I have a steel honing rod, and angled, twin mini-rods set in a wood block.Thanks for all the great responses everyone.
Treeguy64 brought up a good point, how do you keep your knifes sharp? I'ved used two different methods to keep knifes sharp - stones for the shop and a ceramic rod for the kitchen. I haven't tried the electric sharpeners. What's your favorite?
@Liberty I enjoyed reading the Julia Child article in your link. Thank you!Hampton Forge Continental. Recommend these to keep their sharpness. Chef's #10 a must. They are inexpensive and can be purchased in a set like this. The kitchen scissors are great, as well as the steak knives. Was French trained, and don't think the very expensive knives are a bit better than these - these are weighted properly - handle heavyweight, which really does matter.
Of course, handling a knife helps you to determine the proper "weight" for your hand. I'd do that before you buy it. These are in lots of stores in your area.
As my mother used to say "most people don't cut themselves with a "sharp knife".
Speaking of "sharp" knives...here is a cute article (the top portion of it) regarding Julia Child and "sharp knives":
Julia Child had a pet peeve: kitchen knives. They were never sharp enough for the beloved French chef. She sometimes swore a blue streak over dull knives. Her husband Paul Child once overheard her yell, “God damn it!—I’ve never yet gone into a private French kitchen where the knives are sharp...www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com
I was really surprised at the Chef's knife & Paring knives I got on Amazon. The brand is "Mercer." Very reasonable cost. I like the rubbery grip versions. I've been using them for 7 years.
My nephew, a professional chef, recommended we buy a Mercer chef knife. He told us that for non-professionals it's the best bang for the buck. We've had it about 5 years and use an old fashioned steel honing rod for sharpening. Have the same setup in our RV, too. We're very happy with Mercer.My advice is don't buy a set. Buy just the knives that you need. I have 3 Mercer Genesis knives, a 7" Santoku, a 5" utility and a 3.5" paring. These plus an inexpensive bread knife do everything I need. The Mercers aren't too expensive and they have good steel. Any knife can be made sharp, but a a good knife will hold that edge longer.
I learned to sharpen them by watching these videos. I use a fine diamond hone and Arkansas stone to finish. It just takes a few minutes. And I keep them razor sharp by steeling them lightly each time I use them. They are a pleasure to use.
If your knives are in really bad shape you might want to shop around for a sharpening service. I did, and prices ran from $3.50 to $15. Some charge per inch of blade length. Some will come right to your house. In the end, I decided to learn to do it myself.We have a wet stone, I've tried that but it doesn't seem to put a lasting edge back. I've got a ceramic honing rod which works okay if you have a sharp knife... She borrowed an electric sharpener from her friend. No idea how to use it. Watched some videos but I'm still unsure. Gave it a try anyway. Seems to have helped ONE knife sort of get an edge back. It's still nothing like it used to be. I've been tempted to look around town and find someone who sharpens knives and see what they say.
I used to do wood carving. Sharpening is a must for anything involving knives or cutting tools.As a gourmet vegan chef, my knives are important to me, and I've done my due diligence. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that you have a knife that's comfortable for you to use, and that you know how to keep it sharp. I've worked with $250 knives from top-end, specialty shops, and those from restaurant supply superstores that go for $10. All do a great job as long as they are sharp, and in experienced hands. Don't rush out and spend mega bucks for a knife with snob appeal, when a Walmart unit will do just as good a job for you.
Oh yeah, and don't forget to have a cutting board to go with your knives. The bigger, the heavier, the better. Forget the plastic boards. They're mostly garbage, and your knives won't like them.
Remember to keep food-grade mineral spirits on hand, to keep your board in great shape.