Santa Monica Knife sharpening blog

Santa Monica Knife sharpening, the best hand sharpening service in Los Angeles

Santa Monica Knife Sharpening just finished sharpening a slicing knife

A newly sharpened slicing knife

I’m a knife sharpener, my name is Magnus Pettersson, and I hand sharpen every knife on Japanese water stones. If you truly care about your knives and want them as sharp as possible, let me sharpen them for you. I work out of my home, and offer free pickup and deliver, with no minimum charge on the westside.

Here is how it works, email me at magnus@memagnus.com, or call/text me at 310-486-6068 and let me know how many knives you have and when it would be a good time to come by and pick them up. The turn around is usually a few hours, and at the latest the next day depending on how busy I’m.

Why you should have your knives hand sharpened?

Please check out my customers reviews on yelp!

My hand sharpening prices for knives are:

Knives less than 5 inches $7 each

Knives between 5” – 9” inches $9 each

Knives over 9”  $11 each

For other sharpening check my price list

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

Knife sharpening with Nubatama ume 4000 and 6000

Knife sharpening with Nubatama ume 4000 and 6000

Knife sharpening with Nubatama ume 4k and 6k

Nubatama ume 4k and 6k

Knife sharpening with the Nubatama ume 4k and 6k, are so different compared with the other stones in the series. First off they are both pre finishing stones, so I will mostly comment on how they feel and what kind of finish they leave. They are rather hard stones, so hardly no dishing, the mud is just black swarf from the steel, and they both cut fast for their grit range. In all other ways they are really different compared to each other and it is hard to believe they are from the same series of stones.

Knife sharpening progression

In the pictures bellow I will show the progression from unsharpened to strop, to demonstrate the whole knife sharpening progress and where the Nubatamas fits in, in the progress.

Knife before sharpening

Knife before sharpening

Knife after sharpening on 1000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 1000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 2000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 2000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 4000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 4000 grit stone

As you see the use of Nubatama ume 4000 in the sharpening progress, doing a fine job refining the edge. It feels super smooth, cuts well and doesn’t mud much, and it is not super rock hard so it still have a great feedback. The finish it leaves looks surprisingly more polished than I would have thought; it really feels and behaves like a Chosera 3000 stone. This would be a perfect final stone when sharpening soft steel knives.

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 6000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on Nubatama ume 6000 grit stone

Knife sharpening with the 6000 is very different to the 4000, it’s harder, cuts slower, and in close-up it refines the edge with a slightly finer scratch pattern. The most surprising though is that to the naked eye, the polish from the 4000 looks better. First I thought I did something wrong, so I retested several times side by side with different knives, and every time the 4000 left a better finish to the naked eye, but in close up the 6000 had a slightly better finish. A speculation could be that they have different abrasive density or different kind of binding material, I have no idea maybe, I could figuring it out if I haul out the big microscope, but I will save that project for the future.

Knife after sharpening on 8000 grit stone

Knife after sharpening on 8000 grit stone

They both cleanup equally on finer grit stones, I can’t see any difference at all.

Knife sharpening, final edge after stropping

Knife sharpening, final edge after stropping

Edge after a fast tour on the leather strop.

Conclusion:

I see no need to buy both of these stones for knives, because they are not that different. I love the 4000 it is a really nice fast cutting stone and it leaves an awesome finish, the only thing I don’t like is that green / yellow color that stains everything. The 6000 is also a really good stone, and leaves a finer scratch pattern, and the hardness and low mud makes it perfect for straight razors.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpening, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

 



Nubatama ume 1000 grit review

Nubatama ume 1000 grit review

Nubatama ume1000 review

Nubatama ume 1000

I don’t know what to say, this was supposed to be an ordinary review, stating the facts and impression of the stone. Fist off it isn’t like any other 1k stone, it feels porous, have a beautiful deep blue color, sounds porous dry, and feels more like a lower grit stone to the touch. My first thought was to compare it to some other very common stones in this grit range, like Sigma ps, Shapton pro, Beston and Chosera. The second thought was to compare it to some cheap clay stones and I realized that the Nubatama would eat them alive so that would not be fair. Third thought was Chosera 1k, but I don’t use it anymore, because I usually go straight to Bester 2000 wish is my everyday midrange stone.  Well after the Nubatama 320 retired my Bester 500, maybe I should compare it to Bester 2k instead. I love Bester 2k, I know even before I start that I will still love the Bester in the end, and that there is no way that I will retire it.

