How often do you sharpen your knives?

True, but I’ve found that small variations in sharpening angles don’t make a noticeable difference. Well, at least for me. :slight_smile: My feeling is that the small difference will be unimportant for the home cook who’s simply looking to start keeping their knives in shape. (ANY maintenance is going to be better than NO maintenance, right?) Once the home cook uses it enough times, they can then remove it and try sharpening free-hand.

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I agree. Small difference like 14 degree vs 16 degree or 19 degree vs 21 degree won’t make much difference. I doubt I sharpen my knives at exactly 15 degree anyway. I just aim to be consistent. That Naiwa knife sharpening wedge clipping on a paring knife vs clipping on a Chinese cleaver will be pretty different. It is probably developed for chef knives (gyuto) and Santoku.

Since last year, I’ve been expanding my use of loaded stropping maintenance as a total solution by using two mounted strops. I’ve most recently focused on pure leather stropping to polish all my knives, and I’m now ready to further expand.

I’ve now reserved the “suede” side of my larger strop to my more aggressive white 1000 paste, my entire paddle strop to green 3000–reserving the hard leather side of my larger strop for leather only polishing.

I noticed slight tip damage on one of my knives–and it made me consider a low grit diamond pod (400) for repairs.

I also am considering a glass stone as alternative maintenance:

Has anyone heard of Mitsumoto Sakari? Should I forget about the diamond stones–or get several?

Or be happy with the solution I have?

Please advise.

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During my fling with Japanese knives the water stones were out about once a month because it was just plain fun to keep them really sharp. Now that I am back to the ancient carbon Sabatiers, they go easily for four to six months without sharpening but get regular honing. This keeps them more than adequately prepared for their daily work.


An inexpensive bench grinder was an excellent investment to me. It kept the mower and other tools nice and sharp. Then I shifted from electric to a reel push mower, and the grinder gathers dust. In hind sight I should have gotten a little hand grinder. It might not be as quick on certain things, but it is more versatile.

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Not so very often, last time I think I lightly sharpened a few knives for Christmas and I still have plenty life in many knives. My philosophy has been that once a knife doesn’t cut a tomato well anymore, then I don’t use said knife for tomatoes anymore, but the same knife will still cut most other things just fine for me. So while I enjoy a sharp knife and also sharpening at least to an extent, I don’t necessarily want to use much time, nor to be often maintaining my knives.

With that preface, I have kind of preferred the idea of doing (even) touch up sharpening with waterstones, so I haven’t played with loaded strops and only have one smooth “straightening” steel, as I considered it when I bought it. Idea was to just align the edges where needed and do the abrasion with actual stones.

I have Japanese waterstones from 220 grit up to 12k and a worn diamond combo stone that I use for flattening the waterstones. The straightening steel I have is the F Dick polish, but I essentially haven’t used it at all to be honest. I remember that the steel did “work” though when I tried it in the beginning for some knives, so especially now that I have gathered more Sabs I will be trying it out again for those and my other softer knives like CCKs.


Hi Vecchiouomo,

Growing up, my American knives were either sharpened for me in some sort of grinder, or I got out my Arkansas stone.

My first Japanese knife, a nakiri, was so thin, I didn’t dare give it to the grfinder guys–and it kept slicing up my vegetables when my other American knives had become useless anyway.

I got back into sharpening when I purchased my European Wusthofs–and I followed their suggestions to use a pull through hand sharpener and hand hone scrupulously. It was only when I decided to go for the Japanese fusion “hard” knives that modern sharpening concerns hit this home cook.

I was unwilling to subject my new knives to the machine “grinders,” but the Wusthof approach didn’t seem quite right to me.

Out of desperation, I tried a loaded strop on my Shun Kaji as emergency maintenance. Now stropping is my solution for all my kitchen knives–except my European Wusthofs–and a few others. I hone them–but not my harder steel knives.

