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Dec 30, 2011 11:15 PM

I love my Carbonnext knife

This thing is so sharp,light weight, and well made. but soon i will have to learn how sharpen it back to factory or better sharpness. I have a 1000 grit stone and have been practising on my older knife but cant get them as sharp as I want them.

Any pointers?

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  1. Glad you like the Carbonext. It's a great piece of cutlery.

    I'll help with the sharpening but I need a little more information. So, first off, a few questions:

    How have you been sharpening your other knives?

    Using any tricks to ensure a steady angle (magic marker trick, for example)?

    What kind of knife is your older knife?

    How dull was your older knife before you started working on it?

    Have you been able to raise and feel a burr?

    What exactly is the problem with your results for your older knife? Is your older knife sharp enough to cleanly slice newspaper?

    3 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee

      How have you been sharpening your other knives?
      (I tried a back and forward motion in 3 section of the blade tip/middle/backend blade toward me the reverse the blade trying to hold a 15 deg angle. Then i tried the one motion from heel to tip at 15 deg.)

      Using any tricks to ensure a steady angle (magic marker trick, for example)?
      (no just i balling it)

      What kind of knife is your older knife?
      (Hampton forge slicer 8")

      How dull was your older knife before you started working on it?
      (50/50 between sharp and dull)

      Have you been able to raise and feel a burr?
      (not really)

      What exactly is the problem with your results for your older knife? Is your older knife sharp enough to cleanly slice newspaper?
      ( Not newspaper but a printer paper. Only some parts of the blade would cut, but i tried to sharpen the parts that did not cut with no improvement.)

      1. re: ukjason

        Not to usurp CBAD's reply, but right off I'd say 15 degrees is too shallow for your Hampton. Almost certainly this knife has a 22-23 degree angle, so you're not sharpening the edge, but only grinding behind it. Use the marker to verify.

        1. re: ukjason

          I haven't sharpened any Hampton forge knives, so I don't know whether they have problems forming a sharp edge in the first place. Some knives are tempered so poorly that you just can't get a really sharp edge that shaves easily. At any rate, you should be able to get it as sharp as it was when it was new, and sharp enough to slice paper (relatively) cleanly along its length. You can still practice with it, but if you have continued problems I recommend getting a forschner or a Kiwi knife to practice with - something that you KNOW will sharpen well.

          Eiron is right - you are probably slowly reprofiling the edge, which could be the reason for your slow progress. It takes a lot more time to turn a 22 degree bevel into a 15 degree bevel than it does to just sharpen a 22 degree bevel at 22 degrees. That said, it's likely that you aren't exactly holding a super steady 15 degree angle anyway (this is expected from someone new to sharpening).

          The magic marker trick is a great way for a new sharpener to figure out whether he is sharpening at a higher or lower angle than the knife bevel. Take a look at the video Chem posted if you haven't already. With practice you will be able to tell if you're grinding at your desired angle without using a magic marker, but that comes later.

          Raising and detecting a burr is probably the first major Eureka! moment you'll have as a new sharpener. The easiest way to do so is to sharpen at or even very slightly above (more obtuse than) the bevel angle on one side only. Periodically feel along the edge at the opposite side to the side you're sharpening. A tiny little flap of metal should be felt on that side, while the side you're sharpening should feel smooth. When you can feel a burr along the entire length of the edge, you know that you have created a new bevel and you can flip to the other side (the burr will remain but flip to the side you just sharpened when you sharpen the other side). When you flip sides frequently while sharpening, you still create a burr, but it tends to be smaller and harder to detect. Basically, a burr is how you can tell that your bevels have met and that a new edge is created.

          Lastly, don't focus on parts of the blade that don't cut - that's a good way to wind up with an accidental regrind in your edge (a part of the edge that is recessed and no longer contacts the cutting board). Rather, keep sharpening the entire length of the edge until the whole thing cuts cleanly.

      2. Damn it... you are writing your review before Eiron?! :D (inside joke)

        I am glad that you like your CarboNext knife. I understand you feel it is light which is easy to handle. Have you had any troubles yet?

        cowboyardee is very experience in knife sharpening, and all his advices are very good. I think all of us would love to share a few pointers with you on knife sharpening. On the other hand, we are not 100% sure where we are. In other words, we don't want to start repeating things which you know, but we also don't want to skip over basic and yet important information.

