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Freehand sharpening on polished blades?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by marchone, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Dumb question?

    I’m thinking of any finished blade, polished, satin finish, et al. How do you prevent scratching the blade?
  2. Realistically, you don't prevent it. At least not entirely.

    Part of committing to freehand sharpening is a willingness to own the results. If one ever expects to use a knife as it was meant to be used, it's going to get scratched or scuffed anyway, probably sooner rather than later. Even sharpening with a guided system runs the risk of a stray abrasive particle scratching the blade, or the corners of the stones running over & beyond the edge bevel and gouging the blade's finish (I've done that more times than I'd like to admit).

    You can game the freehanding results a bit, by committing to only buying & using blades with a finish that's easier to fix, if it gets scratched. Satin-finish blades are better for that - they can be 'fixed' by simple sanding. OR, a fix for a scratched polished blade might be to put a new satin finish on it and never worry about it again. I've done that too. And hollow primary grinds on blades are inherently less prone to sharpening scratches beyond the shoulders of the bevels. They tend to always finish better, in my experience with them.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  3. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    You could tape the blade to hopefully prevent scratches. Personally, I don't even care. I scratched the blade on my G10 Griptilian reprofiling it. It's going to get used, so I don't worry about it.
    000Robert, GABaus, MtnHawk1 and 2 others like this.
  4. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    No idea. I always scratch mine.
    annr and marchone like this.
  5. Squid61


    Aug 12, 2020
    If a knife is collectible why would anyone even think about sharpening it and if it's a working knife why care about scratches or a polished blade for that matter?
    MtnHawk1 and marchone like this.
  6. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    You could use painter's tape or masking tape...

    The benefit of a finished blade is that you can more easily see where you're taking off material with the angle that you're using.
    marchone likes this.
  7. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    If you know what you're doing, there is very little chance of scratching a blade.
  8. Squid61


    Aug 12, 2020
    Just blacken the bevel with a marking pen before you start, it will show exactly where the blade is on the stone on the first stroke.
  9. Tjstampa

    Tjstampa Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2019
    Tape usually works for me, but I have been known to go right through the tape
  10. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    User or safe queen? Your choice.--KV

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