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post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi, I have a few questions about sharpening.

I currently use the 'scary sharp' method* of sharpening for my knives when they need it.


I'm left handed, and I'm interested in taking my knife to a 30/70. Its only a cheap forschner, so I'm not too worried about messing up the knife.


Could someone tell me the advantages/disadvantages of changing the grind on my knife? How difficult is it to do? I'm pretty good at getting my blades sharp like this normally, but I'm not sure about how to go about changing the grind. This is a stupid question considering that I'm thinking about changing the grind, but should the 'steep' side (the 70 angle) be the side that is facing 'into' the food, or 'out' of the food? 




*The method I'm talking about is using fine grit wet and dry (1000-2500 grit) to sharpen your knives in place of a stone. I'm aware that its inferior to stones, but my budget doesn't really allow for me to get a good set of stones yet, whereas the W+D costs me about 15 bucks to get set up.

post #2 of 6
The only disadvantage is that you'll use your knife more quickly during the change over process than you would otherwise.

The easiest way to move the edge over is to concentrate on sharpening the dominate side, and always raise the burr on it first. Then, flip the knife over and sharpen as little as possible -- just until you raise a burr before repeating the process until the burr is well chased and ready for either refinement or deburring.

To take a knife from neutral to lefty, that means starting and then focusing on its left side.

A wort though. 30/70 is not extreme asymmetry. You'll probably notice some extra perceived sharpens; but will also lessen the time between using a steel. The knife will not be terribly left-handed, and a right handed cook using anything softer than a death grip shouldn't be too discommoded.

post #3 of 6

Hey there...


I do consulting work for a knife company and operate a professional sharpening service. We have done tests on off-set edges and found the results to be mixed at best. Not only does it make the blade a real problem to maintain, we found that the edge wears faster and is not significantly sharper than a regular blade...If you can find a decent 9" chefs knife you don't care much about, go for it, let us know how it goes...

post #4 of 6
Mike -- In what way(s) do you find asymmetric edges difficult to maintain? Except for those edges sharpened to an asymmetry which shouldn't be steeled -- "chisel" and hamaguri edges, e.g. -- I don't see asymmetry as a maintenance problem or as difficult to create or sharpen.

Also, even extremely asymmetric edges may be trued on a sheet of paper or other strop.

Maybe we're just using terms differently. Extreme asymmetry does cost some durability, especially if the blade alloy isn't strong and hard enough. Is that what you mean?

Edited by boar_d_laze - 5/28/12 at 7:04am
post #5 of 6

BDL...perhaps our terms are crossed. I tend to service places where you would have a range of staff using equipment, and if someone forgets that a certain knife is sharpened a certain way and re-grinds/steels thinking its a common knife, the new blade edge can be more easiely damaged. If it's a small shop or a if everyone uses their own gear, that concern is largely mitigated, I assumed he was sharpening to a chisel style edge from a V edge, creating his own hybrid edge.

post #6 of 6
Quite a few Japanese knives come from the factory with a right handed biased (asymmetric), "V" edge. Typical asymmetry is around 2:1 (eyeballing the comparative widths of the right and left side bevels.

Many left handed users want to change the asymmetry to either lefty, or neutral (50/50) bias and are unsure about about a lot of aspects of making the move -- which is something that's very easy to do; and extremely easy if you're not in a hurry.

Unfortunately, knife retailers and knife forums don't help much by spitting out numbers which purport unattainable accuracy in asymmetry. For instance, a LOT of people claim 70/30, but it's only an "aspirational" number since there's no good way to measure it.

The only meaningful numbers are those which you can see or feel: 50/50 (the bevel shoulders are equally wide), 60/40 (3:2), 2:1, very asymmetric (in the 3:1 - 4:1 range), extremely asymmetric (enough on the short side to create a chaseable burr -- a lot of people call it 90/10, but how would you know?), and chisel (as few strokes as necessary on the short side, to deburr).

As a rule, knives which are made to be chisel-edged are not amenable to conversion to "V." On the other hand, there's a school of sharpeners who like to take their gyutos and other western-style blades to chisel or very nearly chisel in pursuit of the thinnest, sharpest edge. In my experience those edges don't hold up well; and I can't say I'm a fan.

I sharpen our common knives (carbon Sabatiers and some stainless Forschners) to 3:2 righty which suits her, suits the knives, and doesn't bother me (lefty with skilz) in the slightest. I sharpen my laser Konosukes to 2:1 lefty.

In my experience, something around 3:2 (60/40) is the best balance between accommodating either hand, sharpness, durability, and ease of sharpening.

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