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Toothy or Refined?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:39 pm

Should I be using a toothy edge, or should I go for maximum refinement? This is a question many different people have asked and there have been many people with different answers.

The main point of this argument is to figure out whether or not an edge at a high refinement will last longer than an edge at low refinement. The theory is that a toothy edge may last longer because it isn't as delicate; and on the flip-side, a refined edge is supposed to last longer because there aren't as many "teeth" to rip out of the edge while cutting. Many will tell you that this is all "task dependent."

To get the ball rolling: What do you consider "toothy?" Some people consider 6,000 grit to be "toothy" while others consider that their finishing point. That should be a clear indicator that all of this is going to be a little opinionated, but I do feel there is some common ground in which we can all stand.

Do remember, the type of steel (and its carbide size) can affect the finish big-time, so try to remember all the variables when making your argument. Let's make this FUN!! :D :D

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:55 pm

The problem with talking tooth vs polish is that you don't have to take every stone and substrate to it's fullest finish, and that leaves you with a near infinite combination of shapes and sizes of edge formations. It's not really about what grits you use, it's about which ones you skip. Like playing bass--it's all about the notes you don't play.

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:35 am

To me, toothy is anything under 8K JIS. Refined, i.e. truly refined, is 1/2 micron or finer.

My decision on which to use is dependent on several factors, but mostly the steel. D-2 I seldom go above 5K, then go to the strop for a slight polish. CPM M-4 gets the 30K Shapton before stropping to .125 micron.

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:59 pm

This topic gets WAY more interesting when you start looking at natural stone finishes. Take the Aoto stones - natural aoto, not the synthetic versions. And specifically consider the Monzen Aoto. Here we have a combination of not a single grit but a grit that refines itself with use (slurry formulation) and produces an edge that has both toothy characteristics and refinement at the same time :) The edge has less of a single point of failure and tends to last a bit longer, yielding both a toothy edge that cuts meat well yet still shows refinement. It is a favorite stone among (knowledgeable) butchers in Japan.

Edges are very task specific for my personal tastes. This is a topic of endless discussion.

---
Ken

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Wed May 16, 2012 12:16 pm

With carbon blades - and stainless, to a lesser extend - a polished edge will somewhat protect against oxidation, and therefore be more durable.

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Thu May 17, 2012 4:08 pm

As mentioned by locutus the steel is important and also how you use your stone. Once is edge is established on your rougher stones you can skip to a high grit and get a toothy edge with some refinement. I have a Tojiro Shirogami nakiri that I establish it's edge with a 500grit stone and then take it straight to a 5000grit to finish it off. I use this nakiri to slice about 30 tomatoes a day at my restaurant and various nuckleheads bang it around on the counter and it only needs tp be sharpenned every 3-4 weeks.

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Thu May 17, 2012 6:30 pm

....hehehe.....ministef, banging it around the counter creates very near perfect serrations for tomato cutting - why sharpen it at all....???


:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Fri May 18, 2012 1:56 am

ministef wrote:As mentioned by locutus the steel is important and also how you use your stone. Once is edge is established on your rougher stones you can skip to a high grit and get a toothy edge with some refinement. I have a Tojiro Shirogami nakiri that I establish it's edge with a 500grit stone and then take it straight to a 5000grit to finish it off. I use this nakiri to slice about 30 tomatoes a day at my restaurant and various nuckleheads bang it around on the counter and it only needs tp be sharpenned every 3-4 weeks.


I really like the edge this method produces. Refined toothiness is a good edge. Very similar to how Murray Carter sharpens his knives. Stropping lightly on the finer stone ensures you don't take all the teeth out of the edge.

Re: Toothy or Refined?

Sun May 20, 2012 6:36 pm

I should have mentioned that I refine all my knives at home since I'm the only one who uses them. I take through as many stones as needed (My wife is terrified of the knives I sharpen)
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