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Dave Martell
03-12-2011, 11:56 AM
One of the things I hope to be able to do more of with this new forum is to answer sharpening questions that you may have. Please feel free to ask away and I'll do my best to answer.

I also would like to encourage seasoned sharpeners to help answer these questions too, it's great to have different views on things.

Dave

Darkhoek
03-12-2011, 04:00 PM
One of the things I hope to be able to do more of with this new forum is to answer sharpening questions that you may have. Please feel free to ask away and I'll do my best to answer.

I also would like to encourage seasoned sharpeners to help answer these questions too, it's great to have different views on things.

Dave

Well, I wouldn't describe myself as a seasoned sharpener, but I have done a lot of trial and error with JNATs and different steels and might be able to pass on some good advise for the newbies. For the more experienced, Dave and Maxim will be a far better source.

Hoek

Jim
03-12-2011, 08:14 PM
Here's one for you Dave, what's the skinny on stropping single bevel knives? any order to the proccess?

maxim
03-12-2011, 09:21 PM
Well, I wouldn't describe myself as a seasoned sharpener, but I have done a lot of trial and error with JNATs and different steels and might be able to pass on some good advise for the newbies. For the more experienced, Dave and Maxim will be a far better source.

Hoek

I am seasoned sharpener too, i do not do it professional like Dave :)

Vertigo
03-12-2011, 09:31 PM
One of the things I hope to be able to do more of with this new forum is to answer sharpening questions that you may have. Please feel free to ask away and I'll do my best to answer.

I also would like to encourage seasoned sharpeners to help answer these questions too, it's great to have different views on things.

Dave
Dave,

Why am I still a terrible sharpener after 6 months of practice?

Thanks,

Jack

stereo.pete
03-12-2011, 10:31 PM
Dave and experts,

When I wash my knife after use I use a scotch-brite dish sponge and I use the dark green coarse side. Could the extra coarse dark green side be causing my edges to go dull so quickly from very little use (home cooking)?

The sponges I use look like this... http://www.cleansweepsupply.com/pages/item-mmm74cc.html

steeley
03-12-2011, 10:32 PM
Dave awhile ago you were talking about sharpening the tip of a knife
that you taught in your classes .
Ive seen Jon vid I just wanted your take on it .
your method that is.

deanb
03-12-2011, 10:50 PM
Pete - Yeah, that green scrubber will dull your edge. Just use the sponge.

SpikeC
03-12-2011, 11:43 PM
I went to a less abrasive scrubber when I saw what those were doing to some of my cookware!

JBroida
03-12-2011, 11:56 PM
Pete - Yeah, that green scrubber will dull your edge. Just use the sponge.
I honestly just use my hands and water, but a soft sponge is a better idea for sure

Dave Martell
03-13-2011, 10:35 AM
Here's one for you Dave, what's the skinny on stropping single bevel knives? any order to the proccess?

This is controversial for sure. Even I hate to tell people to do this because of edge rolling issues, many will do more harm then good. I think for the majority of people a really fine stone will yield better results.

OK that said, the safest way to go is hard felt or a leather with very little give. the felt is nice because you can lean on it and not round over the edge where leather you have to use a lighter touch.

As for the actual process it's the same as double bevels.

Dave Martell
03-13-2011, 10:36 AM
Dave,

Why am I still a terrible sharpener after 6 months of practice?

Thanks,

Jack


The Million $$ question. :D

Dave Martell
03-13-2011, 10:37 AM
Dave and experts,

When I wash my knife after use I use a scotch-brite dish sponge and I use the dark green coarse side. Could the extra coarse dark green side be causing my edges to go dull so quickly from very little use (home cooking)?

The sponges I use look like this... http://www.cleansweepsupply.com/pages/item-mmm74cc.html


I can't say for sure that they're dulling your edges but I'm going to guess that it's probably not so good for them.

Dave Martell
03-13-2011, 10:42 AM
Dave awhile ago you were talking about sharpening the tip of a knife
that you taught in your classes .
Ive seen Jon vid I just wanted your take on it .
your method that is.


I had a big problem early on with sharpening tips. I did the usual method of lean harder which does nothing more than make a flat (or bird's beak) behind the tip. To conquer this I came up with the idea to stop (at the tip) when I see a black streak form on the stone - then (holding the angle/handle raised) I lift the knife off of the stone, raise the handle about 1-2 deg more, and then hit the stone again while pushing the tip down into the stone and flexing the knife. It sounds stupid but works very well for not only keeping correct angles and coverage but in making a super pointy tip. The day I first did this made tip sharpening problems disappear for me.

Jay
03-13-2011, 10:59 AM
Why am I still a terrible sharpener after 6 months of practice?

Because it takes closer to 6 years. http://badgerandblade.com/vb/images/smilies/yellow_guys/lol.gif

Cadillac J
03-13-2011, 11:06 AM
Why am I still a terrible sharpener after 6 months of practice?

Not sure if you were just being a bit funny or looking for a real answer here.

Can you narrow down what your main problem as been: consistent angle? wrong pressure? burr removal/wire edges, etc?

Vertigo
03-13-2011, 05:42 PM
Not sure if you were just being a bit funny or looking for a real answer here.

My problem is consistency from session to session, which breeds impatience and tempts me to buy a jig.

When starting out, I wanted to be much better at it than I was, so I learned some bad habits. I tried the magic marker trick a half a dozen times, but hated how it messed with the color of the swarf and gave up on it. Then I spent a good deal of time retraining myself, slowing down, paying more attention to the stones and the steel, and have gotten much better. Still, there are days when I sharpen my work knife and get ****** results, and other days when I sharpen it and get that spooky edge that makes your arm hair tremble in fear. Couldn't tell you what the difference is from day to day, but on the days that I'm "off," it's pretty damn annoying.

An example... after getting my CCK I spent quite some time trying to "open it up," and at the end of the session I had an edge just barely sharper than it was out of the box. Just couldn't get it right. But the next day after work, I was supposed to meet a friend at the bar for drinks and to loan him the cleaver. Since I'd beat it up at work that day and was already late, I gave the Bester 1200 a quick soak and then took the CCK to it. The burr popped up like nobody's business, I flipped it a few times, removed it, and then stropped a few times with chromium oxide for a bit of polish. 5-6 minutes tops I think? The edge sung when you thumbed it. It was stupidly sharp, off just a 1.2k.

