Knife steels

Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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Found this beautiful old William Walton made in Sheffield England knife steel at a second hand store recently. 5$!!!

Makes a hugeB2201F6B-A9B7-40D6-856B-B134D9506459.jpeg difference having a good steel.
 

Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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Not all steels are created equal, I have a couple of very good German F Dick steels.
Hardly ever use them anymore that just sit there with my butcher knives.
My grandfather had been a butcher , and later on always butchered his own sheep on the farm.

I always remember taking pocket knives to him when I was a kid , and he would give them a few passes on a steel which instantly made them sharp.

When he said “don’t lick the butter knives or you’ll cut your tongue off !“
It was not an exaggeration.
Knives were razor sharp around the farmhouse.

I don’t know what the kids are using these days to sharpen knives ,
Could be laser levels on robot thingymabobs for all I know.
 

Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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Here it is next to an fdick steel .
Pretty interesting I thought the difference in patterns of grooves.

1972C567-3D97-4C32-9C6B-E5D8A958DF48.jpeg
 

Randall

Rüdiger Nehberg
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My grandfather had been a butcher , and later on always butchered his own sheep on the farm.

I always remember taking pocket knives to him when I was a kid , and he would give them a few passes on a steel which instantly made them sharp.

When he said “don’t lick the butter knives or you’ll cut your tongue off !“
It was not an exaggeration.
Knives were razor sharp around the farmhouse.

I don’t know what the kids are using these days to sharpen knives ,
Could be laser levels on robot thingymabobs for all I know.
It seems to be, in the knife world, stropping with compound. There are many alternatives for sharpening, but stropping seems to be the current accepted wisdom between sharpening sessions. I don't use a steel anymore, and I rarely sharpen now. I might sharpen a kitchen knife twice a year (as needed) when stropping doesn't bring it up to speed any more. I used to do the shaving test for stropping, now I just feel along the edge with my thumb nail (does the edge grab my nail?). Sometimes I just need to strop or sharpen a section of the edge too. The good news is even a high use knife, like my kitchen knife, is going to last forever.

I imagine any food industries will continue using steels (in processing areas) for hygiene reasons.
 
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