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Thread: How do you test a new edge?

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    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Question How do you test a new edge?

    I'm in the beginner stage of learning how to use synthetic stones to sharpen my knives. I've had them for about 3 years now but only had a need to use them about 5-6 times. The resulting edges have been acceptable for me, but I'm quite sure I'm still leaving something on the table with what the steel can handle.

    What technique(s) do you use to test your edge after you sharpen it? I don't like to use food unless I'm then going to eat it, so I can't always choose that as my time to sharpen doesn't always co-incide.

    I have always used a sheet of paper, like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PUhr...&feature=g-upl

    I can usually feel the way the blade slices through the page pretty well, and look at the quality of the cuts on the pieces.

    What is your approach, and why?

  2. #2
    Senior Member K-Fed's Avatar
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    News paper shredding and arm hair topping usually. Then at work in the kitchen doing its intended jobs.

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    Senior Member cwrightthruya's Avatar
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    I usually try and cut what the knife was intended for, but I definitely understand about not wanting to waste food.

    With regards to the paper test, I have heard 2 separate theories. The first is if you can push cut at least 1 inch away from the holding point at several places along the edge then it is a good edge. To me this does not make sense as it's too much like the HHT for a straight razor, which does not provide a good view of sharpness on the whole blade. The other I have seen and commonly used is a paper slice method. If you can slice a piece of paper in strip sections as thin as the paper itself along the entire length of the blade, then it is generally a good to great edge. I have never had a "failure" of an edge that passed this test, although I am sure now that I have said it....it will happen.
    At Death's Door You Only Have 2 choices. Die Happy or Die Regretfully.
    Knowing this...........Choose 1 and Live!!!!!!!!!

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    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Thank you for your response.

    Quote Originally Posted by cwrightthruya View Post
    To me this does not make sense as it's too much like the HHT for a straight razor, which does not provide a good view of sharpness on the whole blade.
    Please excuse my ignorance...."the HHT"? What is HHT?

    Do you end up with bare sections on your arm?

    I've not been able to get one sharp enough to cut hair....always wondered if that was even real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwiefel View Post
    Please excuse my ignorance...."the HHT"? What is HHT?

    Do you end up with bare sections on your arm?
    HHT= Hanging Hair Test

    That is how you can spot a Knife Knut, bald patches all over their arms, or legs as I am running out of arm hair.

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    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    I use very fine cigarette paper, and listen.

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    Senior Member cwrightthruya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
    I use very fine cigarette paper, and listen.
    Phonebook paper also works excellently, and is not nearly as expensive. They throw a new one on my door every month, and I don't even have a home phone!
    At Death's Door You Only Have 2 choices. Die Happy or Die Regretfully.
    Knowing this...........Choose 1 and Live!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
    I use very fine cigarette paper, and listen.
    +1 on "listen." I think if you use the same paper every time (whatever it is), you'll notice that cuts get quieter and quieter as your sharpening improves.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cwrightthruya's Avatar
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    The problem with shredding paper is that it is hopefully nothing like the food you should be cutting with your kitchen knife, unless you are a college student . Depending on what you are sharpening, gyuto vs deba vs yanagi, the edge that you need to put on each blade that gives its intended best performance is completely different. If you get a super "quiet" edge from a gyuto when shredding paper, this will more than likely be a great push cutting edge, but might not have the best performance when cutting tomatoes with tough skin. So definitely learn to gauge what you need regardless of the test used.
    At Death's Door You Only Have 2 choices. Die Happy or Die Regretfully.
    Knowing this...........Choose 1 and Live!!!!!!!!!

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