1. {Name}
    Welcome to the KKF!
    Please take a moment to register and stop by the New Member Check-In and say hello. We sincerely hope you enjoy your stay and the discussion of all things sharp.
    Feel free to jump right in on the conversation or make your own. We have an edge on life!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Take a look at our new AUCTION SYSTEM

    This service is available to all KKFora members to both Bid on and Auction off (Sell)items.
    Dismiss Notice

how long did it take you

Discussion in 'Sharpening forum' started by James, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    Wondering about the learning curve of some of you who sharpen your own gear. How long did it take you to properly get it down, also how many blades did you mess up in the process lol

    Really im thinking I need to get going with this, I have my stones lapped and ready to go , but just can not bring myself to touching one of my blades to them on my own, was thinking of buying a cheaper blade to use to learn on. At least my work schedule has changed that taking a class is a lot more likely now
  2. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    The advice I was given a long time ago when I thought I wanted to straight shave was to buy a cheap straight razor and learn to sharpen with it.
    The same likely goes for expensive knives and learning to sharpen them.
  3. Mrmnms

    Mrmnms Founding Member Gold Contributor

    You want a cheap blade to practice on, pm me your addy. I'm sure I gave something for you.
  4. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    lol its not anything youll throw at me when I mess it up,... Ill pay for Dave or someone to fix it if I muck it up to bad I promise
  5. Rick

    Rick aka Pensacola Tiger Founding Member Gold Contributor

    When you are learning how to sharpen, the most important aspect is to get quick feedback so you can adjust your actions. Ideally you want a knife that will allow you to raise a burr in as few strokes as possible. So a "cheap" knife can actually be counterproductive if it is also a "crappy" knife, or even a decent knife that has been used to the point that it is as dull as a butter knife, because it will take a lot of grinding to raise a burr. My advice? Forget the flea market specials, or the cheap stainless blades from Walmart. Get one of the Tojiro ITK white steel (shirogami) knives from CKtG. Considering that free shipping starts at $60, get the 210 wa-gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toitkshwa21.html Consider the expense as part of your education. Of course, you can always sell it when you're done.
  6. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    lol in canada I very rarely ever get free shipping,.. but its something to look at. I took Mike up on his offer, if he is good with it, Ill put pictures and comments up so I can get some help as we go, yall can help walk me through the whole thing
  7. Rick

    Rick aka Pensacola Tiger Founding Member Gold Contributor

    Sorry, I didn't realize you were north of the 49th parallel. If Mike's knife doesn't trip your trigger, I have a Tojiro ITK wa-petty I'll send you if you want.
  8. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  9. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    Thanks Rick, Ill let you know if I need help with anything. Totally cant wait to get rocking with this one (Ha pun wasn't intended, but a happy surprise non the less)
  10. larrybard

    larrybard Founding Member

    My circumstances are similar, but was planning to start practicing on two old carbon sabs I purchased with that use in mind. Anything wrong with that plan? (Apologies if this constitutes inappropriate thread hijacking.)
  11. Chuckles

    Chuckles Founding Member

    Getting the edge very sharp is the first hurdle. Then it is getting the edge very sharp and having it stay that way for a long time. Then it is getting it very sharp, keeping its edge for a long time, and removing as little steel as possible in the process while maintaining the geometry over time.

    Step one doesn't take too long. Step two is when you will start to notice the difference between steels and how to treat them. Step three is just the rest of your life.
  12. James, sharpening isn't a rocket science and you definitely don't need any special courses just to make your kitchen knives sharp.

    While there are a lot of nuances, you can safely ignore them as long as all you need is sharp kitchen knife. If you are hunting for a perfectly polished bevels and all that crap — then you probably need lots of stones and lots of practice. But honesty, that's not what most normal people needs in their kitchen. My father has never watched any sharpening videos, nor attended any lessons… yet he can put an acceptable edge on a kitchen knife using the bottom of porcelain coffee cup. And it will took him 3-5 minutes.