I can't tell you why I did a better job when I was in a rush to meet someone for drinks than when I had all night. A skill this temperamental "doesn't compute."

Pensacola Tiger
03-13-2011, 07:11 PM
My problem is consistency from session to session, which breeds impatience and tempts me to buy a jig.

... I tried the magic marker trick a half a dozen times, but hated how it messed with the color of the swarf and gave up on it.

Jack,

The key to consistency is to know what it is that you're doing, and that's the reason for the "magic marker trick", it just makes it easier to see what's happening to the bevel you're working on, and allow you to correct the angle. The point is to get immediate feedback for what you're doing - this is how learning happens.

If you don't care for the color of the swarf when you use a magic marker (although I don't see what the swarf color has to do with sharpening), then try wiping vinegar along the edge of your CCK with a Q-tip to force some patina there. You are using a 10x or better loupe, right? The naked eye just won't cut it (pun intended) to see if you are hitting the correct angle.

Now the whole object of this exercise is to develop what is called "muscle memory", which is what is needed for consistency. As has been duly noted elsewhere in this thread, it's something that is gained over time, and six months is probably not sufficient, especially since you haven't been getting adequate and timely feedback.

Or, as you say, you could buy an Edge Pro. It won't get you any cred with the freehand folks, but you will get a sharp knife, every time.

Hope this makes sense.

Rick

steeley
03-13-2011, 09:11 PM
I had a big problem early on with sharpening tips. I did the usual method of lean harder which does nothing more than make a flat (or bird's beak) behind the tip. To conquer this I came up with the idea to stop (at the tip) when I see a black streak form on the stone - then (holding the angle/handle raised) I lift the knife off of the stone, raise the handle about 1-2 deg more, and then hit the stone again while pushing the tip down into the stone and flexing the knife. It sounds stupid but works very well for not only keeping correct angles and coverage but in making a super pointy tip. The day I first did this made tip sharpening problems disappear for me.

Thanks Dave

Marko Tsourkan
03-13-2011, 09:26 PM
I am going to ask a question, that I think many would benefit from the answer.

After sharpening free hand for a couple of years (with pretty good results) I still struggle a little bit with a tip on a gyuto, particularly, when I am trying to put a microbevel.

Dave, what do you think (as somebody who must have struggled with this yourself at one time) would be a good approach to deal with this problem?

Funny, I post this and see your response quoted. :)
M

j6ppc
03-14-2011, 12:05 AM
I'd like to hear more about the tip as well.

Eamon Burke
03-14-2011, 01:49 AM
I've never had trouble with tips. The only time they've given me a hard time is when I am trying to maintain the bevel on someone's knife and it has a really wide(re: acute) tip bevel. I'm not sure what causes this phenomenon, but I've seen many knives from cheapo kitchen knives to a Buck Vantage pro that, after the belly, they just go haywire and the edge gets either very acute or very obtuse.

I have two methods. One is that I sharpen standing up most of the time, and when I am doing the tip, I pick up my right hip some. This might sound odd, but I sort of sharpen with my whole body--if I just move my arms my bevels will not stay flat.

The second(probably less crazy sounding) is that I do all of my sharpening by ear; that is, I know when I am hitting the edge or not, by the sound the steel makes on the stone. Perhaps there are stones that provide poor aural feedback, but none I've used do. Especially on Japanese soakers when you get a slurry going--they are very noisy, and I found it very helpful when I was new. Essentially I just maintain the same sound throughout.

I just realized that we might be talking about something entirely different. I sure hope not.

Cadillac J
03-14-2011, 12:50 PM
I also have never had problems with sharpening the tips, as I've just always pretended the knife was laying on an invisible plane that held the angle, so I would have to lift the handle up and twist my wrist a bit to keep it consistent.

Most of my problems that I've had were in the first 6 months of sharpening, but were usually related to burr removal, pressure allocation, inconsistent angles and lack of intuitiveness in sound/feel that is only learned through experience.

I remember having my frustrations back then and thought about getting an EP at the time, but decided to continue to keep at freehanding...and then everything just kind of 'clicking' one day. From there on out, the edges I could produce were better than anything I've ever seen and my results were consistently good, and continued to get even better each time. Now everything is just so natural and I can't remember the last time I had any type of real issues while sharpening.

spaceconvoy
03-14-2011, 04:54 PM
I also have never had problems with sharpening the tips, as I've just always pretended the knife was laying on an invisible plane that held the angle, so I would have to lift the handle up and twist my wrist a bit to keep it consistent.

That's what I do... also, I try to imagine the curved surface of the bevel by itself, detached from the knife. Just keep that parallel to the stone and don't even think about the face of the blade.

I've never thought tips were a problem, but a lot of people ask about them, and it makes me wonder whether I'm actually doing it right. I don't sharpen very often so it might be a year or two before I see a bird beak develop - I guess time will tell.

jaybett
03-15-2011, 05:49 AM
My problem is consistency from session to session, which breeds impatience and tempts me to buy a jig.

When starting out, I wanted to be much better at it than I was, so I learned some bad habits. I tried the magic marker trick a half a dozen times, but hated how it messed with the color of the swarf and gave up on it. Then I spent a good deal of time retraining myself, slowing down, paying more attention to the stones and the steel, and have gotten much better. Still, there are days when I sharpen my work knife and get ****** results, and other days when I sharpen it and get that spooky edge that makes your arm hair tremble in fear. Couldn't tell you what the difference is from day to day, but on the days that I'm "off," it's pretty damn annoying.

An example... after getting my CCK I spent quite some time trying to "open it up," and at the end of the session I had an edge just barely sharper than it was out of the box. Just couldn't get it right. But the next day after work, I was supposed to meet a friend at the bar for drinks and to loan him the cleaver. Since I'd beat it up at work that day and was already late, I gave the Bester 1200 a quick soak and then took the CCK to it. The burr popped up like nobody's business, I flipped it a few times, removed it, and then stropped a few times with chromium oxide for a bit of polish. 5-6 minutes tops I think? The edge sung when you thumbed it. It was stupidly sharp, off just a 1.2k.

I can't tell you why I did a better job when I was in a rush to meet someone for drinks than when I had all night. A skill this temperamental "doesn't compute."

I used to have a similar issue with my cleavers, they'd get sharp on the lower grit stones, and dull on the higher grit stones. Either I was multi-beveling the edge or rolling the edge. I think it was multi-beveling.

