Knife Question


11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
Yorkshire, Ohio
I got some new knives 2 weeks ago. I have used them to cut up about 50 whole chickens so far. About halfway thru this weekend, the knives got dull and I was unable to get them sharp again with a steel. Can anyone tell my if this is typical after this amount of use? I know I need to sharpen them with either a wet stone or mechanical sharpener to get them sharp again, but wondering if these knives maybe aren't as good as I thought they were.
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I like carbon steel for knife material it is easier to sharpen a lot of the stainless used to make most knives is junk once dull unless you have a wet grinder they are fairly hard to sharpen Buck knives were always harder to sharpen then the gerber brand knives because the steel was harder but once sharpened they would hold an edge better. I stumbled on what I believe to be the best sharpener on the planet when I bought a fillet knife from wally world it is red and has two little ceramic rods in a V shape it works well on my carbon steel knives and pretty fair on the fillet knife it came with
I am a retired meatcutter . I like a 6" curve Forshner and use a ceramic steel to keep a sharp edge . Also like a 16 " long tri-grit oiled rock .Slowly run your knife backwards with blade down . It's not necessary to run a knife as fast as you can against a steel . Also I point and hold my steel tip down on the cutting board .
I third the carbon steel knives. I am a sharp freak; all my cutting tools must be SHARP. Carbon steel takes and holds an edge much better than stainless steel does. There is a reason that plane blades and fine chisels are made of carbon steel! This is it. People today are put off because carbon steel rusts. How silly. Just keep them clean and dry and wipe off any rust you might see.

My favorite flexible fillet knife is one I made myself from a saw blade. It holds an edge better than a knife I spent over $100 on. Oh yeah, saws are made from carbon steel too!
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For most knives, yes. I'd make it a habit to touch them up with the steel after every 10-15 birds. Let me edit to say that they may not be as good as you thought they were; hence the answers pertaining to carbon steel, et al.
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I hit them lightly with a steel more often than that. I am no knife expert, so am I possibly steeling them too often, thus making them dull? These knives are high carbon steel. They are made by Dexter Russel.
You wouldn't be making them dull with the steel unless you were doing it wrong. There is a chance that you are though. If you are steeling them at a bigger angle and you should then you have changed the bevel at the edge which will make them not as sharp. Or if you are steeling at too low an angle then you really aren't hitting the cutting edge at all. I know the approximate angle by looking but it's been so long that I don't remember what the number is. Easy to look up, though.

Read up all you can about proper sharpening techniques.

Once you find the angle they should be at you can get some stones at a sportsman's supply place like Academy and resharpen then train yourself to steel at the proper angle. It took me forever to train myself to do this at a fast pace but I'm so picky about knife sharpness maybe I carry things too far.

Your knives sound like they are plenty good quality; you may simply have dulled them. We learn this way!
Thank you. I am trying to learn, but like you said, doing it wrong is how one learns more often than not. I was told to run the knives on a 22 degree angle when using a steel, so that is what I try to do. I am going to get a good set of wet stones, and see how bad I can screw them up. LOL I was so frustated after they got dull. Sawing and tearing my way thru that meat. I have found out quickly how important it is to have sharp knives. It makes thing soooooo much easier.

Thanks again.
A steel just puts the edge back in place as a knife is used the edge "folds" over making the knife dull. The proper angle varies by knife style but most Western made knives are 22 or 23 degrees. I would steel the knife after every chicken. your angle is the most important part so it's possible you just have the wrong angle when you use the steel. Just remember the steel does not sharpen the blade.

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