Intermediate sharpening resources

9
3
Joined Nov 24, 2017
Hi...

I've been away from this forum for many many years...so much so I may as well be new...

That being said...I have a reasonable grasp on sharpening basics... raising a burr..etc...

What I'm looking for is information that going to help me progress...does anyone know of any intermediate level sharpening resources...

Any suggestions would be appreciated


Take care

Jeff
 
9
3
Joined Nov 24, 2017
Do you know the sharpie marker trick?
I do... thanks...I've been sharpening my knives for 20ish years...ever since an unfortunate incident involving a local sharpening service...

I have a reasonable grasp on the basics...I'm looking for something more advanced... without getting into microscope analysis of apexes and the minutia of different steels...I just want to see if I'm getting the full potential out of my knives and stones...

Take care

Jeff
 
9
3
Joined Nov 24, 2017
Plenty of Jon Broida and Murray Carter sharpening videos on Youtube.
There are... that's quite true...I've already watched most of them...

That's not exactly what I mean...I'm looking for something a little more in depth...that is to say...how to refine one's techniques...

Thanks
 
2,848
235
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Oops missed that, but personally don't know if there is anything more advanced for kitchen knife sharpening. I worked for Gillette and whereas there are some esoteric pieces of information useful to know if you are mass-producing razor edges on flimsy/flexy bits of steel, it is still not exactly rocket science.

If you'd like I have done some original research into biomechanics and motor control, that would be the next step I could think of.
 
9
3
Joined Nov 24, 2017
I guess I'm trying to find out...

What I can learn from scratch patterns...what should I be looking for...

What is the best way to progress with grits..skip 1000 at a time...ie from 1000 grit to 3000 or is there a benefit to going through all of them in sequence...

I'm sure there are more...I just can't think of them right now... during a rushed cigarette break at work...

Take care

Jeff
 
256
22
Joined Nov 13, 2011
sure... those are pretty straightforward.

On scratch patterns:
  • Scratch pattern consistency will be what you are looking for at any girt. Coarser looking scratches will leave a toothier feeling edge. Finer scratches will leave a less toothy edge. You ideally want to remove all previous scratches as you move up in girts at each stage. However, if you're looking for a toothier edge with a bit of refinement, it's possible to ignore some deeper scratches as you move up in grits (i.e. spend less time on your 6k after your 1k). Natural stone scratch patterns appear differently, but the gist is the same.
On Grits:
  • More jumps equals a greater chance of angle inconsistency. Fewer jumps means more time at each grit. Large jumps are often not a problem (i.e. 320-1000-6000). Larger than that, you might find it more efficient to put stones in between. For more delicate sharpening, where maximum edge refinement is the goal (i.e. planes, razors, etc), many people use smaller jumps to make sure all scratches from previous grits are gone. These smaller jumps help make seeing that easier, but the entire progression takes more time. For what its worth, my progression is often something like 320/400 grit to 800-2000 grit to 4000-6000 grit. If I'm using some very aggressive stones, I may do something like 150-800-6000, but that is not normal (and that 800 grit stone is something special).
 
9
3
Joined Nov 24, 2017
sure... those are pretty straightforward.

On scratch patterns:
  • Scratch pattern consistency will be what you are looking for at any girt. Coarser looking scratches will leave a toothier feeling edge. Finer scratches will leave a less toothy edge. You ideally want to remove all previous scratches as you move up in girts at each stage. However, if you're looking for a toothier edge with a bit of refinement, it's possible to ignore some deeper scratches as you move up in grits (i.e. spend less time on your 6k after your 1k). Natural stone scratch patterns appear differently, but the gist is the same.
On Grits:
  • More jumps equals a greater chance of angle inconsistency. Fewer jumps means more time at each grit. Large jumps are often not a problem (i.e. 320-1000-6000). Larger than that, you might find it more efficient to put stones in between. For more delicate sharpening, where maximum edge refinement is the goal (i.e. planes, razors, etc), many people use smaller jumps to make sure all scratches from previous grits are gone. These smaller jumps help make seeing that easier, but the entire progression takes more time. For what its worth, my progression is often something like 320/400 grit to 800-2000 grit to 4000-6000 grit. If I'm using some very aggressive stones, I may do something like 150-800-6000, but that is not normal (and that 800 grit stone is something special).

Thanks...

If I might...

So...to up my sharpening ability...and reach the full potential of both my knives and stones...where should one turn...

I realize that focus on the basics is very important...but there must be more than just that...

On some other forums you see endless debates on edge leading vs edge trailing strokes...does it really make a difference...or is it a matter of opinion...

I've even seen claims that depending on how you cut...push cutting vs pull cutting...you should have the micro serrations going in different directions...

I've even read that in Japan some feel that fat content of what you are cutting should influence the micro toothyness of the blade...and if I remember correctly it was the fattyer the ingredients they should have toothyer edges...

Funny...the more I think about what I'd like to know...the less sure I become about what I want to know...I wonder if I'm caught in the quagmire of searching for the ultimate sharpness...I mean at the end of the day all that matters is does the knife cut...

Oh...by the way...I enjoyed your videos...

Thanks again

Jeff
 
256
22
Joined Nov 13, 2011
I think you're overthinking things... the largest part of becoming a good sharpener is repetition and practice. The concepts are very simple, but as you do them over and over again, you start to improve in the subtle things... angle consistency, pressure control, water control, etc.

On edge leading vs. edge trailing, it depends on what you are looking to do with the edge. Finishing should usually be edge trailing, as it causes less damage to the apex of the edge. Edge leading can be helpful in shaping edges. A lot of this also has to do with pressure and angle control. Try out different things and see how they work... that kind of experience will be far more valuable than reading or watching something.

On the different directions of micro-serrations, I've tried many ways of doing this. There are small differences, but they are pretty insignificant in the whole scheme of things. Again, you can try and see for yourself. You will likely come to the same conclusion I have, which is that extremely attuned people may (but not necessarily will) feel a difference, but it will be so small that the extra effort required makes the venture not worthwhile.

Ingredients can shape thinking about edge feel. Fat content is part of that, but so is personal preference, what result you're looking for in the finished product, the outer texture of the food your cutting, the density of the food, etc.

Hope this helps.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom