What tools can I use to sharpen these kitchen knives?

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On 7/22/14, 11:56 AM, Harry K wrote:

Freehand is fine if all you want to do is slice tomatoes. A rough edge with a fairly blunt angle (30 degrees per side or 60 degrees) would work. For some uses, a fine edge with a more acute angle, perhaps 15 degrees per side, works much better.
That takes a lot more strokes than 30 degrees per side. A single stroke that's a couple of degrees too steep can ruin it. A good edge at the curve and the tip can be important, and in my experience it's hard to keep the angle right freehand.
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J Burns wrote, on Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:02:58 -0400:

Funny you mention that, as I had started to resort to running water. I put the stone on a cloth at the top separator of the kitchen sink and ran the water on top as I slide the knife across.
Unfortunately, the stone wobbled as the sink separator was about the same size as the stone, so I abandoned the running water idea, but, as you have, I've also given up on the messy oil.
I'm not sure what sodium bicarbonate is supposed to do though. Why not just use water?
Does the CO2 bubbling lift up the particles out of the stone's recesses?
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On 7/21/14, 2:31 AM, Danny D. wrote:

I don't know an explanation. I read about a couple of professional sharpeners who found that oil stones work dry. Mine wouldn't - maybe because they were full of oil.
A pair of rubber gloves and baking soda make it easy to remove soap scum in the shower. Maybe that's why I tried it on oil stones.
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J Burns wrote, on Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:44:29 -0400:

OK. Baking soda just makes carbon dioxide bubbles in water, so, I think the millions of tiny bubbles might simply agitate the metal shavings out of the recesses of the stones.
Otherwise, I don't see what it would accomplish in addition to plain water.
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On 7/21/2014 12:20 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Only if the water is acidic....
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On 7/21/14, 12:20 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Baking soda bubbles in acid, but I don't see any bubbling on a stone.
Now I remember how I started using it. A pair of fine alumina ceramic rods, set in a wooden base like rabbit ears, makes a nice kitchen sharpener; you need only keep the blade in a vertical plane.
A black streak will appear on the rod. It's metal scraped from the blade. That will clog the rod, so you rotate the rod slightly for a fresh surface. When there were no fresh surfaces, I'd scrub the rod with scouring powder.
Then I discovered that baking soda did the job easier. I don't know why. Later I got the idea of using it on an oil stone. I understand oil floats particles so they don't clog the stone. A watery "gravy," made by sprinkling a little soda onto a wet stone seems to do the same thing. I can feel the improvement.
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I'll have to try the soda. I mostly use three knifes. A Magna Wonder Knife, a small cheap knife, and a small steak Gunsu, in the kitchen. Most of the other stash is junk, except for a really thin high carbon steel knife of my grandparents. That's so easy to sharpen on the rods. The rods work well on the serrated Magna.
Greg
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On 7/23/14, 1:32 AM, gregz wrote:

