f

finalera's Profile

Title Last Reply

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Sorry for the late reply.

I didn't really have the time to dive into a sharpening session for the last two days. Now that I've done this a couple times, I understand I'm gonna need at least an hour of time to spare... and energy, as well. I feel pretty depleted, afterward...

It's like I went for a run at the park... just without the cardiovascular/health benefits and the consequential boost of endorphin to raise my mood.

Today, I swiped the blade 60X on the medium rod and 30X on the fine rod. It still couldn't cut paper, as effortlessly as I've seen such action on videos. With the right angle and holding the paper more firmly, it sorta cuts and tears through it. But it's not a clean slice, like Fruit Ninja or anything.

However, since the last sharpening session, I've noticed that the knife has improved in performance. It definitely clings to the apples, better... I slice apples on a daily basis for my green smoothies...

So in conclusion, there is somewhat of a noticeable improvement in the knife's edge. But is it razor sharp, or "scary sharp"? Not by a long shot.

Mar 30, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Right.

What do knife sharpeners use? Do they have a specially expensive setup that makes sharpening knives efficient?

I'm assuming they're not just charging $7 to work on your blunt knife on a bunch of whetstones for an hour...

Mar 30, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Gah, if it were up to me, I'd get the Edge Pro. From the demos I've seen, it seems like you can grind the heck out of your knife in no time with such setup. But I shouldn't... I already own a lot of junk, as is, and I'm trying to be a minimalist. Who knows how long my obsession with knife-sharpening is gonna last...

Besides, I live with two women (mother and sister). They can justify spending $2,000 for a handbag, but if I brought up buying a knife sharpener for a couple hundy, they'd go batshit.

Mar 30, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Cleaning the stones are an incredible hassle, I may add.

Takes me around 10 minutes to scrub down all the rods.

Mar 30, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Thanks for that additional tidbit on the 30/40 degree bevel grinding. Very important to consider.

And thanks for clarifying the burr removal aspect of knife sharpening.

I'll give my knife another sharpening session tomorrow. As I told LaurelQ, it's improving by small margins... not leaps and bounds.

Question: How much does a typical knife sharpener charge per knife? 'Cause I'm wondering if it's just more economical to send my knife to one of them. Seems like each knife takes hours and hours to acquire a razor edge. Why not just leave 'em to a knife sharpener for like $7?

Mar 27, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

I can't imagine anything ever taking 5 minutes to sharpen, unless it's a 2-inch pocket knife that was used for the Sharpmaker demo.

That said, I gave the Henkels another sharpening session today.

60 passes on the medium rods, and then 30 passes on the fine rods.

The entire process took around 45 minutes.

The improvement - if any - was minor. It clings a little better to the paper. I wouldn't say it's "scary" sharp by any stretch of the imagination.

I tried slicing some apples. I slice apples extremely thin and extremely fast. The traction on the skin was improved, so I guess it's getting better, but the performance upgrade of my chopping action was minimal, at best.

Will sharpen again, tomorrow.

Mar 27, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Thanks, I watched the video and read the subsection. I'll try to look out for the "burr" on my next trial.

For the Henkels, I'm not using the 15 degree angle. I'm using the 20. I know it's not a Shun, so I've been grinding it on the 40 degree setup.

The manual also suggests to grind the knife's back bevel to 15 degrees, and then sharpen at 20 degrees, if all else fails. I haven't resorted to that quite yet.

I also cleaned my rods after the sharpening session today, so I'll give it a go later on tomorrow and update ya'll regarding any progress - or lack thereof.

As far as removing the burr on the final step, I highly doubt it. I grind my knives while standing, just to make sure my knife is perpendicular to the base. In general, I'm not a sloppy, careless technician.

BTW I'm "finalera," so I'm assuming you were refering to LaureltQ. Well noted.

Mar 26, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Thanks, I didn't know it would take that much effort to sharpen a stinkin knife.

I saw a YouTube video of a guy effortlessly producing what looked like a razor edge, simply with a ceramic mug.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi2gzC...

Then again, I'm starting to suspect that it's BS. My knives can't even slice the paper like it shows when his knife is supposedly blunt... look how smooth he cuts it until he purposely jams the knife and drags it across the paper to show how rough it is...

What do you guys think?

Can a knife really go from blunt to razor sharp in what seems like 4 or 5 swipes on a ceramic mug? If so, Spyderco needs to watch that video and learn.

BTW I used Ajax to clean out the clogged rods. I can already tell the difference between clogged rods and clean ones. There's more traction with clean rods, and a distinct abrasive sound when you run your knife across it. With the clogged rods, it's more like you're sliding the knife...

Mar 25, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

Thanks for the informative response.

I don't know how to spot the burr on my knife. Is this something you can see with the naked eye? I noticed all of your pictorial examples, were sketched.

I tried running my fingers across the edge, and I couldn't tell if there was a burr or not. I'm not versed enough in knife sharpening to discern the difference, at this point.

