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Thread: Only edge trailing strokes

  1. #1
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    Only edge trailing strokes

    I've recently changed my sharpening technique to using edge trailing strokes only and no edge leading strokes.

    I find, as a relative beginner to sharpening, this allows me to get more consistent results with less wobbling.

    Does anybody else sharpen like this? Are there any downsides in not doing the edge leading strokes?

  2. #2
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    From what I understand, you edge-trail only on waterstones, with harder stones like silicon carbide, Arkansas, oil stone, you can do any motion on them, even circular motion. If you push the edge towards a waterstone, the edge will dig into the soft stone and dull your edge.

    I don't use waterstone, so that doesn't really matter.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKH9 View Post
    From what I understand, you edge-trail only on waterstones, with harder stones like silicon carbide, Arkansas, oil stone, you can do any motion on them, even circular motion. If you push the edge towards a waterstone, the edge will dig into the soft stone and dull your edge.
    This is not correct. If the edge "digs in", it is due to poor technique, not anything peculiar to waterstones. It is quite possible to "dig in" to an Arkansas stone.
    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mangelwurzel View Post
    I've recently changed my sharpening technique to using edge trailing strokes only and no edge leading strokes.

    I find, as a relative beginner to sharpening, this allows me to get more consistent results with less wobbling.

    Does anybody else sharpen like this? Are there any downsides in not doing the edge leading strokes?
    The trailing edge technique is recommended by several members. There is no downside to it, except for those who have long experience with edge leading, and would need time to relearn edge trailing. (Like me.)

    Good to hear it's working for you.

    Rick
    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

  5. #5
    Could you describe the technique in more detail? Do you raise the knife from the stone on the leading stroke?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by cabarete_cub View Post
    Could you describe the technique in more detail? Do you raise the knife from the stone on the leading stroke?
    I remember a video from Korin site where the sharpener were lifting the knife after each stroke to put it back in to position.
    However others just recommend to apply less to none pressure on the back stroke (edge leading) but apply more pressure on edge trailing. I follow the less pressure route myself.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, Rick.

    Yes, I recall a recent thread where Jon recommended using lighter pressure on the edge leading stroke. The technique I've been using is lifting the knife off after each stroke, like a stropping-style motion.

  8. #8
    Lighter pressure on the edge leading is just natural, I guess, because hands work in the opposite directions to some extent.
    The downside of using edge trailing strokes only (or any unidirectional strokes for that matter) is that it must be much
    more difficult to remove metal this way.


    @Ruso
    Yes, I remember it too. Stroke me as quite an unorthodox.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabarete_cub View Post
    Lighter pressure on the edge leading is just natural, I guess, because hands work in the opposite directions to some extent.
    The downside of using edge trailing strokes only (or any unidirectional strokes for that matter) is that it must be much
    more difficult to remove metal this way.
    Agreed, but most of my knives are carbon steel so when I'm sharpening the cutting edge, it doesn't take that long to raise a burr. When thinning behind the edge, I use both directions!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mangelwurzel View Post
    When thinning behind the edge, I use both directions!
    Sneaky, aren't we?

    Murray Carter seems to be using bi-directional on the medium-grit and edge-trailing only on the finisher.

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