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Thread: How do you sharpen a meat cleaver?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by l r harner View Post
    your a better amn then me dave as i woudl never thing of attempting a hand honed edge on one of those beasts \
    I was stupid.

  2. #12
    Senior Member zitangy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I do enjoy it once in a while... Wider knives ae easier to handle than a narrow knives for me as I find that I can have better control.

    a) holding it way that you have better control and pressure is the key. Cant hold it the way when you sharpen say a slicer or "narrow" gyuto. For me.. the thumb is along the spine and fingers across the body of cleaver. THumb controls the angle of sharpening and also the push forward motion. Finger is for downward pressure .I also use this method for any wide knife as i imagine that it does give me better control. In my earlier days, thumb was also used to control the height of knife against stone adn thus the sharpening angle; so I imagine.

    b)When thinning is required, I bring the stone to the knife. The knife is place flat on a piece of wood parallel strokes is OK with me as I am still thinning it after which I will do an angled sweeping stroke across the edge ( stone moving away from edge) pr alternatively, stone moving towards spine motion ( like a fiddle, both method) as I believe that the striations shld be angled to the edge and not parallel. A thin or worn out stone with a base wld be ideal.. definitely not a brick as it wld be too heavy.

    Note. Safety must be considered all the time.

    c) as mentioned.. A belt sander is always fun for this.

    Angle> I believe that an axe is sharpened at 35 degrees each side. Depending on the task and thickness of the edge as worn out edges becomes thicker, I wld assume that anywhere between 20 degrees adn 35 degrees shld be fine.. I also like my big, secondary bevel highly polished.

    Being a home cook, hardest thing that I wack wld be a young coconut. So that are all sharpened at 20 degrees there abt

    So check out the thumb action if you have not tried it.

    see what I mean?

    Have fun.


  3. #13
    What does the edge look like on your cleaver? If there are chips or damage anywhere, use a belt grinder to repair the edge. If the edge is uniform and you are just trying to improve its sharpness use sandpaper on a wood block. Start with 320 and work your way up to 1500. This is how I finish the blade and edge of my cleavers and the last one I sold would slice phonebook paper with no catching or tearing at all. My cleaver is also O1 though and takes a keen edge even at 60 degrees.

    It will be time consuming, but the result you're seeking is worth the effort.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Bay area
    No chips cause it is new, no sharp edge either cause it is a cheap restaurant store mystery steel. But based on what I've read it does seem like it is worth doing at say a 42 degree angle up to say 600 on the edge pro OEM stones....

  5. #15
    Would that 42* be inclusive, or one side? If just one side, I would say you could drop that in half. Due to the thickness of the spine (just a presumption here), the amount of mass in the edge will protect it from folding/chipping when compared to a similar 40*-45* inclusive edge on a softer German chef's.
    Happiness is a sharp knife.

  6. #16
    butch...those r two of the few cleavers i never sold...they r awesome....and if i remember correctly the main reason dave switched to using gator belts.....your welcome dave!.....ryan

    viva la revolucion !

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Bay area
    21 each side, I'm still confuse don how one describes angles for knives. I s there a more or less standard convention of using 1/2 the total angle the blade makes for a symmetric ground knife??....

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I like a convex polished edge.Meat cleavers are thick behind the edge,so the convex edge is wider than a gyuto. a big heavy meat cleaver I use the palm of my hand down by the edge.Gotta be sharp so clean cut thru bone instead of splintering.A slight forward chop cut.

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