Your Kitchen Knife Sharpening Option and Suggestion

I have a general question and a specific question.
General question: What is your knife sharpening preference?
a) Send the dull knives to a professional knife sharpener
b) Free-hand knife sharpening on a whetstone/waterstone
c) Use an electric knife sharpener such as Chef’s Choice EdgeSelect
d) Use a sophisticated manual knife sharpener gadget such as EdgePro
e) …

Specific question: A friend of mine has a Korin Santoku with VG-10 core.

While free-hand whetstone sharpening produces nice result, there is a certain learning curve to this. Beside free-hand whetstone sharpening, what is a good alternative? Any suggestion is welcome. Thanks.

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I was bored during the first covid lockdown and went down a knife sharpening rabbit hole.

I suck at freehand, so ended up getting a TSPROF sharpener from Russia. This was obviously before the war in Ukraine…

Link: https://shop.tsprof.com/catalog/knife_sharpener_kits/tsprof_k03/

I use an Edge Pro Apex with diamond matrix stones, which seem to be much faster sharpening harder steels with more durable carbides, such as HAP40. It’s also much faster than using AlOx stones when sharpening VG-10 knives, FWIW.

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Thanks. Somehow it reminds me a hybrid between EdgePro and

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They can actually utilise edgepro stones, so that’s not entirely wrong…

The thing is built like a tank and the clamp holder flips over so you can sharpen both sides of the knife without having to fasten and remove the knife all the time.

They’re a bit easier to get in the US (Amazon sells them) but it was a bit of a project to find one in Europe without paying a massive markup

I prefer to sharpen at home - I am too impatient to send them out! I have an Apex Edge Pro that I use maybe once a year to get all of my knives really sharp, plus a Wusthof diamond steel that I use more frequently (maybe once a month, especially on my Wusthof knives, which lose their edge more quickly than my Shun Ken Onion chefs). I also have a ceramic honing rod and hone all of my knives regularly before use.

The Apex does a very nice job, but the softer German knives are pretty easy to keep sharp (sharp enough, anyway) using the steel.

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I freehand on a belt sander.
Work off the wire edge.
Steel it a few times.
Done.
No suggestions.

I have a clone of the EdgePro with standard whetstones that does a very good job on my Henckels… but agree that the diamond ones would probably be better on harder knives.

For normal sharpening, I use a belt machine. In between sharpenings (touch-up), I mostly use a 1200 grit crock stick, sometimes a 600. If someone’s blown an edge and there’s no time, I do a pass or two on a 360 grit diamond stone and then the crock stick.

For thinning, I send out.

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I have a whetstone, but I am intimidated by the whole thing. I know a lot of it is about the proper angle, and while I don’t own any forbiddingly expensive cutlery I’d really hate to make things worse.

I owned a Chef’s ChoicePro, but it died on me a while ago.

I do hone on a regular basis, but give my knives to a local dude who takes good care of them - usually once or twice a year.

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For softer steel knives I hone regularly, occasionally use a pull through for touch up.

They then are ready for green loaded stropping.

For harder steel knives, I do very regular maintenance with green stropping and bare leather finishing. I do have a ceramic honing rod, but I seldom use it.

My regular stropping makes my harder steel knives feel like sharpness has been enhanced.

As a backup, if any knife needs further sharpening, I have a 400 and a 1000 diamond stone.

I use whetstones - Naniwa Pro 600, 1000 and 3000.

I don’t like sharpening, but it’s the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to get sharp knives. So, my advice to your friend would be to get whetstones because learning how to use them will be of value to him for the rest of his life.

As an alternative I’d only consider bringing my knives to a local Japanese knife dealer 15 miles away. He has a professional set up for sharpening.

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Wow. Many people have EdgePro or EdgePro-similar device (say TSPROF and Wicked Edge). Four out of nine responders. That is much higher than I thought. Thanks.

Yeah. I think just getting a 1000 grit stone ($25-40) is probably the cheapest method and provide a good deal of freedom. I am just thinking if these are something else I can suggest to her. I have sharpened knives for her in the past, and have offered to sharpen this knife for her, but she said she would like to find a way to start to maintain the knives on her own, and want some suggestions. For me to sharpen for her has the same downside using a professional knife sharpener, she need to wait and all - at least a week if not two weeks.

I am thinking about Sypderco Tri Angle. It should do a good job for light-level knife sharpness (similar to @biondanonima diamond steel and @kaleokahu 's crock stick, and Sypderco is simple enough for setting up angle. However, Sypderco is not that cheap ($80 now). Maybe $80 is not that expensive… One good sharpening stone is probably $40-50. The lowest level EdgePro is getting close at $160. Then of course, EdgePro base model is cheaper than a Wicked Edge base model which is $460. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. Keep them coming.

Answer (b). I’m freehand. I’ve been using a triangle-mounted 3 stone getup with cradle like this shown below for about 25 years or so. This photo is not mine, it’s just an example I could find of the type. And mine are natural AR stones whereas this looks like a synthetic/AlOx material.

I only use the two finer sides on my knives but have started on the coarse side for knives my daughters bring me from their college roommates.

The finer two sides are pretty badly “bellied” dished [thanks Tim that’s the word I was looking for] and also have some chips along the edges (from dropping, not from knife stroke). I need to get a diamond plate and grind them back down to flat and touch up the edge chips. Or just buy a new set, which may be about as economical as a good diamond plate (and the reviews on the cheaper diamond plates on Amazon are abysmal).



Edit - or DUH!, the easiest solution may be to pry the stones loose from the wood and remount the clean undersides facing out.

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I thought about this before. However, getting a diamond stone not only allow you to flatten the stones, but it also provide you another aggressive stone (diamond stone)

Same Wusthof tri-stone as CCE. I only use the 1000 on my old carbon blades. Mine is also pretty dished. When it is too bad to keep using I’ll probably just get a Naniwa (Chosera) 1000, holder, and flattening stone.

for years I did the free-hand thing on a tri-stone. they came out ‘sharp’ but I was never impressed with my work…

finally I got a EdgePro set up and the results are multiple times more superior than my free-handing. those types of devices allow an consistent angle - I can do the slicers to more acute than the chef’s style, for example. and my santoku even more acute than the slicers.

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Free hand wet stone. My knives are super easy to sharpen, save for the German ones I have.