Play golf or invent things. The choice was easy for Daniel D. Friel, Sr. when he approached retirement from his forty-year career with Dupont Company. Friel determined he "wasn't going to play golf, and instead the long-time scientist, development engineer, and electronics researcher aimed his skills and interests toward a second career.
Already a patent holder on a number of sophisticated instruments he developed, Friel set his sights on inventing a superior electric knife sharpener for a variety of knives, particularly fine quality gourmet knives. Knife sharpening had enthralled Friel for years, so he established a personal goal of three years to make adequate progress on his project. To resolve something that long frustrated him, Friel rescued a twenty-year-old gift set of Gerber knives from a closet and determined to create a sharp edge on them.
Doggedly working in his basement laboratory, Friel, with the help of a few other professionals, developed thirteen prototypes and soon narrowed the selections to one. In 1984, Friel founded the EdgeCraft Corporation and introduced Chef'sChoice® Diamond Hone® Sharpener. This revolutionary sharpener earned the acclaim of food experts and chefs around the globe including Pierre Franey, Jacques Pépin, and the late Craig Claiborne.
"I am basically an inventor, Friel notes. "I have tried to apply entrepreneurial and inventing talents to everything I have done. And I have always wanted whatever I create to be the very best of its kind. Many culinary professionals agree that every product that Friel's EdgeCraft produces is "the very best of its kind.
The original EdgeCraft knife sharpener, the Chef'sChoice® Model 100, incorporated 100% diamond abrasives and precision guides to produce a revolutionary razor-sharp edge. The EdgeCraft line of sharpeners expanded over the years and today includes electric knife and scissors sharpeners, manual knife and scissors sharpeners, diamond steels, diamond stones and sharpening rods, and a diamond steeling device with precision angle guides.
The company's newest sharpening breakthrough is the Chef'sChoice® Model 130 Professional Sharpening Center. Chef'sChoice sharpeners are assembled at the EdgeCraft facilities in Avondale, Pennsylvania, and sold in over fifty countries. Chef'sChoice sharpeners are world renowned for their superior quality and performance on kitchen knives, pocketknives, sports knives, and scissors.
In 1992, EdgeCraft introduced a line of premium handcrafted kitchen knives. Two years later the company debuted the first Chef'sChoice® Gourmet Electric Food Slicer. With nearly a dozen food slicers now available, Chef'sChoice is recognized as America's leading producer of professional quality food slicers for the home. In 1995, the company introduced a diamond hone sharpener for the commercial market and over time expanded the commercial line to include manual sharpeners, slicers, and more.
EdgeCraft launched into the hot beverage market in 1997 and today offers a number of innovative electric hot beverage appliances, including the cordless electric kettle. In the 1997, the company unveiled the most technologically advanced line of waffle makers.
From its simple beginnings with the revolutionary electric knife sharpener to today's leading gourmet kitchen appliances, Chef'sChoice infuses ingenuity and passion for excellence in all its products. It's the same ingenuity and passion of excellence that kept Daniel D. Friel, Sr. off the golf course and in his basement laboratory. And for that, professional and home chefs around the world thank him.
About Chef'sChoice® Products
When you invest in fine cutlery, you need an equally fine sharpener to maintain top performance. For more than twenty years, Chef'sChoice has been a world leader in cutting-edge technology and the choice of many culinary professionals. Each Chef'sChoice sharpener electric and manual contains two or more sharpening stages with precision angle guides and 100% diamond abrasives, guaranteeing a razor-sharp edge every time. The company's specialty electrics, including cordless electric kettles, are simply among the best in the world.
Chef'sChoice offers consumers and professionals worldwide the most extensive line of 100% diamond abrasive sharpeners. Diamond abrasives sharpen any metal alloy without overheating or detempering the blade. Precision angle guides ensure proper angle control during the sharpening and honing process. Chef'sChoice electric and manual sharpeners are the fast, foolproof way to put a long-lasting razor-sharp edge on culinary and sporting knife blades.
Chef'sChoice Knife Sharpener Features
Designed for professional standards, Chef'sChoice Food Slicers feature rugged durability, suberb stability, precision slicing control, and easy clean-up. Both the Chef'sChoice VariTilt Slicer #632 and the Chef'sChoice Non-Tilt Gourmet Slicer with powerful 100-watt motors operate with a 30-degree incline gravity feed and precision slice from paper-thin to .625-inches-thick.
