It's a sign that the edge angle is too acute. A really acute angle can
be sharpened to razor sharpness, but because it's so thin, it rapidly
A kitchen knife edge should be beveled about 20 degrees (for a start) to
be both sharp and long-lasting. The metal may cause you to make it more
or less acute. I sharpen my carbon steel kitchen knives (which I prefer
over stainless) to about 28-30 degrees. I also do not steel them unless
cutting vegetables; steeling makes the edge very sharp, but also very
smooth. For meat, the slightly rough wire edge left by abrasive
sharpening makes them cut faster and more cleanly. Being a
_deeply_serious_ barbeque-er, meat slicing is my primary use.
On Mar 15, 3:29 pm, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
The kitchen knife that won't hold an edge is stainless. I'm sharpening
it with a bench stone holding it at 20 degrees. If all stainless
knifes act like this cheap one does I can understand why your prefer
carbon steel. I am cutting vegetables and all I cut are vegetables.
See my posts on juicing. After getting the cheap stainless knife so
sharp that I can cut the hair off my arm it becomes dull after just
one prep for juicing. Do you think steeling the knife would make the
edge last longer or just make it sharper?
'Took me 40 years with the same woman to teach her to put them cutting
edge-up in the knife block!
There are 'hers' and 'mine', but I don't discriminate... I just sharpen
them all, and always tune one up before use, if it needs it.
Sounds like my house.
Except my wife won't use my knives.
She sticks to hers and tells me when she wants the edge touched up.
My personal favorite is a Wasabi that I bought for a buck at a garage
sale. It doesn't look very dangerous but it's a 6 inch long scalpel.
That's a pretty good price, too!
FWIW, someone mentioned Old Hickory carbon steel knives earlier, as being
"30 year old" stock.
They still make them. I love 'em, and all of mine have developed a nice
black patina that oil and slow oxidation can make, if they aren't allowed
They are more expensive than the Wasabi knives, though.
Carbon steel will take a very keen edge, but won't hold it for long--I rough
hone with india at say 28 deg then finish with fine arkansas at 30
For stainless, generally I dress by dragging a cermet lathe insert along
the edge...gloves are a good idea.
On Sat, 16 Mar 2013 09:17:29 -0700, "PrecisionmachinisT"
I own two cleavers, both inherited. It must take practice. When I
attack a chicken with one, we get some really odd-shaped pieces. <g>
I prefer my carbon steel L.L. Bean boning knife, with a big, fat
handle, for disassembling chickens. Speaking of which, I have to go
buy one of those two-packs at Costco right now...
Practice on zucchini...they're worthless otherwise....
A cleaver works well with dinner guests....use it in a perfectly safe,
appropriate manner for a few minutes then suddenly launch a vicious assault
on an onion or somesuch...
Some stainless grades are the equivalent of tomato can steel, won't
take or hold an edge at all. If it's non-magnetic, use it as a butter
knife, it's not slicing anything tougher. Magnetic grades of
stainless will hold an edge, if hardened. Have run across some of
that, too, with cheap imports, stainless, but not hardened. You can
get a wire edge that's sharp but will break off when you make your
first cut with it, too. That's usually an indication of too much time
on the stone and too little angle on the edge for the blade steel
A steel is just a round file that raises small teeth on the edge, kind
of like a serrated knife edge. Works great for meat and soft stuff,
the "teeth" break off easily, so rinse and repeat. And do it AWAY
from the food, nothing bugs me worse than some jerk steeling his knife
over the roast at a restaurant. Don't care for a side order of steel
filings, thank you.
You can check how sharp an edge is by passing it over a thumbnail,
that'll also remove a wire edge. Nicks and dull spots are readily
perceptible. Never understood why folks use the ball of their thumb
when checking how sharp it is. Guaranteed bandaid time with anything
but a butter knife.
Do they still demontrate that the kitchen shears can cut coins
in half? A friend was one of their salesmen decades ago, and that was
one of the demonstrations.
I have a pair (made long prior to the cushioned colored grips,
but still good size all-metal grips.)
All the folks had when I was growing up was carbon steel knives, came
out of the Rath packing plant where my uncle worked, all Chicago
Cutlery. They were wiped off, not soaked in dish water, and lived on
a magnetic holder on the wall. They weren't mirror finished and were
cheap, eventually picked up that brownish patina that exposed carbon
steel gets. But they cut and kept cutting. Still have some. They
were used until there was a not too useful stub left.
If you want a good cheap kitchen knife, in stainless, the Ace hardware
stores around here have Tremontina(sp?) knives, come from South
America, have hardwood handles and very good steel. Don't think any
of them are more than $5. Have several paring knives of various
sizes, they hold up well and the handles hold up well with washing.
Their steak knives are good, too.
Those wooden knife block sets with slots look good, but they're
breeding grounds for bacteria in the holes. Nice warm wet areas with
food particles. That's why I like the magnetic holders. Not as neat,
but the edges don't get dulled and you don't get food poisoning that
way. Way better than sticking them loose in a drawer, too.
not being made of stainless steel is the first step.
old good quality carbon steel knives take the best edge, period.
Every now and then I square off the Tormek grinder and do kitchen knife
sharpening for everybody.
On Mon, 18 Mar 2013 05:08:23 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader
Sabatier was the most common French carbon steel knife, if your
neighbor bought it within the past century. <g> I have a couple of
them, and one of their steels. I can't say I ever noticed a different
sound in grinding, but I've only done that a couple of times, when I
had to take the belly out of a chopper.
I've had mine for almost 50 years. They're great and, like most carbon
steel knives, they will sharpen faster than a 400-series stainless
knife. But 400-series stainless will hold an edge for a longer time.
If you have any Buck pocket or hunting knives, they're made of a
proprietary, slightly modified 441C stainless alloy. Compare that with
your old carbon steel pocket knives in terms of how long the edge
lasts. It's roughly the same comparison.
Don't leave onion or tomato on it, or it will rust before you finish
I've not run a kitchen knife test, but I've noticed a few things between
the good german stainless knives and carbon steel ones.
The carbon steel takes a really nice edge, and grinds really smooth. You
can almost strop it to a mirror finish.
Stainless stuff is harder to polish and strop, it always has these ridges
that are hard to remove. It just seems like it's a mix of hard and soft
materials. This might make them seem like a saw once the blade is dull,
so they still kind of cut through stuff. Crappy stainless knives are gummy
and can't even be sharpened at all.
Even the german stainless knifes need a little touch up out of the box for
some reason. I'm going to guess the japanese stuff like Global and Mac
come fully and completely sharpened since they love their knives.
My daily carry knife is a Microtech made of "154-CM", and that's a weird
material, some sort of knife foamer type alloy of who knows what. That
stuff is hard and tough. I'd be interested to see a kitchen knife made of
the stuff and how it holds up.
Didn't know about the onion. I don't hang out in a kitchen, but I also
never let stuff dry up or set on a blade either, especially the pocket
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