Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:30 pm

EvilD had a good video using a Dremel and compound. I apologize for pointing out the safety factors with it, this has haunted me for months now.

I think this is a valid way of sharpening serrations but a Dremel Vice is needed and his method with a solid mounting should work very nice indeed.

Between Vivi and EvilD I have learned so much about sharpening serrations and want to say thank you both very much, to both of you.

Serrations properly sharpened achieve a scary degree of sharpness.

Add Cruwear Steel to it and Wowwee wow now Spyderco will really have something.
:spyder: Make Mine Spyderco :spyder:

I have tried many different High End brands and only Spyderco consistently produces High Quality Knives with the most Innovative Steels and Incredible Designs and often for less money than others.

I have been surprised many times by Sal's design in the dark philosophy and agree with it. How it feels in the hand and how it cuts matters more than how it looks. Lipstick on a pig, does not make it something other than a pig.

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby cabfrank » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:56 pm

But, I think part of the point here is you don't need a dremel and polishing compound. Instead, I think Vivi is showing how easy it is to sharpen a SE blade with just a Sharpmaker.

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:30 pm

cabfrank wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:56 pm
But, I think part of the point here is you don't need a dremel and polishing compound. Instead, I think Vivi is showing how easy it is to sharpen a SE blade with just a Sharpmaker.
I respect your perspective but this is a compendium so it is more than one persons views is it not?

Granted Vivi is a powerhouse on this forum the OP and correct but to omit others contributions is to limit our knowledge and techniques, I do not believe this was Vivi's intent.

Don't believe me fair enough look it up :) https://www.google.com/search?q=compend ... e&ie=UTF-8
:spyder: Make Mine Spyderco :spyder:

I have tried many different High End brands and only Spyderco consistently produces High Quality Knives with the most Innovative Steels and Incredible Designs and often for less money than others.

I have been surprised many times by Sal's design in the dark philosophy and agree with it. How it feels in the hand and how it cuts matters more than how it looks. Lipstick on a pig, does not make it something other than a pig.

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Wartstein » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:47 pm

Vivi wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:31 pm

1. Clean your rods. Clean stones are important to achieve the best edge. With serrated knives this is even more true, because the small contact area on your stones mean they get clogged extremely fast. I use barkeepers friend and a scouring pad between sharpening sessions, and I keep a wet rag with me while I sharpen. I wipe the rods down once a minute, or rotate to a fresh corner. Any time you can see bits of metal on the corners of your rods, they are giving you less than optimal performance.
Vivi, that was really good advice. In a way it´s obvious, but I was not thinking of the cleaning thing myself.

While I can touch up my PLAIN edge VG 10 knives multible times in the amazingly fast way the Sharpmaker does that ,WITHOUT having to clean the (FLAT side of:) the rods, it is really important to do that cleaning more frequently, if you want to sharpen a SERRATED VG 10 knife equally fast (on the CORNER of the rod of course).

Plus: On a clean, white rod you can clearly see how effectiv it works, cause you can see how it get´s "dark" of the removed metal quite fast again.
Compared to sharpening a plain edge, for me sharpening a serrated edge on the sharpmaker somehow FEELS and SOUNDS less effective, just as if the edge would only "rattle along" the rod. Not true at all, as one, again, can SEE when the rod is clean and white initially.

BTW: For cleaning SM rods I use a cleaner for ceramic glass cooktops, works perfectly.
Last edited by Wartstein on Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Wartstein » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:55 pm

Vivi wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:40 pm
Wartstein wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:21 am
I have a question on edge holding of SE blades (thought about starting a new thread, but than I figured THIS very helpfull thread needs a bump anyway):

- I can keep / get my SE Endela sharp quite easily on the Sharpmaker
- I use the 15 degree setting, of course the corner of formerly the brown, recently only the white stone
- I use Vivis method: Basically sharpening the scalloped side to 15 degree, on the other side I use a very shallow angle just to cut off the burr. Nothing else, no stropping or whatever
- I stop when the knife cleanly cuts printer paper (with each of the larger serrations), don´t need any more sharpness personally.
- So the edge is basically sharpened to 15 degrees INCLUSIVE, which works impressively well for almost any task. Tbh I can´t think of many tasks where a plain edge would do better
- BUT: My VG 10 serrated Endela holds an edge for a noticeable shorter amount of time than my PE VG10 knives do, even when I only perform rather light duty tasks.

- Could it be, that I just overestimate the stability of a 15 degree inclusive edge?
- Should I go to the 20 degree setting or wait till I really sharpened away all of the factory edge (in my experience edge holding sometimes gets better after some sharpening procedures (btw: This is VERY true for ESEE knives imho...)?

