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Razor Edge Book of Sharpening

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by hilltopper, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. hilltopper


    Oct 31, 2006
    Greetings, Does anyone have a copy of Razor Edge Book of Sharpening for sale? Is the information in this book accurate? Do you recomend this book or think of a better book on sharpening? Any info will be appreciated. Thanks
  2. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Check your local library. That is where I found the copy that I read. The book was published some time ago, so in that sense, it is not current. I probably read it a year ago. I think it is fairly good at educating someone on the basic concepts. That is a strength and weakness--good enough for a beginner, not much help for someone with some basic knowledge. Having read it, I don't think I would buy it, but only because it is just not that deep. Of course, that goes with the basic premise of the book, which is that sharpening is ridiculously easy and any yahoo can do it. After a discussion of the basic concepts, the rest of the book is dedicated to brief chapters on how to sharpen specific tools, things like scissors, axes, chain saws, etc.

    Hope this helps.
  3. hilltopper


    Oct 31, 2006
    Thanks for the info, I can put the twenty dollars toward a better knife.
  4. HoB


    May 12, 2004
    It is not bad, but I think it teaches too few concepts on too many pages (like all sharpening books). The concepts are good, but hardly justify a book:

    Quick summary:
    1.) Most knifes are too thick and need thinning: Grind a relief....grind a drastic relief even if it scratches your blade. (And I don't care whether you want to call that reprofiling or rebeveling. Semantics to me. If the reliefgrind is drastic enough the rebeveling will become a reprofiling)

    The guideline that Juranich gives is that the blade should be no more than 0.02" 1/4" behind the edge (that is pretty thin).

    2.) Always work with a microbevel. First the relief grind, then application of a small bevel at a raised angle. Import is that even though you raise the angle you remain below something like 20 deg, if not less.

    3.) You need at least two grids to do this. A coarse grit for the relief and a fine for the microbevel (he doesn't call it a microbevel, nore is it important that the bevel is micro, but it is the concept of a microbevel). He strongly advocate to use the stones dry and the use of an angle guide (preferably of course his own products the Razoredge hones and the Razoredge clamps).

    That is his book in a nutshell. Personally, I find Murray Carters DVD a far better investment.
  5. FK

    FK Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    One item I noticed in the the book,,,,,the author is constantly puffed up about his success with commercial meat processing companies. They use a rather soft carbon steel in their knives.

    He also promotes using oil stones dry,,,,no lubrication. This will work with soft steel,,,,not very efficient with our hard stainless alloys.

    Save your $ and get the Carter DVD.

  6. thombrogan


    Nov 16, 2002
    What HoB and FK said!

    Or buy a Sharpmaker and get a sharpening DVD and a sharpener in one purchase.
  7. deadmarsh


    Nov 20, 2006
    For a beginner, for the $20.00, me thinks the book is a good purchase that can be read, passed on to a friend or relative, or used as a reference when sharpening something other than a knife. I like books and adding one to my library is always easy for me...

  8. Robert Ptacel

    Robert Ptacel

    Feb 1, 2007
    I have The Razor Edge Book of Sharpening and it's a good book.It's not
    profound but knives are simple tools.It's all geometry.I had worked in the
    meat packing industry for twenty years and know it works.His dry stones(coarse)work faster than diamonds at reprofiling.At least for me.I also use the Spyderco Sharpmaker to finish the edges after reprofiling.A completely dry system.
  9. Jeff Clark

    Jeff Clark

    Apr 27, 1999
    Hi HoB, are you sure that you are quoting Juranich correctly? "The guideline that Juranich gives is that the blade should be no more than 0.02" 1/4" behind the edge (that is pretty thin)."

    That would translate to a 2.3 degree honing angle or an included angle of 4.6 degrees. That is thinner than a straight razor.
  10. Meatcutter


    Mar 21, 2006
    I agree, I think it is a good buy for the money. Yes some of the information is basic, but sometimes people don't even know the basics. I have showed guys that have been working in the meat industry for many years Juranich's book and video and they didn't even know about raising a burr! Those people did benefit from watching / reading Juranich's work. Admit-ably I don't agree with everythink he says.

    I think his coarse stone is excellent but I like to go allot finer than his fine stone. No one in the meat industry here uses soft carbon blades anymore and infact some of the alloys now used in the stain free blades are quite hard running up to around the 58-60 RC. I always use dry stones and don't have any problems. I think if you have a interest in sharpening it is a must read.
  11. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo

    Nov 20, 2004
    Well I guess I am sort of in the middle of this argument/discussion. I actually have kept my copy of the Razor Edge Book OF Sharpening by John Juranitch. When I got my Razor Edge Ultimate kit about 8 years ago I really did learn a lot about the principles of sharpening. It really dispelled a lot of the backwoods techniques I was show throughout the years that never really got a blade as sharp as I would have like it.

    The Juranitch Video along with the book really engrained the proper methods of grinding in the relief and setting the edge up to take a proper sharpening. Now I will admit that I have learned a lot more about sharpening and I feel like in a lot of ways I have graduated to a higher level of my hobby of knife sharpening but that book really laid some valuable groundwork.

    With the book only costing about $10 + shipping on Ebay I think it's a good read for anyone in the hobby. There are 2 other sharpening books that I think definitely go into more detail about advanced sharpening. They are The Complete Book Of Sharpening by Leonard Lee and Sharpening: The Complete Guide by Jim Kingshott. All 3 of the books have some very useful information which I think anyone could profit from.
  12. cbwx34

    cbwx34 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 27, 2004
    The quote's right... no wonder he could shave with them axes. :D

    I think though what they're talking about is the ideal relief. The paragraph before asks the question, "What is the ideal relief in a knife blade?". This is the only point in the book that they mention the ".02" 1/4" behind the edge... even their examples later on don't meet this. I think they're describing the ideal condition.

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