Paper speaks to me

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Paper speaks to me

Post by ChefKnivesToGo » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:40 pm

For those of you that are new to sharpening, I thought I would give you a tip.

Use a repeatable sharpness test. After time testing your edges with the same process and material will give you a lot of information.

For instance, I use 3 tests. I check the edge with my fingers by scraping the edge against the pads of my fingers. I also look at the edge under magnification but my go-to test I do before any knife goes out the door is I draw the edge through newsprint.

I decided to use newsprint paper since we use the stuff to pack our boxes. It's on big rolls so I always have it handy. These days I can listen to the paper as the edge slices through it and I can tell relative degrees of sharpness. Any hang-ups at all and I go look at it carefully under my magnifier and then go back to the stones to fix whatever is the problem. Then I work my way back up through my progression and then back to the paper for a follow-up test. I want the paper to whisper to me and that's how I know I got it screaming sharp.

Ideally, you would use the item you cut the most as your test subject so if you love cutting onions or celery or some other food and you always have it available there would be nothing to keep you from using that as your test medium. Some guys will use their fingernail or they shave their arm etc. Whatever you decide on, use it consistently and you'll find you'll be able to identify a good job from a mediocre one.
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Re: Paper speaks to me

Post by jmcnelly85 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:43 pm

Phonebook paper is another good one.

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Re: Paper speaks to me

Post by ken123 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:54 pm

I use printer paper but agree with Mark. Just be consistent.


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Re: Paper speaks to me

Post by Jeff B » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:20 pm

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:43 pm
Phonebook paper is another good one.
I can't remember the last time I used a phonebook other than testing knives but they keep delivering them to me... :?
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Re: Paper speaks to me

Post by stevem627 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:26 pm

I use pages from old magazines. We don't have newspaper anymore or phone books.

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Re: Paper speaks to me

Post by Papou » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:40 pm

Too true Mark and another thing using paper if you slice slowly using all the blade as you go if there is a dull spot it will pick up at that point and you know exactly at what part of the blade you may need to tidy up .

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Re: Paper speaks to me

Post by studio398 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:52 pm

thanks Mark for mentioning this. i first heard this tip from Ken several years ago and i remember him saying he used printer paper. so i started using printer paper also. like you said, just be consistent in what you use. after testing blades this way probably at least 1000 times, i can feel and hear when something isn’t right. it has definitely provided feedback to improve my sharpening skills.
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Re: Paper speaks to me

Post by Wjhunt » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:06 pm

I use paper towel. If I get a clean cut the knife is sharp enough for me.

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