To be clear: Despite the not so impressive edge holding, I still really like a fully serrated blade a lot more than I thought I would!
What's the hardest use you're putting the knife through?

Like others mentioned, depending on what you're cutting, a 20 degree microbevel could give you better results. It will have a stronger edge that way.

Do you have a strop? Stropping a knife is a good way to check for a burr. If there is a burr it will grab buffing compound, making it obvious which parts need a little more work.

Your knife should get sharp and stay sharp as well as PE whether you're using the brown or white rods. It will lose push cutting sharpness faster with a brown rod edge, and slicing sharpness quicker with a fine white rod edge.

Have you noticed the teeth between scallops being bent at all? Any of the tips missing? Any spots on the scallops where light reflects if you're looking straight at the apex? Any of those things can indicate edge damage.

Thanks, Vivi!

The hardest I put my SE Endela through? Can´t really say that. I use it for quite every knife task. Food prep (cutting bread, vegetables and so on), cardboard, cordage.
Plus, deliberately and more than I would have to on wood (whittling, feathersticks... no batoning though), cause I want to test how well SE works for that.

Tips are all perfectly intact, but for really inspecting the edge I´ll have to get a lupe finally... :o

Right now I am using a "mixture" of your and Sals (from the sharpmaker instructional DVD) method: 30 degree (inclusive) setting (so not 40 like Sal suggests), BOTH withe rods, 5 or 6 passes on the scalloped side (accurately keeping the 15 degree angle), than 1 pass to remove the burr on the other side and the other rod, but a bit more sloppy, keeping the angle between 5 and 15 degrees I guess.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Evil D » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:50 am

Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:30 pm
EvilD had a good video using a Dremel and compound. I apologize for pointing out the safety factors with it, this has haunted me for months now.


One very VERY important detail is to make sure the Dremel is turning DOWN and OFF of the edge, always edge trailing. If you run it the other direction the buffing bit will be caught by the edge and you'll be in trouble.

To be honest though I haven't done this is a while now. I've played around with just stropping the back of the blade flat on a strip of leather and sometimes that does seem to clean up the edge a bit but I haven't stropped the serration side at all. I'm really focused on getting the best edges possible off the Sharpmaker.
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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Pelagic » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:46 am

Allow me to ask a question stemming purely from ignorance:

Why are serrated knives chisel-ground?

My uneducated guess: ease of sharpening, same preformance.

Has anyone ever seen or heard of someone sharpening both sides of the blade (with a diamond rod or something designed to sharpen serrations individually)?
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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Vivi » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:04 am

Wartstein,

Doing five or six strokes on one side, then deburring, is good for general sharpening.

For the finishing strokes however, try doing two strokes, then deburring.

I find doing my finishing touch like this gives me a sharper edge.

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Evil D » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:10 am

Pelagic wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:46 am
Allow me to ask a question stemming purely from ignorance:

Why are serrated knives chisel-ground?

My uneducated guess: ease of sharpening, same preformance.

Has anyone ever seen or heard of someone sharpening both sides of the blade (with a diamond rod or something designed to sharpen serrations individually)?


I would say ease of grinding at the factory (can you imagine trying to get both bevels lined up perfectly in a production setting?), and it gives longer life to the serration shape since the bevel is so wide (or would be a lot narrower if cut in a V). I think the biggest reason is thickness behind the edge. The shape of the serrations mean that if the points are made to be thin, then the scallops have to be thicker because they're higher up on the blade so they would be quite thick. Look at how thick the top of a SE bevel is and imagine that ground on both sides.

My only complaint with chisel grinds are that they can steer their way through thick materials sometimes. Otherwise I seem to have an easier time sharpening them than V edges.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Pelagic » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:14 am

Evil D wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:10 am
Pelagic wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:46 am
Allow me to ask a question stemming purely from ignorance:

Why are serrated knives chisel-ground?

My uneducated guess: ease of sharpening, same preformance.

Has anyone ever seen or heard of someone sharpening both sides of the blade (with a diamond rod or something designed to sharpen serrations individually)?


I would say ease of grinding at the factory (can you imagine trying to get both bevels lined up perfectly in a production setting?), and it gives longer life to the serration shape since the bevel is so wide (or would be a lot narrower if cut in a V). I think the biggest reason is thickness behind the edge. The shape of the serrations mean that if the points are made to be thin, then the scallops have to be thicker because they're higher up on the blade so they would be quite thick. Look at how thick the top of a SE bevel is and imagine that ground on both sides.

