Hand Tools Archive

Re: Filing

"so in principle matching the granularity to the task could have value"

There is a whole category of knives that are sharpened with files, or steels (files on rods with the teeth applied like the stripes on a barber's pole), and this applies to broadheads also. There are tricks for drawing a file to create different granularities of tooth on the edge. These serrations are very sharp and aggressive, but they hurt when you get cut so the edge probably has width. The cuts heal faster than razor cuts due to the greater cell damage. So depending on what or whom you are cutting there are issues.

Another familiar approach is sharpening something like a plane. I normally freehand at a skew angle, just in order to get more stability. If the situation allows I will finish with strokes in line with the stone, this is one reasons why the race plane guys may use a guide since one can work the blade in line. This ensures the edge granularity is in line with the stroke. Seems to work.

I should have mentioned that when sharpening serrations, the normal way to sharpen a knife with sticks is to sweep it down and towards one, sorta a cutting action applied to the stick. With serrations you want to do that in both direction: Down and to one, and down and away. That way you get both sides of the point better.

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.