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Centered Bevel

Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:37 pm

I've only had my stones for a couple of weeks now and have sharpened maybe a dozen knives with varying results. My biggest question at this point is how do I know if my bevel is centered on the knife?....I'M LOVING THIS $H!T....Image

Re: Centered Bevel

Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:18 am

I guess just look really close at it. :P
I've wondered this too. I don't know of any way to ensure the bevel won't creep off center. Using something like edgepro only sets the angle and doesn't control how much of the knife is ground away. Constant checking of burr formation will help prevent overgrind. Further sharpening after the burr is formed will definitely be changing the bevel balance. When I sharpen (which is only freehand) I don't usually count total strokes but I won't do more than 10 passes at one "section" of the blade. My theory being the quicker I work from heel to tip should minimize inconsistencies. I can repeat the heel to tip routine as needed. Also about half the time I spend sharpening a knife is just on the tip.

Keeping an edge 50/50 is something I quickly gave up on once I experienced single bevel knives. Everything I use is right handed 60/40 or more. Ultimately, I have no idea how to know what the bevel is; I only know how I want the knife to cut. I use about 90/10 on my 270 Gyuto and equalize the bevel down as my knives get shorter to almost 60/40 on the paring knife. I don't bother with getting it to some perfect number. If I want more bevel on the right side I just keep sharpening the right side. If I want to center the bevel some, I will sharpen the left side some more. My main focus when sharpening is bringing the edge back to life with as few strokes possible making the knife last as long as I can. So moving the bevels toward/away from center could take months of sessions to finally get the knife where I want it.

This post probably didn't answer your question...So how do I know if my bevel is centered on the knife?

Re: Centered Bevel

Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:50 am

my sharpenings, since i'm a lefty always end up 60/40 or 70/30 or somewhere in between. i too have given up on keeping things in 50/50. lol.

Re: Centered Bevel

Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:25 pm

In other words, if your getting a good edge and it's cutting good, don't worry about it. It's not rocket science.

Sounds good to me! Thanks guys!

Re: Centered Bevel

Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:29 pm

It's centered when YOU know and feel its centered. It's not something that can be taught only experienced. You can't count strokes and even looking at the blade can be deceiving at times.

So how do you know? when you have the experience to know.

Re: Centered Bevel

Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:11 pm

Thanks Jason, I know experience has a lot to do with all of it and that is the one thing that I'm really lacking right now, I'm still working on that.

Re: Centered Bevel

Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:55 pm

Formally speaking you would measure bevel widths on the left and right sides. If the bevel widths are equal that's 50/50. If not it's the ratio. Really pretty simple up to this point.

The practical approach is close to what atang is saying. If it steers well for you, you're OK. Somewhat like a wheel alignment. Some like to convert to a 90/10 (not me). Lefties have little choice but to adapt to a reverse or neutrally ground edge. Using burr formation as a criteria for the beginning of a shift in symmetry isn't accurate. It is simply the ratio of the two sides that you settle on at the end of sharpening.

And as Atang mentions you can adjust asymmetry by just grinding more on one side or the other to shift bevel ratios.


Re: Centered Bevel

Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:24 pm

Thanks Ken, This is one of those things I want to try to pay more attention to until it becomes more subconscious or a natural feel.

Re: Centered Bevel

Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:12 am

It totally slipped my mind! A CATRA laser edge protractor works great to let you know how equal your bevels are.
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