Trying to save a favorite knife…

It’s nothing fancy, just a Victorinox kitchen knife I could probably replace from Amazon with ease.

But it was a gift from a now deceased friend just before I moved into the boonies and I’ve used it several times a day since then for going on 17 years. The handle scales are cracked, the tip is bent, every scar on it was earned, and I like it.

Unfortunately over the years it fell victim to my secret shame: I’ve always been terrible at sharpening knives. Seriously terrible. When I was young and larped as this accomplished survivalist outdoorsman it was something I kept trying to cover for with every “this’ll do it” gadget on the market. But the fact is I was simply hopeless.

Which means that as I actually LEARNED TO COOK and also did other daily things that really depended on sharp knives, this is one of the knives that suffered through my long and troubleprone learning period. Basically, I wrecked the secondary grind and couldn’t keep the knife sharp anymore.

In the past couple of years I’ve gotten less intimidated by the notion of recontouring edged tools. Yesterday I worked up the nerve to take some coarse sandpaper to my principal kitchen knife…

…just because things had gotten so bad I really couldn’t do any harm. I basically re-cut a secondary grind that in some places goes all the way into those little scallops, then put 600 and then 1000-grit waterproof paper on the block and established a new primary grind that nicely took – and hopefully will keep – a sharp edge.

I guess we’ll see if I’ve finally learned this rather basic thing. Otherwise I’m going to have to replace an old friend and I don’t wanna.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Trying to save a favorite knife…

  1. Alan says:

    Lesson that I’ve learned painfully over the years.
    Sharpen once. Hone often.
    Look up the ‘bearded butchers’ website. They have a good tutorial on how they do their knives

  2. Mark Matis says:

    Do you have enough “spare power” to use a Chef’s Choice Knife Sharpener:
    If so, one might magically appear.

  3. Joel says:

    MM, that’s one of the gadgets I was thinking of when I wrote the post. Really don’t like them very much. But I appreciate the offer.

  4. Mark Matis says:

    I can confirm they work well. So the question remains: Do you have enough “spare power”? The one I have draws 71 watts, but I’d hate to send you something that would cause problems for your off-grid power setup.

  5. mattexian says:

    I’m with Alan; it’s easier to hone them regularly, as opposed to regrinding to sharpen. I use an old Crock Stick branded V ceramic rod holder (been using it off and on since the early-to-mid 80s), as well as a short, 4″ ceramic rod mixed in with the bedside pocketknife collection, so I can quickly polish up an edge when it gets off kilter.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    Chef’s Choice has two diamond hones in addition to the grinder for when it’s truly needed.

To the stake with the heretic!