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Compilation of bevel angles from the manufacturer?

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  • #41053
    AIRon22
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Hi all,

    I tried searching the forum for a list of bevel angles from which the factory sharpens their knives but didn’t see any results. Is there a page for this? I’m wondering because I was sharpening a Buck knives “Boot Ops” boot knife and I was really surprised at the angle I had to sharpen it at. It measures 27.5 degrees per side (very lightly used blade, and I did the sharpie test and the sharpie wore smoothly off at this angle).  This seem right?

    #41054
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1941

    I don’t believe that you’ll ever see such a list.   From what we can tell, virtually every manufacturer puts the final bevel on by hand, relying entirely on the eye of the person doing the sharpening.  I recently did a batch of knives for my nephew which were brand new.  He had bought them as specials on Woots.com.  There were five Kershaws of one type, two Kershaws of another type and two Gerbers of a third type.  Every knife had different angles and they even had different angles from side to side.  A typical example would be a blade that was sharpened to 18 degrees on one side and 24 degrees on the other.

    For what it’s worth:

    This last week, I did a batch of nine Wuesthof Classics for a friend.  They were all very dull and I could see easily that they had only been sharpened with a steel.  Because of this, I could still see remnants of the factory grinds.  They too were quite variable in the grind angles.   Some edges were well off-center.

    27.5 degrees is quite high for an EDC knife.  I sharpen almost every folding knife I do to 20 dps.  For kitchen knives, I usually do 17 dps for a main bevel, then put on a very light 20 dps microbevel.  Boning knives get a 20 dps edge with no microbevel.

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    #41055
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Tom hit the nail on the head; every knife is going to be a bit different from the factory so a database wouldn’t be of much use. The precision of the Wicked Edge can be used to correct these inconsistencies to put highly symmetrical bevels on your knives or even to intentionally put unsymmetrical bevels on knives.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #41056
    Mikedoh
    Moderator
    • Topics: 38
    • Replies: 563

    As has been said, factory angles vary. If I remember correctly, and I may not, there was a space on the old knife database for including factory angle. Doesn’t seem to be in the updated database. I know I had sought out that info either from the makers’ websites, or from emailing them, and stated values were different than actual edge angles.

     

    #41060
    AIRon22
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Well alright…I didn’t realize that they had someone hand finish the knives at the very end. That explains a lot and I guess a database for manufacturer’s angles really would not be of much help. I guess I could always re-profile the edge to a more steep degree. I feel like a boot knife deserves a different angle. I’m thinking between 18-20 DPS.

    #41061
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2124

    Hi all, I tried searching the forum for a list of bevel angles from which the factory sharpens their knives but didn’t see any results. Is there a page for this? I’m wondering because I was sharpening a Buck knives “Boot Ops” boot knife and I was really surprised at the angle I had to sharpen it at. It measures 27.5 degrees per side (very lightly used blade, and I did the sharpie test and the sharpie wore smoothly off at this angle). This seem right?

    Did the sharpie get removed the full height of the bevel, top to bottom, or just removed it at the very tip?  I’d retry it with a new wide application of the sharpie to make sure the stone removes the ink from the full width of the bevel, just to verify your findings.  I do think the knife is a thrusting blade with a stout strong edge, and tanto tip for durability, too sharp and it may cut the knife holder when inserted, and with movement.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #41069
    AIRon22
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Ya know, funny you ask about the sharpie being removed the full width of the bevel. I was sharpening a Buck/Strider collaboration knife and have been having a real hard time getting all of the sharpie off the bevel (from the shoulder down to the edge). The grind (or bevel) is very wide and comes up a good ways on each side of the blade–I haven’t seen many knives with an area so large. Anyways, I was able to get it extremely sharp, but I still didn’t get the sharpie off the upper portion of the bevel. I mean it easily slices through phone book paper, and shaves hair. Any suggestions?

    #41070
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2124

    Wide bevels are usually and indication of narrow bevel angles and likewise narrow width bevels usually correspond to wider bevel angles. If you aren’t removing “all” of the sharpie from the full width of the bevel then you haven’t matched the knife’s sharpened angle correctly.  Also besides playing with the angle you may need to slide the knife forward or backward in the clamp, or tilt the knife point up or point down in the clamp to remove the sharpie from “all of, and only from” the bevel.  AlRon22 to accomplish this it can take a lot of playing around.  With experience you’ll inherently know which way to move the knife in the clamp to accomplish this.  There is printed/illustrated material on the Wicked Edge website to help you learn how to find the sweet spot.

    When you remove the sharpie below the bevel edge or apex and leave some ink right at the edge or apex, you have use a set angle narrower than the knifes bevel grind.  In order to remove all the sharpie with this setting you’ll be removing a lot of metal.  Maybe more than is good for the knife.  So depending on the blade, how far forward or how far back this is happening along the knife’s length, you may be able to correct it and remove the metal and the sharpie right up to the apex by just tilting the knife point, up or down, or by just sliding the knife forward and backward, or by clamping the knife higher or lower in the jaws, or all three, and/or it may require changing the set angle of the wicked edge also.  (So there are at least four factors affecting the knife’s position when trying to determine and match the original bevel angle.

