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Electric or manual sharpeners...What's best?

I've always found that manually sharpening my knives net the best results...

I've used electric ones in the past and while they're often good on really dull or improperly honed knives, they can cause some grief on properly maintained (and high quality) knives.

Besides, in this overly mechanized world (out of hand), some times its best to use a little elbow grease to get the job done.

Just my 2 cents.
MMMMM..I think I"m seeing visions of Gordon Ramsay coming in and yelling a whole bunch,
[quote='Brutus' pid='17' dateline='1266341216']
Electric or manual sharpeners...What's best?

Big Grin

<div><object width="512" height="322"><param name="movie" value="http://d.yimg.com/static.video.yahoo.com/yep/YV_YEP.swf?ver=2.2.46" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="AllowScriptAccess" VALUE="always" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /><param name="flashVars" value="id=6014357&vid=1819658&lang=en-gb&intl=uk&thumbUrl=http%3A//l.yimg.com/a/p/i/bcst/videosearch/1260/55596320.jpeg&embed=1" /><embed src="http://d.yimg.com/static.video.yahoo.com/yep/YV_YEP.swf?ver=2.2.46" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="512" height="322" allowFullScreen="true" AllowScriptAccess="always" bgcolor="#000000" flashVars="id=6014357&vid=1819658&lang=en-gb&intl=uk&thumbUrl=http%3A//l.yimg.com/a/p/i/bcst/videosearch/1260/55596320.jpeg&embed=1" ></embed></object><br /><a href="http://uk.video.yahoo.com/watch/1819658/6014357">How To Sharpen A Knife: Gordon Ramsay</a> @ <a href="http://uk.video.yahoo.com" >Yahoo! Video</a></div>
It's funny that most are so biased against electric sharpeners and I was prepared to be disappointed in the results when I started using one. However, I have to say I have no complaints. I've used the same Victorinox chef's knife for the past 10 years with no noticeable degradation in the blade. I do however avoid using the roughest grind of the 3 available and generally only use the 3rd or mildest setting which is in essence a strop setting. I run it through 2 or 3 times on each side just to finely hone the blade. Onions are my barometer. If I can cut without tears, it's good to go. But don't tell GR please. I don't want him on my back...


I started buying some more expensive knives than the $10 walmart specials. I have a 7" Culinary Institute of America (CIA) santoku which I use the most, a henckels cleaver which for some reason is more useful than I originally thought and 8" Wustoff classic. Anyways, I was visiting my folks in Toronto a few weeks ago and bought a sharpening stone for three bucks. Now I am concerned that I might somehow ruin the blades on my better knives - using a "cheap stone". Is there anyway to tell if it's a good stone or are stones "all made the same" - it seems that all stones can't be the same.

My dad, who is old school eastern european, insists that I let him use his electric grinder to sharpen them. He did it once for me before with my cheap knives and I have never used a sharper knife in my life. However, now that I am possessed by my possessions, I can't let him potentially sharpen the "good" knives as he might ruin them so I am now have to learn to do it myself. I realize that this isn't a big deal to some, but keeping sharp knives is a must have for my kitchen. Looking for anything that might help here.
I've only used a manual sharpener, which came with a set of Chicago Cutlery when my husband & I married 15 years ago.
Resonate123, what type of sharpening stone is it? My hubby has a couple India stones (which he got at a machine shop he was working for. You should be able to get them from any hardware store or tool and die supplier. MSC, or McMaster Carr) that he uses on my knives. It uses just a drop of regular liquid dishwashing soap on it, and then run the blade at an angle from tip to base back and forth in a sliding pattern. Make sure to do both sides and an even number of strokes. If the blades are really rounded over you may need to start with a bench mounted belt sander to set the angle and then hone with the stones. Here is a picture or two.....
here is a photo....
Resonate123, I have other photos but having a time getting them to post. PM if you want me to send them to you
I only use a WMF two-step ceramic knife sharpener on my knives. It has two wheels set in groves, on what looks like a handlebar. It works so easy, first you push and pull the knife in the #1 grove, shaping the edge, pre-honing, so to speak. And then you do the same in the #2 grove, honing the edge really nice. The best thing about this device is that anyone can use without any previous knowledge! And a pretty low risk of injuries!
Here's a link to the WMF homepage: WMF Knife Sharpener
And a picture too!
[Image: 1874376030_Messerschaerfer_Gourmet.JPG]

And one very important thing when it comes to keeping your knives as sharp as possible: When you've cut tomatoes, rinse the knife ASAP. Tomato juice is very tough on knives, high acidity that is like, duh, acid on the steel!
(02-16-2010 11:26 AM)Brutus Wrote: [ -> ]Electric or manual sharpeners...What's best?


I send out my knives to get sharpened, I found this company after I inquired where the local butcher sends there knives, they charge me 1 dollar a knife, I maintain with a steel, be careful they are sharp.
I've only ever used manual (my preference) but now I take them in every so often and have a pro take care of it. The cost is minimal and I know I get nice sharp knives back.
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