If you strop a knife do you still need to steel it? What does steeling
do that stroping doesn't?
I can get one of my kitchen knifes so sharp that I can easily cut the
hair off my arm but it won't stay sharp and very quickly dulls. Is
this a sign of a cheap knife?
How can you tell if a knife will hold an edge?
jon_banquer fired this volley in news:d0d5bc49-
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.
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?
jon_banquer fired this volley in news:3717410b-91a2-
I'm not sure I understand the distinction. A blade must be 'tuned'
frequently to keep it really sharp.
Garlicdude fired this volley in
'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.
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.
Richard fired this volley in
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.
My experience as well..very easy to sharpen, a medium india followed by a
few strokes with a fine india at a slightly more blunt angle.
I've got a piece of O1 kicking around someplace that's 3/16 thick and ~6x18
thinking one of these days it's gonna make a couple of downright scary
I own two cleavers, both inherited. It must take practice. When I
attack a chicken with one, we get some really odd-shaped pieces.
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...
[ ... ]
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.)
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.
a LONG time. Just
ption would be
t better than
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.
Save your valuable stock, and check out cleavers at oriental markets. The
of China, Japan, Indonesia are putting out some very nice goods.
German/French/Swiss for carving knives, but pacific rim for cleavers.
The methodology of the left has always been:
2. Repeat the lie as many times as possible
3. Have as many people repeat the lie as often as possible
4. Eventually, the uninformed believe the lie
5. The lie will then be made into some form oflaw
6. Then everyone must conform to the lie
And speaking of O1 and sharp knives, I have a piece of 1/2" O1 drill rod th
at I use instead of an "official" steel. It works quite well and often revi
ves an edge that has gone wimpy in the middle of preparing a meal. I find I
can do this three or four times before having to pull out the stones. I us
e DMT red (and sometimes green) bench "stones," or for a quick touch-up, a
chef's choice 100
which does pretty well, but
I still like to do it manually - there's something relaxing about it.
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.
LONG time. Just
cook neighbor has a french carbon steel knife. The name is worn off the
handle, it makes unique sound when being ground, and seems faster to
sharpen than the german stainless knives.
probably, but a Tormek will tear up anything. The machine itself and the
jigs are sort of goofy (all settings are near the limits of what you can
do, for pretty much anything), but it does work.
There's really no special treatment carbon steel needs over stainless.
Neither should be soaking in sink tea or tossed in dish rotting machine.