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Free Hand vs. Jig?

Posted by Chum 
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Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 26, 2016 08:06AM
Personally, I like the idea of a freehand sharpened knife better on a custom, but on a production knife I prefer a jig.
The reason for the difference is the different skill levels by the people doing the work.

Also Gough Custom uses a Lansky to sharpen his knives.
cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 26, 2016 10:41AM
Quote
Chum
If you were to purchase a knife. Would you prefer that the knife be...

A : Sharpened by free-hand
B : Sharpened by a Jig System
C : Sharpened on a belt

In general, what would you have the most confidence in? Which would you expect to offer the best edge out of the box?

Finally, for you makers, how do you sharpen your knives before you ship them out?

Bonus question (for which I have no answer) : Do you know of any knife makers that sharpen by jig?

A,B and C cannot be answered without knowing a specific person or company doing the work, and what their skills and history show about them.. For example.. if a maker has only ever made scandi or full flat grind knives, I am not going to order a convex from them and assume it will be as I think a convex should be.

For me.. I grind the knife and edge bevel on the 2x72 grinder.. normally the edge will be finished on a 400grit belt.. typically at this point it normally needs up to 1 minute of work on something like a spyderco medium ceram, or fine/xfine dmt etc etc to clean it up on the apex.. done.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 26, 2016 11:43AM
Chum,
It doesn't really matter to me how I knife is sharpened when I get it. I usually put my own egde on a knife as one of the first things I do when I get them. Even the few custom knives I got, which came with edges I really couldn't improve on, I ran the edge for a week that they came with, then put my own edge on it.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 26, 2016 05:26PM
Chum,

I would be indifferent between A and B, but that's because I'd put my own edge on shortly after receiving it anyway. I'd avoid C like the plague unless I knew the maker used active liquid cooling while power sharpening.

Unfortunately I don't have anything to contribute on your revised freehand vs. jig question because I don't have enough experience with jig systems to know what kind of results they can produce under the conditions you stipulated.
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 26, 2016 07:20PM
I think I would go for jig, simply because it's more likely to provide both sides with an even angle on the edge bevel, making subsequent sharpenings easier. Of course, this is only true if the primary grind is also simmetrical, but let's assume that is the case. By making sharpening easier I just mean erasing the "uneven bevel" problem off the table if I had trouble re-sharpening the knife later. Part of me wants to think that freehand sharpening would be something the maker would pay more attention to but as said above there's no reason for it to be better for the end user even if that was the case.

By belt there would be the possibility of overheating the edge, so that's the last route I'd choose.

As far as makers that sharpen by jig... The Grimsmo brothers used to do it, but they started having too many orders to justify the time.
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 26, 2016 08:43PM
Interesting that some of you are saying it depends upon the skill level of the maker. I would counter that regardless of the skill level of the maker it is unlikely that they could be as consistent free hand, as they could be with a jig system... as Luis points out.

I would think that using a jig system to finish the edge would be a good sales device for makers. Most of you have probably read enough on BF and the internets to know that people do judge knives by initial sharpness (right or wrong.) Additionally, you will see more and more knife reviews noting the symmetry, or lack thereof, of the bevels.

There are so many good and or interesting knife makers out there now. First impressions matter quite a bit. Having to put a better edge on a knife you just purchased... sucks.

On another issue of sales, using a well known sharpening jig to put the final edge on your knives, could give some knife purchasers extra confidence in being able to keep their knife in its original form. For example...

Johnny the Knife Knut decides to buy one of your knives. He has seen your YT videos. He was impressed with the cutting performance. If you, the maker, hand sharpen your knives Johnny the Knife Knut will never be sure that he will be able to get equivalent performance from your knife, after it dulls, because he isn't sure that he could duplicate your sharpening. In reality, very few buyers are likely to be able to duplicate the performance of the majority of makers here. If Johnny knew that you put the final edge on your knife with say an Edge Pro, then Johnny knows he can purchase an Edge Pro and keep his knife as sharp as it came out of the box. He also knows that your knife was designed to be sharpened with an Edge Pro.

Given the cost of custom knives, semi-custom, artisian (what have you), purchasing an Edge Pro is a drop in the bucket.

Just something for the makers to consider. Perhaps you don't need to use a jig to reach the performance level you like. Perhaps a jig is too time consuming. Perhaps you always prefer to put a new edge on a knife you just purchased. This isn't looking at things from the buyer's point of view however.

