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tk59

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So every once in a while I get in a situation where I'm thinking about tweaking a knife someone else made. I never quite feel great about it regardless of the outcome. What do you do with a "custom" that could use a little work?
 

El Pescador

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tune it up. Bottom line, its still a tool. I got into this "knife thing" 5 years ago because I was sick of bad knives and was looking for something better. Im still looking for the best performing knife still. If you can get me closer to that goal, then more power to you.
 

SameGuy

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The only things I want to "tune" right off the bat are the sharp edges on the spine and choil. I know to use lots of painter's tape on the blade and ferrule/handle, but I'm still worried I'll f--- something up. What grades of paper work best on Japanese steels and irons?
 

Lars

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Not a custom, but my Asai Kagayaki AS gyuto had a very coarse belt finish.
After i refinished with West/dry up to 800 it feels like a different knife.
Far less sticky and the patina is more even as well.
I experienced no moral dilemma while performing the above..

Lars
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Be careful going this route. Sooner or later you will start contemplating making your own. :)

M
 

heirkb

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You know, that's the reason I sold my Shig. I started thinking that I could thin it a bit to see if that would improve it's cutting performance, and at that point I decided I didn't want to have to pay $500 and still thin out of the box. I figured I'd get more for it leaving the "pristine" Shig geometry and could buy a cheaper knife somewhere else to modify.
 

El Pescador

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I guess the converse to all of this is the 270mm TKC gyuto I bought used that someone had "tuned up.". It needed to lose about 3mm from the edge and wasn't ever going to have its original geometry. It still works well but ...
 

mattrud

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I have thought about it. Done it a couple times, not on customs though. The most I would do for a custom might be thin it out slightly more behind the edge. If I wanted a change I discuss it with the maker.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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You know, that's the reason I sold my Shig. I started thinking that I could thin it a bit to see if that would improve it's cutting performance, and at that point I decided I didn't want to have to pay $500 and still thin out of the box. I figured I'd get more for it leaving the "pristine" Shig geometry and could buy a cheaper knife somewhere else to modify.
That is probably a main reason I stopped buying knives.

M
 

chazmtb

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I think that sharpening is such a personal thing, that there are going to be some tweaks. If you are a person who have certain tendencies/wants/geometry for a knife for a specific purpose, and it is a true custom, then the requirements should have been communicated to the maker initially. However, if it is just an expensive hand made knife, that was not a "custom" but have the general steel, geometry, profile that you want, then the final sharpening should be done by you to fit your nees and preferences.

For me, the maker's initial bevels are just a starting point. I usually sharpen the way I want, be it better or worse. It's just something that I do.
 

Benuser

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And your preferences may change, just as the place of your knife in the stable after new arrivals. As long as you don't defigurate the artist's work...
 

SameGuy

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I think that sharpening is such a personal thing, that there are going to be some tweaks. If you are a person who have certain tendencies/wants/geometry for a knife for a specific purpose, and it is a true custom, then the requirements should have been communicated to the maker initially. However, if it is just an expensive hand made knife, that was not a "custom" but have the general steel, geometry, profile that you want, then the final sharpening should be done by you to fit your nees and preferences.

For me, the maker's initial bevels are just a starting point. I usually sharpen the way I want, be it better or worse. It's just something that I do.
And then there is the opposite: those of us who are new to the hobby, new to good cutlery. For me, any good knife is better than what I had been using. It will take me some time before I am not floored by the performance of even a very average hand-finished Japanese knife. That said, it also doesn't take very long for a new user to begin to understand certain likes and dislikes in the field. Because I'm new to wa handles, different balances of different blades makes a huge difference in feel. Likewise, the change in grip and motion habits easily confer the benefits of certain geometries or profiles over others. That's why I said in another thread that I'm spoiled to have the opportunity to visit a variety of specialist knife shops here and abroad, to have the ability of at least swinging a blade around for a bit before committing to purchase. If I like the weight of a Tad but prefer the profile of the Masa, I have a choice to make based on my abilities and preferences.

