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Sharpening of a ceramic knife

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Sharpening of a ceramic knife

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Anthony Yan 05/06/2012 at 1:25 am.

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  • #1170

    Never Dull
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 5

    I posted this in the welcome mat earlier in error. Can the WEPS sharpen a Ceramic knife? Can clamping shatter the blade? Any help is appreciated.

    #1171

    Leo James Mitchell
    Participant
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 687

    It’s OK, I deleted it for you now that you have the post in the correct place.

    Cheers
    Leo

    #1192

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2896

    Ceramic blade? Yes. You use the diamond stones and strops. With the stones, you should use very light pressure and keep the stones wet with a solution of water and a drop of dish soap. I use a small spray bottle (3 oz) and a drop of Dawn. It helps lubricate the stones along the brittle ceramic edge and it also keeps the stones from loading up with all the ceramic powder that develops. You’ll get best results around 23-25 degrees, finishing on the 1000 grit diamonds and then the 5/3.5 strops. No issues with clamping.

    I posted this in the welcome mat earlier in error. Can the WEPS sharpen a Ceramic knife? Can clamping shatter the blade? Any help is appreciated.

    -Clay

    #2871

    Krystina
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 4

    Clay,
    I have followed your instructions above and cannot seem to get these Kyocera blades razor sharp!?! They were very (VERY) dull when they came to me; the progression I went thru is as follows… 100/200, 400/600 and then 800/1000.
    Never did pull a burr at start (w/ 100), thought maybe since ceramic, burr would not form?
    Shall I go (back) to 50/80?
    I believe my pressure is OK… not too light.
    THANKS–

    #2872

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2896

    Hey Krystina,

    Ceramic knives are very different. You don’t want to use the coarse grit stones unless absolutely necessary and they’ll never get super sharp like steel does, they’re just too brittle and won’t hold an acute angle without chipping. When you do ceramics, you won’t be able to draw a burr, ceramic doesn’t behave that way, so the best way to make sure you’re reaching the edge is with a marker, checking to see that all the marker is removed by the stones. Light pressure is imperative. You can use the strops and finer pastes/sprays to greatly improve the edge quality. If you have a loupe or magnifying glass, you can inspect the edge for chipping – from there you can decide if you need to put in more time with the fine strops.

    Clay,
    I have followed your instructions above and cannot seem to get these Kyocera blades razor sharp!?! They were very (VERY) dull when they came to me; the progression I went thru is as follows… 100/200, 400/600 and then 800/1000.
    Never did pull a burr at start (w/ 100), thought maybe since ceramic, burr would not form?
    Shall I go (back) to 50/80?
    I believe my pressure is OK… not too light.
    THANKS–

    -Clay

    #2873

    Krystina
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 4

    will do and f/u with results!
    Tx–

    #2894

    Josh
    Participant
    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1669

    I’m quite interested in the results as well… I actually have two ceramic knives that I’ve been meaning to work on w/ the WEPS, although my kyocera blade isn’t dull enough yet. The second one is one of Boker’s ceramic folders… which I actually did attempt shortly after I got the WEPS without too much success (think I was using too much pressure). And your right Clay, they are a totally different animal. Absolutely no burr, and they must be really refined to get it “hair popping” sharp. I.e. I can take a regular steel blade and have it pop hairs all day at the 400 grit stock stone (you probably could even the 100/200 if you did it right) but even at 1k it won’t do this on a ceramic blade…

    If anyone gets a hair popping edge on a ceramic knife, please keep us posted on the process 😉

    #2898

    Mark
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 56

    I actually went out and bought a ceramic knife just to try sharpening it. But like Josh said it’s not dull enough yet. The clerk where I bought it told me all about how they had to be “laser sharpened” 🙁
    I told him all about marketing hype. 😉 I tried to be very polite about it, but I don’t think he appreciated me correcting him.

    Mark M.

    #2899

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2896

    I’ll post some pictures later on this week (I hope) of sharpening ceramic blades.

    -Clay

    #2900

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2896

    I actually went out and bought a ceramic knife just to try sharpening it. But like Josh said it’s not dull enough yet. The clerk where I bought it told me all about how they had to be “laser sharpened” 🙁
    I told him all about marketing hype. 😉 I tried to be very polite about it, but I don’t think he appreciated me correcting him.

    Mark M.

    That’s pretty funny about the “laser sharpening” 🙂 I know for a fact that Kyocera and Stone River use high speed diamond wheels.

    -Clay

    #3034

    Anthony Yan
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 96

    Here is an official video on YouTube from Kyocera about how they sharpen their ceramic knives. It has almost zero technical details (which is too bad), but it can give you some idea of what they do.

    And here is a video (clip from BBC series “How do they do it?”) about how Kyocera manufactures their ceramic knives (also short on details, and I think they confuse strength and toughness, but still pretty interesting):

    Sincerely,
    –Lagrangian

    P.S. I didn’t learn until later that “Kyocera” is short for “Kyoto Ceramics”. Just in case some of you didn’t know either!

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