HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Survery: Your knife sharpening method

“What do you use to sharpen your knives?” I am trying to do a little poll here.

The choices are:

a) Sharpening by professional knife sharpeners

b) Flatstone (waterstone, oil stone, diamond stone…etc)

c) Sharpening rod (diamond, ceramic, …etc)

d) Electric sharpener (e.g. Chef’s Choice brand and Preston brand)

e) Pull through manual sharpener (including tungsten carbide, ceramic wheel, diamond abrasive. Noticeable brands: AccuSharp, Chef’s Choice, Wusthof, Edgeware…etc)

f) V-shape manual gagdet manual sharpener (Spyderco Sharpmaker..etc)

g) High-end precise gagdet manaul sharpener (EdgePro, WickedEdge..etc)

h) None (didn’t sharpen a knife for the last 3-4 years)

As many of you use more than one sharpening method, please highlight the one which you rely the most.

Thank you in advance.

P.S.: This is not a post about "right" and "wrong" or "what is the best?". This is just a post to see the percentage of people relying on different sharpening methods. It is like asking if your preference of milk chocolate or dark chocolate without discussing the health benefits.... come to think of it... that would be a nice survey post...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Hi, Chem:

    None of the above. I use an abrasive belt grinder and bench buffer.

    But I do "steel" on a ceramic rod in between.

    Aloha,
    Kaleo

    3 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      I don't have a buffer yet; what grits do you typically start & finish with?

      1. re: Eiron

        Hi, Eiron:

        I tried a response before, but it never appeared.

        For sharpening, I basically use just a white chrome, which I think is about 600 grit, on a sewn muslin wheel.

        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu

          kaleo, thanks. How long do you go (generally) between powered sharpenings? I can see where the combination of white chrome on a muslin wheel would give a nice "cut-&-polish" simultaneously.

    2. Chem,

      Judging from the comment from my youngest daughter the other day, I don't do any of them very well!

      I have a (d) Chef's Choice electric, but haven't used it on the newer Wusthof knives. I also have e) a Wusthof pull through that's kind of a touch up and alternative to steeling the Mrs. uses. And last and perhaps least, b) a Norton two sided 1000 and 4000 grit waterstone, that appearantly I have no idea how to use for sharpening a knige, although I seem to get a wood chisel darn sharp. The moment of truth was when I took a Wusthof Santuku style knife, that no one had complained about being dull but didn't look very sharp to me, to the waterstone and a couple of days after, my daughter said, " . . . this knife really needs sharpening, I can't even cut an onion with it." My birthday list includes g) an Edge Pro, but that may not happen, my list is long. So there you have it, most of the letters of the alphabet.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mikie

        Mikie,

        I don't mean which method you think is the best. I am just trying to see what people usually do. It seems to me that you plan on using an EdgePro but at this very moment you are relying on waterstone because that is what did you for your daugther's comment? Maybe? Or would it be the Chef's Choice since you have used that probably on every knives except the Wusthof ones.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I thought I knew what you meant, which method do I use, and the answer is, well at least 3 of the above choices and considering a fourth. What did I last use, or what have I used most often is a different set of questions. I haven't used the Chefs Choice since I sharpened my old knives for my mother-in-law about a year and a half ago. Since then we have used the Wusthof pull through as a touch up and of course I steel the knives when I use them. With all the sharpening therads I deciced I would try a water stone, so I have used it and I can't say that I actually sharpened a knife with it though since it's appearantly less sharp now than it was before I used the water stone on it. But that would be the latest item I've used in an attempt to sharpen a knife.

          Why is it I can sharpen a chisel to the point I can shave off slices of wood so thin you can almost see through them and I can't get a knife as sharp as it was before I started? This is naturally a retorical question.

          1. re: mikie

            Yeah, I guess my question is not about what you did last or most often necessary, but what method do you rely on themost. I now know that flatstone isn't it for you. It actually sounds like the Wusthof pull through is your more reliable method of knife sharpening.

            "Why is it I can sharpen a chisel to the point I can shave off slices of wood so thin you can almost see through them and I can't get a knife as sharp as it was before I started?"

            Clearly, as you suspected, I cannot answer that question :)

        2. re: mikie

          All of my knives are old (sort of...10 to 40 years) carbon steel that get run through the Chef's Choice twice a year and get steeled with an equally old (40) Sabatier steel that is getting fairly smooth, thereby saving me from buying a smooth F. Dick.

          1. re: tim irvine

            Putting you down for (d) electric sharpener. :)

        3. (D) I have a Chef's Choice that I use on my most often used knives probably 2x year and then a honing before each use.

          1. I'm (b), I suppose. I use a multi-stone system from Norton, the IM313:

            http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Nor...

            1. C I use daily, B I use monthly, A I use every 3-6 months as needed...

              2 Replies
              1. re: pZagorski

                Thanks, pZagorski.

                :) I think will put you down as A) because you do use the professional sharpeners much more often than most people do, so I take it as the most significant/important factor. I know they are all important, but it seems to me that A) is probably the more critical one. Correct me if I am wrong.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I feel as a professional in the culinary field no matter how good you are at using the steel or stone the professionals have equipment that most of us don't, and even if we did have it we wouldn't have as much experience at using it as they do. So yes, I agree wholeheartedly.