Over the years, I have heard makers on this forum ask how they can sell more knives. I think this is perhaps one way to get knife knuts more interested in your products. People like consistency. This could be a sales point to highlight the consistency of your products.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 27, 2016 07:31AM
It's an interesting thought process Chum, but that alone would also come down to the maker, and the style of knives they make, and their entire background, styles and offerings.

What you have outlined above is probably what I would consider as being the very last thing I'd ever be concerned about when it came to marketing my knives, or expanding them or selling them. Edit ** Most consumers would probably just say my knives like like rubbish worth $5 based on my choice of how I finish them anyway **

I'm currently looking at one of my convex knives. If i run it under a microscope I might see my secondary bevel.. I might. It doesn't matter if someone keeps this knife convex, or uses a stone or jig and puts a secondary bevel on.. thats their call.. but it does matter, a-la Murray carter, that they are thinning then entire knife out if they are removing steel too much from the edge to retain performance.

I just opened my Friction folder, set my caliper to 0.001" and that seems to just hit the top of my secondary bevel on that one which is flat ground. setting to 0.002 clearly travels past the reflection point of the bevel. they are so small that you have to whip out a microscope to even see if they are sloppy. This is a far cry from my dozier sitting in front of me that has a clearly uneven bevel that is massive and 0.030" thick.

I would prefer to create an educated user base for my knives than to somehow convince them that If I'd used an edge pro this will significantly alter the quality of the product they were getting.. I guess this is something I don't buy into, and I dont try and sell things that I dont believe in.
EDIT ** I dont want consumers thinking that an edge pro solves their problems and they never need to thin that knife down as it will gradually degrade in performance **

I could even put a twist on this, which creates an interesting thought.. Do I want to buy a knife from a maker that is not capable of creating the edge to a level of quality sufficent for use? they are a knifemaker.. this is a key element of the knife. there can be a level of faith and trust in knowing they have the skills to do this. as a side example, My accountant might use computers and software to do my accounts these days, but if we lost power and he couldn't do it old school by hand and do the math, then would I trust that he is a competent accountant? Prob Not.

I would even be quite comfortable as a maker in my own beliefs and methods that I educated on youtube as part of my sales to say that I would be content delivering every knife ground to a proper edge, but not actually sharp. With a rationale provided that it matters squat how the knife comes, because if you are actually going to use my knife and you can't make it sharp as you need next week, then it was a wasted purchase you you better go buy disposable blades.

These different views and examples are really to demonstrate that there are many reasons people can or cant sell knives, any more than any other product and it may have nothing to do with one small facet. knowing someones edge is good is only going to happen after you have sold the knives.. it wont be prohibitive to sales unless a bunch of reviews go up saying your knives are dull and dont cut well out of the box. if that was happening, then what needs to be fixed is the quality of the edge, and proving it to future customers rather than the mechanism for attaining that edge.

>>There are so many good and or interesting knife makers out there now. First impressions matter quite a bit. Having to put a better edge on a >>knife you just purchased... sucks.

This is not a win win situation.. You might sell a knife to Joe Calton with a perfect 2k edge on it, and he might immediately take it to his 320grit smiths diamond etc and tear that down to what he considers is the ideal working edge. Id say it only sucks if the edge you get is not the edge you were led to believe you would get?

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2016 07:35AM by cKc.
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 27, 2016 10:22AM
While the are benefits to using a guided system there are also some major drawbacks. If you are relying on a guided system to do your sharpening and don't progress your skills freehand then how do you sharpen, the usmc bolo, an e-nep ,a kukri, Kyley''s broadleaf, Jermy''s brightleaf etc....and Chum, we both know that throwing a razor sharp e-nep is the only way to throw one.

www.theflatearthsociety.org

BIGFOOT FINDS YOU, YOU DON'T FIND BIGFOOT!



IT IS THE E-NEP THROWING BROTHERHOOD
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 27, 2016 02:57PM
Chum,

Just to give you an additional data point on the kind of angle consistency a practiced freehand sharpener can get, I took a couple of USB microscope images using the back-lighting to accentuate the edge-bevel vs. the micro-bevel:

(Note: Images are at ~50x optical + ~4x digital zoom and show approximately 2.1-2.2mm length of edge.)





