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Advantages and disadvantages of different sharpening techniques

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  • #41622
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    The reason is that I, not being English or American (but almost Australian ) , would like to get my words right and try not be corrected for incorrect use of English.

    Mark, I’ve had some interaction with you and your use of English is better than some of the people that I have grown up with and I’ve lived in the USA all my life. The terms primary, secondary, grind, bevel, are terms that relate either starting at the grind of the knife, or the cutting edge of the knife. Whether you call the cutting edge the primary or the grind primary is up to the person and how they interpret the geometry. The point is that there is not one correct way to look at the language, English has different meanings for the same exact word depending on context and interpretation. Please don’t worry about your use of the English language. To me it’s fine, and in fact better than some of us who don’t know any other language. Hakuna matata …google this phase and watch the video of the lion king.  No worries bud.

    • Topics: 179
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    Thanks, sksharp! That’s very kind of you.

    Hakuna matata …google this phase and watch the video of the lion king.

    I happened to know the meaning of that… 🙂 not because I speak Swahili, but maybe because I’d already seen the Lion King. Or probably because it is used in Indonesian, too, which I speak a little.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 23

    If I had to pick one technique and settle on it, I think I’d do the following:

    1. Set the angle in the usual way, using a marker for discovery of the angle and sweet spot
    2. Color the bevels with marker
    3. Make alternating, edge trailing strokes with coarse or medium stones until the marker is <span style=”color: #0000ff;”>almost </span>gone
      1. If I were using magnification diligently, I might switch to a higher grit stone at this point and proceed until I’ve removed all the marker. In that case, I would skip Steps 4-5
    4. Switch to the next higher grit and scrub on one side until I’ve raised a burr
    5. Scrub on the opposite side until I’ve raised a burr
    6. Switch to the next higher grit and start alternating, edge leading strokes. These strokes are usually mostly perpendicular with a slight bias of heel-to-tip (<span style=”color: #ff0000;”>it’s important to grip the lower part of the handle and verify that your fingers will be below the blade if the stone comes off the tip of the knife.</span>)
      1. If I’m pursuing a mirror finish, then I alternate the direction of the strokes at each grit change to help me ensure that I have removed the scratches from the previous stone e.g. edge leading, perpendicular with heel-to-tip bias then edge leading ,perpendicular with tip-to-heel bias. I also often use parallel strokes with the finer grits when pursuing a mirror finish e.g. 800# parallel to the edge until 600# scratches are no longer evident, then 800# perpendicular with heel-to-tip bias, then 1000# parallel until the 800# scratches are gone, then 1000# perpendicular again with heel-to-tip bias.
    7. Continue until I’ve reached the highest grit diamond stone I have
    8. Do light scrubbing strokes on each side, feeling for any little bumps or hitches in the action between the stone and blade. If I find a rough patch that indicates a scratch that hasn’t been removed, I concentrate there for a bit until it’s gone and then return to some alternating strokes to establish the final scratch pattern. I use progressively lighter strokes toward the end with the last few being whisper light.

    Clay is this still your approach to sharpening?


    As as a follow up…. once you find a burr on the first stone, do you check for a burr on each sequential grit?

    • Topics: 122
    • Replies: 2926

    I still sharpen this way and I don’t check for a burr after raising it the first time.


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