                1. I have an EdgePro Apex and a set of Shapton Glass stones.

                   
                    1. re: JBroida

                      b) 1k +6k + some stropping on leather,newspaper or cardboard.
                      I'd like to try a) now that I've found someone local who uses natural stones

                    2. Well, for my own knives it's now [b]. (It used to be [h], then it was [e])

                      However, for the restaurant knives I've been sharpening, they've all been so mind-numbingly dull & abused that I've had to use the belt grinder to reprofile them & get them into serviceable condition. After that, I've been using them for practice on my Spyderco bench ceramic stones, to see how close I can get the edges to the level of my VG-10 blades on water stones.

                       
                       
                      28 Replies
                      1. re: Eiron

                        :) Fixed a broken tip (or someone's knife) I see. I did that once for a friend of mine using a diamond stone.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Out of the eleven knives I've repaired for them, seven of them have required re-profiling to make new tips & all but two of them have required re-shaping the edges. That example was the most work, requiring: re-profiling, re-shaping, & thinning of the blade. (The new tip was back far enough into the body of the blade that it wasn't flexible any more. I ground a taper into it to help bring back the feel of a longer blade.) The cimeter I just finished for them was also a lot of work. It had a big chunk out of the blade, like they'd been using it as a cleaver. I had to do a lot of grinding to re-shape that edge.

                          Here are a couple more shots of one of their chef knives:

                           
                           
                          1. re: Eiron

                            "Out of the eleven knives I've repaired for them"

                            Who are "them"? Bull fighters?

                            One day, when I get a house, I will have a little workshop and surely will put something simple like your belt grinder. Very nice fix for the knife above. The blade looks bent as well as chipped. How did you fix the wavey edge or bent edge? Did you use a hammer or something to pound it back straight or did you just grind away the bent section? It looks like the latter to me.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              The mountain Inn where I'm doing the weekend theater performances. Since I've been there so much over the past month, I've offered to repair & sharpen any of their kitchen knives for free. It's giving me quite a bit of good practice.

                              1. re: Eiron

                                Oh, so you are back from the plays. I hope the plays went well. I will be looking forward to your CarboNext knife review along with the review from the Mountain Inn.

                                Please feel free to point out the goods and the bads. This way we can guide people (as best as we can) about the CarboNext knife. Thanks.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Almost - we've got one more weekend of performances.

                                  I really wanted to try sharpening the CarboNext & doing a bunch of comparative weights & measures against my Kanetsune gyuto & Forschner santoku. But with my schedule (more performances & then a road trip to NC/SC/GA) I think I might just pack the knife up & send it on to CBAD now.

                                  1. re: Eiron

                                    Wow, you have a lot of performances. Are you making tons of money?

                                    It would be a shame if you cannot do a review you like. I suppose the sharpening can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30+ minutes(depending how crazy you want to do it). I don't need the knife anytime soon, so I will let you make the call in term of when you want to send it to cowboy.

                                    I would think the weight and dimension measurments will be quick though. In fact if you are super busy, you can just weigh and measure only the CarboNext before your road trip. I cannot imagine it will take more than 5 minutes -- just write down all the data. You can measure the Kanetsune and Forschner anytime, so you can do those later.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      "Are you making tons of money?"

                                      ROFLMAO - we're talking about theater, right? In the Rocky Mountains, no less!
                                      I get paid in nice views, fresh air, & satisfaction of doing what I enjoy. Unfortunately, it's a far cry from Broadway, & engineering pays my bills for now. Oh well....

                                      You're right, I can take my weights & measures on just the CarboNext, & should have time to sharpen on Sunday. That'll be my plan.

                                      1. re: Eiron

                                        "ROFLMAO - we're talking about theater, right?"

                                        Yes, I wasn't refering to your free knife sharpening service. Maybe you are earning a lot of money, but it just does not measure up to your expectation :P Expectation is so hard to live up to.

                                        "should have time to sharpen on Sunday. "

                                        :) You better do a damn good job in your knife sharpening. I am giving you a fair warning. You know who is going to receive your knife afterward, right? That's right. It is CBAD. He will take it as a sign of disrespect if you give him a less-than-perfectly-sharp knife. Oh the pressure. :)

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          "He will take it as a sign of disrespect if you give him a less-than-perfectly-sharp knife. Oh the pressure. :)"

                                          I think CBAD would like to do his own sharpening on the Carbonext,so Eiron, go ahead and abuse the crap out of it before you send it to him. :D

                                          1. re: petek

                                            Of course, CBAD will do his own sharpening, but CBAD will get very angry if he sees a less-than-perfect knife and turn into Green Hulk. It will be scary. oh the humanity!

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              oh the humanity!
                                              I'd be more worried about the humidity......

                                              1. re: petek

                                                There is already some history between CBAD and Eiron. Envy, jealousy, pride, vanity, rage, anger, .... , everything straight from a Shakespearean play (Eiron should know about plays).

                                                Just look at this past post:

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7925...

                                                :P

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  "everything straight from a Shakespearean play"

                                                  slings and arrows...

                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            "Maybe you are earning a lot of money, but it just does not measure up to your expectation"

                                            Nah, I'm earning nothing. It's all "for the love of the craft!" Right?.... I don't even get to claim that it's practice, like the sharpening, because I have no delusions of ever making money in theater. Unless I do a "Producers" thing.... hmmm, maybe Mel Brooks is on to something there.... :-D
                                            ________________

                                            "You better do a damn good job in your knife sharpening. I am giving you a fair warning. You know who is going to receive your knife afterward, right? That's right. It is CBAD. He will take it as a sign of disrespect if you give him a less-than-perfectly-sharp knife."

                                            Yes, I've already recognized my predicament. :-) It doesn't help that you polished it up to such a nice edge before you sent it out. Now that it's spent a day in restaurant kitchen, it's reasonably un-sharp. I'd still like to see if I can feel any difference from the CarboNext steel (compared to my VG-10 blades) on the water stones.

                                            1. re: Eiron

                                              "Yes, I've already recognized my predicament"

                                              Wow, you do sound like a playwright performer.

                                              "I'd still like to see if I can feel any difference from the CarboNext steel (compared to my VG-10 blades) on the water stones."

                                              Great. Love to hear it later.

                                              1. re: Eiron

                                                "You better do a damn good job in your knife sharpening. I am giving you a fair warning. You know who is going to receive your knife afterward, right? That's right. It is CBAD"
                                                _____
                                                Eiron, if you're worried about the edge (maybe you're self-conscious about your sharpening; maybe you didn't get a chance to sharpen; maybe you dropped the knife one too many times practicing balancing it on another knife's spine), you can always address the knife to my wife. That way, she'll open it up before I do; I'll just wind up assuming that the dull, chipped, folded ugliness is the result of whatever strange power she always exerts on my knife edges when left alone with them.

                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                  Ahhh... zees ees zee shallange, ees eet not?! Oui!! I accept, mon ami!

                                                  (sheesh, perhaps I need that road trip more than I think....)

                                                  Hey, when I FINALLY get around to sending it out to you, it's going to be perfectly balanced on the side of an egg - so DON'T jostle it too much when you open the package!!!

                                                  Yeah, OK, do I just address it to "cowgirlardee" then?

                                                  1. re: Eiron

                                                    "Hey, when I FINALLY get around to sending it out to you, it's going to be perfectly balanced on the side of an egg."
                                                    _______
                                                    Ahhhh - that is very, very difficult - a fit challenge for a master such as yourself. So I'll assume the little chips and folds in the edge were the result of you moving and removing metal in teeny tiny increments to get the knife to balance just so.

                                                    "Yeah, OK, do I just address it to "cowgirlardee" then?"
                                                    _____
                                                    Didn't cross my mind. I guess it's either that or "L'il Lady with the Spicy-a-Meat-a-Balls.'

                            2. re: Eiron

                              My dad taught me the belt grinder, but I never really got on board. When I get around to it, I do the oil stone.

                              1. re: pine time

                                Ok, I will put you down as flat whetstone then. Thanks.

                                I think Eiron will agree with me on this. A belt grinder is great if you have a damaged knife or a very dull knife. For a relatively serviceable knife, you don't have to start with a belt grinder if you don't want to.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Yes, I agree re the belt grinder, at least in the way that I use it. I think CBAD is the same, but it sounds like kaleo is more dedicated in its use.

                                  I brought back my son's Forschner Rosewood santoku using just stones, but it took forever to do. I should've used the belts on it. When I restored the Wusthof Culinar santoku (for the Inn's chef) I started with belts & finished on stones. Much better than doing it 100% on stones.

                                  For my own knives, they get dull (I tend to go pretty long (too long?) between sharpenings) but never so bad that it takes very long to use only the stones. As mentioned in another thread, I like the harder steels because they retain their better edges longer & minimize my time-per-knife sharpening commitment.

                                  1. re: Eiron

                                    "I like the harder steels because they retain their better edges longer & minimize my time-per-knife sharpening commitment."

                                    Are you sure? I know this is heresy, but I've recently been comparing my "total work" on my Forschner/Victorinox 8" chef (Solingen steel, stamped) and my Al Mar VG-10 core 6" petty knife. I use both just about daily, although I do more with the chef's. These are the knives I use the most, so they're what I've been comparing.

                                    The Victorinox obviously requires more sharpening, even though it gets restored quickly with honing on a steel. It still needs to be put on the stones more often than the VG-10. But it's on and off in no time, especially with the Edge-Pro which really holds the angle steady and reduces my work. The VG-10 requires a lot more work - more strokes at all grits. I can't speak to a major difference in the quality of the edge in terms of sharpness - they are equally useable as shaving implements when I'm through with them.

                                    I'm not saying that the hard blade requires a lot more work - I don't have actual finite data. But I'm at the point, subjectively, of thinking that it's awful close. I guess I haven't necessarily factored in the steeling time on the Victorinox, but that accounts for so little effort overall.

                                    I'm actually thinking of sharpening up my son's 440A Cutco chef's knife and putting it in rotation with the Victorinox - just so I have a "low point" for comparison. Something really soft - how often will I have to sharpen that, and how much effort will it take? I hate it... stamped from way too thin metal (unlike the Victorinox) - it just feels cheap in my hand. But I mean for the sake of a pseudo-scientific study...

                                    I only use the bench grinder for taking down bolsters and other non-sharpening, shaping efforts - also have a buffer wheel on the other side of the grinder. I took someone's super-cheapie micro-serrated knife (one of those that "ting" if you hit it with your nail) and shaped a new flat edge using the grinder. I was probably actually putting on a hollow-grind, which I flattened out on the stones. But mainly, I was taking out the micro-serrations. I figured what the heck, I could go to Wal-Mart and replace it for $4.95. Definitely not worth the effort. But it turned out very sharp, 15 degrees/side - no guarantees on how long it stayed that way.

