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karloevaristo

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What's the "one thing" that you guys learned that really brought your sharpening technique to a whole new level?

The one thing, where in you can say, because of "this certain thing I learned" my edge improved drastically and now I can make super sharp edges that lasts for a long time.... :thumbsup:
 

watercrawl

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That's easy...proper burr and/or wire edge edge removal.
 

Aphex

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I personally found clear improvements by learning to use a slower and lighter touch as it seemed to stop much of the wobble in my beginers techneque.
 

SpikeC

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2 things, actually, time and experience!
 

Eamon Burke

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The concept of stropping was the most noticeable change in my sharpening. Cutting sharp to shaving sharp in 10 minutes on cardboard.

But the things most often in the back of my mind, though, are Carter's "1% tools" attitude(keeps me from blaming problems on my setup), and a video where Dave checked to see if he was hitting the edge by putting his nail under the edge and popping it.
 

tk59

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I personally found clear improvements by learning to use a slower and lighter touch as it seemed to stop much of the wobble in my beginers techneque.
+1

What do you mean by "popping it?" I'm having a hard time imagining what that means.
 

SpikeC

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Dave said "Slowing Down & looking at what I'm doing".

+1
 

Craig

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I imagine a lot of people will say things like burr removal or stropping. Thanks to most of you lunatics (meant in the nicest possibly way) I started out with a pretty good grasp of these concepts. The first time I ever sharpened I was stropping and using wine corks to remove burrs. Good techniques, but not terribly difficult to get a grip on once you've had them explained to you.

For me, it's all about muscle memory. Keeping a more consistent angle and smoother, evener strokes definitely took things up a notch. I would also say that for a long time I was overworking my knives every time I hit the stones, far too many strokes on each stone and really I was using low grit stones every time that simply weren't needed.

From that point it's all been marginal progression, which I expect will continue for the next 10-20 years or so. I've been meaning to pick up a loupe sometime, which I'm hoping will be educational.
 

Eamon Burke

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By popping it, I meant if you can put your finger on the stone, and fit against the edge, and lift it to create a popping sound, you are catching on the edge, the therefore not hitting it against the stone at that angle. This can help to find the real edge, and alternately to ensure that you are abrading the shoulder.

I've been thinking on this subject more though, and I really figured out what my one thing was:
Sharpen in a quiet place. Listening to the sound is as important to my sharpening as smelling food is to my cooking. Doesn't have to be zen-like silence, but if I can't hear it, I'll screw it up.
 

Dave Martell

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I've been thinking on this subject more though, and I really figured out what my one thing was:
Sharpen in a quiet place. Listening to the sound is as important to my sharpening as smelling food is to my cooking. Doesn't have to be zen-like silence, but if I can't hear it, I'll screw it up.

Good point here, I always forget to mention how important this is to me as well. Back when I first started I would crank up the music and go to town but one day when I didn't have the music on I noticed that I could hear fluctuations in the grinding sound and guess what it turned out I was hearing the changing of the angle I was sharpening at. I started to pay more attention to this and then I slowed down as a result which was also a plus.
 

heirkb

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I'm totally new and still not even close to good at sharpening, but there is one thing that helped me a lot so far and it's already been mentioned. Slowing down and paying attention to my strokes gave me a much better edge than when I went quickly and hoped the angle was consistent. I slowed down to the speed that Salty uses in some of his videos and got a nice edge just as quickly as he seems to (except his edges are still better). I was pretty surprised how little time I needed on the stones. That might have also been because of the Gesshin 2k, which cuts FAST.
 

chefofthefuture

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Slowing down and being very detail orientated, rather than try to rush through it to get "get it done." Also, stropping and proper burr removal made my knives insanely sharp.
 

Michael Rader

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Caring. Curiosity.

I used to think cutting some cardboard was enough for my knives, and then it's in the box to the customer. Now, and partly due to Carter's video, I am really curious about what "sharp" really is and am paying lots more attention. This forum is really helping too - especially all the threads on stropping.
-M
 

Dave Martell

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Michael, they're picky bastids' with their edges, it's good that you care to re-think what you're doing even if you're doing things perfect.
 

tk59

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I'm totally new and still not even close to good at sharpening, but there is one thing that helped me a lot so far and it's already been mentioned. Slowing down and paying attention to my strokes gave me a much better edge than when I went quickly and hoped the angle was consistent. I slowed down to the speed that Salty uses in some of his videos and got a nice edge just as quickly as he seems to (except his edges are still better). I was pretty surprised how little time I needed on the stones. That might have also been because of the Gesshin 2k, which cuts FAST.
Salty's vids did the same for me, too. About the time on the stones, comment. I find I get much better edges for cutting food if I DON'T completely polish out the scratches from the previous stone, this is especially important for the 1k stone scratches and I verified it by inspecting Salty's edges under magnification. I laughed when I saw the thread from KF about the Addict sharpening and one poster used maybe 15 steps to put his edge on (or something like that). I mentioned he would want some bite and he said his sub-micron diamond and cbn stropping would give his edge bite. While that's true, it really doesn't take too long to wear down such tiny scratches. The bite on those edges would likely not last more than a few minutes with some moderate board contact.
 

