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Thread: Newish to sharpening, hoping to pass the paper push cut test.

  1. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I am curious about how many people use a loupe? I use a 20X and find it very helpful. I do wonder that if/as I get better it will not be needed.

  2. #22
    Holding a consistent angle seems to be the hardest part for me, and the longer the blade, the tougher it is. However, I can get my paring knives freakishly scary sharp.
    Just keep at it.

  3. #23
    I have 30x loupe that I bought couple decades ago and use it occasionally to check my razors. You use it less and less as you get better.

    What paper are you cutting? Newspaper, xerox paper, magazine, cardboard, etc all have different grains and some will cut better than others depending on how you cut it.
    What kind of knife are you cutting them with? Some will cut better than others.

    Pushing cutting a single sheet of Xerox paper is a bit special because you don't push any material aside. That means you don't have to worry about anything other than your bleeding edge. Things like consistent edge angle or geometry that may make difference in the more practical cutting tasks don't make much difference at all. That means you shouldn't be spending 10 minute trying to thin out your geometry or get even angles. As an example, I can sharpened on 1k stone (in 2 min or less) a very dull ~40 degree Mora camping knife with bad geometry to push cut through a printer paper. Just grind the edge real crisp, without burr or wire, and it should do just fine. As someone mentioned before, use a sharpie.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    sachem allison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    You don't eat paper, sharpen it until it cuts food the way you want it too. Food and paper are many different things and perform differently. You maybe able to push cut printer paper and still not cut cleanly through an overly ripe tomato. I'm not trying to discourage you. Good technique, consistency and practice are the key to good sharpening. At the end of the day you aren't eating the paper.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  5. #25

    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    xuz reminded me...pushcutting paper/newsprint/etc is actually a skill. Many times a friend has tried to follow me doing it and failed with the the very same knife. Its not a very difficult skill, but a skill nonetheless.

    Not sure how that affects the OP.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
    A few tips in addition to those already mentioned that helped me:
    - one hand controls the angle and the other the motion; dont try to do both with both
    - don't deburr until the end.
    - try skipping the belt, but instead do some trailing strokes (stopping) on you highest grit stone.
    - if you do strop on something other than stone, try cardboard instead of the belt. Not too much pressure and an angle slightly lower (more accute) than the edge bevel.

    The real value of the paper test imo is to test edge alignment and consistency.
    With almost no downward pressure, draw the edge slowly along the paper and see if there are any sections that sound or feel different when they cut.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives).

  7. #27
    Senior Member kungpao's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Just wanted to let everyone know that tonight I passed my test! I couldn't have done it with out the input here. I noticed my Kramer Z a little dull after cooking tonight and decided to take it to my Gesshin 5k to get things back in order. I took suggestion and used the sharpie in combination with my DSLR camera and finally truly saw what was happening when I was sharpening. Turns out I was rocking quite a bit with the traditional Japanese method of approach that I originally learned from Jon's videos on youtube.

    I am a lefty when writing but am right hand dominate otherwise. I switched hands when sharpening the other side of the knife, and it felt natural and looked much better on the sharpie and DSLR test. I also stopped stropping on the belt and starting using a cork, also notice major difference straight off the bat with that. The paper push cut actually has taught me quite a bit. I can easily feel the small snags while pushing and know where my imperfection are on the blade. I feel like tonight was a break through for my sharpening. Obviously I still need tons of practice and work but notice a major difference and am very happy with the results. Thanks to everyone, and major shout out to Jon from Japanese Knife Imports for high quality stones, holder, and detailed instructional videos on youtube learned a lot from everyone!

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    washington dc
    switching hands with each side is a must for me, it just feels awkward as hell flipping it over and going same motion in same hand, besides it gets tiresome/boring that way anyway.

  9. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    switching hands with each side is a must for me, it just feels awkward as hell flipping it over and going same motion in same hand, besides it gets tiresome/boring that way anyway.
    i personally do both.

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