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Thread: knife steel over used

  1. #1
    john east Guest

    Default knife steel over used

    I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    into a straight line.

    That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly might be
    doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    would do such a job?

    What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?



  2. #2
    Ed Pawlowski Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On Wed, 7 Mar 2012 09:30:23 -0000, "john east" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    >or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    >into a straight line.
    >
    >That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly might be
    >doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    >would do such a job?
    >
    >What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    >before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?
    >


    Depends on the type and hardness of the blade, the surface of the
    steel, etc. I do a few swipes, but I have no idea what is optimal.

  3. #3
    Krypsis Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On 7/03/2012 8:30 PM, john east wrote:
    > I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    > or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    > into a straight line.


    I think its not so much that the molecules are aligned but more that the
    surface irregularities from the grinding or honing operations are
    slightly compressed and reshaped. If you look at a newly ground knife
    edge under a microscope you will find the edge to be quite ragged so I
    suspect it has more to do with deburring the roughness that results from
    the grinding operation.
    >
    > That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly might be
    > doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    > would do such a job?


    I don't think the steel waving is going to operate at a molecular level.
    Probably it's merely smoothing the roughness from the grinding operation
    and since knife steels are quite hard, a few strops won't cut it.
    >
    > What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    > before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?
    >


    Test the knife for sharpness at regular intervals and you will soon
    learn to judge this for yourself. I prefer to grind the blade, then
    strop or steel the blade until I'm satisfied with the edge. I will only
    strop a few times before I again resort to grinding.

    --

    Krypsis

  4. #4
    Brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On Wed, 7 Mar 2012 09:30:23 -0000, "john east" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    >or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    >into a straight line.
    >
    >That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly might be
    >doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    >would do such a job?
    >
    >What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    >before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?


    Steeling a knife is exactly like masturbation, keep stroking until it
    feels good.

  5. #5
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    Brooklyn1 wrote:
    >
    > On Wed, 7 Mar 2012 09:30:23 -0000, "john east" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    > >or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    > >into a straight line.
    > >
    > >That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly might be
    > >doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    > >would do such a job?
    > >
    > >What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    > >before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?

    >
    > Steeling a knife is exactly like masturbation, keep stroking until it
    > feels good.


    disturbing analogy ;0

  6. #6
    l, not -l Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used


    On 7-Mar-2012, Krypsis <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 7/03/2012 8:30 PM, john east wrote:
    > > I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not
    > > cut
    > > or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade
    > > back
    > > into a straight line.

    >
    > I think its not so much that the molecules are aligned but more that the
    > surface irregularities from the grinding or honing operations are
    > slightly compressed and reshaped. If you look at a newly ground knife
    > edge under a microscope you will find the edge to be quite ragged so I
    > suspect it has more to do with deburring the roughness that results from
    > the grinding operation.
    > >


    The edge of a sharp blade is very thin; as you cut, that edge can "roll"
    slightly, especially when it hits a cutting board or other very hard
    surface. What starts as a sharp V edge becomes a less effective J

    The use of a steel pushes/straightens/realigns the J edge back to a V


    --

    Change Cujo to Juno in email address.

  7. #7
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used


    "john east" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:jj79rl$sd9$[email protected]..
    > I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    > or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    > into a straight line.
    >

    From what I understand, you have to take a knife to an actual person who
    grinds them in order to get it back to the original condition. I do a few
    swipes against the steel to hone the edge. I've never acutally counted how
    many times I do this.

    Jill



  8. #8
    John Kuthe Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:08:55 -0500, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Brooklyn1 wrote:
    >> Steeling a knife is exactly like masturbation, keep stroking until it
    >> feels good.

    >
    >disturbing analogy ;0


    But set forth by someone who should certainly know! ;-)

    John Kuthe...

  9. #9
    A Moose in Love Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On Mar 7, 4:30*am, "john east" <po...@mail.invalid> wrote:
    > I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    > or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    > into a straight line.
    >
    > That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly mightbe
    > doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    > would do such a job?
    >
    > What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    > before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?


    I was taught to steel the knife six times per side. Steeling is meant
    to align the edge of the knife back to it's ground, sharpened
    position. Of course the knife still needs to be ground from time to
    time, and eventually steeling the knife doesn't do much.

  10. #10
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    john east <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do
    > not cut or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of
    > the blade back into a straight line.
    >
    > That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly
    > might be doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just
    > several strokes would do such a job?
    >
    > What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    > before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?


    Properly used a steel both preserves and in some cases improves the
    sharpness of knives. Even good quality knives which have been abused can be
    somewhat brought back to a serviceable state with frequent steeling.

    It's not something you can do once or twice on occasion to fix a blade which
    has gone dull. It is standard mainatenance per use.

    After watching many experts and chefs with renowned knife skills, Jacques
    Pepin in particular, I have arrived at the conclusion that bi-directional
    steeling is the best for preserving edges and honing or sharpening some
    edges which still have life in them.

    This involves steeling both backwards and forwards. First I do pull strokes,
    where the sharp edge is trailing as it is pulled down the steel. This is
    done alternately on both sides. Then the knife is flipped over and steeled
    with the edge first, as if cutting the steel.