                                    1. re: applehome

                                      applehome, I'm NEVER sure! That's what keeps me on my toes, I guess....

                                      I understand what you're saying. For my use of water stones, I don't have a convenient setup. (And by "convenient," I mean, "something that my wife won't continually complain about." And that doesn't include the comments I've already received about sharpening our household knives too much!) That means I have to soak, use, clean, & dry out my water stones every time. If it takes me twice as long each session, but I only have to do a session 1/3 as often, then it's worth it to me. It's similar to why I like using synthetic oil in my car (change every 20,000 miles!).

                                      We have a Cutco santoku. I started out simply honing it on ceramic rods, but now I use the Spyderco ceramic bench stones instead. I also just re-sharpened a co-workers Cutco chef knife & Cutco parer. She only ever used a "roll-along" wheel sharpener, so the edges were very.... uh.... "toothy" (but not at all sharp). Those got the belts first, then the ceramic stones to smooth & polish.

                                      1. re: Eiron

                                        "That means I have to soak, use, clean, & dry out my water stones every time...."

                                        Wow, we are hitting the same points -- I wrote mine without reading yours.

                                      2. re: applehome

                                        In my experience, I agree with Eiron. Of course, that is just my experience. I have several Dexter knives and they are fairly easy to grind, but that is not always the same as easy to sharpen in my experience. They form burr, they form edges, but it takes me a little more work to bring them to a finer edge. In other words, it can get tougher and tougher to sharpen a softer steel knife as I want to bring it up to a finer and finer edge.

                                        The above is still the smaller point. The more important point is the frequency of sharpening. There are "sunk costs" in knife sharpening. The time to soak the stone, setup the table, clean the blade, lap the stone, clean the work area...etc. My Dexter knives would have required at least one sharpening session per week. My harder steel knives can go by 3 weeks. So they really minimize these "sunk cost" time.

                                        1. re: applehome

                                          Are you considering set up and cleanup in your sharpening time? Also, are the edge angles on the Al Mar and the Forschner the same?

                                      3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Hi, Chem: "A belt grinder is great if you have a damaged knife or a very dull knife."

                                        Well, yes. And a belt grinder is also good for minor touchups. It all depends on the pressure, grit of (and prior wear on) the belt as to how aggressive it is, and how much metal is removed. A 15-micron belt is equivalent to a 1000x waterstone.

                                        The Nerds might laugh, but I touch up most often on an extremely worn *80* grit belt. A couple very light passes raises a burr, and a couple on the buffer, and I'm done. If I'm in a real hurry, I can de-burr just by the *sound* of the belt taking it off the horned side--seemingly no contact with the belt, just the faintest hiss. If the burr's still there, back to the buffer or the back of a legal pad.

                                        Kaleo

                                  2. Am a full 'D', tried stones, never mastered them, so my Chef's Choice, the latest model in a string of them l have been using for @ 25 years.

                                    1. I guess I'm a "d", but an aspiring "b" -- I've had a chef's choice for 15 years or so, but recently bought a set of waterstones, but have only used on 2 knives so far and can't say that I've gotten the hang of it yet.

                                      1. Put me down for a, sharpening by professional sharpeners. But I want to move to b, flatstone, but I'll need your advice and guidance.

                                        1. G: Edge Pro Apex , with chosera stones.

                                          1. Preliminary Results

                                            Thanks for the active participation. I now realize that the question was not phrased as well as I could have. Despite I suspect that many people rely on pull-through sharpening devices and forsake on knife sharpening, they won't necessary feel comfortable mentioning them. This is known as a common problem among pollsters. In short, the question of a pollster can influence the polling results.

                                            Anyhow, I thank those who have answered and encourage those who has not. This is a preliminary data for you all to view. Thanks.

                                            user method
                                            mikie e
                                            jnk d
                                            Bada Bing b
                                            pZagorski a
                                            applehome g
                                            scubadoo97 g
                                            JBroida b
                                            petek b
                                            Eiron b
                                            pine time b
                                            Delucacheesemonger d
                                            Reposado d
                                            DPGood a
                                            Dave5440 g

                                             
                                            1. Just so you have to make another pie chart, add me as exclusively B. I believe in monogamy. (XXC, .5k, 1.2k, 2-3k, 4k, 6-8k)

                                              1. b) waterstones

                                                Also, very rarely, I use a belt grinder.

                                                5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                      +1 to Cowboy; I too use "b', stones. Your math/graphing skills are excellent, need to work on verbal; allegorical skills a bit, Chem. [:0}

                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                        Lobsterman,

                                                        I do need to work on verbal, but this seems to be some kind of a decoding skill. :)

                                                        Anyhow, with all these (b) (whetstone) answers, we pushing for a 50% whetstone response, which is very high....

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          I did take organic biology. I wish I made as much as a lobsterman.

                                                1. I have B.C and E. The 2-sided whetstone is used when I have the time and it is followed by a honing with a steel. The diamond stick is for specialty blades, and the pull through is for when I am in a hurry and need to touch up a blade that I cannot polish out with just a diamond hone or my F.Dick Steel.

