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Pull Through Sharpeners Don't Suck, Neither Do Sharpening Steels.

Posted by jasonstone20 
Pull Through Sharpeners Don't Suck, Neither Do Sharpening Steels.
December 21, 2021 08:37PM
It seems in the sharpening community, pull through sharpeners and sharpening steels are somewhat hated. They do happen to be actual useful sharpening equipment, if, like anything, used correctly:

This sharpener was not expected to be significantly useful and in general these types of sharpeners are often pretty strongly degraded such as noted in the video on the right. However it was found that :

with a little care then a fairly sharp edge can be produced
for a rougher use knife it could be just as useful as a hand honed edge
It does have some issues :
no way to adjust the edge angle
not trivial to deburr and it burrs heavily
the inserts can not be rotated or replaced
it is a bit large/bulky compared to some of the other versions


Some use showing how you can use them to achieve a decent edge in both terms of initial sharpness and edge retention :


It is axiomatic that a sharp knife is a safe knife, and a whole lot more pleasurable to use. I wanted to find a knife sharpener for family members to keep their knives in useable condition. I bought a couple of these Kyocera ceramic wheel pull though sharpeners. They fit the bill well enough, with some issues described below.


I used to use a Smiths pull through sharpener for deburring, when I was still not that great at sharpening. This is the one I would use, the 10-second knife sharpener: [smithsproducts.com] . I would form a burr and flip it once or twice, and the lightly use the pull through sharpener, and I would get a shaving edge. Speaking of pull through sharpeners, this one looks interesting, as it has adjustable angles: [smithsproducts.com] .

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/2021 08:47PM by jasonstone20.
Re: Pull Through Sharpeners Don't Suck, Neither Do Sharpening Steels.
January 10, 2023 06:23PM
My dad dropped a Wusthof santoku he bought my mom from a roadtrip we took. He asked me to repair the chip on the tip. There really wasn't much damage, but I was going to sharpen it anyway. It's been entirely maintained by my sister, who uses a pull-through like the one you mention.

The edge on it was excellent, a few minor nicks but nothing bad. Very surprised. Granted, kitchen knives and their geometry are idiot-proof (lots of grandmothers out there cutting tomatoes with dull triangles!) but I was expecting the edge to be chowdered, and it wasn't.

However, what I did notice was that on the first inch or two of the heel were obvious indents from impacts that could only have come from impact with a coarse stone. So my sister, and I imagine lots of people, will sharpen by pushing the blade down hard and "zipping". Once you beat the initial friction you will be sharpening, but that first inch or two will NOT produce a nice edge. Definitely good enough for most kitchen work, my grandmother's knives are both chowdered and sharp from years of bad stone practices.

I swear it was Cliff who mentioned somewhere that the pull-through sharpeners actually work quite well if you actually apply some pressure on them. The sharpening action requires it, otherwise you're doing that evil process of honing and just flopping around bad steel.
Re: Pull Through Sharpeners Don't Suck, Neither Do Sharpening Steels.
February 05, 2023 02:44PM
Worm Oracle,
Yes exactly! It seems to always come down to techniques vs equipment, or more precisely, the proper techniques with the equipment being used for the desired result
Re: Pull Through Sharpeners Don't Suck, Neither Do Sharpening Steels.
April 29, 2023 02:01AM
Any advice on how to use them?
Re: Pull Through Sharpeners Don't Suck, Neither Do Sharpening Steels.
May 14, 2023 01:44PM
Light pressure with a lubricant, like water or mineral oil.
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