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TOPIC: Microbevel

Microbevel 2 months 4 days ago #18103

  • mark76
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It is not my habit to link to other forums, but here Jon Broida, an accomplished sharpener, points out the advantages of a microbevel.

To quote from his post, the advantages are:
-maintaining extremely thin geometry on a knife that could not otherwise handle it
-reduce chipping in super hard steels
-increase stability in larger carbide steels (especially at low sharpening angles)
-improve edge retention at a cost of maximum sharpness

I put microbevels on quite a few thin kitchen knives, particularly for reasons 1 and 4.
Last Edit: 2 months 4 days ago by mark76.
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Re:Microbevel 2 months 4 days ago #18107

  • razoredgeknives
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Yeah all of those are valid points... But rather than a micro bevel I believe that it is better to thin the entire primary grind (i.e. In murray carter's terms, the "secondary edge"). Then you can put a thin edge on. So in essence you would have a 4 dps primary grind and an actual edge angle of 15 dps.
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Microbevel 2 months 3 days ago #18108

  • zig
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I like the advantages of a microbevel ... if it's mine.
Heck, my personals are all convex at this point, best marriage of strength and use IMHO ... but I have the tools to maintain it.

If its for someone else and a particular angle with a microbevel, and they ask for it and its understood, yes.
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Microbevel 2 months 3 days ago #18109

  • Geocyclist
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mark76 wrote:
To quote from his post, the advantages are:
-maintaining extremely thin geometry on a knife that could not otherwise handle it
-reduce chipping in super hard steels
-increase stability in larger carbide steels (especially at low sharpening angles)
-improve edge retention at a cost of maximum sharpness

I put microbevels on quite a few thin kitchen knives, particularly for reasons 1 and 4.

Mark, I agree with the four points. I had some kitchen knives that couldn't handle 15 dps (or at least they didn't retain an edge long enough for my taste) so I resharpened to 20 dps and all is good (not a micro - did a complete resharpen to 20 dps). As these are very thin, tall, full flat ground blades I am wondering how a micro would be better compared to just sharpening the primary bevel to a more obtuse angle. With these blades I could not see the difference between 15 and 20 dps visually. But I could tell in edge retention. On other knives, thicker and not as tall, I can see a difference between 15 and 20, i.e. a Benchmade 940.

Maybe I don't completely understand micros. To me it sound like the only advantage is #1, on a thick blade you can maintain thin geometry. To realized points #2, 3, & 4 you can get the same results with a more obtuse primary angle without a micro. Correct?

I would add this to advantages:

5. - Fast and easy fix if the primary bevel is too acute and not working, adding a micro is much faster than a complete resharpening.

6. - Is it easier/faster to touch up a micro? (I don't know)


Is the following a correct assessment for points 1 -4? For example if we compare a 20 dps micro vs. a 20 dps primary bevel.
1 - advantage micro
2 - advantage primary at more obtuse angle - there will be more metal behind the edge
3 - advantage primary - same logic as above
4 - both are equal

Just throwing this out for discussion. I am definitely not an expert on micros, and have very little experience with them.
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Microbevel 2 months 1 day ago #18122

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The topic has come up on this forum more often and as soon as we start talking about primary, secondary or microbevels confusion strikes :) .

A microbevel is not a shallow and obtuse primary bevel. Instead, it is a bevel on top of the primary bevel, which then becomes the secondary bevel. A microbevel is effectively the third bevel on the knife; the blade face and the "normal" primary bevel (now a secondary bevel) are the other bevels.

The picture below (borrowed from another discussion somewhere on the 'net) explains it. The microbevel is what is called the primary bevel in the picture.




Forum member JDavis also explains it in this vid:



If you create a microbevel it really only requires a couple of strokes on the WEPS using a high grit stone. Jon Broida doesn't use a WEPS, but explains it quite well:



And here's another video on microbevels, by forum member SmokeEater:

Last Edit: 2 months 1 day ago by mark76.
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Microbevel 2 months 1 day ago #18123

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Geocyclist wrote:
With these blades I could not see the difference between 15 and 20 dps visually. But I could tell in edge retention. On other knives, thicker and not as tall, I can see a difference between 15 and 20, i.e. a Benchmade 940.

Maybe I don't completely understand micros. To me it sound like the only advantage is #1, on a thick blade you can maintain thin geometry. To realized points #2, 3, & 4 you can get the same results with a more obtuse primary angle without a micro. Correct?

I think you're right as long as we're talking a thin knife (particularly fully flat ground) and a "Western" microbevel. Here we're used to microbevels that are just a few degrees more obtuse than the "normal" primary bevel. However, according to Jon, in Japan a microbevel can be 30-40 degrees per side. If you'd put an normal primary bevel on your knife with that angle, it'd cut very poorly. This is also what part of my previous post refers to.

6. - Is it easier/faster to touch up a micro? (I don't know)

I don't think so. It's just as fast and easy to touch up a normal primary bevel, at least after the same amount of wear.

Is the following a correct assessment for points 1 -4? For example if we compare a 20 dps micro vs. a 20 dps primary bevel.
1 - advantage micro
2 - advantage primary at more obtuse angle - there will be more metal behind the edge
3 - advantage primary - same logic as above
4 - both are equal

I think you're right, but advantages 2 and 3 of a single primary bevel come at the cost of cutting performance. Even though on thin fully flat ground knives this cost may be so little that you don't notice.
Last Edit: 2 months 1 day ago by mark76.
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