Maintaining a razor sharp edge for your cutting blades is not very easy. A sharpened blade goes blunt in no time. More often than not you will find that that the more you sharpen the blades the blunter they get. Even commercial and high priced knife sharpening system delivers the same results. Therefore a perfect knife sharpening system is more or less elusive to the common amongst us.
Most knife sharpening systems use an abrasive material on which the knife edge is sharpened. The abrasive hone can be dry, wet oil hone or diamond dust surface. Irrespective of the surface, the key to a sharper edge lies in the angle at which you hold the knife on the abrasive surface. Most people think that the longer it is drawn on the surface the sharper it gets. This cannot be farther from the truth. For getting the sharpest edge, one has to maintain a constant angle while grinding. It is very difficult for someone to do this unless there is some fixture for maintaining this angle. This is where a knife sharpening system comes handy.
Two excellent knife sharpening systems (besides the well-known Lansky, Gatco and Furi), are the sharpening guide by Razor Edge and Edge Pro sharpening system. The sharpening guide by Razor Edge is cheaper and easier to use. It is also more compact and is perfect for normal home use. But if you want better precision for the angle setting and more selection for honing surfaces, it is better to choose the Edge Pro professional model. It is more expensive but this has its advantages. It gives a perfect edge and the sharpening speed is also fantastic. The grinding angle can be set permanently so that it is easier to sharpen the primary edge without touching the relief.
Here are some pointers for sharpening Chicago Cutlery which is commonly found in homes and in restaurants if you are using the Edge Pro knife sharpening system.
Set the honing angle to 15o on the red mark.
Use a coarse stone to grind the relief on one side of the edge.
Grind the relief on the other side of the edge when the burr begins to appear.
After this use the 180 grit and grind the relief till burr appears on both sides.
Grind the secondary edge on each side till burr appears after setting the angle to 19° blue mark.
Continue to grind till the burr disappears completely and finish off with four strokes on each side on a ceramic steel sharpener.
Your Chicago Cutlery will have the perfect edge.
Here are some more tips to get the most out of any knife sharpening system.
If you are using a grinding wheel on steel knives, it would be best to use zircon alumina grinding surface as they are more durable.
Make sure that the grit of the grinding wheel is right for the kind of knife being sharpened.
The last but not least, spend a few dollars more and buy a good quality professional knife sharpening system. The quality of your work will improve when you have sharper tools to work with and it pays dividends in the end.