Sharpening help!

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shauk

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Hi KKFers,

I've come to a 'bottleneck' in my sharpening skills, I am currently equipped with Suehiro 1k/6k Combi stone & JCK 6k/10k Combi stone (splash & go) and a fine leather strop from KnS.

I am able to get my Sukenari SG2 & my JCK Shiki VG10 sharp enough slice news paper pretty clean, but I am aiming to get it to hair popping sharp.

My current method of sharpening is to start with the Suehiro 1k and raise a burr one side then flip to the other side and raise a burr again then moving to the suehiro 6k side.

I then finish on the JCK 10k side with light stroke (no burr as I often gouge into the stone) by doing edge trailing stroke alternating between the left side and right side of the blade (light stroke).

last but not least i strop them on fine leather without any compound.

I have no issues with cutting tomato skin or capsicum but I really want to get my knives to hair popping sharp, while i can get my knives sharp enough to slice newspaper almost cleanly I feel that I am stuck at this skill level and would like to see if I can get any tips or pointers to improve my sharpening game.

I guess my question today is :

Am I doing anything wrong ?
Do I need to get some green compound to get my knives hair popping sharp?
Do you guys raise a burr on high grit stone ?

Thanks guys!
 
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In general, it's very challenging to get VG10 to hair popping (HHT3+), not to say SG2. Probably you should start with white or blue steel so that you know it's achievable if you did everything right (without too much effort).

That said, I did achieve HHT4 on SG2, using a progression of synthetic stones (sp 1000, sp 2000, synthetic renge suita 5000, shapton hc 6000), then Nakayama Kiita, and then stropping on horsehide.

Without the nakayama, I'd strop with sub-micron diamond paste, and it should be just fine for popping hair.

As for sharpening techniques, aside from burr raising and removal, I do an extra step at the end of each stone session, which is "jointing." This is a subtle skill and require some practice, so beware. Basically, you just draw the edge across the stone once or twice lightly, then sharpen both sides for a few strokes, feel the edge with you fingers to see if its scary sharp, if so, move to the next stone.

Usually I don't need to do this with carbon steels, at least not at the end of every stone, but for SG2 I feel this is necessary.
 

kayman67

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Million billion variables at play.

High grit stones are very difficult to use right. Don't worry, most people don't do it either. You could settle for a lower grit. This as the hair popping is not directly related to high grits anyway.

The fact that you cut into the stone is a sign of pressure and consistency problems. Deal with them first. That is not a sign of clean apex.

Proper deburr before moving to a higher grit. You might just be cutting tomatos with some residual burrs or/and some jagged structures.

Don't strop with force. If you want compound, try some diamond. It's way easier to handle, works with everything.
 

shauk

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In general, it's very challenging to get VG10 to hair popping (HHT3+), not to say SG2. Probably you should start with white or blue steel so that you know it's achievable if you did everything right (without too much effort).

That said, I did achieve HHT4 on SG2, using a progression of synthetic stones (sp 1000, sp 2000, synthetic renge suita 5000, shapton hc 6000), then Nakayama Kiita, and then stropping on horsehide.

Without the nakayama, I'd strop with sub-micron diamond paste, and it should be just fine for popping hair.

As for sharpening techniques, aside from burr raising and removal, I do an extra step at the end of each stone session, which is "jointing." This is a subtle skill and require some practice, so beware. Basically, you just draw the edge across the stone once or twice lightly, then sharpen both sides for a few strokes, feel the edge with you fingers to see if its scary sharp, if so, move to the next stone.

Usually I don't need to do this with carbon steels, at least not at the end of every stone, but for SG2 I feel this is necessary.

I've only got the SG2 after using the Shiki for a couple of years as I felt that my sharpening skills is good enough to warrant for a better knive... but I got to say I was today years old to know that it's very challenging to get VG10 to hair popping sharp!!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

could you elaborate more on 'jointing' ? I've attached a video 5 min mark I see Chef Eduaro doing something I've not seen before.

