Broke new ground sharpening serrations...if you're a SE fan, you need to read this

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Evil D
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Broke new ground sharpening serrations...if you're a SE fan, you need to read this

Postby Evil D » Wed May 15, 2013 8:53 pm

Tonight I decided to really spend some time with my very first Spyderco, which is a SE Native lightweight. This knife is special to me because it started me down this path of loving knives and really got me into this hobby more than just on a user level. I don't know what possessed me to buy a serrated knife, since I have NEVER cared for them...actually I do know, it was that damned Spyderco catalog with their description of how their spyderedges are cut..it sold me. Unfortunately, once that knife eventually got dull, that was it. I basically stopped carrying it and eventually moved on to a PE Delica.

Anyway, I spent some time tonight with a tapered diamond rod, reshaping the serrations and bringing all the tips to a nice sharp point again. I did a lot of reading and watching videos, trying to figure out what I could be doing wrong...and came up short. I could get the edge sharp enough that it was struggle through push cutting printer paper, but that's just not going to do it for me after having the edges I've had on my PE knives.

Then I tried using one of my strops to remove the burr on the back side of the serrations...and I noticed that it did help a bit (despite my recent abandonment of stropping). That's when it occurred to me...

Can you "power strop" with a Dremel??

As of right now, I have to say yes. I put on a cotton polishing disk and filled it with typical red polishing compound, and polished each serration (going away from the edge obviously or it would cut up the disk). I didn't spend so much time on it that the serrations are literally polished, but I could clearly see the toothiness of the serrations going away. Then I flipped the blade over and made a few passes along the back side of the serrations.

End result? It will push cut through phone book paper so easily that I believe it rivals any of the plain edge sharpening jobs I've ever done. I am outright shocked to be completely honest. This knife is insanely sharp.

Now....the story doesn't end here, because I still believe there is a lot to be said about the negative effects of stropping, and there's always the possibility that the very edge has now been burned from the high friction of the polishing (even though there was no percievable heat coming from the edge) and if it is I doubt it's anywhere near what you experience from power grinding a bevel. I'll put this knife to some use and maybe test cut some cardboard tomorrow and see what the edge retention looks like. My gut is telling me that even if the edge retention loss from stropping is present, that the added edge retention from serrations might at least offset it enough that it's still plenty usable. In the end I'm hoping that I've developed a fast and easy way to sharpen serrations, which might open up a whole new world for me since getting them sharp enough has always been my biggest issue with SE knives.
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Scorpion
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Postby Scorpion » Wed May 15, 2013 8:58 pm

Was your title intentionally misleading? I read it as "I just finished grinding my serrations and then I broke 'em, so listen up spyderedge users so you don't make the same mistake."

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Postby Clip » Wed May 15, 2013 9:01 pm

Looking forward to the long term report David, this is what's been holding me back from the SE Tasman and Lil Matriarch!
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Evil D
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Postby Evil D » Wed May 15, 2013 9:19 pm

Scorpion wrote:Was your title intentionally misleading? I read it as "I just finished grinding my serrations and then I broke 'em, so listen up spyderedge users so you don't make the same mistake."
Not really sure what you mean..."broke new ground" is usually a term used when speaking about making progress with something.
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Postby Pockets » Wed May 15, 2013 9:21 pm

I'm interested. I can keep serrations plenty sharp, but new knowledge is always welcome.
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Postby Cliff Stamp » Wed May 15, 2013 9:30 pm

A few points :

-if you want a finer finish why not use the sharpmaker rods

-how is the slicing aggression on the buffed finish

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Postby Evil D » Wed May 15, 2013 9:36 pm

Cliff Stamp wrote:A few points :

-if you want a finer finish why not use the sharpmaker rods

-how is the slicing aggression on the buffed finish
I actually don't own a Sharpmaker...but I haven't given up on finding some smaller ceramic rods that fit neatly into the small serrations.

As for cutting aggression, I haven't cut anything but phone book paper so far so I can't really say. It definitely bites plenty hard into the paper...but you can probably attribute that to the teeth also. Each serration will push cut the paper, but it's also near impossible to not get some sort of slicing motion since those little serrations are so curved.
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Postby bpeezer » Wed May 15, 2013 10:18 pm

Why do you apparently dislike stropping so much? I don't mean to go off topic, you can message me a response if you want. I've just never heard someone talk so negatively about stropping :confused:

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Postby Stuart Ackerman » Wed May 15, 2013 10:24 pm

Stropping is not it appears to be....
Almost like buffing an edge with a power buffer and buffing soap...burns the edge quicker than you realise...
it will be sharp, but not durable as a non-buffed edge, as the edge breaks away quicker than it should...

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Postby Blerv » Wed May 15, 2013 10:47 pm

Cool idea Evil. Gotta try that out :)
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Postby bpeezer » Wed May 15, 2013 10:52 pm

Stuart Ackerman wrote:Stropping is not it appears to be....
Almost like buffing an edge with a power buffer and buffing soap...burns the edge quicker than you realise...
it will be sharp, but not durable as a non-buffed edge, as the edge breaks away quicker than it should...
Is that just stropping with power tools, or even gently sliding the blade across a piece of leather?