I'm not entirely sure how much of a practical difference increased angle control is going to make past the level shown above. I'll let you know once I actually get around to buying a EP type system.
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 27, 2016 03:02PM
Chum,

I use diamond stones most of the time for the knives I send out of my shop. I use a 600 and 1200 grit stone and occasionally a fine India to help set the bevel. It I have a edge under .010"'I use only the stones. This includes setting the bevel with the stone. If it is over .010" I will use my grinder to set the bevel (not apex). My grinder will run very slow and under coolant I use light pressure with a new 120 grit belt to set the bevel. Then I use my stones to apex it and sharpen.
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 29, 2016 03:20AM
Quote
Chum
If you were to purchase a knife. Would you prefer that the knife be...

A : Sharpened by free-hand
B : Sharpened by a Jig System
C : Sharpened on a belt

In general, what would you have the most confidence in? Which would you expect to offer the best edge out of the box?

Finally, for you makers, how do you sharpen your knives before you ship them out?

Bonus question (for which I have no answer) : Do you know of any knife makers that sharpen by jig?

Tough question to answer, would really depend on the skill of the maker and what I was looking for. Some knives come dull- does it matter how they got there if I wanted it sharp? The only absolute is that a poorly done power sharpening could cause more harm than a poor hand sharpening, but a poor power sharpening likely comes from a poor maker, so heat treat and geometry could easily be off as well. The one with the best edge would be the maker who was best able to utilize his tools, and chose to spend his time on the knife in that manner.

I don't use an angle holding jig because I don't like the bevels changing width so much from heel to tip. This is especially noticeable if you build in a thicker portion of the edge, like near the tip. It seems unprofessional to me to not have a fairly consistent bevel, regardless of edge thickness.
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 29, 2016 10:51AM
From a maker, custom or production, I would like to see a consistent angle on both sides. Meaning it's at the same angle along the whole edge on both sides. Other than that, I don't really care. The $20 Buck I got the other day came at a pretty even 10 degrees per side and that's way better than the vast majority of knives I've purchased.
cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 29, 2016 12:46PM
While I can understand the desire for even angles across the entire blade I will. Say as a maker I will. Commonly and intentionally not have a consistent angle on the edge any more than I do on the bevel.

This is because of distal tapering of the blades, and sometimes while the bulk of the blade is thinning d'Italia to the tip the edge angle may be increasing to the tip. This gives a thin push cutting grind near the handle with strength and support of a thicker spine and a tip and belly that can cut deep because it's thinner but be stronger in the apex for twisting and drilling.

Point is. Never assume that what you want or need as an ideal is what the maker thinks. Or that a complex grind is wrong because it's not what you want. Always ask what you are going to get or tell what you'd like to have.

Also remember that with a properly. Distal tapered knife. I mean real, not a profile taper that makes the spine get thinner with a consistent bevel angle then a consistent edge angle will not be even looking across the entire blade length because the angle will. Terminate at different cross-sectional thicknesses

Distal tapering is something done rarely on many knives I see yet it is highly desirable in many knives, or should be

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 30, 2016 04:46PM
Quote
cKc
Also remember that with a properly. Distal tapered knife. I mean real, not a profile taper that makes the spine get thinner with a consistent bevel angle then a consistent edge angle will not be even looking across the entire blade length because the angle will. Terminate at different cross-sectional thicknesses

Can you provide an illustration for this por favor?

I just want to point out that my suggestion was meant as some sort of absolute. As everyone notes, different knives for different purposes etc. I was just trying to point out one of the possible merits of using a jig system for knives you intend to sell, and the marketing thereof.

To this day, my best out of the box cutter has been my cKc Victorious. No jig used there. It is also a very easy knife to sharpen.

I'm going to add, that if you don't sharpen with a jig and you are proud of the edge you put on a sale knife, make some sort of mention of it in you sales description. I'd also make some reference on how to sharpen the knife.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 30, 2016 08:10PM
This is a great video by JDavis about why knives can look sharp, but not be sharp, like Steel_Drake was saying, and I experienced when learning to sharpen:
[youtu.be]

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 31, 2016 12:01AM
Quote
cKc
Also remember that with a properly. Distal tapered knife. I mean real, not a profile taper that makes the spine get thinner with a consistent bevel angle then a consistent edge angle will not be even looking across the entire blade length because the angle will. Terminate at different cross-sectional thicknesses

