I can't remove burr, without creating burr.

Mar 2, 2011
Ok, so after I sharpen my knife I go to remove the burr with my whetstone. And I manage to get it all off, but then it creates a really tiny burr on the opposite side of the blade, I go to remove that one and it creates a tiny bit of burr on the opposite side again. How do I remove all of the burr without this happening? Is a tiny bit of burr enough to effect the performance of the knife? Thanks guys.
If you can't go lightly enough to just gently remove the burr (light as a feather) then maybe try to Strop it off.
Are you sure it is a new burr, and not the very same flipping over? What kind of steel and what stone are involved?
In general: lighter touch, finer medium, stone, strop, newspaper, whatever.
You may try cork or felt to get rid of the burr, but it's better to abrade it.
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Less pressure, less pressure, less pressure. 'Nuff said. ;)

In all seriousness, removing a burr on very ductile steel is all about very, very gently abrading it off, since these ones don't want to break off. Once the burr is created, presumably on the first and coarsest stone, that same stone can be used to start the removal of it, but at much lighter pressure for just a few passes. Then move to the next stone and continue the process with it. Pressure should get lighter and lighter as you progress through the grits, and whatever is left afterwards should be thin & fragile enough to remove by stropping, or perhaps by cutting into some cardboard or leather, or even paper. Really fine burrs will sometimes get scrubbed away in just slicing through a piece of fairly heavy paper stock (like printer paper).

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I always drag the edge across something that will catch the burr, among my final passes.

I usually sharpen with a 1x42, and there's an oak cabinet above the two I use mostly to sharpening. It must have thousands of tiny slices on it. It only takes the barest touch when you are finishing to take away that "tinsel" when you see half your burr is gone. Two more passes and your done.

I do the same when I freehand.

I like a leather hone with 5 micron poly diamond with a little stropping to finish. I like that much tooth, and fixes where the burr was, IMHO.
Try increasing your angle and decreasing the pressure on the stone a lot. I go up to 40 degrees per side and have the edge barely touch the stone. This will create a tiny little micro bevel. I usually use no more than one or two passes per side. Then, having removed the burr, I back hone at the desired angle or a little more with very light pressure. The idea is to sneak back up on the edge. Be sure to use alternating strokes for back honing. It also helps to form as small a burr as possible when sharpening initially. Thos eliminates the need to remove a large floppy burr in the first place.
Less pressure, less pressure, less pressure. 'Nuff said. ;)


The burr in most cases must be abraded off to completely remove it. You can always try backdragging the edge across the corner of your bench or on a piece of wood. Do this at a pretty steep angle with light pressure - the goal is to make it stand extra tall on the opposite side at a sharper angle to the blade. This will make it a lot easier to grind it off without flipping it. Some of this comes down to the abrasive and type of steel - your stone needs to be abrasive enough to remove the burr with less pressure than it takes to flip it. This can become very challenging sometimes when using natural stones with modern wear-resistant steels. If the stone is clogged or glazed, even on a manufactured stone, it will affect this too, so make sure your stone surface is in good shape.
among my knives the s30v is the undisputed burr champion (compared with case cv, 420hc, vg-10 and zdp 189.) it's like you don't lose metal at all; all grindings burr up. at each grit size, all you have to do is lighten pressure at the end, check for burrs, and then very lightly stoke it edge-away. that will remove it. the zdp 189 produces a very small burr (or is it a wire edge?) you can feel it ever so lightly. that's why i like to finish it on an oiled glass slab by moving the blade sideways less than a cm either way (like sharpening carving chisels on oilstone.) and then just stoke it lightly edge-away.

as far as i know, you can't remove a burr using a plain leather strop.