    This is not something that works if you do it once in a while. You have to
    do it with every use. Sometimes it gets done twice per use, once when
    cleaning and again just before use.

    With a forged knife which needs some rehab or just good maintenance, this
    method gives you a very durable edge which is also quite sharp. However
    given the hardness of good steel, you can't expect instant results. Cheaper
    stamped steel, for example Chicago Cutlery, also benefits from this
    technique, and will be made extremely sharp over time, although it cannot
    approach the sheer durability of a forged blade. However I have both kinds
    of blades in my blocks and this technique keeps them all very sharp indeed.

    Of course at some point edge damage requires resharpening, which basically
    amounts to starting from scratch.

    I doubt most people go to as much trouble as I do, but OTOH it's my
    impression that many people have problems with dull damaged knives and
    perhaps end up doing a lot of actual resharpening which may not have been
    necessary with good maintenance.

    One more thing is that you need a good quality steel. I have seen cheap
    steels that actually do more damage than help. If you feel irregularities
    when drawing the knife down the steel, clean the steel well and if you still
    feel it, inspect both steel and blade to determine where the irregularities
    are. I have actually straightened out knives which were so edge=mangled that
    you could feel it going down the steel. But it takes time and patience. But
    if the steel itself seems to have irregularities, it could damage your
    knives. I have actually tested this with a friend who had just bought a set
    of Victorinox knives with a fancy looking steel. It demonstrably damaged the
    blades on a couple of Dexter chefs knives. Use the steel made for your knife
    set, or better. I have a steel that came with my forged JA Henckels and I
    use it on both forged and stamped blades with great success.

    OK, two more things. The second one is, you have to clean the steel. Every
    so often, wipe it down vigorously with a soft cloth. You will find a dark
    grey residue on the cloth. This is actually microscopic steel. This is also
    proof that there is some minute amount of sharpening going on when using a
    steel. But mostly, the steel is honing, unrolling, and magnetically aligning
    your knife edges.

    MartyB



  11. #11
    Krypsis Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On 8/03/2012 2:08 AM, Gary wrote:
    > Brooklyn1 wrote:
    >>
    >> On Wed, 7 Mar 2012 09:30:23 -0000, "john east"<[email protected]>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    >>> or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    >>> into a straight line.
    >>>
    >>> That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly might be
    >>> doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    >>> would do such a job?
    >>>
    >>> What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    >>> before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?

    >>
    >> Steeling a knife is exactly like masturbation, keep stroking until it
    >> feels good.

    >
    > disturbing analogy ;0


    Standard Brooklyn fare. It's all he knows.

    --

    Krypsis

  12. #12
    Krypsis Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On 8/03/2012 4:12 AM, A Moose in Love wrote:
    > On Mar 7, 4:30 am, "john east"<po...@mail.invalid> wrote:
    >> I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not cut
    >> or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade back
    >> into a straight line.
    >>
    >> That being so chefs and butchers who do this steel waving endlessly might be
    >> doing it for a bit of a show, since you would think just several strokes
    >> would do such a job?
    >>
    >> What might be the optimum number of strokes that might be worth doing,
    >> before picking up the knife to use; would you say ?

    >
    > I was taught to steel the knife six times per side. Steeling is meant
    > to align the edge of the knife back to it's ground, sharpened
    > position. Of course the knife still needs to be ground from time to
    > time, and eventually steeling the knife doesn't do much.


    Yes, that was my experience. 4 or 5 times and a regrind is required.

    --

    Krypsis

  13. #13
    Jerry Avins Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On 3/7/2012 10:26 AM, l, not -l wrote:
    > On 7-Mar-2012, Krypsis<[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> On 7/03/2012 8:30 PM, john east wrote:
    >>> I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not
    >>> cut
    >>> or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the blade
    >>> back
    >>> into a straight line.

    >>
    >> I think its not so much that the molecules are aligned but more that the
    >> surface irregularities from the grinding or honing operations are
    >> slightly compressed and reshaped. If you look at a newly ground knife
    >> edge under a microscope you will find the edge to be quite ragged so I
    >> suspect it has more to do with deburring the roughness that results from
    >> the grinding operation.
    >>>

    >
    > The edge of a sharp blade is very thin; as you cut, that edge can "roll"
    > slightly, especially when it hits a cutting board or other very hard
    > surface. What starts as a sharp V edge becomes a less effective J
    >
    > The use of a steel pushes/straightens/realigns the J edge back to a V


    Yes. It also burnishes the metal, which is more or less what Krypsis wrote.

    Jerry
    --
    Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

  14. #14
    Jerry Avins Guest

    Default Re: knife steel over used

    On 3/7/2012 11:19 AM, jmcquown wrote:
    >
    > "john east" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:jj79rl$sd9$[email protected]..
    >> I've read that knife sharpening 'steels', at a molecular level; do not
    >> cut or grind, but simply * roll * the molecules on the edge of the
    >> blade back into a straight line.
    >>

    > From what I understand, you have to take a knife to an actual person
    > who grinds them in order to get it back to the original condition. I do
    > a few swipes against the steel to hone the edge. I've never acutally
    > counted how many times I do this.


    You too can be that actual person. Only rarely have I seen a new knife
    that was as sharp as you can easily make it at home. It doesn't need
    much practice.

    Jerry
    --
    Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

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