Chef'sChoice Electric Cordless Kettles boil water faster than a microwave. Ideal for home or office, the convenient kettles prepare perfectly hot water for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or instant soup. A 1500-watt heating element is hidden at the bottom of the stainless-steel base so there's never a mineral deposit problem.
For its specialty products, Chef'sChoice blends its expertise in razor-sharp blades with professional-quality tools for the kitchen. The fully forged Poultry Shears feature an extremely sharp cutting edge and bone-cracking strength all in one sleek design.
Use and Maintenance
Knife Sharpening Tips
Knives made of the finest steel will hold an edge longer, but even the best knives dull with use and the initial factory edge only lasts for the first few days or weeks of use.
For more than 99 percent of the knife's useful life, its edge performance depends entirely on how it's re-sharpened. The replication of the initial factory edge is not particularly relevant, especially since modern day sharpeners can put a better than factory edge on every knife.
Keeping your knife sharp is important. Besides being easier and more enjoyable to use, sharp knives are safer. Dull cutlery requires excessive force to cut, increasing the risk of knife slippage and injury. Cutlery becomes dull when the edge begins to fold over or break off.
Choosing the Right Sharpener
There are two basic types of sharpeners, those that straighten and condition the edge (traditional sharpening steels) and those that use abrasives to create a new and sharper edge.
· Straightening the Edge
· Sharpening Steel
The traditional sharpening steel can straighten and recondition the edge but requires skill and practice to avoid doing more damage to the blade than good. The straightened edge is still weak after steeling and can quickly fold again. Eventually, steeling breaks off too much of the edge and is no longer effective. The average person doesn't have the skill or know-how to use a sharpening steel correctly. The margins for error are slim because there are no angle guides and using the steel proficiently requires effort, skill, patience, and lots of practice. Diamond steels produce better results because the diamond abrasives will actually sharpen the edge of the knife blade even if the angle is not correct The recent introduction of a precision-guided steeling device however, now gives consumers the ability to steel like a pro. Note: All knife manufacturers recommend periodic professional sharpening in addition to regular steeling.
Creating A New Edge
Electric and Manual Sharpeners
Chef's Choice recommends using a multi-stage sharpener whether electric or manual with guides (to ensure angle control) and diamond abrasives (which will sharpen any metal alloy and never overheat/detemper the blade).
Create an edge that resists folding
The secret to keeping knives sharper longer is to make certain your knives are made of a high strength steel and then to create an edge shape that resists folding. The strongest edges are arch-shaped, not small angle, V or hollow-ground. The arch-shaped edge is multiple-angled on both sides, in order to provide more metal to support the sharp cutting edge
Avoid detempering the blade
Conventional old-fashioned single-stage sharpening wheels or grinders remove excess metal and can overheat the edge so that the steel is weakened and folds over quickly again. Never use overly aggressive single-stage sharpeners (like those built into many can openers), which grind away excessive metal and detemper the blade. Select sharpener that use diamond abrasives. Because of their extreme hardness, diamonds remove metal efficiently without heating or damaging the blade edge.
Shape and polish your edge
To obtain the ultimate edge, use a sharpener that has multiple stages. Proper sharpening requires both shaping the edge with coarser abrasives in the initial stage and polishing closer to the edge with finer abrasives in the final stage. The sharpener angle must be slightly larger in each successive stage. The use of finer abrasives, which remove only microscopic amounts of metal, is very important for re-sharpening the knife, thereby extending its life.
Stones, Rods, and Files
The historical method of using a sharpening stone can create a new edge, but will require skill and extensive practice since it is very difficult to maintain a consistent or accurate sharpening angle by hand. Some stones also tend to be messy because many need to be coated with oil or water when using. Rods and files can be used to sharpen knives but the burden falls on the user to consistently maintain the correct sharpening angle. Diamond stones, rods, and files will produce the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chef'sChoice Electric Knife Sharpeners
1. Why should I invest in a Chef'sChoice sharpener?
Chef'sChoice sharpeners are precision machines designed to deliver unsurpassed sharpening satisfaction and manufactured to last a long, long time. They will do a much better job of sharpening than a steel (cost $30-$40), stones (cost $30-$70), or professional sharpening services. (The average home has about 10 knives and professional services can charge up to $10.00 per knife). Chef'sChoice sharpeners are the only electric knife sharpeners recommended by cutlery experts and leading professional chefs for sharpening quality cutlery. They are the best sharpeners on the market. Less expensive sharpeners do not work, can harm knives, or leave dull knives.