Learning to sharpen on your own, is a challenge. How does all that information on the internet and videos, translate into action? What feedback is important to pay attention to, and what can be ignored?

In my bumbling stumbling style of sharpening, I try as best as I can to identify an issue and then try to find an answer.

Watching a Curtis video, he mentioned that he counts down the number of strokes he does on each side the blade. I tried that, and found that I wasn't using my stones to their best advantage. Now I sharpen on a stone, until I can't tell if there is any improvement on the edge, before I move to the next stone.

Sharpening has been a series of baby steps. I'm either trying to solve a problem or try out an idea from the internet. Failure causes me to think of a new idea. Success means moving on to the next issue. To me an experienced sharpener is one who has solved all sorts of issues and tried a number of ideas.

Jay

Kim
07-11-2012, 08:02 PM
Broke out a 1/4 inch chunk on the blade. Can't post a picture. Any special care required to regrind the blade?

chinacats
07-11-2012, 08:09 PM
Welcome Kim! Someone will be along with help shortly...you have stones? What type knife?

JasonD
07-11-2012, 08:43 PM
Where on the edge is it broken? Almost always if you chip off the tip you actually bring to top of the knife (non-cutting edge) down to the cutting edge, rather than sharpen the whole thing up

Dave Martell
07-11-2012, 09:26 PM
Don't bother answering this last question. The member asked to be removed from the list so he won't be here to follow up.

KeiOkay
07-14-2012, 11:11 PM
Hello Everyone,

Although "I've been sharpening for years" (more like 4), but I still feel like a beginner (especially compared to people here). Although I have many questions, first I'd like to ask everyone about something I've been curious about.

When I sharpened knives in the past, I would do a series of edge leading strokes on the stones that would do the entire edge in a single stroke. And save the edge trailing strokes when finishing/stropping. But I've also seen people do edge-leading and trailing strokes both the whole edge and sections at a time (like one inch or so at a time, working their way across the edge).

I recently picked up a yanagi and I'm not sure which style to use to sharpen it. I've looked at the single bevel sharpening thread (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/1807-Single-Bevel-Sharpening) by Dave and he doesn't give these specifics. So now my questions. Why do people do the different styles? I feel like using single strokes for a whole edge helps me make a more even edge, but what are other people's preferences?

Thanks!

JBroida
07-14-2012, 11:18 PM
This playlilst might be of some help:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBF55079F53216AB

these specifically:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYZmtDlwDi4&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB&index=8&feature=plpp_video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA0vdeDDSJI&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB&index=9&feature=plpp_video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCY5CKkBers&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB&index=10&feature=plpp_video

KeiOkay
07-22-2012, 12:56 AM
This playlilst might be of some help:

Thanks for the informative videos John. Although you primarily do many forward and backward strokes, which seems more efficient time wise for grinding down the desired amount of metal, occasionally you will do one stroke for the whole edge. Also, did your style just changed over the years, because in your aritsugu sharpening, you seem to pretty much go back and forth along the whole edge (for the most part) instead of sections at a time like in the playlist you posted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PjI4YPz01M

I also have a question about honing.

In this image, there are exaggerated cases of a knife edge that is out of true. The top being more severe.
http://i.imgur.com/BpvNp.gif
It seems that the top knife would catch the stone when honing edge forward, which is what many people would do with a honing rod. Even when maintaining the primary angle, it seems to me that the actual angle of the edge is such that it would cause more damage than good.

Do any of you have any thoughts on this?

Thanks,

Kei

keithsaltydog
07-22-2012, 04:54 AM
Thanks Jon for the video's.Picked up a few tips.I've been sharpening thin carbon Gyuto's fr. what I learned FR. Sushi Chef his tech worked better than anything I had used before.Never had to use a dull knife since almost 30 yrs.

Three fingers middle finger bent rt on the cutting edge sharpen blade heel to tip moving along to tip

Fingerpad pressure ON trailing stroke OFF return stroke.No need lift knife off stone,just release pad pressure on return.I use this on Gyuto,Cleavers,single bevel Japan Blades,Even Machete's.

The only exception is removing the burr on a single bevel is a lite push stroke or as in your video a side sweep stroke.Is important to use lite press. on hollow grind side flattening too much can ruin the geometry of the blade.You can also use a push stroke just the weight of blade at last sharpening angle for stone burr removal wt. Gyuto & cleavers.

Another thing is to have a well defined Shinogi line you do not want to round it or Sashimi will not separate off the blade as well.Cutting Sashimi & Sushi topping I never used a micro bevel,that's just the way I was taught by a couple more Sushi chef's.That & never let that extremely sharp edge bang into anything,just Fish & pref. a wooden cutting board.

I started using a small Yanagi as a utility blade I found out after a few chips to put on a micro bevel.I also put a micro bevel on my Deba & Usuba.The edge was soo thin on my Suisin Usuba,I know some purist will not put a micro on Usuba's.

Working long shifts cutting & multible sharpening I deff. had Tip problems.Bird beaks & broken thin tips.Esp.since I prefer thin Carbon Gyuto's.Before I learned tip sharpening I would turn Sugi's into thin spikes after a couple yrs.

I learned tip work & double blended shinogi lines(another way of describing thinning behind the edge) fr.Japan trained guy's as well.The first one's tech was so good that when I ran into problems like my lack of good tip work I went straight to the Sushi dudes.It made a big diff. no more bird beak's or broken tips.My Gyuto was geometry was much better over many sharpenings.:knife:Chiharu Sugai covers tip sharpening for Gyuto Yanagi & petty in the Korin DVD.He speaks mostly in Japanese & some is lost in the translation,However there is some good tech. in that DVD.Daves is good as well.I started using a spray bottle to loosen my mud also got my first daimond plate after I watched his DVD.I was fortunate to have one on one for all my sharpening needs I do not take it for granted.

I never used a strop in the workplace or even saw one.A friend of mine I met on knife forums got me into strops & Spyderco's.

I am not at all surprized that you got a great edge wt. a Bester 1200 on a CCK cleaver.I like the Med. stones alot you get a toothy edge that is great for most cutting needs esp. wt. Carbon steel.I used the Bester 1000 as my main stone at work just that one stone for my carbon carbon Masa's & Konosuki.My Yanagi's I touch up on a 5K Rika.