Online, I see that the Japanese system is to soak water stones in water and baking soda before use. I see it's an old trick of Army cooks to boil a clogged sharpening stone in water with baking soda.
I was able to get my Cub Scout knife sharp enough to hurt myself, but most of my injuries were blisters from whittling.
At 11, I bought a leather-handled Schrade, similar to a K-bar, with a sheath, for $1.57 new. I sharpened it with a device that looked like a big, wide yo-yo: a 2" round stone with a 3" wheel on either side.
At 15, I woke up on an overnight hike, and everything was fog. Not even paper would burn, and birch bark wouldn't get wet kindling going. We had nothing to eat raw. With that cheap knife, I whittled through the wet wood on a pine log and made such a big pile of dry shavings that I could get wet wood to burn. We gorged on oatmeal.
At 25 I bought a Case Sodbuster Jr. Everyone but me admired it. It wouldn't take a sharp edge, and the blade didn't lock for safety.
At 28, I bought a folding Gerber that weighed about 9 ounces. It was very sturdy. After I put a very sharp edge on it, I couldn't think of a use. One evening, I came in from the field and heard there would be an inspection in the morning. I was a mess and the barber shop was closed. I used that knife to cut my hair and dry shave my neck, and I passed. Later, I used it for butchering.
A sharp knife that will keep its edge helps in butchering. Even the best blade will get gummed up and need washing, and it's dangerous to make a lot of cuts with a long, sharp blade while laboring on a carcass. I found a $10 knife that works better. It looks like brass knuckles with a sort of curved box-cutter blade. Because the blade is short, it's safer. Because the tip is close to the hand, it's easy to control. There's also a slitting blade, like the protected blade of a letter opener. It's a breeze!
At 38, I bought a Gerber pocket knife with an orange handle of miracle nonslip plastic. It was also noncleanable plastic. What good is an orange handle after it turns black? So I bought a couple of $3 pocket knifes, one yellow and the other orange. The bolsters aren't as strong, but the handles stayed bright. The steel takes and holds a slightly sharper edge than the Gerber. (Steel is a relatively cheap part of knife manufacture, so cheap knives can have good steel.)
So many seemingly harmless uses will dull a "razor" edge that now I use EMT shears when possible, such as opening shipping cartons.
At 44, I spent $50 (sale price) for a Chicago Cutlery chef's knife. It took such a sharp edge that I made a scabbard on the underside of a shelf, to protect my fingers as well as the edge. Using it is a treat, but it stays there most of the time because the cheap Sears knife my grandparents owned is usually more practical. It will take a fairly impressive edge but won't keep it. I cut only on a board, but dings soon appear. I've never figured it out. I've never bitten down on metal or seen a glint in my food, and they're easy to remove by sharpening. I don't bother to sharpen it until I have trouble with things like tomatoes.
There's an expensive-looking fileting knife in a spring-loaded scabbard with a built-in sharpener. The steel won't hold an edge, and passing it a dozen times through the sharpener makes no difference. I don't often need that knife, and sharpening it with a clamp and stone is quick.
I use a swivel peeler a lot. It helps to sharpen it with a fingernail board from the top and a ceramic rod to clean up the burr on the bottom. It peels easily, but I have to avoid my fingers!
My paring knifes usually serve well if a little dull. Sharpening doesn't take long.
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For most of my life I shaved with straight razors. When I had need to use a stone the only thing I used as a lubricant was lather.
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On Sat, 19 Jul 2014 05:27:36 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Best thing I have found is the small ceramic sharpeners. I have one that's similar to this (mine has longer ceramic elements)
http://www.knivesforsale.us/SingleKnivesForSale.asp?ID 93&Cat=Sharpeners
I also use mine on serrated knives and it works fine to sharpen them too despite what some people claim.
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On 7/21/14, 3:30 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

That's how I got started with ceramics. It was hard to keep the little rods from getting dull by accumulating metal. So I switched to the kind with 8" rods stuck in a board.
I see Lansky now sells kits with a board, a pair of 5" medium rods, and a pair of 5" fine rods, and holes for a 25 degree or a 20 degree edge. I think the old kits were set for 40 degrees. If I wanted a more acute edge, I'd put the blade in a clamp to guide a rod. (For some knives and some uses, 40 degrees is more practical than 20.)
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On 7/21/14, 7:53 PM, J Burns wrote:

After looking at a photo, I believe Lansky means the angle of each side, not the angle between the two sides. When they say 20 or 25 degrees, they mean the sides meet at 40 or 50 degrees.
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I should receive my Accusharp 001 sharpener tomorrow.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Gotta ancient Buck 110 folding hunter I'm dying to try it on. I woulda never given this sharpener a 2nd glance, until I saw EriK Salitan (Life Below Zero) sharpening his skinning knife with an Accusharp. Skinning knives gotta be sharp. Plus, it gets rave reviews all around the web. We'll see. I'll reply tomorrow. ;)
nb
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Got it. Used it. Favorably impressed.
Original Buck blade steel is no easy chore to sharpen. This sharpener did it with ease. You can feel --and see-- the results of the metal removed from knife blade. After NOT sharpening this knife for decades, it was down to letter opener duty. With jes a few passes with the Accusharp, it's now sharper than it was. Is it "scary sharp"? No. But, it is "cut tomatoes" sharp, something this knife has not been in years. I recall pooh-poohing a food prep cook for using a similar Henkels or Wustof carbide sharpener in a restaurant kitchen. Silly me. They really work.
Based on price, convenience, and efficacy, I'd recommend this sharpener to anyone looking for a cheap, easy to use, practical knife sharpener. ;)
nb
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