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Oct 25, 2011 11:00 AM

First Expensive pair of Knives

So I just bought a very expensive chef's knife and was wondering how I should go about cleaning and sharpening it. It is the Takeda Gyuto AS 240mm..... Found here-

What do I buy to sharpen this? How should I clean it? Thanks!

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  1. Congratulation. Since you wrote it is a PAIR of knives, then I assume you have something beside the Takeda AS Gyuto. You can either sharpen the knives with an EdgePro system or standard waterstones. It is up to you.

    For stones, at the very least, you will need a stone in the grit range of 800-1200. That is the very minimal. You can get one higher and one lower.

    In term of cleaning, you can clean it just like any other knives with water and detergent. Don't put it in an automatic dishwasher. The important thing is clean it shortly after usage and to is wipe the knife dry before storing it. So, it isn't so much about cleaning, but what to do before and after cleaning.

    1. Agreed with Chem. There are many options for sharpening kitchen knives in general, but most won't work well for a Takeda - they have hard steel and use very low angle edges, even lower than other Japanese knives. Some pro sharpeners will know what to do with one, and an Edgepro can be modified to accommodate the < 10 degree edge bevels if need be. But IMO there's no substitute for a handmade knife like a Takeda as good as learning to use waterstones (a type of whetstone). Start with a medium grit stone as Chem suggests and then get a finer one (or two) if you desire and then a coarser one. But bear in mind that you should be able to get a very sharp edge with nothing more than a stone in that medium range.

      There are a number of good videos available for free online that can help you teach yourself to sharpen.
      This guy has good stuff (he posts here sometimes)
      Or you can check out the free sharpening videos from for a slightly less advanced but more thorough sharpening course for beginners.

      A strop can also be useful for routine maintenance - they are easy and cheap to make or also can be bought.

      Chem's advice on cleaning is right on also.

      22 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        How often should I sharpen the knife with the whetstone?

        1. re: Xhale12

          Depends on a lot of factors. How much you use your knives, what type of cutting board you use, whether you keep the very low angle edge, and how you sharpen in the first place (higher grit edges tend to be a bit more durable, but have less 'bite'). But most of all, it depends on how sharp is sharp enough for you.

          Personally, I've tried several strategies. I used to sharpen fully once every couple months, with more regular quick maintenance on a leather strop loaded with green crayon (cheap chromium oxide). This has the disadvantage that the knife gets a little dull right before sharpening (though its still plenty sharp by most people's standards). Recently, I've been doing touch-ups on high grit stones only once every couple weeks or so. The upside of this is the knife stays quite sharp while sharpening only takes a minute. But the downside is that the edge both fatigues and loses its 'bite,' and it still needs to be fully sharpened 2 or 3 times a year to cut like I'd like it to.

          Meanwhile I sharpen for some professional cooks who only sharpen their knives once every two or three months with no real maintenance in between. They put their knives through a lot more than I do, and they tell me their knives are still sharper than those of most of their colleagues. Though by the time I see their knives, they're often pretty dull and need a decent bit of work to get em into shape again.

          Many home cooks only sharpen their knives maybe once every year or two, and they still seem to think their knives are plenty sharp. OTOH, I don't see the point of buying a Takeda if you go with a strategy like this.

          Still others never get their knives sharpened, and some still claim that their knives are sharp.

          The point is that what is 'sharp enough' varies wildly from one person to another. You should sharpen your knife when it feels to you like it isn't sharp enough. Personally, I think a knife like a Takeda begs to be kept super sharp, and that means sharpening at least a few times a year... but it's your kitchen.

          1. re: cowboyardee

            Thanks cowboy. Never even thought to buy a decent cutting board. Do you recommend a certain kind or brand?

            1. re: Xhale12

              End grain hardwood cutting boards are my preference, and certainly the best option I know of for preserving knife edges. Despite some older advice to the contrary, these wood boards are every bit as sanitary as plastic and rubber - actually more sanitary according to some studies.

              There are various nice, attractive handmade endgrain boards available. These are a really nice option if you have the money. In my experience, even the cheap, imported end grain boards available at Target or Walmart feel nice and are easier on knife edges than any alternative materials. You can find one of these in a decent size for $30 or so.