I encourage persons to learn freehand,a little freehand skill goes a long way.You really do not have to go out & buy alot of stones,jigs etc.All you need is some skill,a stone,and a blade.You can also sharpen wood chisels,hatchets,& axes.You can get slip stones that are good for alot of things,like sharpening gardening tools.

Well Dave you asked for input thanks for this thread.:cheffry:

JBroida
07-22-2012, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the informative videos John. Although you primarily do many forward and backward strokes, which seems more efficient time wise for grinding down the desired amount of metal, occasionally you will do one stroke for the whole edge. Also, did your style just changed over the years, because in your aritsugu sharpening, you seem to pretty much go back and forth along the whole edge (for the most part) instead of sections at a time like in the playlist you posted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PjI4YPz01M

I also have a question about honing.

In this image, there are exaggerated cases of a knife edge that is out of true. The top being more severe.
http://i.imgur.com/BpvNp.gif
It seems that the top knife would catch the stone when honing edge forward, which is what many people would do with a honing rod. Even when maintaining the primary angle, it seems to me that the actual angle of the edge is such that it would cause more damage than good.

Do any of you have any thoughts on this?

Thanks,

Kei

Yes, my style has changed over time, but its still pretty much the same look (except i do the tips a bit differently now and i no longer advocate the sharpening mostly on one side). I also dont really use felt, cork, leather, or any diamond sprays anymore (but thats not to say they dont work... they just dont fit into the way i sharpen). The motion is back and forth. In the newer videos, i break things down, make the more simple, and slow them down, so its not an accurate reflection of what my sharpening looks like... rather, its what i think will be easiest to learn from.

On honing, i dont like honing rods at all. Their main purpose is to bend the edge back into place. Bending metal over and over again can cause fatigue. So using honing rods will straighten out your edge and also weaken it at the same time. Anyone who's used one knows that you end up having to go back to the rod more and more often once you start using it. This is not to say there isnt a time and place for honing rods, i just prefer to spend 5 minutes on a stone and get a clean sharp edge that lasts a much longer time.

Quick question... what kind of damage do you think would occur from using the actual angle of the edge? You'd be surprised at how quickly stones can grind something like that off. Plus, you can always begin your stroke with an edge trailing motion just to be sure.

keithsaltydog
07-24-2012, 03:58 AM
I like a smooth polishing steel or smooth ceramic,just a few measured strokes,Coarse & daimond steels can wreak havoc on a thin carbon gyuto.

Angle is important too.should be the same or just a hair more as your last angle on the stone.Daimond steels have got popular,when I see a cook wailing away on a steel at too steep of an angle,trying to restore an edge,it shows a fundimental lack of freehand skills on a stone.

bieniek
07-24-2012, 03:02 PM
Because it takes closer to 6 years

Yeah. That exactly.

Tristan
07-25-2012, 02:13 AM
I think this will help a lot of newer people - is there a pictoral guide to what you are supposed to see step by step with a magic marker? I was never sure what it was meant to achieve. How it was meant to achieve it. And what specifically you were supposed to see.

I can and do get a decent result these days. I'm not sure how sharp the definitive edge is (or if mine is a wire) but it seems approximately the same level of sharp that my 2 carters were out of the box. I'm not sure if this is good enough either. Hard to have a relative/absolute guage without a good point of comparison. Still refining my technique to be more consistent when sharpening by sections. Used to sharpen full length.

tk59
07-26-2012, 03:23 PM
...you can always begin your stroke with an edge trailing motion just to be sure.I always do this.

tk59
07-26-2012, 03:28 PM
...i no longer advocate the sharpening mostly on one side...Are you referring to what you've done with your A-type, Suisin, and KonHD?

TB_London
07-26-2012, 03:41 PM
Stolen from another forum:


The blue "sharpie" is what is should look like when you apply the marker. It should color the whole width of the bevel.

The area of the red "sharpie" has the stones missing the shoulder and hitting just the edge (exaggerated for illustration). If this is what you're getting, then you are probably adding a microbevel. This can be good if that is what you're trying to achieve. If you merely want to sharpen at the factory angle, then it means that your angle is too wide.

If you get something like the green "sharpie", then you're angle is too narrow and isn't sharpening the edge. This is what you don't want to see for sharpening, but is what you want to see initially if you are re-profiling to a narrower angle. If re-profiling, it will look like this until you remove a lot of material off the shoulder, eventually working it down until the stones contact the whole width of the bevel.

What you want to see, when re-sharpening to factory, or whatever the current edge angle is set to, is the non-marker part. When you remove all the marker, it means that the whole edge is being sharpened.
http://www.spyderco.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=17661&stc=1&d=1319441797

chinacats
07-26-2012, 04:49 PM
Nice illustration TB!

Andrew H
07-26-2012, 04:54 PM
Stolen from another forum:


http://www.spyderco.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=17661&stc=1&d=1319441797

That's a big bevel. Not as big as the one on my CarboNext, but close.

JBroida
07-26-2012, 04:55 PM
actually, when you use sharpie you want to color in the bevel AND a little of the area behind the bevel. That way you can see when your angle is way too low and when you are scratching the area behind the edge. You'd be surprised at how often this kind of thing happens.

KeiOkay
07-26-2012, 10:46 PM
On honing, i dont like honing rods at all. Their main purpose is to bend the edge back into place. Bending metal over and over again can cause fatigue. So using honing rods will straighten out your edge and also weaken it at the same time. Anyone who's used one knows that you end up having to go back to the rod more and more often once you start using it. This is not to say there isnt a time and place for honing rods, i just prefer to spend 5 minutes on a stone and get a clean sharp edge that lasts a much longer time.

Quick question... what kind of damage do you think would occur from using the actual angle of the edge? You'd be surprised at how quickly stones can grind something like that off. Plus, you can always begin your stroke with an edge trailing motion just to be sure.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions John. I really appreciate it.

The damage would be from grinding off that bent part, instead of straightening it first then sharpening it. If you look at image A, even when sharpening on the cutting bevel, because the very edge has been bent, it would get totally ruined if it was sharpened on that side, especially when edge leading first. However, metal fatigue is a big issue that I'm glad you mentioned. I guess my problem is trying to find the balance between when I should bend the metal back first to save myself from over sharpening and decreasing the lifespan of my knife, and inviting metal fatigue from bending it back. I suppose the best thing (which was definitely mentioned somewhere in this thread) is to just touch up often, so the knife never gets too far out of alignment?

