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Thread: Knife Sharpening, (How to) my OCD habit

  1. #1
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    Knife Sharpening, (How to) my OCD habit

    Morning all, I come seeking advice. I can’t help it, and I have to own, and use, sharp knives! I am struggling to achieve a level of comfort with my OCD. Whilst I am sure there are experts among us, already adjusting to a face-palm pose, please bear with my amateur language and requests for knowledge.

    So my question is this; what is the best method (and equipment required) to achieve a realistic edge on Kitchen knives made of X50 steel. I should add I currently use a steel (suited to X50 steel), and 10-degree angle.

    Help!

    Best,
    Simon

  2. #2
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Up until recently I have used a Lansky Kit with reasonable success.

    But - have invested in a Chef’s Choice electric sharpener - which is brilliant!

    I don’t think I paid as much as £160 though. It is 240v and has UK flat-pin plug fitted.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chefs-Cho...72.m2749.l2649

    Now - all my knives have fantastic edges - passing the ‘ripe tomato test’.

  3. #3
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    I recently bought a Lansky deluxe kit from here. Currently out of stock but worth waiting for at their price. All of my kitchen knives, Leatherman tools and Victorinox pocket knives are now shaving sharp, even my little Micra. Look at some videos to understand what you are trying to achieve with the burr, lots on Youtube. Also buy a strop, which makes quite a difference. Once you get the bevel at the correct angle and get the blade sharp all that's needed is a light touch up with the finest stone and the strop to keep it sharp. The process takes a little practice, but the skill soon comes.
    Last edited by magirus; 28th October 2020 at 12:16.

  4. #4
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    The best way to sharpen knives is using good quality Japanese whetstones. Obviously when you start you're going to make a complete hash of it, so best to get hold of some old knives to practice on first to master the technique, but once mastered all other systems don't even come close.

    I find this guy's Youtube channel useful:

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOluHMoKJ6CrS0kcybhaThg

  5. #5
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    Interesting responses, thanks! I do lust after the skills required for using a wet stone, predictable results followed my attempts to master said "art".

    Would you use a steel to maintain the knife-edge on a daily basis?

  6. #6
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    I’ve had most sharpening guided systems,still use a DMT ,Cant go wrong for the money.

  7. #7
    Steels don’t sharpen blades, they just reset dinks in the edge, they’re no where near fine enough to sharpen. The only way to do it to an ocd level is with a couple of stones. You don’t need to spend much, just get a double sided one, something like a 1000/6000 and practice, practice, practice!

  8. #8
    Oh, and as Magirus says, buy a strop. That’s what you’ll touch up with on a regular basis. Forget the steel.

  9. #9
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    Either freehand with sharpening stones or diamond stones or with a DMT Aligner kit which is easier to get good results.

    From my experience very good stones are very expensive, i use naniwa chosera and DMT diamond stones which are not cheap.

    But most of the time i use the DMT Aligner kit because i just never got the hang of freehand myself.

    Also make or but a leather strop with good leather.

    I just buy leather and glue it on to wood and use menzerna polishing compounds on it ( much cheaper than " knife stropping compounds " and do the same job.

    youtube has thousands of knife sharpening videos probably

  10. #10
    Craftsman Nytol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Up until recently I have used a Lansky Kit with reasonable success.

    But - have invested in a Chef’s Choice electric sharpener - which is brilliant!

    I don’t think I paid as much as £160 though. It is 240v and has UK flat-pin plug fitted.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chefs-Cho...72.m2749.l2649

    Now - all my knives have fantastic edges - passing the ‘ripe tomato test’.
    100%

    After seeing the comparison tests on 'America's Test Kitchen', I bought one, and have been very pleased with it on my semi expensive Japanese knives.

    Using this every few months with honing in between keeps the edges beautifully sharp.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Nytol View Post
    100%

    After seeing the comparison tests on 'America's Test Kitchen', I bought one, and have been very pleased with it on my semi expensive Japanese knives.

