Homesteading Forum banner
21 - 40 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
940 Posts
I have a bunch of kitchen knives. I collect them.

None of them are razor sharp. I don't like a razor sharp one. I prefer a usefully sharp one.

My favorite is a 4 inch chef's knife. Works like a chef's knife, but does the job of a paring knife.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Oh most stainless isnt that hard to sharpen. There is some high end super hard stuff and then there is some el cheapo crappo "gummy" steel that just wont let go of wire edge that developes during sharpening. Most both those are rare enough its not a big deal. Now lot cheaper knives especially arent profiled correctly. Manufacturer keeps price down by slip shod sharpening. These always can be improved. Some better knives come with a too shallow secondary bevel. The manufacturer knows people will abuse their knives and most likely dont know how to sharpen a knife. So they but this shallow kinda edge on cause it will stand up well to abuse and keep knife usably sharp much longer than if they put a truly sharp edge on it. You can tell if a knife is sharp, if person chopping something has to use extra effort to force the knife through it. It will "crack" carrots rather than cut them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I have a bunch of kitchen knives. I collect them.

None of them are razor sharp. I don't like a razor sharp one. I prefer a usefully sharp one.

My favorite is a 4 inch chef's knife. Works like a chef's knife, but does the job of a paring knife.
Its a personal judgement call as to what is sharp enough. Some knives will take a razor sharp edge but arent strong enough steel to support it and edge will fold too easily. Honestly I have never had a knife too sharp. Some wont hold a sharp edge for long, but too sharp has never been a problem. I am not going to put some show quality polished edge on a kitchen knife. 2000grit seems to me about most needed for kitchen knife but some might think 1000 is good enough and some might want 10000. Some want a really rough unpolished edge in mistaken belief its sharper. Not really its just a faux serrated edge and wont hold long. But again, each to their own.

I personally like 10 inch chef knife. But out of curiosity got a 6inch one. Its very different leverage. After using it some and getting used to it, its ok and does give more control, but I still like 8inch, 9inch, or 10 inch better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,848 Posts
I have loads of Old Hickory knives I bought at old hardware stores, but the majority came from estate and garage sales. The high carbon isn't as pretty and shiny as the stainless steel so the people would put them out to sale. Thrift stores are a good source of cheap good quality knives as well. I have one large butcher knife that I keep separately from anything else. If I put my hand anywhere near the edge of that one I can cut myself.

Ex would dull the edges of the knives in a rapid fashion, I would occasionally pick one up and find it dull, check out the rest in the drawer and end up sharpening all of them. I would tell her but she would invariably cut herself repeatedly for the next week or two.
I have some dull knives that I can't keep sharp or have trouble sharpening. Mostly stainless. High carbon is easy to sharpen and maintain an edge.
I use a knife in the kitchen for chopping and cooking at least once a day, usually twice a day I sharpen when they need it. I carry a pocket knife as part of my normal attire; one just never knows when they will need one
I hve a knife i made from a flat file. I use it when i butcher Hogs. Removes the hair from a Hog without much pressure on the meat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,592 Posts
We use sharp paring and chefs knives everyday in the kitchen and have 6 other knives including two bread knives. One serrated knife that is great for cutting soft veggies and fruits. We could not manage without them. We have a great knife holder that fits in the drawer so the knives are not on display. We have assigned a number to each knife so it is easy to ask for the right one to be passed to you. I hate the sound when you sharpen knives but my husband is not bothered so even though I can sharpen our knives he mostly does it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,454 Posts
I only have one kitchen knife, on old skinner a friend gave me twenty years ago. You can shave the hair on your arm with it. I use it once a day.
You shave your arm every day? ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hiro

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,449 Posts
I have used a sharp knife everyday my adult life. I always have paring knives and an assortment of knives because I cook a lot from scratch. Recently there was a move out when a house sold and a shed full of things that was free. The new owner didn't want them. I was able to get an assortment of very sharp knives for free. Very high quality knives. I carry a pocket knife wherever I go and usually a multi-tool along with a socket and a wrench. You never know what's in my bag along with the handheld boat radio because I always take care of bringing it to the boat.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,449 Posts
Covid vacation.... No I didnt get covid, but my friend and I both older with health issues where covid would be deadly so big delay in moving... Then we got the handyman from hell at the new place. He started slow walking all projects. Had to fire him, we are not sure if he is closet drunk or what, he has the knowledge, but apparently finishing a job for significantly more money not great incentive for him. Just take whatever small up front money he can grab and dont do diddly beyond mow the lawn and couple other small things. And neighbors down there decided place was abandoned and started carting everything of any value off. Joy after joy. Cant move anything until we have somebody living there full time or it just gets picked over and hauled off. Hoping to get my friends sister moved in as care taker on big house. Her son in law supposed to come and try to get water leaks fixed (thought that idiot handyman had that done, but apparently not).

