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View Full Version : Wire Edge Test for those who "don't have them"



Dave Martell
10-14-2011, 10:32 PM
Next time you sharpen finish stropping (stone or strop or whatever you use) using some good decent amount of downward pressure - more than your comfortable using and then some. Do a few in each direction.

Now test the edge cutting paper.

It should slice OK. If it fails the (pure - not the el-slice-o) push cut then you've got a wire edge. The wire is bent to the side.

To double prove this - go back to your stropping and do light (weight of the knife only) stropping strokes. Do a few in each direction.

Now go test the edge again cutting paper.

It should slice cut great. If it passes the (pure - not the el-slice-o) push cut then you've just realigned the wire edge. This is where people fool themselves.

Now go back to your stropping and repeat the first test.

If you once again fail the (pure - not the el-slice-o) push cut then you've got a wire edge bent over.

Be honest and highly critical with yourself while doing this test and you might see something that you didn't expect to see. :spiteful:

slowtyper
10-15-2011, 12:29 AM
I am having real pro
blems removing wire edge from single bevels

wsfarrell
10-15-2011, 12:30 AM
Good post. Another method that works for me is to use a ceramic rod. The contact area is so small that it only takes a little pressure to move a wire edge back and forth.

Not that I've ever had a wire edge...............

JBroida
10-15-2011, 01:33 AM
I am having real pro
blems removing wire edge from single bevels

this is often due to too much pressure being used and not proper pressure on uraoshi sharpening. Also, depending on the type of knife, it may work best to use a microbevel to help remove a stubborn wire edge.

tk59
10-15-2011, 01:44 AM
this is often due to too much pressure being used and not proper pressure on uraoshi sharpening. Also, depending on the type of knife, it may work best to use a microbevel to help remove a stubborn wire edge.I also find wire edges can be a major PITA on single bevels. I haven't had problems with Hitachi steels thus far.

JBroida
10-15-2011, 01:45 AM
what other steel single bevel knives have you sharpened so far?

macmiddlebrooks
10-15-2011, 01:51 AM
Is a wire edge what I hear/feel pop and crunch sometimes on the stones? It def. feels like a tiny sliver of steel just popped off.

JBroida
10-15-2011, 01:55 AM
lol... that just sounds like sharpening stainless steel ;)

a wire edge is essentially where the weak thin metal at your edge has not been properly removed (more ofthen that not its your burr that hasnt been properly removed, but not always). Its the part of the edge that will crumble/fold on you when you start to use your knife. The crunch/pop you're talking about is more than likely the burr coming off in your sharpening and getting caught under your edge. For what its worth, unless your edge is totally toast or you are doing serious reprofiling, if you have metal coming off like that, you're removing too much metal in your sharpening

macmiddlebrooks
10-15-2011, 02:47 AM
Yeah, I was sharpening my Konosuke HD for the first time when I heard/felt it. I think I didn't realize how thin the edge was and was putting a little too much pressure on it.

phan1
10-15-2011, 03:42 AM
I've struggled with burrs for a while, and the best way I've been able to remove them is simply wiping down your knife very firmly with cloth. It'd be an edge trailing motion so you don't cut yourself. It's pretty much like stropping with a cloth in your hand. It's a method that works very well for me. I really like this method as it preserves the edge that you had off the stones, whereas a fully loaded strop would really change your resulting edge.

Benuser
10-15-2011, 09:54 AM
All that pressure may - depending on the steel - be the cause of a wire edge. I guess stropping on the stone will give a cleaner result.

TDj
10-15-2011, 10:22 AM
Next time you sharpen finish stropping (stone or strop or whatever you use) using some good decent amount of downward pressure - more than your comfortable using and then some. Do a few in each direction.

Now test the edge cutting paper.

It should slice OK. If it fails the (pure - not the el-slice-o) push cut then you've got a wire edge. The wire is bent to the side.

To double prove this - go back to your stropping and do light (weight of the knife only) stropping strokes. Do a few in each direction.

Now go test the edge again cutting paper.

It should slice cut great. If it passes the (pure - not the el-slice-o) push cut then you've just realigned the wire edge. This is where people fool themselves.