                                                  1. B almost exclusively, but I do throw in the honing steel at home if I'm in a jam.

                                                    I have a question...For those people who who own knife shops or are knife professionals (we know who you are), aren't you supposed to answer A regardless of what you use to sharpen? You are yourselves finely tuned machines lol.

                                                    14 Replies
                                                    1. re: la2tokyo

                                                      Ehhh.... knife sharpening is much more of a hobby or occasional side job than a profession for me. Though I guess if knife sharpening were an Olympic event, I would be ineligible. ;)

                                                      1. re: la2tokyo

                                                        Edge Pro Apex Chosera; though I'm a newbie. Have only used it on kitchen knives of various sorts for the last month or so, and am very happy. Don't really use the lower grit stones or the 10,000 that much.

                                                        1. re: la2tokyo

                                                          "For those people who who own knife shops or are knife professionals (we know who you are), aren't you supposed to answer A regardless of what you use to sharpen?"

                                                          I have begun to think of that last night. I will decide if that needs to be changed. In some ways, it does. In some ways, it does not. It really depends how I want to set (A) to be. (A) could mean sharpening at a professional level which you, cowboy, JBrioda, Eiron are (possibly more). Or (A) could mean sharpening by rely on someone else, which you guys do not.

                                                          la2tokyo, it is always nice to see you around.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                            I'm an "a" relying someone else, if that helps.

                                                            1. re: DPGood

                                                              Yeah, I put you down for (a) in my preliminary result. :)

                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              Thanks Chem. Fun thread. I was joking about joking about filling in (A) for themselves, although I am interested in hearing how many people send out knives to be sharpened by professionals. I'm sure there are a lot of people who are intimidated about knife sharpening who would be surprised that they could do a better job than a lot of "professional knife sharpeners" with a little instruction and a little do-it-yourself spirit, which most good home cooks already have. I was cooking at a friend's parents house recently, and his mom sends out their knives to a place that obviously uses an electric sharpener to sharpen them, and for the same price she could buy a Chef's Choice and do them herself.

                                                              1. re: la2tokyo

                                                                "I'm sure there are a lot of people who are intimidated about knife sharpening who would be surprised that they could do a better job than a lot of "professional knife sharpeners" with a little instruction and a little do-it-yourself spirit"

                                                                My guess is that many people are afraid that they will ruin their knives. It is one thing to ruin a meal. It is another thing to ruin a $400-800 set of knives -- at least that is what they think.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  actually, i totally agree with la2tokyo... sharpening is not rocket science... its pretty easy. If most people would just give it a shot, i think they would be surprised at how well they can do (having someone who doesnt suck to learn from helps too ;) )

                                                                  1. re: JBroida

                                                                    Haha Jon I hope you don't suck, because whenever this subject comes up I tell people that they can take drive to Venice and take lessons from you.

                                                                    1. re: la2tokyo

                                                                      haha... i wasnt trying to imply that you or anyone here sucks ;)

                                                                      However, the sad truth is that most people who think they know sharpening really dont... just look at all of the "awesome" youtube videos out there. For professional chefs, i often tell them to find the best sushi chef they can and stage there (if they can)... watch, listen, and practice A LOT at home afterhours ;)

                                                                      I'm trying to make a bunch of youtube videos, but there is only so much you can learn from videos, reading, and/or talking about sharpening. The ideal is always to have hands on instruction.

                                                                      @chem yup... start with a cheaper knife... its never good for the nerves to pick up a $500 knife and learn sharpening ;)

                                                                      1. re: JBroida

                                                                        "just look at all of the "awesome" youtube videos out there"

                                                                        Thanks god I don't know how to make a youtube video.

                                                                        "its never good for the nerves to pick up a $500 knife and learn sharpening ;)"

                                                                        I agree. I think it will freak most people. That being said, I also think some of the potential damage for typical Western knives are exaggegrated. I know many people who won't send out their knives for sharpening becaue (let's face it) it is not inexpensive, and they are too scared to sharpen their knvies because they are afraid of runing the edge forever -- which is unlikely.

                                                                        So, now, they are stuck with dull knives which have not been sharpened for years, which is probably a worse situation than imperfectly sharpened knives.

                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                          I'd add that you should buy and inexpensive 'good' knife. When I first started out, learning on crap steel didn't help one bit.

                                                                    2. re: JBroida

                                                                      Hi Jon,

                                                                      I agree with la2tokyo and you about sharpening. I think many people do get scared of the prospect of ruining their expensive knives. This is why I think it is a good idea to learn sharpening by using an inexpensive. I think that really takes out a lot of concerns.

                                                            3. I bought a new set of Wusthof knives a couple months ago. So far, I use the steel every couple of uses and then the Wusthof pull through sharpener about once a month listed below:

                                                              http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: THoey1963

                                                                Thanks. That is a very good looking pull through sharpener. Thanks for sharing. I will put you for pull-through sharpener.

                                                              2. Another update. Many whetstone users voted yesterday. Please keep your answers coming. There is no right or wrong answer here. As you can tell, no one has criticized another person's choice. Thank you in advance.

                                                                P.S.: I will submit the final result when this thread slows down.

                                                                 
                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  Dude, I mean - *GUY* - you are too funny. Pie chart - AWESOME.