Like said my observation on knives really doesnt apply that much to homesteader types. It was more thinking typical American. I mean they even sell things like shredded cheese and pre-chopped veggies. And such things as food processor. So yea other than a small knife (or scissors) to open plastic packages, can see people not needing a serious knife.
I am so very sorry that happened to you! Our home was vandalized also. They took thousands of dollars worth of things and let rodents in when we weren't in our house as they left the back door open by a few inches. We have spent a year taking care of the mess that was made. Our home looks really good now. We still have repairs to make but at least there's no sign of the damage that was there before. We replaced the things that were taken. Allowing the weather to expose our kitchen from that back door being left open about 4 in, made painting our cabinets necessary because it was just too much to do with all the wood refinishing. Being an oak kitchen it wasn't a big deal to paint it because the rest of the house is not oak. I wasn't happy to replace a wood holder, scaffolding ladder, tools, weathervane, and so much more. We had to throw away all our clothes, a lot of bedding, lace curtains, dressers and all the furniture! The only thing to make it fine were my antiques! Which is a testament to antiques since the clothing inside were never touched by rodents! Only in the built-in dresser and my son's modern dressers. We've used covid isolation to get so much done. No I can't expose my husband to a lot of people either with his health condition. I love being isolated to begin with so this wasn't any problem for me. I am so happy to be in my home full time. Sorry I know this is a singles forum but I just had to comment. I am so very sorry and there's just no excuse for people to take things from a property.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,933 Posts
I have ONE knife that is truly sharp, and that is enough for me. Semi sharp for paring knives and steak knives is my strong preference, as people will dump things in the sink in a heap. Heck I have been known to do it myself.

My one sharp knife lives in a separate draer and it has a cover for the blade
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I am so very sorry that happened to you! Our home was vandalized also. They took thousands of dollars worth of things and let rodents in when we weren't in our house as they left the back door open by a few inches. We have spent a year taking care of the mess that was made. Our home looks really good now. We still have repairs to make but at least there's no sign of the damage that was there before. We replaced the things that were taken. Allowing the weather to expose our kitchen from that back door being left open about 4 in, made painting our cabinets necessary because it was just too much to do with all the wood refinishing. Being an oak kitchen it wasn't a big deal to paint it because the rest of the house is not oak. I wasn't happy to replace a wood holder, scaffolding ladder, tools, weathervane, and so much more. We had to throw away all our clothes, a lot of bedding, lace curtains, dressers and all the furniture! The only thing to make it fine were my antiques! Which is a testament to antiques since the clothing inside were never touched by rodents! Only in the built-in dresser and my son's modern dressers. We've used covid isolation to get so much done. No I can't expose my husband to a lot of people either with his health condition. I love being isolated to begin with so this wasn't any problem for me. I am so happy to be in my home full time. Sorry I know this is a singles forum but I just had to comment. I am so very sorry and there's just no excuse for people to take things from a property.
At least they didnt burn it down. That would truly be a bummer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,384 Posts
I have ONE knife that is truly sharp, and that is enough for me. Semi sharp for paring knives and steak knives is my strong preference, as people will dump things in the sink in a heap. Heck I have been known to do it myself.

