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Can a ten dollar kitchen knife be (very) sharp?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by Piero, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    Hi there!

    What is the cutting power of an old kitchen knife from Ikea after sharpening?


    My goal with this video is not to make a criticism of expensive knives that have their advantages (aesthetics, wear resistance, craftsman's work, etc.). Simply to show that a very economical blade is not necessarily bad at all points.

    I hope you will enjoy this little video! ;)
    All the best,

  2. G-son


    Apr 26, 2016
    Very nice. Almost any knife can get very sharp with a little work, how long they remain sharp depends on the quality of the steel. From what I've heard, the Ikea knives are made from fairly good steel, but the edge might not the best out of the box. For the price, probably a good deal.
  3. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    Thank you G-son.

    I read on an other forum that Ikea have made vg10 kitchen knives.
    This one was very cheap, and the steel is not high end, but yeah it takes a good edge. It don't remain sharp during a long time but it can be sharpen quickly.

    With this video, I wanted to show that even if high end knives have advantages, with proper technic and a little bit of work we can also do a lot with low end knives. :)
  4. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    For a kitchen knife VG-10 works well ! Similar to N690 ,takes a good edge , easy to sharpen.
  5. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    Yes mete you are right! But mine was not vg10, may be a 420 or something like that, so don't keep the edge during a long time!
  6. deltaboy


    Jul 6, 2014
    Enjoy it and use it.
  7. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I can make a $0.25 butter knife or a bit of scrap metal about as sharp as you want it to be with a bit of work. More expensive knives aren't sharper in any meaningful way, but they may well have far superior materials, cutting geometry and build quality (they also may not, plenty of bad, expensive knives out there).

    Apologies for being a bit cynical about the point you're trying to make, but, yes, any knife can be sharpened and cut. If it can't, it's not actually a knife, but an extremely inefficient spoon.
  8. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    Sure, some reasonably priced knives can take a good edge but as was mentioned, they may not hold it for long. My limited personal experience indicates that Victorinox may have a slightly better heat treatment than say the lower end Henckels of similar price even though they appear to be using the same or very similar steels. A lot of people feel that the Victorinox knives punch above their weight class and that may be one reason.
    As for VG10, what I have been told is that some folks do it quite well and others not so much. I was quite pleased with the Hattori ITK forum suji I had, but I have heard stories about folks who weren't quite so happy with their VG10 blades.
  9. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    Hi Insipid Moniker, thank you for your comment! And sorry I didn't see your answer.
    My video was more for beginners. I often see people with dull knives, and they think it's because of the knife. So I wanted to show that a non expensive knife can cut. For you it was not a big revolution, but I have a lot of friends who didn't know that it was possible!

    Hi jdm61: Yes, Victorinox, have a good reputation. I think for a budget choice, there are also the carbon steel chinese cleavers, they are not very nice, but seems good.
  10. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
  11. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    Thank you for the link, this "edge retention efficiency" is an interesting concept.
  12. Ad58


    May 23, 2005
    Try an Opinel if you like sharp knives for around ten bucks! They come in different sizes also!
  13. joe yhcarh

    joe yhcarh

    May 29, 2017
  14. joe yhcarh

    joe yhcarh

    May 29, 2017
    if retention is a problem:
    i'd try a more obtuse/steeper edge --just at the very end by honing.
    the other thing is that a lot of production knives are machine ground and this gives them an almost sawtooth edge,and once the ridges are gone(they break off) it becomes dull.
    hone with the finest stone i mean like a very extra fine to get a shiny final edge.

    good luck: joe
  15. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    It does not make much sense to talk about sharpness without considering edge retention because as others have said in this thread that virtually any knives in any steel can be made very sharp. The question is: do you want to stop in the middle of preparing your family dinner to sharpen your chefs knife?
  16. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    I have Opinel, since I am very young! They are made at something like 50 km, from where I live! And I agree, this fine convex edge, can be very very sharp!
  17. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    I agree with you, like I said in the video and here for similar remarks this vid is more a popularization for beginners. A lot think that the more expensive the knife is the more sharp it is. :)
  18. Piero


    Mar 21, 2017
    I agree with you saw edges are worst than mirror edge in retention. I sometimes use also a more obtuse edge "just at the very end of honing" and there is a second advantage: it permit me to sharpen faster, because sometimes I just sharpen the obtuse part with the fine edge, so there is less metal to remove with the fine hone!
  19. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    On the basis of this thread I decided to find out the answer to your question. :) We have some very pitiful "steak"knives in our house. My wife simply doesn't care. She has her favorite 80 year old paring knife that she use for nearly every task - sharpened past the point of sharpening - hardly any blade left to the point that it is misshapen but she loves it. I can't introduce anything in to the kitchen knife assortment that draws her attention. I have tried and failed repeatedly. SO - I decided after years of dissatisfaction in this department to order some "steak" knives for myself - my dear wife doesn't need to use them :rolleyes:.

    I shopped around a bit and decided on some OPINELS.
    From the OPINEL web site - Sandvik stainless steel We use Sandvik 12C27 modified stainless steel. It is anti-corrosive thanks to the addition of chrome and requires no special maintenance. Its carbon content of at least 0.40% provides an excellent cutting edge.

    When the brand was decided I was intent to buy them directly from the US division of OPINEL - free shipping and good prices but alas I found a vendor on Amazon selling the same item of 4 colored handle knives for $20.00 less. For some reason the other vendors, also selling OPINELS, were selling different colored sets for $7 or $8 more than OPINEL. I "settled" on the not such a big seller colored set because - why not? The colors aren't bad - kind of fun really - and the knife composition identical to the others. I could have spent an extra $90.00 and bought the same knife in olive wood. For less than $8.00 each I will get 4 nice OPINELS made in FRANCE. Shall see how well they hold up.

    Glad you made me think about this :cool:

  20. deltaboy


    Jul 6, 2014
    Looks like a good buy.

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