Nubatama ume 1000 vs. Bester 2000

  1. Size: Nubatama wins it’s twice the size
  2. Dry out time: Bester 2k wins 3min 10sec and just 2min 26sec for Nubatama
  3. Cutting speed: Nubatama wins it’s not twice as fast, but definitely much faster
  4. Dishing: None of them dish much, but Bester dish slightly less
  5. Finish: Bester 2k wins, it leaves a much clearer finish
  6. Feel: I love the feel of Bester 2k, but with mud build up Nubatama feels super nice just in a different way.

Ok I realize that it isn’t a fair compare, I love the Bester and the grit is too different to even try to compare them. I went and got my old favorite Chosera 1k, to see if that is a better match up.

Nubatama ume 1000 vs Chosera 1000

  1. Size:  Nubatama wins it’s twice the size
  2. Dry out time: They are both thirsty stones but the Chosera wins with a tiny 10sec
  3. Cutting speed: Nubatama wins but not with much, my guesstimate is 5%-10% faster
  4. Dishing: Nubatama wins but not with much
  5. Finish: Chosera wins it has a better finish
  6. Feel: They both feel awesome but very different; I had almost forgotten how smooth the Chosera felt so this is more a matter of taste.
  7. Clean up on higher grit: I give it a slight edge to Chosera, but it is not as much as I would have thought.

Would I replace my favorite Bester 2000 with Nubatama ume 1000, no I would not. Would I chose Nubatama ume 1000 over Chosera 1k, yes I would because it is twice the size, dishes less and doesn’t have that green mud that stains everything. But if you really care about finish in this grit range, Chosera might be your choice.

Conclusion:

Nubatama ume 1k isn’t a metal eating beast like Sigma 1k, but it cuts faster than most other 1k stones and it doesn’t dish much and you get a big stone that will last you a while. What is really amazing doing knife sharpening on this stone, is hard to put down in facts. It is a matter of feel, after building up the first mud with another 1k stone, it has the magic, that magic feel and sound that makes you drool, it awakens that warrior sharpening his sword deep inside that have been hidden for a long while. You slow down and close your eyes, and hear and feel every stroke against the stone, and feel how the power almost makes you beam energy, everything else around you disappear and that edge is taken from sharp metal to an edge that will carry a piece of your soul forever.

Do I have to say more, I love the feel of this stone, now I just have to find use for it. I might end up using it as a step up stone after Nubatama ume 320, if it shows that it could save me some time. If someone was just buying a single stone to keep their knives sharp, I would definitely recommend Nubatama ume 1k as their to go stone.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpening, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.



Nubatama ume #320 vs Bester #500

Nubatama ume #320 vs Bester #500

I just got 4 Nubatama Ume stones #320, #1k, #4k and #6k, I was a little hesitant to buy them because the only reviews I could find was from the people selling them. Anyway here they are and I will start with the Nubatama Ume #320 and compare it to my favorite coarse stone Bester #500, and if it is up to the task it will replace the bester in my setup. I love the Bester, it cuts fast and give a decent feedback, the downside is that I use a lot of pressure with the coarse stones and it dish fast and it is tough to flatten. I use up 2-3 bester #500 a year, and it dries out way to quick, so for me it’s not problem free. I know I could use DMT’s but I hate the feedback and the scratches they create is hard to get ride of. The list of coarse stones I have tested in this grit range is extended, the one that got closest to Bester was Chosera #400 it did dish but not as much and left a nicer finish, but it doesn’t cut as fast and time is money.