    Using this every few months with honing in between keeps the edges beautifully sharp.
    I tried to buy one of these the last time they were mentioned on the forum. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive. At the moment I use a grinder freehand, which is OK, but it's not stable and I'm not great at using it.

    Loads of places in the UK have it in stock now, so I've just ordered one.

  12. #12
    Master MakeColdplayHistory's Avatar
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    Ooh... can I join this thread? I don't have OCD but do like to have sharp kitchen knives. In fact dull knives really annoy me.

    We had our kitchen done up a few years ago and I bought a nice looking knife block full of nice looking knives. The steel have a lot of letters and numbers etched on them which I've since found out mean that they're a steel type that can be sharpened to a very sharp edge but will lose it quickly (if my memory is correct. I bought an knife-sharpener thingy from eBay or Amazon that I pull the knife through using slots 1 only, 1 and 2 or all three depending on how much sharpening is needed. This worked well at first but less so now. I'm actually wondering if the friction parts of this have worn (either smoothed or changed shape) with use.

    Anyway I'll be reading the thread and am looking for something that will easily sharpen any knife to a good sharp edge.

  13. #13
    Master MakeColdplayHistory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzodog View Post
    I’ve had most sharpening guided systems,still use a DMT ,Cant go wrong for the money.
    What is a DMT?

  14. #14
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    I use something like this below, and find that it doesn't really do very much, although the knives get a bit sharper, but never like new.

    I feel like I'm doing it wrong. There's a lot of friction and I worry I'm blunting rather than sharpening them.



    I'd like a better system, so will watch this thread with interest (but my TKMaxx kitchen knives certainly dont need the full on stone / hand sharpening treatment which also seems like a pain in the bum!)

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MakeColdplayHistory View Post
    Anyway I'll be reading the thread and am looking for something that will easily sharpen any knife to a good sharp edge.
    I have a knackered set of knives in a block. I'll run them through the 1520 when it arrives and share the results here.

  16. #16
    Master MakeColdplayHistory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ach5 View Post
    I use something like this below, and find that it doesn't really do very much, although the knives get a bit sharper, but never like new.

    I feel like I'm doing it wrong. There's a lot of friction and I worry I'm blunting rather than sharpening them.

    That's the kind of thing I use at the moment but mine's got three slots - I guess rough/medium/smooth. With a really dull knife I'd work from rough to smooth. With something that just needs a tickle I'd run it through the smooth. Mine has definitely become less effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by ach5 View Post
    I'd like a better system, so will watch this thread with interest (but my TKMaxx kitchen knives certainly dont need the full on stone / hand sharpening treatment which also seems like a pain in the bum!)
    Yes, I want sharp knives but I don't want to be a knife sharpening nerd.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakeColdplayHistory View Post
    What is a DMT?
    It’s a guided sharpening system,holds a consistent angle on the blade.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    Loads of places in the UK have it in stock now, so I've just ordered one.
    I've just ordered one also.

    Been using the recommended sharpener GS440 on my Global knivers for years now but always felt the edge didn't last very long (even when I've replaced the ceramic wheels) so it'll be interesting to compare.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  19. #19
    We have Global knives, literally last weekend I bought a steel, now I'm looking for a good tutorial into the best way of using it.

    I bought this one https://www.procook.co.uk/product/pr...YaAiEPEALw_wcB

  20. #20
    Master bobbee's Avatar
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    A quality oil/whetstone, and several metal wedges of varying degrees of angle to hold the blade against when sharpening to hold it at the correct angle is all you need.
    Oh, and a decent video to watch.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakeColdplayHistory View Post
    That's the kind of thing I use at the moment but mine's got three slots - I guess rough/medium/smooth. With a really dull knife I'd work from rough to smooth. With something that just needs a tickle I'd run it through the smooth. Mine has definitely become less effective.
    How hard do you press the knife? I put reasonable pressure on mine so I get 'feedback' but I have read online that 'the weight of the knife' is enough, but when I do that, literally nothing happens. Should I be very firm with it?

