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Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A

Posted by CliffStamp 
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Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 03:25PM
[www.youtube.com]

A few points about this video (only dealing with that one question)

-he completely mischaracterizes Carters position

Carter sharpens the way he does because he only cares for performance not aesthetics, hence :

-it shows the clear difference between a hobby sharpener and a professional sharpener (Carter)

-he is completely off on one radial point, edge thickness

In regards to the latter, he notes reducing the edge thickness will lower edge retention, that isn't the case in general, and would only be the case if you thinned the blade to the point the primary grind collapsed in cutting, but that isn't the edge going dull, it is the blade suffering gross failure and to do that by stones, well it is beyond the ability of almost anyone in hand sharpening.

He also makes odd comments like he knows professional chefs who have used a knife for 30 years and never had it thinned. Well if you have never had to sharpen a knife in 30 years enough to thicken the edge, it just means you didn't use it a lot or you are willing to use it dull.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 04:04PM
Cliff,
I have a hard time watching that channel. I unfollowed it a while ago, as I found the maker not open to discussion or criticism. Also, after a year or two the maker didn't show any increase in knowledge, and worse, didn't seem interested in learning more about knife sharpening. The skills of sharpening also showed little improvement. The makers seemed more interested in buddying up to knife and stone companies, and pushing the company product line. Not my cup of tea.

"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: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 05:37PM
Just to clarify, I don't think he is a knife maker, I don't know as I don't really follow his channel. I don't even know what he does, run a sharpening business and sell knives/stones would be my guess.

But he has a HUGE subscriber base, so I don't fault him for not responding to comments as he could get a mass amount of them, and in general the benefit from interaction in comments to your revenue stream is minor, just look at the huge YT guys and look at how interactive they are. All they do is periodic user feedback videos, and/or Q/A. I don't know the guy, but if his focus is on this as a business, just be aware that is very different than someone like be whose focus is just knowledge and who has no commercial interest at all, knife wise.

He seems nice enough, and I disagree with a lot of what he says/does, but he isn't outright harmful like a lot of guys who straight up just misinform people on a regular basis and are resistant to correction.

I would almost guarantee IF he spoke to Carter, he likely would do some kind of update video, and I would not even be opposed to saying he might even change his sharpening a little, maybe, he doesn't seem like he is crazy set in his ways.

This was maybe one of his worst videos because he mischaracterized a sharpening approach completely and made a significant technical mistake. I do also not like how he commented on another approach without even trying to talk to the other guy, I always at least reach out before I do that and give the other person a chance to correct my interpretation if possible. Now it is probably the case that if he had emailed Carter nothing would happen maybe, but it is likely if you called and explained yourself (hi - i have a huge subscriber base, and was going to do a response to your sharpening method, would you be up for a 5 min call) he would likely talk.
cKc
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 05:39PM
Quote
CliffStamp
He also makes odd comments like he knows professional chefs who have used a knife for 30 years and never had it thinned. Well if you have never had to sharpen a knife in 30 years enough to thicken the edge, it just means you didn't use it a lot or you are willing to use it dull.

will have to watch tomorrow.

the only way I can see this as viable is if you are using something like a Chinese cleaver or knife ground like a scandi style, where the thickness of the knife is 1-2mm total and he doesn't consider full grinding a large bevel to be "thinning" but of course its thinning every time you do the sharpen.

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
cKc
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 05:43PM
ok. just got the point in the first 5 minutes.

he things thinning means.. make it thinner than it is.. rather than what is actually intended which is
"do not allow it to get thicker than its original design"

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 06:28PM
Quote
cKc
...something like a Chinese cleaver or knife ground like a scandi style, where the thickness of the knife is 1-2mm total and he doesn't consider full grinding a large bevel to be "thinning" but of course its thinning every time you do the sharpen.

Yeah, there are blades which likely are never thinned, for example :

[www.youtube.com]

Blades like that barely have a grind, they are very thin stock. Not saying it would not benefit to regrind, but the difference is not like you would see if you have a :

-0.005" chef's knife

As soon as that goes to 0.010" you will see a significant difference in performance. Ironically, the thinner the edge the faster you will notice it thicken in use. Consider :

0.001" - 0.005"

vs

0.025" -> 0.029"

It is the same thickening, but one of them is night/day and the other one you might not even tell.

As a further note I would say, IF, you don't notice your knives thickening, maybe they were too thick to begin with.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 06:30PM
Quote
cKc


he things thinning means.. make it thinner than it is.. rather than what is actually intended which is
"do not allow it to get thicker than its original design"

Carter does both, he even goes as far as to recommend thinning his own blades. He does that in the last series of video's I posted where he notes all blades can benefit from it, even mine.

