How to Sharpen a Knife to a Razor’s Edge


Before we get too far into this, I have to confess that I can’t take any knife and get it shaving sharp. Possibly someone can, but not I. That’s because not all knives are created equal. Some, with the proper attention, can peel the hair off your arm. Some can take an acceptable edge. Some will never be able to slice warm marzipan. So, I buy only knives that I know can equal a straight razor with a little work.

There are three factors that determine what kind of edge you get. First is the type of grind that shapes the blade. Second is the type of steel. Third is the temper of the steel. Every type of grind works if done properly, and there’s a fair degree of latitude in how the knife is tempered. The big variable is the steel. There are two dozen types commonly used, and if you’d like a guide to them, you can find it on 

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