Need advice for the Best tools to mirror polish a blade

Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
7
I am very new to this and I wanted to get started being able to sharpen and mirror polish my knife collection...after some research I decided that the work sharp knife sharpening kit looked like a good way to keep my knifes sharp but I need help deciding how to mirror polish the blade itself ...after doing some research and having a budget it seems like different grits of sandpaper and compounds seem like a good idea but I don't want to ruin any of my knives and I'm not sure if a buffing wheel or stones is preferable....any reccomendations on what to use to achieve a mirror polish and the tools/compounds I should get to get that mirror polish on the blade and the edge.
 

evltcat

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,958
Welcome to BF.
You'll probably have better luck if you ask a Mod to move your post to the Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment forum.
This is where most of the non-brand specific sharpening talk happens.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2000
Messages
4,787
I sure want to say that wanting to mirror polish sharpened knives can mean a death wish or near it !!!! And since you are entirely new to polishing on a buff an even more of a chance to really hurt yourself. I'm suggesting to try one of the pastes tyo use on a cloth and let it go as that.
Frank
 

RLDubbya

HMFIC
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
388
Welcome to the forum.

In essence, you have asked about the big misconception: there are no tools that magically enable the creation of a highly polished edge, except for the proper grit compounds. The rest is all time and technique; as a novice (even as an experienced sharpener), depending on your goals, you can easily spend 9-10 hours per knife. It's like polishing any other metal, especially jewelery.

I'm not at all clear about any dangers involved in sharpening to a mirror finish which are not involved in general sharpening.

Which version of the WorkSharp did you buy? I use a WorkSharp Ken Onion with the Blade Grinding Attachment; this gives me a little miniature belt grinder that does OK on my personal knives. The nice thing is that it will easily produce a highly polished edge - if you use the finest belts, the cloth strop, and some of the right compound.

Honestly, I'd just use that - that way, you only have to learn one sharpening system, and it pretty much does everything.

There is a place on the web which sells good compound at a good price; however, they are not forum sponsors, and I can't name them. If you want to drop me an email to find out, go ahead. I will say that the green compound is not the most effective on the "supersteels" which are so popular; essentially, the "super" in "supersteel" means vanadium, which is too hard for the green compound to actually work.

Also, a work of encouragement: many of the edges people refer to as "mirror" are not truly mirror edges. As an example, I had a Brous Blades Raven in my hands for a couple days. It was factory new; Brous advertises this blade as having a mirror finish.

Honestly, I would have been ashamed to call that finish a "mirror" and sell it as such. It's going to take a lot for me to ever own a Brous knife; if the truth about the edge is stretched so far, to my mind that means the truth about other facets of the knife will be stretched. Maybe the heat treatment isn't as good as claimed? I have no way of knowing that, except that I might end up spending a lot of time resharpening and not know why.

So, out of the gate, you will most likely have to put in a lot of time to get a true mirror finish.

I can tell you as well that I can take a knife which clearly does not have a mirror finish; it has plenty of scratches, however. If I position that blade just so, and have the light catch the blade at the angle I want, it will look pristine. Like the best mirror you have seen. That trick works well for photo shoots, and I'd bet it is used at least now and then.

Once you're ready to move away from the Work Sharp, and consider other products, I would take a look at the Wicked Edge. I find the WE to be quite intuitive, and think that it is a natural way to go.

Best of luck with your project!
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
7
Welcome to the forum.

In essence, you have asked about the big misconception: there are no tools that magically enable the creation of a highly polished edge, except for the proper grit compounds. The rest is all time and technique; as a novice (even as an experienced sharpener), depending on your goals, you can easily spend 9-10 hours per knife. It's like polishing any other metal, especially jewelery.

I'm not at all clear about any dangers involved in sharpening to a mirror finish which are not involved in general sharpening.

Which version of the WorkSharp did you buy? I use a WorkSharp Ken Onion with the Blade Grinding Attachment; this gives me a little miniature belt grinder that does OK on my personal knives. The nice thing is that it will easily produce a highly polished edge - if you use the finest belts, the cloth strop, and some of the right compound.

Honestly, I'd just use that - that way, you only have to learn one sharpening system, and it pretty much does everything.