2. Is it safe to sharpen expensive cutlery with Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners?
Yes. Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners will safely sharpen expensive or inexpensive cutlery. It will sharpen knives manufactured from the hardest alloys.
3. Will Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners cause excessive wear to my knives?
No. Ninety-eight percent of your sharpening takes place in stages 2 and 3. The diamonds in these stages are very fine and only remove micro-amounts of metal. In fact, when compared to other sharpening methods, the Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners remove much less metal. There is no other way to sharpen and remove less metal.
4. Do I need to use a steel or professional sharpening service to help keep my knives sharp?
No. In fact, a steel, which has no angular control, will deteriorate the super fine Chef'sChoice edge, and the use of a professional sharpening service is unnecessary once you own a Chef'sChoice sharpener.
5. Do the diamond abrasives and stropping/polishing stage wear out, and how would I replace them?
The diamond abrasives will last for many, many years without need for repair or replacement. If the abrasives need replacement, send the sharpener back to EdgeCraft and, for a nominal fee, EdgeCraft will replace the abrasives, clean and lubricate the sharpener, and ship the sharpener back. The abrasives, however, should last a long time with normal household use.
6. Can the abrasives be cleaned?
The stage 2 and stage 3 stropping/polishing disks can be restored to as-new condition if they become dirty and/or glazed. A unique cleaning/dressing tool can be actuated using the lever in the back of the sharpener.
7. Do the Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners sharpen serrated knives?
The Chef'sChoice #110 will realign and polish the tips of serrated knives in stages 2 and 3. The higher model numbers (such as 120, 130, and 320) however, are the best sharpeners to use for serrated knives. (Please read your instruction manual before sharpening serrated knives). TIP: A straight edged knife sharpened on a Chef'sChoice model will do a much cleaner job of cutting a tomato or a loaf of bread than a serrated knife. Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners will not sharpen scissors, however, the manual Diamond Hone® Knife and Scissors Sharpener #480KS does sharpen scissors.
8. Do the electric sharpeners sharpen pocketknives or hunting knives?
The Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners will sharpen pocketknives and hunting knives that can comfortably fit in the sharpening slots.
9. How often should I use my Chef'sChoice electric sharpener?
If your knives are dull, resharpen them according to the instructions in your instruction manual. You may use the stages specific to your model for resharpening whenever the knives lose that razor-sharp, ultra-fine cutting edge. It normally takes thirty seconds to resharpen a knife. You do not have to worry about excessive wear because the amount of metal removal during resharpening is negligible.
10. Are the Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners easy to use?
Yes, the built-in magnetic guides hold the knife at a predetermined sharpening angle and control the amount of sharpening pressure.
Chef'sChoice Manual Sharpeners
1. What are the differences between the manual knife sharpener models?
The Multi-Edge Professional Knife Sharpener #460 is designed for both straight edge and serrated knives. This countertop, 2-stage sharpener uses 100% diamond abrasives to produce double-beveled edges that are sharper and last longer. Precision angle guides ensure accurate angle control for foolproof sharpening. The sharpener comes with a protective dust cover. The versatile Diamond Hone® Knife and Scissors Sharpener #480KS is rugged, multipurpose and pocketsize for quick and easy sharpening of straight-edge knives, tools, and sports accessories. This model will also sharpen household, craft, and sewing scissors, including knife-edge scissors without the need to disassemble. The sharpener features a 2-stage sharpener with 100% diamond abrasives and precision angle guides.
2. How are manual knife sharpeners different from electric?
.The most obvious difference is that the user does the work and sharpening takes somewhat longer. The sharpening can be back and forth or one directional. Each stage sharpens both sides of the knife blade simultaneously. The design of the manual sharpeners actually makes them more versatile, easily utilized by both left-handed and right-handed users whether sharpening knives, fishhooks, or tools. Manual sharpeners are of course, less expensive.
