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There are several posts that get close to this but I am looking for a specific knife(ves)/sharpener(s) combo(s) that can be used routinely and that work(s) well. My opinion is in this answer.

  • It's not clear to me whether the product in your linked post is an actual sharpener or if they're just as confused as everyone else about the difference between sharpening and honing. My guess is the latter. – GalacticCowboy Jul 15 '10 at 22:17
  • No, they are certainly not confused. These are great products and are exactly what they claim them to be. You may be confused between actually sharpening a low quality knife and a high quality knife. The below answers do this exact question justice... – nicorellius Jul 15 '10 at 22:43
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If you're using cheap knives (which you suggest to the answer you linked to, and I admit, I have quite a few), feel free to sharpen them yourself ... I have both a stick-style diamond dust sharpener, and a set of whet stones.

But I don't sharpen my good kitchen knives myself, and I tend to go a few years between sharpenings (but I also have two chef knives and a santuko, which get the majority of the use, but it's spread across three of 'em, so they likely don't get as much wear if I only had one) ... but I agree with @hobodave -- I hone 'em, but I'm not going to sharpen them myself.

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If you have top quality knives, I generally discourage the use of any do-it-yourself sharpeners. I take my knives yearly to a professional knife sharpener who puts that amazing 17 degree edge back on my Shun knives.

In between sharpening you should be using a quality honing steel every time you use your knife.

Additionally, your knives shouldn't need routine sharpening. Unless you intend routine to mean every 6-18 months. If you're sharpening knives more frequently than that, you're doing it wrong. From what I've seen the quality sharpeners on the market are just too expensive to justify their space in my kitchen. Maybe if I charged friends for sharpening services?

  • 17 degrees is a very obtuse edge to have on a shun (unless you are talking the softer Wasabi series). And some japanese knife types just need to be very sharp to work, and would be sharpened daily in professional use, and probably monthly or after heavy use in a hobbyist kitchen. – rackandboneman Aug 19 '16 at 15:07
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The best sharpener is the old italian man in a van who comes by on Saturday morning ringing his bell.

If you have good knives, don't try to sharpen them yourself. You need a grinder with the exactly right stone on it, and you need to have destroyed a couple hundred practice blades before you get the technique right.

I get my knives sharpened every 18-24 months, and steel them about 15 strokes per side before use.

  • A "grinder" (as in, a powered device) is rarely needed, and indeed not recommendable for non-professionals - even many professionals use them wrongly and damage knives. – rackandboneman Jan 13 '17 at 10:13

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