I went to the Barton Square farmer’s market to follow up on what seems like a fabulous deal – $3 for a professional knife sharpening. I brought my 8″ chef’s knife down for a fresh edge.
The sharpening begins with a fine grit sanding using a high speed belt (shown in the photo below, the belt on the right). It finishes with a sanding with an ultra fine grit on the left-side machine. I could not feel any level of grit when I touched the soft leather belt on the left, but it has something like a 4000 grit-clay combination on it.
I used to think that a sharpening steel, such as the one pictured below, was the way to sharpen a knife. A sharpening steel, however, is only used to hone the blade, which means that the tiny curvatures and burrs that develop in the edge over several uses are merely straightened out.