The curse of "It's not sharp enough"

I have several knives. I like to keep them in sharp condition.
But every now and then I get the feeling that I ...just can't get them sharp enough. Not to my liking.

I have a set of different hardness proper whetstones and I have decades of experience in sharpening knives. My knives do pass the paper cut test, but I still feel like they are "not sharp enough". I would like them to be actual "razor/shaving sharp", which seems difficult to achieve on generic purpose bushcraft knives.

Am I being overly obsessive? I know that the knives are sharp enough to do all the basic tasks, and yet I have a nagging feeling they are not sharp enough to my liking. I have tried all the finishing touches like "take the burr off with a leather belt or unglazed porcelin" and such, but the result is always "functional but unsatisfactory".

I am fairly sure this is either a skill issue ...or just psychological issue of me wanting too much from a blade. Especially just a generic field service/bushcraft blade. It's not supposed to be a cooking knife that can peel transparent slices off a tomato or something ...and yet I see videos of people doing that.

Anyone want to give be advice on how to sharpen a blade to razor sharpness? is it even a fools errant?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Firstly, if you have decades of experience sharpening knives, why are you asking us? Secondly, yes, this is all in your head. Knives need to do knife things, and shaving razors need to do razor things. Stop obsessing over it, and stop being a queer.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    It's a "both" issue. It's possible to get any knife shaving sharp even if it's the shittiest piece garbage steel on the planet.
    It's also a mental issue. There's zero reason for a bushcraft knife to be that sharp. In fact, it's a trade-off. A super crazy sharp blade is also not very durable, that's fine for a doctor's scalpel or a sushi knife but it's the last thing you want in a bushcraft knife where you need it to withstand chopping and heavy work without the edge failing.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah, I guess I just needed someone else to say this. I just get... emotional when I test the sharpness of a blade against my skin and it doesn't feel like it would easily shave all the hair on my forearm.

      Firstly, if you have decades of experience sharpening knives, why are you asking us? Secondly, yes, this is all in your head. Knives need to do knife things, and shaving razors need to do razor things. Stop obsessing over it, and stop being a queer.

      Yeah, probably just a psychological issue of me demanding too much of myself. Just because someone has decades of experience does not mean they need some ..."get your feet back on the ground, you are fussing too much over trivial things" straight talk.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    the issue is likely not the sharpness of the very edge but other factors - usually how thick a knife is behind the edge, what the bevel angle is, whether the bladeface is perfectly flat so stuff (like potato slices) can suction on to it and make it harder to push the knife through food and also how smooth the bladeface is. Those factors can make a night and day difference between two knives, even if both are sharp enough to shave arm hair with them. There is a reason people pay a lot of money for a premium kitchen knife (there are plenty of expensive, but utterly shit knives out there too, though so spending money doesnt mean all that much)

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >I have decades of experience in sharpening knives.
    >posts pictures of knife being sharped "inside"
    yeah, nah

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    proper high carbon steel
    >stainless can be high carbon dont @ me nerds
    properly heat treated, is the first step, most knives already have this, only the dirt cheapest chinese junk doesn't but see 3, results can vary widely
    second edge geometry, shavoring razors look the way they do for good reasons and while a perfect 90deg edge is a sharp edge, it does not cut as well as an imperfect 15deg edge
    third is knowing your grain and carbide size, there's a tradeoff between how tough your edge is and how fine you can get the apex, and either you look that up or you figure it out for each knife you have by just going finer and finer grit on the polish until you hit diminishing returns. this is where steel type shows up, a steel with huge carbides can't be polished as fine as a steel with small ones but will keep an edge much longer etc
    what kind of knives are you sharpening and what are you using for your final stropping? 6u diamond paste is pretty much the standard for getting to hair popping sharp, but autists have taken it further

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    There are several reasons.
    1. Angles: the geometry of most knives is around 60° edge so it doesn't make much sense to sharpen them past the point of popping your arm's hair. The blade will wedge into what you're cutting. For actual razor sharpness you need much more tighter angles.
    3. Hardness of the steel: even the most quality steel for knives is a tradeoff because the last thing you want is your knife blade to snap. So the steel needs to be tough and flexible, hardness is desirable but not a priority. Id the Blade is not ultra hard an ultra sharp edge won't last past a few cuts.
    3. Steel grain size: for ultra sharp blades like razors or high quality woodworking scalpels you need very fine graded steel, otherwise honing with an 8000 grit stone is basically useless.
    If you want to satisfy your sharpening OCD just buy a straight razor and use it to shave.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >If you want to satisfy your sharpening OCD just buy a straight razor and use it to shave.