  22. #22
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Oil and a whetstone works for me, although it took a bit of practice. Worth trying on an old knife as I think you get better results.

  23. #23
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    To be honest it depends how much time you're prepared to spend on sharpening. For the home user who has access to some kind of workbench then the Lansky or similar types of systems give the best consistent results, but like anything practice makes perfect.

    For most people sharpening gadgets like the one ach5 showed will suffice.

    Japanese Waterstones are fine if sharpening is your hobby (it does take time and patience) and you like slicing tomatoes to paper thickness, or you make samurai swords.

    X50CrMoV15 stainless steel doesn't Harden much over 56rc so is going to be easy to sharpen but won't hold an edge like the stainless powder steels such as RWL34. Up at 62rc RWL34 will hold an edge longer and take a sharper edge, the trade off is it's harder to sharpen (takes longer). Trying to get a razor edge on X50CrMoV15 would be a waste of time because it will lose it quickly. A slightly greater angled edge would last longer.
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  24. #24
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Of course if you really want to sharpen knives of all types then a Tormek is your friend.

    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  25. #25
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    To be honest it depends how much time you're prepared to spend on sharpening. For the home user who has access to some kind of workbench then the Lansky or similar types of systems give the best consistent results, but like anything practice makes perfect.

    For most people sharpening gadgets like the one ach5 showed will suffice.

    Japanese Waterstones are fine if sharpening is your hobby (it does take time and patience) and you like slicing tomatoes to paper thickness, or you make samurai swords.

    X50CrMoV15 stainless steel doesn't Harden much over 56rc so is going to be easy to sharpen but won't hold an edge like the stainless powder steels such as RWL34. Up at 62rc RWL34 will hold an edge longer and take a sharper edge, the trade off is it's harder to sharpen (takes longer). Trying to get a razor edge on X50CrMoV15 would be a waste of time because it will lose it quickly. A slightly greater angled edge would last longer.
    Interesting, so in short, if the endgame is sharp knives over enjoying the skill, buy a system. I'm prepared to invest time, but, I have tried a lot of cheap "Robert Dyas" kitchen gadgets that just tore the blades up and, as some here elude to, stopped working somewhere along the road. What I want (what I really really want) is to have the same edge the damned things came with!! Can this be achieved without needing a PHD or a lifetime of experience?

    What's the hack?

    I feel we're getting closer or perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is a clever Hollywood backdrop?

    All input is much appreciated.

  26. #26
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Of course if you really want to sharpen knives of all types then a Tormek is your friend.

    Sometimes I hate this place.

    I need one of these now, even though I had no idea they even existed before I opened this thread....

  27. #27
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    Interesting, so in short, if the endgame is sharp knives over enjoying the skill, buy a system. I'm prepared to invest time, but, I have tried a lot of cheap "Robert Dyas" kitchen gadgets that just tore the blades up and, as some here elude to, stopped working somewhere along the road. What I want (what I really really want) is to have the same edge the damned things came with!! Can this be achieved without needing a PHD or a lifetime of experience?

    What's the hack?

    I feel we're getting closer or perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is a clever Hollywood backdrop?

    All input is much appreciated.

    Expensive - Tormek

    Cheaper - Lansky or similar.

    A hobby - Waterstones and a tea ceremony.
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  28. #28
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    I was thinking about buying a good Japanese gyuto but didn't know if I'd be able to keep it sharp enough before I got the Lansky kit. However after getting a couple of cheapo steel knives to razor sharpness I'll be getting one shortly. Also earlier today I found an old (30yrs plus) Whitby lock knife in the garage, totally blunt after garden use etc, 20 mins with the Lansky, using all five grits and the strop got it back usable. I think I'll give it a good clean and polish and oil the rather nice wooden scales.

    The kitchen knives . . .







    The Whitby . . .