JBroida
07-26-2012, 11:22 PM
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions John. I really appreciate it.

The damage would be from grinding off that bent part, instead of straightening it first then sharpening it. If you look at image A, even when sharpening on the cutting bevel, because the very edge has been bent, it would get totally ruined if it was sharpened on that side, especially when edge leading first. However, metal fatigue is a big issue that I'm glad you mentioned. I guess my problem is trying to find the balance between when I should bend the metal back first to save myself from over sharpening and decreasing the lifespan of my knife, and inviting metal fatigue from bending it back. I suppose the best thing (which was definitely mentioned somewhere in this thread) is to just touch up often, so the knife never gets too far out of alignment?

its also a function of steel hardness... harder steels/more brittle steels (not always one and the same) will chip instead of deforming. Bending them back is not the way to go. Softer steels/less brittle steels can be realigined, but sometimes its just easier to grind in a new edge (which is much easier and quicker than it sounds)

Tristan
08-01-2012, 01:41 AM
Thanks a lot for the marker tips. I might use it as a diagnostic to see if I am doing what I think I'm doing now. So ideally without reprofiling, you should be abrading the entire marker off the bevel.

If you have painted up above the bevel, then that portion should stay untouched unless you are thinning. And if you abrade the lower portion of the bevel it is a micro bevel that is being made, yes?

That is about right yes? I'm guilty of just rubbing my knife on a stone till it gets sharp hoping that I'm doing the right thing.

JBroida
08-01-2012, 01:47 AM
Thanks a lot for the marker tips. I might use it as a diagnostic to see if I am doing what I think I'm doing now. So ideally without reprofiling, you should be abrading the entire marker off the bevel.

If you have painted up above the bevel, then that portion should stay untouched unless you are thinning. And if you abrade the lower portion of the bevel it is a micro bevel that is being made, yes?

That is about right yes? I'm guilty of just rubbing my knife on a stone till it gets sharp hoping that I'm doing the right thing.

seems like you get it

eighteesix
01-02-2014, 06:14 PM
I have a number of questions related to equipment.

I'm looking at getting my first carbon gyuto. A simple combo stone 1/4 or 1/6k should work. I understand I will also need something to flatten my stones. I see most people using diamond flattening stones. Can anyone link a recommendation?

I also read a lot about stropping but don't know much about it, if its necessary, and what to use. Any info there would be appreciated.

Did I miss anything? :lol2:

tripleq
01-02-2014, 06:36 PM
I have a number of questions related to equipment.

I'm looking at getting my first carbon gyuto. A simple combo stone 1/4 or 1/6k should work. I understand I will also need something to flatten my stones. I see most people using diamond flattening stones. Can anyone link a recommendation?

I also read a lot about stropping but don't know much about it, if its necessary, and what to use. Any info there would be appreciated.

Did I miss anything? :lol2:

For flattening I haven't used anything but the Atoma 140x since I first laid hands on it. You can get them from Dave Martell. Check his section for a link to his store. Stropping is really important to help refine your edge. I used Cromium Oxide on balsa and leather for years but I tried 1 micron diamond spray on rock hard felt this past summer thanks to Dave and it provides the best results I've ever gotten hands down. Stropping is just one of those things where different products work better or worse for different people. Much of it is trial and error.

eighteesix
01-02-2014, 08:11 PM
where can i find more info on what to buy for stropping? maybe even tutorials. ive seen a lot about leather, abrasives, you now mentioned sprays.... lots to think about.

brianh
01-02-2014, 08:21 PM
Lot of info around here for searching and reading. I'm still new to sharpening and stropping but really liked felt loaded with diamond spray I used at Dave's. I use 1 micron spray based on what I've read here. hard to get high quality felt, though. I'm waiting on some from Marko which I'm sure will be great. I've tried leather and balsa, too... what the felt does well is pull off that last wire edge. A hard felt block to slice through in between grits, too.

apathetic
01-15-2014, 01:57 PM
Thought I'd ask this here: How do you sharpen bird's beak knives?

Dave Martell
01-15-2014, 02:09 PM
Thought I'd ask this here: How do you sharpen bird's beak knives?


The corner edge of the stone or a round rod is what most people use.

apathetic
01-15-2014, 05:21 PM
Thanks will try this on the edge of my stones!
If not normal stones, what kind of rod would you use?

tbott
01-20-2014, 04:45 PM
I have a question:

I am not a seasoned sharpener by any means, but I've certainly improved over the six or so months that I've become much more serious about it. The problem is, when I was starting out I made quite a few mistakes being a bit overzealous. One of which was widening the bevel dramatically on a Konosuke Fujiyama gyuto. How does one take it back down? Do I just need a low-grit stone to just grind it down and make the profile of the knife way shorter and start over? I've kept the wide bevel mostly because I simply didn't know how else to deal with it, and I sharpen it at that angle now, though it doesn't seem to take a particularly keen edge anymore. Help with the fix would be greatly appreciated (it would honestly probably be best to post a picture of how bad it is but frankly I'm embarrassed!)

T

Dave Martell
01-20-2014, 05:23 PM
Hi T,
Do you mean that you laid the knife down pretty low and cut a wide (or tall) bevel at a shallow angle?

What's your normal progression?

Dave

eighteesix
01-20-2014, 06:50 PM
Been searching on youtube without much luck for edge trailing sharpening or honing. Anyone have a good video on hand?

greasedbullet
01-20-2014, 07:36 PM
eighteesix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozZF2EgnYm0 starts around 6:30 mark.

eighteesix
01-20-2014, 10:45 PM
eighteesix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozZF2EgnYm0 starts around 6:30 mark.

anything else? harder than youd think to apply edge trailing strokes of a flip knife to a 240mm gyuto.

greasedbullet
01-20-2014, 10:56 PM
eighteesix


That is a fixed blade. This is the video that taught me. I'll look for another one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5stV_1kID-U Here is another angle, still with Carter, but still a small knife. at 2:10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFhMGJYhYpU here is one from Kramer at the 9:50 mark. It is on a strop but it is pretty much the same thing. Also on a chef knife.

