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Old 07-07-2014, 07:08 AM  
Otter Otter is offline
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Anyone Know of a Good Knife Sharpener

Anyone have any reccomendation for a good knife sharpnening tool outside running a stone up the blade? I need efficiency dammit.

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Old 07-07-2014, 12:28 PM   #16
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If you have any Japanese blades, you need to be careful what you buy. They have a narrower angle on the blade, and if you sharpen it with something designed for Western-style blades, you'll completely do away with why you bought a Japanese blade to begin with.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Fried Meat Ball! View Post
If you have any Japanese blades, you need to be careful what you buy. They have a narrower angle on the blade, and if you sharpen it with something designed for Western-style blades, you'll completely do away with why you bought a Japanese blade to begin with.
It's not really a narrower angle. The angle is generally the same. It's the fact that Japanese blades are often single bevel knives instead of double bevel like a normal knife.

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Old 07-07-2014, 01:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
It's not really a narrower angle. The angle is generally the same. It's the fact that Japanese blades are often single bevel knives instead of double bevel like a normal knife.

Partly correct.

The bevel is certainly part of it, but the angle is absolutely different. Most Japanese blades are sharpened at a 15-degree angle, while Western-style knives are sharpened at a 20-22-degree angle. That's the reason Japanese blades also use a harder steel, so it'll hold the finer angle without dulling so fast.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:08 PM   #19
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http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/mi...vsjapnp2.shtml

Quote:
Thick vs. Thin Edges - This actually is a derivative of the hardness property discussed above and also significantly is knife use culture issue too. Simply put western knives typically have the edge ground somewhere between 20-22 per side. That's over 40 included angle - very thick for a knife designed for cutting. It's ok to have that edge on the deba or a meat cleaver, but for anything else that is intended to cut primarily it's excessive. Japanese school calls for far more acute angles. 15 is probably the thickest you'd find on a good Japanese kitchen knife such as Gyuto, Petty. Edges around 10 per side are nothing unusual and a lot of knife guys sharpen their favorites to much lower angles than that, extreme cases being 3 per side. Many Japanese makers advise to sharpen to 5-7 per side for maximum performance. They key is a good, super-hard or just hard steel and proper use. You don't disjoint a chicken with Yanagiba sharpened to 8 angle on just one side, but it will slice fish to translucent pieces very long time.

Another thing is that even Western knives can be sharpened to lower angles safely, granted the user will not abuse the knife. Unfortunately that isn't the case for decades, so the manufacturers adapt too. Who wants to deal with tons of returned knives and loose the market share, so they put thick edges that seem durable and once in a while you can open a tin can with it too, just ask Bobby Flay Anyway, jokes aside, I've used Wusthofs and Henckels sharpened to 15 per side, and I can say, nothing went wrong while I was cutting food with it. Cutting performance increased few times and the edge holding wasn't decreased that much. Tradeoff was well worth it. So, even if you pick a western knife you still can safely lower the edge to at least 15 per side and enjoy much better cutting performance. Remember, that's what most of the knives are about. Alternatively if you find 15 too weak for your uses you can put secondary 20 bevel on it. Still outcuts original edge by far.
All of my Japanese blades are 15 degrees.

It's also the reason you can buy sharpeners designed for either/or or both Asian/Western knives, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I actually have that sharpener (Cook's Illustrated winner).

I'm trying to find a reputable professional to sharpen my Japanese blades. After that, I've got a setup to strop them instead of using a hone, which most Japanese manufacturers discourage (even though some make them, like Shun).

I stopped by a sharpener in KC a few years ago, and they looked at me like I was alien when I told them I wanted it sharpened at 15 degrees, said he'd never heard of that. He said they'd use their standard sharpening service, and I said, "Then you're not touching my knives" and left.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:21 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Fried Meat Ball! View Post
Partly correct.

The bevel is certainly part of it, but the angle is absolutely different. Most Japanese blades are sharpened at a 15-degree angle, while Western-style knives are sharpened at a 20-22-degree angle. That's the reason Japanese blades also use a harder steel, so it'll hold the finer angle without dulling so fast.
The difference in bevel is the important factor. The single bevel is what makes Japanese style knives completely different when sharpening compared to double bevel western blades because it changes the entire method of sharpening. The angle is simply personal preference. You'll find single bevel knives at anything between 15-30 degrees, just like double bevel knives. 5 degree difference is largely irrelevant.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
The difference in bevel is the important factor. The single bevel is what makes Japanese style knives completely different when sharpening compared to double bevel western blades because it changes the entire method of sharpening. The angle is simply personal preference. You'll find single bevel knives at anything between 15-30 degrees, just like double bevel knives. 5 degree difference is largely irrelevant.
Both are important factors. The difference between a double bevel blade sharpened at 22 degrees vs. a double bevel blade at 15 degrees is not 7 degrees. It's 7 degrees on both sides, 14 degrees. And the perceived sharpness from a thinner blade is apparent.

I have 8 Japanese blades and only two are single bevel. There are a ton of styles of Japanese blades that are double bevel.

