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  1. #1

    Push/Pull question on Sharpening

    As a person new to sharpening... I am still confused on one issue......

    Do you put more pressure on the push (cut) or the pull (away from blade)? Or... is it equal pressure?

    What is recommended? I searched the internet and have seen people recommend both methods. What do you suggest for a beginner?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    Equal
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

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    equal is ok, and often what i tell people to do in the beginning, but the best results will come from the following:

    on double bevel knives- pressure on the edge trailing motion... on the push for the right side and pull for the left (for right handed users)

    on single bevel knives- pressure on edge trailing for bevel side... pressure on edge leading for urasuki (back side)

    this doesnt mean that you have to lift the knife off the stone when not applying pressure, but rather just try to relax on the non-pressure part of the stroke

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    Internet sharpening videos range from very good to absurd with little help for the newcomer to discern between them. The ones that JKI has done are at the very good end of the spectrum.

    I started confused about one issue. Now I have several...

    Good luck.
    Dave
    Older and wider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBroida View Post
    equal is ok, and often what i tell people to do in the beginning, but the best results will come from the following:

    on double bevel knives- pressure on the edge trailing motion... on the push for the right side and pull for the left (for right handed users)

    on single bevel knives- pressure on edge trailing for bevel side... pressure on edge leading for urasuki (back side)

    this doesnt mean that you have to lift the knife off the stone when not applying pressure, but rather just try to relax on the non-pressure part of the stroke
    Thanks Jon! I've also been wondering whether it's on the trailing or leading edge and wondering why I was stuggling to raise a burr (was putting pressure on the edge-leading stroke). Mind you, I've been practicing on rubbish SS blades on a cheap (real cheap) stone so that could be a big part of the problem too Just wanted to get my technique sorted before using my good stones on my new (first) J-knife...

  6. #6
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    pressure on the edge leading stroke is not the end of the world, and shouldnt stop you from being able to form a burr, so you may want to look elsewhere for why that wasnt happening...
    really there are only a few reasons for the lack of burr formation (in order of likelihood):

    -wrong angle in sharpening
    -not enough time spent
    -not starting at a low enough grit (see above as they are related)
    -work hardened steel (not very likely at all)

    There are probably some others i'm missing, but these are ones i see often

  7. #7

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    Thanks again, Jon. I'll check my angles as I suspect I'm perhaps a little low and not sharpening right to the edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBroida View Post
    equal is ok, and often what i tell people to do in the beginning, but the best results will come from the following:

    on double bevel knives- pressure on the edge trailing motion... on the push for the right side and pull for the left (for right handed users)

    on single bevel knives- pressure on edge trailing for bevel side... pressure on edge leading for urasuki (back side)

    this doesnt mean that you have to lift the knife off the stone when not applying pressure, but rather just try to relax on the non-pressure part of the stroke
    Well said.I was taught many yrs. ago fingerpad pressure on trailing stroke.Before that I had tried diff. tech. sharpening fr. cooks.Most equal pressure.Everything I learned fr. a Sushi Chef including trailing press. after had the sharpest Gyuto's in the Hotel.

    As John said finger pressure is relaxed on push & applied on trailing wt. double bevel knives,no need to lift knife off stone.

    Chiharu Sugai of Korin knives suggest for beginners to lift the blade off the stone.I did not use this in teaching because I was concerned that the students might lose their steady spine height by doing so.

    Now watching Korin video's on the web.Chiharu's assistant,don't remember his name lifts the knife off the stone in his 70/30 gyuto sharpening lession.A student bought a Fujiwara fkh carbon.I used his tech both thinning behind the edge & kicking in final bevel,had no problem at all keeping a steady spine.Also an even burr heel to tip.Took a little longer is all.Very sharp blade finish on Shapton pro 2K.

    You can still get a sharp edge with equal pressure,but from my experience trailing edge pressure on DB knives is the best.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the help to my original question.

    I also really appreciate the videos from Japanese Knife Imports..... Excellent!

    I have my first set of water stones and will be practicing this weekend.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Will pressure with an edge trailing motion give a slightly convexed bevel, and the same with an edge leading a straighter one, perhaps?

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