Talim
01-20-2014, 11:04 PM
Theory's video, he strops on felt towards the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW_sAqpVmug&list=UUY7LzKnt-Q59iQz01e10rnw&feature=c4-overview

TheDispossessed
01-20-2014, 11:09 PM
best grit to stop at for gyuto?

eighteesix
01-20-2014, 11:22 PM
best grit to stop at for gyuto?I've read that going higher than 6-8k on a gyuto is pointless

longhorn
01-21-2014, 02:42 AM
I think it depends what you are going to be cutting as well. If I am just going to be cutting a bunch of mirepoix, dicing potatoes, etc I don't think that moving up to a finishing stone would even be necessary. At that point it would all be a question of preference. I remember when I was working Garde Manger station during tomato season I would often stop sharpening my gyuto after just a 1k. The rough toothy edge was perfect for the soft super ripe heirlooms. Would I ciseler some shallots or chop chives with that knife? No I would reach for a different knife with a smoother more polished edge.

My point is that the grit of your finishing stone and the degree of polish on your finished edge can be subjective.

mark76
01-21-2014, 08:53 AM
I've got a gyuto that is pretty thick just behind the edge. It needs thinning. I do sharpening on the Wicked Edge myself, but this device is less suited for thinning at pretty low angles. I cannot do had sharpening.

No my question what type of sharpening is most suited for thinning. I know a guy who's pretty good with his belt sander and also a guy that uses paper wheels.

What is most suited to my case? The gyuoto has a kuruchi that I'd like (at least in part) to remain preserved.

Benuser
01-21-2014, 11:00 AM
I would fear the risk of overheating with any powered equipment. Coarse sandpaper, e.g. Robert Bosch "Metall" with linen backing, starting at P120, would be my choice. Edge trailing strokes only.

tbott
01-21-2014, 02:20 PM
Hi T,
Do you mean that you laid the knife down pretty low and cut a wide (or tall) bevel at a shallow angle?

What's your normal progression?

Dave

Precisely. Now the bevel is really tall (particularly so on the right side...I'm working on being more consistent). My normal progression is Chosera 1000, Chosera 3000, and I just just got a 5000 Naniwa superstone. I strop with diamond on felt for burr removal between grits, then I'll strop once or twice each side on plain leather at the end. Thanks for your time!

T

JDA_NC
01-21-2014, 03:59 PM
I have a question:

I am not a seasoned sharpener by any means, but I've certainly improved over the six or so months that I've become much more serious about it. The problem is, when I was starting out I made quite a few mistakes being a bit overzealous. One of which was widening the bevel dramatically on a Konosuke Fujiyama gyuto. How does one take it back down? Do I just need a low-grit stone to just grind it down and make the profile of the knife way shorter and start over? I've kept the wide bevel mostly because I simply didn't know how else to deal with it, and I sharpen it at that angle now, though it doesn't seem to take a particularly keen edge anymore. Help with the fix would be greatly appreciated (it would honestly probably be best to post a picture of how bad it is but frankly I'm embarrassed!)

T

I think this is an awesome question! I'd love to hear more responses

We're talking about opening up the primary bevel/cutting edge, right?

This is a problem I had for awhile and didn't really realize. I thought that doing so was a sign of me going at a proper, acute angle. What I realized is that it was really a sign of improper pressure - too much (for me), and too far behind the edge. I started seeing that most of the 'high end' knives shown here had very little visible bevel, and got a few knives that had killer OOTB edges that put mine just to shame - again with almost no visible bevel. I could be wrong, but I think opening up the bevel so much weakens the edge and can cause easier rounded edges.

What I've found to help fix previous mistakes is to thin the edges (and right behind it) on a coarse stone, which makes the previous bevel less pronounced, and then set a new one, focusing on not being too heavy handed and putting pressure right on the edge. I've been happier with my edges (and how long they last) since doing this.

eighteesix
01-21-2014, 05:50 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFhMGJYhYpU here is one from Kramer at the 9:50 mark. It is on a strop but it is pretty much the same thing. Also on a chef knife.



Theory's video, he strops on felt towards the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW_sAqpVmug&list=UUY7LzKnt-Q59iQz01e10rnw&feature=c4-overview

thanks for both of these. they were equally really helpful while being somewhat different in their approaches, notably their approach while stropping with the blade. looking forward to finding my own preferred method.

ThEoRy
01-21-2014, 06:06 PM
Theory's video, he strops on felt towards the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW_sAqpVmug&list=UUY7LzKnt-Q59iQz01e10rnw&feature=c4-overview

Starts around 10:15

Chef Andy
01-21-2014, 10:25 PM
So I have a 400 and 1000 chosera stones, but I find that I want to get a finer edge, what stone should I get next? I was looking at the suehiro rika 5k, but is there anything better/do I need a stone in between the chosera 1k and the suehiro 5k?

jared08
01-21-2014, 11:22 PM
I go 1k shapton gs to 5k rika no problem

greasedbullet
01-21-2014, 11:28 PM
I go from 1 k to a rika too. It has been working like a charm for me

Chef Andy
01-21-2014, 11:43 PM
Ok cool, sounds like I'll be getting the rika next then. Thanks guys.

greasedbullet
01-22-2014, 12:13 AM
One thing I have noticed with the rika is that it will never ever dry completely for some reason. Which is not a big deal for me because I keep my stones out on a desk,but if you put it back in th box or try to travel with it be careful it doesn't grow mold (mostly the box in my experience)

Chef Andy
01-22-2014, 12:18 AM
Should be ok, I probably won't move it often. Thanks for the heads up, I'm assuming the rika isn't a stone you can permasoak?

greasedbullet
01-22-2014, 12:19 AM
You can as far as I know, and I have heard it makes it even better

Talim
01-22-2014, 12:39 AM
I have my rika permasoaking, and yeah it seems to like it that way.

keithsaltydog
01-22-2014, 02:21 PM
I keep all the boxes,but the stones that I use dont go back in them.If I have a stone not using completely dry might put it in the box.I have gone thru 2 rika's over the years,for the price it is a great polishing stone.Also fan of the Gesshin 4K.

tbott
01-23-2014, 03:32 PM
I think this is an awesome question! I'd love to hear more responses

We're talking about opening up the primary bevel/cutting edge, right?

