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Thread: What is sharpening a knife about? (2015 updates!)

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Brooklyn NY

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    Good read and lots of useful info - thanks

  2. #22
    My compliments to the chef. The highest quality writeup of this subject I have ever read. Thank You. I second the request to make this a stickie. hill1096.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Spartanburg, SC
    I suppose I'll be the voice of dissent on a couple of points. I have not found drawing through a board to be aneffective way to remove a burr, even the large foil like ones left after my belt sander. I have also not found stropping on a stone or hand stropping on leather w/ or w/o compound to be effective. The only method I've been able to use that reliably removes a burr is to use elevated angle passes on the stone, sometimes quit elevated, 35° or more. Finally, use of finer abrasives willproduce a sharper edge in terms of lowering the microscopic width of the edge. The edge width has been measured to be reduced from 1-3 microns to less than 0.5 microns by going feom 1k to 6k stones.

  4. #24
    first post since I've just been lurking for about a week doing research; my compliments to the author! This is exactly the type of information I've been searching for and cannot wait for my sharpening system to show up at my door this holiday season. Thank you bladeforums, I'm sure I'll have a bevy of beginner questions to follow but this thread should stop more than a few from ever being submitted!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    If I may add, once I have established a burr on both sides all along the edge (on whatever last stone that may be), I scrape the edge in a very obtuse angle sideways over a wooden/plastic rod to the opposit direction where the burr is. Then I cut off the burr with the same angle that I used to "produce" the burr on the same stone. I may strop the edge on a thin compound loaded leather a few times. Very quick and good results. HeavyHanded and others are big supporters of this method and I took it over from them.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aurora, Colorado
    Excellent read. Thank you for putting this together Mag.

  7. #27
    I like it, very succinct and covers pretty much all of the points concisely.

    I wonder if a supplemental on wire edges might be helpful though

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Pittsburgh , PA
    Great post I added it to my favorites..Thanks

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Right Behind You.
    Great post. Thank you.

  10. #30
    Couldn't disagree with you more on the refinement vs sharpness section and have proved the opposite is true many times. DM

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Excellent writeup. However, I'd like to add a few comments regarding identifying problem spots on your edges as it goes a long way towards making the process a lot faster, easier, and less frustrating.

    Dull spots may often be identified by examining the knife edge up under bright light and looking for spots that reflect light. This indicates either a dulled, rolled, or chipped spot on the edge, as it has been widened enough for you to be able to see the light reflecting off of the spot. This helps you identify problem areas on your edge. Another good test is resting the edge on your thumbnail under its own weight and trying to push it side to side. If the edge sticks in place in both directions that spot is sharp. If it sticks in one direction but slides in the other that spot has a rolled edge that's creating a lip on one side and it needs some extra strokes on the sticky side to eliminate the roll. If it slides in both directions it's totally dull.

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  12. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Grain Valley, Missouri

    Thumbs up Very well put

    I must say "Magnanimous" that was very eloquently put. Now you can always edit and proofread even the best of descriptions and accounts and tweak them a bit to make them even clearer but overall it really gave all of us food for thought and a lot to challenge ourselves with.

    That's what I really like about this great forum we have here it's truly a great way to exchange knowledge and ideas. Most people simply think of a knife as being a simple and almost meaningless tool>> but with the truth known a really good knife that is well honed is not something very many people do very well>> or even know what is "Good" or "NOT GOOD".

    To me quality is everything no matter what tool your talking about. It simply takes good tools to do good work >> and it takes knowledge to know how to get the most out of that tool.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Va. Beach
    Thanks, very helpful for a newbie like me.

  14. #34
    I liked this. It was informative for me as someone that is attempting to become a better knife sharpener.

  15. #35
    GREAT POST. Thanks a lot man.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Thanks for this. I have a SOG visionary 2 that I just can't get hair popping sharp. All of my other knives, para 2, mini vulcan, kabar usmc, are razor sharp. I just use my visionary 2 hard one day and made it super dull. I need to spend more time on my coarse stone. Thanks again for this info.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Lincoln Nebraska
    Great write up Mag, I'm by all means novice at best when sharpening. Not sure how or where to incorporate it but I'd try to bring up pressure as most new sharpeners don't know the amount to use. Off topic but I've greatly enjoyed your videos on youtube after reading write-ups by knifenut and others that you bring up and show how progress and talent grows with practice.

  18. #38
    Great article! I have recently started hunting and am learning the value in a properly sharpened knife. My results are getting better and with your wisdom things should improve exponentially!

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Seattle WA
    excellent write-up! I will have to try the trailing-edge method of removing the burr, thanks!

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    westchester co. ny
    Thank's Magnanimous G , really great info.
    I have never been lost,but i will admit to being confused for several weeks. Daniel Boone

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