My only complaint with chisel grinds are that they can steer their way through thick materials sometimes. Otherwise I seem to have an easier time sharpening them than V edges.
Makes sense! Thanks for the reply.
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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Wartstein » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:17 am

Vivi wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:04 am
Wartstein,

Doing five or six strokes on one side, then deburring, is good for general sharpening.

For the finishing strokes however, try doing two strokes, then deburring.

I find doing my finishing touch like this gives me a sharper edge.

I´ll try this, my Endela needs a touch up again already anyway ! :)

And: Thank you, Vivi, once more. Really learned a lot of helpfull stuff from you already!
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Bloke » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:49 pm

Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:30 pm
Vivi is a
Image
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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Pelagic » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:44 am

Vivi wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:04 am
Wartstein,

Doing five or six strokes on one side, then deburring, is good for general sharpening.

For the finishing strokes however, try doing two strokes, then deburring.

I find doing my finishing touch like this gives me a sharper edge.
This is what I have to do. I watched your video (which was very good) but thought to myself "it's going to be hard to deburr with 1 pass when you're doing 6 on the other side". I've been trying out your 6 to 1 method in sharpening but ending with extremely light 2 to 1 or alternating passes. I'm getting a lot of practice as the Byrd rescue 2 can only cut 3-4 lines quickly before it starts really slowing down. Keep in mind these are extremely tough marine grade lines.
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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby TomH » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:19 am

Great thread. Thanks!

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Evil D » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:47 am

So lately I've been trying out more course edge grits with my new Caribbean, thought I'd share some thoughts.

First, I'm trying to get this thing reprofiled to 30 degrees on the serrations side, which took some work on the diamond rods and is kinda still in progress. I've got a scratch pattern on the whole bevel but when I marker the edge it takes a lot of passes to remove all the marker at the very edge. This could be my ability to hold it right at 90 but even on very slow deliberate passes it hits more of the shoulder than the edge, but it's getting there.

So with that in mind and since I'm on the diamond rods anyway I thought I'd see just how sharp I can make it. I put a brown rod on the back side of the blade and initially I was getting the worst burr I've ever had on SE and it took a LOT of work to get rid of it but I've managed to get the apex nice and crisp.

I'm surprised both by just how sharp it is and by my ability to get it that sharp at such a low grit. I've never had much luck with getting super sharp edges even off the brown rods but this edge will easily push cut phone book paper and plucks hair with ease. I've also never tried different grits on either side on the Sharpmaker but I wanted to stay on the diamond rods until I'm happy with how the bevel is profiled and I didn't think using diamonds on the back side was a good idea.

Whatever is happening it's working. I'm at a point where I can get better edges on SE than I can PE off the Sharpmaker which doesn't make sense to me but I'm not complaining.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:51 am

Cool ever think of getting a hapstone7 with an angle cube use your diamond rods with it and remove all guess work concerning actual degrees?
:spyder: Make Mine Spyderco :spyder:

I have tried many different High End brands and only Spyderco consistently produces High Quality Knives with the most Innovative Steels and Incredible Designs and often for less money than others.

I have been surprised many times by Sal's design in the dark philosophy and agree with it. How it feels in the hand and how it cuts matters more than how it looks. Lipstick on a pig, does not make it something other than a pig.

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Vivi » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:36 pm

Evil D wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:47 am
So lately I've been trying out more course edge grits with my new Caribbean, thought I'd share some thoughts.

First, I'm trying to get this thing reprofiled to 30 degrees on the serrations side, which took some work on the diamond rods and is kinda still in progress. I've got a scratch pattern on the whole bevel but when I marker the edge it takes a lot of passes to remove all the marker at the very edge. This could be my ability to hold it right at 90 but even on very slow deliberate passes it hits more of the shoulder than the edge, but it's getting there.

So with that in mind and since I'm on the diamond rods anyway I thought I'd see just how sharp I can make it. I put a brown rod on the back side of the blade and initially I was getting the worst burr I've ever had on SE and it took a LOT of work to get rid of it but I've managed to get the apex nice and crisp.

I'm surprised both by just how sharp it is and by my ability to get it that sharp at such a low grit. I've never had much luck with getting super sharp edges even off the brown rods but this edge will easily push cut phone book paper and plucks hair with ease. I've also never tried different grits on either side on the Sharpmaker but I wanted to stay on the diamond rods until I'm happy with how the bevel is profiled and I didn't think using diamonds on the back side was a good idea.

Whatever is happening it's working. I'm at a point where I can get better edges on SE than I can PE off the Sharpmaker which doesn't make sense to me but I'm not complaining.
I've been doing similar experiments.

