How to detect a burr

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ChefKnivesToGo
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How to detect a burr

Post by ChefKnivesToGo » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:23 am

For new sharpeners, I hope this helps you a little.

Burr detection is a critical part of sharpening for me. I view sharpening through the lense of burr creation and removal as I go through whatever progression I'm doing. Usually, it's low stone, medium stone, finishing stone, strop.

Detecting a burr is pretty easy if you're using a coarse stone but I've talked to customers that still are not sure what they're trying to feel. For me I just use the pads of my fingers and slide them perpendicular again the grind of the knife and over the edge. If I feel no resistance there is little detectable burr. If I feel the edge scratching my finger pads I have a bur. I check the entire edge doing this and if I feel it on the entire edge it's time to flip the knife or move to the next stone.

This method doesn't work on higher grits. So I switch to a micro fiber cloth and pinch the edge lightly with the towel and run the blade through it and feel if it tugs on the towel. That's a clear indication there is some burr fragments on the edge and I'll go back and fix it.

To fix when you're approaching the end of your sharpening session, lightly draw the edge through something like felt or leather or softwood or cork. I've used all of these and they work. Then retest on the towel.

If you're mindful of burrs you'll get more consistent results.
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Radar53
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by Radar53 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:03 pm

I also use the pads of my fingers method, but I find on finer grits there are a couple of extra things that help me out, assuming that I have established an edge on a coarser grit.

1) I feel for it on one side and then immediately feel for it on the other. What I'm looking for here is the "difference" in feel. As the burr gets progressively smaller, I find that I can still discriminate which side has the burr by feeling for the difference between sides.

2) I read somewhere, that because we rely so much on our vision, it really dominates our other senses. The article went on to say that when we're trying to use another of our senses, we should try closing our eyes. So when I get up to around the 5k grit mark, I sometimes close my eyes, and psychosomatic or not, I find that it helps in feeling for a burr. Weird I know :o :o
Cheers Grant

Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not going to get you!!

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Papou
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by Papou » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:57 pm

Ditto to both above threads :), also try feel right along the blade make sure even progression..

studio398
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by studio398 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:50 am

i can usually detect a small burr by running my thumb nail along the edge in a combination lateral and trailing motion. i give credit to Jason B for the idea. it works well.
"Have a sharp day"

Quantim0
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by Quantim0 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:28 am

I find it's very easy to find on the coarse stones with your finger going perpendicular to the edge as mentioned.

My issue is finding the small areas that don't break off on the higher grit stones or detecting a wire edge. I can ID it during my cut test through newspaper when the blade hangs up in a small area. I'll try some of the other tips here. Good info.

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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by JoeWheels » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:11 am

Radar53 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:03 pm
2) I read somewhere, that because we rely so much on our vision, it really dominates our other senses. The article went on to say that when we're trying to use another of our senses, we should try closing our eyes. So when I get up to around the 5k grit mark, I sometimes close my eyes, and psychosomatic or not, I find that it helps in feeling for a burr. Weird I know :o :o
You might be onto something here Grant; knife sharpening with eyes closed...!

Radar53
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by Radar53 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:41 pm

Yeah Joe - I tried that and I'm still looking for my left thumb....... :o :o :o
Cheers Grant

Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not going to get you!!

JoeWheels
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by JoeWheels » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:28 pm

A surprising number of kids I grew up with lost their thumbs, or tips of thumbs, working the slicing machines in the deli!

Sorry Mark for getting off thread topic!!

JoeWheels
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by JoeWheels » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:30 pm

Like the microfiber idea!
Trouble is, the skin on my hands snags on microfiber too.

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lsboogy
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by lsboogy » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:36 pm

I've been using a loupe for the past year or so - really good thing for looking at edges and burrs - would not think of going back

JoeWheels
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by JoeWheels » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:23 am

I've always believed using a loupe to see more of what's going on is a good idea.
Lately I've been using a USB microscope for ease and convenience.
There's nothing like a big screen with lots of magnification!

datster
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by datster » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:37 pm

Q-Tips! They work great for very subtle burrs. Just drag it along the edge, if the fibers catch and pull out your edge is not smooth, you need to get rid of the tiny burr or wire edge pieces. :D

studio398
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Re: How to detect a burr

Post by studio398 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:52 pm

thanks for the q-tips! cottonballs work great, too
"Have a sharp day"

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