Knife sharpeners

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Palfrem

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With Sunday lunch over, I have decided I need to buy a decent knife sharpener.

I have little success with a traditional steel and must have bought loads of cheap gadgets over the years.

Can anyone recommend a good quality item that will put a good edge on my knives and last a reasonable amount of time.

eBay is awash with stuff ranging from a few quid to over £100.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance
 
A good knife and a good steel are all you need.

A poor quality steel will not properly sharpen any knife. A poor knife will not properly sharpen whatever you use.

I know, because I was Made In Sheffield.
 
Knife sharpening is not an easy thing to do properly, and most commercial gadgets simply cause the surface to serrate making the knife progressively more difficult to keep sharp. I use whetstones to get my knives sharp and then use a ceramic steel to put an edge on when needed - the latter is considerably better than a steel, I have found.
 
The "St Delia" method - use a decent steel, but instead of holding it in one hand flapping around in the air, hold it vertically with the point pressed hard into a chopping board, then strop the knife down each side of the steel. For the amateur sharpener like me, it gives far better control of the steel and the honing angle!
 
Just need practice with a knife steel. Maybe look on youtube for a video guide or ask someone experienced to show you how?

Once you've cracked it, a sharp knife every time - the trick I feel is 'little and often', don't let the edge get too blunt before you start.

Only needs few seconds every now and then to keep a good edge.

Also - I wouldn't recommend putting sharpened knives in a dishwasher, and consider the type of chopping board that you use them with - wood/plastic not too bad, marble/granite etc blunts the blades very quickly.

Will
 
I asked my local butcher and he kindly agreed to show me the correct technique, and it is all in the technique!
 
What a form - a few minutes later and lots of good suggestions. Thank you all.

I have a number of good quality german knives and they are all a bit serrated now after using a (not cheap) gadget with two small triangular metal "blades" that you rotae via a small screw when the blade is no longer improved by drwaing it through the vee.

I like to look of Beetnik's suggestion - but I do like a good gadget though!

Thanks again everyone - I'll let you know how I get on.
 
Once you have got a good edge on the knife, a couple of strokes with whatever sharpener you use every time you use it is the way to keep it sharp. Let it go blunt (like SWMBO does :devil:) and you're back to square one.
 
Just need practice with a knife steel. Maybe look on youtube for a video guide or ask someone experienced to show you how?

Once you've cracked it, a sharp knife every time - the trick I feel is 'little and often', don't let the edge get too blunt before you start.

Only needs few seconds every now and then to keep a good edge.

Also - I wouldn't recommend putting sharpened knives in a dishwasher, and consider the type of chopping board that you use them with - wood/plastic not too bad, marble/granite etc blunts the blades very quickly.

Will

That's the conclusion I came to when I got a knife sharpener before Christmas. If there's no edge on the blade, a steel isn't going to help you. A steel will only hone the blade and remove the tiny burrs that occur after use, preventing a razor sharp edge.

I'm very happy with this; it's pretty foolproof and does what any commercial sharpener will do. Then the key is to use a steel with the correct technique, as Will says, little and often. You shouldn't have to make use of the sharpener (in the domestic setting) more that 2/3 times a year.
 

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