3. Why would I purchase a Chef'sChoice manual knife sharpener?
Chef'sChoice manufacturers the best knife sharpeners available whether electric or manual. The 100% diamond abrasives and precision angle guides ensure the strongest, sharpest edges possible. Chef'sChoice manual sharpeners are a great value. Their compact size makes them easy to store in kitchen and workshop drawers or in tackle boxes. They are great for touch-ups if you already own a Chef'sChoice electric model since all Chef'sChoice sharpeners put on compatible edges.
4. I can't seem to get my knives sharp enough with my manual sharpener. Why?
Users sometimes think that more pressure means sharper when sharpening a knife manually. This is not true. Apply almost no pressure. The 100% diamond abrasives and precision guides should do the rest. If a knife-edge is really dull or the bevel has been rounded off from using sharpening devices with no guides, sharpening the knife will take extra pulls in stage 1, but no extra pressure.
5. Why don't both roller guides always turn when I sharpen?
Do not worry; as long as one of the rollers moves during sharpening, you are guiding the knife at the correct angle through the sharpening stages. The geometry of some knife blades is such that only one roller may turn.
6. How often should I use my Chef'sChoice manual knife sharpener?
If your knives are dull, sharpen them according to your instruction manual. Many times, you can use only stage 2 for resharpening whenever the knives lose that razor-sharp, ultra-fine cutting edge. Because the combination of precision guides and diamond abrasives removes only microscopic amounts of metal during use, you can comfortably resharpen your knives whenever you feel it necessary.
Chef'sChoice Knife Steel
1. What is the breakthrough with the SteelPro®?
For the first time, anyone can consistently obtain an incredibly sharp-steeled edge.
2. Is this just another Chef'sChoice manual sharpener?
Absolutely not! The SteelPro's super-hardened miniature steels use a non-abrasive process to develop ultra-sharp, micro-serrations along the entire knife-edge.
3. How is a SteelPro edge different from the edge of a knife sharpened in an electric sharpener?
The electric sharpeners produce an astonishingly sharp, super-fine stropped knife-edge with no serrations. The SteelPro develops microscopic ultra-sharp sharks teeth along the entire knife-edge.
4. How is the edge created by the SteelPro different from that of a conventional steel?
Because it has precision guides, the SteelPro maintains the original edge geometry. The knife-edge is not rounded off and remains razor sharp. The precision guides create an angle-of-attack that is fixed in one direction. Steeling with the SteelPro creates uniform micro-serrations on the knife-edge that cut better and evenly distributes the cutting load. The edge lasts longer and needs to be steeled less often, thereby extending the life of the knife. With conventional steels, the angle-of attack varies along the length of the edge with every stroke of the knife. The result is non-uniform edge formation, portions of which fail prematurely. The abrasive surface of a diamond steel will actually sharpen the edge of the knife blade even if the steeling angle is not always correct. However, the SteelPro is superior to diamond steels.
5. How long will the steeling elements on the SteelPro last?
The steeling elements will virtually last a lifetime. They can be rotated to expose fifty-four different fresh steeling surfaces as needed. Several thousand strokes can be applied in each position.
6. Do I still need a sharpener (or have my knives professionally sharpened) if I use the SteelPro?
Yes. All knife manufacturers recommend periodic professional sharpening in addition to regular steeling. The best professional sharpening can be achieved with a Chef'sChoice electric sharpener.
7. So, will the SteelPro actually sharpen my knives?
If the knife is reasonably sharp, you can perfect the edge with the SteelPro. However, if the knife is very dull, it should be sharpened first with a professional sharpener or by a professional service at the original factory angle. (We recommend sharpening with Stage 1 of a Chef'sChoice® electric sharpener.)
8. Does the SteelPro remove metal from my knife-edge?
Yes, any steeling, whether with a conventional manual steel or the SteelPro, removes a microscopic amount of metal from the knife-edge. Much less metal is removed with the SteelPro because of its precision angle guides. After two thousand strokes, the SteelPro removes less than five milligrams of metal. That is the approximate weight of only five 4-inch long hairs!
9. Will the SteelPro maintain the factory edge of my knife?
Yes, as long as you use it regularly and consistently as recommended.
10. At what angle does the SteelPro steel knives?
At approximately 46 degrees (23 degrees on each side.)
