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  • Grafting Knife for Beginners.

    I started grafting fig trees 2 years ago and have been on the roller coaster of learning curves when it comes to knives, there seems to be an endless variety of recommended grafting knives for beginners, with some being small investments.

    The requirement for a good small grafting knife is universal,a small blade with a chisel grind approximately 2 to 3 inches in length with a handle about 4 inches in length. The grafting knife and budding knives have different profile shapes typically grafting knives have a sheep-foot blade while a budding knife has a clip point (curved) blade. The sheep-foot blade has a flat straight cutting edge while the clip point has a curved tip used for making bark cuts in the rootstock. Budding knives sometimes also have bark lifter tabs built on the blade or as a separate attachment on the knife.

    Expert grafters recommend using knifes, but grafting knives have two steep learning curves that have to be overcome. First is creating flat smooth cuts and graft unions with the grafting knife. Second is the maintenance and sharpening of the grafting knife blade. The skills can only be gained by practice and often requires training by someone more experienced. For sharpening grafting knives 300 - 400 grit and 600 - 800 grit sharpening stones and a stropping surface are almost essential. I've been able to use an inexpensive 4 sided sharpening block and a 2000 grit automotive paint sanding block (sponge) to hone razor sharp edges on the grafting knives, but am currently using an inexpensive knife sharpening guide to set the bevel angles. The sharpening guide results in properly beveled razor sharp knife edges in minutes without years of "practice" sharpening freehand on a stone. Also the sharpening guide almost guarantees a lifetime of use of your purchased grafting knife by only sharpening the cutting edge, not grinding away the steel of the knife blade. The bevel angle for most standard double bevel knives is between 20 - 30 degrees each side for an inclusive knife cutting edge angle of 40 - 60 degrees. The stainless steel grafting knives are sharpened to a 20 degree single bevel for a 20 degree cutting edge.

    At under $20.00 the Victorinox Stainless Steel Grafting and Budding knives are relative inexpensive, readily available and have a proven track record, they come standard with a single bevel for right handed grafting. The Opinel Stainless Steel (Inox) are also under $20.00 and have been recommended (on several You-tube videos) but have a flat convex grind with a double bevel which can be easily modified to a single bevel chisel edge for either left or right handed grafting, it can be done in minutes while sharpening, it actually took only 7. The chisel grind creates a smooth flat surface on the "flat" side of the blade. To tell if a grafting knife is Left or Right Handed simply hold the blade handle down with the cutting edge facing you (blade up), if the bevel is on the left of the blade its Left handed, right side of the blade is Right handed. The technical terminology is somewhat confusing because the "Left Chisel Grind" is used by right handed European/American grafters while also used by left handed Bonsai grafters because the bevel is viewed from the back (spine) of the blade. . Although the Opinel #6 and #8 are the recommended grafting knives I find the #7 to be the most comfortable sized handle for my hand, thought the #6 has a thinner blade and cuts easier.

    After trialing some of the recommended and more readily available grafting knives I've come to the conclusion that for beginners a standard utility knife can be used as a very reliable learning substitute and it doesn't require sharpening. A Stanley Utility knife with a retractable locking blade and a 10 pack of spare blades can be purchased for under $10.00 almost everywhere or may already be in you toolbox. The only other item required is stock material (branches from any local trees and bushes) to "practice, practice, practice..."

    Please share your preferred grafting knife, Tools and Sharpeners.


    Grafting Videos with grafting knives
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0BF6fBMYzY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNXDPVfJBW4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTfTvvICMeg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jav_AQjgQrQ

    Fig Grafting threads:
    http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...ting-questions
    http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...ing-assistance
    http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...-grafting-tool
    http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...grafting-knife
    http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...s-and-cuttings
    Last edited by AscPete; 04-24-2016, 01:57 PM. Reason: revised text and added new photos.
    Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

  • #2
    Pete,

    This is what I bought.....now if I can just find the time to grind them It is what Hershell uses, just have to be careful not to drop it as the blade can shatter. MSC The part number is 02642155. That is a 1/8x3/4x6 cut off blade.
    Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

    https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for commenting.

      Haven't tried blanks yet (not enough skill or time) but have cut and reground commercial grade 6 inch stiff stainless steel boning knives into very serviceable and inexpensive large grafting knives per recommendations of professional grafters.

