how do I get my knives to cut like it did out of the box?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Goorackerelite

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
6
Location
Cali baby!!!
So I understand that out of box knives don't have the ultimate sharpness, but I notice that the grind of the bevel of a zero grind and it slices through hard veggies like butter. but as soon as I put an angle on the knife, no matter how low and how much I refine, strop and deburr. It never cuts hard veggies like it did out of the box, even though the edge is screaming and shaving sharp. Any ideas? shoud I just accept this as a fact of life or should I learn to do a zero grind on all my knives to have them perform the way I want.
 

Rangen

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
54
Reaction score
70
For most tasks (not sushi cutting) kitchen knives benefit from a toothier edge. I know two ways to get that; probably others here know more. Option 1: stop at a lower grit, like 1000-2000, then strop. Option 2: use a medium-grit Japanese natural stone, which supplies a mix of grits. Tsushima stone and Aoto are two possible options.
 

Runner_up

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2019
Messages
317
Reaction score
378
Location
Boston
You shouldn't need to thin every time you sharpen. There are certain situations where it might makes sense, but I wouldn't worry about it unless your knife is very thick.

What kind of knife is it?
 

Goorackerelite

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
6
Location
Cali baby!!!
I have a yahiko white 2 KU. Pretty thin behind the edge. But I've had trouble with all my knifes after sharpening, so it must be that I have much to learn. I like how knives cut with the zero grind, and was wondering if there was a way to get that at home with self sharpening
 

bahamaroot

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
1,861
Reaction score
1,045
Location
Louisville, Kentucky
That Yahiko did not have a zero grind ootb I guarantee you, most knives don't. It sounds like the problem is with your sharpening. How long have you been sharpening and what are you using?
 

ian

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
2,862
Reaction score
4,016
Location
Boston, MA
I’d agree with @bahamaroot that your sharpening has something to do with it. However, imo it’s possible that your knife came with a zero grind since it’s a wide bevel knife. My Heiji came with one, for instance. Maybe bahama knows things about that line, though, that tell him otherwise. If you really want that kind of edge, you’ll have to learn how to sharpen the entire wide bevel. Look up some vids on sharpening wide bevel knives. You’ll probably want a microbevel, though, when you see it start to chip all the time. I do like that kind of edge myself, fwiw.

How big is your current edge bevel now, btw? 1mm or something?
 

friz

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
405
Reaction score
162
One possible solution could be, maintain the original sharpening angle as out of the box and do not oversharpen. Not everytime you sharpen a knife you need to go through many grits, sometimes it only needs stropping, sometimes only needs a high grit stone. Remember, everytime you sharpen you take off material, you shouldn't sharpen the knife unless you have to. Try stropping or high grtit stone just to polish out the edge, or a 2 grit step. Taking off the least amount of material would help you to retain the original edge - if you follow the angle the knife's edge came with.
 

ian

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
2,862
Reaction score
4,016
Location
Boston, MA
Yea, @friz makes a good point too. If your cutting experience changed dramatically after your first sharpening, either you took off way too much metal or your technique isn’t that great yet so your apex is not well constructed.
 

ma_sha1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
788
Reaction score
923
Location
CT
Sound like me when I started sharpening, i dulled every sharp knife I had, lol.

Get a DMT angle guide for$20, you’d be sharpening like a pro.
 

Goorackerelite

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
6
Location
Cali baby!!!
Hey Nemo.

My progression is on a woodstock combo stone 1k/6k. I'm taking off some metal from the wide bevel first at the 1k grit, then sharpen at a 10 degree angle on the right side of the knife first: in sections of 4. THen I turn the stone around and polish very gently for a minute on each side. Then I move to a strop at a 13-15 degree angle 10x on each side then deburr on wood, return to strop 8x on each side then deburr, then 6x on each side, then deburr. then alternating single passes for about 10x on the strop. I've been sharpening for 2 years now
 

panda

O.G.
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
7,853
Reaction score
1,993
Location
south florida
youve got 2 more years to go before you even start to really improve.
 

Rangen

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
54
Reaction score
70
Hey Nemo.

My progression is on a woodstock combo stone 1k/6k. I'm taking off some metal from the wide bevel first at the 1k grit, then sharpen at a 10 degree angle on the right side of the knife first: in sections of 4. THen I turn the stone around and polish very gently for a minute on each side. Then I move to a strop at a 13-15 degree angle 10x on each side then deburr on wood, return to strop 8x on each side then deburr, then 6x on each side, then deburr. then alternating single passes for about 10x on the strop. I've been sharpening for 2 years now
Wow, 10 degrees is really low. Assuming the steel can take it, an edge at that angle should go through a carrot as though it's not there. But if I followed that process, I think I'd be really likely to round over the edge during the stropping.
 

