The Sharpie Trick
November 5, 2019
I’ve had a lot of people ask me what the “sharpie trick” is, so today we’ll be explaining it. This is a simple technique to find what angle best matches the existing angle on a knife.
The first step is to use a marker to cover the bevel of the knife, being careful not to cut the marker or yourself in the process.
Then make a sharpening stroke with your Fine hone at the angle that you would guess is the correct one.
If you’ve removed all or almost all of the marker with that stroke, then the angle either matches or is a very close match.
In this case you can carefully remove any remaining marker, and then sharpen at that angle, starting with whichever stone is appropriate for your sharpening session.
If you’ve only removed the marker near the edge, then you’re at a wider angle than the existing edge is, ie at 25 when the edge is 20.
If you’ve only removed the marker farthest from the edge, or you didn’t hit the bevel at all, then you’re at a narrower angle than the existing edge is, ie 20 when the edge is 25.
For either of these scenarios, you can move to the next angle up or down to see if it is a better match.
If you sharpen at the angle that is the closest match while being wider than the existing angle, then you will not have to remove much metal, and you will create a secondary bevel. This means that you will lose a small amount cutting power while gaining some durability for the edge.
If you sharpen at the angle that is the closest match to the existing angle while being narrower, then you will have to remove a fair bit of metal, and as such we recommend starting with your coarsest stone. This will result in a single bevel with more cutting power, but less durability.
Finally, we recommend carefully remove any remaining marker before sharpening (rubbing alcohol works well for this).
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