Is this a good routine?

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Is this a good routine?

Post by ChefKnivesToGo »

Hey Mark!

I got this knife in December and it is about time to sharpen: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/masatsgy24.html

I also have the cerax 1000, suherio 5000, and leather strop with 1 micron paste. Essentially the same progression your knife sharpening service I ordered went through.

The knife was laser sharp, insanely sharp, crazy sharp, I couldn't believe it. My Tojiro through the same progression didn't compare but I believe that is almost surely due to my technique.

I have watched every video by burrfection if you know him, and that is the technique I follow. In short it is as follows:

1. 1000 grit up and down, going tip to base and starting again, repeat until burr forms. Same thing on the other side, until burr forms again.
2. De burr by doing 13,12,11ect progression strops on each side (13 one side, 13 other) until 1 and repeat single alternating strops several times.
3. Move up to 5000. Not creating another burr, repeat the 13,12,11 strop technique until back to 1.
4. Leather strop alternating sides with compound until done.


My questions to you are:
1. How do you feel about his method, is it similar to what you do, or do you build a burr back up on 5000?
2. How do you or your sharpener find the angle? Is it a matter of "feel" and finding the slip point? Penny tricks and guides don't work too well with holding the angle, and adjusting the angle through the length of the blade for me.

Thanks for any insight you can offer!
Corey
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by ChefKnivesToGo »

Hi Corey,

1. Yes your routine looks fine to me. I use a deburring block instead of stropping on the stones but both methods work. I just find the block is quick, easy and you don't have to worry about wobbling on the stone. I also do not try to get a big burr on the edge after I get one on the first stone I use. I only use the finishing stone to polish up the edge and make it a little less toothy and more refined. I also try not to overdo it.

2. At this point I just put the knife on the stone and it's like riding a bike. I don't check for the factory edge and I don't try to adjust my angle to an exact angle. I am almost always at about 12 degrees give or take and at this point it just feels right to me to sharpen there. If I'm doing something like a Chinese bone chopper cleaver I'll widen that angle out. Also, I will regularly thin knives that are sent to me a little before I sharpen them which is usually closer to 5 degrees on each side.

If you want to know where you're sharpening we have these guides that have the degree made into a triangular chip and it's useful to put your knife on it to see where a 10 degree of 15 degree etc angle is. Once you get the feel for it you won't need to use it. I also don't like to leave it on the stone since it gets in the way. I just set the blade on it and flick it off and start sharpening. You can also do the same thing by printing a pie graph with say 15 degrees and then cutting out the piece to use as a guide.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/anguforshst.html
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by Corey24 »

ChefKnivesToGo wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:51 am Hi Corey,

1. Yes your routine looks fine to me. I use a deburring block instead of stropping on the stones but both methods work. I just find the block is quick, easy and you don't have to worry about wobbling on the stone. I also do not try to get a big burr on the edge after I get one on the first stone I use. I only use the finishing stone to polish up the edge and make it a little less toothy and more refined. I also try not to overdo it.

2. At this point I just put the knife on the stone and it's like riding a bike. I don't check for the factory edge and I don't try to adjust my angle to an exact angle. I am almost always at about 12 degrees give or take and at this point it just feels right to me to sharpen there. If I'm doing something like a Chinese bone chopper cleaver I'll widen that angle out. Also, I will regularly thin knives that are sent to me a little before I sharpen them which is usually closer to 5 degrees on each side.

If you want to know where you're sharpening we have these guides that have the degree made into a triangular chip and it's useful to put your knife on it to see where a 10 degree of 15 degree etc angle is. Once you get the feel for it you won't need to use it. I also don't like to leave it on the stone since it gets in the way. I just set the blade on it and flick it off and start sharpening. You can also do the same thing by printing a pie graph with say 15 degrees and then cutting out the piece to use as a guide.

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/anguforshst.html
Thank you for responding to my email as well as this post here. I appreciate it! Now it's just a matter of practice :)!
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by ChefKnivesToGo »

You're welcome. :)

If you have any follow-up questions please keep this thread going and we'll give you advice.
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by Radar53 »

Hi Corey. One of the forum members, Pete Nowlan has a lot of good videos, is a member of this site, sharpens professionally and for, me has a knack of making the seemingly difficult understandable. You can find some of his stuff here;
Peter Nowlan Sharpening playlist videos <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeU3jv ... 2_OVHOS0CQ>
Peter Nowlan Sharpening / KnifePlanet playlist videos <https://www.knifeplanet.net/knife-sharp ... ne-course/>
and his own blog-site here <http://sharpener-pete.blogspot.com/>
Cheers Grant

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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by d_rap »

ChefKnivesToGo wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:56 am 2. De burr by doing 13,12,11ect progression strops on each side (13 one side, 13 other) until 1 and repeat single alternating strops several times.
3. Move up to 5000. Not creating another burr, repeat the 13,12,11 strop technique until back to 1.
Welcome Corey. Obviously, the quotation above is from you, quoted by Mark.