As for my knife, it's a Zwilling Henkels I got from Macy's. It's not the supbar stuff from Target. I probably paid more for it, than it was really worth, but it's definitely the more costly line. It came in a set that was around $200, and each knife is stamped Zwilling Henkels with the twin signature. I think the full name is J.A. Zwilling Henkels, or something. It has that full name on the chefs knife.

Anyway, I tried sharpening it again, today. This time, 50X @ 40 degrees with the medium rods. And then 20X with the fine rods. If there was an improvement, it was extremely minimal. It still can't slice through paper... but sometimes it clings... I would assume the knife got sharper, just because you can't run a knife through rods or sharpening stones at a decent angle, and not make it sharper. It's just the laws of physics.

My only problem is the Sharpmaker's efficiency. So far, it does what a bunch of rods are supposed to do, when you grind your knife through it. But I've yet to experience the "OMG-this-works-way-better-than-it-looks" typa eureka.

It is what it is, at this point. A bunch of rods, with a setup that helps you visually maintain a perpendicular angle to the base.

Thanks again, and I will give the same Henkels another sharpening session tomorrow. I'm still sore from yesterday's efforts, so I can't go at it for more than half an hour. I'm lefthanded, and for me, it's easy to swipe the right side of the edge... it's feels natural. But swiping the left side of the edge, takes considerable more effort, because I'm exerting pressure outward... it almost becomes a deltoid workout.

Mar 25, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

I just got the Sharpmaker today. Here's my new post, if you're interested...

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/774343

Mar 25, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Anybody have a Spyderco Sharpmaker?

It just arrived for me today, and so far, I'm not impressed.

I watched the instructional DVD, and it was alright. I was hoping they'd show the guy sharpen a chefs knife from blunt-as-a-brick to razor edge, but instead, he sharpens the "camera guy's" 2-inch pocket knife.

You're kidding me, right?

Anyway, I tried sharpening a cheap 12" chefs knife to give this thing a shot. I don't even know how old the knife is, but I looked in the drawer, and it looked like the worst knife of the bunch. I'm very nearsighted, and when I zoom in on it, I can literally see the jagged edge. It's been used and abused for probably a decade+.

After swiping at the assortment of rods, 20X per side on 40 degrees, I tried cutting paper, and the knife failed miserably. This was worst than the demos they show of blunt knives. Usually the "blunt" knives in demos can slice through paper... just not as efficiently. The only way for me to slice paper with this knife, is for me to hold it steady and firm. If the paper is just loose and flimsy, the edge is not sharp enough to cling to the paper. It'll just punch it away.

So I tried repeating the process. Still the same result. I don't notice any improvement when I try to slice through paper.

Repeat the process for the 3rd time. Same result.

I thought, perhaps you need to sharpen it at 30 degrees for it to slice through paper. This time, I swipe 40X on each side. The whole process is very grueling, and my hands are cramping up.

No noticeable improvement.

I finally give in and conclude that this knife is so bruised and battered, that it's beyond the Sharpmaker's capabilities. Maybe an Edge Pro can restore it. Maybe a swordsmith. Who knows... it's a lost cause.

So I move on to a 12" Henkels chefs knife. I've owned it for 2 years, and it's never been sharpened, but the blade is still in decent condition. No warping, no jagged edge... but it's pretty blunt, at this point.

I swipe it 40X on each side of the rods at 40 degrees.

It cuts paper as well as the previous knife... in other words, it can't.

I repeat the process. 20X on this go, exerting more pressure this time.

No noticeable improvement.

So far, I'm pretty disappointed. I'll try it again tomorrow. Maybe my technique will improve, or maybe this thing needs "breaking-in" before it really starts responding. I don't know... but I feel like I've been pretty patient with it, despite a serious lack of progress or incentive to reinforce my efforts.

I just don't understand how something like this warrants 4.5 star reviews on Amazon by hundreds of customers. I read one review that said he or she was looking around the house for things to sharpen, presumably because it was so rewarding and effective. At the rate I'm going, I would not look forward to sharpening anything on the Sharpmaker.

It's dreadful, tedious, futile, unproductive, and my back hurts.

Mar 25, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

Thanks! Will do.

Mar 12, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

Yeah, someone told me about Lansky. They actually recommended it to me, so I went to Amazon, where a reviewer referenced that it's not as safe as the Spyderco.

Long story short, here I am.

Mar 12, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

Thanks.

Yeah, I've never bought any knife sharpening kit before, so it's gonna be relatively easy to impress me. I just want sharp knives. I'm not looking to become an obsessed swordsmith. I have enough interests, as is, to keep me busy.

Mar 10, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

Yeah, read that review on Amazon before. I guess you just have to hope he received a defective product... 'cause I don't think the Spyderco has any legitimate rivals in that price range. It's either the Spyderco or one of those quick-fix swiping knife sharpeners (Chefs Choice Pronto).

There's electrical, but the decent ones seem to ring in the $100+ range... but if you're gonna spend that much, why not Edge Pro, which is widely considered the best knife sharpener available, because you get the holy grail "mirror edge."

PS: Thanks for posting those articles!

