Any tips on feeling for the burr while sharpening at 1000+ grit?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by appliepie123, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. appliepie123


    Jul 12, 2020
    I use the Edge Pro Apex and while I sharpen at the lower grits of 120 up to about 320, I can feel the burr pretty easily with my fingers. I just use my fingers and glide down along the blade perpendicular to the edge. But as I go to up to 1000 and sometimes even 600, I find it increasingly difficult to feel the burr as I sharpen. Even when I go many passes on one side, I sometimes still can't feel the burr on the other side. I've tried on super cheap 10 dollar knives with super soft steel and I'm able to feel it there, but when I sharpen my S35vn and M390, it becomes super difficult to feel.

    I know that it's not a difference in the stone thickness since I use the stop collar to ensure consistency among different stones. And I don't think it's because my fingers are are too calloused either. In fact, they aren't calloused at all.

    Does anyone have any tips on feeling for the burr as the burr gets smaller as you go up in grit?
  2. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Try the side of your fingertip, in front of the first knuckle.

    Try using a dry paper towel - lay the blade flat on the towel and slide along the length of the edge.

    20X jeweler's loupe.
    appliepie123 likes this.
  3. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    I second the loupe, or better yet a 120 power microscope
    Getting older and appliepie123 like this.
  4. appliepie123


    Jul 12, 2020
    Thanks guys! I will try out a jeweler's loupe! I'll also try the dry paper towel. I saw someone say a q-tip works tooo so i'll try that as well. Thanks for the suggestions!
    napaknives likes this.
  5. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    i wrote a thread on micro burr detection
  6. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    I raise a bur and get rid of it on my coarse and medium grit stones. After that I don’t look to raise a bur. I’m basically honing the edge with a fine grit stone.
    My opinion is when on 1,000 grit, my edge should already be apexed and I’m just refining the edge. It works for me but everyones different.
    Glenn Goodlett, Hurrul and sickpuppy1 like this.
  7. jpm2


    Nov 19, 2014
    Test on thumbnail at a slightly higher angle than you’re sharpening.
    If it skates on one side and digs in on the other, the burr is on the side that digs in.
    rpttrsn and MtnHawk1 like this.
  8. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    I use a piece of a paper towel.
  9. Squid61


    Aug 12, 2020
    I hope I misunderstood your post about sliding your finger down the blade feeling for a burr, that burr can take a slice that will make a paper cut seem a pleasure.
  10. Hurrul

    Hurrul Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2017
    OP did indicate sliding his finger perpendicular to the edge, not along the edge.
  11. HeavyHanded


    Jun 4, 2010
    Grind a finger or thumb pad across the edge from the spine outward. If you feel any dif between the two sides, that's your burr.

    Bright ovehead light w/ blade edge down directly beneath. Slowly rock the blade back and forth- look for where the light falls
    willc likes this.
  12. rpttrsn

    rpttrsn Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    I agree with Jpm2. Doing it this way for years.
  13. Beyond feeling for the earliest and largest burr at the initial coarse stage of sharpening, most of my follow-up testing for burrs or other anomalies is done by cutting fine paper. If you pay attention to how the cutting in paper is behaving, you can see all you need to know to determine if burrs are an issue at all.

    Very coarse burrs will be obvious in how they catch or snag or otherwise impede cutting. They'll also be the ones that you can see and/or feel with your fingertip or nail. As the burr gets finer, they'll still catch or snag, but the behavior will become a little more subtle. Finer still, and you SHOULD begin to see the edge effortlessly plunging into the paper with little or no hitches, snags or slips. This assumes that the apex is still being protected and maintained while the burrs are being minimized. When you reach the point where the edge REPEATEDLY dives into and fully through the cut without any catches or slips or bumps, you can be comfortable that any burrs that might be left are so small & insignificant, that it's no longer a concern. Any micro-burrs that might remain will usually be so fine, that even cutting in paper will quickly strip them away. This can sometimes be detected in a small catch or slip on the first cutting pass, which then disappears completely in subsequent passes into the paper.
    Ace Rimmer likes this.

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