And it's not just personal preference. One of the generally accepted defining characteristics of Japanese blades is a smaller angle than Western blades.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Fried Meat Ball! View Post
Both are important factors. The difference between a double bevel blade sharpened at 22 degrees vs. a double bevel blade at 15 degrees is not 7 degrees. It's 7 degrees on both sides, 14 degrees. And the perceived sharpness from a thinner blade is apparent.

I have 8 Japanese blades and only two are single bevel. There are a ton of styles of Japanese blades that are double bevel.

And it's not just personal preference. One of the generally accepted defining characteristics of Japanese blades is a smaller angle than Western blades.
Both are important factors, but only one will cause any damage using the sharpeners offered here. Nobody other than a professional sushi chef is going to be able to notice the difference between 15 degrees and 22 degrees. And it's pretty unlikely that anyone here could achieve an edge of uniform angle anyway, even with fixed angle sharpeners, simply because of the curvature of knives. Of course it matters, but no one here is a professional chef. And the entire reason for saying be careful buying some sharpeners for Japanese blades is because of the single bevel, and not the angle of sharpening. You can sharpen a single bevel Japanese knife at 30 degrees and it's not going to damage the knife. It just cuts different. But if you try and sharpen a single bevel knife on both sides like a double bevel, that's when you'll ruin the blade. In some scenarios, you would actually want a more angled edge. But for things like sushi, you want it as thin as possible while still maintaining enough durability to last a while. They sometimes even take it a step further and concave the blade above the bevel in order to make the blade thinner without simply reducing the bevel angle. Thinness of the blade and the bevel angle are two separate components.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
Both are important factors, but only one will cause any damage using the sharpeners offered here. Nobody other than a professional sushi chef is going to be able to notice the difference between 15 degrees and 22 degrees. And it's pretty unlikely that anyone here could achieve an edge of uniform angle anyway, even with fixed angle sharpeners, simply because of the curvature of knives. Of course it matters, but no one here is a professional chef. And the entire reason for saying be careful buying some sharpeners for Japanese blades is because of the single bevel, and not the angle of sharpening. You can sharpen a single bevel Japanese knife at 30 degrees and it's not going to damage the knife. It just cuts different. But if you try and sharpen a single bevel knife on both sides like a double bevel, that's when you'll ruin the blade. In some scenarios, you would actually want a more angled edge. But for things like sushi, you want it as thin as possible while still maintaining enough durability to last a while. They sometimes even take it a step further and concave the blade above the bevel in order to make the blade thinner without simply reducing the bevel angle. Thinness of the blade and the bevel angle are two different components.
I never said you'd ruin or damage the blade by sharpening at 22 degrees. I said you'd undo why you bought a Japanese blade, which I stand by. You don't normally find a Japanese blade at that obtuse an angle. Can you find them? Sure, often in a cleaver. Most are between 10 and 15 degrees.

And I'm no professional chef, but I can tell a difference when I'm cutting with a Western blade vs. a Japanese blade. The perception of sharpness is obvious.

I'm not arguing with you anymore. I stand by my statement. The angle of sharpening makes a big damn difference on both single- and double-bevel knives. If you want to keep your Japanese blade the way it's supposed to be, don't use any ol' sharpener. If you don't care that you'll change the blade's intended performance, sharpen it however the **** you want.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:22 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Fried Meat Ball! View Post
I never said you'd ruin or damage the blade by sharpening at 22 degrees. I said you'd undo why you bought a Japanese blade, which I stand by.
You said "you'll completely do away with why you bought a Japanese blade to begin with." Sharpening at 22 degrees instead of 15 degrees isn't going to do away with anything at all. The difference would be unnoticeable. Only if you would sharpen a single bevel blade on both sides as if it were a double bevel, would you change anything. Not sure why you're being stubborn on that point, but whatever.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:34 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
You said "you'll completely do away with why you bought a Japanese blade to begin with." Sharpening at 22 degrees instead of 15 degrees isn't going to do away with anything at all. The difference would be unnoticeable. Only if you would sharpen a single bevel blade on both sides as if it were a double bevel, would you change anything. Not sure why you're being stubborn on that point, but whatever.
And I stand by that. I'm "being stubborn" because the degree is not unnoticeable. I wasn't even talking about the bevel, I've said all along it's not about single bevel sharpening to a double bevel. Obviously, you wouldn't want to change the bevel unless you intended to do so. But the angle is absolutely noticeable (I've now said three times) on a double bevel knife. You're saying it's OK to sharpen a knife at a degree it wasn't designed for, and while that won't damage the blade, many people buy Japanese knives because you can get them sharper than you can a Western blade. If you sharpen at 22 degrees, you're turning your Japanese blade into a Western blade, thereby undoing much of reason you buy a Japanese blade to begin with.

