Higher grits make sharper knives, right? Wrong!

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Higher grits make sharper knives, right? Wrong!

Postby WBcoach » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:48 am

So I stated in another thread that I own a Smith's Tri-Hone sharpener, which is 3 stones--coarse, medium and fine. So I was able to sharpen a dull knife with the tri-hone and I figured a higher grit and a strop would make my knife even sharper. I was wrong, and now I'm in the process of trying to figure out what it is that I'm doing wrong. Suffice to say I'm very discouraged at this point and am considering something like a Lansky system or similar but I want to get this right.

When I use the new stones, the 1000, then the 6000, the edge of the knife seems extremely smooth but it barely cuts paper. I used a homemade strop loaded with green compound and the edge is nice and shiny but I'm missing something somewhere. The edge almost feels rounded. Is that what is called a "layover?"

I'm doing one (or a combo) of the following wrong:
1--too much pressure
2--angle not steady enough
3--knife edge terrible to begin with
4--strop is rounding off the edge

Has anyone been where I'm at and have found a solution? I'm very interested if anyone would like to share their sharpening journey. Thanks!
There are 2,112 different kinds of sausage in the world. I intend to make all of them before my time here is done.
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Re: Higher grits make sharper knives, right? Wrong!

Postby ozzy » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:52 am

It's all about the angle, even with a Lansky you have to set it up the same everytime. Once you have the right angle for the knife and it's intended use it wont be a problem with a little practice.
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Re: Higher grits make sharper knives, right? Wrong!

Postby Thewitt » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:17 am

I'm no expert on knife sharpening, but we were never able to create a satisfactory edge without a blade holder and stone clamp to hold the edge. As you might imagine, butchering 10-15 pigs a week can dull the best of knives.

Now I can trust anyone in the kitchen to sharpen the knives after just a few minutes of training.

It's just a other task now, not a trial or a problem.
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Re: Higher grits make sharper knives, right? Wrong!

Postby BriCan » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:34 am

Thewitt wrote:As you might imagine, butchering 10-15 pigs a week can dull the best of knives.


Curios -- what are you using to keep an edge while working?
But what do I know
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Re: Higher grits make sharper knives, right? Wrong!

Postby Thewitt » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:10 am

BriCan wrote:
Thewitt wrote:As you might imagine, butchering 10-15 pigs a week can dull the best of knives.


Curios -- what are you using to keep an edge while working?


Just a steel - though a knife that gets hard to work with gets swapped out.
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