My one sharp knife lives in a separate draer and it has a cover for the blade
We have several sharp kitchen knives as we seem to cook constantly. There is one that is reserved solely for my use that I believe is pretty close to scalpel sharpness. As has been stated already, dull knives lead to more cuts than sharp knives. Sharp knives cause more damage when misused. That and mandolines/table saws/meat slicers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SustainableAg

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
HJ; We have two blocks full of knives---only one old hickory but I LIKE it. I keep a diamond sharpener handy for all of them. As an aside, a friend who was trained as a chef said NEVER WASH A KNIFE IN THE DISHWASHER---ALWASYS BY HAND IN THE SINK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
HJ; We have two blocks full of knives---only one old hickory but I LIKE it. I keep a diamond sharpener handy for all of them. As an aside, a friend who was trained as a chef said NEVER WASH A KNIFE IN THE DISHWASHER---ALWASYS BY HAND IN THE SINK.
Yea how long a knife stays sharp is lot how its treated. As you suggest, only wash and dry by hand. Lot of modern stainless steels are rust prone, not like plain carbon steel, but not as rust free as older non-Chinese stainless steels. I assume they are lower in some expensive component like nickel. Besides hand washing, my notion edge should only touch food or hardwood cutting board. I store ones I use on magnetic strip. But as long as edge doesnt touch metal or stone or glass or other super hard surface.

One interesting thing about the lower end stainless steel flatware made in China, it seems to be hardened. Doesnt bend like low end stuff I remember as kid at school and at cheap restaurants. On other hand it will rust easily. Had a spoon fall behind stove. Didnt immediately rescue it and when I did pull stove out to get it, it had rust spots. This is cheapest storebrand Walmart kind flatware think it was like $10 for four place setting, but its is thin and very stiff, not bendy at all. I had just wanted some cheap everyday stuff so if it got lost or something not big deal. With animals around stuff like that can get lost. Didnt want plastic or bendy stuff. For the price its not lot more expensive than plastic throw away.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,786 Posts
can't stand a dull knife

carried a knife every day basically since I was 8

in the kitchen it would be a strange day to not need a knife

that said most kitchen tasks can be done with just 2 knives

an 8 inch chefs knife and a parring knife
if I have a lot to chop , I grab the 10 inch chefs knife for greater efficiency.

Diamond steel and give a blade a few licks any time it feels less than sharp

real food needs to be cut
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Never tried to make a knife, but have an appreciation for good ones. I agree with HJ on th Chinese stuff---some of it is terrible. The best SMALL knife we have was made in France, stainless, six inch paring knife. I have a fondness for the old carbon steel, but you seldom see those any more. Like GC Pete, I like the diamond steel for keeping them sharp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
When I did a brief study in culinary school (didn't finish, wasn't for me), I was gifted an electric sharpener by a family member for Christmas. I used a whetstone prior to getting the electric sharpener - one is just as good as the other. My knives are almost always sharp. I haven't had the time recently, so they need some love right now. I figure once the knife can't cut a tomato, it is time to sharpen them. :LOL:

I cook mostly from scratch, so my knives are in use multiple times per day. And as someone else said - hand wash your good knives! Don't put them in the dishwasher.

I always have a pocket knife with me. I use it to open hay bales because somehow the scissors are always missing. So I just got into the habit of carrying one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Sustaiinable Ag; I never tried scissors on baler twine. I ALWAYS used my pocket knife. One of the best knives I ever had was a carbon steel blade given me by a friend at an auction "Here, take this and cut your baler twine---leave that pocket knife in your pocket". The carbon steel knife went into the kitchen.
PS: Another friend NEVER cut baler twine. He would painstakingly UNWIND THE STUFF from each bale and save the string to make rope.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
People have come up with lot ways to sharpen knives, some I think better than others. But just like different people have different ideas of how sharp a sharp knife needs to be, so they differ on best way to sharpen them.

When I was a kid and tried to saddle up passing dinosaurs, we had an old treadle type grindstone one of the big ones. You shaped edge on that then used whetstone to sharpen it. The grindstone disappeared when Dad died and Mom sold the farm. Trying to sharpen a knife on just a cheap whetstone, especially if it needs reprofiling and not just renewing micro bevel can be painful. And yea stainless worse than older plain carbon steel. By way some of the old carbon steel knives were lot softer than modern knives, also makes them easier to sharpen. I have a few old Cattaraugus kitchen knives, plain carbon steel, but hardest dang carbon steel I ever ran across. Those are not easy to sharpen, but hold edge like nothing else. Mom had a Cattaraugus butcher knife she frequently used. I cant remember her ever having to sharpen that thing yet it was always very sharp. Carbon steel with a truly scary black patina. It either somehow got sold in boxes of stuff at her auction or otherwise got lost. I have one very similar I found, but its one of later ones that was chromed. Not stainless, but chromed carbon steel. Stainless was expensive in 40s and 50s so some manufacturers offered chromed carbon steel. Actually rather nice, limited rust and stayed shiny except edge and other spots chrome got rubbed off. It was high quality, the chrome doesnt peel like you would expect. Personally I dont find it terribly useful in my daily life, not cause anything wrong with the knife, but just not a configuration that is useful to me. Its more of a sentimental reminder of childhood.

