Let's Get Into Sharpening

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baffled
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:42 am

I just made a video using an India Stone and a well used sharpening rod/steel to get a crappy knife from very dull to easy slicing on magazine paper. I'll try to upload it soon. Took ~4 minutes total. I'll try to upload it later tonight.

A little troubleshooting and common questions:

Question 1: Why does it seem like my edges fail so quickly?

Answer: A few things.

1) You're slamming the edge into ceramic cutting boards, ceramic plates, other cutlery, using the knife to scrape pots out etc... Basically all things that will dull any knife in a fairly rapid manner.

Don't do that, and use the knife to do what it's designed to do, and you'll be surprised how much longer your knives can go without needing a full sharpening.

2) You're not removing the burr fully. The burr, when it's aligned off the edge of your blade, can still do some impressive cutting, may shave hair, and will give the impression the knife itself is sharp. The thing is, that burr is weak, and it is often small enough that you can't see it with the naked eye.

You need to go back and try to remove the burr. Maybe take a few passes on a finer stone, then try this:

- Raise the spine of your knife so that your angle roughly doubles. If you're at 15 degrees or so, you should be in the 30-35 degree range now.
- Take a very light pass into the stone with the side holding the burr angled down and into the stone. Repeat on the other side, where the burr has not likely flipped. The pressure should be less than the knife in most cases.
- Return to your normal sharpening angle, and take 5 or so very light passes on each side, then test for sharpness.

Using high angled passes isn't my idea, but it's become my favorite approach lately.

3) You're using the knife for cutting tasks, but they're still too tough on given the steel, edge geometry etc. Example: a thinly ground knife meant for fine, detail oriented work isn't likely to hold up well against heavy chopping tasks.

Even if you're using wooden cutting boards, and taking care to protect your knife's edge, it can still be put through more abuse than it's designed for.

Question 2: Why won't my knife shave, cut paper etc?

Answer: Probably a burr in the way, but here's a question or two back: How is your knife performing in the kitchen? Is it slicing tomatoes cleanly, without your having to muscle through and crush all the fruit?

Has it maintained performance for weeks with nothing needed other than a few passes on a fine stone? If so, don't worry about it.

Question 3: What if I chipped my knife?

Answer: How deep is the chip? If it's deep enough that you may have cracked the thicker portion of the blade, it may be done for. Sucks, but it happens now and then.

If it's a deep chip, but no damage was done to the main stock of the blade, then you can grind it down, thin it back out, and go back to work. It may change the function of the blade a bit, but it'll still have life left in it.

If it's a shallow chip, then you can just sharpen like you normally would and you'll probably be fine. It the chips are still there, but the rest of the edge is clean and sharp, you need to decide if it's getting in the way of the knife's performance. If you just cook at home, you're likely best off leaving the chips in and just letting future them come out as you continue to sharpen in the future.

You can also use a honing steel/rod and run it lightly across each direction. That can sometimes smooth a small chip or nick out, even though it won't remove it.

Question 4: Should I try to shave with my knife?

Answer: No. Slice newsprint or something if you want to show how sharp it is without cutting a bunch of food.

Question 5: How come my knife felt sharper off my coarse or medium stone(s)?

Answer: I'm guessing you used too much pressure at the finish line.

A couple rules of thumb:
1) Your knife should be sharp off of your coarsest stone. It should be capable of cutting easily, even if the cut itself is a bit rough. If you don't have a cutting edge at your lowest grit, you're not going to help yourself as you progress to a finer finish.

2) More pressure should be used when you have to grind more metal. Less pressure should be used when you're just putting a polish, weakening burrs, microbeveling etc.

3) Too much pressure can result in rolled/crushed edges. Lighten up dramatically at the end and see how you do.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:11 am

Nice.

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by The man in black » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:04 am

What would you recommend for a set of stones for a someone? Any specific sets?

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:21 pm

I've been rethinking some things, so here's a slightly revised listing of what I'd recommend, and why.