      This... might actually be somewhat therapeutical for someone that has a sharpening streak.I shall take that into consideration.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >60° edge
      that's the back end of a splitting wedge, not a knife blade. an axe blade is 35deg. 17-20deg is the standard knife edge angle and <17 is straight razors and scalpels

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        60° is most likely the inclusive angle, i.e. 30° on either side. Still far too much though.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I was referring to the total angle, not the bevel angle. It's 2 times that because knives are double bevel apart from some specialties. 60° is an extreme case, most outdoors knives are 45°-50°

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >most outdoors knives
          Buck 110 is 15° from the factory, probably why it's so popular, it's a laser beam compared to most "bushcraft" knives

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >get a cheap knife sharpening tool
    >Spend 30 minutes on my EDC knife I break down cardboard boxes with
    >Do it once a month
    Good enough for me.

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >decades of knife sharpening experience
    >cant get a knife shaving sharp
    bruh

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >whetstone
    this is where you are being held back. you need to upgrade to a laser.

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Real life is not anime. Your knives will never be anime sharp. Just deal with it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      they will be when hes fricking around thinking them shits aint sharp enough and has to get 29 stitches and tendon surgery.

      I'm looking at you john shorey you stupid wienereyed homosexual. we went to a christian church school where we were allowed to have pocket knives, and had a based principal who held yearly AR and AK building parties for seniors. well fricking wienereyed homosexual was playing with his knife showing off that his dad bought him a $350 knife in 1997, got bumped by milo the big ass dog (very based dog) , got knocked over cut his hand wide the frick open, screamed like a homosexual and sprayed everyone in 5 feet with projectile vomit from seeing his hand sliced open. we didnt get to have the build out party, and his mom sued the school. i know youre on here you homosexual, you showed those old farts at the gunshop /k/ memes.

      tldr moral of the story: dont be a wienereyed homosexual with a razor sharp knife that thinks its not sharp enough.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >setting a dog on a child

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          the dog was looking to get petted and eat treats. he was a great big fatass dog that loved everyone.

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Sharpening Stones are a deep game and you honestly need crazy skills to do them by hand perfectly every time.

    Just get a lanksy sharpener system of KME one if you want to get more autistic. You'll have a razor sharp blade every time if you select that angle. Though as other people say, its moronic to sharpen a work blade at a 17 degree angle. Those should be sharpened at like a 27 degrees.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      lansky or KME*

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    If you really want stupid sharp without a giant learning curve, the Worksharp Ken Onion is really good. I bought mine mostly for kitchen knives, I'm from a family of serious cooks who have a lot of cutlery and need it resharpened frequently, but it's also more than capable of getting your pocketknives to a razor sharp mirror edge if you really want them that way. Just take it slow and don't let your knives get too hot and there's no real downside with it. (People see a powered belt thing and get worried about overheating but used properly you run it at very low speeds, not that different from a stone from the knife's perspective, the main advantage should be consistency, ease of use, and range of grits rather than speed.)

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >the main advantage should be consistency, ease of use, and range of grits rather than speed.
      Oh, and the convex grind you get out of it too, something that's extremely difficult any other way.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I ordered a Spyderco sharpening system for my kitchen knives. Anyone have any experience with it?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I have a Sharpmaker. It's excellent for maintaining the edge on knives that have already been sharpened to the right angle on a more aggressive system, but a b***h if you're trying to take a knife from a different edge angle to the one it's set up for. It also works better for softer steels and it's a a bit hard to use with anything over about a 4" blade, really more suited to pocketknives and pairing knives than chef's knives.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I second ^^^^

          The rods are too hard for anything except light maintenance.

          So I finally caved and purchased primo Japanese waterstones. Took me two years and angle guides to dial it in but can now turn my kitchen knive into razors and even remove chips, reprofile and sharpen my Esee 6, which is my go-to tool along with Qiwiz's "Little Buck" wood saw when PrepHole.

  16. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Anyone want to give be advice on how to sharpen a blade to razor sharpness
    Change the angle and put a micro bevel on generic hunting knife. Its too thick to work with the same angle you use on the kitchen knife.
    You using the exact same technique will never work cause you dont touch the actuall apex of the thicker blade with the stone.
    Or its utter dogshit like an ak bayonet and cant hold an edge.

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