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Thread: The paper test and the right angle

  1. #1

    The paper test and the right angle

    So...I got my stone 1000/6000 and have been watching about 10,000 videos on sharpening but still felt a little intimidated so, I bought some guides to put on the knives and off I went. I have sharpened my Global's and my Shun but I don't seem to be getting the results I expected. I try to be really methodical and slow but have trouble finding the burr. Some people on the forum had mentioned that global's can be hard to get a burr so I keep trying. When I do the paper cutting test, the knife dosent seem to do it as easy as I see on the videos, any suggestions. How long will it take before I can dump the guides and how important is maintaining the angle during the stroke?

    Thanks everyone

  2. #2
    have you tried using sharpie to see what's going on with your bevels? Also, with a burr, you might just need to keep going for a bit until you're really sure its there.

    With regard to angle consistency in mid-stroke, its pretty important. It will never be 100% perfect (unless you use a mechanical device, which i happen to be against for a variety of reasons, to maintain the angle and even then there are other problems), but thats ok. Just get as close as you can.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central Jersey
    Extremely important. It's one of the most important aspects. I would say dump the guides. Not sure if you can build up muscle memory with them on. I never used them and I learned just fine. Sure I made mistakes along the way but that's exactly how you learn. Once you take the guide off you have to learn how to sharpen without them anyway. It's almost like you have to learn to sharpen twice.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Pensacola, FL, USA

    Maintaining the angle during the sharpening stroke is the key to freehand sharpening. Use the guides as you develop muscle memory for holding the angle constant.

    Disregard the burr for the moment. What is the Magic Marker "trick" telling you? You won't get a burr until you are going all the way to the edge, and until you do, you aren't sharpening at all.

    How is the knife performing when cutting actual food, not paper? Part of it is technique, but a sharp knife should be able to cut millimeter thick slices of carrot without any problems.


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    SpikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    The thing with the guides is that you have to hold the knife as if it wasn't there if you want to develop the right muscle memory. It is too easy to use the guide as a crutch instead of a guide.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Duckfat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    The Motor City
    I've always been a fan of the guides for some one starting out. Any tool that is dirt cheap and makes learning easier is a bonus. They should never be a crutch or a permanent solution but they do help some get a feel for holding the knife at a consistent angle.


  7. #7
    I just saw some examples of a murry carter dvd on sharpening, looks quite good........any comments?

  8. #8

  9. #9
    This video is actually what inspired me to delve into sharpness. Mr Kramer makes it look so easy.
    Am I the only one who searched for The Edge from U2 and ended up here?

  10. #10
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Clayton, NC- surrounded by lots of trees
    I think pressure is as important, but not mentioned nearly as much as consistent angle. Are you backing off the amount of pressure as you progress? I usually end with feather light back stropping only; makes a big difference...
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!

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