I'm still partial to water stones. They're clean, pretty easy to use, cut fast, and I think they're more versatile than oil stones. A water stone tends to leave a more polished edge at comparable grits when compared to some oil stones.

I'll list this in terms of affordability of the stones, then an idea or two based on the cutlery you're sharpening.

Cheapest and biggest bang for the buck = Combination Stones:

1. King 1k/6k combination stone. Kings tend to cut somewhat slowly, but if you are just starting and don't know if you want to keep sharpening your own knives, you can't beat the combo. It's $36 on Amazon right now. Get some loose grit silicon carbide and a flat tile or piece of glass and you can be set for $45 or so. Getting a diamond plate can come later, or with the King, you can probably get a Norton flattening stone that'll work for a while.

2. The Cerax combination stones seem to be well received. This one on Chef Knives to Go should handle heavy duty on the 280 side, and give a nice enough edge on the 1500 side. I don't get paid from this or any other link: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ceco28.html

3. You could also get a Naniwa combination stone from the website linked above for ~$105. More expensive, but that's still ~$25 or so cheaper than if you bought those two stones on their own. I use the Super Stones for some stuff, namely an 8k as part of a progression for honing straight razors, and like them.

There are others out there. King also makes the K-80, which is something like a 250/1000 stone. As I think of it more, I tend to think this is where people wanting to get a feel for water stones should start.

Got money, know some sharpening:

1. Shapton Glass. They'll handle most wear resistant steels without a problem, and are recommended by a number of Japanese blade smiths, from what I've read lately. Shapton considers their stones to be a system of sorts, and the 3 stone set they recommend is a 500, 2k, 16k. I don't have the 16k, but I hear it's like a really consistent strop.

I think you could get a ton of work done with a 500 and a 2k and be fine.

2. Nothing else. If you have tons of disposable income, you could buy Choseras. I wouldn't, because they're stupidly expensive, people complain about them cracking over time, and other options are just more affordable and well reviewed.

Cheap Knives, Gotta Get Sharp = India Stone:

Yeah, it's an oil stone, but the Norton India Stone is plenty to handle the types of knives most people have. If you have a knife set that cost ~$100 total, a Combination India stone will do fine. You can get one for $20, give or take.

Get one of those, then make yourself a strop. Take a strip of denim and attach it to something hard backed. Use a buffing compound- whatever color you have or find cheapest, and I think most people would probably be happy with the results.

edited for organization
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by Sangoma » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:02 am

A question from a total ignoramus: what about using a bench grinder for sharpening knives?
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:59 pm

Wouldn't recommend that. You could overheat the blade, chew a bunch of steel, hurt yourself, get a shitty edge, or all of the above.

I didn't mention them, but you could get an edge pro, KME, or some other guided system. Perfectly fine for getting knives sharp.

A paper wheel set up could work too, but I still prefer a stone set and freehanding.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by Sangoma » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:02 am

I suspected this would be the answer. Thanks. I think I would enjoy free hand sharpening - must be very meditative. I just have to get the tools.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:21 am

Be Careful! If you have the autism in any amount you are doomed.

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:11 pm

Smet. I'm going to edit my posts when I get the time, but I'm starting to think that most people would be best served with a ~$20 USD King K-80 that's like a 220 grit/1000 combo, and then a 3000 if they wanted more polish. Total is ~$50 or $60, I think. Maybe more in Australia, but I'd guess still affordable, and even though they need to be soaked, they're better than oil stones.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:23 pm

Got some pics taken under magnification to illustrate things a little better. Everything under 400x magnfiication.

These are all the same knife, in 8cr13MoV steel. A pretty common steel in pocket knives, it's capable of taking a pretty friggin' sharp edge, but it needs fairly regular maintenance.

