on our knives and I'm very satisfied. The carbide v-tool is only for restoring really rough edges; I used it on a fishing knife and it did a respectable job.

          So my advice is to try it before condemning it. Sharp knives are tools, not kitchen jewelry or objects of ritual.

          1. nay on sharpening one's own knives, period. [unless you're properly trained.]

            oh, and the fact that rachael ray has her name on it...a second nay if i can vote twice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I don't understand all the fear of knife sharpening. As a hunter, and growing up in rural TX, knife sharpening is something that was learned at a very early age. It is not that hard (with the right tools) to put a shaving sharp edge on a blade and keep the correct edge geometry.

              If you can properly wield a knife without losing a digit, you should be able to sharpen your own blades.