That being said, in rare instances, if you are semi-skilled, it is likely the blades you are using are over built, unless you are buying from a very select group of makers, so yeah it is probably true in general.
cKc
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 07:04PM
Quote
CliffStamp
Quote
cKc


he things thinning means.. make it thinner than it is.. rather than what is actually intended which is
"do not allow it to get thicker than its original design"

Carter does both, he even goes as far as to recommend thinning his own blades. He does that in the last series of video's I posted where he notes all blades can benefit from it, even mine.

That being said, in rare instances, if you are semi-skilled, it is likely the blades you are using are over built, unless you are buying from a very select group of makers, so yeah it is probably true in general.

yeah, but that does fall in line with his ideal that a knife should be no thicker than it needs to be for the job, and when he makes it he can't know what you will do.. so once you thin it to that point.. then its thinning to maintain that point is how I perceive his intent.

the video guy was implying.. whatever you have, however it is. make it thinner..

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 05, 2020 08:31PM
Cliff,
I meant maker of the video, sorry for the mix up. I was commenting on making comments when his channel was small, he only responded to praising comments, not critiques. His channel is the typical kitchen knife forums dogma, he even uses the same stones praised by Dave Martel years ago.

"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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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2020 08:31PM by jasonstone20.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 06, 2020 12:42AM
I think citing "I know professional chef's who never thin their knives" is completely and utterly meaningless statement he is using to support his views. I know car mechanics who literally will drive their own cars into the ground and act like they are disposable, that does not mean ALL car mechanics are this way. I mean seriously? These people know about food prep using basic tools, not necessarily the finer details of knife design and critical maintenance to achieve the highest level of performance.
me2
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 07, 2020 03:25AM
I've thinned a few knives and it's for the most part worked well. I have ruined a few too in terms of looks, but they still functioned. A well or heavily used knife will eventually need thinning.

I have 3 that I will probably thin perpetually now. My Delica, and 2 Cold Steel machetes, a Barong and a Panga. I went too far on the 2 large knives, so I now have to find a suitably durable profile for each. I thin my Japanese kitchen knives as well, a Misuzu Bunka and a Petty from Tojiro. Those 2 I thin by hand, as I am convinced no good would come of me using a grinder on them.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 08, 2020 06:13AM
It’s a rather amusing assertion to make. I mean the Cold Steel Outdoorsman that I purchased in the spring was significantly thinned down, all by hand, almost immediately after I bought it. I don’t even think I did any actual cutting work with it, I just took measurements of the stock geometry, just for the sake of records keeping and having a reference point for the modification progress, and then began working it down to the geometry I wanted.

The knife was usable for the field dressing and butchering work I got it for with its as-boxed geometry, but I knew immediately that I wanted it significantly thinner to facilitate ease of grinding and sharpening. The esthetics took a hit for sure but I don’t really care in this instance, I want a high-performance tool.
cKc
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 08, 2020 09:56AM
Probably have to keep in mind his channel is a kitchen knife channel, and only discussing kitchen knives, and so not really the same geometries as outdoor knives. most of the knives he'd be talking about are already decently thin.

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 08, 2020 05:18PM
That’s a fair point, cKc.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 17, 2020 01:25AM
Note for clarity, Carter promotes thinning everything, somewhat kind of odd, in that recent demonstration video where he promotes his new line of stones, he remarks even HIS OWN KNIVES can be thinned when you get them (he is specifically talking about a kitchen knife at the time).
cKc
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 17, 2020 08:27AM
Maybe talking about the spyderco line

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 17, 2020 09:37AM
cKc,

as I recently watched his videos he meant all knives even his handmade ones. As he believes that the user should customize the knife as he needs it.
cKc
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 17, 2020 10:23AM
that does make sense. i mean. he does make his kitchen knives decently thin. but maybe people out there want them even thinner.
i have a nice little 6" carter vege knife which is 1.5mm thick. primary grind is prob about 3cm and basically a zero grind with a hint of bevel.
great knife

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 17, 2020 01:57PM
Carter also advises to take the edge down as much as possible until you notice damage and then just slightly thicken at that point where damage is noted. Still great advice, I remember seeing this years ago on his youtube videos. He has also recommended taking Scandinavia knives and increasing the height of the bevels if you are not happy with how they cut (duh). He basically said it’s much easier to make a knife Scandi ground as there is much less material to remove.
cKc
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 17, 2020 02:56PM
Quote
YESH
Carter also advises to take the edge down as much as possible until you notice damage and then just slightly thicken at that point where damage is noted. Still great advice, I remember seeing this years ago on his youtube videos. He has also recommended taking Scandinavia knives and increasing the height of the bevels if you are not happy with how they cut (duh). He basically said it’s much easier to make a knife Scandi ground as there is much less material to remove.

sure.. the less steel you are grinding off the easier and less effort required to make it, and the more effort required to maintain it..

taking a knife as thin as you can and then thickening it is the best way to make a knife optimal for sure

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 05:52AM
I hate thinning my knives because is a too much of a work to be done by hand without belt grinder IMHO.