  29. #29
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    I was thinking about buying a good Japanese gyuto but didn't know if I'd be able to keep it sharp enough before I got the Lansky kit. However after getting a couple of cheapo steel knives to razor sharpness I'll be getting one shortly. Also earlier today I found an old (30yrs plus) Whitby lock knife in the garage, totally blunt after garden use etc, 20 mins with the Lansky, using all five grits and the strop got it back usable. I think I'll give it a good clean and polish and oil the rather nice wooden scales.

    The kitchen knives . . .







    The Whitby . . .


    Just shows what a bit of practise can achieve with the Lansky. They're not perfect but they work if used properly. It's all about keeping the angles constant. Most sharpening done freehand on stones ends up convexing the edge because people can't maintain the same angle over again.
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  30. #30
    I got the Apex Pro kit:


    https://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/...ing-system.htm

    It works well enough, but it feels pretty cheap and I’ve had to modify it to make it stable enough to be usable. I gather there are generic versions on eBay for less.

    I also got some cheapish whetstones, pebbleshore brand which I’ve practised with but not enough to use on my nice knives yet.

    Another thumbs up to using a strop, I find it really helps maintain the sharpness. And being careful with the knives, not knocking them etc.

    I’d love to spend the time getting experienced with whetstones but not hot round to it yet.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  31. #31
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    Sometimes I hate this place.

    I need one of these now, even though I had no idea they even existed before I opened this thread....
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  32. #32
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Complete heresy as I have pro sharpening kit and Japanese stones, but reality is I'll run the Wusthof over the base of a ceramic mug to get 'cooking sharp'...

  33. #33
    I have Naneiwa stones for my large kitchen knives and an Apex Edge Pro for my pocket knives and things like Mora's.

    As OOK says, using Japanese stones is a matter of practice and starting on less valuable knives. But they are quicker than using Lansky or Apex style systems.

    I keep things sharp with the ceramic honing rod which came with the Apex and of course a couple of strops.

    A friend of mine was boasting how sharp his carving knife was, using his pull through sharpener. I took mine round next time he invited me for roast beef. I now sharpen his knives for payment in roast dinners. :)

  34. #34
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    Suggest you consider wicked edge. I use their system and it’s very capable.

  35. #35
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    I use a Minosharp on my kitchen knives. They get good reviews.

    https://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/...20time%20frame.

    Sent from my TA-1012 using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Whatever system you use the secret is to take your time and keep your technique good.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Just shows what a bit of practise can achieve with the Lansky. They're not perfect but they work if used properly. It's all about keeping the angles constant. Most sharpening done freehand on stones ends up convexing the edge because people can't maintain the same angle over again.
    Agreed with this. I can get a really good edge on my wood chisels on a stone, whereas not so good on knives: the difference being the ease of keeping the chisel angle constant.

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  38. #38
    Craftsman Kevin's Avatar
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    I use a set of Japanese whetstones with an angle guide.
    The angle guide is really only much use on the larger knives but it does let you get your 'eye in' and also feel what the right angle is like before moving on to the smaller ones.

    As suggested in other posts I started off with some very old very blunt Sabattier knives that I was going to throw away.
    I couldn't believe how well they turned out. Trouble is I have now started looking at hand made Japanese knives and that is another expensive rabbit hole.
    I already have two money pit hobbies on the go and know if I buy one Damascus Santoku the floodgates might well open!

  39. #39
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    The Lansky system looks great and I have submitted my email to be notified when available.

    Would someone be able to recommend a strop please that is decent value please as they seem to vary a lot?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuS View Post
    The Lansky system looks great and I have submitted my email to be notified when available.

    Would someone be able to recommend a strop please that is decent value please as they seem to vary a lot?
    I actually now see that Lansky do a strop for that system, So I suppose that wound be a good option.

  41. #41
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuS View Post
    The Lansky system looks great and I have submitted my email to be notified when available.

    Would someone be able to recommend a strop please that is decent value please as they seem to vary a lot?
    I bought a cheapo from eBay to see how effective a strop would be, for under 6 quid you can't go wrong, it works very well. When it's worn out I may get a better one. However, what I couldn't capture in my earlier pictures is that the edge is actually polished to a mirror finish, so as I say it works very well, but a strop with better leather and better compound can only be better.

