Sharpening my knives when all of a sudden...

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by timbit, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. timbit


    Jul 21, 2011
    I was prepping dinner the other day and noticed that my Deba and Nakiri were not as sharp as I like. Fast forward a couple of days, I have an evening free. I'm sitting on the porch drinking coffee, sharpening my knives. My neighbour pokes his head over the fence and says "HEY! Can you do one of mine?" I said, "Sure, bring it over."

    He proceeds to come over with his ENTIRE cutlery set of sh*tty made in china knives. I couldn't believe it! How does "can you do ONE of mine" turn into 20 knives?. We had a bit of a laugh about it, and I told him to choose three of them. I didn't see the point of sharpening them though, he keeps them all in a drawer banging around against each other. I guess not everyone cares for their tools as well as I do.

    Has this sort of thing ever happened to you? You offer to sharpen a single knife and it turns into a drawer full?
  2. Wet Noodle

    Wet Noodle

    Oct 28, 2012
    It's happened countless times. Like you, I'll only sharpen a couple few at the most. I won't make 'em razor sharp, either. Too many people have seriously cut themselves after I dressed up their blades and they act like I victimized them.
  3. timbit


    Jul 21, 2011
    I KNOW! His knives wouldn't cut paper before. I left them so they would cut paper, but not shave. I didn't want him pissed off at me because he cut himself.

    One time my dad asked to use my knife. Being a tool and dye maker, he's not one to abuse a tool. I hand it to him, and tell him "CAREFUL, I just sharpened it". He proceeds to test the edge on his finger nail...and then removes half of his thumb nail. I wasn't impressed.
  4. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    Not to be hokey but "Sharpen another mans knives and he will always depend on you for a sharp blade. Teach a man how to sharpen his own knives, and he can depend on himself".

    I know that some people like to show-off their knife-sharpening skills and earn the gratitude of others by doing so, but you're not really doing them any favors.

    There have been times when someone asked me to sharpen their knife/knives, and I said "No, but I'll teach you how to sharpen your knives".

    And there have been times when I saw that someone didn't know how to sharpen and really needed to learn so I offered to teach them.

    There's nothing wrong with not knowing how to sharpen ones own knives, but if a person isn't willing to learn how to sharpen their own knives, then I don't think they deserve sharp knives.

    If a person asks me to teach them, absolutely yes. But if some lazy-ass won't bother to learn and just expects me to do it for them, HELL NO!
  5. timbit


    Jul 21, 2011
    I see your point. I didn't offer to do it for him he asked. I don't like to say 'No' to my neighbours if I can avoid it as there will be times when I need to ask them for something. He is on welfare, and can't afford the 20 or 30 bucks to purchase a cheap stone. He really does live pay cheque to pay cheque. He isn't one to accept charity, so wouldn't accept one of my old stones. *shrugs* If he wants me to do it again, i'll show him how and tell him he can use mine whenever he wants.

    I wasn't showing off my mad skillz :p The wife doesn't like the noise of knife sharpening so she kicks me out if I try to do it in the kitchen.
  6. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    I didn't mean to suggest that you were showing off, it was just meant as a general statement :).

    At times, I myself have been tempted to show someone else how sharp I could get their dull knife. I looked upon their dull knife as a challenge. But then I figured I'd be doing them a bigger favor by teaching them instead.

    I do think it's cool that you would agree to help out a neighbor like that.
  7. timbit


    Jul 21, 2011
    I figured you were speaking in generalities. I live in a great neighbourhood. I know the families well 5 houses each direction both sides of the street. We all look out for each other and rarely have blowups. I feel very blessed to live in such a nice area!
  8. XiaolongJackson


    Jun 5, 2012
    Never happens to me. I can barely sharpen my own knives. Still figuring out this freehanding stuff. Managed to get my Delica back to paper cutting sharp, after just stropping it wasn't doing it anymore, but I totally ruined the edge on my Victorinox Classic trying to touch it up a little.
  9. timbit


    Jul 21, 2011
    Sorry to hear that buddy! For whatever reason I find it difficult to sharpen Vic Classics, I find i can't get them to burr up well. Keep at it! Atleast the Vic Classic isn't a terribly expensive knife, so it doesn't hurt your wallet to practice on it!

    There are a bunch of great tutorials on this site kicking around on japanese style sharpening. Check it out.
  10. jimnolimit


    Oct 28, 2009
    yeah, that's not too cool. if someone needs a bunch of knives to get sharpened, they should ask "can you sharpen a few" or "a bunch of my knives". one knife shouldn't turn into 20. if a neighbor asked me to sharpen a knife and brought over his whole knife block, as i'm about to take the block, the phrase "i'll take a 6 pack of beer" will come out of my mouth.

    when i sharpen people's knives, i base the level of my sharpening on the knife and how well they keep them. most of the time i just put a fresh edge on it with 120 grit SiC or diamond and then just give it a few swipes on something a little finer (like 400-1000 grit). then a few swipes on a strop. it doesn't take me very long and gets the job done well. no need to put an excellent, refined edge on a beater knife, just a good working edge.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  11. timbit