There is a place on the web which sells good compound at a good price; however, they are not forum sponsors, and I can't name them. If you want to drop me an email to find out, go ahead. I will say that the green compound is not the most effective on the "supersteels" which are so popular; essentially, the "super" in "supersteel" means vanadium, which is too hard for the green compound to actually work.

Also, a work of encouragement: many of the edges people refer to as "mirror" are not truly mirror edges. As an example, I had a Brous Blades Raven in my hands for a couple days. It was factory new; Brous advertises this blade as having a mirror finish.

Honestly, I would have been ashamed to call that finish a "mirror" and sell it as such. It's going to take a lot for me to ever own a Brous knife; if the truth about the edge is stretched so far, to my mind that means the truth about other facets of the knife will be stretched. Maybe the heat treatment isn't as good as claimed? I have no way of knowing that, except that I might end up spending a lot of time resharpening and not know why.

So, out of the gate, you will most likely have to put in a lot of time to get a true mirror finish.

I can tell you as well that I can take a knife which clearly does not have a mirror finish; it has plenty of scratches, however. If I position that blade just so, and have the light catch the blade at the angle I want, it will look pristine. Like the best mirror you have seen. That trick works well for photo shoots, and I'd bet it is used at least now and then.

Once you're ready to move away from the Work Sharp, and consider other products, I would take a look at the Wicked Edge. I find the WE to be quite intuitive, and think that it is a natural way to go.

Best of luck with your project!

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply I haven't purchased yet but I was going to get the same edition of the work sharp you have, I saw the reviews for the wicked edge and considered making the investment but I'm hesitant to spend the money being so new this but I am going to reconsider considering the advice you gave....i really appreciate it thank you again
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
6,975
Need advice for the Best tools to mirror polish a blade

Some small boxes and some packing material to ship your knives to Brian of Razor Edge Knives.

. . . and I sharpen and polish my own knives but that is after a whole lot of money and trial an error.
You just might in the end save some time and money.

Down side is you will probably want to have more than a couple of knives so you can have one or two in the mail going and coming.
Oh darn . . . another reason to buy more knives.

hmmmmmm . . . this post isn't like me . . . usually I would be banging the table and extolling the superiority of the Edge Pro Apex.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
5,189
i have found the mirror polish to be the most difficult thing so far in knife making. everytime i think i have the process down i get thrown another curveball. try it on a cheap knife first :)
 

3fifty7

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
3,078
I'm not at all clear about any dangers involved in sharpening to a mirror finish which are not involved in general sharpening.

I believe Frank was alluding to the fact that a buffer, which most use as part of achieving a mirror finish on a blade, can be a very dangerous piece of equipment to operate.
The OP stated he wanted to sharpen and mirror polish his blades not just sharpen to a mirror edge. -at least that's my understanding-
 

JJ_Colt45

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2014
Messages
5,068
Welcome to the forums. The Worksharp can be a good tool to sharpen your knives ... and safer then an open wheel ... but I would recommend getting some cheap knives to practice on for awhile as any machine grinding can remove much more material then you want and can damage blades if you are new to using it.

As the mirror finish goes as some have stated it takes time and patience ... and going through progressions of coarse to very fine and learning when you are ready to switch to the next grit ... Ive sharpened my knives since I was young but only recently got more involved in it and its a learning process but worth it.

I would just say since you mentioned mirror polishing your collection ... I don't know if you are a collector only or if you use your knives? .... A mirror polish although beautiful isn't the best edge for many uses ... sometimes progressing to such a polished edge will hinder the cutting ability depending on your intended uses.

There are alot of good people on here that can give you alot more knowledge then me ... but practice learning to sharpen and as you go pick up and take their knowledge to heart and be patient.
 

Mo2

Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
6,630
It's technique too.

Get them sharp on some stones go up in grit. When going up make sure your scratch pattern is uniform in one direction. On the next grit go the other direction and don't finish that grit until the previous scratches are removed. And go back and forth like that all the way up.

Then get a few strops and do something like 1 micron on one strop
.5 micron on the next and
.25 on the last.

Use either stones or a guided system whatever your comfortable with.

For the blade itself not the edge, it's up to these other guys. Takes forever and is a pita. Jerry moen has a grinder that's perfect for mirror polishing blades. But it's a bit pricey but can mirror polish a blade in like 20mins or something.
 
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