These photos of the whole family cutting up beef made me think of asking: how do you all sharpen knives (and also hoes, shovels, hatchets, axes and lawn mower blades?
I have some "diamond bench stones" for knives. Two big 8" stones (500 grit and 700 grit, I think) and three cheapo things from Harbor Freight (180 grit, 240 and 550?).
I used to use a plastic clamp-on guide to hold the angle constant, but now I only use that if I'm coarse-grinding a bevel. Once I have the main bevel, I can sharpen by feel and keep a constant-enough angle.
Probably re-sharpening free-hand is putting a more obtuse "micro-bevel" on the edge of the original acute bevel, but I don't try for that deliberately. I try to follow the original bevel, removing as little metal as possible while still renewing the edge.
That's a little tricky, because light sharpening with a 550 or 700 grit stone doesn't usually make enough of a burr for me to feel with a finger, or even by brushing it with tissue paper. I keep checking the edge by slicing a piece of paper. When it slices cleanly, I know I've removed all the nicks and dents, so I take just 10-20 more strokes, even lighter and slower.
All my kitchen knives come from Goodwill and Salvation Army "used" bins. Most of them cost me 69 cents. So most are cheap stainless and won't hold an edge long, if they take a good edge at all. I don't mind: it gives me an excuse to keep a bench stone on the kitchen table and touch them up very frequently.
I used to use a fine steel or a big ceramic rod like a steel, and the "Vee-style" plastic thingy that holds two fine ceramic rods at a fixed angle. They make an edge smooth
, but I think that grinding along
the edge doesn't give as much "bite" as grinding at 90 degrees to