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Micro chips and how to avoid them

Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:43 pm

Hello,

I'm a pro cook and I recently bought a Kikuichi Warikomi Damascus gyuto.

The knife developed some chips while using it. I sharpened the knife to take them out but it's still happening. Any suggestions?

Re: Micro chips and how to avoid them

Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:43 pm

How are you sharpening the knife?

Re: Micro chips and how to avoid them

Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:44 pm

I use a 2K waterstone and then a 5K stone.

Re: Micro chips and how to avoid them

Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:46 pm

Try a less acute angle or adding a micro bevel.

Re: Micro chips and how to avoid them

Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:53 pm

Hello,

Here are a few suggestions. First, send it to my buddy Shaun to sharpen. As I told you I'll pay for him to put a clean edge on the knife and then put a micro bevel on it to prevent the knife from micro chipping on you.

For future sharpening I would recommend you get a 400-500 grit stone. You can use this first to grind a clean edge on the knife. If you use a 2K to start you will often not remove enough steel to get the imperfect used edge ground away and it will re-chip on you since the tiny fractures are only partly removed.

Next, I would highly recommend you sharpen the knife and put a micro bevel on it. This is easy to do. Just a few strokes on your final finishing stone at say 20-25 degrees on each side will significantly strengthen the edge and prevent further chipping. Don't over do it. You don't want to make the whole edge with a wide bevel or you will reduce performance. You just want to do this on the end of the edge.

If you need help with this let me know and I'll dig up a video for you or I'll do one myself.

Re: Micro chips and how to avoid them

Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:14 pm

Absolutely, I'll be happy to throw a fresh edge on it for you. Most of the time on these production edges, if you are getting any kind of micro-chipping, you need to do exactly what Mark suggested and grind the edge down a little bit by hand to get to fresh steel. Most production knives are finished on power tools, and while they are sharp to the touch, the process on removing fatigued steel while sharpening becomes a lot harder. It's not easy to judge how much the edge is "flip-flopping" with power tools and you end up with a slightly weak edge, but still very sharp. Sharpening by hand significantly reduces this problem. This is aside from the fact that Japanese knives use much thinner and harder steel that is not as tough as their thicker Western counterparts.

Normally, we do not recommend going above 1,000 grit to remove any meaningful amount of steel while sharpening. I would highly recommend you get something in the 400 grit range to supplement your other sharpening stones.

But, as is stands, if you want the knife sharpened by me I guarantee less than a week turnaround. :)

Re: Micro chips and how to avoid them

Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:33 am

Seriously - where else can you experience better customer service than this?

Re: Micro chips and how to avoid them

Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:07 pm

:D :D :D
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