    Anytime you are not right on the initial bevel the knife had when you first clamped it, any metal you remove, is in essence re-profiling the knife.  That is changing the bevel angle.  That is not necessarily a bad thing. The issue is, it takes practice and experience to recognize how much your really changing the angle and how it’ll effect the knifes cutting characteristics and durability.

    Lastly, if you haven’t removed the sharpie right at the edge of the edge, “the apex” then your not sharpening the edge of the knife.  That is you haven’t apexed the edge. The edge is still the unsharpened edge you had when you first clamped the knife.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #41071
    AIRon22
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Okay so a lot of things could be it. I moved the knife back in the clamp (the point closer to me) and that definitely helped.  I found that the angle was about 19 degrees. When i said I wasn’t getting the sharpie off at the top, I was referring to the top when the knife is upside down in the clamp (I guess it’s technically the bottom when it’s clamped, top when you’re holding the knife in hand). The apex was definitely being worked. I had a very strong burr after about 8-10 strokes on a side using 1000 grit stone. Like I said, the outcome was good in that it’s scary sharp, but it annoys me because the area, as you would hold it in your hand while cutting, I believe it’s called the shoulder–this area–where the shoulder meets the upper portion of the bevel still has sharpie on it (but only in a small area). I think I might try tilting it forward in the clamp. The more I sharpen and read this forum, the more I’ve realized you can kind of alter things a little bit as you sharpen to tailor things to certain knives. Thanks for all the info!

    #41093
    Leisureguy
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 2

    Newbie here. Why would one want a non-symmetric bevel. I am acquainted with the Japanese knives with 0º bevel on one side. But why would want (say) 17º on one side and 24º on the other?

    #41096
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2124

    In essence the uneven grind angles can improve the cutting/slicing characteristic and ability of a knife.  This issue has been discussed several times in earlier Forum posts so please read these to help you gain insight.  The term “non-symmetrical grind” can be ambiguous, too, because it can imply the knife is ground at a different angle on one side then the other or to imply the bevel angle is ground to different angles from one side to the other.

    Either way, the steepness of the angle affects the ease of penetration of the edge and also how the cut material is pushed off the edge after penetration.  It also can affect how the blade steers through the cut material.  A steep bevel, that is lower angle, allows you to cut smaller, thinner, slicers, than a wider or higher bevel angle.  A steep narrower angle should penetrate easier using the opposite wider angle side to push the cut material off and away during penetration.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #41101
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1941

    Consider the chisel grind and how it behaves as it cuts through a material.  If you hold the blade vertical, the blade will follow the non-beveled side of the blade exactly.  I have a cheap cleaver that came from the manufacturer with a small bevel on the flat side.  If you wanted to slice off a very thin piece of salami, it was hopeless.  Unless you were cutting very close to the end of the salami, the edge would drift toward the flat side, preventing me from cutting the salami straight.  I re-ground the edge so that it was a true chisel grind and I was then able to cut extremely thin, straight slices of salami.  The blade would always cut dead-straight, following the flat side of the cleaver.  The bevel on the opposite side of the blade will drive the salami slice away from the cut line.

    This concept requires that you know which hand will hold the blade.  If the user is right handed, he/she will hold the salami with their left hand.  To cut very thin slices, you’d sharpen the blade with the non-beveled side on the user’s left side, as he looks down on the knife’s spine.   You can approximate this effect by making the bevels uneven, and you can make them uneven by changing the bevel angles or by removing much more material from one side than the other.  Reducing the angle on the “flat” side will enhance the “chisel” effect without moving the apex as far.  The blade will always tend to push itself away from the side with the higher angle, as there’s more resistance there.

    They call it a chisel grind because it works just like a wood-working chisel.  The user knows that if he holds the chisel with the flat side vertical, it will cut exactly along that line.  The beveled side of the chisel will tend to drive the chisel toward the flat side.  The flat side, the material it has already cut and the user holding the chisel vertical will all work to ensure a perfect, vertical cut.

    The above is meant to teach you how the cutting edge behaves.  The closer to a chisel grind you get, the more accurately the knife will cut along an intended cut line.  Very thin blades are less subject to the effects of an off-center apex.

    A simplification of my blather here is that a blade will tend to be pushed away from the side which sees the most resistance.  The difference in resistance can be caused by a wider bevel (offset apex), a higher bevel angle on one side, or by the side-to-side difference in density of the material being cut(a thin slice will produce almost no resistance).

    For our purposes, these conditions can be used for you or against you.  Since the vast majority of our blades are “general use” applications, we try to keep the bevels symmetrical, with a centered apex.

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    #41102
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2124

    Just to further complicate it.  There are many more uneven bevel grinds then the Chisel Grind: Uneven Grinds

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #41130
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    It’s true most bevels are created by hand and thus somewhat uneven. But you can measure them using a goniometer: http://www.catra.org/pages/products/kniveslevel1/lgpm.htm . They work pretty well, not to half a degree accurate, but if you want to get an idea what the angle is about, so you can sharpen in that neighborhood, they’re pretty useful.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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