      Also Victorinox sheep-foot paring knives are sold as commercial bench grafting knives, they're extremely sharp right out of the package, but I've found them too flexible.

    • Johnson1
      Johnson1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Couldn't a machine shop use a surface grinder to thin the future blade?

      https://www.mscdirect.com/product/de...rItem=02642155

  • #3
    Pete,

    I tried the knife (the folding two blade one) that Victorinox sells and I don't think the steel is hard enough especially if you sharpen the blade thinner so that it will work better. What I used this year was a utility knife as you suggested but I sharpened them right out of the pack. If you run them on a powered leather belt with jewelers compound they get MUCH sharper than they are right out of the pack.
    Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

    https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

    Comment


  • #4
    Wills,

    I would agree that for bench or production grafting the small grafting knives would probably be honed down within the 1st year, (I destroyed my first Victorinox practicing) but for backyard grafters they can be serviceable for years. The local apple grafters use commercial flat ground carbon steel knives reground, they are often discarded after only a few seasons, but they only cost $10 - $15 at restaurant supply stores and are good for thousands of grafts. I'm planning to cut and regrind the Bahco Stainless blade into a heavier duty grafting knife, it currently works quite well as a cleft graft splitting tool.

    The Opinel folding knives have been sharp enough to make good straight grafting cuts in heavy fig scion and stock (3/8" and thicker) right out of the pack. For my intended usage they are currently my knife of choice, they require very little modification of the grind (if any) and the blade locking feature is also an added bonus. Also the 2000 grit wet/dry automotive sanding block used as a strop quickly hones to a surprisingly sharp burr free edge without the need for a compound, it was a recommendation from a Youtube knife sharpening video.

    Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

    Comment


    • #5
      Couple of questions here that I probably could google but will ask for the interest of this thread.

      What does flat ground mean?

      What sharpening angle are you putting on the edge?
      Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

      Comment


      • #6
        Various grinds...
        Click image for larger version

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        The sharpening angle is approx. 15 - 20 degrees.

        Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

        Comment


        • #7
          Jerry,

          You want the wood as flat as you can cut it so many people use a knife that is only sharpened on one side of the blade so that as it cuts the wood, the plane of the cut is dead flat. Even a razor knife is a V blade but you can get away with it because the blade is so thin. Should be noted that Hershell uses a knife that is ground on both sides but he has a touch more experience than we do. The problem with a flat blade though is it only cuts one way so you would have to make second cut toward you so the flat side is still down or be a contortionist. I'm going to cheat and just make two knives, one for each direction. The steel of the blank Hershell uses is HARD, made from M35 high speed steel with 6%? Cobalt, much harder than high carbon steel. So it is sharper and stronger and holds that edge much much longer. That blank he uses is actually designed as a cut off tool for a lathe, to slice through regular steel. But because it is so hard it is really hard to grind it down in to an acceptable knife as you not only need to shape the blade but also thin the blade down. Think he said it takes him 4 hours work per knife just for the blade and that is using ceramic belts on a grinder. The normal grinder abrasive belts would make it much slower.
          Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

          https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

          Comment


          • #8
            Jerry,

            The chisel point grafting knives are sharpened for left handed or right handed grafters if used in the traditional position of pulling the knife towards your body which provides for better control and power as shown in the video below. For right handed grafters (like myself) the Scion or Stock is held in the left hand and the waste is cut away with the knife held in the right hand.


            The Japanese Bonsai grafting knives clearly show the Chisel Grind and are available in left or right grind (when looking from the back of the knife). Whats confusing is that for traditional grafting the "Left Grind" is used by right handed grafters and the "Right Grind" is used by left handed grafters....
            Click image for larger version

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            The flat grind (double bevel) has the advantage of being able to be used by left or right handed grafters, but requires a little more skill to achieve the desired flat cut mating surfaces. Modifying a flat ground knife to a chisel grind only requires re-honing the cutting edge by sharpening only on one side of the blade. On my Opinel #7 the double bevel was ground off then then the blade was honed to a left chisel grind (for right handed grafters).
            Click image for larger version

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            Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

            Comment


            • #9
              Two more questions.