The routine sounds good in general, but that's probably more stone stropping than you need, particularly in between your 1K and your 5. The goal at that point should be burr minimization, with something like 5 and 5, 3 and 3, 2 and 2, 1 and 1 per side being enough. Even after your 5K, I would use fewer light deburring strokes on the stones before going to leather, letting touch and perhaps paper be my guide.

One more suggestion. Some gentle edge leading strokes to start deburring on a stone can be very effective, perhaps followed by the more typical edge trailing stropping strokes (as on leather, where you have to use edge trailing of course). A number of us here have a lot of success with low pressure edge leading at the end of sharpening on a given stone.
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by Emieloss »

Welcome Corey,

You mention using the technique burrfection uses. I can't argue with his results, but for me it just didn't work equally well. It seems you might have the same problem I did. He does a lot of stropping on the stones. This cleans up your edge and gives you a keen edge, but I disagree with him that it deburrs. I've read a lot about stropping / deburring and the likes on https://scienceofsharp.com. There are some great posts there if you're interested in it.

The tl:dr on deburring is however, edge trailing motions don't deburr but leave a foil-burr. Edge leading strokes deburr but don't process the same amount of keenness as edge trailing does. Lately I've been experimenting with alternating between edge leading and edge trailing and it's been really good! I also use a piece of cork to deburr on. (this often leads to a foil burr folding over on a micro-level rather than ripping it off, but some more alternating between edge leading and edge trailing strokes will help clean it up).

After that I do some light strokes on leather.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by orezeno »

The way Ryky Tran (Burrfection) sharpens is just fine. I'm certain his results are excellent for practical use in the kitchen.

If you want to approach sharpening in a strictly procedural way, and you want to count, then feel free to use his method. It is obvious from watching him that he has excellent sharpening motion consistency, and as a result, also has excellent feel for the edge and bevel while sharpening. In my opinion, if you've developed your skills to this point, there's no need to count passes in order to deburr. You should be able to check the knife and feel for the burr to determine when the edge is where it should be. For some reason, he prefers to count. Again, there's no actual problem with this except that you might take more passes on the stone than you need to before going to the next stage of sharpening.

As to his "push-pull" thing. He's a dominant-hand sharpener. When the knife's edge is facing toward his body, he's doing edge-trailing followed by edge-leading strokes. When the knife's edge is facing away from him, he's doing edge-leading followed by edge-trailing strokes. You need to have developed good feel to do this; especially if your motion is covering a lot of stone area (which he does). If you are more of a beginning freehand sharpener, I recommend that you explore "push-pull" later. Look at some of the Korin videos, or Jon Broida's videos, or Peter Nowland's videos and use them as a guide for sharpening with edge-trailing motion. This is a little easier than leading-edge as you don't have to concern yourself with digging the edge into the stone when you wobble (which you will do as a beginner).

Something Ryky does that is crucial, though, is test the edge through paper. If you have a burr of any significance it will show up as you draw the edge through paper (newsprint and phonebook papers are good for this). His testing shows that his methods work fine.

A note on deburring. If you are beginning, I heartily recommend a deburring block as Mark suggests (or a piece of soft wood). If you want to get deeper into sharpening then you can learn to deburr on a stone. The basics of this are simple. The burr is abraded material that is attached to the edge. Sometimes it is rolled up to one side. Sometimes it is aligned with the edge. Multiple, alternating, light passes with feel focused right at the edge will reduce burr through abrasion. Doesn't matter whether you do edge-leading or edge-trailing strokes. The key skill is a focus on the edge as you make your passes.

Finally, most sharpeners take the knife to a strop for final "clean up". Strops perform this "clean up" by abrading the edge. Once you understand this, you realize that stropping is actually another stage of burr removal.
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by Corey24 »

Hi all! Sorry, in addition to finetuning my shaprening skills, I also have gotten a kitten and am busy with him haha.
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ChefKnivesToGo wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:20 pm You're welcome. :)

If you have any follow-up questions please keep this thread going and we'll give you advice.
Of course! This forum is always super helpful.
d_rap wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:29 pm
ChefKnivesToGo wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:56 am 2. De burr by doing 13,12,11ect progression strops on each side (13 one side, 13 other) until 1 and repeat single alternating strops several times.
3. Move up to 5000. Not creating another burr, repeat the 13,12,11 strop technique until back to 1.
Welcome Corey. Obviously, the quotation above is from you, quoted by Mark.

