Which direction to put pressure

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playingfetch
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Which direction to put pressure

Post by playingfetch »

Quick basic sharpening question for water stones. If you are holding the knife with the cutting edge away from you, do you put firm pressure on the push or pull stroke when using a coarse stone to get your initial burr? Or does it not matter?
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by Tostadas »

If blade is facing away, I put pressure on the pull. I've done it both ways and they work equally well. Most important thing is maintaining your angle
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by d_rap »

Various theories out there and I've tried different approaches, but I've settled on approximately equal pressure both directions and it works great. Toward the end of the coarse stone, as I'm deburring (minimizing), I use gentle edge leading strokes.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by playingfetch »

Thanks!
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by Radar53 »

Just for info, with the method you describe, the push stroke is called a "edge leading" stroke and the pull stroke is called a "edge trailing" stroke.

I'm in the minority in that primarily use more pressure on the edge leading stroke. Either is fine and it comes down to what you feel comfortable with. Like David, I use very light edge leading strokes to de-burr, but obviously strop using edge trailing strokes.
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Jeff B
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by Jeff B »

I'm in the even pressure both directions camp and use edge leading strokes to deburr.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Jeff B wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:18 pm I'm in the even pressure both directions camp and use edge leading strokes to deburr.
That's my method of choice, as well.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by Kalaeb »

I have tried to apply even pressure on edge trailing and for the life of me I can't make my muscles/fingers figure it out. Edge leading for me.
playingfetch
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by playingfetch »

I tried a few things last night and am still figuring out what works. I think leading edge or even pressure was naturally the easiest and pressure on the edge trailing was most difficult.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by Jeff B »

playingfetch wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:11 am I tried a few things last night and am still figuring out what works. I think leading edge or even pressure was naturally the easiest and pressure on the edge trailing was most difficult.
My technique has change a lot from early on to where I am now. After a lot of practice and experimenting you start to find what seems to work best for you. You then start to further refine that technique and make it yours, and as long as it works, it's not wrong.

It has now been my experience too, over years of sharpening now, that regardless of how good you get there is always a next "Ah Ha!" moment that your not expecting when you learn something new. This is definitely a years long journey.
A computer once beat me at chess, it was no match for me at Kickboxing.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by playingfetch »

Thanks, Jeff. FisherMAn sent me some stones to try, so I'm trying to learn the technique to switch out from my Lanksy (yes, peer pressure works LOL). I bought a couple of those $5 Kiwi knives on amazon to learn on and am dulling them on concrete then trying a resharpening. First attempt was last night and had much better results than I expected.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by Radar53 »

Jeff B wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:27 am
playingfetch wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:11 am I tried a few things last night and am still figuring out what works. I think leading edge or even pressure was naturally the easiest and pressure on the edge trailing was most difficult.
My technique has change a lot from early on to where I am now. After a lot of practice and experimenting you start to find what seems to work best for you. You then start to further refine that technique and make it yours, and as long as it works, it's not wrong.

It has now been my experience too, over years of sharpening now, that regardless of how good you get there is always a next "Ah Ha!" moment that your not expecting when you learn something new. This is definitely a years long journey.
Very nicely put Jeff & just to add, one of the things that I have learned since joining the forum seven years ago is that there is no "one right way" to go about things.

In terms of edge leading vs edge trailing, I think that the one potential downside to edge leading is that you need to have a good feel for when your angle reaches the "edge of the edge". If you don't then a possible outcome is that the knife will bite into the stone and leave a bit of a gouge, especially on softer stones. So using the Sharpie trick and creeping up on that edge using light strokes would probably help until you can feel that critical point & angle and not go past it.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by orezeno »

Radar53 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:28 pm In terms of edge leading vs edge trailing, I think that the one potential downside to edge leading is that you need to have a good feel for when your angle reaches the "edge of the edge". If you don't then a possible outcome is that the knife will bite into the stone and leave a bit of a gouge, especially on softer stones. So using the Sharpie trick and creeping up on that edge using light strokes would probably help until you can feel that critical point & angle and not go past it.
I agree. I think edge trailing strokes are easier to learn, and most people seem more comfortable with the "locked in" body mechanics if they aren't worried about digging the edge into the stone.
Jeff B wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:27 am [...] You then start to further refine that technique and make it yours, and as long as it works, it's not wrong.

It has now been my experience too, over years of sharpening now, that regardless of how good you get there is always a next "Ah Ha!" moment that your not expecting when you learn something new. This is definitely a years long journey.
If you're interested in sharpening, I definitely think it's a journey. There always seems to be more to learn.

I sharpen some knives edge leading and others edge trailing, and I switch hands for both methods. I tend to do larger knives, like chef knives, edge trailing and smaller knives edge leading. I don't recommend this to anyone. It's something I fell into during part of my "journey".

If you are just starting the journey, I suggest finding a motion that is comfortable -- one which you feel can be consistent and smooth. It doesn't matter whether that's a leading edge or trailing edge motion. You can get knives scary sharp with either method. Then pay particular attention to the knife as you sharpen it. Use the sharpie trick, analyze scratch patterns, use a loupe, do whatever it takes to understand what is happening as you abrade each bevel. You can use this information as feedback to help you learn what you're doing right, and what you can change.
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Re: Which direction to put pressure

Post by FisherMAn1298 »

Great thoughts everyone. I put more pressure on the away or push stroke but do keep a small amount of pressure on the return pull stroke. Most importantly I try to not rush it so my angle integrity isn't compromised. I'm still refining things. One thing I saw in a video was a guy who deburred by making a motion he called spreading peanut butter by getting the burr close to the stone and making a circular motion, rubs them right off. It was a japanese man from the knifewear site videos. I watch them all!His name is Naoto Fujimoto. Check him out.
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