What is the "best edge"? - Kimber Forum

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Old 03-16-2020, 09:18 AM   #1
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What is the "best edge"?

I buy folders in pairs. A few months ago I bought two Cold Steel Bush Rangers, figuring that I would polish or refine the edge some rainy afternoon. I have never gotten to it.

Here's its condition. The edge looks rough, however, it will make a clean swipe through just about anything.

Now, I have never been (or respected) "knife duelers." There are dozens of diverse reasons for having a cutting tool, and in forty years I've never had to eviscerate an attacker.

So, this folder is a "tool." It's made to be sharpened, bisect items, or scrape a problematic situation.

As its edge is in its original condition, but is that "universally useful"? Should I mirror polish the edge, or leave it "as is"?

And would this polish head off potential circumstances?

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Old 03-16-2020, 12:50 PM   #2
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My opinion evolves depending on my most recent experiments.

If your edge is from the factory, you can certainly make it better. Right now, with the blades/stones I've been working on, they appear polished at 2k. But they're not sharp enough at 2k, so I take them to 4k. At that point, if I've been doing my job, You REALLY have to be careful.

If I go from there to stropping with 1 micron or less, I can't say that the edge is better. I suspect that I'm polishing away the apex to a blunter angle.

If I'm to stone the blade finer than 4k, I'll need to switch types of stones, which introduces more variables.

In my opinion, polish as far as you can without damaging the apex. If you want a coarse blade, buy a hacksaw.
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Old 03-16-2020, 04:37 PM   #3
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I am the first to say I'm a novice when it comes to fine tuning an edge. Personally I like something sharp enough, cuts the tape on a box well, makes short work of 40# fluorocarbon leader and could easily cut through a seat belt in a pinch. Then there's TOO SHARP (and I don't mean our beloved Arland), so sharp that you could slice the end of your finger off BEFORE you realize you've been cut!!! I have a Benchmade I bought 12-14 years ago, it's cool. You flip it open it with a nub on the side of the blade and close it via a slide on the side of the frame. It's a factory edge and nowhere near what you guys achieve. It's TOO freaking sharp, I haven't removed a fingerprint with it but I could see how it could happen easily enough. So that cool Benchmade sits in a box in my closet and a stock CRKT is in my pocket. Better safe than sorry :-)
JMO...
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Old 03-16-2020, 11:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
I buy folders in pairs. A few months ago I bought two Cold Steel Bush Rangers, figuring that I would polish or refine the edge some rainy afternoon. I have never gotten to it.

Here's its condition. The edge looks rough, however, it will make a clean swipe through just about anything.
I'm guessing you meant Bush Ranger Lite that sell for under $30 at Amazon?

There's endless debate over toothy vs polished edges. IMO, a polished edge is much more about hobby than practical use.

I believe I've posted this before from Razor Edge.

----

Below is an article by a sharpening expert, Joe Talmadge. In my own findings, a highly polished edge is not only not needed very much, in most cases it actually hinders the cutting ability of the blade. High polish is for push cutting (i.e. “pushing” through a cut vs. “slicing” through a cut) such as straight razor shaving or wood carving. It has very limited uses. In most other situations, you will want and use a toothier edge.

” Many treatises on sharpening tend to focus on getting a polished, razor-like edge. This is partially the fault of the tests we use to see how good our sharpening skills are. Shaving hair off your arm, or cutting a thin slice out of a hanging piece of newpaper, both favor a razor polished edge. An edge ground with a coarser grit won’t feel as sharp, but will outperform the razor polished edge on slicing type cuts, sometimes significantly. If most of your work involves slicing cuts (cutting rope, etc.) you should strongly consider backing off to the coarser stones, or even a file. This may be one of the most important decisions you make — probably more important than finding the perfect sharpening system!

Recently, Mike Swaim (a contributor to rec.knives) has been running and documenting a number of knife tests. Mike’s tests indicate that for certain uses, a coarse-ground blade will significantly outperform a razor polished blade. In fact, a razor polished blade which does extremely poor in Mike’s tests will sometimes perform with the very best knives when re-sharpened using a coarser grind. Mike’s coarse grind was done on a file, so it is very coarse, but he’s since begun favoring very coarse stones over files.

The tests seem to indicate that you should think carefully about your grit strategy. If you know you have one particular usage that you do often, it’s worth a few minutes of your time to test out whether or not a dull-feeling 300-grit sharpened knife will outperform your razor-edged 1200-grit sharpened knife. The 300-grit knife may not shave hair well, but if you need it to cut rope, it may be just the ticket!

If you ever hear the suggestion that your knife may be “too sharp”, moving to a coarser grit is what is being suggested. A “too sharp” — or more accurately, “too finely polished” — edge may shave hair well, but not do your particular job well. Even with a coarse grit, your knife needs to be sharp, in the sense that the edge bevels need to meet consistently.”


By Joe Talmadge



https://www.razoredgeknives.com/2013...s-toothy-edge/
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:01 AM   #5
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The edge is for work. The polish is for me.

while I have all the tech to take a blade to 200k grit, my daily carry knives generally stop at 3000, with a strop on horse leather with some Flitz on it. Good steel, this will hold up for a couple of weeks, and look good.

Don't get me wrong. A rainy morning. Not much else to do. I can easily talk myself into breaking out all the toys to play with an edge.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:12 AM   #6
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For the past 6-12 months I've been using edges on my EDC knives that is very wear resistant, and recently I've been using a cheap microscope to get a better idea of what is actually going on at the apex.

Normally, I'll sharpen to the point that the edge appears mirror-like to the naked eye, and the blade cuts to my satisfaction. Through use, the blade generally remains quite sharp, although I can detect damage to the edge. The damage can be detected through feeling it with a fingertip, or visually by looking at light reflection off the apex.

Now I can see in greater detail with the scope. What is evident is micro-chipping along the apex. I think the effect is a self-sharpening kirinaga edge. Perhaps that's a bit hyperbolic, but you get the idea. The blade is still very sharp, but it's characteristics are a little different than before.

And this all makes perfect sense in my head, at this point. The strength of the very apex of a perfectly formed edge approaches zero. So the first time the blade is used to cut through anything, from the trunk of an oak tree to your silk bondage restraints, the edge will degrade. Degradation might be chipping, burnishing, or deformation, depending on the material of the blade and the material being cut.

On some blade materials, a toothy edge can be created, but through use, the "teeth" will be polished and burnished away through use. So with one type of steel, you can start of polished and end up toothy. With another type of steel, you can start of toothy, and end up polished.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
On some blade materials, a toothy edge can be created, but through use, the "teeth" will be polished and burnished away through use.
When I carefully touch the edge of the Bush Ranger Lite I get that "grabby" sensation on my fingerprints. However, it seems to slice through paper readily, perhaps leaving a minor, fuzzy edge.

Now, my house is literally fabricated with folders, and I have lots of polished slicers. When I bought these two Bush Rangers my goal was to just shove them into my jeans and sharpen them only on even numbered millennial dates.

You might have the same issue I have. When newbies know you sell or polish knives they assume all your stuff is rapier sharp.

I just wanted a jackknife.
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