The routine sounds good in general, but that's probably more stone stropping than you need, particularly in between your 1K and your 5. The goal at that point should be burr minimization, with something like 5 and 5, 3 and 3, 2 and 2, 1 and 1 per side being enough. Even after your 5K, I would use fewer light deburring strokes on the stones before going to leather, letting touch and perhaps paper be my guide.

One more suggestion. Some gentle edge leading strokes to start deburring on a stone can be very effective, perhaps followed by the more typical edge trailing stropping strokes (as on leather, where you have to use edge trailing of course). A number of us here have a lot of success with low pressure edge leading at the end of sharpening on a given stone.
Thank you! You and Emieloss agree on this edge leading stroke concept for de burring, I will be sure to give it a shot in my next sharpening session.
Radar53 wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:13 pm Hi Corey. One of the forum members, Pete Nowlan has a lot of good videos, is a member of this site, sharpens professionally and for, me has a knack of making the seemingly difficult understandable. You can find some of his stuff here;
Peter Nowlan Sharpening playlist videos <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeU3jv ... 2_OVHOS0CQ>
Peter Nowlan Sharpening / KnifePlanet playlist videos <https://www.knifeplanet.net/knife-sharp ... ne-course/>
and his own blog-site here <http://sharpener-pete.blogspot.com/>


Sweet, can always use more content to study from. I appreciate it.
orezeno wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:59 pm The way Ryky Tran (Burrfection) sharpens is just fine. I'm certain his results are excellent for practical use in the kitchen.
.....
Another suggestion for the deburring block, I will take a look into it for sure! My free hand skills have definitely approved since I started sharpening. Before, I used a cheap combo stone in which I developed an okay idea on how to sharpen, while also scratching up my tojiro pretty bad haha.

I do a paper test through news paper/phone book paper every time and I NEVER have anything catch (ok not never but I go back and fix it), and it's always smooth, but I can tell the difference in sharpness between the CKTG sharpening and mine, so it may also just be "learning to ride a bike" and maintain a perfect angle through out the stroke the entire time.

As far as a deburring stone goes, how would you suggest mixing it in to my described process? Between blocks/grits? Would you then build a burr back up on the 5000 then deburr again? Thanks!
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by XexoX »

Cute kitty.
You can blame Mr. Suburban for my being here. :lol:
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by ChefKnivesToGo »

Put a heating pad on the foot of your bed or couch and he'll leave you alone for hours at a time.
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Re: Is this a good routine?

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ChefKnivesToGo wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:29 pm Put a heating pad on the foot of your bed or couch and he'll leave you alone for hours at a time.
I'm guessing it needs to be plugged in and turned on, but what do I know? :mrgreen:
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by orezeno »

Corey24 wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:25 am [...]
Another suggestion for the deburring block, I will take a look into it for sure! My free hand skills have definitely approved since I started sharpening. Before, I used a cheap combo stone in which I developed an okay idea on how to sharpen, while also scratching up my tojiro pretty bad haha.

I do a paper test through news paper/phone book paper every time and I NEVER have anything catch (ok not never but I go back and fix it), and it's always smooth, but I can tell the difference in sharpness between the CKTG sharpening and mine, so it may also just be "learning to ride a bike" and maintain a perfect angle through out the stroke the entire time.

As far as a deburring stone goes, how would you suggest mixing it in to my described process? Between blocks/grits? Would you then build a burr back up on the 5000 then deburr again? Thanks!
Freehand sharpening improves with practice. There are all kinds of nuances that reveal themselves as you spend more time on the stones.

You need a practice knife so your scratched Tojiro will work perfectly. If you want to improve, I suggest that you try to sharpen that knife as frequently as you can for a while. Since you want to develop skill, you want to pay attention during each sharpening, and go slowly. Dull the knife, then sharpen it through whatever progression you have. Deburr the knife and test it with paper after each stone. Keep it simple, but spend a lot of time feeling the edge as sharpening progresses. Feel it when the knife is dull. Feel it while doing sharpening passes (to establish that you've raised a burr on each side of the knife). If you're doing the Ryky counting method, feel the edge after each count-down sequence. At some point, you should not be able to discern a burr.

When you test with paper, go slowly. The knife should dig into the paper effortlessly at the heel, then slide through the paper to the tip. If the knife hangs up during the cut, there's generally a burr or the edge width is inconsistent. The sound of the cut should decrease as you progress from your coarse stone to your fine stone.

As for getting your knife as sharp as CKTG. Certainly, this is achievable. However, you can't gain the depth of knowledge that a pro has without gaining the same degree of experience that a pro has. If you want to keep your own knives sharp for effective use in the kitchen, you can absolutely do that yourself.
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Re: Is this a good routine?