This is a problem I had for awhile and didn't really realize. I thought that doing so was a sign of me going at a proper, acute angle. What I realized is that it was really a sign of improper pressure - too much (for me), and too far behind the edge. I started seeing that most of the 'high end' knives shown here had very little visible bevel, and got a few knives that had killer OOTB edges that put mine just to shame - again with almost no visible bevel. I could be wrong, but I think opening up the bevel so much weakens the edge and can cause easier rounded edges.

What I've found to help fix previous mistakes is to thin the edges (and right behind it) on a coarse stone, which makes the previous bevel less pronounced, and then set a new one, focusing on not being too heavy handed and putting pressure right on the edge. I've been happier with my edges (and how long they last) since doing this.

I'm glad I'm not the only one! It was that comparison with newer knives that have very small bevels that made me realize how off I was. I do think you're right, too, about edge durability. With the wider bevel it will cut well for my first shift, but later on in the week it's toast. My mission this weekend will be to take it down with a 400 grit and see if we can't get it worked out. What kind of angle do you work at to thin? Thanks a lot of the help, I'm excited to try to fix it.

T

Benuser
01-23-2014, 05:42 PM
With that wide bevel you have just thinned the blade a little. Correction is very easy: just put a more reasonable edge on it. With a single stroke on a 1k stone at a higher angle than you've used before you will raise a burr. Unless the steel is very weak you won't have to abrade that nicely polished relief bevel and waste material.

insomniac
01-26-2014, 04:53 AM
I'm curious how much benefit there is to using stones of a many different grits on a single knife? FWIW I'm mostly sharpening yanagibas and gyutos, occasionally the sujihiki.

I myself started with stones from Masamoto Tsukiji. I was talking to the senior guy there and he basically told me, you only really need 2 assuming no major damage has occurred to the knife...
1) a medium grit
2) a fine grit, which is mainly just for finishing purposes (he was very emphatic that I only use it for a few strokes at the very end)
He told me I could take a coarser grit as well to use in case I really badly damaged the knife, but I might be best served just taking it to a shop... and he explicitly said he'd recommend me to just save the money. I believe the approximate grit equivalent of what I got was a 1000 and a 6000.

But over time I've seen there are all sorts of intermediate level and extreme grit stones available out there especially for synthetics. You see guys on youtube etc. doing step by step progressions of even 10 different grit levels. Over the years I've picked up a couple of the Naniwa Chosera in several grits and done sharpening in a progressive fashion, but to be honest I've never felt these stones let me do a lot more than what I was doing before... in fact they sort of have made me feel less confident in the sharpening. Now, I know that different makers and stones have different feels to them and the same grit between brands does not necessarily mean the same thing. But does doing a progression through 10 stones really add value as opposed to just doing sharpening on one stone and finishing on another?

Ruso
01-26-2014, 01:01 PM
For a gyuto with just two stones is enough. Even one medium grit is sufficient at time to time. The jump from 1K to 6K is perfectly normal. Never the less if you want you can add 2-3K in between, or just stop there (at 2K lvl). There is no need at all to go from 1K to 2K to 3K to 4 etc etc...
As for another knives, like Yangi, the common knowledge says that you need further progressions to make the blade less "serrated" that makes clean cuts. So 6000+ grit. This will help to cut sashimi cleanly.

jaybett
01-26-2014, 02:29 PM
There was an old axiom, that more stones lessened the time and effort to prepare an edge for the next grit level. But more stones increased the chance to screw up.

Sharpening styles come and go. A while back most people where taking their edges to 10,000 grit if not higher. Now a minimal approach is more popular.

I picked up my stones, when the 10,000 grit sharpening was in style. It was no problem getting an edge on the 1000 and 3000 stones. But on the 6000 and 10,000 stones, the edge wouldn't cut. The higher grit stones were showing that their were problems with my technique. I use the finishing stones now to test my edges. If the edge gets sharper off those stones, its a good edge.

My finishing stones are relatively soft, improper technique is readily apparent by the gouges.

Jay

Dave Martell
01-26-2014, 11:40 PM
There was an old axiom, that more stones lessened the time and effort to prepare an edge for the next grit level. But more stones increased the chance to screw up.

Sharpening styles come and go. A while back most people where taking their edges to 10,000 grit if not higher. Now a minimal approach is more popular.

I picked up my stones, when the 10,000 grit sharpening was in style. It was no problem getting an edge on the 1000 and 3000 stones. But on the 6000 and 10,000 stones, the edge wouldn't cut. The higher grit stones were showing that their were problems with my technique. I use the finishing stones now to test my edges. If the edge gets sharper off those stones, its a good edge.

My finishing stones are relatively soft, improper technique is readily apparent by the gouges.

Jay


:goodpost:

stevenn21
01-27-2014, 02:53 PM
is 1000k grit too high for a 240 gyuto?

Ruso
01-27-2014, 02:56 PM
I am not sure there is 1000K (1000000) grit stones. If you mean 1K (1000) then that's the starting point for many.

greasedbullet
01-27-2014, 05:42 PM
Most people sharpen to a middle range grit like 4-6K, I finish on my 8k and it is not too high of a grit.

erikz
01-27-2014, 05:45 PM
Bringing up an edge to 4~6k would be enough for any home cook imho. I'm not that good of a sharpener, still learning on cheap stones with a cheap ass knife.

Jahve
01-29-2014, 04:25 PM
Been sharpening on stones for a while and have been learning from various youtube clips and forums.
Found a chip one one of the knives and decided it was time to get a coarse stone to repair the edge.
Now, sharpening with the same technique i always use, controlling the angle with my left thumb, on the coarse stone i notice i am bleeding badly from the thumb.

How do you more experienced sharpeners protect your fingers from the abbrasive course mud, or have you developed HRC 70 skin on your hands? :)

With regards,
/J

Dave Martell
01-29-2014, 04:29 PM
Been sharpening on stones for a while and have been learning from various youtube clips and forums.
Found a chip one one of the knives and decided it was time to get a coarse stone to repair the edge.
Now, sharpening with the same technique i always use, controlling the angle with my left thumb, on the coarse stone i notice i am bleeding badly from the thumb.

How do you more experienced sharpeners protect your fingers from the abbrasive course mud, or have you developed HRC 70 skin on your hands? :)

With regards,
/J


The answer is to not touch the stone with your fingers. :)

FWIW, many of us have bled on our stones the same way, you'll learn to avoid this soon enough.