              What are you guys using to achieve the sharpening angles? I use an older Lansky or Smith kit with three hones, the finest being 600 grit. It does a good job for hunting knives and kitchen knives. However, knives with a thick spine and or curved edges toward the tip of the blade can be a challenge to maintain the desired angle.

              How would a double edge single bevel work for both push and pull cuts and for right and left handers.



              Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                I use 2 stacked pennies at the back of the knife to get the approximate angle (from sharpening videos)...
                then lock my wrists to maintain the proper angle when honing with the 600 grit then 2000 grit to get a razor sharp polished edge. All my grafting knives are being sharpened as left chisel grinds so there is only one bevel and its much simpler to sharpen and keep sharp.
                Honing with locked wrist... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK8Osi_Pn3E

                If I was sharpening a double bevel I would use a basic fixed carbide knife sharpening tool then hone.

                On a single bevel knife the flat smooth cuts on the scion and stock are always on the flat side of the knife with the beveled side facing the waste or cutoffs (like using a chisel). There is much better control if its used as a "draw knife" pulled towards your body with your wrist locked to maintain the cutting angle.

              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                As I mentioned, purchased a Smith's Diamond sharpener system and can recommend them for sharpening the small grafting knives, they work exactly the same as the Lansky except I use water instead of oil.

                To answer the second question... If the "double edge single bevel" is similar to a dagger, it may not work properly, but almost any sharp knife can be used for grafting and will cut in the push or pull strokes.

                The single beveled knives simply make easier, smoother cuts on the stock or scion sides (flat side of the knives), but can also make smooth cuts on the bevel side with practice ie. fast steady cuts with a sharpened knife and the bevel surface used as the "flat".

                For left handed grafting I would recommend an Opinel #6, 7 or 8 sharpened with a single 20 degree right bevel on the blade, takes only minutes to "sharpen" out the factory double bevel due to the thin knife cutting edge and very small factory bevel.

            • #10
              Pete that guy in that video is insane.......you can't even tell what he is doing he is going so fast.....
              Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

              https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment

                Yes, a professional at work.

                Its almost too fast, but its repeated multiple times
                Both wrists are locked into position before he starts the cuts to get the straight and flat surface of the whip grafts.

              • danw
                danw commented
                Editing a comment
                Crap, that guy does in five seconds what takes me 5 minutes.

                I sure would not want that job though!

              • DevIsgro
                DevIsgro commented
                Editing a comment
                That video is awesome. They must have at least 6 stations. Wow. That is a lot of whip and tongue bengrafts.

            • #11
              I use the flat grind on both sides of my knives so they are left or right handed. I just keep it simple and it seems to work. I used a large Tina knife a few years but didn't like a folding knife but got use to that blade style so that's what I model mine after.
              Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for sharing your info.
                HarveyC uses Tina grafting knives but the fixed blade.

              • HarveyC
                HarveyC commented
                Editing a comment
                I have 3 Tina 685 knives with the oldest being about 20 years old. In 2007 when I had a large grafting project (top-worked about 150 chestnut trees, some grafts 15' above ground) I bought a second one to always have one that was sharp. I misplaced one so bought a third but found that secret hiding spot and recovered the missing one.

            • #12
              I've been using a Worksharp tool to sharpen knives for a couple of years. I think it's over-priced but it works well for me. You can also get a cheap belt sander at Harbor Freight and buy fine grit belts down to 4000 online. My knives now have a convex grind on one side. I always cut with my right hand and cut towards me and have never found it to be an issue to be sharpened on one side, maybe I'm missing something (not a finger! LOL). I haven't cut myself grafting for many years either.

              I am a gadget freak and like buying things that I think will make the job fun, better, faster, etc. As I posted a couple of months ago I bought a Scionon grafting sheer. I also bought the green-handed sheer. I've had an omega grafting tool for years and use it some of the time out of boredom. I prefer just to use my Tina knives but hope some day Hershell will make me a custom knife (sharpened on one side only, please).

              Blue wrote me a while back and shared a video of a guy who was using a wood plane to prepare scions. Overall, I don't like the idea but one thing that I liked is that he placed the scion on a wood surface to plane the other side. Too often I have a scion flex on me when cutting it and this prevents making a flat cut (it still works out okay since if it can flex when I'm cutting it, it will also flex flat when I fasten it to the stock). The other day I used a wood block for a couple of scion preps and liked it and might give more thought to a block that gives me good room for my hand clearing, etc. I probably would prefer it to have a plastic cutting board surface instead of wood for sanitation reasons.
              My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

              Comment


              • danw
                danw commented
                Editing a comment
                You notice that the guy in the video seems to use his thumb under the scion and the rootstock when he is cutting to keep them from flexing? You can see it 46 seconds into the video. I am going to have to give that a try. I will be using tape on my thumb for sure!