                                                                2. I'm a big stoner myself. (Not a word, Ck...)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                    Man, another stoner. (Thanks for your reply)

                                                                  2. a and e... I bought a Chef's Choice after reading the most recent, lenghthy and instructive thread that I think you were very helpful in. Love it.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      HI mcf,

                                                                      Is your Chef's Choice the manual one or the electric one? If it is the electric one, then I will put you down for (a) and (d). Otherwise, I will put both (a) and (e) for you. Thanks.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                        Electric 130 Professional. Oops, failed to note the distinction.

                                                                    2. i) Bellow to my husband: "honey, I need this knife sharpened now!"

                                                                      I have no idea what tool he uses, but it is something that he has stored in the kitchen.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                        :) This is a tough one... maybe I can put it as (a) :P

                                                                      2. I use an AccuSharp, and am very happy with it. I used to borrow my mom's electric Chefs Choice, but I much prefer the results from my cheap little AccuSharp.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. Mostly b), but on occasion g) with an EdgePro. I mainly use 4000 and 8000 Shapton stones, and occasionally a leather strop when I'm feeling particularly obsessive.

                                                                          1. (c) Rods (one ceramic, and one smooth steel), plus sending them to Shun for sharpening once a year.

                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                            1. re: skyline

                                                                              I'm surprised no one has been both A (pro) and C (honing steel) until now. That seems like a popular combination for a lot of cooks. And it was the main line of knife advice for decades.

                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                I am surprised that no one has selected (h) since I am very certain it is a very popular real life choice. Unfortunately due to the volunteer nature of this poll, I doubt many will answer (h).

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  Yeah, if you don't bother sharpening your knives, there's a good chance you don't bother responding to polls about it either.

                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                    It is almost like "How many of you got slapped by a baby yesterday?" I know numerous people have experience such horror everyday, but few will admit these domestic abuses :)

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      I was bottle feeding baby CBAD when I read that, and I laughed out loud. Lil CBAD stopped feeding and looked at me wide-eyed. He then giggled, kicked me in the gut, and went back to feeding. It was a nice moment.

                                                                                2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                  Oops, doh! you're right, I should have typed both (a) and (c) ... not just (c).

                                                                                  Blame it on me using (c) regularly (smooth steel after every use, ceramic steel depending on level of usage per knife) whereas (a) is only once a year.

                                                                                  (acceptable save? LOL)

                                                                                  1. re: skyline

                                                                                    See, I would think your real sharpening method is more (a) than (c) because (c) sounds more like a touch-up for you. Or it that a no?

                                                                                    P.S.: I don't think cowboy was criticizing your wordings. I think he just find it interesting that not more people answer the way you did because "honing + professional sharpening" has long been the golden rule.

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      Oh I didn't take it as criticism, not to worry, LOL.

                                                                                      Interesting question about "major" vs "touch-up" method. Never thought about it that way before. I always use one or the other steel on a knife each time it is used -- I never just put it away after drying. So I kind of look at that method as the "major" one, because it's used continually, and at the pro sharpening as the method that brings the knife edge back to square one, so to speak. Although "honing" is not "sharpening" in the true sense of the word, either. Darn semantics again, LOL.

                                                                                      Depends on whether you consider the use of a rod or steel as "sharpening" or as "ongoing maintenance between sharpenings", I guess! :-)

                                                                                      1. re: skyline

                                                                                        Which one you want me to put as your method technique? I will do whatever you like (in some sexy voice-over) ;)

                                                                                        This is especially because you do use a ceramic rod which does real refine sharpening.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                          LOL, well if I have to choose JUST ONE..... let's stay with (c), just on the basis of frequency. ;-)

                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                    Both? I listed both b and g and only got listed for g ;)

                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                      "I listed both b and g and only got listed for g ;)"

                                                                                      Which one do you want I list you for :P

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        use stones more than the EP if I have to choose one, but really it's not an issue

                                                                                    2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                      I was a) and c) until I bought d) recently. The super expert knife guy I used to take my knives to retired to FL and precipitated the adjustment.

                                                                                  3. Third day update. I will stop the daily update and my next one should be the final result. Because some of you have selected multiple choices, I have tried my best to narrow down to the most critical method you used. Please let me know if there are any misrepresentations, and I will correct them accordingly.

                                                                                    user.........................method
                                                                                    applehome...................g
                                                                                    Bada Bing....................b
                                                                                    CanadaGirl...................e
                                                                                    cowboyardee................b
                                                                                    Dave5440.....................g
                                                                                    Delucacheesemonger....d
                                                                                    DPGood.......................a
                                                                                    Eiron............................b
                                                                                    inaplasticcup................b
                                                                                    JBroida........................b
                                                                                    jlhinwa.........................?
                                                                                    jnk...............................d
                                                                                    Kelli2006......................b
                                                                                    la2tokyo.......................b
                                                                                    mcf..............................d
                                                                                    mikie............................e
                                                                                    Passadumkey..............b
                                                                                    petek...........................b
                                                                                    pine time......................b
                                                                                    pZagorski.....................a
                                                                                    Reposado.....................d
                                                                                    Richard L......................b
                                                                                    scubadoo97..................g
                                                                                    skyline.........................a
                                                                                    smkit............................b
                                                                                    strangemd....................g
                                                                                    THoey1963...................e
                                                                                    tim irvine......................d

                                                                                     
                                                                                    1. b) I use an el cheapo coarse stone I bought in Beijing, and God knows if I'm doing it right. I just grind away at it like a caveman until the knife passes the Boy Scout test: it's sharp when there's no light reflections from the edge, and you feel no burrs with your thumbnail. I want to graduate to a two-sided finer grit stone to see if I can improve my technique.