Knife sharpening Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500 water stones

Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500 water stones

As you all see the Bester is well used and in it’s prime, so it will be a tough one to beat. The things I will compare first are, cutting speed, dishing, general feel, and the finish they leave. The Nubatama came really flat, I still gave it a fast flattening to get ride of that new stone feel before I started the test.

Drying time compair between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

Drying time compair between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

One thing that bothers me with bester is how fast it dries out, so that was the first thing I tried. The Nubatama is a tiny bit better, 48sec for Nubatama and 34sec for bester, but its almost a 50% improvement that will actually make a little difference.

2 brand new Kiwi knives to use to compare Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

2 brand new Kiwi knives to use to compare Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

To make the cutting speed test fair, I have used 2 brand new cheapo Kiwi knives. I know it’s cheap somewhat soft stainless, but at least it will give me an idea of how fast they cut. I have sharpen Henckels twin cermax rc 66 on Bester, possible but it takes a lot of time, so I know Besters limit. With in time I will test the Nubatama on some really hard steel to, and will give a report how it went. Even if I expected Nubatama to be slower cutting than Bester after reading a few peoples impression of it, and feeling how smooth it was out of the box. Well it wasn’t, it just took 6 strokes to get a good burr with Nubatama and 10 strokes to get a burr on Bester. So Nubatama Ume #320 definitely cut faster and it behaves as expected for a #320 grit stone.

Edge finish difference between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

Edge finish difference between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

The Bester isn’t know to leave a nice finish, but Nubatamas finish at least on the burr is even rougher as it should be for a low grit stone. What I think is fascinating though, is that the surface is slightly greyer from the Nubatama that is usually a sign of a finer stone. Time will tell but I definitely think that Bester leaves a better finish.

The difference in dishing between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

The difference in dishing between Nubatama ume 320 and Bester 500

Here comes the most positive surprise, Nubatama dishes less not by much, but still less. The picture is taken after 50 strokes on the corner on each stone, and as you see it obvious that Bester dishes a little bit more. So taking in effect that Nubatama is faster cutting and dishes slightly less, it should mean much less stone flattening. Yeah.

 

As you hear in the video the sound isn’t much different between them, and the feel is somewhat the same. The Nubatama doesn’t have the annoying sticky feel under pressure as the bester have, but definitely feels a little bit rougher. They both have similar amount of feedback feeling, but to be honest I actually think I prefer the feel of the Nubatama. (it might just be that the Nub is the newest one and that I just have an hour on it)

I did a fast test cleaning up the scratches on a higher grit stone, in this case I used a Bester #2000 grit. They both cleaned up equally fast, it makes me think that the finish from the Nubatama just looked rougher and in reality they were pretty much the same.

Flattening: They are both pretty hard stones to flatten, but I think it went slightly faster to flatten the Bester.

Conslusion:
Nubatama pos: Twice the size, Cuts faster, dishes slightly less and doesn’t dry out as quickly as Bester.
Nubatama neg: Leave a slightly rougher finish and a bit harder to flatten.
Bester pos: Leave a slightly better finish, slightly easier to flatten
Bester neg: Cuts slower, dishes more, dries out faster

After using the Nubatama a little bit more, I definitely prefer the feel and performance of it over the Bester and it is the coarse stone I will be using from now on. I will keep the bester though, in case the Nub doesn’t perform well on really hard steel.

Update: After some heavy use the last week, I still love the stone. I have sharpened some hard steel +rc61 knives on it, and the nub dish as much as Bester if not a little more wish was a bit disappointing, but I have realized that it is much easier to flatten than my first impression so it evens out. One other thing it is a rather muddy stone, and it helps the cutting speed a lot, the mud is the grainy sandy kind so it is a bit messy and not the most pleasant one.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpening, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.



How to sharpen a Global knife

How to sharpen a Global knife

How to sharpen a Global knife

Some beautiful Global knives

I love Global knives, they are light, they stay sharp, they look good, and they are extremely easy to keep clean and affordable. So it really makes me sad to see how many of them that is ruined from bad sharpening, miss aligned edges, wrong edge formation, wrong edge bevel angle, overheated from grinding machines and belt sander, bad finish and so on. If they are sharpened the right way they are one of the best knives you could have, but with a bad sharpening job they might not be better than anything else.