              Once you get one, it is best to periodically treat it either with food grade mineral oil (bought cheaply from the pharmacy where it's sold as a laxative) or a mixture of mineral oil and melted beeswax. This keeps extra water from soaking into the board, which prevents warping. Also keeps it looking a little nicer. That said, there are plenty of people who never treat their boards and haven't experienced any warping - there's no guaranty either way.

            2. re: cowboyardee

              "But most of all, it depends on how sharp is sharp enough for you."

              Ain't that the truth!

              1. re: scubadoo97

                How do I keep the knife from rusting or anything like that?

                1. re: Xhale12

                  hand wash only(no dishwasher),dry immediately after use,stay away from Overly acidic foods.if you're not using the knife for an extended period of time,a light coating of food grade mineral oil(or camilla oil) is always a good idea.

                  enjoy your knife!!

                  1. re: Xhale12

                    Wash and dry immediately after use.

                    1. re: Xhale12

                      If it has rust, then first remove the rust. Bar Keeper's Friend can be used to remove rust, but there are many other things as well.

                      Once you have removed the rust, then try to keep your knife dry after use. In less than a week, the knife will acquire a patina coating along the edge. Once a patina is achieved, then you don't have to be super careful anymore. You will still need to take care of the knife and dry it after use, but you don't have to dry it immediately.

                      The patina coating will give you a weak but efficient anti-rust surface.

                      Patina comes in different colors. I try to target the blue color because it looks nice :) Anyway, just make sure you are not getting red, because that is red rust.

                      Here is a photo of a patina surface knife (left):


                      I wish I have a Takeda sometime. :P

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        That patina on the right is not a natural patina,it's definitely forced(mustard maybe?) and I would get into the habit of wiping my blade IMEDIATELY after every wash or use,patina or not..better safe than sorry.

                        1. re: petek

                          I read and heard about the forced patina process and about using mustard. Do you know why mustard? Why is mustard so popular? Why not just simple white distilled vinegar? I don't know. Do you know?

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Why is mustard so popular? Why not just simple white distilled vinegar? I don't know. Do you know?

                            I think it's because the mustard stays on the blade longer than vinegar(it ,the vinegar,evaporates quickly)

                            Just a guess though..

                            1. re: petek

                              I guess it also stays where you put it because it's thick. For those looking to develop a patterned patina it would be the way to go

                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              People use mustard because they're trying to create an interesting pattern rather than just a stain. Since mustard is thick, it can be blotted, smeared, wiped, applied unevenly, or combined at times with a thinner acid.

                              This thread has some really cool looking forced patinas. Many though not all of these guys use mustard. This page has some pics of the process:

                              I've considered forcing a patina on my yusuke (and posting pics here of course) but so far indecision and laziness have won out over curiosity.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                "trying to create an interesting pattern rather than just a stain"

                                Oh, I didn't know that. However, after Petek told me about it, I was wondering like putting smiley face or drawing a puppy.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  "putting smiley face or drawing a puppy'.

                                  Do it doctore! :D

                                  1. re: petek

                                    Now that I gave away my usuba, none of my knives have fully exposed carbon steel blade. My CCK Chinese cleaver is laminated on the sides. My Tanaka Nakiri has a kurouchi finish similar to that of Moritaka. My Watanabe Nakiri is Aogami core, but stainless steel cladded.

                                    Not enough surface to make interesting patterns.


                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Yea,I hear ya..I tried a mustard patina on my Moritaka,but the kur-ouchi got in the way..looked kinda lame. :(

                                      1. re: petek

                                        "I tried a mustard patina "

                                        You did? I guess you can reverse it using some acids to wash off the current patina -- if you like.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          I just spent some time on my 6k stone and now it's nice and shiny again..

                                2. re: cowboyardee

                                  Some of those patinas are very cool(Salty's blood patina) some just look nasty,but beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess..

                                  I'm curious though..wouldn't the high acid content of the mustard have an adverse effect on a carbon steel blade(especially the edge) in the long run?

                                  1. re: petek


                                    Assuming the whole idea is to use the acid (vinegar/lemon juice) to form the patina, then it should not have any adverse effect. Ok, let me take a step back. If the idea is to form the patina, then it should not. Red rust is different. It occupies a much greater volume than regular iron and it does not attach very well to the iron. As such, red rust can easily flake off and weaken the structure: