View Full Version : Polishing a POS

07-16-2012, 08:20 AM
So, just picked up a smallish belt grinder and without any Steel to make something proper with I thought I would practice using it, and try a western rehandle at the same time, with one of the "cough" jewels in my collection.

I picked up this lump of a knife in Walmart, couldn't say no to $1, after not taking a knife on holiday with me and needing something to cut with. Sharpening the knife up i was relatively surprised that it was capable of taking an edge, and one that wasn't too bad. At least i still had my Coarse and fine DMT cards in my wallet lol.

When i got home I thinned back the edge, doubling the bevel width which (if i remember trig properly) more than halved the factory angle and it was still holding up ok and cutting a lot better. I had no real use for it though so it became another learn to sharpen on knife for helping people use stones, and for the GF to use (read hate throwing stuff away, and couldn't bring myself to give it away as it was too bad)

As it was, untouched, except for a sharpen

Nice ergonomic handle..

So started off by drilling out the rivets on the cheap plastic handles and then started to blend the factory grind to give a more convex geometry and hopefully boost performance a bit. It's all practice grinding too.


Going to reshape the tip so that it's a "better" shape, though still a santoku


Not sure if the grantons will survive the regrind, i don't think they do anything practical so not too bothered, they acted as a handy visual guide for grinding though.

Factory grind

after a few passes at 60g -some of the factory hollow grind still showing
I'm going to try and leave it with a nice even satin finish with a mirror polished edge

After another hour or two's work it was done

The grantons in the blade are still slightly there but have virtually gone from thinning the blade down. Went with Rosewood for the handle and stainless pins, toyed with using brass but prefer silver metal.




Playing with the taper on the handle helped get it balanced where the end of the handle meets the blade, which felt right


A super quick sharpen and it was shaving, going to use it a bit more to see what the edge retention is like, i'm not expecting much as it was cheap steel to start with, but now it's thin i'm hoping a ceramic rod will keep the edge.

And the O1 arrived yesterday :D Have sketched out 2 profiles, just need to chop them out...


Feel like I can give this away now without feeling too bad as it actually cuts now, and cuts well :)

07-16-2012, 04:09 PM
I'm impressed TB!

07-16-2012, 04:22 PM
Now that looks a much better knife.:)

07-16-2012, 04:45 PM
Worth $15 for sure now. :wink:


07-16-2012, 05:53 PM
It's surprised me with how well it cuts now, and for me is another nail in the coffin of steel being an important factor in what makes a good knife for a home cook

07-16-2012, 06:11 PM
As often, it's more about profile than about steel. Some excellent steels cost about nothing. Other, expensive steels have been treated badly. What was your blade made from?

07-16-2012, 07:01 PM
As often, it's more about profile than about steel. Some excellent steels cost about nothing. Other, expensive steels have been treated badly. What was your blade made from?

I've been firmly in the grind camp for a while, but I'll still look at the steel as a factor in the decision. No idea what this is made of, except for being cheap and Chinese, but it takes a decent edge and responds to a ceramic steel well so is easy to give a few swipes every now and again, similar to a CCK in a way.

There just seems like a lot of posts that start with 'i want a knife made of this steel', or 'I really want this knife but it's made with Blue and I heard that White gets sharper so I'm going to go for something else'.
Stainless v carbon makes sense, and the super cheap vs better steels makes sense for demanding users, but give the average home cook and newcomer to J knives 5 knives covering AS, blue 1&2 and white 1&2 all the same profile and geometry and ask them to tell the difference, or identify which is which (control groups where they are all the same of course) and I'd be surprised if any significant results came out. Very experienced users may be able to, or if the knives were profiled to push the steel to its very limits, but a typical gyuto..... If 5 steels that were leagues apart in specs were picked I'd still wonder who could guess which is which through normal use.
This knife feels very different on the stones to a VG10, for example, and doesn't take as fine an edge in terms of tests of sharpness, but slicing potatoes I'm not sure I could really tell the difference until I'd done a lot of cutting and edge retention comes in. Now if I steeled both of them equally, out of habit rather than immediate need, and didn't use stones at all how long would it take me to notice?

I'd be really interested to test myself, if I had the money I'd probably commission a secretly numbered set from a maker and do a passaround :D

07-16-2012, 07:32 PM
Love this post TB. I can't wait to see what you do/get out of the 01.

Eamon Burke
07-16-2012, 07:51 PM
Yeah, the grind is waaaay more important to what makes a knife good. But the failure excuse for a heat treat on those will mean it won't stay sharp for very long--like a week at home.

07-16-2012, 08:45 PM
I'll bet that it will need resharpening after one meal.

07-19-2012, 05:17 PM
Tom nice job on the sows ear! Great practice and it will beat out the 98% of most kitchen knives now in civilians hands. I am no expert,it just seems like your pattern on the new steel is a little tip high. I don't know what you are looking for, but if you rough them out fat you can always cut them back more. I suffer from I cut it twice and its still to short quite a bit. Perhaps some of the gurus will weigh in on it. Good luck.

10-25-2013, 11:00 PM
will you heat treat the O1 yourself?