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Thread: the sharpest blade you ever sharpened

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Fredericton, New Brunswick

    Default Re: the sharpest blade you ever sharpened

    Agreed. It's pretty good at cutting foam into shape for cushions, mind you. Not as good as the electric knife my mom used to use for the turkey, but not bad.

    It's way too brittle for anything serious though.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK

    Default Re: the sharpest blade you ever sharpened

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    45 years cohabiting with a chef's knife is most excellent.

    i have already missed my chance to match that, unless i use this stainless zwilling pro for...42 more years?

    need to take better care of myself...
    This stainless Zwilling Pro isn’t sold in Europe, only to East Asia. I had to write nicely to get this diverted.

    This isn’t a cleaver; this is a vegetable knife.

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-24-2022 at 03:03 PM.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Seattle, WA USA


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    What TomF said just above. For that particular application. For woodworking, for carving, IME, the best edge requires less physical effort to push the blade through the wood to take a chip, and that edge will also shave the hairs from your wrist. And that sharpness will also leave that cut surface clean enough to have a patina without needing any goram sanding, or at least less of it. Depends on what you're making or fixing how sharp you want a blade. For other sorts of cutting things, along with the ideal sharpness, the quality of the surface of the blade behind the edge also makes a difference in how nicely the cut is made, how much effort and whether or not your cut gets accompanied by a word. I regret polishing the sides of a nice super sharp kitchen knife, after I noticed that the blade adhered slightly as it moved through raw meat.

    As for the razors, I have an almost identical experience to Tom's, as far as learning how to restore shaving sharpness.

    The first time I got a shave by a straight razor was at the on-base barber shop in Taiwan. The prices, because of being on base, and because Taiwan, were ridiculously low compared to a barber stateside. Haircut for fifty cents. Shave, two bits. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. Stateside at the time, a haircut was five bucks and a shave was ten!

    It was an experience, sitting laid back under a sheet having another man touch and feel my face, but it was worth it. Hot lather, then the steaming hot towel immediately after, and before he cranked the chair back up. When he was done there was a moment of sublime luxury, and then without any warning and just literally out of the blue, the barber had applied after shave lotion to his hands, and then he SLAPPED it on. I levitated.

    But the whole point of the exercise became clear later in the day. Having had the shave in the a.m. I was pleased to find that it was so close I couldn't feel any whiskers with my fingers. Smooth like a baby's. And even more pleasing and unexpected was that it was still that close well into the p.m. and I didn't even think about shaving before work the next day.

    Back in the states, while on a leave a few years later, in a touristy spot in California, I happened to see a cutlery store and went in to browse. When I saw the straight razors for sale, I bought one, thinking to recapture that miracle shave mentioned above. It didn't quite work out that way, mostly because a barber can get a better angle of attack and pull the skin taut better than you can do yourself, but it was closer than I was accustomed to, and the shaving was not really much more effort, preparation and all, than a regular shave with a saftery razor, or one of those sacrilege plastic things.

    Then, to get to Tom's epiphany regarding the resharpening, I was temporarily rooming with my younger brother Pete in our older brother Tom's apartment, across the boulevard from Tom's hardware store here in Sacto. Pete had brought home from the store a diamond sharpening 'stone.' One of those with a perforated steel plate with diamond embedded like a diamond cutting wheel for a grinder, mounted in a plastic base. Pete said it was the best thing for sharpening, and like a fool, I tried it with my razor. Way too aggressive. Oh, god was it awful after that. I couldn't get it back and shaving with it became a painful ordeal. So much so that I just couldn't bring myself to drag it over my chin or around the more sensitive parts of my face, so out of that necessity I started sporting a chin beard. Eventually I resented buying the damn desposable blades enough that I figured out how to bring the exquisitely sharp edge back.

    I eventually gave up on all the ritual prep. I skip the lather altogether. Just getting the whiskers soft with hot water is enough if the blade is properly sharp, and I've even dry shaved with it without much discomfort.

    Another point about getting a profoundly sharp edge is, when you make a normal human error in handling the tool, and it bites you, a razor sharp edge will make a clean cut, less painful and less damaged surface area in the sides of the flesh so it bleeds less and heals faster, better. A less clean wound leaves more of a scar. An illustration is when you cut your face with the razor when you're learning how not to make that stroke, and the cut is so clean it doesn't bleed but sticks back together by itself and heals almost before you rinse face.


    I don't recall the movie at the moment, but there is a scene in a mob crime movie where the bad guy confronts a guy he needs to kill, grabs his wrist and quick as a wink cuts the victim's forearm from his wrist to his elbow with a straight razor, lets him collapse to the floor and tells him not to struggle, it's over. He's just about bled out before he slumps to the ground.

    The hitman couldn't do that with just a trusty ol Barlow. Just sayin.

    Some people don't use shaving soap or aerosol foam/gel at all. Soften the beard, and lube your face with a few drops of shaving oil (light vegetable oil(s), like grapeseed, jojoba, etc., scented essential oils. The water-on-oil makes the skin slick. Others like a glycerin/water blend.

    Badger and Blade is the online forum for the shaving crazies. Some of the even forge their own straight razors.

    I have to say, I used to use a double-edged safety razor with quality German blades. They've gotten so difficult to find that ages ago, I switched to disposable Bic razors for sensitive skin. They're single blade with a low angle of attack. They do an excellent job. Even the Badger and Blade guys approve of them (albeit grudgingly).

    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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