Here's a picture with a very fine burr raised from 35 passes on a 325 'grit' diamond hone. It's easiest to see the burr near the flair in the upper left. The light flecks off the edge represent the burr. This was fairly easily felt with my fingernail drawing down towards the edge, never along the edge
8CR13Mov steel pocket knife.jpg
8CR13Mov steel pocket knife.jpg (35.25 KiB) Viewed 5094 times
Here's that same edge after 3 ultralight passes on each side using a 700 grit diamond hone, then 2 passes to even the bevel out a little bit.
8CR13Mov steel pocket knife deburred.jpg
8CR13Mov steel pocket knife deburred.jpg (37.47 KiB) Viewed 5094 times
Pretty clean, and the knife cuts well. Shaves hair with a bit of a scrape, but no problems for an everyday carry sort of pocket knife. Burr is no longer visible at this level of magnification

Finally, a total of 20 passes per side using a basic leather strop with a hard backing, and loaded with chromium oxide compound:
8CR13Mov steel pocket knife stropped.jpg
8CR13Mov steel pocket knife stropped.jpg (39.84 KiB) Viewed 5094 times
This step took the knife from 'sharp', to hair popping sharp off of a low(er) grit diamond hone.

The point(s):
a) I'm rethinking my views on stropping, and thinking that I'd rather finish a blade between in the 1k to 2k range, and then strop it. I'm not a chef doing intricate detail work, hoping for a Michelin star.
b) I'm probably autistic.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by Sangoma » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:48 pm

This whole enterprise is pretty disheartening for me. I tried to sharpen one of the kitchen knives following the instructions, but I think it is now blunter than before. Fuck.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:03 pm

Sangoma wrote:This whole enterprise is pretty disheartening for me. I tried to sharpen one of the kitchen knives following the instructions, but I think it is now blunter than before. Fuck.
Take a look at this video and see if it helps.


The important part starts ~1:10, where he finds the angle to sharpen at, and then runs the blade across the stone. I don't love the idea of using diamonds on a kitchen knife, but I'm probably being a bitch about it.

Let me know how you do.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:15 am

baffled wrote:Got some pics taken under magnification to illustrate things a little better. Everything under 400x magnfiication.

These are all the same knife, in 8cr13MoV steel. A pretty common steel in pocket knives, it's capable of taking a pretty friggin' sharp edge, but it needs fairly regular maintenance.

Here's a picture with a very fine burr raised from 35 passes on a 325 'grit' diamond hone. It's easiest to see the burr near the flair in the upper left. The light flecks off the edge represent the burr. This was fairly easily felt with my fingernail drawing down towards the edge, never along the edge8CR13Mov steel pocket knife.jpg

Here's that same edge after 3 ultralight passes on each side using a 700 grit diamond hone, then 2 passes to even the bevel out a little bit.8CR13Mov steel pocket knife deburred.jpg

Pretty clean, and the knife cuts well. Shaves hair with a bit of a scrape, but no problems for an everyday carry sort of pocket knife. Burr is no longer visible at this level of magnification

Finally, a total of 20 passes per side using a basic leather strop with a hard backing, and loaded with chromium oxide compound:8CR13Mov steel pocket knife stropped.jpg

This step took the knife from 'sharp', to hair popping sharp off of a low(er) grit diamond hone.

The point(s):
a) I'm rethinking my views on stropping, and thinking that I'd rather finish a blade between in the 1k to 2k range, and then strop it. I'm not a chef doing intricate detail work, hoping for a Michelin star.
b) I'm probably autistic.
I am autistic and I love you and your sharpening.

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by Sangoma » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:28 am

Baffled, you are my hero. I think I am getting the bug.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by Beer Jew » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:51 pm

bennyonesix wrote:
baffled wrote:Got some pics taken under magnification to illustrate things a little better. Everything under 400x magnfiication.

These are all the same knife, in 8cr13MoV steel. A pretty common steel in pocket knives, it's capable of taking a pretty friggin' sharp edge, but it needs fairly regular maintenance.

