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Aug 19, 2008 11:32 AM

Knife Sharpening help

Hello all- I am new to the knife world- so bear with me. I purchase a Global Chef's knife. Williams Sonoma sold me the Wusthof sharpener for German knives and I used it on my Global. Of course I did not know it was for German knives at the time- I just recently figured it out. My question is- will that effect the blade?

I recently purchased the Asian version of this sharpener- but it says Santoku on it. Can I use it for knives other than the Santoku?

Any insight is appreciated

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  1. german knives are sharpened at an angle that's less acute (something like 22 degrees) than asian knives (around 16).

    1. Hi, im new to this site but just went through culinary school recently and working in a restaurant now. I have been using global knifes as well and sharpen them every few days. Im not sure if u use a like electric sharpener or a stone but if its a stone then basically with global i use a 1000 grit stone, the brand doesnt matter. as far as electric im not too sure about them but i would imagine its just the name of the brand. now global even though there a japanese knife they are more like a german knife anyways because the angle is the same and there sharpened 50/50 on each side unlike a japanese that could be about 70/30 on average. so the wusthof should be fine

      5 Replies
      1. re: kronlyn

        Using a manual sharpener at this time (ceramic slots). Thanks for the info!

        1. re: rookieaz

          Perhaps not the answer you want, but other than honing, it's probably best to let a pro sharpen your knives once or twice a year.

          1. re: ndelson

            On the other hand, I'been cooking for a few decades now and have never taken knives to a professional sharpener. They work fine with sharpening at home.

            1. re: ndelson

              Nonsense, knife sharpening isn't hard at all. Anybody with a steady hand, with a little practice, can sharpen their own knives.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                I find many people are intimidated about hand sharpening their own knives.

                I'd say all it takes is some practice, but perhaps more accurately, all it takes is someone who knows what they're doing to show you, then practice.
                I sharpen at least every other day, every day if heavy use, hone before each use. And yeah, razor sharp - friends don't beleive, so I show 'em...

        2. I'm not sure what the "Wusthof sharpener" you've been using is, but as long as it isn't a high-speed grinder you probably haven't hurt the blade. Worst case scenario is that you are going to have to reshape the bevel back to Global specs. Not something you want to do often, but as a one-off it isn't a problem. If you really complain to WS they might replace the knife because their sales staff caused you to reduce the usable steel on the blade by a percent or two, but that strikes me as a little over the top.

          The best way to determine whether a sharpener (or hone) is at the correct angle for a blade is to make a mark on the bevel (the sharp part) with a magic marker, then run it through the sharpener. If the ink is removed only at the very edge, then the angle is too obtuse; if the ink is only removed near the flat of the blade, the angle is too acute. Ideally, the ink should be cleanly removed along the entire bevel. Watch the first few seconds of this video to get an idea of how this works:

          No affiliation with the company, just a very satisfied customer. Speaking of which, MHO is that you have three options for keeping knives sharp. You can find a professional sharpener who will really do a good job for you (easier said than done). You can learn to sharpen freehand (plenty of folks can, but it takes a significant amount of time and effort, and you're likely to screw things up at first), or you can find a home sharpener that can do the job right. Anything with a motor--avoid. Anything where you can't adjust the bevel angle--avoid.

          I'm a recent (and therefore overly evangelical) convert to the EdgePro sharpeners. A really good hand sharpener will charge $20 or so to put a perfect edge on your blade. You can learn to do it yourself in about half an hour with an EdgePro machine. At $150+, the equipment isn't cheap, but it pays for itself: I just put razor edges on 14 knives in well under an hour.

          Learn about knives in general and your knife in particular. Then you'll know how to take care of it. And it will take care of you.

          6 Replies
          1. re: alanbarnes

            To the OP ~ This is the truth. Read the fine print. Do the ink trick. Watch the video. "Anything with a motor--avoid. Anything where you can't adjust the bevel angle--avoid." The EdgePro looks good. Another one that has the same features is Wicked Edge, and it is even more expensive. These are manual "machines" that cost about the same as the much touted ChefsChoice.

            Oh, yes. One thing that ab didn't mention is that with the EdgePro or other systems like it, you can see the edge while you're working on it. That's desirable.

            1. re: yayadave

              Hey Yaya, I'm a recent convert to the Wicked Edge sharpener. I never owned an EdgePro but everyone says nothing but good things about them.
              The Wicked Edge with all the bells and whistles is Stupid expensive, but in contrast to the EdgePro, it lets you sharpen both sides of the blade at once. In addition, when you sharpen in the future you can return the blade to the exact same place it was on first sharpening which minimizes metal loss, and it's almost idiot-proof (lucky me!)

              A truly sharp knife is a joy in the kitchen. My knives now make paper thin slices of fibrous things like ginger "like budda"

              1. re: Billow Fair

                I like that the WE holds the knife in place. No room for slippage. I think I'll use a quarter or something handy to measure the positioning. I think putting something like that in as a guide would be more accurate than just looking at the marks. I'm thinking of mounting it on a piece of plexiglass with suction cup feet. It just came this week, so I haven't gotten to it yet. But the EdgePro doesn't look bad. That Chef's Choice just seems to tear things up and you can't see what it's doing to the blade.

            2. re: alanbarnes

              Alan, glad your enjoying your Edgepro. It's the best sharpening system out there and well worth the investment. I have recently put my Edgepro aside to learn free hand sharpening. I've spent more on Shapton Glass stones than on my Edgepro but love the fact that I can pull out a 4000-8000 grit stone and spritz it with water and touch up my knives in short order. From the stones they go to a leather strop loaded with chromium oxide (30000 grit) for a refined mirror finish. Yeah I know, deep end.... I will not get rid of the Edgepro though.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                Wonder what the grit range for a ceramic "steel" would be.

                1. re: yayadave

                  Mine's 1200. But a manufacturer can presmably produce any grit from smooth as glass to a bastard file.

            3. go to a great knife shop in NYC under knives you will find info on how to sharpen a Japanese knife. I took the class there and it was great

              1. While others may disagree with me, I am not a fan of these kinds of sharpeners. You are talking about the carbide inserts that shave off metal as you drag the blade thru the "V" they create. To me, they "follow" what has already been established, which may be OK or sometimes not. I do not think the honing side is good enough and everything sharpens in only one direction-which is counter to the direction you cut.
                I have a Smith's diamond sharpening kit (, which sharpens at 25 or 20 degrees. I have modified it to also sharpen at less than 20 degrees and I have made an adapter that lets me control the angle, use the holder, and finish on a 5000 grit "Pink" Global ceramic stone, which is 8-1/4 inches long (MS5/P&S). This style of sharpener grips the blade and you move the diamond coated bars around. You switch back and forth between sides as you sharpen. There is a coarse and fine bar. The coarse diamonds makes quick work of establishing a new edge. I use this on my pocket knives, paring knives and big butcher's knives. I use the smallest angle on my Shun Granton-edged santoku. When I am finished, it slices tomatoes beautifully!
                Obviously, a lot of this is personal preference and how versatile you want your sharpener (s) to be. Mine is not unlike what Alan is recommending. And YES, avoid anything with a spinning sharpening wheel that you drag your knife thru!