              • HarveyC
                HarveyC commented
                Editing a comment
                I always do that also but some scions flex a lot more than others and that is not always enough. For instance, flexing is rarely a problem for chestnuts which I've graft a lot of. Some fig cuttings, either smaller diameter or less mature, can flex a lot. Some of the evergreen things I graft such as citrus, avocado, and white sapote will usually flex a lot.

              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not a gadget person and actually have been reducing the quantity of gadgets that I own

                I only purchased an Omega Type grafting tool to test it on fig grafting and have seen some of the assorted gadgets / tools used for grafting and bench grafting (including the Scionon videos) but have not really been tempted.

                Following your lead of using your knife for successful grafting of figs I've been practicing and have gotten much better at making Whip and Tongue grafts in fig stock. The Chisel grind (flat grind - single bevel), Opinel (flat grind - double bevel) and the Utility Knives (flat grind - double bevel) are my preference in that order for best grafting cuts.

            • #13
              Hershell asked me to post this. It is his scion cutting machine he made.

              Click image for larger version

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              Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

              https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

              Comment


              • #14
                So why can I post some and not others I don't know. It works like a paper cutter with a blade sharpened on one side. It is cut at a 1 degree angle so it will cut real hard scion woof as well as soft wood. The first year I used it I was laughed at but now all the grafters that work with us use one. I wanted to patent it but figured that when all ten people that wanted one got one what would I do then. It gives better control to cut the scion straight the first try.
                Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

                Comment


                • HarveyC
                  HarveyC commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Where's the video you promised me??!!

                • AscPete
                  AscPete commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for sharing the photos and info on your custom &quot;Bench Grafting Tool&quot;.
                  I see your grafting knife in the photo...
                  What's the expected lifespan of that custom knife with your professional use? Thanks.

                  I believe that the Victorinox and Opinels will probably survive the limited quantity of grafts by myself or most enthusiast.

              • #15
                Never ceases to amaze me, the knowledge and experience of the members of OurFigs.com, and extremely important their ability and desire to share.

                Thank You ALL for your contributions to Our forum.
                Wish List: 🙏🏼 Mavra Sika

                Comment


                • #16
                  Pete, the life expectancy is usually one season because someone talks me out of it. Unless you break it I would think it would last many years but it is usually sharpened to much that causes excess wear. The two knives that I am using now are one year old and just getting broke in. They are not pretty by no means just made to work.
                  Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

                  Comment


                • #17
                  In time Harvey. I be back home one day.
                  Last edited by Hershell; 04-06-2016, 11:30 AM.
                  Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

                  Comment


                  • #18
                    Hmm you have never offered to give me a knife I think you should make one for every one on the forum.....i'm first though.
                    Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

                    https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

                    Comment


                    • jmaler
                      jmaler commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hear, hear! Even if I only ever graft a small amount I have a nice collection of knives.

                    • Hershell
                      Hershell commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I think I did but if I didn't. Do you want one? I know you bought blanks.
                      Last edited by Hershell; 04-06-2016, 12:13 PM.

                    • WillsC
                      WillsC commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hershell,

                      No Would prefer if you show me how you grind them, that is good enough.

                  • #19
                    Jerry jmaler ,

                    Just purchased a Smith's sharpening Kit at L*wes (1/2 off... under $20.00) and sharpened several of the grafting knives at the 20 degree setting... This tool definitely levels out the knife sharpening learning curve.
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                    The Victorinoxes took less than 5 minutes each to get a "fine" hone. The pictured Opinels #6 and #9 took ~ 7 minutes to "fine" hone to the single bevel chisel grind. In the photo note the "notched" heels of the knife blades with the new single bevel and the width of the single bevel compared to the factory double bevels of the Opinel #8 in the center. All the knife blades were "stropped" on the 2000 grit (P2000) sanding block to remove the burrs and burnish / polish the bevels, more stropping would create a mirror finish, but these are work knives. It almost took more time to "mount" the knives in the guide.

