Troubleshooting - My knife isn't as sharp as I thought...

Troubleshooting - My knife isn't as sharp as I thought...

Some users, after sharpening a couple of knives, don't get the results they expect, especially after watching a few videos where other users are getting shaving or "hair whittling" edges. There are a few reasons for this.
  • Break-in of the diamond stones. The diamond stones, when new, are a bit more aggressive than their actual rating. As they're used, they settle in, and perform closer to their rating.
  • Not sharpening all the way to the edge, is another common mistake. There is a misconception in sharpening, that if X number of strokes are applied, the knife will be sharp. One way to tell if you've reached the edge is to create a burr. A burr is a small piece of metal that folds over when the edge is reached. You can see an example here: Drawing a burr. The easiest way to know you've reached the edge, ties into marking the edge with a Sharpie marker... when you've removed the marker all the way to the edge, chances are you've reached it.
  • Too much pressure. Another technique to pay attention to, is how much pressure is applied. Lighter is better, and its often lighter than you think. It doesn't take much for the diamond stones, ceramics or strops to do their work.


Here's an excellent quote from Geocyclist (from the Wicked Edge forum):
DO NOT be disappointed with your first or 5th knife. A.) It takes 5 - 10 or so knives to break in the diamond stones. The first knife will probably not blow your mind. B.) Your technique will improve. It took me to about my 7th knife to finally say I had a Wicked sharp edge, with mirror polish, even bevels, etc.. My first two knives I was worried I had wasted my money. By knife #5 I wasn't worried any more about if I had wasted my money on the WE. Your first two knives or so should be ones you don't care much about or worry about messing up.

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