How SHARP??

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Siberianfury

Native
Jan 1, 1970
1,534
0
mendip hills, somerset
ive noticed that many users vary in their opinion on how sharp their knife needs to be, whilst some are happy with an edge that will cut wood and string others cant leave the house untill they can split an atom with their edge.

an extreamly fine edge will not last nearly as long as a duller edge, but it will cut with far less resistance.

So my question to all of you is, How sharp do you make your knife???
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,712
1,327
Stourton,UK
Shaving sharp does me, or the ability to cut through free hanging paper sheets easily. I find it easy to maintain with a ceramic rod.
 

Waldganger

Forager
Aug 13, 2009
190
0
40
Esperance, WA
I have a paper wheel system, which I polish my edge on. I strop to keep sharp between use.

If I have issues in the field I have a 240/600 diamond paddle
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,430
1,975
64
Pembrokeshire
If it is sharp enough to do the job at hand - it is sharp enough!
When I do a "sharpening session" I get my blades to a sharpness where they are capable of slicing free hanging newspaper at about 45 degrees. This is with a convex finished edge...I finish all my blades this way instead of a full flat/scandi with a secondary bevel...as I find this kind of edge resists chipping and rolling best.
I only resort to diamond hones if there is severe wear or damage to the edge, otherwise a good strop keeps the edges sharp for a LONG time.
 

Wayland

Hárbarðr
If it does the job then it's sharp enough.

If it doesn't then I sharpen it on something.

Simples...
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8thsinner

New Member
Dec 12, 2005
395
1
41
London
My camp knife I keep round about or just below shaving sharp, lasts longer in the kitchen on meats and stuff.
For my swiss card blade which I always carry I keep above shaving sharp when possible as it holds until I need it. My leatherman Tti, I keep just below shavng again, I use this mainly on leather and or in the kitchen, So if it goes through a tomatoe it's good enough.
My khukri I keep about the same as it's quite beefy and can chip out if it's too fine.
My SMA, and hunters axe, shaving sharp and it lasts a day of chopping no worries usually more. And I mean all day chopping.
 

8thsinner

New Member
Dec 12, 2005
395
1
41
London
To answer that question myself, I keep all the same angles on my blades, the fineness just depends on what medium I am using,
Shaving sharp - 1000 grit japanese sort of as standard slight touch with strop
Below shaving sharp - 1000 grit japanese clean up on steel
Above shaving sharp 4000 grit japanese, touch up only on strop.
Occasionally I will use good quality paper as my final strop for this.
 

Siberianfury

Native
Jan 1, 1970
1,534
0
mendip hills, somerset
Depends what you mean by "fine" and "duller" are you talking about the bevel angle or the sharpening technique at a given bevel angle? So many variables, each to their own depending on what they want to do.

im not going into technicalitys, just generalising for the sake of the thread, which is about the edge of knives rather than the geometry.

however i generaly find a very thin geometry is a poor cutter for its tendancy to get stuck in the wood, however a very wide geometry wil not have enough bite and will require more efford. what is needed is a edge geometry of 15-28deg imo.
 

Hoodoo

Full Member
Nov 17, 2003
5,302
13
Michigan, USA
im not going into technicalitys, just generalising for the sake of the thread, which is about the edge of knives rather than the geometry.

however i generaly find a very thin geometry is a poor cutter for its tendancy to get stuck in the wood, however a very wide geometry wil not have enough bite and will require more efford. what is needed is a edge geometry of 15-28deg imo.

Eh? Your knives get stuck in the wood? Are you carving rubber trees or what? :confused::confused: I have no clue what you mean by this and I carve wood almost every day with some MIGHTY THIN blades. :lmao:

apache5b.jpg
 

Longstrider

Settler
Sep 6, 2005
990
12
57
South Northants
I'm not happy with any blade that won't happily 'pop' arm hairs. It's not just a csae of shaving them off, it's having them 'pop' off the skin as you cut them, almost as if they were leaping out of the way before the edge gets to them. I consider an edge to be truly sharp when it will easily 'top' those same arm hairs, cutting them cleanly without the edge touching the skin.
I like all my blades to be at least shaving ('Popping') sharp, from small folders, through the larger fixed blades, and even my axes.

Edge geometry differs between applications of course, but sharpness and geometry are different things altogether.

I figure that given enough work to do ANY edge will start to dull after a while, whatever the geometry, whatever the steel and whatever the heat treat. If I start to work on a job with a knife I want to finish that job long before the blade becomes dull. If my knife (or axe) is, say, 10% sharper than the next mans, and we both do the same amount of work then if the knives are equal mine will still be 10% sharper at the end of the job. This will allow me to do the work easier because I'll be using a sharper knife all the while I'm working.

In essence, the sharper the tool, the easier the work, and the longer the tool will remain sharp in use.
Just don't be tempted to make edge too thin in order to achieve 'sharpness' as edge damage will become a negative factor in the working efficiency of the tool if you do so. You can achieve a truly sharp edge AND retain enough strength in that edge to prevent undue damage by getting the edge geometry right for the tool in question.
 

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