Knife Sharpeners, The World's Finest
Professional Knife Sharpening
A Guide To Professional Knife Sharpeners and knife sharpeners for the rest of us.
If you do any kind of search for professional knife sharpeners or just knife sharpeners, you will discover that there are a large number of them on the market today and many do work. You may have also discovered that many do not work very well or are hard to use and some will even do serious damage to a blade. As I find the time, I will try to write about the ones that stand out from the crowd.
Just a short note on some of the knife sharpeners that are better off left alone. Some of the can openers had a knife sharpener incorporated into the system and most of these would chew up a knife blade in short order. This same system is being used very widely in automatic knife sharpening systems today and although somewhat improved over the can opener still leave me with the shudders.
Another one is the carbide cutters that drag off a sliver of steel from the knifes edge. The knife will get just about as sharp as a can lid with great sacrifice of steel with each stroke.
Now let's start with the best.
The Blade Sharpener by EZESharp is one of my newest finds and it is a very precise and yet rugged hand knife sharpener.
This professional knife sharpener hails from Australia and is being widely used in the home kitchens, work shops and even finds use in the meat packing industry throughout Asia.
These professional knife sharpeners use 1 by 2 by 8 inch double sided or single sided bench stones and the system uses either a flip over or wedge fixture that keeps you on the proper angle and the guide uses a wide slot with rollers so that you can sharpen a longer blade without re-clamping.
Two things that I like about this sharpener is the secure way the the system clamps to the bench and the secure way that the blade clamps into the system. This leaves both hands free for a precise control of the stone and stone guide.
This would be a great choice for any kitchen and the best choice for daily maintenance of hard working knives such as a fishing boat, packing plant or large commercial kitchens. This system will find a lot of use in the work shop as well and is a very versatile machine that will give you more for your buck than any other sharpener on the market.
The Edge Pro system is now becoming the rage in America and abroad and has a great following. As I have described already on other pages, it is very easy to use and gives very accurate and sharp edges.
diamond knife sharpeners if used properly will remove steel very quickly and will last a long time. If not used correctly will self destruct in a very few strokes. I would agree with some that you should only use diamonds with very hard blades such as the newer steels in the 60 plus Rockwell C range or the ceramic blades.
The diamonds are held on to the substrate either by plating with nickel or epoxy. Epoxy will wear quickly and is not recommended. Nickel is a better choice and it will wear at a much slower rate. Excessive pressure will remove steel faster from the knife edge but will allow the nickel to wear at a faster rate as well and weaken the hold on the diamond chips. It will also allow the diamonds to plow deep enough into the blade steel and imbed, therefore dislodging the diamonds and then the following strokes are diamond to diamond.
If you do use diamond sharpeners, use lighter strokes and resist the temptation to use diamonds on softer steels.
It is very difficult to maintain a good working edge with most of the motorized knife sharpeners on the market.
The edge on a chef knife needs to contact the cutting board in order for it to do its job and the electric sharpeners can not remove the steel from the bolster in order to keep the edge even or straight. It also grinds a divot into the area just ahead of the bolster because this is where you start at and this momentary contact in one spot becomes a low spot.
When I sharpen a chef knife, I always start by lowering the bolster, checking the blade for nicks or divots and grinding the blades edge to make it straight or even before sharpening the blade. Try this with a drag it through electric or any drag it through knife sharpener.
I have been thinking about developing a small belt grinder for those who want to boost their production or for those who are considering sharpening knives on the side for a little extra income.
When I do find the system or the components to build the system, I will have it up for sale.
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