I'm a fairly experienced home cook and I'm looking to upgrade to a good quality chef's knife. I'm thinking about getting a Japanese knife (e.g. a Shun Classic) but I've heard they can take a long time to sharpen using whetstones, on the order of 45 minutes to an hour.
So if anyone out there has experience with one of these knives I'd like to know how often and how long you sharpen them. I know there are a lot of factors that determine the answer, so you can make the following assumptions:
- Japanese style knife
- Rockwell hardness in the 60 - 62 range
- I'll probably be used a total of 1 - 2 hours per week
- Mostly cutting fruit, vegetables and soft meat, no bones
- I'll be using whetstones of 1000 grit, 3000 grit, and a leather strop
- I want the knife to be pretty darn sharp
- I don't plan to let it get all that dull. I'd rather have frequent, shorter sessions than fewer long ones
If you're not comfortable with the above question, how about this one?
Do any home cooks out there own a Japanese knife that they sharpen with whetstones? If so, about how often do you sharpen it and how long does it take to get it pretty sharp?