Asymmetry and how I deal with it.

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Peter Nowlan
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Asymmetry and how I deal with it.

Post by Peter Nowlan » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:37 pm

http://sharpener-pete.blogspot.ca/2017/ ... -them.html

As I prepare for the online sharpening school thing and chat with Jon about it, asymmetry came up. This is a topic I never fully understood, I am not talking about how to sharpen a 70/30 knife, but what asymmetry is for, it's purpose. I understand the Yanagiba, the way it slices, the pressure on the fish for example and I can see that. What perplexed me was how did the makers of a 70/30 knife or 80/20 knife expect us to keep it that way and is it really worth it. I am very happy I asked Jon about it, he put a new light on the subject for me and I became aware of things that I had never thought of before. The whole asymmetry sharpening thing seems to be completely focused on how to sharpen them and that has been an area of contention for some. For me, once I understand it, I don't worry about it anymore but I am very good at asking questions and listening.

I wrote about it on my Blog.

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Kit Craft
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Asymmetry and how I deal with it.

Post by Kit Craft » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:40 am

This is a great topic and read, thank you for posting it. The asymmetric edge is something that has perplexed me for a time now. Not that I can not get it sharp and I have improved over time but like you, I like asking questions. I too chat with Jon about things, mostly via email but sometimes he asks me to call as it is easier. Boy is he helpful, patient and kind! Regardless, the one thing that I have learned is that most of the time I have to let the knife tell me what to do. This is not the case when the knife is no longer performing where it should and as you said on your blog, you have to adjust to get it back to where it should be. For me, I have found that as long as it was my knife and I listened to it for the start, I know how to adjust when the time comes. The problem, again for me, lies in what to do when it is a knife that belongs to another and one that I am unfamiliar with. Worse yet is when you do not know their preferences or the problems they might have or even worse is when they do not understand this themselves. Fortunately this is a problem that I don't really have to face as I only sharpen for myself, my friends and my family. In this case I likely recommended the knife and am familiar with it. For you, however, I imagine this is a much more prevalent challenge.

One thing I would like to point out is that I realize a lot of people who might read my post might be thinking that letting the knife tell you what it wants sounds a little hooky. I don't mean it as a metaphor, though. I am sure that most who sharpen frequently can understand what I meant by that. Moving the knife around on the stone will reveal that spot that just screams "sharpen me here". Anyway, I hope that is clear.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share this sort of post with us. I for one love reading your posts, your blog and or just chatting with you about this sort of thing. It really has helped me along my journey.

Peter Nowlan
Posts: 1149
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:05 pm

Re: Asymmetry and how I deal with it.

Post by Peter Nowlan » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:49 pm

Thank you Kit. I just did one on uneven bevels as well and how I dealt with that.

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Kit Craft
Posts: 4715
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:57 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Asymmetry and how I deal with it.

Post by Kit Craft » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:48 pm

Thank you for the update, I will give that one a read as well!

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