Hand Tools Archive

Unicorn knife edges

Bruce Mack
I like folding knives. In reading posts on sharpening on BladeForums.com under maintenance, tinkering, and embellishment I have noted no coterie favoring power sharpening. There are many posts on guided systems using carriers for diamond stones and films at set angles, I use the KME system to reprofile new blades to about 13° on each side followed by the Spyderco Sharpmaker with ceramic rods set at 15°, giving me an easily maintained microbevel. The edges are sharp but not as sharp as those produced by some freehand sharpeners who can split hairs (see Michael Christy on YouTube). My edges do devastate cardboard cartons, making them good users.
I tried the buffing wheels on my drill using a Spyderco Delica ZDP-189 blade which has a hardness of 64 Rc. The metal has a lot of detractors ("it takes a lousy edge but holds it forever") but some virtuosi can make it sing. My attempt on the wheels left mediocre push sharpness in paper compared to the Marples chisels, but of course, slicing and not surface finish is the knife user's goal. For that reason, some with expertise prefer a toothy edge on their blades. Sharpening both sides of the edge introduces variability which defeats me but not others.
David- have you any experience or comment on this? I know knives are not the focus of your exploration but would value your experience.

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