Image

That was my Pacific Salt straight off diamond rods, no stropping or anything. It could push cut paper and slice the lights off anything it touched, but I couldn't quite get it sharp enough to catch arm hairs above the skin. Maybe someday I'll try again.

My general sharpness test for SE is if it's sharp enough to catch arm hairs without touching skin, it's good to go. No issue getting them there off the brown rods, but diamonds will take more practice.

I'm interested in long term durability on your caribbean at 15 degrees. That's what I keep my Pacifics at. I've seen edge damage at that angle if I use them to chop at thin branches and the edge twists around in the wood, but other than that it's been 100% stable for my uses. No issues whittling through knotty wood or even doing some light batoning, but chopping can bend the teeth a bit.

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Evil D » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:28 pm

Vivi wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:36 pm
I'm interested in long term durability on your caribbean at 15 degrees. That's what I keep my Pacifics at. I've seen edge damage at that angle if I use them to chop at thin branches and the edge twists around in the wood, but other than that it's been 100% stable for my uses. No issues whittling through knotty wood or even doing some light batoning, but chopping can bend the teeth a bit.


Well you're mostly right in that it's very close to 30, so I wouldn't say it's any less than 25 on that side. Because of that I do think I'm gonna go with 30 on the back side too so maybe the edge is a bit stronger.

It felt down right reckless taking a brand new edge to a diamond rod. It seems to be sharpening it fairly evenly, but I do think the humps of the teeth are flatter/thinner now. That could be a good thing as far as slicing goes but will also make them more likely to chip or bend.
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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Wartstein » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:08 pm

Evil D wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:28 pm
Vivi wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:36 pm
I'm interested in long term durability on your caribbean at 15 degrees. That's what I keep my Pacifics at. I've seen edge damage at that angle if I use them to chop at thin branches and the edge twists around in the wood, but other than that it's been 100% stable for my uses. No issues whittling through knotty wood or even doing some light batoning, but chopping can bend the teeth a bit.


Well you're mostly right in that it's very close to 30, so I wouldn't say it's any less than 25 on that side. Because of that I do think I'm gonna go with 30 on the back side too so maybe the edge is a bit stronger.

It felt down right reckless taking a brand new edge to a diamond rod. It seems to be sharpening it fairly evenly, but I do think the humps of the teeth are flatter/thinner now. That could be a good thing as far as slicing goes but will also make them more likely to chip or bend.

David, tbh, I don't fully understand your post: You literally mean, the edge of your Caribbean is not "any less than 25 on that side?? So if it was not chiselgrind, but a regular V-grind you'd have an edge of 50 to 60 inclusive?

And you go with 30 on the backside?

You probably mean the 30 degree inklusive setting on the Sharpmaker, right (so 15 per side)?
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Compendium of tips for sharpening serrated knives

Postby Evil D » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:14 pm

Wartstein wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:08 pm
Evil D wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:28 pm
Vivi wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:36 pm
I'm interested in long term durability on your caribbean at 15 degrees. That's what I keep my Pacifics at. I've seen edge damage at that angle if I use them to chop at thin branches and the edge twists around in the wood, but other than that it's been 100% stable for my uses. No issues whittling through knotty wood or even doing some light batoning, but chopping can bend the teeth a bit.


Well you're mostly right in that it's very close to 30, so I wouldn't say it's any less than 25 on that side. Because of that I do think I'm gonna go with 30 on the back side too so maybe the edge is a bit stronger.

It felt down right reckless taking a brand new edge to a diamond rod. It seems to be sharpening it fairly evenly, but I do think the humps of the teeth are flatter/thinner now. That could be a good thing as far as slicing goes but will also make them more likely to chip or bend.

David, tbh, I don't fully understand your post: You literally mean, the edge of your Caribbean is not "any less than 25 on that side?? So if it was not chiselgrind, but a regular V-grind you'd have an edge of 50 to 60 inclusive?

And you go with 30 on the backside?

You probably mean the 30 degree inklusive setting on the Sharpmaker, right (so 15 per side)?
Yeah sorry I was more referring to the Sharpmaker settings. The edge itself is more like 15-20 or so inclusive from the factory. If the serration side is ground at 15 then the back side is chisel, you have to take into account the angle of the blade grind itself since that's what comes down to the edge and it's at least a few degrees. If you sharpen the back side of the blade at 15 also (on the 30 setting on the Sharpmaker) you'll get a 30 inclusive bevel eventually, even if the back side bevel is very very small.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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