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Corey24 wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:25 am Would you then build a burr back up on the 5000 then deburr again? Thanks!
I wish I had formulated this question so clearly when I was new to sharpening. Super important issue.

So, no, once you've apexed (burr on both sides on a lower grit stone, removed, or at least minimized the burr after that lower grit stone) you no longer need or want to get a burr. After you have achieved that apex, your goal on your higher grit stones is refinement, essentially finer scratches in the metal. Since you have already brought the leading edges of that V together, now you just want to refine. Presumably you've lightened your pressure as well. It's very easy to damage an already apexed edge as you go up, so go more gently as you progress.

However, and this is a big caveat, you will usually build some burr back as you refine your edge at higher grits, so while you are not setting out to "achieve" a burr, you will end up with some unwanted metal--foil, wire, or what-have-you, some "burr"--as you go up, and that will need to be minimized, and ultimately removed as completely as possible.

There are even some methods in which the sharpener seeks to avoid a burr at every stage, stopping at just the right point before folding that tiny bit of metal over--even on the first stone. Some discussion here a week or so ago of this method. I'm not bringing this up to suggest it per se, it's easier said than done, and a bit fussy perhaps, but I'm mentioning it to emphasize that getting a burr is just the normal way to assess when the sides of the edge have come together, not a goal in and of itself. So if you can refine and minimize a burr as you move up the grits, all the better.
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Re: Is this a good routine?

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Corey24 wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:25 am As far as a deburring stone goes, how would you suggest mixing it in to my described process? Between blocks/grits? Would you then build a burr back up on the 5000 then deburr again? Thanks!
What I do in going through a sequence is to deburr after each stone, generally on that stone but sometimes on the next stone in my progression. I use light edge leading strokes, not counting, but doing it by feel and then checking by pushing my fingertips lightly across the edge (from spine to edge). Once one side is clear then address the other side (maybe two to four strokes each side), step and repeat until at least the worst of any burr is removed (so perhaps twice on each side). Then move up to the next stone.

On the last stone of my progression, I repeat the above but probably with more side-to-side changes, getting increasingly lighter & lighter until I can't feel the burr. Then I strop on newsprint to remove any remaining rubbish / swarf on the edge.

For what it's worth I don't use corks or felt blocks. YMMV
Cheers Grant

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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by ken123 »

I'm not a fan of counting strokes since each stroke can have varying pressure etc. Ultimately you need to go by feel and paper cutting performance . I'm a fan of minimizing burr size ( or even none at all). I also don't debur with felt. Even paper cutting does some deburring and can improve edge cutting performance. This is an endless topic ....

Ken
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Re: Is this a good routine?

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XexoX wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:44 pm
ChefKnivesToGo wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:29 pm Put a heating pad on the foot of your bed or couch and he'll leave you alone for hours at a time.
I'm guessing it needs to be plugged in and turned on, but what do I know? :mrgreen:
These sarcastic and disrespectful comments will NOT be tolerated! If it happens again I bet I have enough pull around here to get you banned. :evil:

Ah hell...just kidding, I'm just pissed I didn't think of it first!
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by Jeff B »

ChefKnivesToGo wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:29 pm Put a heating pad on the foot of your bed or couch and he'll leave you alone for hours at a time.
I need to try that with my wife... 8-)
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by Corey24 »

I wanted to revisit this and share my success.

Two things -

The steel on this Makoto far exceeded my expectations - I replaced a base level Tojiro which generally needed sharpening every 3 months, but this knife lasted me 6 with how I use and rotate knives. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/masatsgy24.html

Going on to sharpening I incorporated the above advice about doing edge leading strops, and not really counting the times I did things. I really felt for the burr and kept going until it was noticeable or not, depending on the step.

Went 1000/5000/14k grit+Strop and was very close to the sharpness I received it from the sharpening service a CKTG.

I also did not mar the finish, and I think I was very good at maintaining the angle throughout the entire process.

Thank you all!
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Re: Is this a good routine?

Post by FisherMAn1298 »

Well done Corey! After alot of discussion about creating a lesser burr or no burr at all i've tried to feel for when the burr starts to build and stop right there. I love using the edge leading soft strokes to remove the metal and per previous discussions in the forum by minimizing or skipping a burr we remove less metal and concentrate on refining our edge. There's some GREAT words describing how to go about things in this thread that every newbie should read. Wish I had, it would've saved me alot of time and metal on my blades. Congratulations on improving your skills and remember this is a journey that really has no end. We can always get better and have a great time doing it! Great knife and keep up the good work!
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