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Christmas gifts…

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  • #30620
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    I am strictly a hobbyist, but I do a little more than just sharpen knives.  I will occasionally pick up a handful of knives at thrift stores and play with restoring or modifying them.  Back in November I took my wife to the local outlet mall and we stopped in the World Kitchen store where I found a couple of very inexpensive knives to play with.  One was a Chicago Cutlery cleaver and the other was a 7.75″ Chicago Cutlery chef’s knife which comes with a very nice plastic sleeve.  Both were priced in the $10 – $12 range.

    I was amazed at the quality of the chef’s knife for $10.79 and I took it to my belt sander to thin out the blade, which was already at only o.o25″ thick at the bevel shoulders.  I sanded it down to about 0.010″ to 0.015″, holding my finger tips along the edge so I could detect rises in temperature and avoid annealing the blade.  After some cleanup and polishing, I put it in the WEPS and sharpened it at 20 dps to 9-micron film (about 1800 grit).  The bevels are so narrow that they look like a mirror polish.

    My kitchen knife obsession has nearly filled our knife drawer with knives which originally cost between $20 and $120, but this chef’s knife has become my favorite and I use it constantly.  Obviously, the steel must be cheap stuff at this price, so we take care to only cut on a cutting board and to always keep the knife in its sleeve to avoid contact with other, harder knives.  Its been about two months now and it’s still sharp, so it can’t be too bad.

    I invested $10.79 and maybe 45 minutes of my time to produce a knife which feels and acts like a $125 knife.  Josh (RazorEdgeKnives) has said repeated that thinning a blade is about the best thing you can do to improve a knife’s cutting ability and I think he’s absolutely right.

    My wife and I belong to a group of about 5 couples who meet every Monday evening for a round-robin pot luck.  The gals have taken to exchanging Christmas gifts, so this year I ordered a dozen of these knives and proceeded to modify some of them as gifts.  We exchanged gifts this Monday night (first meet since before Xmas) and I handed them out with cautions about their dangerous edges.  Most of them had never seen, much less used such sharp edges and this gives them a glimpse of what fine cutlery feels like.  Everybody was delighted with their gift.  As I was delighted to see their happy faces.

    Afterwards I really had a sick feeling as one of the gals is a real ditz and known to be injury-prone.  Oh well.  Natural selection at work.

    If you’re interested, here’s a link to the particular knife I chose.  I see they’ve jacked up the price to $12.59.  Probably caused by the bounce in demand created by my purchase:


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    Thanks for sharing Tom! I guarantee you one of them will cut themselves on one of those knives you did lol, should have included some bandaids with each blade!!

    I’m a big fan of microbevels, for 2 reasons (you should try going to 10 or 15 dps w/ a 20 micro!).

    1. You can get lower angles, and thus higher cutting ability yet still have the same apex stability as a higher angle edge
    2. Sharpening is SOOO quick! literally 5-10 passes per side from non shaving to popping hairs. Then you only have to do the major reprofile once in a while.


    • Topics: 38
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    Hi Josh:

    As a matter of fact, we did pass out band-aids with every knife.  This drew yuks all around, but the intent was real.

    I didn’t do micro-bevels.  With such a thin edge, the micro-bevel seemed to be over-doing the case.

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