Now go back to your stropping and repeat the first test.

If you once again fail the (pure - not the el-slice-o) push cut then you've got a wire edge bent over.

Be honest and highly critical with yourself while doing this test and you might see something that you didn't expect to see. :spiteful:
Dave - you should do a video of a knife with a wire edge failing the push cut, and then fixing it, and then passing the push cut.

Dave Martell
10-15-2011, 10:41 AM
Dave - you should do a video of a knife with a wire edge failing the push cut, and then fixing it, and then passing the push cut.

I never do videos but ya never know maybe one day. I did do this in the last class though, it really proves a point.

slowtyper
10-15-2011, 03:54 PM
this is often due to too much pressure being used and not proper pressure on uraoshi sharpening. Also, depending on the type of knife, it may work best to use a microbevel to help remove a stubborn wire edge.

So you mean too much pressure on the forward motion of uraoshi? Or both too much pressure for orashi and too much pressure for cutting edge as well?

Eamon Burke
10-15-2011, 03:56 PM
So you mean too much pressure on the forward motion of uraoshi? Or both too much pressure for orashi and too much pressure for cutting edge as well?

I think he was saying it was from too much pressure altogether, and improperly placed pressure on the uraoshi. At least that was a big problem for me.

slowtyper
10-15-2011, 03:57 PM
this is often due to too much pressure being used and not proper pressure on uraoshi sharpening. Also, depending on the type of knife, it may work best to use a microbevel to help remove a stubborn wire edge.

Also, for arguments sake say I don't want to add a microbevel. How would you remove the wire edge? Just continue sharpening the wire edge with light pressure? Or dropping down in grits and starting over?

slowtyper
10-15-2011, 04:02 PM
I think he was saying it was from too much pressure altogether, and improperly placed pressure on the uraoshi. At least that was a big problem for me.

Ah yes I understand. What I have been trying to do with uraoshi is push forward with my fingers at the top on top of the edge. On pull back, I just slide the entire blade back without putting pressure down. I do this and it takes quite a lot of strokes to get rid of the burr. Often I get frustrated and try to speed it up (going faster, more pressure) which I know is bad...I should stop that...

Eamon Burke
10-15-2011, 04:11 PM
Also, for arguments sake say I don't want to add a microbevel. How would you remove the wire edge? Just continue sharpening the wire edge with light pressure? Or dropping down in grits and starting over?

There are only two ways to remove a wire edge, and both are a method of "deburring". A 'Wire Edge' is a colloquial term, and sometimes is used by woodworkers to refer to a very fine edge. However, a "Burr" is a universal engineering term. Burrs are simply bits of stressed metal left hanging over at the edge of two planes. In knife culture, we refer to a burr that runs the entire length of the cutting edge as a "wire edge". Building up a burr is essential to creating two planes that meet, it's just a property of steel that it will form, you can only manage how big it is and how uniform--a completely uniform burr that is aligned to bisect the edge bevels is your wire edge. So wire edge remove and deburring are one and the same.

There are only two methods of deburring a knife--pulling it off, and wearing it down. You can pull it off by cutting into something that provides gentle resistence(cork, rubber, URH felt). You can wear it down by polishing to successively higher grits, until the wire edge is so tiny it is insignificant. The former is standard procedure for knives, the latter for straight razors. The reason is that knives don't do well, in practice, with an ultra-buffed, perfect edge, and the abrasion required for burr removal would buff the edge too much(though some are into that kind of thing). You don't pull burrs off straights because the steel is often brittle, and you don't have much steel to work with, so building up a noticeable burr is frowned upon.

Traditionally, single bevels from Japan are sharpened on natural stones, where the lighter-pressure thing and mud management can produce, in essence, finer and finer grits on one stone. This is not the same on synthetics, because of the way the binders break down and the characteristics and shape of the abrasive particles. So treating a single bevel like a straight razor is one way of doing it.

Dropping back down to a low grit will simply encourage, enlarge, or re-create the wire edge.

