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Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:15 pm

Hey guys.

Got a serrated victorinox chef knife. For bread cutting. Whats best the sharpen this with?

Thanks.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:13 pm

MARTY <> Fast forward to 17:15 on KEN123's video. Don't roll the tips of the serrations over the stone edge as smoothly as is demonstrated on the Tojiro. Follow more of his "deeper serration" suggestion...

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:32 pm

The Victorinox steel is pretty soft so take it real easy if you go with the stone method.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:08 pm

A cotton buffing wheel and some compound would be 100x faster and produce a better edge.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:07 pm

I've had really good results on serrated blades using a technique that Jason B outlined on another forum. It's essentially this:

1. Examine the blade by looking straight down at the edge, looking for reflections from the edge. The reflective spots are dull. On a heavily used serrated blade, you're going to see a reflection on the point of just about every serration.
2. Sharpen the flat back side of the blade, by putting it flat on a stone, and then raising it up just a hair. This is something like 4 to 8 degrees, though a tiny bit higher isn't a problem. The key point is to not abrade the entire side of the blade, but merely the last 1/4 or so of the flat side of the blade.
3. Sharpen this way and check for reflections every so often. You should see the reflections gradually (or not so gradually) disappear, first in one area, and then in others. Keep going, concentrating on the reflective areas, until you can't see any more reflections.
4. At this point the blade probably feels very sharp and should cut into your thumb nail easily. But you may have a burr raised in some or all of the serrations. Use a small rounded ceramic, or something else fine with a small radius to deburr the serrated (scalloped) side. I've used Spyderco Profile rods, as well as Spyderco's SharpMaker for this and both work great. I use light pressure and do a few strokes through all of the serrations. Try to match the angle of the serrations, but you don't have to be too worried about it, as long as you are close.
5. You'll want to check for sharpness both directions to make sure you haven't formed a burr on the flat back side either. If you have, just do some light passes with that same ceramic (or other) that you used on the scallops. Just like sharpening a plain edge, you want to minimize the burr on both sides, and draw the blade through soft wood, or cork, or felt, or cardboard, or something to strip the last remaining bits off. If you're lucky you'll have very small amounts of burr to deal with anyway.

Stone selection: I've used a DMT EF and a 1k waterstone and both worked really well for me, even on some blades that were quite abused. Jason says you can go to 220 grit or so, but I haven't been that brave yet. I'm sure it would be quicker though than the 1k and EF stones I've tried it on.

Using this method I've made several serrated blades incredibly sharp (considering that they are serrated). Push cutting magazine paper with some serrations is no problem. Slicing phonebook paper is possible with almost all I've done. I've even shaved off a few arm hairs with some of these. Not cleanly. Not smoothly. But they cut hair, which is quite impressive (to me) for a serrated blade.

Good luck!

Brian.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:23 am

I use an old 240ish Trizact belt with black compound for the backside. A paper wheel setup for working the serrations. Then finish on two buffing wheels. The harder wheel with black compound then a looser wheel with white compound.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:07 am

This was A GREAT THREAD! What, 4 or 5 posts.?! But chock full of no BS education void of empty rhetoric... until I just opened my fat face. :|

Thank you for your insight, JASON, from yourself & via BRIAN, thank you, BRIAN, for articulating the lessons you've received from JASON, and thank you, PETE, for always offering a level-headed consistency to your advice.

This was really great.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:17 am

I use dowel rods wrapped in sandpaper. Get a rod that barely fit in the serration, wrap it in small strip of sandpaper-just enough for it to not overlap itself and go to town. The angle is the same as the serration bevel. Go until the points have poitns again. Remove the burr off the other side if one forms.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:20 pm

Panko wrote:I use dowel rods wrapped in sandpaper. Get a rod that barely fit in the serration, wrap it in small strip of sandpaper-just enough for it to not overlap itself and go to town. The angle is the same as the serration bevel. Go until the points have poitns again. Remove the burr off the other side if one forms.


This is how I've been doing it.

1) Grind flat against the non serrated side in order to remove any damaged Edge curled over into the non-serrated side.

2) Wet/Dry around the dowel to clean up the serrations.

3) Back to a stone with the flat side. Very lightly grind the back side almost flat against a stone to remove any burr

If it's in good shape step 1 might not be necessary.

That said, this is a PITA. I only do it to knives i care about. Like my benchmade folders.

Re: Sharpening serrated victorinox chef knives (how?)

Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:10 pm

DarkStar makes a point that is important: Doing a bunch of work on the individual serrations is VERY time consuming. In theory it is the right way to go in order to preserve the shape of the serrations, but getting there requires way too much work for me.

The "flat side first" method is fairly quick and doesn't require much special attention. You *do* need to deburr the serrated side and I always do a little bit of back and forth strokes from the flat side to the serrated side, trying to make sure I reduce and eliminate the burr as much as possible. Just like sharpening a plain blade.

Jason has also pointed out to me in the past that when you sharpen a serrated blade, you have to give in to the idea that you *are* going to change the geometry of the serrations. It's going to happen sooner or later and being hung up on being very exact is just going to prolong it and cost you tons of time. At least that's my take on what he said. :)

To save time on the serrated side, just continuously push the rod through the serrations, starting at one end and ending up at the other. This is VERY similar to how you use a SharpMaker: Letting the corner of the triangle rod glide through each serration without stopping. Yes, you will glide over the points of the serrations. But trust me, they will remain very very pointy as long as you use light pressure and a fine rod. As I said, I've also used a single SharpMaker rod, set up in the base, to deburr the serrated side, using a "pull down and back" motion. I prefer to do it by hand now, but the SM works well too.

Three years ago I would have told anyone that serrated knives couldn't get impressively sharp, were pretty much all crap, and were a gimmick in the knife world. Now, having owned good serrated blades, and learned the methods to maintain them, I see them as a very interesting and powerful edge type that can get WAY sharper than most people think. I love seeing the looks on people's faces when I show them how sharp my serrated blades are. :)

Brian.
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