                                                                                      1. Another "B" with a waterstones, and over then years I have changed from a steel to a "C" ceramic rod for day to day touch-ups, since I have both German softer and Japanese harder blade steels in the mix.

                                                                                        1. It has been more than 24 hours since the last post. Here are the final results.

                                                                                          The first pie chart illustrates the sharpening preference as discussed before.

                                                                                          In the second pie chart, V-shape tools, high-end precision tools and pull-through sharpeners are combined as the "manual gadget". This shows electric sharpeners and general manual tools are similarly liked at 21% and 17%, respectively.

                                                                                          In the third pie chart, electric sharpeners are combined with manual gadget in the "gadget" category. When all gadgets are viewed as a single category, then it is competitively against whetstone. 38% for gadget and 52% for whetstone.

                                                                                          This poll, by no mean, is an accurate reflection of the general population. For one, no one answered "none" -- an inherit problem of a volunteer poll. Moreover, there are as many people answered EdgePro as pull-through sharpeners. Nevertheless, this survery is both insightful and entertaining, especially among those who value knife sharpening. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Thanks for your participation.

                                                                                          Please let me know if the your preference has been incorrectly counted:

                                                                                          applehome.....................g
                                                                                          Bada Bing......................b
                                                                                          CanadaGirl.....................e
                                                                                          cowboyardee..................b
                                                                                          Dave5440.......................g
                                                                                          Delucacheesemonger......d
                                                                                          DPGood.........................a
                                                                                          Eiron ..............................b
                                                                                          inaplasticcup..................b
                                                                                          JBroida...........................b
                                                                                          jlhinwa...........................?
                                                                                          jnk.................................d
                                                                                          Kelli2006........................b
                                                                                          knecht............................b
                                                                                          la2tokyo.........................b
                                                                                          mcf................................d
                                                                                          mikie..............................e
                                                                                          Passadumkey.................b
                                                                                          petek..............................b
                                                                                          pine time.........................b
                                                                                          pZagorski........................a
                                                                                          RealMenJulienne.............b
                                                                                          Reposado.......................d
                                                                                          Richard L........................b
                                                                                          scubadoo97....................b
                                                                                          skyline............................c
                                                                                          smkit..............................b
                                                                                          strangemd ......................g
                                                                                          THoey1963.....................e
                                                                                          tim irvine.........................d

                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            You might get interesting and slightly more representative (though still not perfect) responses by asking 'how did you sharpen knifes 15 years ago?' My answer changes from 15 to 10 to ~5 years ago, to now.

                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                              True. My answer also have changed quiet a bit throughout the year. I think you are right that people in general are not comfortable in answering "I don't sharpen my knives". I think your thought on using the past is a good one. It does not answer what we are doing now, but what we did before, and people are less defensive about answering "I didn't use to sharpen my knives" so long they are doing it now. It will be for another poll.

                                                                                          2. Combining high-end precision tools and pull-through sharpeners makes no sense. One is a $500 solution, the other, a $19.95 one. The Edge-Pro is just a jig that allows you to use whetstones more accurately. It's labor-saving only in that precise alignment means less strokes, but the process (setting the edge, going to progressively finer grit stones) and the maintenance (flattening the stones) are the same as using a manual whetstone. Pull-through sharpeners have pre-set edge angles and one grit. They're a compromise solution, at best. You should combine Edge-Pro use with manual whetstone use.

                                                                                            1. Primarily e) Wusthof manual pull-through sharpener.

                                                                                              Works well for me, best kitchen purchase of 2010. Only $20. Makes knives scary sharp. Salesgirl commented it's made in the same city as my favorite Henckels chef's knife.

                                                                                              Will still a) have my knives professionally ground & buffed once a year or so.

                                                                                              1. D... A Chef's Choice 120 and love it...

                                                                                                After 17 years the unit and all my knives still look almost new... A quick run through the light sharpener a couple times a year and a 10 second honing before use...
                                                                                                I can usually slice paper so what more could you ask for?

                                                                                                1. Guess I'm none of the above as well... free hand with cheapo $40 1 inch belt sander from Harbor Freight for the secondary edge, followed by course, fine stones (primary edge) and then steeling with a fine steel from Razor Edge Systems.. Secondary (relief) edge about 7-8 degrees, primary edge about 20 degrees.

                                                                                                  My Chef's knife gets a lot of work in a corporate Cafe as I do a lot of prepping sometimes for hours so about once a week I'm reworking the edge.

                                                                                                  1. "D" My relatively new Chef's Choice M130 has made a believer out of me.

                                                                                                    1. oops, late to the party:

                                                                                                      d) Electric sharpener - Tormek t3 - primary
                                                                                                      b)Flatsones - Usual assortment of oil and water stones - way secondary

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                                        Tormek is a nice toy I read. I will try to make another update a wekk or so later since there are 4 additional replies already.

                                                                                                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                                          "d) Electric sharpener - Tormek t3"
                                                                                                          The Tormek almost deserves it's own category,that's one serious little machine!