    Jul 21, 2011
    Good call on the beer and the quick sharpen. I don't have any 120grit SiC otherwise i'd do this too! I've had a few friends ask me "Why are your knives so much sharper than mine after you sharpen them?"lol. Safety? Pride? VG-10/Shirogami/CPM-154 vs Cheapo 'Chinese Surgical Stainless'
  12. singularity35


    Mar 1, 2010
    I've sharpened some knives for NKP, I always put a coarse edge on them and just take off the burr. They are pretty much blown away. After a few incidents, I alway qualify with "no longer my fault if you cut yourself with it".
  13. mrdeus


    Mar 6, 2012
    Sure you are. When he realizes how sharp a knife can be, he might be interested in learning to do so himself and then proceeds to ask you to teach him. No point in trying to force someone to learn something they're not interested in and don't know the benefits of. "Hey! I'm going to teach you to sharpen knives! I won't take no for an answer!" "I'm not interested in that. By the way, who are you and what are you doing in my house?" :p
  14. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    I agree. Once a lady at work asked me to sharpen her husband's "hunting" knife. It was an older Puma and was easy to sharpen--- I did my best - it was one of the best edges I have ever put on a knife!! She returned a few day later to show me pictures of her husband's new stitches from the knife! Now, I just go about half way unless they are knife nuts.
  15. fatcat55


    Jan 1, 2010
    I would much prefer someone teach me a skill I find interesting rather than watch them do it,but on the other hand when it comes to computers I just want mine working correctly so I have no interest in learning too much in that area.

    I think it has to do with where ones's interests and priorities lie.
  16. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    I think if someone is asking you to sharpen a knife for them that they already know the value of a sharp knife. And if a fully capable person isn't interested or willing to learn how to sharpen their own knives, then like I said, I don't think they deserve a sharp knife.

    But that's just me. I don't believe in rewarding other peoples laziness or doing other peoples chores for them. Nor do I believe in spending my time and effort doing something that they could easily do if they took a little time to learn how.

    Of course if we're talking about a person with arthritis or a similar issue, or if a good friend asks for a one time quick favor, that's different. But if a person expects to just dump their knives on you and expects you to spend your time and effort (not to mention wear on your hones) doing it for them, I consider that unacceptable. Of course I've never had any problem telling other people NO and I don't need everyone to like me. I don't have such lazy inconsiderate friends because I don't make friends with lazy inconsiderate people.

    I wonder, if a person here were changing the oil in their car and their able-bodied neighbor saw you and asked you to change his, would you do it? Would you do it for free?
  17. crazyengineer


    Apr 2, 2011
    I just had it happen to me a couple days ago, I was sharpening a cousins knife (in high school so he doesn't have any income to get a stone). A I was doing that my uncle asked if I would do a couple of his kitchen knives, which thankfully ended up being 3 only lol, near as I could tell he was using a steel, but slapping the blade against them and chipping them. I worked the majority of the chips out of all three (2 weren't bad). They are real sharp. I told him why they were chipping, and I think he won't be slapping the blade anymore
  18. timbit


    Jul 21, 2011
    You have to change the oil in your car??? (I'd do it for cost+beer if we were friends).

    As to the laziness. I'm not sure that not wanting to learn something equates to laziness. Not everyone is interested in learning how to do something. I could teach almost anyone to change the oil in their car, but many people would rather have someone else do it for them.
  19. mrdeus


    Mar 6, 2012
    There's a difference between knowing that you want your knife to be "sharp" and knowing just how sharp "sharp" can be. There's of course also a difference between doing someone a favour and being taken advantage of. Me, I like helping others out when I can. And others help me out. Everyone can't have the exact same skill set.
  20. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    I never considered sharpening a knife to be a difficult task to learn, or teach. It's not brain surgery after all. I'm no genius, yet as a child, I had no problem learning how to put a shaving sharp edge on a knife with nothing more than a cheap government-issue sharpening stone. To say that learning how to sharpen a knife is too difficult is a cop-out that I don't except.

    If a person, a grown adult no less, isn't willing to take a few minutes to learn how to do something as simple as sharpen THEIR OWN knife, a tool that THEY need and use, but instead want others to do it for them, yeah, I'd call that the very deffinition of laziness.

    I think that sharpening someone elses knife for them is much more likely to encourage them to be dependant on you rather than encourage them to learn for themselves. Why would they need to learn how to do something if you're will to do it for them.

    I guess I was just raised different than others. The way I was raised- If you want a bicycle you'd better learn how to take care of it. If you want to go fishing you'd better pay attention and learn how to tie your own knots and clean your own catch. If you want to use a knife you'd better learn how to sharpen it. If you want to shoot a gun you'd better learn how to clean and oil it. Get the picture.

    I was taught that the worth of A MAN can be found, in part, in his level of self-reliance. I was taught that A MAN always strives to be as self-reliant as he can reasonably be. I was taught that self-reliance was a source of A MAN'S pride.

    As a grown, reasonably intelligent, able-bodied man, I can't imagine the shame and humiliation of having to ask someone to sharpen my knives because I was too lazy or uninterested to learn how to do it myself.

    But like I said, I guess I was just raised different.

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