Goorackerelite

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
6
Location
Cali baby!!!
I do a micro convex rounding of the primary bevel so that the edge can have more strength. I don’t know maybe I’m being too ambitious?
 

M1k3

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,124
Reaction score
2,910
youve got 2 more years to go before you even start to really improve.
When I send your Heiji back, tell me how well I did and how long you think I've been at it.
 

Goorackerelite

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
6
Location
Cali baby!!!
oh ok I checkout some videos on wide bevel knives and it does recommend that I move the shinogi line back just a bit I'll give that shot. Thanks Guys :)
 

Knife2meatu

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
310
Reaction score
63
Location
Montreal
oh ok I checkout some videos on wide bevel knives and it does recommend that I move the shinogi line back just a bit I'll give that shot. Thanks Guys :)
The knife cuts like you want ootb, but then doesn't after you sharpen it with tons of stropping and cutting into wood... So your solution is to move the shinogi line back?

This... doesn't make sense to me.
 

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
5,041
Reaction score
1,114
Location
Southern NSW (Aus)
Hey Nemo.

My progression is on a woodstock combo stone 1k/6k. I'm taking off some metal from the wide bevel first at the 1k grit, then sharpen at a 10 degree angle on the right side of the knife first: in sections of 4. THen I turn the stone around and polish very gently for a minute on each side. Then I move to a strop at a 13-15 degree angle 10x on each side then deburr on wood, return to strop 8x on each side then deburr, then 6x on each side, then deburr. then alternating single passes for about 10x on the strop. I've been sharpening for 2 years now
How are you measuring these angles? How do you hold the knife?

What medium are you stropping on? If you are stropping at 5 degrees above your sharpening angle, you could be rounding the edge, especially if the stropping medium has some give to it (you could easily add another 10 degrees to the final result, depending on how much pressure you apply during stropping).

Stropping is not really mandatory for kitchen knives. It will give a finer edge if you know what you are doing, but it is an edge that is finer than you really need for kitchen use. And you do run the risk of rounding the edge.

If I strop, it's usually on a hard medium like balsa or a dry fine (8k) stone or rock hard felt. Or cereal box cardboard folded over the edge of a bench (thanks @Kippington for teaching me that trick). That way, I have a pretty good idea of what angle the edge is actually seeing. And it's usually to see if I can refresh an edge instead of having to sharpen again. Or sometimes just to show off to myself that I can cut flimsy paper. Which is fine, as long as you don't expect it make your knife cut food better.

I do a micro convex rounding of the primary bevel so that the edge can have more strength. I don’t know maybe I’m being too ambitious?
Yeah, I do wonder whether instead of producing a convex bevel, you are producing a rounded edge.
 

Goorackerelite

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
6
Location
Cali baby!!!
How are you measuring these angles? How do you hold the knife?
Thank you for your fine questions, I feel that you're actually giving me useful information to work with. I hold it real steady with the fingers as close to the cutting edge as possible with minimal and superficial contact with the stone.

[/QUOTE]
What medium are you stropping on? If you are stropping at 5 degrees above your sharpening angle, you could be rounding the edge, especially if the stropping medium has some give to it (you could easily add another 10 degrees to the final result, depending on how much pressure you apply during stropping).
[/QUOTE]
I'm stropping on a leather strop that I've had for a few years that I use on my straight edge. The rounding of the edge might be something that I can look into. I use minimal pressure: just the weight of the knife without pushing into the cutting edge.
[/QUOTE]
Stropping is not really mandatory for kitchen knives. It will give a finer edge if you know what you are doing, but it is an edge that is finer thanyou really need for kitchen use. And you do run the risk of rounding the edge.
[/QUOTE]
Ok I will most definitely take this into consideration in my future attempts.
[/QUOTE]
If I strop, it's usually on a hard medium like balsa or a dry fine (8k) stone or rock hard felt. Or cereal box cardboard folded over the edge of a bench. And it's usually to see if I can refresh an edge instead of having to sharpen again. Or sometimes just to show off to myself that I can cut flimsy paper. Which is fine, as long as you don't expect it make your knife cut food better.

hmm stroping on a dry fine stone is a new concept for me


Yeah, I do wonder whether instead of producing a convex bevel, you are producing a rounded edge.
[/QUOTE]
Thank you Again Nemo!! your questions and feedback is legendary!
 

panda

O.G.
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
7,853
Reaction score
1,993
Location
south florida
60 seconds on gesh 4k 😆 i figured youd want to do a full progression to check out the steel.
 

