Poll: pro cooks - do you sharpen your own knives?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Thomas, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I've rather foolishly committed myself to giving a speech next week and was curious as to whether the trend for professional or committed amateur chefs/cooks was to sharpen their own knives or send them out. Hence the poll.
     


  2. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    Where is the Anne Hattaway option on the poll ?
     


  3. spence

    spence Senior member

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    Not sure there's such a thing as an amateur chef [​IMG]

    But I'm a hardcore home cook and I always do my own. I used to use a stone but now just a decent electric sharpener.

    -spence
     


  4. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Where is the Anne Hattaway option on the poll ?

    I came this close to putting Anne Hathaway as an option but chickened out. [​IMG]
     


  5. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    I voted on behalf of my wife, but she usually sharpens all her knives herself. The only time she hands them to a professional sharpener is when there is a problem with the knife that can`t be fixed on her own (like a big chip).
     


  6. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    What's the connection between the speech and knife sharpening?

    For my Henkels, I use an electric sharpener. I find I don't need to very often. The steel keeps them plenty sharp most of the time.

    I have two Shun Elites, both more than a year old, that have not yet needed to be sharpened. When they do, I will send them back to Shun.
     


  7. otc

    otc Senior member

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  8. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    hone, do myself. sharpen, send out.
     


  9. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    What's the connection between the speech and knife sharpening?

    For my Henkels, I use an electric sharpener. I find I don't need to very often. The steel keeps them plenty sharp most of the time.

    I have two Shun Elites, both more than a year old, that have not yet needed to be sharpened. When they do, I will send them back to Shun.


    It's a demonstration speech project - I demonstrate a technique or process - and I've put my back to the wall here in order to fill a lean speaking schedule. This is the only thing I can reasonably pull off in a week's prep time.

    The main point is this: I've been in enough friends's kitchens and seen enough dull knives to finally have had enough. IMHO - Sharpening a knife is not hard and doesn't require much in the way of equipment, and my hope was to mention that a brief, informal poll found that a majority of high-level chefs/cooks polled sharpen their own knives. I understand that sushi chefs generally sharpen their own knives, but most people don't prepare sushi at home, so I lose a bit of connection/relevance there.

    From the opening exposition, I go to a whiteboard to explain the edge profile and the process of grinding, raising a burr, then polishing it off to expose a keen edge.

    Then, off to a waterstone to grind away, and wrap up with a couple of quick sharpness tests. All in 8-10 minutes.

    In a rough dry run this morning it took a bit longer than 8 minutes to grind two knives, but I was re-grinding the bevel to a shallower angle so it took a while. Was it a factory Shun edge? Not close, actually, but it passed the thumbpad test, and was good enough to slice tomatoes without effort.
     


  10. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I am beginning to wonder if my Shuns will ever need to be sharpened again. They are that good.

    Using stones and those edge guides always intimidated me, and there are so many different options, that I never could figure out which one to learn/buy.

    I also found that once I got better with the steel, and was diligent about steeling the knives before every use, they did not need to be sharpened nearly as much.
     


  11. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Most pro cooks take them to be run on a wheel at the local knife store.
     


  12. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I once sent my Henckels out for sharpening. I brought them to a very nice kitchen store. I forgot what they charged. Weeks later, I got them back. Better, but still not great. I have no idea what they did. After that, I bought the Chef's Choice electric thingy. I know it is supposedly not as good as a water stone, but it's better than whatever the store did.

    I can't use it on the Shuns, however, because the angle it bevels is much shallower than the Shun knife. But as I have said, the Shuns are like lightsabers, they never need to be sharpened.
     


  13. robin

    robin Senior member

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    Most pro cooks take them to be run on a wheel at the local knife store.
    Yep. Here in Seattle there's actually a small co. that goes around and does them in the back of their pickup truck for all of the chefs.
     


  14. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I am beginning to wonder if my Shuns will ever need to be sharpened again. They are that good.

    Using stones and those edge guides always intimidated me, and there are so many different options, that I never could figure out which one to learn/buy.

    I also found that once I got better with the steel, and was diligent about steeling the knives before every use, they did not need to be sharpened nearly as much.


    I was intimidated by the stone as well until I received my first Japanese knife - I studied the bevel and found that while the edge was keen, the bevel was a bit uneven, and I realized it had been hand-sharpened fairly rapidly, in sections. Ordinarily I'd consider it a sign of poor workmanship, but the edge is so preposterously keen - on par with the Shuns I've tested - that I decided that how the bevel looks just doesn't matter all that much. I set the spine in the middle of my thumb-pad and grind away in sections, overlapping between each part, and soon I have a burr. Turn it over and repeat, and soon I have a good edge.

    And since it was early in the morning, my thumb has been ground down as well and should heal in a week or so. [​IMG]
     


  15. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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    i sharpen all the knives with straight edge at home. i havent done sharpening serrated edge knives and etc because i dont know how but we dont use those knives that often anyways.
     


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