        Am I correct that this is your first time sharpening knives?

        Cowboyardee's question about the kind of your older knife is very important. Some knives are never going to be very sharp due to their poor steels. So those knives are actually not good for practice. I have a set of knives which won't form burrs.

        So here are two self-help sources which you may find helpful.

        1) Chard Ward's book: "An Edge in the Kitchen" is a really great book for learning knife skill, knife sharpening, knife history...etc.

        Here is a section about knife sharpening. Jump to Section Four if you want to take a look, but it is a good idea to read the whole thing when you have more time.

        2) There are so many great videos on the internet. Some of them are very detailed but also very long. Instead of overwhelming you with too many videos, I am listing one from Mark and one from Jon:

        You can follow their other videos for additional videos. Each of them have made well over 10+ videos on knife sharpening. Follow their advices and in time you will develop your own style -- everyone sharpen a bit different and it is ok.

        28 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I have watch some Youtube videos and it does seem like the knife they use is of better quality than my Hampton Forge $100 knife block set. Thanks for book info I will look for at my chapters.

          1. re: ukjason

            I think Eiron has it right. Your factor knife bevel is probably set close to 20°. When you sharpen at 15°, you are hitting the side of a knife -- thinning behind the edge (above the cutting edge). This can be a good thing if that is what you want to do. However, you won't able to raise a burr with it.

            I would try to sharpen at the 20° for a bit to see what happen. The magic marker will show you this.

            Here is a very short (1 minute) video. This person demonstrates the magic maker test and also shows what happens when sharpening/grinding at a shallow angle -- take a close look at the still photo at 1:05 min.


            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              In that video, the fella does something I did right when I started sharpening - he props the stone up at his desired angle and holds the knife horizontal (parallel to the ground) in order to keep his angle steady. After a while, I found it sort of cumbersome and unnecessary, but at the time it was a nice little set of training wheels for a beginning sharpener.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                I have thought about using a little set up like this. The problems are (1) I am too lazy to make one, (2) it can be limiting. If I push too hard, then I will push the entire setup forward. In addition, a setup like this sharpen the knife in the forward motion, but much tougher in the backward motion.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  It is sort of a hassel, and anyway it's not really necessary for someone who has an experienced hand on the stones, as you do. But it wasn't bad for me when I was just starting out. Certainly no cure-all. But some degree of dicking around and trying out different training wheels just seems to be part of the process for learning how to sharpen.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    Hey, I wrote in a different post, but what you guys (Eiron and you) think of the new Shun electric knife sharpener?


                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Looks pretty pricy to me chem considering what it does.

                      1. re: Dave5440

                        Hi Dave,

                        I actually don't know what is a good price, but I know the higher more professional ones cost quiet a bit. Tormek is pretty expensive. This only comes with 1000 grit stone and it sharpen about 500 knives (assuming light work I suppose).

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Hey chem, I was thinking 299$ for 2 set angles is kinda steep, at 375 regular price , the small tormec starts at 373 at lee valley.

                          1. re: Dave5440

                            Cool. For some reason, all the Tormek model I have seen are more expensive. I don't think the angle selection is too bad, as I will probably not use the angle guide at all. Well, I am not buying it anytime soon, but I am just saying that if I had one, I would probably just use it without the guide.

                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Finally got a chance to look at it now. I bet it works, if you want a choice of two edges, one grit, and you practice care in using it.

                        But whew, that's a steep price tag. I suspect people are gonna be pissed off when they find out that they can still easily f*** up their knife through user error while sharpening.

                        Also, an unanswered question: does the grinding stone wear out, and if so, how quickly? Does it need flattening ever? Does it load up?

                        On the other hand, I sort of wonder whether you can just remove the guides entirely and use it as a water-cooled grinding stone for real reprofiling and altering the overall grind of a blade.

                        1. re: cowboyardee

                          The shun sharpener is definitely prettier and more compact than the Tormek but for the same price(kinda) I'd go for the Tormek

                          1. re: petek

                            Me too. But the Tormek would probably scare off most WS shoppers.

