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yet another knife sharpening (honing actually) question -- pretty specific but more general advice also welcomed

mselectra | Dec 1, 201007:27 AM

I'm hesitant to ask, partly because I tend to get dazed and confused (though intrigued too) by knife threads, but I've got a really basic question and hoping you all can help and won't be too irritated by my cluelessness.

I've got this super cheap manual Chef's Choice 2-Stage Compact Knife Sharpener: http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-2-...

I've also got very crappy knives, and so it's about time I did something about that which means I'm planning to buy a decent chef's knife, probably 8" Victorinox Fibrox: http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-4752... -- which I guess is the same as the Forschner Fibrox often recommended here as a good under-$30 knife.

I can't find that particular sharpener on the Chef's Choice website, I assume because it's an old version, and I can't find instructions for it. Because of my general cluelessness about this stuff, although I've spent a fair amount of time reading up, I'm trying to figure out:

-if it would be okay to use on my new knife (I understand angles are important in knife honing and sharpening, for example, but don't really understand how it all works or how to tell which knifes would be the right angle for this "sharpener"... or vice versa.

-I don't really know how to use even this basic gadget, what the 2-step process entails, even if I need to pass the knife through on both sides in each step... (I do realize I can call Chef's Choice to ask some of this.)

-Also don't know if a sharpener like this goes dull and so needs to be replaced, and how to tell.

I'd of course be happy to buy another sharpener, like an accusharp (or whatever those are called), as long as it's pretty cheap, but if what I've got is fine, don't want to bother to buy anything else. I know that realistically I'm not going to be using stones or steels or strops or whatever myself (admire those who do), so no need to try to convince me to learn more serious knife maintenance skills, as much as I might wish I were somebody who would....

I took a good knife skills class recently, and my plan is to follow that instructor's advice to hone your knife every time you use it and then you'll only occasionally and rarely need to send it out for sharpening. She said really any method of honing is fine and showed us various methods and gadgets (including one that looks like mine), as long as you do it every time. (She also said to pass it four times through and to make sure to cover the whole blade in one stroke, which seems obvious...)

-Finally, since according to the terminology that I know, I'm only interested in honing, not sharpening, it is confusing that the gadgets all seem to be called sharpeners. I'm wondering if that means with the new knife, I'd only do what's "stage 2" on my gadget to get my honing done?

I realize this is a long message to ask a really simple and basic question, but I wanted to be clear about what I'm asking. Any and all advice very welcome. I'm chomping at the bit to get my new knife, but thought I'd check with you all first...

Thanks!

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