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Old 09-11-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Trailing edge stroke

I saw a Youtube by a guy from either Australia or New Zealand demonstrating a trailing edge stroke on a butcher's steel. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. If you come in too high on a leading edge stroke you can dull the blade. With a trailing edge stroke this seems to me to be much less likely to cause damage and would true up the edge just as well, maybe even better. No?

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Old 09-12-2012, 04:35 AM   #2
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I've tried both. Slicing (push stoke) seems to work better and pull stroke seems to roll edge.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:50 AM   #3
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I tend to do edge leading on the coarser stones and somewhat transition to edge trailing at higher grits. To me the stones about 5000 grit are akin to stropping.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Stock Pot View Post
I saw a Youtube by a guy from either Australia or New Zealand demonstrating a trailing edge stroke on a butcher's steel. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. If you come in too high on a leading edge stroke you can dull the blade. With a trailing edge stroke this seems to me to be much less likely to cause damage and would true up the edge just as well, maybe even better. No?
For knives like the $190 one you just bought, I only use bench stones. If a knife slices through 4 layers of a cocktail napkin with less than 2 ounces of pressure, it's sharp enough for me.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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Push-pull

Thanks, everyone for the advice. This would just involve the steel, not any whetstones. I also have an old fashioned barber's strop for edge maintenance and of course on those you have to use a trailing edge stroke. They can help you keep an edge sharp for a very long time.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Stock Pot View Post
Thanks, everyone for the advice. This would just involve the steel, not any whetstones. I also have an old fashioned barber's strop for edge maintenance and of course on those you have to use a trailing edge stroke. They can help you keep an edge sharp for a very long time.
Straight razors are normally made from relatively soft steel. Some bench stones can be used dry.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:23 PM   #7
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The barber strop creates a convex edge over time, the strongest, most durable edge for a cutting. It resists roll-over better than any straight edge, including compound edges. The problem with a convex edge is that it is more difficult to maintain, unless you have a strop.

As for the Op's question, I use a hard, trailing edge stroke on my smooth Chicago Cutlery steel to grind a micro layer of metal from the extreme edge. I then use medium strength pressure, progressing to light pressure on forward strokes for both sides of the knife. The strokes go like this;
5 medium hard strokes, both sides
4 strokes with a little less pressure (all are done on both sides of the knife edge)
3 strokes with light pressure
2 strokes with lighter pressure
1 stroke with knife weight pressure.

After I've completed the routine, the edge is very sharp, and with micro teeth that facilitate cutting through tough skinned items such as tomato, with only the weight of the blade exerted on the stroke. And the knife goes through meat like soft butter.

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Old 09-12-2012, 01:45 PM   #8
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Thanks. I am definitely trying that method starting today.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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Thanks. I am definitely trying that method starting today.
One caveat, if the knife is truly dull, it will need to be sharpened with the appropriate stones, papers, whatever you sharpen with. My method is for honing the knife, and makes it so that I only need to sharpen my knives once every blue moon or so.

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Old 09-12-2012, 04:00 PM   #10
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Yes, of course. I'm talking about edge maintenance here, not sharpening. That's a whole different thing.
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