Here's a picture with a very fine burr raised from 35 passes on a 325 'grit' diamond hone. It's easiest to see the burr near the flair in the upper left. The light flecks off the edge represent the burr. This was fairly easily felt with my fingernail drawing down towards the edge, never along the edge8CR13Mov steel pocket knife.jpg

Here's that same edge after 3 ultralight passes on each side using a 700 grit diamond hone, then 2 passes to even the bevel out a little bit.8CR13Mov steel pocket knife deburred.jpg

Pretty clean, and the knife cuts well. Shaves hair with a bit of a scrape, but no problems for an everyday carry sort of pocket knife. Burr is no longer visible at this level of magnification

Finally, a total of 20 passes per side using a basic leather strop with a hard backing, and loaded with chromium oxide compound:8CR13Mov steel pocket knife stropped.jpg

This step took the knife from 'sharp', to hair popping sharp off of a low(er) grit diamond hone.

The point(s):
a) I'm rethinking my views on stropping, and thinking that I'd rather finish a blade between in the 1k to 2k range, and then strop it. I'm not a chef doing intricate detail work, hoping for a Michelin star.
b) I'm probably autistic.
I am autistic and I love you and your sharpening.
If I were Baffled I'd be terrified.

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:34 pm

Sangoma wrote:Baffled, you are my hero. I think I am getting the bug.
Good. I'm glad to hear it.

Keep at it and you'll be surprised at how quickly you progress.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:22 pm

Beer Jew wrote:
bennyonesix wrote:
baffled wrote:Got some pics taken under magnification to illustrate things a little better. Everything under 400x magnfiication.

These are all the same knife, in 8cr13MoV steel. A pretty common steel in pocket knives, it's capable of taking a pretty friggin' sharp edge, but it needs fairly regular maintenance.

Here's a picture with a very fine burr raised from 35 passes on a 325 'grit' diamond hone. It's easiest to see the burr near the flair in the upper left. The light flecks off the edge represent the burr. This was fairly easily felt with my fingernail drawing down towards the edge, never along the edge8CR13Mov steel pocket knife.jpg

Here's that same edge after 3 ultralight passes on each side using a 700 grit diamond hone, then 2 passes to even the bevel out a little bit.8CR13Mov steel pocket knife deburred.jpg

Pretty clean, and the knife cuts well. Shaves hair with a bit of a scrape, but no problems for an everyday carry sort of pocket knife. Burr is no longer visible at this level of magnification

Finally, a total of 20 passes per side using a basic leather strop with a hard backing, and loaded with chromium oxide compound:8CR13Mov steel pocket knife stropped.jpg

This step took the knife from 'sharp', to hair popping sharp off of a low(er) grit diamond hone.

The point(s):
a) I'm rethinking my views on stropping, and thinking that I'd rather finish a blade between in the 1k to 2k range, and then strop it. I'm not a chef doing intricate detail work, hoping for a Michelin star.
b) I'm probably autistic.
I am autistic and I love you and your sharpening.
If I were Baffled I'd be terrified.
I have the fucking emojicons disenabled you dumbass.

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:11 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XW-XdDe6j0

I didn't know restoring from this state of rust was so doable. Impressive.

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by baffled » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:51 pm

That guy is cool. I'm surprised the knife was so heavily rusted without any major pitting on the blade. Can't tell what cleaner he's using. Maybe the Japanese version of Barkeeper's Friend?

His other video sharpening that $1 knife is a lot of fun.

For those wondering, I think that knife is actually a usuba.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by Turdacious » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:45 am

Because Spells sent out the batsignal. Beeump.
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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:32 am

Other than my posts this thr& is best thing on this subforum.

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:33 am

Other than my posts, this thr& is best thing on this subforum

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:34 am

Other than, my posts this thr& is best thing on this subforum

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:48 am

Other than, my posts this thr&, is best thing on this subforum

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Re: Let's Get Into Sharpening

Post by bennyonesix » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:48 am

Wgm poisoning himself with spinach was lulz too

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