Eamon Burke
10-15-2011, 04:14 PM
I should also add that a great many sushi chefs(and other chefs, for that matter), just put a wire edge on and baby their knives and/or avoid board contact. I've worked whole shifts at the sushi bar with a wire edge without understanding what I was doing.

JBroida
10-15-2011, 04:24 PM
Also, for arguments sake say I don't want to add a microbevel. How would you remove the wire edge? Just continue sharpening the wire edge with light pressure? Or dropping down in grits and starting over?

a lot of sharpening is a mind game.... as stupid as it sounds, what you have in your mind makes a big difference in your final results. You should be focusing on using very light pressure and focusing that pressure at the edge with the intention of grinding away the wire edge but not creating a new burr/wire edge. No need to drop down in grits and start over.

Also, stone selection makes a difference.

On uraoshi, if its taking you a long time you're doing something wrong there. It should be about 2-3 strokes.

slowtyper
10-15-2011, 05:24 PM
Thanks, I will definitely hit up the stone again with that "focus" in mind.



Also, stone selection makes a difference.

How so? I currently only use a bester 1200 and an arashiyama 6k. I'm about to pick up a coarse stone (probably beston 500). How does that sound? I don't have much experience any any other stones other than a few king stones, but it feels like a big difference from my 2 stones...would something in between would help? Rika 5k? How about Rika 3k? <-another thread mentioned that it was easily found in Japan, I'm heading there for a short trip next month.

JBroida
10-15-2011, 05:28 PM
Certain stones tend to do a better job at cleaning up edges rather than creating new edges. I cant say too much about my opinions on things here, but you're more than welcome to PM me if you would like.

sudsy9977
10-15-2011, 09:17 PM
Dave....nobody dethroned me from the last class on the leather belt....did they?.....ryan

Dave Martell
10-15-2011, 11:58 PM
Dave....nobody dethroned me from the last class on the leather belt....did they?.....ryan


Nope not yet, you're still reigning champion. :word:

Diamond G
10-16-2011, 02:01 AM
New to this method of sharpening, but am wondering on somthing. Ive used a block of maple in the past to slilce into to remove my burr. Is this a bad method of removing it? The diffrence is very noticeable. Ive seen hard felt mentioned, is this the same train of thought?

Thanks and God Bless
Mike

Benuser
10-16-2011, 02:20 AM
I use soft wood with soft steel: European stainless e.g.
With hard steel I prefer a wine cork. Don't try to push the knife into it. Just slide with no pressure, as you were cutting, with the knife's own weight only. Never tried felt myself.
Don't expect all burr to be removed. I've always still to strop.
Regards.

tk59
10-16-2011, 08:05 PM
New to this method of sharpening, but am wondering on somthing. Ive used a block of maple in the past to slilce into to remove my burr. Is this a bad method of removing it? The diffrence is very noticeable. Ive seen hard felt mentioned, is this the same train of thought?

Thanks and God Bless
Mike
Yes, it's the same sort of idea. I find the big problem with burr removal is people try to remove it when it is still very well attached to the edge, thus damaging it.

Benuser
10-16-2011, 09:11 PM
+1, tk59. Therefore the deburring has to be done using as lightly as possible. Perhaps I should try to strop before using cork to loosen the burr somewhat.
When you change the knife's profile these be a lot of debris. It's then important to avoid an accumulation and perform frequent intermediate deburring.

phan1
10-17-2011, 04:21 PM
I often need to make sure I'm hitting my edge. You can sharpen at the perfect angle all day and your knife will be sharp, but it won't get rid of the damage/wire ege/burr/junk that you built up on the edge through use. And this isn't the type of damage that can be taken off by cutting into cork or wood; I've only been able to take if off on the stones. I have to tilt my angle just enough so that I can sharpen off all that wire edge and damage off my blade. I pretty much put a slight hamaguri on my blade. It's a bit like a microbevel, but my movement is so slight and my stone so soft that you don't see it. It's a combination of angle and prssure variation on a softer stone.

Martin
12-09-2011, 03:42 AM
I am having real pro
blems removing wire edge from single bevels

What kinda problems you are having while removing wire edge from single bevels???