Best way to fix rolled edges

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by kawr, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. kawr


    Jun 22, 2010
    Been wondering for a while what the best way to repair a minor rolled edge is. Normally I just sharpen it away but now that I'm primarily edcing more expensive knives I'm trying to conserve as much steel as I can. Searches yielded answers like getting a kitchen steel to steel it back but I'm not so sure if thats the best way or is it? Any suggestions from people with experience would be much appreciated :thumbup::D.
  2. Grease


    May 10, 2012
    Don't roll your edge in the first place ;)

    Just out of curiosity, what were you using an expensive knife on that rolled the edge? I've only got one pricier knife in my whole collection, and I've never rolled an edge even with borderline abuse. I can't imagine anything rolling the edge of a nice knife, unless you should not have been cutting it in the first place.

    In fact, the only rolled edge I've ever seen was on a knife that somehow missed it's heat treatment date. :confused:

    But back on topic of your request - if it's not too badly damaged, you might be able to carefully bend it back with needle nose pliers.
  3. bluntcut

    bluntcut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 28, 2012
    Steeling works well for soft steels - says, below 57hrc. Not so well for harder steel because lack of toughness (hopefully I don't messed up the term), so the straightened steel may be fatigue which easily roll again or chip eventually. I recommend sharpen to remove the rolled-edge.

    As for conserving steel in high-end blades, add a micro-bevel or slightly convex/rounded edge via compound charged strop. I over-sharpened my knives (acute angle + 200-400um edges), so I encountered rolled-edges quite routinely, hey more sharpening opportunities :p. Oh, thinning the whole blade that when you loose a heckalot of steel.
  4. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007

    Rolling a edge is one of many modes of failure in a cutting edge and extremely common. I think you are thinking of something else.

    To the OP, back to the sharpening stone or a fine ceramic rod will do the trick.
  5. mrdeus


    Mar 6, 2012
    If it's something minor I usually just strop it on a strop with compound or fine ceramic rods. If the edge keeps rolling I deem it too thin and add a microbevel.
  6. pwet


    Feb 13, 2009
    hilarious. :D
  7. bgentry


    Aug 3, 2009
    I sometimes use a Spyderco fine profile rod when I've got minor edge rolling. Then strop to get back to full sharpness. ...or close. I got the idea from a good video from jdavis882 on youtube. (He's on BF also).

  8. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    It may or may not be a safe assumption that if your edge is rolling, your steel is fairly soft. If that's the case, a steel will do the trick. A Kukri comes with what's called a chakma which is shaped like a little knife but doesn't have an edge and, when done correctly, is hardened to be quite a bit harder than it's parent kukri's blade. It is used to burnish the edge back to sharpness in the field...primarily from rolled edged caused by striking with the weapon...striking whatever.

    If your blade was a very hard steel it would chip rather than roll presumably.

    Most "sporting" knives these days are trending upward in hardness right toward about 60. I think that's either the absolute hardest blade that could be steeled or too hard. European style kitchen knives are down in the 55-56 range (with some, like Lamson, as low as 53) and those are made to be maintained with a steel.

    ESEE are pretty reasonably. They're advertised I think at 56-58. That might be pretty steelable.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  9. me2


    Oct 11, 2003
    You can "steel" pretty much any knife blade material. I've tried it on everything from annealed 1095 (yes, I made myself a blade of annealed 1095) to S30V, and possibly even M2 at over 64 HRc. It must be done properly, like everything else. Very light pressure, along with edge trailing strokes for the first couple passes. The random banging of a blade into a steel rod that is practiced for show or by chefs that don't know any better will not do much good for the knife. The material properties that will determine if the steel chips during proper steeling are ductility and strength. Toughness only comes into play if you use the "beat the knife into submission" method of sharpening with a steel.

    As for the best way, the rolled material at the edge will be weakened, and for optimal results, should be removed by a light sharpening. However, you can steel it and get it sharp again many times before it becomes ineffective. Even when cutting cardboard using very soft steels, wear of the edge is not the primary dulling mechanism. Edge rolling will dominate up to surprisingly high edge angles, 25 degrees per side or higher. The harder the steel and higher the edge angle, the more the dulling mechanism shifts to wear.

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