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Everybody's getting mirror edges these days Login/Join 
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
posted
Watching youtube videos these days, I've noticed a trend in the last few months- I'm seeing mirror-polished edges on knives these day. This is no exaggeration. I see edges which are reflecting their surroundings just like a mirror. Hell, I've even see some of those mirror edges here in the forum.

Clearly, these edges are honed on the new generation of sharpening devices available. If you're capable of sharpening a blade to that degree, please tell me which sharpener you're using.

Such sharpeners are not new, of course. I've got a Lansky setup I purchased in the late 1980s, but the newer generation systems are clearly superior.


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Posts: 99693 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
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I’ve seen it done with a leather strop with polishing paste.

I’m curious as to whether or not there is a tangible benefit to that mirror finish in a blade. It seems logical, smoother finish = less friction. That would mean (if that edge was honed properly) smoother cutting and longer edge life. Right?


I have a TSProf Kadet, and I would love to try to do this. Didn’t grumpybiker make a mirror edge using this system?


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Posts: 16581 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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Sometimes a coarser edge is preferable. I'm just curious which particular devices (and the hones they use) are capable of producing such edges.

The edges I'm talking about- neither you nor I would be able to get them by free-hand sharpening.
 
Posts: 99693 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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More than one way to get to a mirror polish. Top was done on a KME. Bottom was hand stropped on increasingly fine compounds. Knives are blurry but I tried to focus on the leaves reflecting on the edge.





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Pace
 
Posts: 147 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by flesheatingvirus:

I’m curious as to whether or not there is a tangible benefit to that mirror finish in a blade. It seems logical, smoother finish = less friction.


My opinion...it's fun to do to see if you can do it, but in real life use, serves little purpose. The first time you open a package, that edge is gone.


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Pace
 
Posts: 147 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
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I sharpen for a fee (just a side thing on line).
The system I settled on is the TSPROF Kadet.
Love this thing. I know you’re not a fan of FB but there are a number of “Guided Sharpening” groups on there.
I have a few friends that do this for a living many have switched to TSProf KO3 or the Kadet.

I love sharpening knives but after getting into high relief wood carving and all the sharpening needed to maintain those tools sharpening knives kinda lost its appeal.
These new guided systems are fantastic.
Easily able to repeat the angle of your choice & achieve the same angle on each side.
I do mirrored edges to show what’s available to folks interested in having their knives sharpened by me .
Using diamond stones to set the new edge angle , I then use traditional wet stones from 120grit up to 4000grit then switch to the kangaroo leather strops with diamond emulsions from 9um down to .01um I use Gunny Juice emulsions.
(They’re the small white capped bottles seen in the first two photos)
I do love the amazing sharpness of a mirrored edge. Smile























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Posts: 6781 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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That's the stuff. I want to be able to do that.
quote:
Originally posted by pace40:
My opinion...it's fun to do to see if you can do it, but in real life use, serves little purpose. The first time you open a package, that edge is gone.
I agree, but you and I and a whole bunch of guys in this forum have so many knives, we'll never get around to using all of them, and I just want to put some pretty edges on a few of mine.
 
Posts: 99693 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Triggers don't
pull themselves
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I can achieve mirror polished edges with my Wicked Edge GO (after purchasing the additional 800/1000 grit stones). The unit shipped with 200/600 grit combo stones.

I generally prefer a more toothy edge so I typically stop after the 600 grit stone. Stropping is typically sufficient to maintain an edge. I use a Spyderco Sharpmaker for more aggressive touch up and then the Wicked Edge when edges are in bad shape or reprofiling is needed.
 
Posts: 949 | Location: Petal, MS | Registered: January 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by parabellum:
That's the stuff. I want to be able to do that.[QUOTE]

email sent...


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Pace
 
Posts: 147 | Location: in the PA woods | Registered: March 11, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
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Posts: 6781 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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quote:
Originally posted by flesheatingvirus:
I’ve seen it done with a leather strop with polishing paste.
Yup. I do that with my bench chisels and hand planes and end up with a mirror finish.

quote:
Originally posted by flesheatingvirus:
I’m curious as to whether or not there is a tangible benefit to that mirror finish in a blade.
That mirroring is more a side effect than anything else. The purpose of stropping is to remove the last little bit of wire edge sharpening leaves. A wire edge so thin, so tiny you can't see it except under high magnification.

I've a small piece of leather, glued to a small wood block, rough side out, I charge with stropping compound, then drag each side of the sharpened edge across that a few times with moderate pressure.

How sharp, how clean do the edges get from that? I one time went to wipe the remnants of the charging compound off a chisel and didn't quite wipe away from the edge. Hadn't really felt anything, but thought, from the angle I'd wiped, "did I just cut myself?" Looked. Didn't see anything. Applied a bit of pressure away from where I thought I maybe did it and found I had a paper cut to beat all paper cuts.

Since the blade was newly-sharpened I didn't really have to worry about contamination, so I simply pushed it closed. It closed so neatly and thoroughly I never needed a bandage.