I get that, I have plenty of knives that vary in thickness and the edge bevel width varies accordingly. It's really not a huge deal to me anymore (was when I was newer to sharpening) if the angle is inconsistent out of the box/from the maker because it's usually a pretty simple fix, but I really prefer to have a consistent angle on my knives because it's much simpler to sharpen. At least with regard to the angle I have to hold/maintain. The downside is that the difference in bevel width makes sharpening a bit more complicated in that you will have to grind more or less material in different areas of the edge, so maybe it's a wash anyway.
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 31, 2016 01:27AM
A known, consistent edge angle matters more to me on large blades. It's more of a challenge for me to maintain angle consistency on a 13" blade than a 5" belt knife, so it's nice when the angle is consistent on those size blades. And it's also helpful if the maker actually knows he's putting on a 15 dps angle so that I don't get a 20 dps that I want to lower. Larger blade equals a lot more work to lower it, and as noted, it's harder to maintain the necessary consistency on top of that.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'
cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 31, 2016 03:42AM
Interesting..

so how many of you in your large blades do things like this. Colhane normally has the first 1/2 very thin on the edge compared to the last 1/2 where the impacts and hard use will be..







Often, on a large knife the portion closer to the handle I'd prefer a thinner edge for similar reasons, and even if I distal or profile taper the blade as it gets longer for balance and easier cutting through of things with the thinner cross section I will also potentially have a thicker apex for durability in the forward area. The Extreme of this would be the broadleaf where the front is an unsharpened wedge almost.

This is one of the primary things I like about free hand over jigs is the fact that its easy to alter the angle to the hone as you move along many areas. As I never measure if something is 15 or 20, and rather measure resistance to damange in use instead I'm only ever worrying about lower or higher, not what the number is.. over time you just get a feel for it.

I mentioned this once a long long time ago, but before I sent the first knife I'd ever sent to Cliff, I never knew what angles or edge thickness my knives where. I'd never actually measured them. they just happened to be thinner than most because it worked well.

I've always adhered to what Murray Carter says in this.. as thick as it needs to be and no more.. in this situation, what does the angle matter? It does matter as a way of describing it to others i suppose.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 31, 2016 08:28AM
Quote
Chum
Quote
cKc
Also remember that with a properly. Distal tapered knife. I mean real, not a profile taper that makes the spine get thinner with a consistent bevel angle then a consistent edge angle will not be even looking across the entire blade length because the angle will. Terminate at different cross-sectional thicknesses

Can you provide an illustration for this por favor?

Do you mean an actual illustration to demonstrate what I mean? or an example of someones work that does this.

This image off the web shows simply a profile taper and a distal taper.


In the image above of the fillet style knife, if you grind the entire knife and bevel in relation to the apex at the exact same angles, say 5dps primary bevels, then the sheer fact that the distance from the apex to spine perpendicular to any location means the shorter distance results in a thinner cross section.

What I mean by a true Distal taper is one that is achieved without having done so simply by the existence of a profile taper. so if there was a profile taper, the distal tapering is reducing at a greater rate than would be cause just by the profile taper.
only video I can think of would be the cKc Enterprise blade I made after final grinding.




if you took something like a Competition Chopper 10" blade 1/4" thick and 2" height, but make it so the spine and primary bevels evenly drop down to 1/8" at the tip.. very hard to do that kind of grind and blend it in if not convexing..

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 31, 2016 01:26PM
Kyley, that video leaves me slightly confused. He keeps talking about 4 edges but only ever shows 3. He also sems to be making the point that his convex edge isn't as sharp as his scandi edge, but why not? I hAve a single edge on my choppers with a rounded/broken spine and I can easily do all the tasks he demonstrated. I wI'll often lower the edge angle on my choppers near the handle but I keep the same apex angle right through for lighter cutting.

www.theflatearthsociety.org

BIGFOOT FINDS YOU, YOU DON'T FIND BIGFOOT!



IT IS THE E-NEP THROWING BROTHERHOOD
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
August 31, 2016 05:42PM
Kyley, while I've asked for differential primary grinds, I I've always had the same secondary/apex on the entire edge. It's just easier for me. I wouldn't be opposed to it though, but I would still prefer (in an ideal world...I've never made a stink about it or worried about it) that the maker knew clearly what angles they were applying and could consistently apply the same to both sides. (And most have a pretty good idea of both even if just from repetition).

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'
cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 01, 2016 02:21AM
Quote
Mark a
Kyley, that video leaves me slightly confused. He keeps talking about 4 edges but only ever shows 3. He also sems to be making the point that his convex edge isn't as sharp as his scandi edge, but why not? I hAve a single edge on my choppers with a rounded/broken spine and I can easily do all the tasks he demonstrated. I wI'll often lower the edge angle on my choppers near the handle but I keep the same apex angle right through for lighter cutting.

