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Do you always rework the factory edge on a new knife?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by maximus83, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. maximus83


    Nov 7, 2011
    I wasn't sure the exact term I need here--reprofile the edge, reset the edge? So I used "rework" to avoid debating about terminology :). What I'm getting at is, when you get a new knife, do you always regrind the factory edge? Are there good reasons to do that aside from the obvious point that you can set your own (often lower) angle for the edge?
    dsalazar likes this.
  2. co556guy


    Dec 13, 2011

    I use a guided sharpening system, so in order for me to refine my edge to the degree I prefer, I have to set the edge to the system's flat nature. As factory knives are sharpened on a belt, the edge is not truly flat like a guided sharpening system produces.

    And since a factory knife has yet to be polished or as sharp as I like, they all get "fixed" before I use them.
    Cereal_killer likes this.
  3. adamlau


    Oct 13, 2002
    Initially, no. Eventually, yes. I will always use the factory edge under normal conditions to first examine and verify the vision of the maker. Edge will be always be reset upon first sharpening to match my vision of how said edge should perform.
  4. Nearly always.

    I've had a couple or three knives, with pretty good factory edges, that I've left 'as is' for a while. But, when it comes time to touch them up, I invariably will take them a bit thinner, at least. With any of my other knives, a complete rework of the factory edge is almost automatic; and I won't put them in my pocket until it's done. And beyond that, my own tendencies have shown me that I'll continue to thin & tweak them down the road, until I'm fully satisfied they're where I want them. It usually takes some time to figure out where that 'sweet spot' is for a particular knife, so it's usually a 'work in progress' for a while.

    As for 'good reasons to do it', I very quickly figured out that 99% of factory edges are nowhere near as sharp as they can, or should, be. That's reason enough. There's an added benefit in reshaping the edge profile to suit one's own sharpening hold (i.e., naturally-held angle). Once it's done, the resharpening experience becomes almost intuitive, in getting it 'right' each & every time.

  5. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Initially no but eventually yes also. I have some I've only just stropped the factory edge.
  6. FK

    FK Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    If the factory edge is acceptable, initially only strop with leather and diamond compound.

    The edges which are not even on both sides, immediately go to full sharpening to correct.

    BK14, Chris "Anagarika" and jc57 like this.
  7. brasileiro


    Aug 26, 2011
    When I get a brand new knife I use it until become dull unless it come dull by factory. When it come sharp I don’t let it dull like butter knife but dull enough to make my task difficult. Then when I sharpen it I look for something similar in angles and grit finish.
    When a blade became too thick (over 1mm) at the shoulder I regrind it as low as possible to get a new secondary bevel near the factory one. But have to be a very very very used and sharpened knife. Of course it’s not exactly as brand new but in this case I’m looking for efficiency cut and not an original beauty edge. And in this case (I like FFG blades) the blade geometry change but the performance don’t. I don’t have the right tools to regrind the entire blade of a FFG. This works for me.

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  8. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    In a word :
    Besides a lower angle often the area behind the edge (if not the entire blade) needs to be thinned. Often ALOT. For example some of my favorite knives come from the factory at about 0.030 inch thick behind the edge. For my taste they need to be half or even a third that thin and if I had the talent to grind them so I would go even below ten thou.

    One exception is my "Little Monster" (my name for it) . . . came from Japan just right . . . I polished the edge and refined what was there (besides stripping the lacquer coating off). Frightening little beast. I love these things ( I now have three).

    One other knife that came from the maker exactly right was my Ritter Griptillian from Benchmade; I just took it out of the box, took one look and a test cut and put it in my pocket and started using it. Thin, sharp, well ground . . . I was using it at work today . . . have had it for more than a year now and have not fallen out of love with this knife.
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  9. jpm2


    Nov 19, 2014
    Yes always, because the factory edge never matches my freehand edge. Once my edge is on there, it's easy to maintain.
  10. adamlau


    Oct 13, 2002
    ^ Indeed. Ease of maintenance is as good of a reason as any to reset the factory edge to match your personal preferences.
    Cereal_killer likes this.
  11. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    Always? No. Most of the time, yes. Eventually, of course, yes, whenever it needs its first real sharpening.
  12. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    It depends. Most knives get a little touch up from the spydieco fine or ultrafine stones. Knives with convex edges like CRKs i want to have a flat edge so I isually work on that.
  13. maximus83


    Nov 7, 2011
    So how are you handling that when you get one of these knives, like say a Bark River, that has a fully convexed primary grind? Are you just grinding a flat edge bevel on there anyway? I don't have any of these full-convex grind type of knives, and have been avoiding them for that reason, because I don't really see a straightforward way to maintain them well. If it's just the EDGE that is convex, that seems fairly manageable and you'd have more choices. You can grind out the convex and reprofile to a flat v-grind edge. Or you can use the "rocking" motion with edge-trailing strokes on a stone, have seen Murray Carter do that, I assume you could do that to maintain a convex edge. But an entire convex grind, I'd think that would be kind of a maintenance hassle.
  14. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Initially no, unless a problem needs to be addressed, but sooner or later they all end up on a stone.
  15. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    The way you are supposed to freehand convex grinds that I saw was using an edge trailing stroke on sandpaper on a mousepad. The give of the mousepad edge trailing stroke let you follow the convex.

    For a convex edge, I have the TOPs BOB knife which has a convex scandi grind. So no secondary edge bevel just one huge convex grind. To sharpen this one I just sharpen the very edge so i am sort of making a little flat microbevel edge. Actually for some reason I had way more trouble woth convex edge like on CRKs or the Lionspy.
  16. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I nearly always reprofile factory edges because they're almost never as thin as I like them. The only exception is Moras, which are thin enough in the edge, but thicker than I like in the grind (on account of being scandis) so I convert them to FFG's while leaving the factory edge alone. I just make it much, much narrower in the process. :D :D :D
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  17. bonzodog

    bonzodog Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    If the edge is ok,I leave it alone until it needs sharpening , then it’s reprofiled .
    willc likes this.
  18. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Factory edge has never been good for me, so yes, I put my edge on all knives I get.
  19. retzius


    Sep 17, 2009
    I almost always reduce the edge to around 30 degrees inclusive and then put on a 40 degree microbevel
  20. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    Almost always I will try out the factory edge but it usually will not last too long.
    Most all my knives end up getting thinned out to some degree.

    By using the factory edge a bit I can get a feel for any improvement that thinning does for the blade.

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