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                    Last edited by AscPete; 04-08-2016, 07:21 AM. Reason: edited for clarification as noted...
                    Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

                    Comment


                    • AscPete
                      AscPete commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Matty,
                      I was planning on ordering a 1000/3000 grit water stone and stumbled onto the Smith's Diamond Kit. With very little learning time I was able to get the razor sharp edge on all the blades. I was able to sharpen six (6) knives In the amount of time that it took to sharpen one (1) freehand, http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...6#post10959306

                      Its definitely a tool I would recommend... The ones made by Lansky are similar and the guides are built sturdier.

                    • Harborseal
                      Harborseal commented
                      Editing a comment
                      My Lowe's doesn't even have this.

                    • AscPete
                      AscPete commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Bob C,
                      The Lansky System, http://www.amazon.com/Lansky-Standar...YGDHJTH6HRGWES is probably more readily available, has been around for awhile and has many more available options including stands.

                  • #20
                    While at L*wes I also picked up an inexpensive fixed blade utility knife. The knife shape is comfortable when used for draw or push / chisel cuts, just to clarify the draw / grafting cuts are actually done from left to right across not actually pulled towards your body. The knife is held backwards when used for the draw / grafting cuts. The disposable utility knife blades are very sharp and should be handled with care, they can also be stropped to maintain their sharpness. The grafting knives are razor (shaving) sharp after sharpening and stropping, they should also be handled with extra care.
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                    Cost comparison;
                    $60.00 for a Victorinox knife with Sharpening tools...
                    $55.00 for a Opinel #7 knife with Sharpening tools...
                    $5.00 for a Metal body Utility Knife with 3 blade and an extra pack of 10 blades.

                    Grafting Knives...
                    Victorinox 39050 ... $15.60 including shipping, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Victorinox-S...3D371567503123

                    Opinel #7 ... $10.50 including shipping, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Opinel-No-7-...8AAOSwcwhVQnKR

                    The Knive blades require sharpening before and periodically during use
                    Sharpening guide ... $36.00 plus tax, http://www.lowes.com/pd_60964-10803-...Ntt=sharpening
                    including Stropping / Sanding sponge ... $5.00 plus tax, http://www.autozone.com/sandpaper-an...ge/454947_0_0/

                    Utility Knife...
                    Retractable blade utility knife ... $1.50 plus tax @ L*wes, http://www.lowes.com/pd_307994-16878...=50266783&pl=1
                    including extra heavy duty Disposable Blades ... $2.50 plus tax @ L*wes, http://www.lowes.com/pd_4973-73862-6...utility+blades

                    Disclaimer... These are only material cost comparisons and do not include the time and labor required to learn sharpening and grafting.

                    BTW, the modifications to the Opinel #7 have included;
                    A Boiled Linseed Oil wood treatment (submersed in hot oil).
                    Regrind to single bevel (chisel grind) with an oil stone and then with the sharpening guide (which very quickly repaired the damage caused by the stone).
                    And the last modification will be to remove the knife point which is unnecessary (and IMO, hazardous) in a knife used for grafting.


                    Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

                    Comment


                    • #21
                      Pete.

                      Want them truly sharp and we are talking the ability to split hair...buy a 1 inch wide standing belt grinder, put a leather belt on it saturated with polishing compound. It is amazing how fast you can make any knife get scary sharp and so much easier and faster than a lansky or a stone.
                      Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

                      https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

                      Comment


                      • AscPete
                        AscPete commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I've seen some of the videos of the 1&quot; belt sanders being used as knife sharpeners, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptspof6CXOg It maybe a bit of an overkill for a small 2-1/2 inch grafting knife. Skill and practice are required to get the straight edges and correct bevels. If I already had a belt sander I would consider it, but its not a tool I plan to own.

                        The Worksharp sharpening tool is a small belt sander, http://www.worksharptools.com/sharpe...sharpener.html was specifically designed for the job.

                        The Lansky type guides are actually very easy to learn, use and are only required when major work is actually needed to hone a new bevel or knife edge. The majority of the time stropping works to keep the knife edges sharp regardless of how they're sharpened. The guides also have the added benefit of sharpening just the knife edge and bevels without removing excessive steel.

