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 Post subject: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:04 am 

Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:10 am
Posts: 156
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Over the past 5-6 years I have been in a kitchen the better part of each day. So over the years I have done my fair share of freehand sharpening. Now the one problem I have when freehand sharpening is keeping a consistent angle at the curve going towards the tip. I have tried different "stances" if you can say to help this out. I just received a green and red brick along with the suehiro rika, and really want to get a better than average on my knives from freehand sharpening. Now in another post I have read about many sharpeners who have an edge pro to see a perfect angle. So i do what a perfect consistent angle looks like and I have looked the see where I was messing up, but when I try to correct that, I do something else stupid somewhere else. If you don't understand anything I am trying to explain please ask and I can try to re-word it. Also when I figure out a way to balance my iPhone to video me sharpening a knife I will post it so everyone can see what I'm doing wrong!

Thanks everyone for your expertise!



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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 7:59 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
Posts: 625
Location: Philippines
i'm no expert or have any experience with sharpening systems but from what i've seen with these systems on videos and from reading a buncha threads......

the weakness of most sharpening systems is when the knife gets too long, which is usually all the time with kitchen knives, the angles may stay consistent from the base to the middle of the knife, but when you get to the edge the angles gets real steep. it's not really a problem for some, but if you're a stickler for detail and want a perfect sharpened angle all the time at all parts of the knife, it gets pretty bad.

set it at 15 degrees, the tip part gets sharpened at around 12 degrees as i've seen being pointed out by someone on youtube.

please don't take my word for it, but it might help you decide.


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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:07 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Franz, that's actually a common misconception. Actually the angle stays constant. I can explain why this is if you like.

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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 1:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
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Location: Philippines
my mistake then ken. i'll just read up on it some more. thanks for the offer.


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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 3:20 am 

Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:10 am
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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Ken, thank you for your expertise. Now the funny thing is I can keep a constant ngle fairly well on the tip with a belt grinder better than with stones! Also from what you explained I have always known the concept and how it "should" be done, I just have an issue with executing it!!!

I have no issue what soever sharpening say a nakiri or petty, the issue is with a suji or gyuto, which is very consistent with the tip issue I am having. So back to the stones to practice some more. Would you suggest I start with say an 8 in chef, get that down then move to a 240mm then a 270mm or just general practice with all my knives?

Maybe one day I will stand along side some of you knife sharpeners!



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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:32 am 
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Franz, briefly, the issue is that if you measure with an angle cube in the middle of the stroke along the axis of the stone arm and then go away from center towards the far ends of the knife, it WILL measure as more acute. Not as lot, certainly not as much as even a good hand sharpener varies randomly along the length of the knife.

But this is the wrong measure. What you SHOULD be measuring is the angle PERPENDICULAR to the edge at each point. By definition the stone arm stays in the same plane the whole time it traverses the blade from heel to tip. Therefore the angle stays constant.

This is a commonly misunderstood issue, ALMOST universally misunderstood.

Now this is true IF the knife is SQUARE, like a nakiri. If the distance from the pivot point of the 'mast' rod increases, the angle becomes more acute. Closer to the pivot point is just the reverse. But compared to freehand sharpening this if an almost meaningless difference well below a single degree. Hope this abbreviated description makes sense without pictures. Let me know. I might just need to do a video on this :)

Drew, note how I follow the curve in the video. Practice this on a cheap knife until your hands 'get it'. It's the same on an expensive or cheap knife. Make the effort to keep your bevel widths constant the whole way.

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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:31 am 

Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:10 am
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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
I do note the curve! it goes so beautifully when I picture myself doing it in my head, now tomorrow when I try this in a stone it may be a different story!

Another quick thought, if I were to put a 15 degree angle (only due to this being a very versatile angle on many knives) on a cheap knife with the edge pro. Then sharpie the edge. Then go to say my 1k stone, would this be beneficial to then figure out the motion and feel of the angle? Not that I believe the edge pro is wrong but would the process work?

Thanks ken for your knowledge



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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:33 am 
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Yea, that would be a good exercise!

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 Post subject: Re: Freehand sharpening issue...
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:35 am 

Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:10 am
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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Perfect, I now know what I will be doing for the next (however long it takes)



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