I can't imagine consulting with a custom maker for weeks or even months, only to have to "tweak" the finished product on my own because I misrepresented my own desires or needs.
 

dav

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I know little about geometry and as another person has said for us newbies pretty much all of the knives I'm purchasing are a vast improvement over what I and 99% of people are used to. But I've found in my very short time playing with sharpening (not felt the need to do anymore at this time) that a heavily asymetrical or secondary single bevel has improved the cutting and sharpness of my knives. I don't really think I'll get to the point of making any major changes to any knife I purchase rather just have a wide range of different knives !

I'm on to my 5th knife after just a few weeks and am in the process of choosing a seond Gyuto not because what I brought initially didn't meet my expectations (it exceeded them) I'm just wanting to experience different makers/profiles/steel. If it wasn't for this site I'd probably be blissfully happy with my current purchases, but I'm sure will end up with a knife collection to rival my tool collection which definately isn't good for my wallet lol
 

NO ChoP!

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If one is able and enjoys turning the likes of an A-Type or a Tagaki into a fine tuned machine, why would one go custom in the first place? Seems like the same people that are renowned for sharpening prowess are the same to tout customs as of late. Akin to Vin Diesel pushing a Porsche over a Chevelle...


Maybe if you install custom turbos and a Borla exhaust in your new Porsche, you're on a whole other level...lol
 

jm2hill

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tune it up. Bottom line, its still a tool.
+1.

I've thinned, removed KU finish, rounded spine/choil. ruined a few practice knives (whoops) all in the bits of learning and making a better preforming knife.

I have to say my top performer is a shig that has been seriously thinned by Curtis, without the thinning it wouldn't be the same.
 

SameGuy

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If I had to think about the same thing as the author of the thread I would be seriously pissed off
Which is exactly what I was thinking when I typed this above:

I can't imagine consulting with a custom maker for weeks or even months, only to have to "tweak" the finished product on my own because I misrepresented my own desires or needs.
 

stevenStefano

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Well I guess your likes and desires can change over time so it isn't necessarily a slight on a maker if you feel the need to alter a knife they made
 

tk59

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If one is able and enjoys turning the likes of an A-Type or a Tagaki into a fine tuned machine, why would one go custom in the first place? Seems like the same people that are renowned for sharpening prowess are the same to tout customs as of late...
Turning these guys into fine-tuned machines, might take you a while unless you want to spend hours and hours on stones or invest a fair amount of money on equipment and learning to use it. If you don't want to do either, why not expect the same level of performance from a custom. The cost isn't that bad if you think time is money. Sharpening something is often not the same as grinding a new geometry into a knife. Plus custom knifemakers are supposed to do amazing things to the characteristics of the steel beyond what you or I can hope to accomplish without a lot of investment.
 

Pachowder

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I think if it makes you happy and helps you accomplish what you need to, that's the important thing...of course, if you are wrong, there is no going back
 

TB_London

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More and more I'm making adjustments to the edge geometry of my knives. This is as i develop a better understanding of what I like, and what works for me. Also new knives giving me a new perspective on the affects of different grinds.
If it was a custom that needed tweaking though, I'd go back to the maker if:
-The knife was different to what I had requested
-The changes I was requesting weren't just to tailor it to me, but would improve the cutting ability for the majority of people

Otherwise I'd be happy tinkering and making the knife my own
 

jmforge

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Hey, you bought it. Do whatever you want to it. Just don't be surprised if everyone doesn't offer goofy "destroy it in any way you see fit and we will replace it for free" warranties like a few of the tactical knife companies do.:rofl2:
 

bieniek

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Well I guess your likes and desires can change over time so it isn't necessarily a slight on a maker if you feel the need to alter a knife they made
You would be right only if the knifes performance is worse due sharpening and not thinning above edge.

But If you got new, or even a "next to new" custom knife and it requires any kind of assistance[even rounding a 1cm somewhere on choil/spine] in order to cut well, then you know...

SO the question is, is the knife well made in every aspect, or not.
 

Eamon Burke

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Hey, you bought it. Do whatever you want to it. Just don't be surprised if everyone doesn't offer goofy "destroy it in any way you see fit and we will replace it for free" warranties like a few of the tactical knife companies do.:rofl2:
I saw a sign at my local hobby shop that read:
Hourly Rates:
$14/hr if it needs repair
$18/hr if you watch
$25/hr if you help
$40/hr if you tried to fix it first yourself
 

Crothcipt

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Saw a sign similar to that for a mechanic a few years back although the fix it your self hourly went to about 500$.
 
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