JohnnyChance

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Salty's vids did the same for me, too. About the time on the stones, comment. I find I get much better edges for cutting food if I DON'T completely polish out the scratches from the previous stone, this is especially important for the 1k stone scratches and I verified it by inspecting Salty's edges under magnification. I laughed when I saw the thread from KF about the Addict sharpening and one poster used maybe 15 steps to put his edge on (or something like that). I mentioned he would want some bite and he said his sub-micron diamond and cbn stropping would give his edge bite. While that's true, it really doesn't take too long to wear down such tiny scratches. The bite on those edges would likely not last more than a few minutes with some moderate board contact.
I saw that. I think he went from 200-10000 grit using stone jumps of 500 or less all the way up. He was on an edge pro though. Probably took him an hour. Each stone takes at least 5 minutes not counting setup time.
 

Dave Martell

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I just saw some of those Addict review YouTube videos...made me laugh my ass off. Cutting free hanging toilet paper - no problem.....cutting steak - big problem. Now that's some super sharpening job right there, worth bragging about. :D
 

heirkb

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What is the burr removal that you guys did that improved your sharpening so much. Abrading the burr until there is not much left and then running it through/stropping on something somewhat abrasive (like cork or felt)?
 

tk59

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The most amazing edge (for food) that I've ever experienced was sharpened the following way by a friend of mine:
Normal sharpening procedure with a burr, etc. Then, grind at a 90 deg angle, destroying the edge. Then grinding it back to a sharp edge. I swear that thing lasted forever on an edge grain bamboo board, no less and it was a Glestain! (58 hrc?)
 

JohnnyChance

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The most amazing edge (for food) that I've ever experienced was sharpened the following way by a friend of mine:
Normal sharpening procedure with a burr, etc. Then, grind at a 90 deg angle, destroying the edge. Then grinding it back to a sharp edge. I swear that thing lasted forever on an edge grain bamboo board, no less and it was a Glestain! (58 hrc?)
Grind how much? Like one light draw across the surface of a high grit stone as if you were deburring in cork? Done any testing on this yet? I actually just did this on a knife I got that I thought had a significant wire edge, very light draw, and then tried to bring it back on a strop. Was able to bring it back, not sure if the wire is gone or how the edge will hold up yet.

The grind would all be for naught if when resharpening you create a wire edge again.
 

tk59

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Grind how much? Like one light draw across the surface of a high grit stone as if you were deburring in cork? Done any testing on this yet? I actually just did this on a knife I got that I thought had a significant wire edge, very light draw, and then tried to bring it back on a strop. Was able to bring it back, not sure if the wire is gone or how the edge will hold up yet.

The grind would all be for naught if when resharpening you create a wire edge again.
No idea. I wasn't looking the whole time. I was making dinner or something and I just wanted to check out his edges (at the time, I'm sure I had wire edge issues, esp. with that knife). I didn't even know that's what he did to it until he posted the method months later on Rockbox's old site. I'm sure it wasn't a lot of grinding though. I guess I never asked because I still can't bring myself to do that to an edge.
 

Eamon Burke

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I saw that. I think he went from 200-10000 grit using stone jumps of 500 or less all the way up. He was on an edge pro though. Probably took him an hour. Each stone takes at least 5 minutes not counting setup time.
Took him 2 hours! For one knife!

Sure is pretty but sheesh.
 

Cadillac J

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I just saw some of those Addict review YouTube videos...made me laugh my ass off. Cutting free hanging toilet paper - no problem.....cutting steak - big problem. Now that's some super sharpening job right there, worth bragging about. :D
Yeah, it's become amateur hour over there.

I'm not trying to judge or be overly critical, as people can post whatever videos they want if it makes them happy. But to the newbies starting out and trying to learn, there isn't much left to look up to anymore. Kind of sad, considering it was the place where it all started for most of us.
 

Cadillac J

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Oh, forgot to add my contribution to this thread.

I remember my 'ah-ha' moment, aside from deburring. Mine was actually using more pressure(opposite of majority) and getting my fingers as close to the edge as possible when sharpening, and feeling/listening for feedback. <--last part is key.

Sharpening should be fluent, consistent and smooth for the most part. As time goes on, your hands just adjust naturally on the fly to all of the feedback you see, feel and hear. Once you get to this point, it is all about refining the techniques that work for you.
 
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