There is so much more to knife sharpening than just sharpening a knife, for me there is.
I was asked to write some article for Knifeplanet and hopefully I will be able to share my latest one which was just provided to them.
In it I explain how the passion behind the process elevates the enjoyment level and hopefully the skill level.
There are knife sharpening services that simply sharpen knives, the people go home at the end of the business day and don't think about the "work" until they go back at it the next day. There is a need for those type of services which I will explain but in my case, we may as well be on different planets.
For me, when someone brings me a knife or knives to sharpen, and this happens daily, I don't take it for granted. I'm not the guy behind a counter saying "next". I completely understand that in the majority of cases, the act of handing me a knife is the final process for what could have been a number of steps people have taken. They may have taken the knife to another sharpener and were not happy, or they were but want to get the best sharpening service available so they try them all out.
They had to accept the fact that the knives are dull and they have to pay money to someone they don't know to sharpen them. That person (me) could ruin the knives that they spent a lot of money on or were given as a gift. Then they have to check out my site or do some research, they have to overcome their apprehension and give me a knife to sharpen.
I completely understand this, I'm grateful and nothing is taken for granted.
For me, to truly appreciate the process of sharpening it is not just a matter of making it sharp, I can do that pretty quickly, if that is all I thought about, I think they enjoyment level would deteriorate.
I never forget the fact that my skill is based on many things, it started as a memory of seeing my dad sharpen a chisel when I was young and that memory inspired me to do what I do today.
Sharpening knives on Japanese Water Stones and doing it well is an art, I don't take what I can do lightly, I'm continuously testing myself and setting higher standards so that people are thrilled every time they get their knives back.
Every knife I get is cool to me, I love seeing old knives, some have been rescued from an old shed but is still and awesome knife.
This is the rough side of my precious natural stone, the sharpening side is pristine.
Knives are cool, sharpening them is cooler :)
I think is very cool that people visit my Blog.. So grateful.
I got these two very old MAC knives to sharpen, oldest MAC's I have seen, the only ones with wooden handles I've had to sharpen.
As seen in the top picture there is a significant bite out of the edge.
Normally, to repair that edge I would need to remove metal along the entire edge up to the deepest part of the damage, until if disappears. This would entail the removal of a lot of metal and not only that, it would bring the entire primary edge up into the thicker part of the blade so I would have to do a lot of thinning
SO why not just remove the metal from the damaged part back towards the heel and leave the rest of the edge untouched?
This came to me about 3 a.m.
My plan was to remove the metal painted in red, yes it would change the profile of the blade but the collateral damage to the knife would be very much reduced.
I'm not thrilled with the new look but I am very happy I went this route and I am quite positive the owner will be.
I think it is better than the alternative, i.e. cutting away years of life from the knife.
Today was my first really good experience with a natural water stone, it was one I won't forget.
The firs thing that hits you when you use a natural stone is the smell, the earth smell that rises up and just takes you into a whole new sharpening sensation, it was very cool.
Even though the stone I have is a finishing stone, so very high in the grit range, it does not leave a polished edge that I am used to with stones like the Kityama 8k. I knew this though, this was not an issue of any type.
In the Yanagiba above, the primary edge has an 8k Kityama finish while the blade road has the natural stone finish, the misty, kasumi finish. It clearly defines the area of on the blade road where the different metals meet, the Hagane and Jigane as they are termed in Japanese. (Hagane being the hard inner core that extends to the edge and the Jigane the softer cladding.
It really was a fantastic experience, I will really enjoy using this stone and naturally I will end up with more natural stones..
Finally, I have my own natural stone, it comes after a lot of research and I am thrilled to own one now, it is a Yaginoshima asagi finishing stone.
Now these stones don't come like Synthetic stones in regards to their grit level. There is a grit equivalency and this is 8k-12k. The Nagura beside is it cut from the same stone. I've only tried one knife so far, a Global.
I immediately noticed the incredible earthy smell of the stone, this thing is millions of years old and it comes from a cave or quarry in a certain area of Kyoto Japan. The finish is unlike synthetic stones, not as polished as the Shapton 5k for example but that is the nature of this natural. They produce a hazy, misty, Kasumi finish.
In terms of sharpness, absolutely amazing, but again, I expected this. Edge retention will be improved as well, these stones react differently to the carbides in the steel, or I should say the carbides react differently.
I am new to Natural stones, I have one but that doesn't make me an expert with it of course. However, just having one is something special for me and I truly look forward to discovering what it has to offer especially on hand made knives.
Thank you so much for visiting my little Blog and reading my ramblings.
I sharpened two Zero Tolerance folders with two techniques, one with the Edge Pro Professional (black blade) and the one on the left by hand. I used the same type and grit stones.
Naniwa Chosera 400, 1k and 3k.
At the end, they both had a very nice polish but the EP bevel had a slightly higher level in my opinion. In terms of sharpness, I had to give that to the one I freehanded but they were both quite satisfactory.
Both very enjoyable to sharpen and not difficult.
I use a lot of water when I am polishing the bevels, I make sure that there is not grit particles on the knife that could scratch the bevels. These were sharpened at 23 degrees, well the EP one was, I did the other freehand but I'm sure it was close to that.