                            1. re: cowboyardee

                              "Me too. But the Tormek would probably scare off most WS shoppers".
                              Scares me a bit too,and I don't scare easy.. :-D

                          2. re: cowboyardee

                            "an unanswered question: does the grinding stone wear out"

                            I am sure it does. In fact, it seems quick. I think it states that it can sharpen 500 knives and that sounds like 500 regular knife sharpening, which mean it will wear out much faster if we are doing some reprofiling.

                            "I sort of wonder whether you can just remove the guides entirely and use it as a water-cooled grinding stone"

                            Exactly, that was what I was thinking too. I bet I can just NOT use the the guides. I like the water cooling part.

                          3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Hey Chem,

                            I watched that video the 1st time you posted it (in the other thread), but never had a moment to reply. What I recall:

                            1) you only fill the angled center depression with water, then "let it run" (ie, spin it out) for 2 min?? How is that going to "soak" the stone??

                            2) as CBAD mentioned, you can still (easily) ruin your knife, as alluded to by the demonstrator; possibly quicker than with other electric grinders.

                            Other issues were really more questions (are there finishing grits available; how expensive are replacement stones; etc).

                            I see this as another one of those pretty kitchen gadgets that takes up too much counter space to be left out, so it gets put in a cupboard & used only 2 or 3 times before the owner decides it's too much trouble to use any more.

                            For my money, I think I'd prefer Shun's original little electric sharpener over this new beast:


                            It sharpens with either coarse or fine grits (IIRC), it's compact, the stones are easily replaceable, & it's simple to use. But it won't do European 22-23 degree edges.

                            But for anyone seriously considering this new Shun "wet" grinding wheel sharpener, I say buy one of these instead:


                            Better features (like continuous water drip & infinitely-adjustable angle guide) for about 1/4 of the price of the Shun! Not nearly as pretty, though...

                            Or how about something even less expensive:


                            It has two "multi-angle" adjustable tool rests, & the grinding stone reverses directions for righty/lefty sharpening. No fake waterering like the Shun has, but a little tray to dip the knife in every now & then would work just as well. All for less then 1/6 the cost of the new Shun sharpener.

                            Or if you want ultimate simplicity, get the Wusthof "Asian Edge" pull-thru for $20.

                            (And you said you didn't want to start a new thread! :-D Wazzupwiddat??)

                            1. re: Eiron

                              "Other issues were really more questions (are there finishing grits available; how expensive are replacement stones; etc). "

                              It seems it only comes with 1000 grits. I personally won't need a finishing grit as I will finish free hand. I am just thinking about using it as a major reprofiling machine, so I don't have to spend hours. :)

                              As for your suggestion on the Craftsman, I have looked at that one before, and I really like the overall design. I really do. The only problem is that I read a review where the dude said it "screams" like a pig -- makes a lot of loud noise. Maybe the guy has too high an expectation. However, that is exactly what I like. I can free hand sharpening with the wheel and it is water cooled. Compact.... I do want to make sure it can handle a large knife. It seems small, but it may have no trouble handling a large knife. I have to verify that. I also have to make sure it does not scream like a pig. :P


                              "And you said you didn't want to start a new thread! :-D Wazzupwiddat??"

                              Because I am not seriously thinking about getting one. If I am really planning to get one, then i will start a thread. This is more like "Look, this is a new product"

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I wouldn't worry too much about whether Eiron is ever going to post the Carbonext review - i'm sure it's on his bucket list.

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        "whether Eiron is ever going to post the Carbonext review - i'm sure it's on his bucket list."

                        He put it below "become a movie star", and when he does become a movie star, he will forget us all. :P

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          But think of the fuss it would cause around here when the co-star of the new George Clooney movie comes onto chowhound just to review a knife for us un-glamorous folk.

                          Eiron, don't forget us when you're in Tinseltown. We knew you back when. You've still got friends in the internet knife nerd community.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            I am thinking about asking Eiron to sign my knife -- before he get really famous.

                              1. re: Eiron

                                Look at this cowboy. Look. He is already behaving like a big time movie star, refusing to sign my knife :)