Advanced Search

German Steels

This topic contains 21 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Geocyclist 05/25/2014 at 6:40 pm.

Viewing 7 posts - 16 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #9511

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Interesting discussion!

    I sharpen a lot of knives for friends, family, etc. And since I nearly live in Germany, most knives I sharpen are… indeed 🙂 . They are not always the nice Wusthoffs, Henckels or Zwillings, more often no-brand knives. But my experience is like yours: even the better brands don’t take an angle of less than 20 degrees or so. I routinely sharpen these knives at 20 degrees. If I don’t know what the brand/steel is, I usually go to 25 degrees.

    I really wonder why that is the case. I understand people want stainless steel and that if a knife is too hard or has too steep an angle, it may become vulnerable. But why are they so different from, e.g., Japanese knives? These generally take a much steeper angle (even a cheap CCK cleaver I’ve got – or is this Chinese?). These knives are usually quite a bit harder. And it appears as if carbon steels are more common there than in the West.

    The stainless steels I like the best are from Sweden: 13C26 and 19C27. But even the cheaper variety, 12C27 is pretty good. And these steels are used in the majority of French knives I sharpen.

    But Germany is closer to Sweden than France is… I just don’t get it. Anyone here who does?

    That’s not to say I don’t get it about all high-end German kitchen knives. I recently stumbled on a Robert Herder knife that was made of carbon steel. It was incredibly thin and took a great edge. When I googled the company, I found that it was quite an old and respected German company. And they make stainless knives as well… of X50CrMoV15.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #9570

    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    Sharpened my first Wusthof today, a 6.5″ Santoku. I read this post again before starting and was thinking about going with 20 degrees (per side). Once I had the knife in the vice I realized the factory edge was dead on 15 degrees. So I stayed with 15. This knife is 2 years old and got steeled on a regular basis. It is not sharp but not super dull either.

    I did a before sharpness test. It would not slice phone book paper and it would not push cut the phone book. I added more pressure and it cut to page 110. After sharpening I sliced phone book paper with ease and push cut the entire book (500 pages) with the same force used before. Now that it’s sharp again I will have to see how the edge holds up. My other Wusthofs look like they are greater than 15 degrees, but haven’t put anything else in the vice.

    When I had this knife new it felt like I had a wire edge. I could feel it move from one side to the other when steeling. Now i don’t feel this, but will have to see as time goes by. So I think I got it plenty sharp without the wire edge.

    As this is a kitchen knife I stopped at the 1600 ceramics. (Don’t own the micro fines). I decided stropping would not add much vs. the time required. Maybe I should have. This is my first good kitchen knife I have sharpened on the WEPS.

    #9587

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Geo, I am curious how the edge is after a few weeks of use. It’ll probably not chip, but I’m curious how long it stays sharp and whether it rolls.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #10908

    R. Jeffrey Coates
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 55

    I agree 20 is about it.

    I find that they will take a finer edge . . . but it will not last long.

    The same w/ Chicago Cutlery. I have some “vintage C.C. … 60’s & 70’s … not great but I like them. They always took a good edge and performed well. I just did 24 C.C. steak knives (model 103 S) to 18.00 deg. Makes even tough steak seem tender . . . but the edges go fast.

    Same with my Vintage carbon steel Sabatier, Wusthof, and Henckels. They are softer steel. A joy to sharpen. They take the edge fast and well.

    #18698

    William
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 6

    I just sharpened one of my Henckels last night. 15 dps with 18 dps micro bevel. I took the 15 degree bevel to 1000 grit. Did the 18 degree with 3 or 4 light strokes with 1000 grit, then finished it with 3 light strokes with 1200 ceramic. I will let you know how it holds up. I don’t know what kind of steel they are made of, I bought a block set 20 years ago.

    #18748

    Leo Barr
    Participant
    • Topics: 26
    • Replies: 812

    That sound like it should be a great edge mikerci

    #18853

    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    An update on my Wusthof’s. One year later I find these are the minimum workable settings.

    I have one 10″ slicer at 17.5 dps I use only a few times a year for slicing turkeys. It works well and holds up since it gets little use and I am careful not to hit bones.

    I set my paring knives to 20 dps. They are used daily and used on a cutting board, but not used for chopping. 20 dps seems to work OK.

    For my chopping knives, chef knife and santoku I initially used 20 dps, but have changed to 22.5 to get better edge retention.

    With these settings I get decent life from the edge and can touch up without having to completely resharpen. I.e. I can touch up with 800 or 1000 diamonds, then ceramics and done. I loved how the santoku sliced/chopped at 20 dps, but it didn’t take much like an off center hit on the board to roll the edge.

    For me these knives are very nice tools, but all I want a sharp, long lasting edge. I don’t care about looks. So I don’t spend hours chasing the perfect mirror finish like I do on pocket knives.

Viewing 7 posts - 16 through 22 (of 22 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.