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Thread: Sharpening technique or actual profile of knife

  1. #1

    Sharpening technique or actual profile of knife

    Hello all,
    I've had a problem recently and was wondering if it's coming down to my actual technique in sharpening or is it the actual build of the knife (profile).
    I've noticed on this particular Misono that near the tip of the knife the curvature of the tip has been somewhat distorted. If you look closely you can see that the belly near the tip has flattened out somewhat and the actual tip almost points down; difficult to explain. I'm not sure if this is due to over sharpening in this area or not sharpening the tip enough. The bevel is really even all the way up and I figured if it was due to sharpening that the bevel would be all over the place;not sure really. This effects the knife in a rolling motion as the tip tends to get caught up and snags on the board.
    Has anyone else experienced this? I'm just curious because I'd like to know if it's me that's causing this so that I can prevent it in the future. Any feed back is much appreciated.
    Note: Two other knives I own do not have this type of profile, although my ginga petty 120 seems to have a very similar profile and I've only sharpened it once; maybe it is the profile?

  2. #2
    This is called the birds beak.
    You are pressing too hard in the area just before the tip.
    Try raising the handle of the knife a little higher when youre approaching the tip.

  3. #3
    Is there a way to repair this bird's beak?

  4. #4
    Try raising the handle of the knife a little higher when youre approaching the tip. Then at the tip paint bevel in sharpie to know exactly what and where you are removing.

    Observe closely.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    That is a link to one of Jon's videos about tip sharpening that will help. Until I watched the video, this happened to most of my knives.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Ok sorry. Link didn't work (I'm on a phone), just google 'Japanese knife imports tip sharpening' and the video is the first result.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Gyptuckey, CO
    I went through the bird's beak problem too. Dave, Jon, and the other guys here got me straightened out.
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  8. #8
    The bird's beak is a super common problem that you've created by pushing down too hard behind the tip while sharpening. My guess is that you tried to "get to the tip" a little too aggressively by pushing down and flexing the tip up off the stone. The answer to fixing this is the same as how to sharpen the tip correctly - and that's to use less pressure on the blade hand and to ensure that you raise the handle high enough to the point where you see a black streak on the stone which indicates that the tip has made contact. The motion should be one smooth swipe through the curve and up to the tip and back again.

    If you by chance happen to dig the tip into the stone (as you raise the handle and push forward) then you'll know that you're just about right on your angle of approach, just went a tad too high is all, but be careful not to continue to raise the handle too high or you'll start seeing the flattening of the tip.

  9. #9
    Thanks all,
    So from here I went ahead and trimmed the bird's beak with the DMT XXC, re-thinned the edge behind the bevel and sharpened. The edge is still just a touch chunky but the actual profile looks much better. I think I still have to thin just a touch. When sharpening the tip what technique works best for you? Sharpening perpendicular with the stone or more of a vertical approach moving more horizontal when doing just the tip?
    Here is a new pic after doing the work described above, thoughts?

  10. #10
    This video has also been very helpful, thank you Jon, Dave and everyone else.

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