Manaka blue #2 loses its bite quite fast

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Thpp9

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Hey everyone,

As the title suggests, I am having a bit of an issue with my Manaka b#2.

After even cooking dinner for a family of 4, I feel like it loses a pretty big amount of bite. It still grabs on my fingernail, but it slides a bit on tomatoes' skin. I've got another 10-12 knives and I never had a problem with any of them that quickly.

I've tried finishing the knife on Np3k, Rika 5k, Arashiyama 6k, Aiiwatani Asagi and on Shoubudani Suita (I am not listing a progression here, just different stones that I finished my knife on). I stop stropping on leather and now I am doing some light strop on newspaper. I am getting rid of the burr on the stones with edge trailing strokes (I sometimes I add edge leading strokes as well, but it didn't alter my issue with edge/bite retention) and I check with my fingers if there is any burr left before stropping on newspaper. The edge seems pretty clean and I can't detect any wire edge with my naked eye.

It's not that the knife isn't sharp, still shaves arm hair no problem and goes through onions like butter, but it hasn't bite similar to my other knives after performing the exact same tasks.

Has anyone noticed something similar with their Manaka blue #2? Is it me and my sharpening? My stone choices? Or could it be something wrong with the knife itself? As I mentioned, I haven't come across something similar with any of my other knives and that's what makes it seem a bit weird to me.

Anyways, I would love to hear your thoughts and I would greatly appreciate some advice.

TIA!
 
I've tried finishing the knife on Np3k, Rika 5k, Arashiyama 6k, Aiiwatani Asagi and on Shoubudani Suita (I am not listing a progression here, just different stones that I finished my knife on). I stop stropping on leather and now I am doing some light strop on newspaper. I am getting rid of the burr on the stones with edge trailing strokes (I sometimes I add edge leading strokes as well, but it didn't alter my issue with edge/bite retention) and I check with my fingers if there is any burr left before stropping on newspaper. The edge seems pretty clean and I can't detect any wire edge with my naked eye.

It's not that the knife isn't sharp, still shaves arm hair no problem and goes through onions like butter, but it hasn't bite similar to my other knives after performing the exact same tasks.
I would expect that "getting rid of the burr with edge trailing strokes" would not so much get rid of the burr as smooth it into a fragile fin edge, whose smoothness and alignment with the edge would prevent you from feeling any burr, and would prevent stropping from having much effect.
 
Hey everyone,

As the title suggests, I am having a bit of an issue with my Manaka b#2.

After even cooking dinner for a family of 4, I feel like it loses a pretty big amount of bite. It still grabs on my fingernail, but it slides a bit on tomatoes' skin. I've got another 10-12 knives and I never had a problem with any of them that quickly.

I've tried finishing the knife on Np3k, Rika 5k, Arashiyama 6k, Aiiwatani Asagi and on Shoubudani Suita (I am not listing a progression here, just different stones that I finished my knife on). I stop stropping on leather and now I am doing some light strop on newspaper. I am getting rid of the burr on the stones with edge trailing strokes (I sometimes I add edge leading strokes as well, but it didn't alter my issue with edge/bite retention) and I check with my fingers if there is any burr left before stropping on newspaper. The edge seems pretty clean and I can't detect any wire edge with my naked eye.

It's not that the knife isn't sharp, still shaves arm hair no problem and goes through onions like butter, but it hasn't bite similar to my other knives after performing the exact same tasks.

Has anyone noticed something similar with their Manaka blue #2? Is it me and my sharpening? My stone choices? Or could it be something wrong with the knife itself? As I mentioned, I haven't come across something similar with any of my other knives and that's what makes it seem a bit weird to me.

Anyways, I would love to hear your thoughts and I would greatly appreciate some advice.

TIA!
Try using a few more edge leading strokes to the end of your sharpening, before stropping or whatever you like.
 
Thanks, I will try ending with some edge leading strokes. I am always ending with edge trailing, maybe that's my issue here.
 
Have you hit the wide bevels yet? Maybe just do a little minor thinning behind the edge. It sounds like you have good stones for polishing afterwards. And after thinning/polishing, you can try resharpening at a slightly lower angle. Sometimes, you need a thinner, more acute edge to get the best out of a knife. This is assuming you figure out if it’s a wire edge or not first because losing bite too fast does sound like a wire edge.
 
