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Sharpening vs.Honing

 
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Mats
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Joined: 14 Oct 2004
Posts: 503
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2007 10:02 am    Post subject: Sharpening vs.Honing Reply with quote

For the longest time I have sharpened my knives on a Japanese wet stone whenever they have become dull. I now realize that this elaborate procedure is only needed perhaps once a year. The rest of the time simple honing with a steel http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/using-a-steel.aspx
is all that is needed to keep knives really sharp. I have no idea of why it took SO long to figure this out!


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David
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Joined: 09 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Dec, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only ever used a steel to sharpen knives because that's what my parents did and I've never thought of any other method. My sharpening stone is reserved for wood chisels and drill bits.
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DataRyder
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun 09 Dec, 2007 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point MEF.

For about 3 or 4 years now I've been shaving using various straight edge (cut throat) razors which I buy second hand on Ebay. Most of these razors are between 50 & 100 years old and can be pretty beat up. Sometimes they need a lot of honing work to achieve a good keen edge.

There is a big distinction between honing a dull edge and re-aligning the microserrations. Once a good edge has been achieved, honing on a stone only needs doing occasionally. Re-aligning the microserrations needs to be done more often. On a razor stropping with leather needs doing before every have. Depending on its use, a kitchen knife may need work on a steel several times a month.

One useful thing I've learned about honing on a stone is to always lead with the sharp edge of a blade. This is also true for getting a good edge on a kitchen knife. (See the page 2 of the pdf below for clarification.)

(To rotate the pdf hit "Shift + Ctrl + Minus")
link to honing (pdf file)

Dataryder

Edit: I forgot about this honing animation



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