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Thinning

Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:45 pm

thanks mark!

couple more questions, in your video on thinning knives, what grit of the shapton glass are you using? and what progression is ideal for thinning. also, generally how much do you want to thin the knife?

thanks,

Simon

Re: Thinning

Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:32 pm

I think I used a shapton 500 but save some work and get a lower grit stone. I like the Nubatama 150 a lot for thinning and that's what I use at the shop:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nuba150grwa.html

Usually I will just find the edge (you can hear and feel it with a little practice) and then drop the spine down just a little bit to thin. If you do this you can grind until you form a new edge or you can remove some of the steel behind the edge and then lift it up again and resharpen the edge where it was before. The Edge Pro guys are much more into using precise angles when they do this but since I free hand I just do it by feel.

Re: Thinning

Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:09 pm

The amount you want to thin a knife depends on the type of steel it is, what hardness is it at, and what task are you going to be doing.

For most tasks (with Japanese knives) we use a 15 degree edge as it has the best all-around function. Normally 20 degrees is what people in America and Europe are used to, so even at 15 degrees a knife will feel very sharp and perform very good. On steels that are not able to support a true 15 degree edge (or less) you will "thin" the knife (aka sharpen) at a lower angle to create a thinner bevel, then go back and add a 20 degree micro-bevel on top of that for strength.

Generally, steels with less than 1% carbon won't take an edge under 15 degrees (pending it was tempered properly) and will benefit from thinning with a micro-bevel. Essentially thinning is another word like "convex" in that it can refer to either the edge itself or the grind knife. To thin the grind of the knife you need machinery. To thin an edge you only need stones. If the grind of the knife is already thin then you won't need to thin the edge, as the grind is what leads into the edge.

Remember though, you aren't going to want a thin edge on something that is going to be hitting bones, so basically what we shoot for it the thinnest edge possible without chipping. We tend to stay 20 degrees and above for heavy duty edges, and 15 and under for everything else.

Re: Thinning

Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:57 pm

Also please note that if you're not a great sharpener with stone's....please take it easy with the very coarse water stones. They remove metal way fast and you can really screw up a blade.
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