  42. #42
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    Freehand with Waterstones and a strop.

    But I did have to send my favourite global to longstrider this year as it needed more than just a once over and it came back petrifyingly sharp

  43. #43
    Whetstones are good when you have your technique right and Are well practiced. Don.t forget to budget for a true flattening stone for the stones themselves.i tend to use these for tool edges (chisels, planes) using a guide system.

    For knives the best sharpening systems I have come across for ease of use and consistency are from Wicked Edge https://wickededgeusa.com/ for straight edges

    And https://www.worksharptools.com/shop/...ool-sharpener/. For an easy convex edge.
    Last edited by I AM LATE!; 28th October 2020 at 23:02.

  44. #44
    Master village's Avatar
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    Has anybody used somebody like Blade And Butler? and sent their knives away to be sharpened?

    I have a set of knives that are Japanese VG10 Damascus steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59-60. They are sharpened to a double bevel 15 degree angle and I would be reluctant to use a pull through sharpener that would compromise this. I can’t help but wonder whether it would be better to get them professionally sharpened when they reach the point that it needs doing. It would cost almost £50 to get 5 knives sharpened but,to me,that seems a reasonable price versus potentially buggering them up.

    Am I being overly cautious or does this seem a reasonable position to take?

  45. #45

  46. #46
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    Knife Sharpening, (How to) my OCD habit

    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    Has anybody used somebody like Blade And Butler? and sent their knives away to be sharpened?

    I have a set of knives that are Japanese VG10 Damascus steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59-60. They are sharpened to a double bevel 15 degree angle and I would be reluctant to use a pull through sharpener that would compromise this. I can’t help but wonder whether it would be better to get them professionally sharpened when they reach the point that it needs doing. It would cost almost £50 to get 5 knives sharpened but,to me,that seems a reasonable price versus potentially buggering them up.

    Am I being overly cautious or does this seem a reasonable position to take?
    Do not use a pull through on a 15degree bevel. A Japanese knife needs the bevel angle checking before starting otherwise you will ruin the edge. The angle for double bevel is usually 20-30 either side.

    The Rockwell is not too hard but it would make it brittle and tough to work, but an acute angle would give you an extreme sharp edge.

    If you are in London and want the angle checking PM me.

    Japanese knife company sharpen ans charge by the inch. Personally I do my own as can optimise the edge.
    Last edited by joe narvey; 29th October 2020 at 11:57.

  47. #47
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuS View Post
    I actually now see that Lansky do a strop for that system, So I suppose that wound be a good option.
    Yes, or simply glue a strip of leather on the top of one of the stones and insert the rod from the opposite side. Use Solvol Autosol on the strop, it works well. Simply turn the rod around to use the stone again.


    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  48. #48
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    Has anybody used somebody like Blade And Butler? and sent their knives away to be sharpened?

    I have a set of knives that are Japanese VG10 Damascus steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59-60. They are sharpened to a double bevel 15 degree angle and I would be reluctant to use a pull through sharpener that would compromise this. I can’t help but wonder whether it would be better to get them professionally sharpened when they reach the point that it needs doing. It would cost almost £50 to get 5 knives sharpened but,to me,that seems a reasonable price versus potentially buggering them up.

    Am I being overly cautious or does this seem a reasonable position to take?
    This is Takefu multilayer VG10 core with 67 layers. It has a flat grind and the edge has a 25deg bevel each side. You could shave with it, or carve the Sunday roast. :-)

    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  49. #49
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Use Solvol Autosol on the strop, it works well.
    This may come as a bit of a shock, but it's just "Autosol" these days. And I agree, it's excellent stuff to use on a strop.

  50. #50
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    This may come as a bit of a shock, but it's just "Autosol" these days. And I agree, it's excellent stuff to use on a strop.
    Old habits die hard! Called it Solvol ever since I used it to polish the casings on me Tiger Cub. Halogen days.........(actually 'Joe Lucas Prince of Darkness' days!)
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

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