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Thread: I've been learning about and sharpening knives the past few months, and I have quite a few questions

  1. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Bay Area
    Quote Originally Posted by CrisAnderson27 View Post

    For sharpening, the EF (1200g), and EEF (8000g) seem to do wonderfully.
    This discussion is quite fascinating, thanks for the education.

    I have the EF and EEF from Marko and have been thoroughly enjoying them.

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Additional questions

    Thanks for all the information given so far, with the tips given, especially by Pensacola Tiger, I've been able to eliminate the issues that I've had with deburring. I got another set of questions, and I felt that I'd be better off just posting in the same thread as oppose to starting a new one.

    My interest in diamond plates has also been piqued though as I'm hoping to sharpen knives for various locations around the town I live in. I will mostly be sharpening house knives, cheap German steels like the white handled Dexters, so I want something that will be quick, effective, and low maintenance for I think the diamond plates fit the bill. I'm really just doing this for practice and fun so I won't be trying to make money off labor, but I would at least like to pay for the stones that I'll be using. I'm currently looking at using the DMT XC, Coarse, Fine, and Extra Fine as my setup as I feel like these plate will roughly correspond to a set of waterstones with 220, 350, 600, and 1200 grit. I feel that the really coarse grits will be necessary as many house knives I've felt (3 finger test and finger nail test) are in rather poor conditions, and I believe that the 1200 grit will get a sufficient edge for most kitchen use, especially given the abuse that these knives will be getting. If anyone can confirm my hypothesis or offer any opinion on the matter, I'd greatly appreciate it. Also, can anyone tell me why Atoma plates are more expensive than DMT stones?

    My new set of questions:

    1. What are the differences between a hard and soft waterstone, and what causes a waterstone to cut faster or slow?

    I'm assuming that harder waterstones will dish less but release material at a slower rate, thus slowing down how quickly they cut. However, I feel like that soft waterstones don't necessarily cut quickly, so I guess I'm just kind of confused. An addition to the question 1 would be how does the waterstone's characteristics affect the type of polish the knife gets? I've seen videos where Jon mentions how certain waterstones leave a misty, almost mirror-like finish, and from the way he talks about it, it seems like this type of finish is more dependent on the characteristics of the waterstone rather than the grit (assuming we're discussing high grit stones like 8000+).

    2. In order to achieve a consistent bevel across the entire knife edge, do I need to lower the spine as get closer to sharpening the tip.

    I'm basing this assumption off basic trig with the assumptions that r=length of blade face, y=distance between the stone and the spine of the blade, and inverse sin of theta (angle of sharpening)=y/r which means that if I want the angle of sharpening to remain constant, I need to decrease y as r decreases so that the ratio between y and r remains constant. I know that the tip is sometimes sharpened differently than the heel or other regions of the knives as it tends to be thinner, but I'm just curious about this. I probably won't be paying much attention to this math stuff as I sharpen to be honest as I hope to just stick with knives that already have proper bevels and shinogi lines set so that I can avoid this hassle. As of right now though, I'm still working on thinning this Artifex to get more practice with thinning and possibly blending bevels, and I'd like to see if my theory makes sense to anyone.

    3. Do stainless steel knives have better edge retention than carbon knives when the knives are mostly being used on acidic foods like fruits? What if they're mostly used on non acidic foods?

    I've read from some people that carbon knives are suppose to have better edge retention, but I don't believe that this is always true. I do believe that carbon knives are easier to maintain as they're much easier to sharpen, and they do take a better edge than most stainless knives. However, I feel like if I was using a knife mostly on fruits, like a small paring knife, then stainless knife would have better edge retention due to the acid corroding the edge of a carbon knife, but perhaps this corrosion can be negate by frequent wiping of the knife with a wet towel.

    4. How does sharpening and thinning a cladded or san-mai knife work?

    It seems like the outer steel would sharpen at a different rate than the core steel so how does this affect the way the knife is sharpened and thinner?

    5. How do boning knives like deba or honesuki avoid chipping, or are they suppose to just chip with regular use? Does the heavy asymmetry of the knife allow it to glide across bones as oppose to scraping against them? I know I'm not suppose to be scrapping the knife against bones, but it seems like some contact with bones would be inevitable as I try to strip the meat off.

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