Expert damage repair. I absolutely guarantee expert repair for bent or broken tips and other excessive blade damage. I can renew the appearance and function of almost any knife that might otherwise be discarded.
I have discovered the most common form of blade damage is creating broad “low areas”, especially on forged knives. It seems that most knife sharpeners just do not know what to do when sharpening near the thick portion of metal next to the handle known as the “bolt”. Improper sharpening results in a broad “low area” on the cutting edge closest to the handle. Time and productivity losses are evident from using a knife with this type of damage because multiple cutting movements must be made. A sharp, properly shaped blade will not have any “low area” and will cut completely through, the first time.
The second most common type of damage occurs at or near the tip. With normal use this point will become blunt or rounded. With improper use (such as using your knife as a screwdriver!) the point will bend or break off. Most sharpening systems, especially the typical sharpening steel, can not begin to restore a smooth, extremely sharp point.
The two types of common damage (“low areas” and tip damage) will almost always result from using electric knife sharpeners. This is especially true when the knife handle design prevents access to the entire length of the cutting edge. What usually happens is that a groove or low area is formed at the point along the blade where the machine first contacts the blade. Then, because unequal pressure is applied (by you!) as the blade is drawn through the electric sharpener, small lows and highs (like waves on the edge) form, replacing the even factory-shaped cutting edge. This results in only the “high areas” doing the actual cutting, and these small areas tend to dull quickly. Most electric sharpeners are not designed to create a sharp point, and some actually damage the point further.
The two types of common damage (“low areas” and tip damage) will almost always result from using the steel as a knife sharpener, rather than as a touch-up tool. I have found “low areas” along the cutting edge beginning near the point and near the blade intersection with the handle. The tip “low area” is created because this is where the steel first touches the blade and it is where the initial contact pressure is applied. Near the handle-blade intersection another larger “low area” is created because firm contact pressure is naturally more heavily applied over the entire length of the steel as it leaves this area of the cutting edge. There is almost no way that even pressure can be applied along the entire cutting edge. Even if that were possible, the extreme tip never gets sharpened with a steel. To make matters worse, it is almost impossible to obtain precise equal angles. Everything I have read from literature or experienced from regional chefs offers various steeling directions, but in the end, they still pretty much leave it up to you on how to determine “the same exact angle” for each side of the blade. There is much published literature on which angles are the best but no fool proof way of obtaining them precisely.
Usually what happens is that a person will use increasingly more “blunt” angles with the steel until a frictional “drag” on the knife cutting edge is felt. This means to most people that the steel is actually removing some metal and “doing its job”. It is removing metal from the edge alright, but at the same time it is removing some or eventually all of the proper beveled angles previously set on the blade. This “blunt” angle is literally too “blunt” to do any cutting without a lot of downward pressure. Often the result is a knife that is duller than when you first started using the steel! This scenario is accurate as described to me by literally several thousand of my knife sharpening customers since 1999. I have met fewer than 5 people in the last 12 years who could actually use a steel as a sharpening tool with good enough precision to almost obtain equal angles! Curiously, most people know that a steel is not really a sharpening tool, only a touch-up tool, meant to lengthen times between professional sharpening where the edges can be reset to equal angles again. True statement!
I have found that if the angle is no more than one degree off (this is ½ of one degree per angled side of the blade) (Buck Knives uses a 2 or 3 degree total blade angle to determine premium versus blemished products) then near maximum sharpening effectiveness can be obtained. This accuracy would be the same as splitting a 90 degree angle 180 times! It should be obvious to you that there is no way anyone can achieve this kind of precision by hand methods alone.