Kitchen knife sharpening: modern tech vs old school stone?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tzhu07, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. tzhu07 macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2008
    I've never sharpened any of my kitcken knives. Why is it that despite modern industrial sharpeners, it seems that pro chefs all still use the stone method?

    How do you guys do it?
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I don't confess to being part of your "all" group, and am not "real" chef, but I have never used anything on kitchen knives except a sharpening steel.
    It's always very cool to watch those TV cooking shows, with the chef making those smooth moves against the steel, orchestrated to show the assurance of a sharp blade before the first cut.
    Why do you not see stones used then? Maybe the steel looks better for TV :D
  3. steve knight macrumors 68030

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    I have sharpened thousands of blades by hand. but that does not mean it is the bestsellers way it takes practice and some skill. all sharpening really is is working through the grits and keeping a consistent angle. stones take practice and most of the higher end sharpening systems do too. but you get vey sharp knives. but it depends on your knives too. works well for some knives but it sucked on my powdered metal knives in my pocket. but for general use it works well. I don't sharpen by hand now because my hands are not great for accurate jobs and I don't sharpen enough to get it down well. I use this but even with it it takes practice.
    but sharp knives are a joy to use.
  4. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Sep 10, 2009
    I use a wet stone. I've tried mechanical grinders but they're not very efficient. Takes longer to due a proper job. We bought some knifes and we can send them in for free sharpening. They're called Shun. Even when they become dull, which takes forever, they're still very razor sharp to skin or soft materials. Managed to slice through my shirt cuff once.
  5. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    So true, and they're so much safer. I'd say a good bit of the time I pull out of my knives for some serious cutting work, I run it over a steel to get a little extra edge.
  6. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I've tried quite a few different solutions, and the best hands down, was the AnySharp. It doesn't even take up much space and is quite cheap (~10$ on Amazon). Highly recommended from me.
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I've had good results using the Lansky system. Some high-end kitchen knives are made of high carbon stainless steel and take a LOT of work to sharpen, using this system, a stone, or any other.

    Because a steel doesn't sharpen, it only hones. Eventually the knife will need an actual sharpening.
  9. SevenHeaven macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2017
    I like old school stone. It is like a psycho therapy. Besides it doesn't hurt knife blades like with most contemporary sharpeners.
  10. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008
    What you are actually doing is honing the knife, not sharpening it. Honing is important as it allows your to go longer between sharpening if done correctly.

    Here is a good article on the differences. Even Chef's have to take their knives in for sharpening from time to time. ;)
  11. ZapNZs, Feb 6, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017

    Most of the "high-tech" pull through sharpeners remove too much metal through extremely abrasive stones, can cause cosmetic damage, and can damage the edge itself & leave more of a utility edge than they do a razor edge (i.e., the knife isn't nearly as sharp as it can be.) Over time, this accelerates the speed a knife wears out, as well as how often one has to 'thin' the blade. If someone has higher end knives like a Konosuke or Takeda gyuto, then they don't want to use anything that will accelerate wear by removing more metal than necessary. Further, as higher end knives use very wear-resistant steels that are capable of holding extremely thin edges, they want to take advantage of these extremely thin edges to improve cutting efficiency.

    For those not wanting to spend the $200+ on the EdgePro or WickedEdge, or learn how to use a benchstone to free-hand, I highly recommend the Spyderco Sharpmaker. It is easy to use, extremely safe, will sharpen everything from knives to scissors to tweezers to lawnmower blades, and very easy on the knife itself. It is also able to repair severe damage and reprofile a blade. Further, by using more than one stone, you can choose whether you want to leave the knife with a utility edge or a scary sharp edge, and so you can match the edge to the steel (some steels do best with a toothier edge-like D2, where as others prefer a finely polished one-like M390.)

    Here is an example of why you might want a very thin angle, where you would want the cutting edge to do the work instead of physical force, because physical force could damage the food or result in slipping.)

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11 January 28, 2017