What do you consider dull?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by ktataragasi, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. eugenechia1989


    May 15, 2017
    I also use light reflection off the edge. Can see the condition of the entire length of the edge and know where all the dull spots are. Will also do this while sharpening to check progress. That said, my short-sightedness is getting worse, so I might have to change my modus operandi eventually.
  2. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    Today while preparing and organizing to create food baskets to pass out to the needy, a few people were at different stations that needed to open onion bags, boxes of assorted vegetables and fruits, bags of cabbage, etc.

    One guy had a multi-tool knock-off. One had a small gas station folder cheapie, the third had a pocket safety razor. All three were incredibly dull, and holding up the prep line. They were all struggling to get packaging, ties, strings, and boxes open.

    I offered up a vanilla PM2 in S30V that has been sharpened on a KME up to DMT 1500 stones, and maintained on xtra fine Sharpmaker stones.

    The production line immediately sped up and we were averaging 250 bags per hour, and ended up finishing earlier than the previous three events (I was not present for).

    They were all fighting over the Spyderco. You could see they all wanted to use it, and eventually one of the elder Veterans took over cutting duties and just walked around cutting stuff.

    Having a sharp knife seems like a no-brainer for us Forumites. It’s always a pleasure to share our hobby with others, and maybe convert a few people in the wild to upgrade their personal stuff.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  3. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    If it slides on my slanted thumb-nail, then it's dull...
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  4. marthinus

    marthinus KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 10, 2006
    If I can see light reflection back off the apex I generally run it on the Spyderco UF stone.

    If its not back to shaving sharp I will do 5 l-10 passes on the Fine DMT and back to the Spyderco UF stone. Normally takes care of it.

    If I cant sharpen it while the kettle is boiling I need to thin out the edge.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
    ktataragasi likes this.
  5. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    When it cannot shave arm hair without putting pressure to the skin.
  6. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    When it no longer shaves arm hair, I touch it up. Strops or back to the Edge-Pro.
  7. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    If the knife will no longer cleanly shave the hair off of my arm without putting a lot of pressure then it needs sharpening.
  8. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    I'm tired of bald spots on my arms. So I'm building a little 2" strap holder with cam buckles to test knife edges with. I have some 2" Polypropylene strap and some Polyester strap to use. I still need to get some 2" Nylon strap. I was also thinking about going to a salvage yard and getting some seat belts.
    My drill press vise should be here later today so I can drill screw holes in the cam buckles and finish my strap holder.

    Strap Holder-1a.jpg
  9. Black Oak Bladeworks

    Black Oak Bladeworks KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 5, 2019
    I consider a knife dull when it stops shaving. Usually if I am doing a light task it just needs a little stropping to bring it back. Once the blades gets some rolls or chips in it I take it back to a stone and polish them out. I usually use a flex cut strop with yellow compound. For stones I usually use a fallkniven DC4 for touch up.
  10. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I can feel if it is sharp by running it sideways across the my thumb. Fingernail is one indicator. But what does it for me is cutting plastic. A sharp knife will cut thin plastic with almost no effort and a dull one makes a bad job of it: requires force, catches, stretches the plastic.

    When I was cleaning a lot of squirrels, the knife had to be REALLY sharp to get the through the hair and skin without a lot of effort.

    Also, in cutting meat, we can tell right away if a knife is sharp or not: with a slicing stroke, it either bites in with almost no pressure or just slides on the surface without doing anything.
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  11. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    Depends on the size of the knife. On a machete, as long as it has an edge and it keeps getting through stuff it's fine. On a big fixed blade slicing paper's fine. On a folder or small fixed blade I want it SHARP. I want it to be able to shave or grab the surface of a fingerprint with almost no pressure.

    As long as a knife keeps getting through what I need to use it for without struggling I usually don't obsess too much. Oversharpening is a waste of good steel, but then again so is a dull knife.
    ktataragasi likes this.
  12. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    There are very few makers of plug tobacco anymore.
    I probably have a couple pounds in my tobacco stash left, most of that from Sam Gawaith and Gawaith Hoggarth.

    I always use a sharp thin blade when cutting the stuff, a stockman spey is perfect.
  13. RLB0414


    Apr 1, 2014
    Never heard of those brands. I always chewed days work in plug and redman, Levi Garrett in loose leaf
  14. JokersFaceLifter


    Jan 6, 2016
    unfortunately, "dull" has become ad muddied as " blade play" --- what may be dull to someone, is sharp to someone else, same is said for blade play, so i will answer your question with my own opinion, if your knife has lost its workable edge, meaning, you can comfortably run your finger along the edge without fear of it it cutting your skin, then its pretty dull --- hope this helps a little
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  15. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    Dull, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

    Several of my friends will "sharpen" a blade, and I consider it VERY dull after they've "sharpened" it.

    OTOH, I'm somewhat of a fanatic about sharp blades.
    ktataragasi likes this.
  16. rje58

    rje58 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Political ads, NFL football 2020, soccer, 21st century "baseball", university professors, bureaucrats...
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  17. Terry M.

    Terry M. Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    This. Exactly.
    115Italian likes this.
  18. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Redman and Levi Garrett both make or made a plug. Days o work also had an apple sun cured.plug. Cannon ball was a good plug as well! I've been chewin' since the 70's. Beech nut is my favorite. Had to find anything in NYC though so I wind up dippin Copenhagen n Cope long cut! IMG_20201013_061248.jpg
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  19. RLB0414


    Apr 1, 2014
    Forgot about cannon ball. For years I dipped Wintergreen skoal. Both fine and long cut. I never did jump on the Copenhagen wagon.
    jfk1110 likes this.
  20. Terry M.

    Terry M. Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Long cut mint Copenhagen here. Just switched from Skoal
    jfk1110 likes this.

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