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Thread: Push cut no bueno

  1. #1
    Senior Member sel1k1's Avatar
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    Push cut no bueno



    So, I have a 120 xxc, 220, 700, 1200, 3000, and 8000 stones, all whetstones except the dmt. I can't get the strong sharp edge I want with the consistency I am looking for. I have tried a few different approaches all double bevel; 12 degrees, 25 degrees, finishing with micro bevel. I can get my knives sharp, slicing through sheets of ticket paper, shaving, but not face shaving level yet. They don't hold thier edge long, small chipping going on, and I get wedging as well as no push cutting, if I slice a tomato with motion the knife goes through it like it wasn't there, if I push on it, the knife nearly crushes the tomato; I tried this at work today through a few cases. It didn't bug me so much until I tried slicing salmon very very thin with my Fujiwara FKH that I had sharpened the two nights ago.

    I was planning on trying to yet again thin the three knives I have been sharpening and using at work mostly; Fujiwara sujihiki and Miyabi Birchwood. The Birchwood isn't very thick to begin with, not really a laser(comparing to my epic Gesshin Ashi Hamono Sujihiki(Thank you John) that has not yet required shapening), but definately not thick, the Fujiwara suji is the one from CKTG(Thank you Mark).

    Should I go to work on the 120 for a while?
    Last edited by sel1k1; 07-24-2011 at 09:07 AM. Reason: I just wanted to edit some stuff.
    (^.#)

  2. #2
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    If your goal is to push cut a tomato, the easiest way to do this is to take your sharp edge and strop on a stone or leather. If you're getting lots of chipping, I would venture to suggest that it's your wire edge falling apart. To have any sort of longevity, you need to get rid of any wire edge you have left. I would suggest stropping very lightly at a high angle on one side of the edge and then cutting something grabby with it. If that doesn't work, you're not grinding consistently enough to detach it without using more brute force. If that's the case, you won't be push-cutting any tomatoes. Another strategy would be to go to the 700 and then work your way up but don't use too many passes on the subsequent stones. Toothier edges push-cut tomatos easier than highly refined edges.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    That Miyabi is a very hard steel and should hold a steep angle. Are you finishing on your stones with a light, consistent touch? I know, when setting your bevels on the low stones, its easy to really push hard, but when you get to your 1200 and 3000, you should be finishing with feather light strokes. I then pass the blade through a wine cork once, and strop as needed....should work well for you. I don't go passed my 4000 with gyutos in a pro kitchen.
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
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  4. #4
    try stropping on some leather or newspapaer if you don't have any

  5. #5
    Do you deburr with cork or felt between stones?
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  6. #6
    +2 on stropping. I use a felt block between stones to deburr. I do notice - and this may be a sign of a flaw in my sharpening, but it works for me - that I don't tend to get push cuts until I'm on my 5000x stones and higher. Like I said, I'm sure others can do it with a 1000x stone, but I don't expect push cuts till then. Even then I don't get good push cuts until I'm using my 8000x and 10000x stones. Then I get wonderful push cuts. But even with that said, once I use the leather and felt stropping pads the push cuts become really nice. Anyway, without seeing how you sharpen, those are my thoughts. I suspect that I could move from my 5000x stone to the stropping and get awesome push cuts, but I love to have an excuse to use all the stones, so I may be going overboard

  7. #7
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    Also, make sure your stone is flat; it's very hard to get a good edge on a concaved stone

  8. #8
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    I can get crappy edges on a 10000 stone that push cut tomatoes effortlessly but fail after a day's use, then I can have a 4000 edge that lasts days on end and can't push cut them at all. It isn't something I worry too much about but I guess it is something to measure your technique on

  9. #9
    Senior Member sel1k1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    If your goal is to push cut a tomato, the easiest way to do this is to take your sharp edge and strop on a stone or leather. If you're getting lots of chipping, I would venture to suggest that it's your wire edge falling apart. To have any sort of longevity, you need to get rid of any wire edge you have left. I would suggest stropping very lightly at a high angle on one side of the edge and then cutting something grabby with it. If that doesn't work, you're not grinding consistently enough to detach it without using more brute force. If that's the case, you won't be push-cutting any tomatoes. Another strategy would be to go to the 700 and then work your way up but don't use too many passes on the subsequent stones. Toothier edges push-cut tomatos easier than highly refined edges.
    Okay, I was thinking the higher refined polished edges were the ones push cutting. When you say high angle what degrees are you referring to if I am using 12 degrees on stones? I used to slice a cork or carrot in between stones but havn't been doing so lately, I thought it would happen on its own. The chipping is very small and minimal.

    My goal is to have a strong sharp edge that will last a month in the least with my work knives and to be able to use the suji to cut thin slices of salmon and tuna for some of the menu items.

    Thank you tk59
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  10. #10
    Senior Member sel1k1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NO ChoP! View Post
    That Miyabi is a very hard steel and should hold a steep angle. Are you finishing on your stones with a light, consistent touch? I know, when setting your bevels on the low stones, its easy to really push hard, but when you get to your 1200 and 3000, you should be finishing with feather light strokes. I then pass the blade through a wine cork once, and strop as needed....should work well for you. I don't go passed my 4000 with gyutos in a pro kitchen.
    I was not finishing with light touches, quite the opposite ><. I have been lapping every stone to flatten and leaving the mud on to help, I have been getting inconsistent polishing lines and thought the extra mud would help, but it looks like too much pressure was being used with the higher grit stones. Why don't you go past the 4000 for gyutos?

    Thank you NO ChoP
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