Have you hit the wide bevels yet? Maybe just do a little minor thinning behind the edge. It sounds like you have good stones for polishing afterwards. And after thinning/polishing, you can try resharpening at a slightly lower angle. Sometimes, you need a thinner, more acute edge to get the best out of a knife. This is assuming you figure out if it’s a wire edge or not first because losing bite too fast does sound like a wire edge.
Thinning and polishing it it's no problem. I've already polished it a few times, but the bevels came pretty flat so I didn't feel the need to use something coarse. Tbh it's pretty thin bte. I am adding a choil shot below:
IMG_20220922_183802.jpg
 
Have you used a mid grit stone on Manaka yet?
I sharpened it on King 1k a couple months ago. Kinda better bite retention, but still didn't last that much if I remember correctly.

Edit: did you ask about the mid range stone, to check the possibility of fatigued steel?
 
You might want to try finishing on just your NP3K or something of lower grit. And you might want to try giving it a few more passes on stones to raise a bigger burr. If it's not how you deburr, it might be there is no real apex.
 
I sharpened it on King 1k a couple months ago. Kinda better bite retention, but still didn't last that much if I remember correctly.

Edit: did you ask about the mid range stone, to check the possibility of fatigued steel?
For whatever reason I get improved results sometimes when I just use a full progression on a bnib knife. Further setting my own edge angle and making it more exact.
Good luck troubleshooting
 
Given that's a choil shot the grind there, as you said, is extremely acute and thin up at the edge. Trailing strokes will just pull a wire edge, leading should help I'd have thought. It's a good habit to get into anyway (imo).

I haven't played around with this too much but - my hunch would also be that you'll need to finish it somewhat higher than you might normally.

A f-ed up HT will also, as one might imagine, completely screw edge retention, but you would also notice it being different when sharpening.

Be interesting to hear what you find works once you've managed to solve the problem.
 
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One other thing to note related to my second point above... the edges on very thin knives, or low sharpening angles, simply don't need to be as toothy or aggressive as thicker knives or more obtuse edges. They'll cut things well anyway.

The payoff obviously is... durability / edge retention.
 
Given that's a choil shot the grind there, as you said, is extremely acute and thin up at the edge. Trailing strokes will just pull a wire edge, leading should help I'd have thought. It's a good habit to get into anyway (imo)

I haven't played around with this too much but - my hunch would also be that you'll need to finish it somewhat higher than you might normally.

A f-ed up HT will also, as one might imagine, completely screw edge retention, but you would also notice it being different when sharpening.

Be interesting to hear what you find works once you've managed to solve the problem.
I tried some edge leading strokes on my existing edge. It regained some bite for sure and it holds pretty well after 2 onions I minced. I haven't got much time right now because I am taking some exams for my Master's degree, so the testing is pretty limited for the moment. I will test it a bit more and then I will proceed accordingly after that.

Thanks for your input!
 
Hi @Thpp9, I have exactly the same issue with my manaka blue #2. I have a spicy white (26c3) with which I have a similar issue as well. But my O2 knifes, aogami super and SG2 retain the bite much longer.

I’m curious, what other knifes do you have that you feel that hold the bite longer?
 
Same question as above.

In my experience, stropping on anything softer than the stone removes bite, with or without compounds. Edge leading finishing strokes with very light pressures, less than weight, of the knife gives me best bite.
 
Thanks, I will try ending with some edge leading strokes. I am always ending with edge trailing, maybe that's my issue here.

I believe edge trailing is not the ideal way to finish but I do understand the necessity when you are using either a soft strop or soft stone that sheds grit. What really makes for the most ideal finished apex is using something like a diamond plate which doesn't release any abrasive at all (in theory). Using edge leading strokes will prevent further burr formation but it will only remove a burr (even microscopic) if you use high angle strokes or other means to cut the burr off directly. The soft waterstones are great for AVOIDING the formation of a burr but work less than ideal for actually sharpening the apex as the loose grit tends to plow into the apex and increase the thickness of the apex rather than reduce it.
 
What really makes for the most ideal finished apex is using something like a diamond plate
I'm not sure this matches my experience sharpening.

Edge leading into a diamond plate can be pretty hard on an edge. They’re a powerful tool when needed but diamond coated plates can leave pretty deep and inconsistent scratches. A resinoid diamond stone will usually give more consistent results. For a simple steel like blue 2 diamond isn’t a necessity. I would guess you’ll be able to get a very nice edge with ordinary stones.