So I have not watched the video in years.. so I watched now..

he clearly marked of 4 Edges (maybe not all sharp)
1: Thin Scandi up close (because he feels it works well as a draw plane)
2: Convex, he notes more durable and unbinds better in soft woods (so we can only surmise he ground it thicker)
3: Sharp edge on 1st 1/2 of spine, for scraping dry bamboo to form shavings for fire lighting.
4: Rounded Edge on front 1/2 spine for gripping as a draw plane, and smashing and breaking such as coconuts on the ground.

he then noted a 5th, in the ricasso sometimes he makes sharp for using as a fire striker..
------

Colin, I fully understand, and it is easier if you have a consistent edge bevel..

There is nothing wrong with anyone having their own requirements and deciding what is better for them. a complex grind is more complex smiling smiley it may require more effort to maintain.. it comes down to a person deciding if the benfits are worth it, and if the complexity is a matter of skill or not, something that can be altered, or improved to increase the benfit scale.

I guess the only point I am trying to make, and I think I've made it well enough to express my view is that its not a case of the Maker, or Customer being wrong in many cases. its a matter of the Customer finding a maker that meets what they consider is right, and being happy with what they get.. because based on your need you may say a maker delivers a poor edge, and vice versa to someone else. It doesn't matter why Colhane does what he does, except for the fact that his need would alter his perception of what made a good machete if he received a bunch from different makers.


And Thanks Chum, for making an interesting thread grinning smiley

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 04, 2016 03:28PM
A few advantages that a fixed/guided system does have, is that either for high-sharpness sharpening with less than ideal steels, or steels that are prone to burr formation, the fixed/guided system allows for extremely light passes (~5g-10g) while maintaining control of the knife. Also, clamp systems like the DMT Aligner, Gatco Edgemate, and the Lansky, allow for a handle to sharpen free hand utility, single sided razor blades, and double sides razor blades.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 08, 2016 01:40AM




----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 08, 2016 02:15AM
Kyley,
That's funny. I originally bought the DMT Aligner because I saw that YouTube, but I have had the thing for months and haven't tried to use it that way yet. It's easily the best clamp I have used yet.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
WordPress YouTube Facebook Patreon Locals Instagram Twitter
cKc
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 08, 2016 06:10AM
I've never seen it before, so I thought it was interesting to see how Dozier do it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 10, 2016 04:34AM




russians are obsessed with sharpening jigs

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Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 11, 2016 04:04PM
Chum, as you know, I make sharpening tools here in Scandinavia. My first customers was knife Smiths and knife makers, knife makers associations, timber house builders and hunters. some knife makers think that they shall inform their customers what edge angle there is on their knifes - but most knife makers do not. I have ask many blqde a its and knife makers what edge angle they have "about XX degrees", non have answer a specific degree.

The same ansewers is on knifes with convex edges, they do not know the degrees on the convex sphere -neither the edge angle on the convex cutting edge...

All also say that very few customers ask this question - the main thing is that the knife looks cool....

Out traditional knifes in Scandinavia have around 20 degrees total edge. Mora knifes have around 22 degrees main. For some deccades ago that was also the cutting edge. Today they have a sexondary very thin bevel with + 3 degrees on each side - so the cutting edge holds 28 degrees.

Free hqnd sharpening can never be exact. From the shoulder and out there is 17 moving joints. There is 34 moving joints involved in the sharpening process + muscles and so on. Have you ever seen a industrial robot with more then 4 moving joints? Every joint will increase wobble... This means that it is impossible for human beeings to come below 3 degrees wobble when free hand sharpen. I understand that some people have another opinion - but they have then never check their free hand edges up properly.

I am a traditionalist qnd I use knifes "the old way" in mostly traditional materials, that is wet fresh wood, skin, leather, meat, and so on. City people are today aboit 90% of the industrial worlds population, they use knifes in mostly modern materials, as cardboard, nylon, plastic, fabriks, and so on - and they need stronger edges for those materials - so modern knifes are roday produced with edges around 40 degrees.. I have 35 degrees edge on my axes..

Honestly, how many here knows exactly how many degrees there is on your favorite knife? If you say that you do, please also tell me how you know this smiling smiley

If you do not know what degrees you have on your edge - and change your edge, you do not know where you started, you do not know where you landed, and you so not know how long distance you have travelled - and what cqn you learn about sharpening and edges from not knowing?