This is how ordinary Global knives (not single beveled) should be sharpened: 

-          They should be hand sharpened on Japanese Water Stones.

-          The edge formation should be slightly convex on the back end of the edge bevel.

-          The edge should have a 15° angle, but it is possible to give it a slightly steeper angle if needed.

If you follow this links to their sites, you could check it out yourselves.

Edge formation: http://www.yoshikin.co.jp/w/craftsman/index.html

Sharpening: http://www.yoshikin.co.jp/w/maintenance/maintenance_01.html

Hand sharpen performance: http://www.global-knife.com/catra/index.html

The little video above shows what performance you should be able to expect from a newly sharpened Global knife. Maybe not, if you prefer an edge with more bite, but you should at least be able to slice thin slices of tomatoes and shave with it when it is newly sharpened.

The knife in the video a customer came  in with, it had be sharpened for the first time the week before of another sharpener. She told him that it wasn’t as sharp as she had expected it to be. His response was that it was sharpened to factory specs, and that a resharpened knife never could be as good, as it was when it was new. First of it wasn’t sharpened to specs, it had an uneven bevel, the bevel wasn’t convex, and the edge bevel were close to 22°, the edge was very rough and still had a burr. With some luck she might have been able to slice a thick printer paper, and maybe it was a bit sharper than when he started sharpening it, but it wasn’t gorgeously Global sharp. It is definitely possible to getting a Global knife sharper than it was when it was new, check Global’s CATRA report on the “Hand sharpen performance” link above.

The knife above I gave a little more finish than needed, just to make her happy. Anyway here is how I got it back in shape, started with DMT and Chosera #400 to clean it up and set the new bevel, after that I went straight on to bester #2000 that is one of my favorite stones, it cuts fast and gives a great edge. After that I used Blue Aoto before finishing on an uknown #6000 and a #8000 Kitayama, finally I gave it a light strop on leather loaded with Mothers Mag & Aluminum polish (be careful clean the knives several times after, that polish is definitely bad for you if left on knife) Usually I don’t strop customers knives, but thought it would be fun in this case and it definitely improve push cutting performance.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpening, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.



Where to get your knives hand sharpened

Where to get your knives hand sharpened

Best knife sharpening in Santa Monica hand sharpening a slicer

Me doing the final sharpening of a slicing knife

Well I have talked a lot about why you should have your knives hand sharpened on whetstones, but a few things are worth repeating.

  1. It doesn’t soften the steel as and ruin the knife as machine sharpening, wish means that they will stay sharper longer.
  2. It also doesn’t grid away excessive material, so it will give your knife much longer life
  3. Also the extreme edge finish means that it will stay sharper much longer.
  4. More environmentally friendly, as in that your knives will have much longer life time, no electricity will be use for sharpening and no weird chemical compounds from sharpening abrasives will be released. Ever wondered why your sharpening guy use a mask while sharpening?

If you still are not convinced why hand sharpening is better, check out this link till Global knives testing of knives for sharpness and performance. Their testing shows that knives sharpened on whetstones always are sharper and last longer than the factory edge no matter what brand of knife you use. Check out the table at the bottom of the page “CATRA Cutting Test to ISO 8442.5”

Or check out my post “Why you should spend a little more and have your good knife hand sharpened”

Ok I guess we could agree on that you need to have your knives hand sharpened now, if you actually plan to use them. So where should you have you knives hand sharpened. I would say that the best thing would be if you get some stones and learn how to sharpen them yourself, but I understand if that isn’t an option for you. So if you live on the Westside of Los Angeles, you could either have me sharpening your knives or let the only other guy that I know that does hand sharpening locally “Japanese Knife Import” do it for you.

I don’t know of any other one that provide freehand sharpening in Los Angeles, but if you know of someone else that does hand sharpening in LA, let me know and I will add them here. For other places I don’t know, but I know that http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.com/ offers mail order service for sharpening.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.