For me edge leading is what helps mitigate the burr formation less than the type of stone.

The soft waterstones are great for AVOIDING the formation of a burr but work less than ideal for actually sharpening the apex

I’m not sure where this comes from but this is also very different from my own experience. If it’s working well for you, more power to you.
 
I'm not sure this matches my experience sharpening.

Edge leading into a diamond plate can be pretty hard on an edge. They’re a powerful tool when needed but diamond coated plates can leave pretty deep and inconsistent scratches. A resinoid diamond stone will usually give more consistent results. For a simple steel like blue 2 diamond isn’t a necessity. I would guess you’ll be able to get a very nice edge with ordinary stones.

For me edge leading is what helps mitigate the burr formation less than the type of stone.



I’m not sure where this comes from but this is also very different from my own experience. If it’s working well for you, more power to you.

My advice is to use the waterstones in the way Cliff Stamp advocated their use. For quickly shaping a dull edge back to sufficient thinness at the apex (after a few perpendicular swipes on the apex at 90 degrees to put a small 'plateau' that reflects light to the eye) by grinding until that plateau stops reflecting light.

At this point you have sufficient thinness there to switch to a finishing grit and apply a microbevel to set the apex finish with forward strokes at light pressure. There is no need to form a burr if you follow this procedure and you'll only complicate the entire process and add time/frustration trying to get the burr off. You also may weaken the apex this way and induce damage which lessens edge retention.

Diamond plates will obviously generate a burr but the key is that you only use them to bring out the high sharpness with light pressure and stop when it's at the sufficient level of sharp before you begin overgrinding and forming a burr. They certainly can also leave inconsistent scratches but this is not a major problem overall unless you are putting your edges under the microscope frequently or going for fancy polishes.
 
My advice is to use the waterstones in the way Cliff Stamp advocated their use. For quickly shaping a dull edge back to sufficient thinness at the apex (after a few perpendicular swipes on the apex at 90 degrees to put a small 'plateau' that reflects light to the eye) by grinding until that plateau stops reflecting light.
Ah that’s useful context to understand how you approach your sharpening work. Cliff had some really interesting things to say and he’s influenced my approach. I certainly use what he calls the plateau method to reset razors for a new bevel.

I’ll still advocate against diamond plates for kitchen knives. I think the uneven and deeper scratches lead to earlier chipping and a bit less edge life. But that’s more of a “last 10%” thing. If they’re working the way you like, can’t argue that.
 
Cliff also said he wouldn't use diamond plates unless the steel required it. He also commented a lot on slurry management to either promote or avoid apex impact.

:)

He would also use things like Norton Oilstones and Spyderco Ceramics for apexing because they had similar properties of essentially zero abrasive release. The downside for these types of stones is the tendency for the surfaces to load and glaze unless you take great care of them.

Sure there are things you can do to mitigate this to some degree but it's not ideal and I can assure you Cliff to the die he died promoted using fixed abrasives for apexing and muddy waterstones for shaping the edge the appropriate thickness before doing so.

You can use any stone for any purpose you want but some are more naturally suited to one step or another and substituting in a stone in that role which did not have the appropriate qualities would be a poor choice overall.

I have a 24 Grit Nubatama stone that can be used for apexing and does have a very strong bond but that doesn't mean it's the best choice here.
 
I have been using my diamond venev 800 for everything of late (resinoid). Works well on carbon and high carbide steels. Its about 3000 grit. I finish with edge leading strokes. It leaves good bite for peppers and tomatoes. My blue #2 watanabe holds its thin edge for ages with this.

I have been generally not stropping. I previously used SG4000 plus a loaded strop but I’m preferring the extra bite off the venev at 3000 grit.
 
I have many Manaka blades Blue 1 and 2, white 2 and his Ats34. I can say that the blue 1 is my favorite followed by the white 2. I do agree something about the blue 2 just doesn’t seem to sharpen like the others and I have a gyuto and petty. I really can’t speak on the Ats34 as they are new.
 
I have many Manaka blades Blue 1 and 2, white 2 and his Ats34. I can say that the blue 1 is my favorite followed by the white 2. I do agree something about the blue 2 just doesn’t seem to sharpen like the others and I have a gyuto and petty. I really can’t speak on the Ats34 as they are new.
Interesting… my main complain is the retention of the bite. But as others pointed out that can be incomplete deburring. I have been playing with different techniques and stones to see if I can achieve a better result.
 
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