Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

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Altadan
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Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Altadan » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:53 pm

I've a friend who owns the Wustof Epicure set.

Beautiful stuff, really (except for the bolster).

I've been over to his place once before to sharpen his chef knife on my SG500 and SP2k, but I found things surprisingly difficult at the SG500 level.
After a much, much longer session than anticipated, I finally broke through, but now he's asking me to help him out again.

I read that the steel is coated with a "translucent ceramic coating," which might explain the difficulty. Otherwise, the steel is stainless (which one I do not know), and is rated at 58 HRC
https://www.cutleryandmore.com/wusthof- ... uctMedia-1

I thought I'd recommend a Kohetsu 800 stone to begin from, recalling folks said that the Kohetsu stones will cut through anything.

Thoughts?

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ken123
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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by ken123 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:21 pm

If you are suffering at 500 grit, don't go to an 800 - go to something coarser like a 180 or 220 to get things going.

I wouldn't be concerned with "translucent ceramic coating" since - at least for the edge itself, this should be worn off. Check with a sharpie to reassure yourself. Some knifes (and lathe tools) have titanium nitride coatings, but again the same reasoning would apply.
---
Ken

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Altadan
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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Altadan » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:41 pm

ken123 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:21 pm
If you are suffering at 500 grit, don't go to an 800 - go to something coarser like a 180 or 220 to get things going.
.
---
Ken
Your logic here is, of course, sound. I suspect (though I'm entire unsure) that maybe the ceramic in the sg500 and the steel in that Wustof were just not meshing well... Haven't there been such cases of certain steels being resistant to certain abrasives?

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by ken123 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:58 pm

"Your logic here is, of course, sound. I suspect (though I'm entire unsure) that maybe the ceramic in the sg500 and the steel in that Wustof were just not meshing well... Haven't there been such cases of certain steels being resistant to certain abrasives?"

Well, yes. I'm a fan of the 220 and 320 Platinums, BUT for this particular steel you should be OK with the sg500. If you feel you are wasting time (hint - you are), go coarser. I find myself going for the Platinums all the time just to get things done and not screw around.

Alternatively, you could 'dope' the SG500 with some 30 micron CBN to get things going too.

---
Ken

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by nevrknow » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:25 pm

Hmm. I have a lot of steels, albeit not that specific blade, and have yet to have a problem with either the sg500 or the kohetsu 800. I actually prefer the 800 but that's just my preference. Do you have an 800 to try? I bought up some of the thicker/older ones ( and my kids bought me a couple as gifts 😁) if you need I can send you one to try.

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Altadan » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:33 pm

nevrknow wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:25 pm
Hmm. I have a lot of steels, albeit not that specific blade, and have yet to have a problem with either the sg500 or the kohetsu 800. I actually prefer the 800 but that's just my preference. Do you have an 800 to try? I bought up some of the thicker/older ones ( and my kids bought me a couple as gifts 😁) if you need I can send you one to try.
Neverknow,
that's a might kind offer! I just sent you a PM

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Altadan
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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Altadan » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:56 pm

Has anyone had any experience with Yahiko True Grit series?

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Rob L » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:28 pm

Wusthof knives for me are always just a pain in the butt to sharpen. I have a few just because I live near one of their factories in CT. They have an outlet store there and a lot of stuff is dirt cheap. The only wusthof series that isn’t too bad sharpening wise that i’ve used are the pro and gourmet series. The steel is stamped and thinner so it’s not as bad. Still takes double the amount of time to raise a burr than any japanese knife I own. I don’t use them much anymore. When I did sharpen them I started on the cerax 320 or the shapton glass 500. Usually the 320 though. It would speed up the process. Just a personal opinion. I would hit the coarse stone up with those forged thick wusthofs.

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Altadan
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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Altadan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:19 pm

Rob L wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:28 pm
Wusthof knives for me are always just a pain in the butt to sharpen. I have a few just because I live near one of their factories in CT. They have an outlet store there and a lot of stuff is dirt cheap. The only wusthof series that isn’t too bad sharpening wise that i’ve used are the pro and gourmet series. The steel is stamped and thinner so it’s not as bad. Still takes double the amount of time to raise a burr than any japanese knife I own. I don’t use them much anymore. When I did sharpen them I started on the cerax 320 or the shapton glass 500. Usually the 320 though. It would speed up the process. Just a personal opinion. I would hit the coarse stone up with those forged thick wusthofs.
Thanks for the tip.

I'm half considering recommending he get an electric sharpener....

What do professionals do with those bolsters, anyway?

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by ken123 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:57 am

I grind off or grind down bolsters. They are a pita.
---
Ken

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by jmcnelly85 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:40 pm

With bolstered knives, avoid electric sharpeners. It’s too easy to quickly eat a void spot in the profile and require serious metal removal that really sucks without legitimate powered equipment. I’ve always sharpened bolstered knives with stones and pay particular attention to the profile where it meets the bolster. Remove metal from the bolster as you go when necessary, it’s slow but i’ve had effective results using an atoma 140 cleaned up with some sandpaper.

If you are set on a wusthof, get the ikon line and you’ll never have to deal with the bolster.

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by lsboogy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:36 pm

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:40 pm
With bolstered knives, avoid electric sharpeners. It’s too easy to quickly eat a void spot in the profile and require serious metal removal that really sucks without legitimate powered equipment. I’ve always sharpened bolstered knives with stones and pay particular attention to the profile where it meets the bolster. Remove metal from the bolster as you go when necessary, it’s slow but i’ve had effective results using an atoma 140 cleaned up with some sandpaper.

If you are set on a wusthof, get the ikon line and you’ll never have to deal with the bolster.
I'm with Ken - I have a couple wusthof blades, and too them both to a sharpening service and had the bolsters ground off.

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Altadan
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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Altadan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:52 pm

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:40 pm
.

If you are set on a wusthof, get the ikon line and you’ll never have to deal with the bolster.
Hi jmcnelly85
The thing ain't for me 😙 knife belongs to a friend who's asking me to help him sharpen.
If I had extra cash, I'd buy an extra coarse stone just to help out "stainless friends."
My knives are kept up well enough that I don't yet feel any need to own a 240 or 320... Please do convince me otherwise 😋

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by salemj » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:53 pm

My experience with knives like these is that a lot of the work goes into the bevels. This means is should be MUCH easier to re-sharpen the blade than it was the first time. I would use a sharpie (which I almost never do) as an experiment to test this particular hypothesis. I genuinely think the forged blades are just thicker behind the edge than many Japanese blades (and than their stamped German counterparts under the same brand names), even if they appear thin overall. This means that getting a good angle on a worn edge can require removing A LOT of really gummy steel from behind the edge. So: a sharpie will help you see if you are getting to the edge or not at the initial desired angle. It won't solve the problem, but it will inform you if the problem is the steel, or if it is merely an angle issue.

The steel itself is also a pain, but not in the way you are describing. Honestly, I've learned that the trick with German steel is to be less aggressive a lot of times, especially once you know you are hitting the edge. I have to use as little pressure as possible to get a coarser stone do the work, otherwise, it flips or rounds the edge very quickly. When I first started, I thought the opposite ("boy, this is not getting sharp...I must need to be more aggressive to form the apex!"), but I don't think that is the case so much any more...it is more about angles. It is very different than dealing with harder Japanese steel in these respects.

FWIW, I much prefer the "stamped" Germans for these reasons (as mentioned above). They tend to be thinner, not have bolsters, and are easier to sharpen, even if they don't hold an edge quite as a long. I realize it is a friend's blade, of course, but it is still a thought worth sharing perhaps.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by ken123 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:30 pm

"The thing ain't for me 😙 knife belongs to a friend who's asking me to help him sharpen.
If I had extra cash, I'd buy an extra coarse stone just to help out "stainless friends."
My knives are kept up well enough that I don't yet feel any need to own a 240 or 320... Please do convince me otherwise 😋"

So here's the issue(s). If it's for a friend, screw it. Don't mess with the bolsters. IF you do want to do that, go with a 60 or 24 grit stone. Or better yet a thin wheel belt grinder with various belts (pics available on request). Still a PITA but somewhat quicker. BUT a word of warning: As you grind down the bolster, that coarse stone WILL scratch up the steel behind the bolster. Now you have a scratched up knife and guess who's gonna fix that up? Then when you work on cleaning up those scratches, you eventually wind up refinishing the whole blade. A bit like washing just one spot on your car - you wind up washing the whole car. Bolsters and thumb studs are two things I really dislike.

---
Ken

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Altadan
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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Altadan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:21 pm

Yikes,
no thanks!

I did work on a bolster just that once, and I "shoe shined" it with 120 sandpaper. It was slow going, and I gave up after a made the minimal amount of progress that would make a difference.
It blunted the heel, but thankfully didn't scratch anything.
I'll update y'all once its done.

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by ken123 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:57 pm

Another question - do you think the steel composing the bolster is as 'good' as the steel in the rest of the blade? I do like a sharp (vs rounded) heel.

---
Ken

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Re: Wustof Epicure Sharpening/Stone Advice

Post by Jason H » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:24 am

Altadan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:52 pm
jmcnelly85 wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:40 pm
.

If you are set on a wusthof, get the ikon line and you’ll never have to deal with the bolster.
Hi jmcnelly85
The thing ain't for me 😙 knife belongs to a friend who's asking me to help him sharpen.
If I had extra cash, I'd buy an extra coarse stone just to help out "stainless friends."
My knives are kept up well enough that I don't yet feel any need to own a 240 or 320... Please do convince me otherwise 😋
You may want to try CKTG diamond plates. 👍🏼

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