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TOPIC: Edge retention

Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15236

Hi everyone, i got my wicked edge a few months ago after paying crazy import charges!(i live in Scotland!). I've sharpened loads of knives now and am slowly getting more competent using the WE. The only issue i have is that the knives don't seem to stay sharp as long as they do when they have a factory edge. I progress up from all the stones included in the pro pack so 100/200, 400/600, 800/1000 and then stropping. Should i only take the edges to say 600 then strop for example?

I use a large variety of knives as i am a chef by trade and have several brands, Global, Shun, Whusthof Ikon, and several handmade japanese.

Also when just touching up i just use the 800/1000 then strop.

p.s. can't stop sharpening!!!
Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by Craig Somers.
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Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15238

  • KenBuzbee
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Generally 600-800 grit finishes will last longer than highly polished edges. But as a chef, they may not meet your requirements. Only you can decide that.

One caveat is to make sure you've removed any trace of a burr as this can feel very sharp but is fragile and will fail quickly.

There is no inherent reason for a WE edge to be less long lived than a factory edge, in fact my experience is exactly the opposite.

What progression are you using? ie ... What kind of stroke in which direction? EG - heel to tip edge leading

(Also, you might try NOT stropping, it doesn't always help, depending)

Ken
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Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by KenBuzbee.
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Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15239

  • mark76
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Hi Craig,

Welcome to the forum!
Craig Somers wrote:
Hi everyone, i got my wicked edge a few months ago after paying crazy import charges!(i live in Scotland!).

You could have done smarter :-) . There are WEPS dealers in The Netherlands, Germany and France. All EU, so no import taxes.
p.s. can't stop sharpening!!!

Enjoy your WEPS!
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Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15251

  • Geocyclist
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Hey Craig, welcome to the forum.

Keep this in mind:

Is your edge the same bevel/angle as the factory? If it is more acute it will get duller faster than a more obtuse angle.

I have always thought (never proven) that a dull knife keeps it sharpness longer than a shaper knife which looses it razor sharp edge quicker, but it still shaper anyway. Like Ken says, depending on your application you want only 800 or 1000 diamond finish. Also depending on your application you may want a more obtuse angle.

What is your steel? I have taken CPM M4 to 15 deg per side. In most cases this is OK for my applications of "medium-light" EDC use. I use my knives but don't abuse them. I have taken S30V to 15 deg and now take it to 17.5 since I find it looses the razor sharp edge too fast. I had 1 CPM M4 knife with 13 deg per side and it chipped, so I took it more acute. I find 154 cm does well, even at 15 deg, but gets dull quick, but responds well to hand stropping. So bottom line every steel behaves differently, as well as depending on the application.

For my kitchen knives, Wusthof, I have taken them to 15 and 17.5 degree per side and had good results. I take them to 1k diamonds then to 1600 ceramics. I don't strop them as I don't have time. I am not a chef so your use in one day may be what I do in one month with kitchen knives. FYI - I have done a super fast touch on a kitchen knife with just the ceramics and was very pleased how fast it went. I did not let the knife get super dull.
Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by Geocyclist.
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Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15254

  • tcmeyer
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I've compared my Wicked Edge knives with knives sharpened on the WorkSharp rig. The Worksharp seems to cut as well as about the 600 to 800 diamond blocks produce. But under the microscope, the WorkSharp looks like a plowed field compared to the WE. If I remember correctly, the WorkSharp goes straight from a 220 grit belt to a 3000 grit polishing belt - and that's exactly how it looks under the scope - and how most factory edges are produced. They don't spend a lot of time on the intermediate grits. An edge isn't greatly refined as you progress from 400 to 1000, but a polish on the coarser edge is a huge improvement.

I think the more jagged edge as it comes from the factory may produce a better "tooth" in cutting most media, and you can read about it on RazorEdge's website - an article about polished vs toothy edges. Scroll down to near the bottom of the page at www.razoredgeknives.com/?page_id=18

The upshot is that for many uses, the "toothy" edge might be better. I think that kitchen work fits into that category, which is why so many chefs like a steeled edge. The slicker WE edge is genuinely sharper, but may not bite into the work as easily. Try stoning up to 400 grit, then jump to 1600 or even the micron strops. I think you'll find what you're looking for.
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Re:Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15257

Wow thanks everyone that's quite a bit to think about. I didn't realise you could buy the system in Germany that would have made more sense! The knives are the sharpest I've ever had after I've stropped them so maybe the edge is too sharp?! I'm going to try and make the edge more toothy and see how I get on. Thanks for your help everyone


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Re:Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15258

Also I'm using strokes from heel to tip Ken would this make a difference than say going tip to heel? Though it feels more natural to go heel to tip.


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Re:Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15259

  • KenBuzbee
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Craig Somers wrote:
Also I'm using strokes from heel to tip Ken would this make a difference than say going tip to heel? Though it feels more natural to go heel to tip.

Heel to tip edge leading is my usual stroke as well..

I used to alternate with tip to heel edge leading. It's common practice to go every other grit at right angles in polishing various materials. It lets you more easily keep track of how well you are doing removing the previous grits scratches. But something about the reverse motion was different for me. The stones no longer hit the edge the same way. My "theory" is there is more "wobble" to the handle at the top of the stroke (more evident on larger knives or using the low angle adapter) By changing direction I was changing this "wobble" from the heel to the tip then back to the heel every other grit. All that went away once I started just doing heel to tip exclusively. I don't think everyone has this problem, so it could just be me and the way I hold the stones.

Do you have some way to examine your edge? I use a jeweler's loupe. I find it very handy to monitor exactly what is going on during the sharpening process.

Ken
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Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by KenBuzbee.
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Re:Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15260

I have a jewellers loupe for examining the edge and it is certainly eye opening!! I also tend to start my stokes using an up and down motion along the blade then start using a heel to tip stroke, could this make a difference?
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Re:Edge retention 8 months 3 weeks ago #15261

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Often called "scrubbing" it's a common and very accepted way to start as it can get you going more quickly, but until you get all your issues resolved to your liking I'd stick with the basic stroke. Once everything is sorted you can add that back in and see what happens.

Ken
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