11. Why isn't steeling as recommended for sharpening knives?
First, because the vast majority of people do not know how to use a conventional steel. Second, conventional steeling removes more metal than necessary and creates an ineffective, rounded-off edge. Improper steeling can do more harm than good.
12. Will the SteelPro work on serrated knives?
No, the SteelPro was not designed for serrated knives. Serrated knives can be sharpened successfully with several Chef'sChoice electric sharpeners.
13. Will the SteelPro work on single-beveled Japanese Kataba knives?
Yes. See the SteelPro instructions on how to do so.
14. Is the SteelPro recommended for ceramic knives?
No, the SteelPro is not recommended for ceramic knives.
15. For what brands of knives is the SteelPro recommended?
The SteelPro is recommended for all brands of steel knives including Wüsthof, J. A. Henckels, Kershaw Shun, and many more.
Chef'sChoice Food Slicers
1. Can you give me some tips for cleaning my slicer?
All Chef'sChoice slicers are designed for easy cleaning. Besides their superior quality construction and performance, easy cleaning is one of the things that make Chef'sChoice slicers unique in the home market. The outside of Chef'sChoice slicers can be hand cleaned with a cloth and mild soap or spray cleaner. Some parts can be easily removed for more thorough cleansing. Try cleaning hard to reach spots with a cotton swab. Please refer to your instruction manual for complete cleaning instructions.
2. Are any parts of my Chef'sChoice slicer recommended for dishwashers?
No, Chef'sChoice does not recommend washing any part of your slicer in the dishwasher.
3. What accessories are available for Chef'sChoice slicers?
CHEFS sells an optional serrated stainless-steel blade for slicing breads and other foods requiring a specialty blade.
4. What is the difference between a fine edge and serrated slicer blade? Do I need both?
The obvious difference is that a fine edge slicer blade has a smooth edge while a serrated slicer blade resembles a table saw. Both types of blades are multi-purpose, however, for models that come equipped with a serrated blade, Chef'sChoice offers an optional straight edge blade for ultra-thin slicing of specialty meats such as proscuitto. Chef'sChoice also offers an optional serrated blade for our larger, professional slicers, on which the standard blade is fine edge. Serrated blades tend to perform better when cutting into hard crusted breads or fibrous foods. If your slicer is used for normal household purposes, the blade that comes with it will meet your needs.
5. Slicing some meats can be tricky. Are there any tips for easy meat slicing?
Meats should always be boneless. To slice meats (and cheese) wafer thin, chill thoroughly before slicing. As you slice, move the food carriage forward slowly, exerting steady pressure on it. If the meat has an uneven texture (such as an uncooked steak), partially freeze it before slicing. Never try to slice fully frozen foods on a slicer.
6. What about tips for slicing other foods?
Fruits, except tomatoes, should be free of seeds. Foods with an uneven texture like fish or certain uncooked cuts of meat can be partially frozen. Never attempt to slice fully frozen foods. Extra large foods like roasts or slab bacon that extend over the end of the slicer food carriage should be reduced in length before slicing. Bread should be sliced at room temperature. For soft foods, especially soft cheese, wet the face of the blade lightly with a water spray or a clean, damp sponge to reduce friction of the food against the slicer blade.
7. How do I keep my slicer blade sharp?
Chef'sChoice sells an optional professional quality blade sharpener, the model #498, which easily mounts onto the food carriage of most Chef'sChoice slicers.
8. What are the advantages in using an electric slicer?
You can slice virtually any food you can cut by hand. Using an electric slicer is quicker, less strenuous, and more precise. Uniform slices are important in preparing many foods cucumbers for pickles, apples and pears for pies, potatoes for homemade potato chips, and vegetables for the freezer. When dehydrating fruits and vegetables, a slicer will produce evenly thick or thin slices. If you are entertaining, a slicer can make preparation of party platters quick and professional looking at a fraction of the catered cost. A slicer is the perfect companion for your bread machine. And when it comes to bulk foods, slicing portions as you need them is the economic way to preserve freshness and extend the life of the food.
9. Do some slicers have special features?
Yes, the Chef'sChoice VariTilt #632 can be operated with the food carriage in conventional horizontal or in true gravity feed position (30-degree incline). The gravity feed position is particularly convenient for breads, vegetables and fruits, which will naturally self-feed during slicing. Self-feeding quickens the task and greatly reduces the possibility of damage to food during slicing.