Mar 10, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

Thanks everybody. Seems like Spyderco is the best bang for the buck in the $50 price range. Anything better is the Edge Pro, but those go for triple the cost, and depending on the set, could cost substantially more.

For now, I'll just settle for Spyderco. Thanks again!

Mar 09, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

Thanks, I guess I'll get the Spyderco, after all.

Mar 08, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

Could you please elaborate?

I'm looking for more detailed responses, in terms of why one would choose Spyderco over the Chefs Choice Pronto 463 / 464.

Is it that much better? Do you ever find the Spyderco process tedious?

Mar 07, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife Sharpeners - Spyderco Sharpmaker vs Chefs Choice Pronto

I'm look for a decent, bang-for-the-buck knife sharpener.

I have several cheap knives, some Henkels, and a Shun 12" chefs knife.

So far, I've narrowed my search to two models.

Spyderco Sharpmaker - It seems like the authentic way to sharpen a knife. It just seems more legit. I haven't heard any bad reviews of it, despite countless resources and reviews on it. Overall, a very decent, bang-for-the-buck knife sharpener that works for most knives. It offers the 30 degree angle for the Shun (and other Asian-style blades) and I believe 45 for general western knives (like my Henkels). Costs around $50 and you get a bunch of rods for customizing your edge.

Chefs Choice Pronto - It seems like the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am approach to knife sharpening. You just stick your knife between the slots and take a couple swipes. It has two slots - one for coarse and another for polish/honing. There are plenty of other knife sharpeners like this, but this offers two slots, as opposed to the usual one. It just seems more legit, than something like Accusharp. That said, the cost is close to the Spyderco Sharpmaker. It's $40 at Amazon, and they have two types - 463 model for 15 degree edge (Asian-style) and 464 model for general western knives. Purchasing both (one for my Henkels and other cheap knives, and one for my Shun) would add up to $80. Reviews for the 464 are mixed, but the reviews for the 463 model are praiseworthy. I haven't found any other knife sharpeners of this quick-fix variety for Shun (and other Asian-style knives) with glowing reviews.

So what do you guys think is the better investment?

On one hand, Spyderco seems cheaper and more versatile. And it's pretty authentic - very manually involved. But I don't fancy taking 20+ minutes to sharpen a knife, everytime they go blunt.

With Chefs Choice Pronto, it should take two or three minutes, max, to sharpen a blade. But again, I've never owned these quick-fix sharpeners, and I have no idea how they stack up with something more traditional like Spyderco.

What do you guys think? Is the Spyderco that much better, that I should invest the extra time to sharpen my knives? Or is Chefs Choice Pronto good enough to be a suitable investment?

Mar 07, 2011
finalera in Cookware

Knife sharpening classes in Los Angeles?

Thanks, it's definitely an option.

Jun 26, 2010
finalera in Cookware

Knife sharpening classes in Los Angeles?

Thank you so much for all your help. I know you're just trying to be as informative as possible, and I truly appreciate your efforts, but all of this has just overwhelmed me, and I think I'll be better off sending my knives off to KAI LOL.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still interested in learning how to sharpen my own knives, but the amount of knowledge and craftsmanship required, seems endless, due to blade types, angles, and the various grits used to sharpen knives. Just purchasing the tools alone, will probably ring up a $500 tab, if not more. And usually when I get into something, I commit to it 100%. I know you're saying that unless we're obsessed about it like knife enthusiasts, we just need to stick to basics, but by that logic, why not just send my knives off to KAI for a basic treatment?

Perhaps in the future, when an opportunity to learn knife sharpening through an interactive lesson, comes up, I'll be on board. For now, I guess I'll just do what everyone else is doing and ship my knives to KAI.

My only question is, "Do I need to call them or something first?" It just says to send it to the adress, but what if I do, and they tell me they never received it? I guess I'll have to insure it...

Jun 26, 2010
finalera in Cookware

Knife sharpening classes in Los Angeles?

Thanks for the prompt and informative replies. Those are some great resources, no doubt, but it seems the more I learn about it, the more technical knife sharpening is.

Hence, the reason why I was looking for more of an interactive lesson in knife sharpening. I guess if I was really dedicated to learning knife sharpening, I can learn it through tons of trial and error. I was thinking of something more efficient.

Question: Do you sharpen your own knives? And how did you learn?

Jun 25, 2010
finalera in Cookware

Knife sharpening classes in Los Angeles?

That's really cool. I guess I'll consider that option.

Could you expand on the part, where you said I can put an even better edge, than KAI (the company itself)? How or why is that the case? I would assume the company has state of the art sharpeners/sharpening tools.

That said, if I were to learn how to sharpen knives myself, where can I go?

Jun 25, 2010
finalera in Cookware

Knife sharpening classes in Los Angeles?

Does anybody know where I can learn how to sharpen my kitchen knives in the LA area?

I thought of just dropping them off somewhere, from time to time, but I also noticed everybody warning against dropping off Shun knives. From what I've read, if you have Shun knives, you just gotta learn to sharpen it yourself.

So does anybody know of such a place? Or anybody who offers private lessons at an affordable cost?

Jun 25, 2010
finalera in Cookware