Hand Tools Archive
After the TiN test the blade was returned to me. I put it under my little USB microscope ($250 or so) and found the same portion of the blade edge. By resizing the image I was able to superimpose it over Bill's image in Photoshop until I was sure I was looking at the exact same part of the edge at the same scale.
Here's the image from my little microscope.
The lab microscope image is much better but for practical comparison of edge wear for the purpose of improved tool use, the cheap little microscope tells me almost as much as the expensive scope.
My first microscope was a $30 toy and I probably learned more from it than I learned later from the $250 scope.
Just using a jeweler's loupe will show most of what you really need to see. Watching and feeling how the blade performs in use is really the gold standard for performance but visual inspection helps if you want to understand what to change to get better performance.