Also what define as scarry sharp ? most of the time I can feel har sharp my knives are but not razor sharp( still sharp enough to share arm hair)

I've avoided Carbon steel as I feel that is quite a lot of work to be wiping your knife every time you cut stuff and is a pain to keep washing a towel every other day.

Would it be fair to say that it is more difficult to achieve hair poping sharp with stainless compared to carbon steel ?
 

shauk

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Million billion variables at play.

High grit stones are very difficult to use right. Don't worry, most people don't do it either. You could settle for a lower grit. This as the hair popping is not directly related to high grits anyway.

The fact that you cut into the stone is a sign of pressure and consistency problems. Deal with them first. That is not a sign of clean apex.

Proper deburr before moving to a higher grit. You might just be cutting tomatos with some residual burrs or/and some jagged structures.

Don't strop with force. If you want compound, try some diamond. It's way easier to handle, works with everything.

Yeah I noticed that as well since then I've use significantly less force and forcused on my technique and have not gouge my stone since i've adjusted my technique.

These these i mainly use my JCK 10k stone with very light but consistent passes till a see a hair line width polish and leather strop to finish up.

So should I deburr and strop when i am moving in between stone ? would this improve my sharpening?
 
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I've only got the SG2 after using the Shiki for a couple of years as I felt that my sharpening skills is good enough to warrant for a better knive... but I got to say I was today years old to know that it's very challenging to get VG10 to hair popping sharp!!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

could you elaborate more on 'jointing' ? I've attached a video 5 min mark I see Chef Eduaro doing something I've not seen before.

Also what define as scarry sharp ? most of the time I can feel har sharp my knives are but not razor sharp( still sharp enough to share arm hair)

I've avoided Carbon steel as I feel that is quite a lot of work to be wiping your knife every time you cut stuff and is a pain to keep washing a towel every other day.

Would it be fair to say that it is more difficult to achieve hair poping sharp with stainless compared to carbon steel ?

That's a super light jointing. IDK if it actually worked or not, mine is much more brutal.
Some semi-stainless can be as good as carbon I think, but I've never come across a stainless that's as easy.
 

ian

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I've attached a video 5 min mark I see Chef Eduaro doing something I've not seen before.

He's crushing the burr slightly. I guess this weakens it and maybe might make it balloon out to the sides, making it easier to contact with the subsequent deburring strokes. What JDC is describing is kind of similar, but he's probably removing burr with that stroke, as well as other steel, perhaps, but he then sharpens it again before moving up.
 
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kayman67

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Yeah I noticed that as well since then I've use significantly less force and forcused on my technique and have not gouge my stone since i've adjusted my technique.

These these i mainly use my JCK 10k stone with very light but consistent passes till a see a hair line width polish and leather strop to finish up.

So should I deburr and strop when i am moving in between stone ? would this improve my sharpening?

There's a technique where people deburr between stones by stropping on felt, rough leather or some other surfaces, with great success.
The idea is not to bring the burr with you to a higher grit.
This can also be accomplished in various ways using the stone before you move on to the next step.
 

Delat

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Using more than one stone as a novice doesn’t always result in an improvement and can sometimes give you a worse result due to inconsistent angles as you swap stones. You might try using a single in-between stone in the 2-4k range and just focus on getting the results you want there. I suspect you might just be rounding your apex on the 10k, never mind the 6k.

Some guys on this forum can get hair-splitting edges off 500 grit stones, so while higher grit stones certainly help they’re not always the solution to an underlying issue of either angle control or deburring. I didn’t see you mention how you deburr, and that’s also important.

Also general wisdom says 10k (or even 6k) doesn’t do much for high alloy steels like VG10 and SG2. I get great results stopping at 4k with everything, including my SG2 blades.
 

