I dropped off off a bunch of high-end Henckels knives, a Japanese knife with a German stainless steel blade and an older Japanese knife with a carbon steel blade at Kiya about a week ago to be sharpened.
It takes a week for the knives to be sharpened, apparently because they sharpen all of them by hand. Off in one corner of store is some poor guy that just sits there and whets knives all day long. Shakeycam pic below.
With the exception of the Japanese carbon steel blade, all of the knives came back a little duller than I would have expected. They were sharp, without question, but they give a little bit more resistance than I would have hoped cutting into onions, radishes and other tough foods.
Shizuo Tsuji attributes this to the type of steel used to make the blade. Stainless steel blades “lose their edge quickly and resist honing” while a carbon steel blade “dulls relatively slowly, if well taken care of, and is easy to sharpen.”
Of course, Tsuji also has a foreign-skis-won’t-work-on-Japanese-snow moment a few sentences later:
There is a school of thought that Western whetstones are not appropriate for Japanese steel. This is logical, since Japanese whetstones were chosen over centuries to hone Japanese steel.
I’ve heard that when you use an evil foreign whetstone with a Japanese blade, it actually makes it duller! Watch out!!!Posted by pmk at February 29, 2004 10:01 PM | TrackBack