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Egdes - super smooth and sharp, or sharp and.. not so smooth.

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by DAVIDSDIVAD, Jun 14, 2008.

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  1. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    Back when I used to hang around the bugei forums, I once heard James Williams saying that a not so smooth and razor sharp edge is preferable to an insanely sharp edge on the Hissatsu he designed.


    I was wondering if anyone here had similar opinions.


    I'm not trying to say one's right and one's wrong, just trying to start some conversation. :)
     
  2. sm

    sm member

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    edit.

    Best to let others more learned than I post.

    Just not into knives or sharpening today...
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  3. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    I carry a knife. I sharpen it to a razor edge and polish the edge because it's used to cut things, not saw things.

    I carry a multi-tool with a serrated blade that works for the times I want to saw something rather than cut/slice it.

    In other words, if I want teeth, I want big ones not little tiny microscopic or nearly microscopic teeth, and I don't want them on a cutting/slicing implement, I want them on something designed to saw through things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  4. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I prefer polished edges, but then I have all the gear and enjoy sharpening edged tools as a challenge.

    The Hissatsu was also marketed as a power chopper I believe so having a micro serrated edge didn't matter. Also, he was probably trying to explain-around properties of steel and the sharpening job done on his knife.

    For cutting, a good polished edge makes a bit more of a difference, but probably won't be noticed by 99% of people using knives. If you are a serious user though, you'll notice it.
     
  5. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    I would say that depends on what is to be cut. You don't want a razor blade edge to cut up or bone a animal, slice meat or cut a rope or want much of a toothy edge to do extremely fine cutting. If shaving or perhaps surgical work or pushing a wood carving blade I can see no advantage to a toothy edge.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    There are different working edges that are suitable to different tasks, so, Yes, he's right that razor sharp isn't always the best for all materials and all cutting tasks.
     
  7. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    Yeah, I think his point(forgive the pun :)) was that the hissatsu was designed for poking creatures, and that a super silky edge wasn't the best for creating tissue damage.


    I agree, though, on some knives, like my Mcusta, I have a gorgeous shiny edge on it, but on the CRKT I have a sharp edge.
     
  8. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Member

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    As a teen i had a " job " where i cleaned geese and skinned coyotes for " the rich folk " who came to our area hunting . I used for the most part either an old timer sharp finger or a rapalla fillet knife that was just " roughed up " on a steel . Neither knife was what i would consider " shave sharp " but they worked well for the work at hand and i could do an amazing volume in a short time . My knives now carry a near razor edge and i suspect would be unsuitable for such work . The edge you want/need depends on the work you will put the knife to . Heck the blade(s) on my multitool(s) i sharpen with a file and they take on the cutting ability of a mildly honed bolt , but they make excellent scrapers to scratch off old grease , gasket material , ect.. Not that they wont cut you , rather than the edge holds up to abuse , but is no thinking mans kind of sharp . Heck i use a little gerber folding box cutter for a money clip because i need to cut paper sacks a lot , and that way i dont dull another blade .
     
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Typically the sharper (more like a razor) an edge is the more the wound will bleed and the faster it will heal. I guess it all depends on whether your goal is to create a lot of blood loss or create a wound that will heal slowly. A more polished edge will tend to be easier to push through tissue as well.
    That sounds like an issue with the multi-tool, the way it's used, the sharpening technique or a combination of the above. The SOG paratool that I carry has a plain edge blade that can be sharpened to a shaving edge and will hold up to abuse even with that fine of an edge. On the other hand, the design of the tool has the blade edge resting against the steel of the handle when the tool is closed, so the part of blade in contact with the handle will tend to dull (roll over) with time.
     
  10. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Bevel Angle

    Another thing to consider is bevel angle.

    If you have a thin blade with a 20° net bevel, you're in razor territory. If you have a thicker blade with a 40° net bevel, you can still polish the blade to the point where it will shave hair off your arm, but it will take more punishment without rolling the edge.

    I've seen 60° bevels that would do a fine job of cutting you, but you wouldn't want to use it for a scalpel or for whittling. Hell, a hunk of 90° angle iron that's been ground and polished will open up your hand if you foolishly grab it too hard and slip your grip. Not that I, personally, would know anything about that.

    Once you've chosen the angle that's most appropriate for the expected task(s), then it's up to you how fine you want to grind and polish.

    A highly polished surface is less prone to corrosive influences (or, in English, it's less likely to rust).

    The more precision and control you need in a cutting task, the more uniform you want your edge to be, and a polished edge will be more uniform than a rough-ground one.

    Beyond that, it becomes a matter of how much work you want to "invest" for that "return" of cutting quality.

    Seems to me I do better work with a fine, polished edge. Have more control, more confidence in the performance of the tool.

    It's probably all in my head.
     
  11. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    A blade that is pushed (or pulled) through it's work such as a shaving razor, chisel or block plane needs to be polished. A blade that is drawn across its work may benefit from a little tooth: imagine pushing a single edged razor through a tomato without drawing it a little. A polished blade doesn't hurt when cutting a tomato, it just doesn't help much, so why bother?
     
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