Benuser

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Make sure you can't reduce the burr any further before going the next stone. VG-10 and SG2 are no simple carbons where you may expect the burr to simply fall off at some moment. The burr has to get abraded, as lightly as possible, so it really gets abraded and does not just flip. In that respect a jump from 1k to 6k is probably a bit large for a relative novice. If possible, I would add a stone in between, say a 2k, perhaps just for a few edge leading strokes and deburring by longitudinal strokes. I guess those are the same as what others call jointing.
 
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shauk

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Using more than one stone as a novice doesn’t always result in an improvement and can sometimes give you a worse result due to inconsistent angles as you swap stones. You might try using a single in-between stone in the 2-4k range and just focus on getting the results you want there. I suspect you might just be rounding your apex on the 10k, never mind the 6k.

Some guys on this forum can get hair-splitting edges off 500 grit stones, so while higher grit stones certainly help they’re not always the solution to an underlying issue of either angle control or deburring. I didn’t see you mention how you deburr, and that’s also important.

Also general wisdom says 10k (or even 6k) doesn’t do much for high alloy steels like VG10 and SG2. I get great results stopping at 4k with everything, including my SG2 blades.

Sorry guys I shoudl've mention I run the knives through old wine cork like after learning from Jon from KNI , I will give the jointing technique a go and try some edge leading stone on my stone's moving forward.

you guys just gave me a reason to buy a White # 2/1 knive haha
 

kayman67

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You could give these a read.
 

KingShapton

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There's a technique where people deburr between stones by stropping on felt, rough leather or some other surfaces, with great success.
The idea is not to bring the burr with you to a higher grit.
This can also be accomplished in various ways using the stone before you move on to the next step.
:Iagree:
 

Bobby2shots

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As for sharpening techniques, aside from burr raising and removal, I do an extra step at the end of each stone session, which is "jointing." This is a subtle skill and require some practice, so beware. Basically, you just draw the edge across the stone once or twice lightly, then sharpen both sides for a few strokes, feel the edge with you fingers to see if its scary sharp, if so, move to the next stone.

Usually I don't need to do this with carbon steels, at least not at the end of every stone, but for SG2 I feel this is necessary.

Yep, I do that too from time to time,,, basically, it's what Cliff Stamp (R.I.P.) called his "Plateau method). Stephan Wolf (R.I.P.) also used this technique.
 

jwthaparc

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I would honestly not go all the way up to 10k on sg2, probably not on vg10 either. 6k is more than fine enough. That said. If you aren't able to get good results with just the 1k, then the higher grit stones wont matter.

Also. Think about adding leather for deburring, if you dont already. I like to use compound, or diamond spray on mine. Tbh it just makes getting rid of burrs less tedious.
 

Benuser

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There's a technique where people deburr between stones by stropping on felt, rough leather or some other surfaces, with great success.
The idea is not to bring the burr with you to a higher grit.
This can also be accomplished in various ways using the stone before you move on to the next step.
Agree about deburring between the stones. Stropping on leather may weaken a carbon steel burr, not so much with VG-10 and SG2 though, I'm afraid. I rather use very light longitudinal strokes on the stone, and only go to the next stone when the burr only flips without getting any smaller.
Rough leather can be used to push all debris to the other side, and deburr that one. I do the same with the palm of my hand.
 

jwthaparc

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Agree about deburring between the stones. Stropping on leather may weaken a carbon steel burr, not so much with VG-10 and SG2 though, I'm afraid. I rather use very light longitudinal strokes on the stone, and only go to the next stone when the burr only flips without getting any smaller.
Rough leather can be used to push all debris to the other side, and deburr that one. I do the same with the palm of my hand.
I've had good luck deburring with leather that has 1 micron diamond spray on it .
 

kayman67

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Agree about deburring between the stones. Stropping on leather may weaken a carbon steel burr, not so much with VG-10 and SG2 though, I'm afraid. I rather use very light longitudinal strokes on the stone, and only go to the next stone when the burr only flips without getting any smaller.
Rough leather can be used to push all debris to the other side, and deburr that one. I do the same with the palm of my hand.

I usually encourage picking surfaces (with abrasives if necessary) based on the most demanding alloy present.
 

shauk

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Hi All,

I am still having difficulties removing the burr, over the week I've focused on technique based on the resources you guys have sent through, but I am still having difficulties getting the knives to hair whittling sharp.

I'll talk you guys through my process in hopes that you guys can give me some additional pointers to help me improve my sharpening game.

So I've gone back to my suehiro cerax 1k stone and I get a small burr on one side then flip to the other side and get another small burr all along the edge.

This is where I am struggling, I think my issues lies with burr removal, I've tried the burr removal method on Jon Broida's video using the 'J' technique, running the knife through a cork and Kippington's method, yet I still can't get the knife any sharper than what it already is.

I mean the knife is sharp, it cuts through everything in the kitchen clean.... just not hair whittling sharp.

I had some Koyo Green rogue that came through the mail today and I crayoned it in into my leather strop, this has further refined the sharpness ( best way to describe it is while slicing through news paper it cuts more a little cleanly and does not tear compared to stropping without compound, not that it was tearing to begin with).

All in all I find Kippington's method leaving my edge with more tear compared to Jon's 'j' stropping method, is there any times you guys can give to help me improve my sharpening to the next level ?
 

jwthaparc

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Yeah edge leading very light strokes is how I do my burr removal. Then I follow that with going on to either 1 micron diamond spray, or green compound. Then I follow up with .5 micron diamond spray, or plain leather.

Sometimes I only strop with one of those, but if I want to go the extra mile I do that short stropping progression.

I've heard others speak of rounding edges, and similar problems because of over stropping. I have personally never experienced that though. I think it's because they are using to high of an angle.
 

shauk

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I strop with the same angle that I sharpen probably 3-5 times per side, I'll try and master my burr removal first I think once I've perfected my burr removal the stropping part should compliment my sharpening very well :D.

I think I have enough resource to practice for 2 years, back to the beater VG 10 I go!
 

ian

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Nowadays I've been doing edge leading for most of the burr removal, then light edge trailing strokes at the end, followed by a bit of stropping on chromium oxide (just since that's what I have) or cardboard, then stropping on a kitchen towel. For the kitchen towel, I have one end secured in a vise and I hold the other end taut while I strop. Feel like it does something.
 

Pie

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Hi All,

I am still having difficulties removing the burr, over the week I've focused on technique based on the resources you guys have sent through, but I am still having difficulties getting the knives to hair whittling sharp.

I'll talk you guys through my process in hopes that you guys can give me some additional pointers to help me improve my sharpening game.

So I've gone back to my suehiro cerax 1k stone and I get a small burr on one side then flip to the other side and get another small burr all along the edge.

This is where I am struggling, I think my issues lies with burr removal, I've tried the burr removal method on Jon Broida's video using the 'J' technique, running the knife through a cork and Kippington's method, yet I still can't get the knife any sharper than what it already is.

I mean the knife is sharp, it cuts through everything in the kitchen clean.... just not hair whittling sharp.

I had some Koyo Green rogue that came through the mail today and I crayoned it in into my leather strop, this has further refined the sharpness ( best way to describe it is while slicing through news paper it cuts more a little cleanly and does not tear compared to stropping without compound, not that it was tearing to begin with).

All in all I find Kippington's method leaving my edge with more tear compared to Jon's 'j' stropping method, is there any times you guys can give to help me improve my sharpening to the next level ?
Keep in mind hair whittling sharp isn’t easy straight off the stone. If that’s the goal tho, stropping most definitely gets you much closer.

Edge leading deburring is very effective, as mentioned, and helps to get cleaner apexes with good technique. This does take some time and repetition to figure out and do well tho. Eventually a feel for it develops.


Then strop the hell out of it, compound then clean leather.
 
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