I know what degrees I have on my edges. When I change an edge, I know where I started, I know where I landed, I know the distance I have travelled - and from that can I learn. Not only what I have just done, if I have a knife that have 20 degrees cutting edge - I will learn how a 20 degree edge works, when I have change the dge, lets say to 22 degree edge - I will learn how a 22 degree edge works. After some time, and after I have use a number of different edge angles I have also built up a knowledge of how they work - and why they work, in different materials - and I have also learn a for me very important thing, I understand why and how they work. This means that I know the result of a changed edge angle allready before I make the change. This becouse I make the change of a reason I understand.

Most people are happy if their knife are sharp. They do not vare about edge angles or if th edge are flat or convex... That also means that they sharpen "by chance" and that they reach their fol (most times) to hold the edge sharp. This getvthe result that after some times use of the knife they must regrind the knife bexouse the edge angle have bexome to steep - and they go to a grinder with their knife who grind it back to the starting point again - and then it all repeat it self... They live in a bad circle - in my mind.

When I have a sharpening tool, and when I know the degrees on my edges, this will never happend. Every maintanence sharpening I so is a cotinuing of yhe first sharpening I did. The edge never changes, I never need to regrind the edges.

So, yes, in my mind - yhe absolut best result of sharpening are made in a sharpening tool where both the knife and the angle are fixed in the same tool. Combine this with a method to use degrees, a built in protractor or using a Angle Cube - from that can everyone learn and build up knowledge about hiw edges work in different degrees on different knifes in different steels smiling smiley

If you dont know what degrees you have on your edge - sorry - you cannot learn how edges works in different degrees, you are just happy that your knife is sharp - in any angle it happend to have...

Thomas
Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 11, 2016 11:36PM
Quote
stefan_wolf




russians are obsessed with sharpening jigs
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Re: Free Hand vs. Jig?
September 24, 2016 11:55AM
Quote
Chum
Interesting that some of you are saying it depends upon the skill level of the maker. I would counter that regardless of the skill level of the maker it is unlikely that they could be as consistent free hand, as they could be with a jig system... as Luis points out.

I would think that using a jig system to finish the edge would be a good sales device for makers. Most of you have probably read enough on BF and the internets to know that people do judge knives by initial sharpness (right or wrong.) Additionally, you will see more and more knife reviews noting the symmetry, or lack thereof, of the bevels.

There are so many good and or interesting knife makers out there now. First impressions matter quite a bit. Having to put a better edge on a knife you just purchased... sucks.

On another issue of sales, using a well known sharpening jig to put the final edge on your knives, could give some knife purchasers extra confidence in being able to keep their knife in its original form. For example...

Johnny the Knife Knut decides to buy one of your knives. He has seen your YT videos. He was impressed with the cutting performance. If you, the maker, hand sharpen your knives Johnny the Knife Knut will never be sure that he will be able to get equivalent performance from your knife, after it dulls, because he isn't sure that he could duplicate your sharpening. In reality, very few buyers are likely to be able to duplicate the performance of the majority of makers here. If Johnny knew that you put the final edge on your knife with say an Edge Pro, then Johnny knows he can purchase an Edge Pro and keep his knife as sharp as it came out of the box. He also knows that your knife was designed to be sharpened with an Edge Pro.

Given the cost of custom knives, semi-custom, artisian (what have you), purchasing an Edge Pro is a drop in the bucket.

Just something for the makers to consider. Perhaps you don't need to use a jig to reach the performance level you like. Perhaps a jig is too time consuming. Perhaps you always prefer to put a new edge on a knife you just purchased. This isn't looking at things from the buyer's point of view however.

Over the years, I have heard makers on this forum ask how they can sell more knives. I think this is perhaps one way to get knife knuts more interested in your products. People like consistency. This could be a sales point to highlight the consistency of your products.

Jimmypie, who is an emerging UK maker uses a Wicked Edge which is part of his marketing. He is very active on Instagram and Edgematters and has moved from a hobbyist to a full time maker in a very short time. If met him a few times- he's very likeable and this comes across in his web-based interactions. He currently makes fixed blades and friction folders in carbon steels and markets to user/collectors. I particularly liked his Pielite model in 2.5mm 52100 which I've had chance to handle at a Knife show. I've had some Kydex work from him which was excellent, but I'm struggling to justify spending more money on another fixed blade. He is just moving into stainless, so I'm looking forward to what develops. I think he has been successful by combining an aesthetically pleasing quality product with good marketing which includes pictures of his knives actually being used. So in brief Chum, yes, I think it appeals to the right market.