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A Few Questions on Sharpening a Tanaka Blue #2 Gyuto.
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Thread: A Few Questions on Sharpening a Tanaka Blue #2 Gyuto.

  1. #1

    Question A Few Questions on Sharpening a Tanaka Blue #2 Gyuto.

    Hi All,

    I followed the advice of the wonderful people on this forum and got a Tanaka 210mm blue #2 damascus gyuto.

    The knife is a fantastic cutter, and the F&F are more than adequate for the price.

    While I have yet to sharpen it (the OOTB edge was really good), I can see myself putting the knife on the stones in the near future.

    I have a few questions regarding thinning behind the edge:

    The knife is nearly flat-ground on the right face and has a convex grind on the left face with a convex secondary bevel that tapers towards the edge.

    Should I only thin the knife on the face that's more convex ground (the left)? Or should I thin equally on both sides (the right face has a barely perceptible secondary bevel)?

    Will the knife's cutting performance decrease as the secondary bevel(s) become more flat ground from sharpening on the stones? Even though the Tanaka isn't very thin, it still cuts wonderfully, and I would love to keep it that way.

    Once again, thank you very much to all the wonderful members of this forum. I really appreciate the knowledge that's passed around!

  2. #2
    I would thin on both sides but try to maintain its original geometry if you like it. However I am afraid that you think thinning is something that needs to happen often, frequently, or soon. You will be able to go months and months (possibly years if you are a home cook and not a "pro") before you need to thin your knife. Some people here are a little too trigger happy on thinning their knives IMHO. But hey, do what you want. I am of the opinion that you should remove as little metal from your knives as possible so they will last and cut as originally intended longer. When you first pull your knife off the stones and you notice that it doesn't cut as well as it used to when you first got it then it is time to thin.
    "Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something." -Jake the Dog

  3. #3
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    I would rather say thinning is a normal part of any sharpening. After all, you're not so much putting an edge on the end of a piece of steel, but restoring a former configuration that's moved towards the spine. But any operation below the angle of the very edge is a form of thinning. If you're happy with the existing configuration and start your sharpening a little above the bevel before going down to the edge, you will be fine, and won't indeed need a major thinning operation for quite a while.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
    I would rather say thinning is a normal part of any sharpening.

    The proper way to maintain the geometry of your blade, IMHO.
    Fudoushin Bujinkan Dojo: http://fudoushin.com/

  5. #5
    I initially posed this question for two reasons:

    1) I wanted to know how to thin the knife properly when the time comes.

    2) Some folks (such as Murray Carter) recommend thinning the secondary bevel a little bit with each sharpening (thus avoiding the need to do a dedicated thinning session after several months of working on the primary edge only)

    Should I take micrometer measurements of the edge to judge thickness as time progresses?

    Also, how does one prevent thinning from scratching the blade? The thinning jobs done by Dave Martel, Jon Broida, Maxim, etc all look so clean.

    Any tips from the pros?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    I've been sharpening knives for a few years now both with the EP and free hand on nice water stones and I have to say that thinning has to be one of the most misunderstood concept of sharpening.
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    I've been sharpening knives for a few years now both with the EP and free hand on nice water stones and I have to say that thinning has to be one of the most misunderstood concept of sharpening.
    Would you mind explaining why that's so?

    :-)

  8. #8
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Its just that there are so many types and styles of blade construction that say you should thin everything you sharpen is misleading. Guess it depends on how you define thinning.

    Last night I touched up my month old AEBL ITK. I just gave it a few strokes on an 6-8K Takenono stone, stropped on it, then leathers diamond spray, then lghtly on leather. Didn't even bring up a burr. The edge is screaming and bitty again.

    Should I have removed more metal on the blade face? Why would i risk scratching up the finish on blade face on a knife without a clear shinogi. Why go through all stone progressions when all that was needed was a touch up.

    Doesn't look like may others that have Mono-steel knives grind down the blade faces with low grit stones each time they sharpen? Japanese blades or wide bevel knives might require a different approach.
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    Its just that there are so many types and styles of blade construction that say you should thin everything you sharpen is misleading. Guess it depends on how you define thinning.

    Last night I touched up my month old AEBL ITK. I just gave it a few strokes on an 6-8K Takenono stone, stropped on it, then leathers diamond spray, then lghtly on leather. Didn't even bring up a burr. The edge is screaming and bitty again.

    Should I have removed more metal on the blade face? Why would i risk scratching up the finish on blade face on a knife without a clear shinogi. Why go through all stone progressions when all that was needed was a touch up.

    Doesn't look like may others that have Mono-steel knives grind down the blade faces with low grit stones each time they sharpen? Japanese blades or wide bevel knives might require a different approach.
    W


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