It does make a difference. With my hand planes, after sharpening like that, I could take off a shaving so thin it'd be translucent. With some woods an edge like that will leave behind a surface so smooth sandpapering, even with the highest of grits, makes them rougher.

(Woodworking trivia: That's the reason for corrugated hand plane soles. The surface can become so smooth the base of a smooth-bottom plane will literally stick to the surface.)




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Posts: 23563 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just got the Silver Stag Elk Skinner, Antler Slab, the other day from Knives Plus Thay have a sharping service for 8 bucks so I gave it a shot and you could drop a hair on it and cut it in half Big Grin





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Posts: 1227 | Location: New Hampshire "Live Free or Die"  | Registered: September 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
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Since this topic doesn’t come up often I’ll take this opportunity to post a couple of mine! Razz


















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Posts: 6781 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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Oh, you are ready to leave the monastery, grasshopper.
 
Posts: 99693 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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I've done it with a simple Lasnky five stone set, working to the finest grit stone.


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Posts: 15136 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
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Lansky does offers some higher / finer grit stones and a leather strop for their system.
If folks don’t want to drop the $500-$1,000 to get into one of the better guided systems.
I’d recommend multiple leather strop like the one in the photo for each different grit diamond emulsions used.
I haven’t used this set up in years.











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Posts: 6781 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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That's cool, I didn't know they made a stropping attachment. May need to get one or two of those. I don't know where my kit is at the moment since half my stuff is still boxed up, but I'm pretty sure mine has the black, red, green, yellow and then that light blue polishing stone you have pictured in the package.

It may be either my lack of skill, or my imagination, but it seemed to me that the most polished edges I put on knives were somehow less sharp than those where I stopped at the yellow or green stone in that kit. I do mean different sharpenings on the same knife at the same angle, so there was at least a degree of control factor there. Maybe it was the toothiness of the edge, I don't know. Willing to give it another go.


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Posts: 15136 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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Yeah, that Lansky kit- that's what I've got. Haven't used it in many years. The guide rods can get bent and some of them seemed a bit off to begin with. Not exactly a confidence-inspiring setup for me.
 
Posts: 99693 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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I know what you mean. I had taken to lining up the rods on a table and giving them a slight roll, the way one does with a pool cue at a public table to make sure they weren't bent. I'd pick the straightest one, and if needed, give it a slight counter bend against the edge of the table until straight. I'd then start the rod in the stone and set the assembly flat on the table to make sure rod and stone surface were both in line. Then I'd tighten the thing up and begin. The clips that hold the rods in the box are tight enough that if you're not careful to brace both ends right by the rods as you pull them out, you're going to bend them. I did a few times until I realized my angles were way off.

I'd forgotten about that until you mentioned it. It is not confidence inspiring, and I never got what I'd call fantastic results. I think it would be pretty easy to get consistently excellent results with any of the various TSProf units, which I considered on the group buys here. It was just more than I was willing to pay.


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I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 15136 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The TSPROF is definitely the best of the guided systems. I prefer the older KM03 to the newer model because it's easier to compensate for different stone thicknesses. The Kadet is more portable and better for smaller tables. Grumpy's clamp setup is slick as snot! I may have to make one for my Kadet.

Stones are very important. If you are going to be sharpening a lot of harder more complex steels with say tungsten or vanadium you will be much happier with Diamond or Cubic Boron Nitride stones. These two are harder than the tungsten and vanadium particles and can cut them to sharpen. Softer stones can "smear" them.

For non-convex edges I usually prefer stropping on balsa blanks with Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN). Convex edges are usually better on Leather.

You can buy 1x36 balsa blanks and Edge Pro blanks to mount different stones and strops. My favorite strops are 3x8' with magnetic backers that I got from:

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/strops.html

My favorite stropping compounds are the CBN Sprays, they aren't cheap but last a LONG time, I have had to replace any grits after several years of use.

If you like Convex edges and use them a lot or most of the time, the Work Sharp Ken Onion edition the the grinding attachment is pretty sweet and it's FAST! You can buy leather belts for the grinder to strop with or even just use a compound on their finest belt to get a mirror edge convex edge. I have the convex kit on one of my TSPROF's, it definitely will give you the most PRECISE convex edge but honestly I use the Work Shop for most of my Convex stuff. Definitely look into the Ken Onion for Convex edges, you can even start with the basic model to start out with and move up to the grinding attachment later if you want to start off less expensive and expand and funds allow. All up it's less than half a TSPROF system in any case.

BTW the best sharpness test I've used was given to me by an excellent member here "OffGrid". Here he gives a lot of good sharpening advice:

https://sigforum.com/eve/forum...0601935/m/7290080054


Anyway try slicing cigarette paper. WAAY tougher than regular paper and the best test short of a professional scale system.

Good luck everyone, I hope some of this might help a tiny bit...........


Remember, this is all supposed to be for fun...................
 
Posts: 4117 | Registered: April 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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