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
5,041
Reaction score
1,114
Location
Southern NSW (Aus)
It's also worth re-looking at some sharpening videos whenever you are struggling. And even if you aren't.

I like the ones made by @JBroida (the JKI sharpening series) and @Sailor (the knifeplanet.net sharpening school)
 

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
5,041
Reaction score
1,114
Location
Southern NSW (Aus)
Thank you for your fine questions, I feel that you're actually giving me useful information to work with. I hold it real steady with the fingers as close to the cutting edge as possible with minimal and superficial contact with the stone.

I'm stropping on a leather strop that I've had for a few years that I use on my straight edge. The rounding of the edge might be something that I can look into. I use minimal pressure: just the weight of the knife without pushing into the cutting edge.

Ok I will most definitely take this into consideration in my future attempts.

hmm stroping on a dry fine stone is a new concept for me

Thank you Again Nemo!! your questions and feedback is legendary!

I assume by "Straight edge", you mean a straight razor? I've never sharpened a razor but my understanding is that it's quite different to kitchen knife sharpening both in terms of goals and techniques.

Thanks for your kind words but I'll point out that you'll get good advice from many in the forums. Many of them with much more knowledge and experience than I.

It might be worthwhile looking at the Knifeplanet.net video on pressure control. It might be the 3rd lesson? This is a really useful way of abrading the burr.

Edited to add: if you want to strengthen the edge, you may want to try a microbevel instead of micro-convexing the edge. Check the JKI micro-bevel video. Or you could try @Kippington 's deburring method which essentially uses a 45 degree microbevel to cut off the burr (search the forums for "Kippington deburring video").
 
Last edited:

kayman67

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
891
Reaction score
504
Location
EU
Hey Nemo.

My progression is on a woodstock combo stone 1k/6k. I'm taking off some metal from the wide bevel first at the 1k grit, then sharpen at a 10 degree angle on the right side of the knife first: in sections of 4. THen I turn the stone around and polish very gently for a minute on each side. Then I move to a strop at a 13-15 degree angle 10x on each side then deburr on wood, return to strop 8x on each side then deburr, then 6x on each side, then deburr. then alternating single passes for about 10x on the strop. I've been sharpening for 2 years now
Is there a tutorial somewhere teaching you this? I'm really curious as I've seen similar approach several times and makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

10° is as zero as anyone would ever need. Most knives or jobs would struggle keeping such an edge.

You also make a convex somewhere. Are you making, without understanding what's going on, an axe grind? Or maybe multiple grinds.

You do so many things are have the potential for wrong results, it's very hard to tell what a single one might be. I don't even agree with high pass stropping, unless you go for a microbevel or have an ultra hard surface with stable abrasives and perfect pressure control. I think ruined stropping for a lot of people. And if you do go for a microbevel, high pass is not the only thing required and so on and so forth. It gets more complicated than it should ever be.

How are these edges performing otherwise? Here, all those stupid tests can be useful. Would the knife pass easily and on its own while cutting paper? At that angle, should be a problem holding it not to do so. Would it take mid hair cuts? It definitely should. Would it simply be laughing at tomato skin as hardly being a challenge? Because it should cut a tomato without even cutting the bottom to keep it in place. Does it wedge? I imagine you have tried different angles. Did you get any improvement?
 

Benuser

Supporting Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
6,370
Reaction score
818
So I understand that out of box knives don't have the ultimate sharpness, but I notice that the grind of the bevel of a zero grind and it slices through hard veggies like butter. but as soon as I put an angle on the knife, no matter how low and how much I refine, strop and deburr. It never cuts hard veggies like it did out of the box, even though the edge is screaming and shaving sharp. Any ideas? shoud I just accept this as a fact of life or should I learn to do a zero grind on all my knives to have them perform the way I want.
In addition only to the excellent advices you've got:
I don't know the knife's factory edge, but my guess is you might have overlooked a microbevel. Use a marker and a loupe (8-10x) to make sure you have reached the very edge with your coarsest stone. There shouldn't be any ink left. Believe me, with the naked eye the bevel may look perfectly clean, but the loupe may show you've been accumulating debris on top of the old edge, and the bevels don't really meet. Marker and loupe are a safer test than only a burr as the last may start to form before the very edge has been reached, especially when some pressure got involved.
 
Top