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Old 09-06-2005, 03:45 PM   #11
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k guys stupid question....why should you hone anyhoo?
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:52 PM   #12
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Not a stupid question at all.

Honing conditions the blade. I always have a hard time explaining this clearly without props so hopefully someone else will jump in and do a better job than me, but basically...
With us, your blade will sort of bend over on itself. Honing straightens it out again. It does not have anything to do with how sharp the blade is. Picture a piece of paper. The edge of the paper is the edge of your blade. Now picture the paper sort of folding a little. It is still just as sharp as before, but it is not aligned right. Honing will realign it so that the edge in not folded over on itself.
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Fish
I as well hone all my knives with wet stones and/or leather? And i know this is way on the other side of the spectrum but i as well never hone my machining tools everytime before i use them, because i don't need to, nor do my colleagues. I haven't practiced honing more than i should, which i know there will be many different views on the 'right and wrong' way to do things but this method works for me, and has for 10+ years now. However, my theory toward sharpening/honing is.......if it aint broke, don't fix it, don't try to over fix it, and let it tell you what needs to be done.
Meaning: If it's making a different sound, feeling different, or preforming different, then you go in and make changes, and why waste your time, if it doesn't need to be done?
Like you said, if it works for you then don't fix it.
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tancowgirl2000
k guys stupid question....why should you hone anyhoo?
Not a stupid question.

If you can picture the blade of a knife, you see that it is thicker at the top and thinner at the bottom (cutting edge). In fact, if you could look at a cross-section under a microscope, you would see that the very edge is thinner than a piece of paper-perhaps only one molecue thick at the very edge.

As you cut, slice and chop, that thinnest part gets bent out of shape and can even curl over, making the knife less sharp.

Using a steel to hone your blade acts to realign that bent over part of the edge so it's straight and back in line.

This action helps keep the knife sharp but doesn't sharpen it. Sharpening requires the use of other tools that grind steel off the edge of the knife, forming a new sharp, thin edge.

I hope that was clear.
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tancowgirl2000
k guys stupid question....why should you hone anyhoo?
The only stupid question is the one unasked.

Depending on what type of things you cut and how you use your knives, (even on what type of surface you cut on) can hinder how often a 'peening', 'rolled' or even a 'burr' effect happens to your blade edge. Inevitably, it's a natural occurance, upon which honing, lapping, or conditioning (which means basically the same thing) takes the edge off the crooked angle, and puts it back to an angle perpendicular with your knife.
Without honing your knife, you may be able to push through what it is you are trying to cut, but the difference is with a fine honed edge though, you have the ability to let your knife glide through what you are cutting, with minimal effort and fatigue.

I know this may be slightly technical, but in essence, it should be done! Although how often, or your preferred method, is solely up to you and/or how you were taught.
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:28 PM   #16
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Another way to do it is to place the steel tip down onto a non-skid surface such as a rubber mat or even a small wet dish towel. Hold the steel straight up vertically, then run the knife downwards along both sides of the steel.
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:38 PM   #17
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Not only is a steal used to realign the edge of a blade but also to give it a type of serrated edge.

If you look at the blade (I'm talking microscope here) the edge actually has a serrated edge to it with lots of little 'nicks' in the blade. After use these get worn down, the use of a steel straigtens the edge and recreates these little nicks in the blade, restoring its cutting power.

Just remember using a steel isn't enough since the very tip of the blade begins to go round rather than retain that wedge shape. The use of a sharpening stone roughly once a month restores this shape by grinding away the 'roundness'.
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:47 PM   #18
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So basically all thaose dang times that I figured i needed to sharpen my blade I really didnt have to...is that what it comes down to. Thanks for helping me guys, ill think next time I actually "think" I have to sharpen....hmmmm....what information!!
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:01 AM   #19
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For those who may want to follow this subject away from its initial safety issues to sharpening and STEELing this is interesting:

This tutorial and the discussion that followed are really a great read.
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:15 AM   #20
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I would like to say....
Dont mistake honing your knife and sharpening . There is no mistaking a knife that needs to be sharpened on a stone (jap. whet stones). You should be able to cut a tomato and any direction with any part of the blade, with out appling pressure. That is a sharp blade. If you have to do more the 3 or 4 passes on your steel, you need to sharpen your blade.
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