                                                                                                          1. re: petek

                                                                                                            Japanese Waterstone 1000 grit-gives enough tooth to slice anything in the place.

                                                                                                            The sharpening steel I can see hanging by the stove hasn't moved for years (!)

                                                                                                        2. There's obviously a typo in your subject/title line -- did you mean

                                                                                                          Survey: Your knife sharpening method

                                                                                                          or

                                                                                                          Surgery: Your knife sharpening method

                                                                                                          ??

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                            I use this little gadget , which is about 5" long, it works fine for my home cooking purposes.
                                                                                                            My husband uses a rectangular stone and some oil for sharpening his hunting knives.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                              "There's obviously a typo in your subject/title line -- did you mean

                                                                                                              Survey: Your knife sharpening method

                                                                                                              or

                                                                                                              Surgery: Your knife sharpening method

                                                                                                              ??"
                                                                                                              ---
                                                                                                              I do mean Survey, and not Surgery. This is a pollster for collecting data for kitchen cutlery sharpening, therefore a Survey.

                                                                                                            2. B; Japanese waterstones. Although I have been toying seriously with getting a G system, I haven't wanted to give up the ability to have my own stones... I know someone has done a homemade version of the EdgePro, I'm stuck on the "joint" so-to-speak that allows up-down and side-to-side movement, with my homemade version.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: mateo21

                                                                                                                The stones are relatively thin so you really have to go side to side in a diagonal motion - you wouldn't just want to go up and down and create a groove on your blade. The only thing you can't do easily is alter the angle as you draw the stone - so it's somewhat complex to cut the tip area at a different angle than the body, if that's what you wanted to do. It's still doable - you have to reach back and change the angle adjustment, but then you would need to feather in the two regions, and that would be difficult without being able to freehand it. This isn't a problem I have, as I don't find that I ever really need a multi- or variable angle edge. To me, this was always one of my faults - the inability to hold the angle consistently all the way across a long blade. Like drawing a violin bow across the strings, you have to vary your wrist angle as you go to make sure that the contact angle and patch remains constant. The Edge-Pro takes care of that.

                                                                                                                I seem to find a lot of factory scissors done with varying angle edges. i don't know if this is done on purpose, or as a byproduct of somebody quickly running the edge against a wheel in a swiping motion, varying the angle as the arm moves across. I re-profile them and straighten them out into a single angle, and never have had problems. I've done a lot of standard orange-handled Fiskars grade (to learn from) and a couple of pairs of my wife's sewing super shears and left them very sharp and useable.

                                                                                                                I still have both a large diamond set of stones and the Japanese set. I just don't use them any more.

                                                                                                              2. Kitchen knives get -C

                                                                                                                Pocket knives get -B

                                                                                                                The rod I first used was a ceramic thermocouple housing about 1" dia, and 16-18" long. Later I found a ceramic rod / steel at a thrift store. I also found an EZE Lap diamond rod, and an F.Dick steel recently at thrift stores.

                                                                                                                My main kitchen knife is one that my Dad made back in the 50's-or 60's for my Mom. He made it out of a power hacksaw blade, and it does quite well.

                                                                                                                I don't get hall hung up on edge angles, or the newest fad in steels. If the knife cuts, and will hold a decent edge it is good enough for me. Dad's homemade knife has worked for 50 or 60 years so far without any complaints from me, or Mom. . Besides, it is just a kitchen knife, it's not like a combat knife where you would possibly have to have your life depend on it.

                                                                                                                1. sandpaper mounted over a firm rubber pad

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: lennyk

                                                                                                                    I'd consider that 'b' - whetstone sharpening by hand.

                                                                                                                  2. Since there were ten more votes after my "final report", I will include them and make one "final report". No huge changes, but there are higher percentages of pull through gadgets and electric sharpeners. Thanks.

                                                                                                                    applehome g
                                                                                                                    Bada Bing b
                                                                                                                    bbqJohn ?
                                                                                                                    BIGGUNDOCTOR c
                                                                                                                    BiscuitBoy d
                                                                                                                    blue room e
                                                                                                                    CanadaGirl e
                                                                                                                    CindyJ d
                                                                                                                    cowboyardee b
                                                                                                                    Dave5440 g
                                                                                                                    Delucacheesemonger d
                                                                                                                    DPGood a
                                                                                                                    eclecticsynergy e
                                                                                                                    Eiron b
                                                                                                                    inaplasticcup b
                                                                                                                    JBroida b
                                                                                                                    jlhinwa ?
                                                                                                                    jnk d
                                                                                                                    Kelli2006 b
                                                                                                                    knecht b
                                                                                                                    la2tokyo b
                                                                                                                    lennyk b
                                                                                                                    mateo21 g
                                                                                                                    mcf d
                                                                                                                    mikie e
                                                                                                                    Mild Bill d
                                                                                                                    Passadumkey b
                                                                                                                    petek b
                                                                                                                    pine time b
                                                                                                                    pZagorski a
                                                                                                                    RealMenJulienne b
                                                                                                                    Reposado d
                                                                                                                    Richard L b
                                                                                                                    Sam Salmon b
                                                                                                                    scubadoo97 b
                                                                                                                    skyline c
                                                                                                                    smkit b
                                                                                                                    strangemd g
                                                                                                                    THoey1963 e
                                                                                                                    tim irvine d