Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
Welcome to the Wicked Edge forum!

Tell us and our members who you are, what you like and why you became a member of this site.
We welcome all new members and hope to see you around a lot!

TOPIC: Introduction to Wicked Edge

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 1 week ago #15061

  • theandyman0
  • theandyman0's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 13
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Hi all,

I just ordered a Pro-pack 1 setup so while I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival I thought I'd stop in and introduce myself. I'm fairly new to knives and definitely new to sharpening. In fact I'd venture the guess that I'll be the least experienced guy on here for a little while. But I'm of the mind to do it right the first time rather than fiddling with the cheap sets and getting discouraged. 

Awhile ago I got a real nice set of Calphalon's Katana series kitchen knives. Not necessarily the top option out there but still definitely nice enough that I want to treat them right, especially since many of the ones I got were discontinued. So I guess that will be my main utility for this sharpener, but certainly won't be the only thing I'll use it for. So the first bit of advice I could use would be what kind of angle would you guys recommend I start with? It's Japanese VG-1 at the core, and according to the one and only bit of solid information I could find, they're set at 22° from the factory, but this reviewer recommended going with 15°. Would you guys agree? Or somewhere in between.

And maybe more importantly, how does one find out the true hardness of a blade? I know the steel type is only one piece of the puzzle, but is the rest just guessing from the feel of them? These are great but a couple of them don't seem to hold an edge quite like I would've expected.

Also, how smooth do you guys go with your kitchen knives? Leave a bit of tooth, like say stop after 800 or 1000 grit for the slicers? 1000+ stropping for choppers?

I also just bought the lady a nice double bladed mezzaluna for Christmas, which was actually what convinced me to not wait any longer on ordering this sharpener. It's a nice knife but came with a very poor edge so I'm eager to find a way to get that to work in the Wicked Edge. From the looks of it it should be simple enough to remove the left side of the vice and clamp it to the right side somehow. But considering their specific use, I think this knife might be the most important to get the mirror finish on the edge. So I wonder if I might do well to order the 1200/1600s right away or if this PP1 kit will do me well for now.

Any tips you have are welcome, and in the meantime I'm off to dig up as many junker knives as I can find for practice. Cheers!
Last Edit: 8 months 1 week ago by theandyman0.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 1 week ago #15062

  • LeoBarr
  • LeoBarr's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 687
  • Thank you received: 237
  • Karma: 33
Hi there I just googled your knives they look to be a pretty good quality set . Most knives of this sort -Shun or Global are sharpened at about 15-16Ëš.
One thing I would say to bear in mind is that the steel is likely to be brittle so a certain level of care should be taken in their use. It may be worth looking at some videos of how Japanese knives are used . In general they are not to be used on bones hard seeds or squashes unless you specifically have a boning knife also a good quality board helps some of the best are end grain boards the BoardSmith makes some great boards .
Another thing to bear in mind is there should be a good smooth transition from spine to edge if you feel corners at the top of the bevel it may be necessary to thin the knife a little.
I take it that you have not sharpened them yet so they should be fairly slender at the edge .
Do find some junk knives to start on I would not recommend touching your good ones until you have probable sharpened 20 knives this is both to break in the diamonds and to get familiar with the WE .
There is a lot of knowledge in these posts on these forums and then there is an awful lot more on both You Tube and the Net you can learn a lot from all techniques of sharpening not only the guided type of sharpening!
Keep posting questions and pictures so that you are understood but do a load of cheep junk knives to begin with once they are sharp you can blunt them with a bastard file and start again there is only so much you can learn through watching etc the real learning is through the experience of doing it no one description will render everything you need to know.
I would recommend watching as many You Tube Videos featuring the WE as possible . I think you should find most of the answers probable do one or two knives to formulate your questions and research the answers those you cannot find on the net post them here with pictures if possible its a friendly site and people will do their best to help you .
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: razoredgeknives, theandyman0, Mint427

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 1 week ago #15066

  • razoredgeknives
  • razoredgeknives's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 789
  • Thank you received: 366
  • Karma: 39
Welcome to the forum Andy! I'm sure you will love it here :-) you are on the right track, that's for sure!

If you are new to sharpening in general, then you definitely need to Google something like "the principles of knife sharpening" or something, because the principles never change; it doesn't matter if you are using the weps, ep, or just free handing it on a house brick. So yes, there is a learning curve, but if you pay attention, research your questions, and go slowly you will minimize the curve greatly :-)

Also, don't be afraid to make mistakes! That's how you learn... Just try not to do it on your expensive knives :-)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 1 week ago #15067

  • mark76
  • mark76's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 1235
  • Thank you received: 388
  • Karma: 86
Hi Andyman,

Welcome to the forum! And don’t hesitate to ask any more questions.

