How to determine the correct tool for sharpening a dull knife?

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Shane68

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Eindhoven
Hello,

I have acquired a 3 in 1 knife sharpener and a honing steel, see attached image

For a given dull knife, how do I know which one to use?
 

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Roll_Bones

Master Chef
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Stone first, then steel each time you use the knife. Once your knife is razor sharp, the steel is to keep it that way. You need to use the steel every time you pull out the knife to use it.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
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Sep 1, 2004
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Massachusetts
RB is right.

The steel is not intended to sharpen, only to keep the edge in good shape. Your 3 in 1 is the sharpener you need. Once the knife is sharp, use the steel every time you wash it and put t away (or just before you use it again) to maintain the sharpened edge.
 

blissful

Executive Chef
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Mar 25, 2008
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If you have this kind....
811ywT2OaUL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
920
to sharpen with some intelligence -
#1 - use the black magic marker trick. 'paint' the cutting edge with marker so when sharpening - using any method - you can see _where_ along the edge you are removing metal...


#2 - get a 10x loupe - so you can clearly see what's happening on the edge.
such as:
https://www.amazon.com/10x-loupe-magnifier/s?k=10x+loupe+magnifier


when you can see precisely the effect of whatever sharpening tool/method you are using - you'll be expert in short order.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
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near Montreal, Quebec
If you have this kind....
811ywT2OaUL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

The labels on the three slots in Shane's picture, read, from top to bottom:

ceramic stone final polish
tungsten steel sharpen
diamond surface prep

So, I am guessing those are the same as in the picture above, that blissful posted.

I would have guessed to start with the diamond, go to the tungsten, and then finish with the ceramic stone.

Aren't there any instructions on or in the package?
 

Badjak

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
142
It depends on your knives as well.
I'm not too keen on sharpeners like this (stone & rod for me).
Japanese knives are generally made of harder steel and their edge is at a different angle than European ones.
Does it specify the angle?
 

Shane68

Assistant Cook
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
Messages
15
Location
Eindhoven
pull the knife through or "sawing" motion?

The labels on the three slots in Shane's picture, read, from top to bottom:

ceramic stone final polish
tungsten steel sharpen
diamond surface prep

So, I am guessing those are the same as in the picture above, that blissful posted.

I would have guessed to start with the diamond, go to the tungsten, and then finish with the ceramic stone.

Aren't there any instructions on or in the package?

It's similar to the one in the image - three slots : diamond prep, tungsten steel sharpen, ceramic stone polish. The instructions are minimal. I hold the handle with my left hand and pull the knife through with my right hand. Is this correct or should I use a "sawing" motion?
 

Shane68

Assistant Cook
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
Messages
15
Location
Eindhoven
:rolleyes:
Stone first, then steel each time you use the knife. Once your knife is razor sharp, the steel is to keep it that way. You need to use the steel every time you pull out the knife to use it.

I tried 3 in 1 sharpener and now the knife cuts food much easier. I tried holding a sheet of paper in one hand and slicing it with the knife but it could not slice cleanly. I understand this is a standard sharpness test. Does mean I am not using the tool correctly?
 
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Badjak

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
142
No sawing motion.
Pull straight through, like one motion.

Test on a cheap knife first.
After that, try cut a tomato. Much easier test than paper
 
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dragnlaw

Site Team
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Waterdown, Ontario
I agree, tomato is the best test.... and I'm sure that paper test is bogus (or at least a trick of some sort).

and your steel is made to draw the blade towards you, scary but that's the way the ridges work. I think the ceramic sharpener is supposed to replace that? not sure.

Have a friend who brought me a ceramic sharpener, with two sides. By the time he finished with all my blades, ouch, they were sharp. Unfortunately every time I used them my blades just got duller. :ermm:
 

jennyema

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Boston and Cape Cod
They taught us the paper test in culinary school

It’s easy to ruin your knives using a knife sharpener like that incorrectly. So make sure you read the directions very carefully. And, as others have said, practice on a cheap knife first.
 

Shane68

Assistant Cook
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
Messages
15
Location
Eindhoven
knife sharpness Paper Cutting Test

I agree, tomato is the best test.... and I'm sure that paper test is bogus (or at least a trick of some sort).

and your steel is made to draw the blade towards you, scary but that's the way the ridges work. I think the ceramic sharpener is supposed to replace that? not sure.

Have a friend who brought me a ceramic sharpener, with two sides. By the time he finished with all my blades, ouch, they were sharp. Unfortunately every time I used them my blades just got duller. :ermm:

I have seen many paper test videos such as this The Ultimate Sharpest Knife In The World Paper Cutting Test My knife is not sharp enough to perform that trick. Is this what you mean by the tomato test -Konosuke HD vs tomatoI see now I have not being using honing steel correctly, thanks for the heads up.
 

Badjak

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
142
Just try slice a tomato without first stabbing the point in it.
You are looking for sharp.

You can go sharper and sharper, but that is not necessary, plus an overly sharp knife dulls very quickly to just being sharp
 

Roll_Bones

Master Chef
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Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,554
Location
Southeast US
I have the Chefs Choice three stage sharpener. I use it about once a year. I use the steel each and every time I pull out a knife.
The electric sharpener works very well but you need to be careful and not overdo it. The beauty of the Chefs Choice is the ability to take a knife that has been misused and bring it back to life. I even once sharpened my machete with it. I will never do that again as I'm certain the sharpener was not intended for such a long heavy blade.....lol

Welcome to the forum Badjak. I mean welcome back.
 
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