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Unread 01-26-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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Default Reconsidering Knife/Sharpener Choices

Expensive knives/expensive sharpener or inexpensive knives/cheap sharpener?

I know that knives are very personal and that very few things are as beautiful and such a pride to own than a very fine knife. I am talking about day-to-day use in the kitchen in this thread.

I have used made in Germany Heinkles Pro-S knives for at least 20 years, and given Pro-Ss to both of my sons over the years. I have sharpened mine with stones, a Furi system, and for the past couple of years an Edge Pro Apex.

I started with the inexpensive Victorinox 12" Granton Slicer a couple of years ago and then very recently added their Sandoku and then the 8" chef's knife, flexible boning knife and paring knife. After reading the strong recommendation by Cook's Illustrated, I bought the $8.85 AccuSharp Knife and Tool sharpener to see what the fuss was all about.

The Victorinox knives end up in my hand almost every time. I like the thinner blades especially when they are very sharp like my two Japanese knives. The AccuSharp is extremely easy to use and puts a very sharp edge on almost instantly so it gets used much more than the Edge Pro. On the con side the AccuSharp takes off more metal than I am comfortable with with my expensive knives, but knowing how inexpensive the Victorinoxs are, I convince myself they are easily replacable - almost disposable.

(The 8" Chef's knife is especially nice to use. I really like the balance and feel in my hand. The wider blade makes chopping a joy.)

Bottom line is that I have opted for the inexpensive route without realizing it until now.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
the balance and feel in my hand.
I think this is the most important feature whether it is a cheap or expensive knife.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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I started cheap, went expensive and never looked back.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #4
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I started cheap, went expensive and never looked back.
I used the word "inexpensive", not "cheap" for the Victorinox knives on purpose. They are very good knives just not expensive ones.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
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I used the word "inexpensive", not "cheap" for the Victorinox knives on purpose. They are very good knives just not expensive ones.
I have a couple, they are inexpensive but I prefer my Shuns for almost every task.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #6
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As far as sharpners go, you can't beat a good triple stone and a steel. Back when I was cooking for a living, I had the benefit of learning how to sharpen a knife on a triple stone by a classically trained chef. I have the hairless spot on my arm where I test my edge to prove it and it holds an edge for a long time. Get blade guards, what ever blades you choose.


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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offthehook View Post
I have a couple, they are inexpensive but I prefer my Shuns for almost every task.
I've not had an opportunity to use a Shun or any other really fine Japanese blade yet. Who knows where that might lead.
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Large and Medium Big Green Eggs , Black 18.5" WSM, Blue Weber Performer - Stainless, Green Weber OTG Kettle , Brinkmann SnP Pro, and a Stainless UDS. One retired Portable Kitchen grill.

Red Thermapen, Maverick ET-732, EdgePro Apex Sharpener.

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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
I've not had an opportunity to use a Shun or any other really fine Japanese blade yet. Who knows where that might lead.
A long dark path! I see all the bbqs in your sig!
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Unread 01-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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I use both types and those in between all the time. I love my Japanese knives, they seem to sing in my hands when I cut with them. But, my Dexter-Russels get used all the time as well, as do my Wusthofs, and some old Solingen knives I inherited from my mom.

I work with a triple stone as well, but, will probably buy a new Japanese composite stone soon. I want a finer stone than my Arkansas stones. I do not like the idea of putting any edge through one of those sharpening devices, other than my cheap EDC pocket knife. Surely, I would never put one of my Japanese knives through one, or any electric sharpener, it would destroy the edge of the blade.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I use both types and those in between all the time. I love my Japanese knives, they seem to sing in my hands when I cut with them. But, my Dexter-Russels get used all the time as well, as do my Wusthofs, and some old Solingen knives I inherited from my mom.

I work with a triple stone as well, but, will probably buy a new Japanese composite stone soon. I want a finer stone than my Arkansas stones. I do not like the idea of putting any edge through one of those sharpening devices, other than my cheap EDC pocket knife. Surely, I would never put one of my Japanese knives through one, or any electric sharpener, it would destroy the edge of the blade.
I understand exactly what you are saying. This has been my approach for years. I am reconsidering it right now. The AccuSharp shouldn't be easily dismissed from what I can see so far. Both Victorinox knives and the AccuSharp are top rated by Cook's Illustrated which I know is not everyone's cup of tea; however, I find them to be mostly dependable when it comes to equipment recommendations.

The low cost of both products make a compelling case for re-evaluation to my way of thinking.
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Large and Medium Big Green Eggs , Black 18.5" WSM, Blue Weber Performer - Stainless, Green Weber OTG Kettle , Brinkmann SnP Pro, and a Stainless UDS. One retired Portable Kitchen grill.

Red Thermapen, Maverick ET-732, EdgePro Apex Sharpener.

Avatar is the original 1951 Weber Kettle

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Unread 01-26-2013, 01:48 PM   #11
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Don't misunderstand, I think you way of thinking is fine, it makes a lot of sense. If you prefer the Victorinox, if just for ease of care, that is a valid choice. When I worked in restaurants (not fine dining kitchens) the DR knives were always my choice. They cannot be beat for value and ease of use. The Accusharp is perfect for them, especially as it offers the same characteristics.

My BIL works on the thinking you are proposing. He does not care to, nor does he want to spend the time, or see the point, of learning to sharpen on stones. He believes I am careless and irresponsible for owning the knives I do, when cheaper knives "do the same job". He correctly states that his knives are sharp enough, and that they would not be if he had to use a stone set to sharpen them.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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Sharpeners that scrape metal off your blade will ruin it. I used one on a chefs knife for years and ended up with something that no longer touched the cutting board when I rocked it back. It was so bad that I took the knife out to the grinder and cut some of it down to remedy the problem.

I now sharpen with a 3 stone diamond system and a diamond steel. My Solingen blades are very hard and keep an edge forever. I do find that a cheap blade is easy to get very sharp, even though the edge doesn't last.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
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Sharpeners that scrape metal off your blade will ruin it. I used one on a chefs knife for years and ended up with something that no longer touched the cutting board when I rocked it back. It was so bad that I took the knife out to the grinder and cut some of it down to remedy the problem.

I now sharpen with a 3 stone diamond system and a diamond steel. My Solingen blades are very hard and keep an edge forever. I do find that a cheap blade is easy to get very sharp, even though the edge doesn't last.
I'm saying when the inexpensive knives get out of shape dispose of them and buy new ones.

I have German blades too and an excellent Edge Pro sharpening system so I know where you are coming from.
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Large and Medium Big Green Eggs , Black 18.5" WSM, Blue Weber Performer - Stainless, Green Weber OTG Kettle , Brinkmann SnP Pro, and a Stainless UDS. One retired Portable Kitchen grill.

Red Thermapen, Maverick ET-732, EdgePro Apex Sharpener.

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