                    • #22
                      Sharpening the Grafting Knife...

                      To clarify, Sharpening a knife is only done when the cutting edge is damaged or worn down or nicked and can no longer maintain a "smooth straight cutting edge", its only used to establish the correct bevels and a straight cutting edge on the knife blade, minimal material should be removed when actually sharpening the edge. There are various methods and tools that can be used for sharpening, http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Sh...icles-C60.aspx . I've opted for the simpler and more readily available choices which sharpen the edges of the small grafting knife blade without damaging them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2p...&nohtml5=False

                      The double bevel Opinel and many cutting knives are actually sharpened to 20 degrees each side for a 40 degree knife edge.
                      The single bevel Victorinox or modified Opinel are sharpened to 20 degrees one side for a 20 degree knife edge.
                      Angles smaller that this will result in very thin and delicate knife edges that will be easily damaged and will need constant resharpening which shortens the usable lifespan of the knife. http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/De...ngles-W28.aspx
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                      The simple sharpening guides/tools can quickly get any small straight knife edge close to the exact bevel angles without excessive wear on the small grafting knife blades, although the angles can also be maintained with a sharpening stone freehand. After spending hours trying to learn to sharpen freehand I can't say enough about the benefits of a straight smooth bevel and ease of use of the sharpening guide . Actually all that's required is the guide vise tool and a medium (~300 grit for major Regrind) and a fine (~600 grit or finer) sharpening stones. Stropping will then get the razor sharp and de-burred edges that result in the sharpest cutting edges.
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                      The attached Opinel knives have been used for over 100 practice cuts each in various 1/4 to 1/2 caliper stock, Grape, Mulberry, Honeysuckle, Butterfly bush and Privet (the smaller #7 has done over 200 cuts). The blades are actually sharper now than when they were first "sharpened" due to the stropping (on the 2000 grit sanding sponge), usually about 10 passes on the beveled side and only one or 2 on the flat side (cutting edge only to de-burr) before and after use.


                      Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                      • #23
                        Just found a document produced by Tina Knife Factory,www.tina-messerfabrik.de/wer_wir_sind.html which includes the actual sharpening angles, 5 degrees for Chisel-Grinds and 10 degrees inclusive for V-Grinds, www.tina-messerfabrik.de/images/Abzieh-Anl-E.pdf. The Tina Grafting knives have a reputation for quality grafting / gardening knives, it should be noted that the quality (hardness) of the steel used in making these knives plays a large part in the ability to hold such narrow sharpening angles and thin blade edges. The Opinel knife blades are prime candidates for these sharpening angles...

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                        The Lansky type sharpening guides can not produce angles below approximately 15 degrees so I'm now on the lookout for a simple fixed angle guide sharpener that could work to maintain the correct sharpening angles, the Edge Pro type sharpeners (Clones), www.amazon.com/Sharpener-Professional-Sharpening-Fix-angle-III/dp/B015XKSNS2 may be the solution.
                        Last edited by AscPete; 04-16-2016, 11:43 AM. Reason: fixed links
                        Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                        • #24
                          Hershell puts just a 3% angle on his grafting knives. That is the part that worries me, grinding a blade that shallow can't be easy and the steel is so dang hard. I have an edge pro (not the clone) it works very well but frankly the 1" belt grinder and a 120 grit belt followed by a leather belt does the job much faster and MUCH sharper.
                          Ordering Air layers will go live on the site 2/28/2019

                          https://Willsfigs.com OR http://willscfigs.com

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                          • AscPete
                            AscPete commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Quickly sharpening a dull knife that already has the correct bevel angles is actually quite easy with practice, as per the attached video, https://youtu.be/pwNdL86hyaM?t=110 in the video started at 1 min - 50 sec. he sharpens a dull double bevel Victorinox in about 2 minutes...

                        • #25
                          The 3 degree angle may be the main blade taper or the blade Flat Grind angle, the 5 degree that Tina is recommending is the bevel on the knife blade's edge.

                          Grinding down the steel to form the main grind angle with a belt sander may require a blade jig as shown in this video, www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkPD1ihP0mE and its an easier operation since only one side of the blade has to be ground down

                          The Edge Pro (or clone) is only to be used for honing or sharpening the blade which requires no grinding and very little removal of metal.
                          Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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