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Help me with my Henckel knife - Re: Sharpening

k
kittybart May 18, 2012 11:38 AM

I have a 6" Pro. S Henckel that is about 5 years old. I have never had it professionally sharpened but I have honed it many times over the years (like 1-2 times a month). I have sharpened it myself using one of those handheld 2 stage sharpeners. I recently purchased an Electric 2 stage Presto Eversharp to sharpen it myself and it just won't get sharp. Any tips? I believe I'm handling it correctly to sharpen.

I use a bamboo cutting board (I know, they're not the greatest).

  1. 1POINT21GW May 20, 2012 11:47 PM

    I'd skip any home sharpening devices and get the knife professionally sharpened.

    2 Replies
    1. re: 1POINT21GW
      k
      kittybart May 21, 2012 04:17 PM

      I may have to. I can't seem to get anywhere with this sharpener.

      1. re: kittybart
        1POINT21GW May 21, 2012 04:30 PM

        I think you're on the right track. You won't be able to beat the edge and longevity of a professionally sharpened blade.

    2. Chemicalkinetics May 18, 2012 12:24 PM

      <I use a bamboo cutting board (I know, they're not the greatest).>

      No, they are not the greatest, but they are definitely not the worst in my opinion. So I won't worry too much here.

      <have sharpened it myself using one of those handheld 2 stage sharpeners. I recently purchased an Electric 2 stage Presto Eversharp to sharpen it myself and it just won't get sharp.>

      Can I ask what do you mean by NOT sharp? The reason is that there are at least two versions of NOT sharp. First, the edge is really NOT sharp. Second, the edge is actually sharp, but the blade area behind the edge is so thick that wedging becomes an issue.

      One easy test is to slice a piece of paper. Do you have any problem cleanly slice a paper -- without trying or without ripping the paper. If you have no problem slicing paper, then the edge is probably sharp. What you will find is that you have little trouble cutting items like meat or tomatoes, but have challenges cutting potatoes or carrots. In this case, the area behind the edge has become too thick over the course of many knife sharpening sessoins, and you will need to thin the area behind the edge. This is what I mean by the area got progressively thicker from each knife sharpening sessions:

      http://www.egullet.com/imgs/egci/shar...

      Alternatively, your edge is literally not sharp, and you have trouble slicing paper or anything. In this case, it is actually a smaller problem, and you can simply find a better knife sharpener machine or better yet your neighbors who understand knife sharpening.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        k
        kittybart May 19, 2012 04:36 AM

        Ok, so the paper test was a failure. I couldn't easily cut the paper. So it seems the edge is not sharp. Maybe I'll take one more look at my electric sharpener and make sure I'm holding it at the correct angle. Thanks!

        1. re: kittybart
          Chemicalkinetics May 19, 2012 07:19 AM

          Good luck and let us know if you run into any troubles.

          1. re: kittybart
            u
            unprofessional_chef May 19, 2012 07:37 AM

            When you start with a new electric sharpener you usually have use more than just a few passes through the coarse. The Presto will have a new edge profile or different angles than your Heckel and handheld sharpeners. Try ten alternating passes on each side with stage 1. Do a paper test to determine if you need another ten. Don't bother using stage 2 until the knife is slicing paper.

            This guy does a good job explaining how to break in a knife with a new electric sharpener. The Presto doesn't have diamond abrasives so you may need more passes than what he recommends for Chef's Choice.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n3VRo...

            1. re: unprofessional_chef
              k
              kittybart May 19, 2012 07:51 AM

              Ok, I JUST did this. It helped....but the tip of the knife won't cut the paper. Once I force the tip into the paper, the rest of the blade slices pretty well, not jagged as before. How do I get the tip properly sharp? I tilted the blade up at the end as per the directions. Also, the bottom edge of the knife is pretty messed up...not sharp and angular as when it was first purchased....any tips there?

              1. re: kittybart
                u
                unprofessional_chef May 19, 2012 08:43 AM

                "the tip of the knife won't cut the paper. Once I force the tip into the paper"

                "Also, the bottom edge of the knife is pretty messed up...not sharp and angular as when it was first purchased"

                I think you just need more passes in stage 1 until the entire length of the blade has taken the profile that the Presto wants to leave. Unfortunately, you'll need keep grinding away until the entire length of the blade is level and reasonably sharp. Sounds like the Presto's abrasives work really slow so I wouldn't worry about removing too much metal.

                Finish with stage 2, which polishs for a finer edge. In the future, you should only use the Presto to sharpen and hone with this knife. Otherwise, you might have to go through the same procedure with another sharpener.

                Here is how I paper test where the entire blade goes through from heel to tip effortlessly.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM8U3A...

                1. re: unprofessional_chef
                  Chemicalkinetics May 19, 2012 08:47 AM

                  Excellent advises. Thanks.

                  Edited, just watched your link. It is the Tanaka's video. That video always make me smile. I love the fact that he was unsatisfied at 1:17 minute.

                  http://youtu.be/jM8U3AHvLa4?t=1m17s

                  1. re: unprofessional_chef
                    k
                    kittybart May 19, 2012 08:54 AM

                    Holy cow...yes, my paper test is dismal. Thanks! I'm keep running it through. It is improving. I wish the instructions for the electric sharpener hadn't read "Pass through each side 3 times." Hahah!! I think I've passed it through about 30 times now.

                    1. re: kittybart
                      Eiron May 21, 2012 11:22 AM

                      I wouldn't gauge your paper test by what you see in the video. He's putting a narrower/steeper (& sharper) edge on that knife than what you'll get from your machine. Just strive for a consistent cutting ability along the entire edge.

                      Edit:
                      I don't know about the Henckels santoku, but the Wusthof santoku is actually ground to a narrower/steeper edge than their Euro models. Of course, your Presto motorized sharpener will put a standard Euro edge on your knife regardless of what it had before.

                    2. re: unprofessional_chef
                      k
                      kittybart May 21, 2012 04:14 PM

                      Ok, I broke down and took some pictures. I just can't get it sharp...or level at the bottom. Or anything resembling a point at the top.

                       
                       
                      1. re: kittybart
                        k
                        kittybart May 21, 2012 04:16 PM

                        Oops...posted the same photo twice and it's not letting me delete it. Here is the top.

                         
                        1. re: kittybart
                          k
                          knifesavers May 21, 2012 11:46 PM

                          Looks like the tip has no bevel to it. The heel has been ground away and can't be fixed without grinding tons of steel off the rest to balance it. Best to let the heel stay and have the rest optimized.

                          I'd take it to a reputable sharpener and have it addressed. You can maintain it after but when knives need repair it can get hairy.

                          Jim

                          1. re: knifesavers
                            k
                            kittybart May 22, 2012 09:22 AM

                            Thanks. I will do that. : )

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