    Just start sharpening the knives that you already have. Don't be afraid to ruin them. In the worst case you'll just add few more scratches to the blade.
  13. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

    I am still learning all the time but the advice offered here about not using really cheap horrible knives to practice on has worked well for me, I found it much easier to figure out what was going on once I started sharpening a couple of the better knives I had, much better feedback and I found I was thrashing away for ages with the cheap stainless and not getting very far or learning much in the process.
  14. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    well that makes me feel better
  15. I jumped in for the first time with my nice knives. I have been in fabrication all my life so I was convinced there was some way to fix any mistake I made.

    I scratched the bejesus out of my brand new ealy aebl 150 petty and even screwed up the top half of my wantanabe.

    I kept at it and got it down over a couple of weeks. I have now polished out all the scratches on my wantanabe with the fine rubber eraser and flitz and the petty is coming along.

    I don't have anyone to judge my sharpened, but I can slice a piece of paper up into ribbons and so far that's sharp enough for my needs.

    I will fall down the jnat hole and more than likely buy a belt grinder one day....but for now I am glad I do my own and it's not terribly hard to learn.
  16. Andre

    Andre Founding Member

    I go back and forth between loving and hating to sharpen, depending on how much time I have on my hands. I agree with Rick that a really cheap knife will slow down your learning. His tojiro suggestion is sound, the KU finish provides a sort of training wheels for thinning as well. The blade road is more mapped out on the side of the knife for you, and all the progressively finer scratch pattens will be more visible. They aren't super fun to use in a pro kitchen because of how reactive they are, but would be a blast to cook dinner with.
  17. bieniek

    bieniek Founding Member

    I was in the dark for a long time. Mainly cause working very long hours doesnt help to educate, and partly cause there was noone around to learn and get inspiration from.
    And then bang: a visit in a butchery, a visit to a proper shaving saloon, a memory of my grandfather sharpening a scythe. Thats the start, along the thought that making a knife reality-splitting is indeed possible. If its so, then dont blame fails on the tools, but the user.

    If you are asking about the steady hands and motorics, if you have ever worked with your hands, it takes weeks. I asked everyone I could to give me their knife for practise. So I sharpened easily 50 blades before I even got any good. Some of them easy others not, some werent at the peak of what the steel could take oh well.

    But like chuckles said the rest is the important part.
    You as a sharpener dont make the edge sharp.
    Your aim is to make the blade cut well. Cut well long time. Cut well long time and look good.
    Cut well long time and look good and be a swift to resharpen. Cut well long time and look good and be a swift to resharpen and withstand abuse.
    And please, dont cut paper with your kitchen knives.

    Unless you are actually eating it.
  18. bieniek

    bieniek Founding Member

    That being said, I think realistic timeframe to learn to sharpen and thin any given blade and then polish it and be effective at it, is, in a case of home user is 3-4 years.
  19. chinacats

    chinacats Founding Member

    This says it very well. I would add that it would be of great assistance to watch Jon's sharpening videos found here. Carbon makes it easier to learn.

  20. To start, just touch up your knives that had a good edge to begin with. Use 1000 grit. Go slow like carter does in his videos--he tests progress each side after just a few passes on the stone. Sometimes if I'm lazy or in a hurry that 1000 grit sharp is all I bother doing. I'm doing Beard-style home cooking, not making fine restaurant sushi, so 1000 grit level of sharp is sharp enough. When I have time or interest I'll move to 5000 grit. The challenge is once you get a screaming 1000 grit edge is to not mess it up, just polish it and make it better. If you stay at this level, you won't bung up anything precious. But eventually they too need thinning.

    To really learn, I refurbished a knife. I got a Takeda honyaki gyuto. Cool knife, but I spent (and I counted) about 14 hours thinning/reprofiling it since the entire blade, not just the edge, was 61 HRC. What a pain. And then I got the scratches out. Used a coarse DMT plate to start, then 400 grit, 1000, grit, etc. Point is, I put in my time and even tho reprofiling was not exactly sharpening, my body-mind/hand-eye learned something valuable that's hard to articulate other than to say "now I get it." Good luck.

Share This Page