[www.youtube.com]

I like the esthetiques too, so if I am going to thin a knife i will spend half or more of the time refinishing it.

On the other side are guys like "knife sharpening norway"

[www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]

In a couple of weeks I should thing my cheap Victorinox Santoku wich I use and sharpen for more than 4/5 years now and the edge bevel is around 2.5 mm wide - it's time to be thinned but knowing that I mus refinish it with 220/400/600/800/1000/1500/2000 grit sandpaper by hand after the procedure is just not fun.

I have a friend knife maker who can hand finish a blade for hours without saying or doing anything else - i presume it is to the person.

But a statement that a knife does not need thinning is a just not true.

Can you imagine hand thinning K390 Police 4 at 62+ HRc - I can not. I'm paying to a professional with the tools and the knowledge.

If you are into japanese knives I recommend - [www.youtube.com]

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Life is GOOD!

[www.youtube.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2020 05:54AM by stefan_wolf.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 11:40AM
That's where Carter argues you just do it all the time as part of sharpening so it never turns into a long process. But, he is also not concerned about the aesthetics at all.

On an interesting note, Spyderco has always promoted the same thing, just never as direct. They used to be clear that the 20 dps slots were for sharpening, the 15 dps slots were for thinning the edge once it didn't respond as fast to the 20 dps bevels -or- the cutting ability degraded.

Now to be clear the Spyderco thinning is on the edge, Carter's is on the primary grind, but still the principle is the same.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 12:07PM
Now when I am switching to japanese kitchen knives I will do the thinning every couple of sharpening sessions just to maintain the geometry of the kiriha.
Probably Carter's approach is coming predominantly from sharpening his kitchen knives not so much the neck knives - just guessing...

Almost never in videos about western style kitchen knives thinning is part of the proces, same in folding knives. If someone is thinning western knife or a folder is presented as regrind.

Of course I am excluding sharpening for fun or for tests like often here in the forum.

If I try thin my Svord drop point in L6 / 15n20 from factory convex to FFG it will be by hand and I will share micrometer readings and how much passes took me to remove how much material for what time... I presume 2 to 3 hours on 150 SIC with kilogram of a force (I do not like to lean heavy when sharpening)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Life is GOOD!

[www.youtube.com]
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 01:37PM
Cliff,

Which is preferred? Thinning edge or primary?
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 04:44PM
Stephen, he advocates the same for any knife, he has video's where he does the same thing on the common modern folders as well.

Now as for thinning the edge or primary grind, lets assume you have a knife which is :

-0.010"/20 dps

After awhile your 20 dps edge will thicken, lets say it gets up to :

-0.015"/20 dps

Now it will take 50% longer to sharpen that edge, so you have two options :

-grind back down to 0.010" by working the primary

-apply a 15 dps edge and then sharpen the 20 dps as a micro-bevel

The second option is a lot faster of course and that is what Spyderco recommends. In general, the approach that Carter does, I doubt anyone does aside from a select few because :

-it compromises the finish of the primary grind
-the time is extreme, especially with modern steels

Plus and while this may seem a bit harsh it is likely true, no one really uses knives enough to cause that thickening.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 05:39PM
Two of the three knives I’ve most recently purchased are both designs which will need to have the primary grind periodically ground down in order to maintain their geometry, for purposes of both cutting ability and ease of sharpening. Both of them are also laminated blades, a 420 series stainless cladding over a VG-10 core. While VG-10 isn’t a terribly difficult to grind steel by modern/current standards, I still really appreciate the softer cladding in this instance. It’ll make for less work when the work has to be done.

This is directly in line with Carter’s Japanese design approach, use a high-performance inner core with a softer outer cladding to reduce maintenance time.

One of them is a Fallkniven S1. I’m curious if you guys think it’s feasible to use a SuperStone 400 for the primary grind maintenance on this knife. I want to maintain it as a zero-grind convex profile, just using a microbevel to sharpen.

I’ve not yet had do it, the knife simply hasn’t been used enough, but when it does need it, do you think I can do it with the Naniwa, or do I need something with a faster rate of material removal?
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 06:08PM
If you maintain it constantly, you don't need an x-coarse stone as you are never really letting it thicken significantly.
Re: Blade Thinning - Why You (probably) NEVER need to: Knife Q&A
July 18, 2020 07:25PM
Alrighty. Then I think I’ll just use the SuperStone whenever I would ordinarily use it to reset the secondary edge bevel on a another knife.