Your Calphalon knives should withstand 15 degrees. And probably even lower. It’s more a question of how careful you have to be with them afterwards. The lower the angle, the easier the edge is going to chip or roll. If 15 degrees is too low, you can easily go higher (or put a microbevel on the edge).

Finding out the actual hardness of a blade is quite uhh… hard. There exist nifty machines for doing this, but these are quite expensive.

How people finish their knives is really dependent on the person themselves. One person likes their knives toothy, others like ‘em very smooth. I sharpen knives for a restaurant in my neighbourhood and the chefs’ preferences vary from 600K to 10K finishes.

You’d like to get it right the first time, but before you know what’s right, you have to know what you want. So I’m afraid you’ll have to do some experimentation :-) .

If you want a true mirror finish, the 1K stones are not sufficient. But, to be honest, the ceramic stones will also only get you on the way, but not a true mirror. There are ppl here who claim that only a 10K Chosera will give you a mirror finish, but in my experience stropping with WE paste after the ceramic stones also works quite well.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 1 week ago #15118

  • theandyman0
  • theandyman0's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 13
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Thanks, guys, for chiming in. I've been spending the last several days watching videos and reading the forums whenever I have any free time, and you're right there's plenty to learn! I think I've got a basic understanding of things at this point, a starting point at least. But there are a couple things I'm curious about.

First, is it counter productive to go backwards on the grit comparison chart when switching from stones to strops? I get that they have different functions and behaviors - stones do the work and strops are a finishing tool, essentially - but let's say I decide to add the 1200/1600 or the micro ceramics to my collection. Would I then want to stop using my "larger" 5/3.5 micron strops and move straight to a 1/.5 set? Judging by the pictures I think I'd do well to keep using them, but if the few scratches that remain are going to be deeper than what is left by the ceramics, then maybe not.

Also, I've seen several people on here say they prefer or recommend going straight to the 1.4m/.6m micro fine ceramics vs the 1200/1600 super fine - that it's not too big of a jump for from the 1000 diamond. Others have said that the 1.4m is actually functionally coarser than the 1200. But I've never seen a real explanation. Anyone care to clarify that one to me? By the numbers it seems I would be better to buy both... And then the same question would apply to following the micro fine stones with the coarser strops.

Honestly, I can really see me moving straight the the chosera stones once I really get into this, so those two questions might be a bit moot anyway. But as I said before, for now this sharpener will be serving mostly a purpose of utility rather than cosmetics so I think I'll be ok with what I've already ordered for a good long while.

As for my Katana knives, I should say that they are still by far the best knives I've ever owned, and came right out of the box very sharp by my previous standards. The ones I use for meats are actually still very sharp. It's just the ones that I use daily for lemons and different fibrous things that seems to be dying quicker than I had expected. I've gotten fairly good with the steel and that helped for awhile but not so much anymore which leads me to believe that a sharper angle might be the way to go, even though it might require more care. And yes, I completely agree about the quality of the board playing a big part in all of this. When I bought these knives I also treated myself to a very nice, but huge, John Boos board, and just recently bought a second smaller one as well.

I also just got the tracking number for my WEPS set - looks like it'll be here on Monday. So in the coming weeks I'll be sure to put my more educated questions in their proper categories.

Thanks again!


Last Edit: 8 months 1 week ago by theandyman0.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 1 week ago #15120

  • mark76
  • mark76's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 1235
  • Thank you received: 388
  • Karma: 86
theandyman0 wrote:
Would I then want to stop using my "larger" 5/3.5 micron strops and move straight to a 1/.5 set?

No. The 5/3.5 micron strops work perfectly after the 1200/1600 stones. The micron size spec may not be entirely correct or it may be the "burnishing" they deliver, but these strops give a beautiful mirror finish after the 1200/1600 stones (although, according to Phil, it is not a mirror ;) ). Also see moleculepolishing.wordpress.com/category/stropping/ .
Others have said that the 1.4m is actually functionally coarser than the 1200. But I've never seen a real explanation. Anyone care to clarify that one to me? By the numbers it seems I would be better to buy both...

I guess the simple explanation is that the 1.4 micron stones are not really 1.4 micron. I think the communis opinio here is that the 1.4 micron stones are coarser than the 1200 grit ones and that the 0.6 micron stones are finer than the 1600 grit ones. But, to be honest, these stones are quite similar and if you're on a budget, just one pair of them will do.
I also just got the tracking number for my WEPS set - looks like it'll be here on Monday.

Hah! That's just before Xmas. Happy Christmas! (And to me, the WEPS and Xmas go together very well: I love having a few days off and sharpen a my knives in a relaxed way. Sharpening then is Zen to me.)
So in the coming weeks I'll be sure to put my more educated questions in their proper categories.

