One of our customers for Morty's knife sharpeners wrote in with concerns about ease of use, wanted to cancel her order. We reassured her that it was extremely simple, and that we'd provide any extra support she might need. Because every customer (from experienced chefs to cooking newbies) has been extremely happy with their Morty's sharpeners, so we figured this was a safe reassurance to make.
Unfortunately, she just wrote in with this:
I do believe the knives are sharper but I still do not have the knack of it. Not sure what 20% angle should be, but I'm working on it.
We could (and would) very easily refund her money, but it's more important to us that she have the same great sharpening experience many of you have had. And we could offer her some tutoring via email, but we figure many of you could do a better job. We've asked her to monitor this thread. Any advice?
We sent the following (just to get this started)
Bear in mind that "20 degrees" is very approximate. You don't need to be geometric about it! To roughly approximate, bear in mind that 90 degrees is a right angle, and 45 degrees is half of that...a diagonal line halfway between vertical and horizontal. 20 degrees is about half of that. So it's really quite flat.
Try holding the blade at a 90 degree angle to the stone, then rotated it to a diagonal 45 degrree angle, then rotate it halfway again to flat. Again, you needn't be precise.