Modern times. Well my thinking around electric sharpeners is colored by long ago experience seeing somebody ruin some nice knives using the sharpener on back of some electric can opener. No doubt those $200 jobbies, Chef Mate or whatever are better than that, though guessing they are still limited to a set profile and will ruin some knives that profile not appropriate for or knife that doesnt fit correctly in the slots provided. Also a chef knife with large bolster will not sharpen properly on such and dig out an area just back of bolster.

A cheap whetstone will work, but the cheaper ones wear quickly and it can take lot time if more than touchup needed. A quality set whetstones can be quite expensive. You want to see quality whetstones and knives sharpened on such, look for Burrfection channel on youtube.

I found for my needs little $30 1x30 Harbor Freight belt sander works great. Had it for many years now, and yea the price has doubled if I had to replace it. So $60+ now. I used aluminum oxide belts for while and they work, but can tell you the zirconium belts are much superior for knives. Use coarse one if you need to reprofile then work way up to finer grit belts. LIGHT TOUCH, let the belt do the work. And in 2021 not that much more expensive. Since I kinda got into this more than I thought, really would like a bigger belt sander to significantly modify/thin knife. Thats little much for the little Harbor Freight sander. I have a portable hand held belt sander with 4 inch wide belts, might try building a stand for it. Again not like I am in the business so dont want to spend bunch money, just like experimenting sometimes with more modifications than is possible any other way.

Oh by way I found an interesting flat smooth stone in driveway that actually makes a pretty decent whetstone, very hard and polished. Not native pretty sure, probably from that time long ago bought some river rock for driveway. Hey it was cheapest "gravel" I could get but didnt work well on steep driveway.

Some like the pull through carbide gadget sharpeners. More power to anybody that uses one and likes it, but I had one long time ago and didnt find it useful. Same with the washer type sharpeners.

Now can carbide sharpener work, yea maybe, but not the pull through. There is a guy on youtube hawking little carbide pocket sharpener. Basically a small square piece carbide embedded into a plastic handle. That square shape is the key. Like most sharpening, it requires some technique and a light touch. Its "Sharpens Best" channel. The videos are fun, he is a showman. He really got my respect for one video where he answers the question, what if you are out in woods and lose your sharpens best gadget, and he precedes explaining how to sharpen a knife on a smooth rock. Not making a dime showing how to do that. He will try sharpening anything from cheese knives to putty knives to cake decorating knife, well you name it. But devil in details, like say using this gizmo takes practice and technique for kind results he gets. Oh and you can buy a similar tool under $10 on Amazon, look for the one with orange handle sold to sharpen Corona pruners. Havent done it, thought I might buy one just to experiment a bit. I doubt you will get as good of an edge as you will with a good whetstone or belt sander plus some stropping, but hey it fits in pocket or glovebox so if out in the woods... Or just find a good smooth river rock....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Sustaiinable Ag; I never tried scissors on baler twine. I ALWAYS used my pocket knife. One of the best knives I ever had was a carbon steel blade given me by a friend at an auction "Here, take this and cut your baler twine---leave that pocket knife in your pocket". The carbon steel knife went into the kitchen.
PS: Another friend NEVER cut baler twine. He would painstakingly UNWIND THE STUFF from each bale and save the string to make rope.
I still have the Sears pocket knife boss lent me to cut baler twine when I worked on his horse farm. I dont like carrying a pocket knife, mostly cause I frequently lose them. But yea it was kinda dull. He is long gone, but I sharpened it and still have it.

I have plenty pocket knives, but still rarely carry one. I keep a $2 chinese cheapie in car glovebox. Lose a $2 knife and you dont feel bad about it. Least not for very long. Its come in handy few times. And yea its sharp though it didnt come that way new out of package. The cheap chinese pocket knives are fine for rough use like cutting twine. Dont pry with them, they will snap. But as a cutting edge they are fine if you sharpen them. They will need relatively frequent sharpening if you use them very much.
 
21 - 40 of 51 Posts
Top