You're welcome!
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: theandyman0

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 6 days ago #15123

  • theandyman0
  • theandyman0's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 13
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
mark76 wrote:
No. The 5/3.5 micron strops work perfectly after the 1200/1600 stones. The micron size spec may not be entirely correct or it may be the "burnishing" they deliver, but these strops give a beautiful mirror finish after the 1200/1600 stones (although, according to Phil, it is not a mirror ;) ). Also see moleculepolishing.wordpress.com/category/stropping/ .

That's a very helpful blog! Thanks for that, and the rest of your help. Happy Christmas to you, too! Hopefully I get some one-on-one time with my new toy over the break!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Introduction to Wicked Edge 8 months 6 days ago #15125

  • mark76
  • mark76's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 1235
  • Thank you received: 388
  • Karma: 86
I forgot I also wrote two blog posts on the micro fine stones:

moleculepolishing.wordpress.com/2012/07/...fine-ceramic-stones/

and

moleculepolishing.wordpress.com/2012/08/...fine-ceramic-stones/

You might as well take a look at the entire blog :-) .

Merry Christmas!
Last Edit: 8 months 6 days ago by mark76.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Introduction to Wicked Edge 7 months 3 weeks ago #15298

  • theandyman0
  • theandyman0's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 13
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
A quick update now that I've got time to post it. Sure enough, I got my kit right before Christmas and was able to spend a little but of time messing with it on the holiday. I had found a few junk knives (I mean really, REALLY junk!) in our kitchen at work that I wanted to sharpen, but for my first tries I found a four-pack of cheap Farberware steak knives at Walmart for $14. I thought that was a good idea because they were already shaped, uniformly, but weren't anything special or amazingly sharp out of the box. This way I would have a great comparison of before and after, and some in between steps, and wouldn't run into any surprises with trying to fix something before I even got the hang of simple sharpening.

After using it I was very impressed!! I spent some time on one of the steak knives and I don't mind saying, the learning curve was much quicker than I had expected. Honestly, it felt perfectly natural right away and I even got a good speed going. I did slow down for the strops and still managed to slice those a bit, so there's definitely more care required there, but otherwise this thing works about as perfectly as I could imagine. I did definitely note that on the first knife it didn't get nearly as sharp as I was hoping, even going through the whole progression, but I had read of this being common so I wasn't worried. But it was still sharper and looked better than the three I didn't touch.

Since I felt pretty good about using it, I decided to jump right in and try the mezzaluna that I had given the girlfriend for Christmas. That wasn't easy! I'll post a link later for anyone that cares to see it, but after some trial and error I was able to screw it to the Wicked Edge and sharpen (reshape) the edge that was messed up from the factory. Unfortunately the way I screwed it in place meant that it wasn't nearly as stable as it would be in a clamp, but by using my other hand to steady it while I sharpened it with the other, I was able to get a good uniform edge on it with the 100. Since it wasn't completely stable I found myself having to use the sharpie test and put a burr on it through each stone, carefully taking the burr off by running a finer stone along the inside each time. In the end I'm very satisfied with the results, considering, even thought it doesn't look the best. I'll try to post pictures later.

Moving on to the knives from work. These were in terrible shape. One in particular literally had no edge left at all. I don't just mean it was really dull, I mean there was zero evidence of it ever even being sharp to begin with. Which was nice because it gave me the opportunity to start from scratch. I set it up for 18.65° and tore into it with the 100s until I got the chips out of it and then moved through the rest of my set. By the time I was done, now that my stones are pretty well broken in from all the work they did on the mezzaluna, this junky knife came out sharper than I could have ever believed!! I seriously cannot describe how amazed I was... I just kept staring at it! Then I did the other two, which were very similar knives that someone had apparently taken to a grinder to try and sharpen. These went fairly quickly and turned out great as well - one with minimal stropping, and the other with 100 strokes each from the 5.0/3.5 set 1.5° in just to compare. I really see the benefits now of each strop. I cannot wait to get back at it and do the other two Farberware knives now that it's all broken in.

Which I guess brings me to my only real question for anyone that has bothered to read this far. How many strokes do you use in each stone? I know how to start out, looking for the burr and making an even bevel, and I've read all the opinions on how much to strop, but I haven't seen much for the steps in between. I tried doing ten and 20 strokes with each of the subsequent grits, but that didn't seem like enough so I moved to 50. Is that too much?

And I guess also, I've decided to go ahead and order the 1200/1600 stones before I get into my good knives, as well as the 1.0/.5 'roo strops. Anyone care to agree or disagree with this decision before I place the order?
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Time to create page: 0.147 seconds