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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Provisioning
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Old 01-07-2007
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Keeping knives sharp

So how do those of you on extinsive cruises keep you knives sharp? I have a nice electric machine for that purpose at home but I think it would be overkill to take it on board.
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Old 01-07-2007
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What is an electric one

I always use a sharpening stone and a steel. I didn't know there was anything else that worked. Know that when I say sharp, I mean sharp enough to shave with.

Fair Winds

Cap'n Dave live from Staniel Cay

Last edited by capn_dave; 01-08-2007 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 01-07-2007
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You can pick up a decent diamond water stone at a kitchen knife store, http://www.dmtsharp.com/products/whetstone.htm They are compact and only require a little water to lubricate. Properly done, you will get a excellent edge. This is what I use to keep my Japanese sushi knives razor sharp. A steel is to be used to hone the knife, which maintains the sharp edge.

20 degrees is the normal angle you want to hold the knife to the stone in any case.
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Old 01-08-2007
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The one thing to watch with the diamond stones is that they can take a lot of blade material off if you're not careful. Get the finest grade of diamond you can, as it will give you a better edge and remove less of the blade.

Personally, I like the ceramic knife sharpening kits, like the Spyderco knife sharpening set, which uses two sets of ceramic rods to sharpen knives. They work on both serrated and non-serrated blades, which the diamond stone often do not.
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Old 01-08-2007
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As T37 mentions a steel isused to keep up the edge. For my kitchen knives, I make it a habit to use the steel every time I use one of the large knives. When I take it out, and when I put it away. (The smaller ones I'm not so religious about.) Then people ask how come the knives work so well. The more often you use the easy steel, the less time you have to spend with the sharpening stuff. Easier in the long run.
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Old 01-08-2007
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I have two stones, one is very fine if I want to really get and edge or if I am touching up a blade on a wood plane.
The one I use most is a combination with one side fairly coarse and the other finer. The coarser side works great if you let the edge go a little too far then flip it over and finish it. Should work well on a boat.

Gary
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Old 01-08-2007
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Ceramics are a good choice for the average home cook. That said, it really depends on what condition the knives are in, what the knife is made of, and what type of knife it is. If the blade is chipped, slightly bent, or even a very hard metal like high carbon stainless steel knives (Wusthof, Henkel, Global, etc) a ceramic sharpener won't do the job.

Diamond stones are typically designed for delicate knives, such as japanese style sushi knives, as they usually don't end up with chips, bends, and are commonly made from carbon steel, much softer than stainless steel or a combination of the two.

Professional chefs commonly used whats called a Tri stone, 3 different levels of grit, coarse, medium, and fine that uses mineral oil to lubricate the stone and knife. A bit bulky for a boat

There are the electric style which you mentioned in your original post, which make sharpening easier and more precise, when used correctly, however they can really take of allot of steel and probably not a good choice for a boat.

There are several other designs and innovation's, however with my 20+ years as a professional chef, most of my knives I have had for that long, using a diamond stone and tri stone, is for me the way to go.

FYI...The only way to truly sharpen a serrated knife is to have it professionally ground.
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Old 01-08-2007
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I used water stones for a while (and I still use them for plane irons and chisels), but for kitchen knives, I've gone back to an oilstone. I have a two-sided Norton with medium coarse and medium fine sides that's 8" long. Doesn't take up much room and does a fine job on my 10" Wustof, among other knives. I use the finer side for touch-ups and the steel to take off the burr. I know some chefs who use a strop, but that's carrying things a little far for my taste.
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I too have had excellent results with the Spyderco sharpening set ... I think it is called the Tri-Angle but I'm not sure

Sam
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Old 01-09-2007
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The only problems with the tri-stone sets are that they're usually rather large, and can't deal with serrated blades at all. Lovely to use though.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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