But yeah, whatever. You're right about the bevels (as I said a long time ago). You're wrong about the angles.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Fried Meat Ball! View Post
And I stand by that. I'm "being stubborn" because the degree is not unnoticeable. I wasn't even talking about the bevel, I've said all along it's not about single bevel sharpening to a double bevel. Obviously, you wouldn't want to change the bevel unless you intended to do so. But the angle is absolutely noticeable (I've now said three times) on a double bevel knife. You're saying it's OK to sharpen a knife at a degree it wasn't designed for, and while that won't damage the blade, many people buy Japanese knives because you can get them sharper than you can a Western blade. If you sharpen at 22 degrees, you're turning your Japanese blade into a Western blade, thereby undoing much of reason you buy a Japanese blade to begin with.

But yeah, whatever. You're right about the bevels (as I said a long time ago). You're wrong about the angles.
Cousin, I agree with you 100%. If you can't tell the difference between a 15 degree edge and a 22 degree edge, you just ain't paying attention! As per bevels, most Japanese knives have two sided edges (Like Western knives), but some knife models certainly have a single bevel like yanagibas and other such blades.

Folks, if you've never tried cutting with a Japanese knife, it might be worth your while to try one as they are absolutely screaming sharp. Plus, they are typically much lighter than a Western knife. If interested, you might want to visit chefknivestogo.com. They've got tons of very good/interesting Japanese knives. Highly recommended.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Meatloaf View Post
Cousin, I agree with you 100%. If you can't tell the difference between a 15 degree edge and a 22 degree edge, you just ain't paying attention! As per bevels, most Japanese knives have two sided edges (Like Western knives), but some knife models certainly have a single bevel like yanagibas and other such blades.

Folks, if you've never tried cutting with a Japanese knife, it might be worth your while to try one as they are absolutely screaming sharp. Plus, they are typically much lighter than a Western knife. If interested, you might want to visit chefknivestogo.com. They've got tons of very good/interesting Japanese knives. Highly recommended.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:33 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Fried Meat Ball! View Post
And I stand by that. I'm "being stubborn" because the degree is not unnoticeable. I wasn't even talking about the bevel, I've said all along it's not about single bevel sharpening to a double bevel. Obviously, you wouldn't want to change the bevel unless you intended to do so. But the angle is absolutely noticeable (I've now said three times) on a double bevel knife. You're saying it's OK to sharpen a knife at a degree it wasn't designed for, and while that won't damage the blade, many people buy Japanese knives because you can get them sharper than you can a Western blade. If you sharpen at 22 degrees, you're turning your Japanese blade into a Western blade, thereby undoing much of reason you buy a Japanese blade to begin with.

But yeah, whatever. You're right about the bevels (as I said a long time ago). You're wrong about the angles.
The only reason to avoid the sharpeners in this thread, is because they are to be used only on double bevel blades. If you used them on a single bevel knife it would ruin the blade. Not because of the angle, but because of the bevel.

The angle of the bevel is not a design of the knife type. It's strictly dependent on what material you're cutting. Not what type of knife it is. You don't want a thin 17 degree blade, regardless of what type of knife it is, if you're cutting thick tough material. Therefore, the bevel angle varies depending on the use of the knife. Saying that sharpening a Japanese blade at 22 degrees doesn't make it a Japanese blade anymore is completely false. You should choose your bevel according to how the knife will be used.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
The only reason to avoid the sharpeners in this thread, is because they are to be used only on double bevel blades. If you used them on a single bevel knife it would ruin the blade. Not because of the angle, but because of the bevel.

The angle of the bevel is not a design of the knife type. It's strictly dependent on what material you're cutting. Not what type of knife it is. You don't want a thin 17 degree blade, regardless of what type of knife it is, if you're cutting thick tough material. Therefore, the bevel angle varies depending on the use of the knife. Saying that sharpening a Japanese blade at 22 degrees doesn't make it a Japanese blade anymore is completely false. You should choose your bevel according to how the knife will be used.
Jesus ****ing Christ, it's like arguing with a real fish. I'm done.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:01 PM   #30
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The only reason to avoid the sharpeners in this thread, is because they are to be used only on double bevel blades. If you used them on a single bevel knife it would ruin the blade. Not because of the angle, but because of the bevel.

The angle of the bevel is not a design of the knife type. It's strictly dependent on what material you're cutting. Not what type of knife it is. You don't want a thin 17 degree blade, regardless of what type of knife it is, if you're cutting thick tough material. Therefore, the bevel angle varies depending on the use of the knife. Saying that sharpening a Japanese blade at 22 degrees doesn't make it a Japanese blade anymore is completely false. You should choose your bevel according to how the knife will be used.
Fish, a good Japanese knife maker considers several factors in making their knives. How it will be used is the primary factor, but other things to consider would be weight, handle type, frequency (is it going to be used in a line operation or simply in a residential kitchen, steel being used, ease of resharpening, etc.) There really isn't one single factor; they all need to be considered.

Typically, very thin Japanese knives are designed for sushi/fish; whereas more substantial blades like cleavers and debas require more bulk for whacking through bones and such.

I have a Wicked Edge sharpening system, and I can get virtually any blade screaming sharp....single bevel, double bevel....and you name the knife edge angle. Very cool system that pretty much guarantees a constant edge throughout the length of the blade.

Anyway, happy sharpening!!!
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