Shun kitchen knife

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Shun kitchen knife

Postby FaithfulPastor » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:16 pm

I have a Shun kitchen knife.

The manufacturer says that I need to sharpen it to 16 degrees.

My sharpmaker is at 20 degrees. Any suggestions on how to compensate for the 4 degree difference?

The manufacturer says that I should use a 6000 grit stone to sharpen the knife.

What is the grit equivalent (I kinda made up that term) of the Sharpmaker's ultrafine stones?

Thanks for your help!


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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby ross8425 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:28 pm

I have a shun 8" chef knife and I sharpen it, as my others, with the 30* side just fine.

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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby Tdog » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:36 pm

The Sharpmaker has a 30 and 40 degree (inclusive) sharpening angle. Use the 30 degree (15 each side) you'll be fine. There are video's on YouTube that show how to use the Sharpmaker. Spyderco also has a CD showing proper useage. Good luck :)

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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby Sharp Guy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:07 pm

Tdog wrote:The Sharpmaker has a 30 and 40 degree (inclusive) sharpening angle. Use the 30 degree (15 each side) you'll be fine. There are video's on YouTube that show how to use the Sharpmaker. Spyderco also has a CD showing proper useage. Good luck :)
Keep in mind that not all Sharpmakers have both 30° & 40° sides. My old 203 only has the 40° setting which could be what the OP has.
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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby vivi » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:41 pm

I read somewhere the ultrafine stones are about 8000 grit. No idea if that's true or not, but they do leave a nice polish.

I have UF sharpmaker rods and the bench stone, and the benchstone is my go to for any PE knife I give a polished edge. The rods give serrated knives a scary sharp edge :D

As far as the angle goes you have two options.

You can use the 20 degree setting and it should work immediately.

Or you can use the 15 degree setting using your coarsest stone, and assuming the knife came sharpened at exactly 16 degrees, you'll be hitting the shoulder of the bevel instead of the apex. After grinding away some steel, the edge will now be 15 degrees per side, and the whole bevel should look uniform. Then you can progress up to the ultrafine stones.
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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby zhyla » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:19 pm

16 degrees per side or total?

Do NOT just round up to 20 or 30 degrees. That’s going to compromise your slicing quite a bit.

I sharpen kitchen knives (and most plain edges) free hand on a granite plate with sandpaper. If you can’t find the right angle by feel or with sharpie, you can use an angle gauge to estimate it. For long straight blades it’s pretty easy to maintain angle once you know where it should be.

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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby The Deacon » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:58 am

If the OP's Sharpmaker doesn't have the 30º setting, or he wants to go with Shun's recommended setting, he could shim one end of the Sharpmaker to change the angle of the stone relative to the work surface.
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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby sal » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:46 pm

Hi FaithfulPastor,

Welcome to our forum.

Does your Sharpmaker have a 30 degree inclusive setting? If so, use that. No problem for VG-10 (which is what the Shun edge is made from).


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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby Surfingringo » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:48 pm

Hi faithful Pastor and welcome. I would use the regular fine rods on a kitchen knife. In my experience, they give a finish similar to about 4000 grit. Those stones will easily take vg10 to a hair whittling edge and will leave more "bite" to the edge than the UF stones. As Sal and others have said, the 30 degree setting on the SM should work for you.

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Re: Shun kitchen knife

Postby N. Brian Huegel » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:02 am

Depending upon when your Shun Classic (DM0#?) was made it may have the newer VG10 Max which I believe is Takefu Cobalt Special (CoS). It should be laser engraved on the blade.

CoS.png (9.75 KiB) Viewed 1447 times

Regardless, I sharpen all of my Japanese kitchen knives with a 20°micro-bevel for maximum edge retention, that is, I sharpen through all fours steps of the Sharpmaker @15° until hair popping sharp, then I change the white rods to 20° (flats facing each other) and give the edge several alternating light strokes for a micro-bevel. This will give you a stronger edge that has approximately the same resistance (ease of cutting) of the 15°. With kitchen knives, the majority of edge wear and deformation is due to what you are cutting on, that is your cutting board, rather than what you are cutting through, with the exception of bones, peach pits, etc. This is why one should not cut on granite, Corian, glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or other hard surfaces. End grain natural wood or bamboo are the least dulling, followed by edge or flat grain wood or bamboo, then epicurean (craft paper laminate), and polyethylene. Consequently, having a stronger edge with minimum resistance works best for me and those customers I have taught the technique to. The other advantage of micro-bevel sharpening, is that the 20°micro-bevel edge it is much faster to re-sharpen (touch up)—usually just 2-3 firm strokes on the white flats followed by 3-6 progressively lighter strokes than single bevel sharpening as there is significantly less steel to remove (polish) as the width of this edge bevel is very small. One can re-sharpen the 20°micro-bevel dozens of times until one can see the micro-bevel, now macro-bevel with the naked eye or in my case reading glasses. At that point, one starts the process over again by resharpening the major bevel @15°…..

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