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Sharp as a Razor?

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by bucksway, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. David Nowlin

    David Nowlin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    I too use the Smiths tri hone system. In my move i seem to have misplaced it so just bought a new one. Still waiting to learn how to use a strop Mike sent me.
    Sharpening knives is therapeutic and lately i been needing it bad. Shortage of dull knives atm isn’t helping
    jbmonkey likes this.
  2. panella


    Sep 2, 2003
    The sharpest production knives I’ve ever gotten are my Buck 110’s with BG-42. They are all basically unused and all hair popping sharp. They shave effortlessly and fit my definition of terrifyingly, tree topping sharp. I have nothing that approaches them.

    On knives that I use and sharpen (EdgePro) I usually stop when the blade shaves arm hair and call that a working edge.

    If I feel ambitious I’ll work on them until they shave tiny curlies on paper.

    There are lots of good videos on how to get good results when sharpening. Most will emphasize holding a consistent angle, raising a burr, and incrementally using finer grained stones. But the real keys are practice, patience, and pride in your work. It takes time to make a great edge.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  3. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Any of the steels Buck uses are capable of getting extremely sharp. Most any decently heat treated steel is. You need the right media and techniques for the steels but by and large they can all get there. For the most part, one steel type does not have the, um, edge over another in terms of being able to get very sharp. Again, if it's well heat treated, not talking about gummy Pakistan car bumper steel. For sure, some steels sharpen up easier than others, but if you have the right tools and the proper technique, you can get pretty much all of them extremely sharp. As @David Martin has so rightly said, even low grit edges can shave arm hair. And as another poster said, facial hair is an another matter. The key difference here being comfort. You need an extremely thin, keen edge for comfortable facial shaving. I don't even bother.

    The different steels shine in their edge properties after they are sharp. Some will have long lasting edges, some will be tougher, and so on.

    Factory edges, as sharp as they so often are, are also often not durable. They've often been weakened and it'll take a sharpening or two or three to really realize what your knife's full edge properties.

    The blade shape itself doesn't really affect how sharp it is. Provided you have good edge geometry, the edge will get sharp. But the blade shape can enhance or inhibit overall cutting performance.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  4. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    When sharpening I don't shoot for a arm hair shaving edge. I go more for a utility edge, that will cut rope, a hose, cardboard, your lunch apple, ect.. Which is what most people use a knife for. I have a Buck Selector skinner blade sharpened so it will shave facial whiskers. I took it to 2K
    grit on the Spyderco ultra fine, ceramic stone. I have shaved with it about 6 times. It will give a good shave. This is the level a blade needs to
    be in order to give a decent shave. Then this edge will skate off of rope. Thus, tailor the edge toward the intended use and make sure the burrs are removed. This will give you a good general edge. Many knife makers sharpen toward a coarse edge. This allows the buyer to refine it how they want. DM
    redcanoe, jbmonkey and Lesknife like this.
  5. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I agree on a good working edge for my knife usage. A mirror polished hair splitting edge isn’t necessary for what I have use for as it wouldn’t take long for the very fine edge to have micro toothy scratches. The micro toothy edge is much easier to maintain with a touch up and strop it back to a nice working edge. If I were carving and doing highly detailed wood carvings then I’d be using a carving tool that would likely be a mirror edge finish.
    David Martin, bucksway and jbmonkey like this.


    Aug 14, 2006
    I like a working edge on my knives too,Arazor sharp edge that's polished and stropped is nice for certain cutting chores,skinning knives come to mind,but that edge doesn't last or work nearly as well as a toothy edge on rope,cardboard,leather,twine etc.the polished edge tends to need to be forced to work as good as a toothy edge
    Lesknife likes this.
  7. BuckShack

    BuckShack Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 19, 2015
    All my Cabelas Alaskan Guide knives with S30V came very sharp. Most of my 110s with upgraded steel came with noticeably sharp edges too. I find it hard to get them quite that sharp again, but I can keep them slicing paper and that works for me.
  8. neo71665


    Feb 18, 2020
    Comparing a straight razor to a knife is like comparing a knife to scissors. Each one has their intended purpose and sharpened as such. Can you sharpen your kitchen scissors to shave with, sure. The problem after is they are no longer good for using as scissors.
  9. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg Back on the January 26 Sunday Picture Show I tested a new 110 blade on the BESS gadget and got a reading of 315. A week later, I tested a new single bevel BuckCote blade in the same manner. The single bevel gave a reading of 210 which is close to razor territory. The 315 reading is in the range of new high end cutlery blades. See BESS Chart.

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