Originally Posted by RustyIron
Why chose one method over another? Is it possible to switch back and forth between styles?
I choose the Edge Pro first to even out the bevels. But to be honest, there's a lot of "body English" to my strokes. Sometimes I just use the Edge Pro like a little vice--and the scissors attachment.
Some clients sit at my kitchen table, drink coffee and laugh at me. To position myself correctly it looks like I'm tap-dancing.
But I also have a 3x9 Shapton stone, and some older HandAmerican fixtures. And yes, I cheat and go freehand. Two pennies help.
For example, Chuck sent me a bad knife but was very concerned about a pointed tip. I used the Edge Pro for about +75% at least, lots of black ink, and then some very fine polishing papers on the sides of the knife to completely erase all chips and burrs.
The point is pointy.
Now, if you ever watch a real Japanese togishi, you'll see tools, mica, wooden rods to straighten a bent blade, buckets of water, and once I thought I saw some form of dental tool. The togishi had a small piece of cardboard, and as the dental tool cut, he slid the cardboard back for a perfect line.
Now, I've talked to chefs who took there culinary training in Japan. But the Japanese cutlers usually get there katana metal from China.
Remember Clinton's chant, "It's the economy, stupid."
Well, my job as a polisher (that's higher than a tinker and lower than a togishi, BTW) is to repair the client's knife to the best possible edge I can create. So I tell myself, "Myself, polish the blade, stupid."
I have brackets made from discarded bronze door jambs. I made them for use as a third hand.