Where to buy knives and sharpening supplies

Where to buy knives and sharpening supplies

Customers always ask me if their knives are good and where to buy them and sharpening supplies. I covered the basic about buying knives in this post, in this Santa Monica Knife Sharpening post I will talk about where to buy your knives and sharpening supplies.

First buy your knives online, it will save you a lot of money. Second never buy your knife from someone that machine sharpens knives, they will definitely have a conflict interest, and they will not be able to give you a good advice. Because their business is to ruin knives, making a fast buck machine sharpening your knives, so I would say they are not qualified to give you a good advice. They will have arguments like, all knives are made on machines and are machine sharpened in the factory wish is a fact. The difference is that in the factories, all knives are grind and beveled with tons of cooling, and the final sharpening is done on machines that use even more cooling too so the heat treatment stays intact or they actually do the final sharpening by hand on water stones. If your local knife store or sharpening service uses a belt grinder and sparks fly when they sharpen, go somewhere else for sharpening and knife purchases. Here is a YouTube video that shows how knives are made in the factory.

For buying a knife I would recommend you to go to a place like “Sur La Table” or other place that actually let you test chop and dice with the knife, and not just holding it, to make sure if it works for you. When you find the knife that works for you, buy it there if you feel that you want to support them or buy something else to be fair, and buy the knives online when you get home. If it is common knife brand, Bed Bath & Beyond might be a good option they often have sales and they always honor their monthly 20% coupons, if not you might find it cheaper at Amazon or Ebay. I usually buy my knives from www.chefknivestogo.com that have a great selection of knives and have fair prices. If you are looking after amazing Japanese knives, I would recommend www.japaneseknifeimports.com or http://japanesechefsknife.com, and for rare Sabatier nogent carbon knives check out http://thebestthings.com/knives/sabatier.htm they selling some new nogent carbon knives that are made from 60year old forgings.

Personally I love Japanese knives and they are the best of knives, but old French chef’s knives like old carbon steel Sabatier is a true pleasure to work with too and much more affordable.

For sharpening supplies I would recommend the following places:

www.chefknivestogo.com

www.leevalley.com/US

www.toolsforworkingwood.com

www.bestsharpeningstones.com

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

Feel free to visit my site at santa monica knife sharpening for more about knives and sharpening

 



Great super cheap knives for food preparation

Great super cheap knives for food preparation

Santa Monica Knife Sharpening test good super cheap prep knives

Cheap, thin, light and sharp Kiwi knives

Well I have seen these cheap Kiwi knives from Thailand many times in the Asian food markets, but never though of picking them up. I ran into someone writing about them online that really enjoyed them, so I though I would check the knives out. They are super cheap I think I paid $2.95 for the paring knife, and $4.95 for the larger ones, and I’m sure it is possible to find them even cheaper.

The finish is rough and they do look cheap and it is far from quality steel. Over to the good stuff, the knives are super thin, ultra light, sharp and the knife handle works well. I would have no problem doing prep work, chopping and dicing with them all day long. They don’t stay sharp for very long, but are super easy to sharpen, and get back in working shape quickly. I think they would be a great option for a cheap knife to practice your sharpening skills on, together with one of those tiny $4.95 400# sharpening stones they have at the Asian markets.

I have given these Kiwi knives away to several of my friends, and many of them love the knives, and have stopped using their other knives. As for me, I have tons of knives in all sizes, shapes and quality, and I many times grab the Kiwi’s when it is time to chop and dice those veggies. I don’t really know what it is, but they are super pleasant to work with, but I think it is the combination of the light, thin blade that really makes any prep work so easy and fast.

Pros: Super cheap, thin blade, light, sharp and a comfy handle.

Cons: Feels and look cheap and dulls pretty fast.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.
For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.



Santa Monica Knife Sharpening

Super sharp japanese knife

A beautiful sharp knife


Santa Monica Knife Sharpening, is a blog about hand sharpening knives.

Magnus Pettersson hand sharpener, now serving the whole Westside with free pickup and delivery: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Culver City and West LA.

For free pickup and delivery on the Westside, call/txt 310-486-6068 or email.

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