I haven’t given up on using ceramic stones to sharpen and refine–or diamond stones for repair–but I want to do it at budget prices. I also want to keep it simple.

I’m closer to a decision on the diamond stones for repair, but I’m also attracted to those splash n go glass stones.

I think I basically treat my Wusthofs like you treat your Sabs.



Hi Pertti,

I still treat my Wusthofs with my pull through and lots of honing–but I now use a ceramic hone. The stropping doesn’t really refine the edge much. It does hide the scratches when I use a bare leather side, but it’s a lot of work for very little reward.

The scratches come back with the honing.



Sorry to hear that. What will you do with the old knife?

I used to work with boning knives professionally and we’d lop off the ends of all new [boning] knives anyway. (See below.) I realize yours is a paring knife but maybe all isn’t lost.


Ok, the ceramic hone I suppose is indeed more effective in abrading. As you mentioned you are still thinking on ceramic stones, you might want to check this thread on kitchenknifeforums. It’s about if one would only own one stone. Naniwa pro/chosera 800 got a lot voices for example. I don’t have it, I own the pro 1000 and I think it’s great as well. I have the cheaper Naniwa superstone 800 also and its ok too in my view, but would recommend taking the pro series stone. An about 1k stone in any case. Shaptons, cerax and king seem to get love also. Dont think you could go wrong with any…

Everyone has a different tolerance for “dullness”. CCKs are not that soft I think. CCKs are softer than hard steel HRC 64 knives, but CCKs probably still harder than like most Henckes and Wusthof.

Yes not actually very soft the CCKs, just compared to my Japanese knives.

That F. Dick polish is ideal with carbon Sabs. Cool that you have one.

Nice to hear!

Hi Pertti,

Thanks for the suggestions. First of all, I need to remind myself that I chose a hobby in which I would create and use a home kitchen to first, restore the Swedish/American cooking tradition I grew up with and developed; and second, to explore the cultural fusion all around me between Asian and Western traditions in California. I’m still very cost/benefit in my thinking about maintenance.

So far, I’ve purchased two Wusthof pull-throughs, two honing rods, and two stropping boards–for a total cost of about $120.

During the years that I’ve been growing my “batterie,” without any outside hands on help, I’ve been able to maintain, and sometimes refine, the sharpness of some very sharp kitchen knives.

The most promising possibility I’ve found that fits my cost/benefit thinking is a 400-1000 two sided diamond stone, mounted on a frame for less than $10 (see link). I think I could use it to repair some very slight tip damage on one of my knives as well as adding some toothiness to some of my knife edges before I hit them with the smoothing refinements of my stropping compound. If I did get a splash and go stone, the diamond stone could keep it level.

Chef Knives to Go has a special on a glass Shapton 1000 for $55 which might serve as a setup to my stropping, but the more I look into it, the more it looks like the beginning of the very nightmare I’ve dodged so far.


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Hah, well said! I don’t have Shapton glass, but I think that would make a nice stone though.

And you could try if you can go with the one stone way! It could well be doable for you. Just need to flatten it at some point then indeed. I’m not sure if the cheapest diamond stones are very durable.

Diamond stones are good for flatten other stones, and that’s about it. I have 3 diamond stones. That being said, there are other means to flatten/true a sharpening stone.

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I also much prefer my ceramic stones for sharpening compared to my Sharpal diamond combo stone, which has been my only diamon stone. I havent tried all the coolest diamond stuff though, some seem to like those.

I bought a few diamond stones. They are all DMT which was the big player at the time. I find the diamond stone good to “true” other stones. The diamond stones however are pretty bad for sharpening knives though. Even for aggressive and coarse knife sharpening, I rather use a coarse ceramic sharpening stone like Imanishi 220.


I don’t think you are missing much for missing the diamond stones for sharpening. I suppose if you are trying to sharpening a ceramic knife, then the diamond stones will come into play. Short of that… no need.

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