Yamabushi
01-30-2014, 12:39 AM
The answer is to not touch the stone with your fingers. :)

FWIW, many of us have bled on our stones the same way, you'll learn to avoid this soon enough.

Indeed! Who amongst us has not tried to sharpen their fingers in their early learning stages?

Farrant
01-30-2014, 07:56 AM
Does anybody have any ideas on why I can sharpen my global chefs knife ok, but can't sharpen a friends mac chefs knife?

The mac has had a couple years of steel only maintenance so is probably pretty fatigued but I can barely get an edge on it but can on my global.

Yamabushi
01-30-2014, 08:00 AM
Does anybody have any ideas on why I can sharpen my global chefs knife ok, but can't sharpen a friends mac chefs knife?

The mac has had a couple years of steel only maintenance so is probably pretty fatigued but I can barely get an edge on it but can on my global.

Are you sure you are hitting the edge and razing a burr on the MAC? How thick is it behind the edge compared to your Global?

Farrant
01-30-2014, 08:04 AM
Are you sure you are hitting the edge and razing a burr on the MAC? How thick is it behind the edge compared to your Global?

It's pretty thin compared to the global, and it does seem to be raising a burr well enough. I did improve the edge compared to what it was, it just is still relatively blunt compared to what I can do with my knives, although that's nothing compared to what some of you guys can do.

Benuser
01-30-2014, 08:14 AM
The Global will take almost any edge. That doesn't mean it can hold it.

Geo87
01-30-2014, 10:22 AM
Does anybody have any ideas on why I can sharpen my global chefs knife ok, but can't sharpen a friends mac chefs knife?

The mac has had a couple years of steel only maintenance so is probably pretty fatigued but I can barely get an edge on it but can on my global.

Through my own personal experience of sharpening a few knives with years of steel abuse the edge basically felt... Buttery( for lack of a better word. slippery and rounded from Never having enough metal removed from the edge or behind it. It took me a lot of work on a very course stone to remove the old dead steel. it then felt right and would take a nice edge.

gavination
01-30-2014, 10:56 AM
Through my own personal experience of sharpening a few knives with years of steel abuse the edge basically felt... Buttery( for lack of a better word. slippery and rounded from Never having enough metal removed from the edge or behind it. It took me a lot of work on a very course stone to remove the old dead steel. it then felt right and would take a nice edge.

I'm by no means close to a fantastic sharpener, so take it with a grain of salt, but I had a similar experience with my mom's no name knives (getting in any sharpening practice I can get). Even if it was a crappy knife, it should take a reasonable edge still. I couldn't get it to do anything on my 1k even though I could get my personal knives rather sharp with just 1k touch-ups. So at someone's suggestion, I ended up buying a coarser stone which made the difference. What stones are you using Farrant?

Farrant
01-30-2014, 04:47 PM
I'm by no means close to a fantastic sharpener, so take it with a grain of salt, but I had a similar experience with my mom's no name knives (getting in any sharpening practice I can get). Even if it was a crappy knife, it should take a reasonable edge still. I couldn't get it to do anything on my 1k even though I could get my personal knives rather sharp with just 1k touch-ups. So at someone's suggestion, I ended up buying a coarser stone which made the difference. What stones are you using Farrant?

I'm using a combi 1k/4k stone from JCK. My global was similar; having years of steel maintenance and it took about 2 passes on the stones to get as sharp as it was new.

Geo87
01-31-2014, 10:16 AM
I'm using a combi 1k/4k stone from JCK. My global was similar; having years of steel maintenance and it took about 2 passes on the stones to get as sharp as it was new.

Sounds like you need a coarse stone. 400 works for me. If the 1k isn't working it's probably not removing enough steel to expose a fresh edge. 1K as a starting point is only good if your knife has some edge already.

WingKKF
02-24-2014, 03:35 AM
Could this phenomena where a gross amount steel has to be removed from an edge before it can be easily sharpened be related to work hardening of steel?

zitangy
02-25-2014, 02:26 PM
Sufficient steel has to be removed to make the a) 2 planes meet ( inclusive of burr removals) and then how sharp it is depends on b)how thin and further refined it is.

This I believe is the primary objective of sharpening and any problems that i encounter... I always come back to this 2 points.

Rgds

cranky72
03-02-2014, 10:27 AM
tripleg good point to mention diamond sprays. perhaps the most importance with diamond sprays is the mechanics involved with carbides in a ferrous matrix. lots of the super new alloys have very hard carbides embedded in much softer foundation matrix. using compounds on your strop that do'nt evenly abrade the total alloy create a weaker edge. very hard carbides that resist stropping compounds allow the matrix to be more abraded than the super hard carbides which weakens the support at the edge of carbides which are much harder than the ferrous base. diamond sprays insure an even abraded edge which is stronger.vanadium carbides can measure in the rockwell high 70s.in my usage i found that not much advantage is gained by diamonds of less than 2 microns. cranky72

Lizzardborn
03-14-2014, 03:25 AM
I have pretty much nonexistent sharpening skills. But I need to open a new Carbonext and the only stone I have is the select II 1200. Will it be sufficient or should I buy some lower grit one?

Dave Martell
03-15-2014, 07:07 PM
I have pretty much nonexistent sharpening skills. But I need to open a new Carbonext and the only stone I have is the select II 1200. Will it be sufficient or should I buy some lower grit one?


Give it a try, you might get lucky.

neelesh
03-15-2014, 08:43 PM
when pushing the knife away on the stone, do you use the same pressure and same angle as on the pull stroke? i hear from some sources that they use less pressure on this stroke? Does anything change on this stroke?
thanks

Benuser
03-15-2014, 10:13 PM
A very recent discussion on this matter:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/16935-Push-Pull-question-on-Sharpening

Draw
03-27-2014, 10:06 PM
I'm new at sharpening and having some trouble with getting used to the angle. Is it normal for me to cause scratches on the side of my knife during this learning process?

Yamabushi
03-27-2014, 10:23 PM
I'm new at sharpening and having some trouble with getting used to the angle. Is it normal for me to cause scratches on the side of my knife during this learning process?
In a word... yes. IMHO, it's definitely not uncommon in the very early stages of learning.

Benuser
03-27-2014, 10:28 PM
As Yamabushi told. Make sure though that your stone is flat. A protruding edge may be the cause as well.

ThEoRy
03-27-2014, 11:55 PM
It happens. Years from now you'll wonder how it ever did.