Evil D wrote:Yeah, beauty isn't necessary, but it sure as heck makes things more enjoyable.
Yes, as noted some people like pretty knives, that is cool if is that is your thing, it isn't for everyone though and not wanting something to be pretty or making something so that it is pretty is a fairly silly way to say what is or isn't professional.
I own this knife from Des Horn :
It is a "Bullet " shape named after the Japanese high speed train the shinkanzen.
The blade is 2mm Nitrobe-77 that has undergone a triple 1 hour 500℃ temper and four cryogenic quenches in liquid Nitrogen.
The liners are grade five Titanium (Ti6Al4V) and the indent ball is silicon nitride developed for the space programme. (93HRC)
the handles are the very rare and hard (7.5Moh) gemstone "Pietersite" from Namibia showing unexcelled chatoyance.
The bolsters are heat treated Stain resisting Damasteel.
I also own this knife from cKc knives :
-O1 tool steel, 62 HRC, deep quench
-plain wood grip
Is one of these more professional maker than the other? Am I a more "professional" knife user when I use one more so than the other?
(I didn't buy the Horn one because of the bolster or handle, it was just the only knife he had with Nitrobe 77)
Here are a couple of knives used (and sharpened) by actual professionals in any sensible definition of the word :
They are at least four and I believe closer to five generations old. Used and maintained by actual working professionals.
I learned how to sharpen from my grandfather who sharpened knives (and worked as) for carpenters, fisherman and woodsman. He was regarded well for his skill not only in using but also maintaining tools and did it for other people. Not once did I every hear him, or anyone one who asked him to restore a knife, axe, plane, etc. ever say "make it pretty". They were all very sharp though, cut very well and had the required durability.
I don't know anyone who's ever said "man this blade looks too good, I'm gonna go scrape it back and forth on a brick to make it look like crap".
Actually there is a growing movement of people who do this, there is even a name on it, go check it out on YT.
Les Robertson used to be fond of saying when he bought his first custom knife from Walter Brend he thought it was too pretty to use so he stabbed it into the ground and scratched it up. I always thought that was fairly silly, why not just ask him to leave the finish with the shaping grit. I do that all the time and tell the people who make custom knives for me not to do any of that because it is a waste of time. But again, I buy them to use, no issues if someone else buys them for other reasons.
I don't think doing a regrind and making it look good in the process takes any more skill than leaving it looking like crap...
When I do regrinds I use a 36 grit Blaze belt, I do this because of the time. This leaves a very coarse finish, in order to make it finer you have to use additional belts which is time and cost. I don't do it because it has no performance advantage (I maintain the primary on benchstones when I sharpen).
I also don't blend in the plunge line. The reason I don't do this is because it again takes more time to cut the plunge lines, again, no performance difference, especially when you maintain the primary on benchstones.
Kyley (cKc) as just one example can however do the same grind that I would do, even faster and produce a finer finish with an actual decent plunge line, in the same amount of time or less than it takes me.
But he has :
-a way heavier/faster grinder
-much more experience
-not even comparable skill
The funny thing is though, even if I had his equipment and his skill/experience, I would still not use more than a very low grit belt because again, it has no practical advantage to me, nor for the people I do sharpening work for as they are just dudes who use knives for a living, they don't play with them. They cut fish and game, meats and vegetables, sods, and shingles, and gyproc, trim roots, etc. and yes the occasional rope and cardboard (often times all with the same knife).
They don't need pretty finishes, they just want sharp knives that cut well, are comfortable and secure in hand. Like I said, if you want pretty then buy pretty and pay for it. I can appreciate pretty things, but I would rather appreciate the prettyness of my partner than my pocket knife if I want to appreciate that quality and quite frankly, no knife than is made by anyone can even compare to them on their worst day. But its your life, spend your time and money as how it makes you happy.