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Postby Stuart Ackerman » Wed May 15, 2013 11:21 pm

Both, even just the leather slide...
Drag a plastic ruler edge like a knife blade across your trouser leg maybe ten times, and feel the heat on the ruler edge...

Metal works the same, and we tend to press harder with steel...

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Postby anagarika » Wed May 15, 2013 11:42 pm

To David,

I read sometime back on this forum that the duckfoot sharpening stone by Spyderco can be used for SE. Forgot who posted that.

PS: I used 'balance strop' (posted in BF thread under Maintenance subforum), and the result is great!

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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Thu May 16, 2013 12:11 am

I have stayed away from serrated blades (except for a handful of combo edges) specifically for the reason that they are unfriendly to sharpening. That and the way they cut to the right.

I have a Sharpmaker, but the act of running serrations along the stones just the same as on a plain edge ... well ... I'm not buying it. Serrated edges have a mystique, to me, but I don't feel that they're anywhere near worth the trouble. Witness this thread. ;)
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Postby BAL » Thu May 16, 2013 4:22 am

Good thread Evil, your title made sense to me, but then again consider the source.
I prefer plain edge blades, but also love a serrated one for certain tasks, I like the
fully serrated blades myself and not the combos. Small little tree limbs and beginning
scrub brush don't stand a chance with a fully serrated Endura or Spyderhawk.


I have sharpened serrations on my sharpmaker just like Sal says in the video
and it has worked great for me. If Sal says it works that's good enough for me.

If someone doesn't like or buy Spyderedged knives, then that's your loss and
makes more for those that like them. ;)

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Postby kbuzbee » Thu May 16, 2013 5:58 am

Nice David. I'll be interested to hear how you like this, going forward.
Evil D wrote:I actually don't own a Sharpmaker...but I haven't given up on finding some smaller ceramic rods that fit neatly into the small serrations.
Run down the discontinued Profile set (I think I've seen the individual stones still available recently). They fit both the "U"s and the "V"s quite nicely.

Ken
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Postby einstein2001 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:43 am

Great idea. I'm going to try this on my LB Hawkbill Salt.
[table="width: 1100, align: left"]
[tr]
[td][SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/td]
[td]Cruwear Military, CTS-204P Para 2, K390 Mule
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[/td]

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Postby Scottie3000 » Thu May 16, 2013 7:02 am

Thanks for the tip. I'll include my experiences with it in my coming write-up after carrying nothing but a full SE Endura for a month (in progress). I was thinking about a similar idea last week when I read someone polished the serrations with green strop compound.
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Postby Donut » Thu May 16, 2013 7:22 am

I've been able to maintain the sharpness of my lil matriarch with my sharpmaker. My test of sharpening is cutting paper, and make sure I can cut on every up and down of the serrations.

David, I think you NEED a sharpmaker. =P

The highlight of the serrations in my opinion is the chisel grind. If I sharpen at 40 degrees on one side and as flat as I can on the other side (just to remove the burr), I end up with about a 20 degree edge. The serrations help the 20 degree edge from dying so quickly, but it cuts more aggressive than a normal 30 or 40 degree edge.
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Postby jackknifeh » Thu May 16, 2013 7:58 am

bpeezer wrote:Why do you apparently dislike stropping so much? I don't mean to go off topic, you can message me a response if you want. I've just never heard someone talk so negatively about stropping :confused:
Oh man! This is a VERY interesting topic which has been discussed in much detail. Search the forum. OTOH, I doubt if searching will be beneifcial because you'll get every thread where the word "strop" is used. There are two or three threads that are info saturated. And to be honest I left the topic not knowing what to think. At the moment, stropping or not stropping (assumming it's done properly) can produce a difference in sharpness AND edge retention that is measurable in testing but for everyday use the difference is almost undeterminable IMO. Mainly because you would need to pay close attention to what you cut over a period of time and normal living. Paying that much attention in life would be difficult. Someone actually started a cutting diary to document his cutting over time. I believe he found it too much of a pain to think about along with other daily things. Anyone know who did that? :) Another thing that will make a difference to each individual is your skill using stones and strops both. Two similar but also different types of sharpening. I could continue but I'd be repeating what is there already and I don't have the energy right now. :)

Back on topic:
Using the Dremel is a new thought for me regarding the serrated edge. And one I'd like to try. I only have one serrated knife in the house and that is the bread knife in the kitchen set. It rarely even gets used. I could play with it I suppose. I have owned a couple of serrated edges and sold or traded them because of the very thing you mentioned. I couldn't get them to push cut along the entire edge and that bugged me. I know this is rediculous because the knife would easily slice through thick rope and that's what you need. I've been amazed at the number of people who swear by an EDC serrated knife. Since I always have at least two on me I could carry a serrated edge knife as one of them. Of course this means I'll need to buy one.

Very interesting read and something to think about and possibly try. Preciate it.


Jack


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