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Sharpening: A serrated knife?

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Sideways

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Spyderco make a number of serrated blade knives with an aggressive grind, more complex than the average bread knife.
Their triangle sharpmaker has triangular profile ceramic and diamond coated rods designed to sharpen serrated blades.
It is not unlike using a steel in principle but the rounded corners of the rods handle tight serrations that a steel cannot touch.
Job done.
 

Jacob

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Do you sharpen your chisels and planes with a steel? Do that for 60 years and come back to me ;)
No but I can see how you might be confused that it works for a knife but not for a chisel. Don't worry about it.
 

Rorschach

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No but I can see how you might be confused that it works for a knife but not for a chisel. Don't worry about it.
Wait, are you saying that different things need to be sharpened in different ways and just having an 30 year old oil stone isn't the only thing I need?
 

Jacob

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It is interesting to hear the different views here. It is over 30 years now since I was at catering college. I still have the set of carbon steel Sabatier knives I had then. Apart from removing the heel once a decade or so all they have ever had is a sharpen on a diamond steel and they still cut perfectly. There seems to me to be little need to go to more trouble for something that will never cut hard or seriously abrasive substances.
I do keep a side axe for the sourdough though;)
Diamond steels hadn't been invented when ar worra lad but I'll have a look at one when my current steel wears out in 30 years or so, if I'm still here.
Successfully cut some bread for toast this morning (phew!) but forgot to check it with a micrometer, feeler gauges and straightedge. :unsure:
 

pe2dave

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We are woodworkers. A quick search of this site will no doubt expose countless threads concerning which saw, kerf, TPI, tooth geometry, and sharpening techniques are right for which materials.

Yet we agonise over how to sharpen a bread knife without even questioning whether the design is remotely effective.

Time for some real focusssed research methinks!
IMHO it is effective, more so than a plain v.sharp knife. I've been cutting my own bread for ... lots of years and find a quality serrated knife the best to date. Real tester is the last 3" of a loaf. Unless I've got the 'knife through butter' quality of cut, I tend to get a doorstep and a half.
 

Jacob

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IMHO it is effective, more so than a plain v.sharp knife. I've been cutting my own bread for ... lots of years and find a quality serrated knife the best to date. Real tester is the last 3" of a loaf. Unless I've got the 'knife through butter' quality of cut, I tend to get a doorstep and a half.
The last 3inches I cut sideways into fingers. No waste - can eat it all!
It was a war time thing to save bread ends, cut them into fingers, put them in the oven to make rusks. Still a good idea - nice with something spread on top, guacamole, peanut butter, Nutella, etc
 
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Rorschach

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For the next argument ;)

Which is better, a few large coarse serrations or lots of small fine serrations?
 

Jacob

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Medium ones.
There were lots of different patterns. Some old Sheffield SS bone handled had a pattern of about 6 sectors with fine saw teeth facing opposite ways in alternate sectors so they'd cut both ways.* They worked OK. They all work OK if they get touched up with a steel occasionally.
*PS come to think, they'd be a challenge for your modern sharpener, I bet books have been written on the subject, reputations lost and gained! :ROFLMAO:
 
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Terry - Somerset

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I can only conclude that different knives are needed for different bread.

Coarse teeth on a crusty loaf will tend to rip chunks of crust rather than leaving a smooth clean edge. Fine teeth may leave a better finish but take longer to cut.

Soft bread may benefit from a smooth sharp blade with small or no serrations. This should cut very cleanly, with limited crumb, and should be the weapon of choice on crusty bread once the crust has been pierced.

An analogy can be drawn with a tree - chain saw to cut logs, coarse saw to plank before drying, then fine blade for precise cuts for dimensioned timber with minimal loss on planing.

It all depends how nice you want the slice to be - on the plate variations in cut quality may be less important than in a toaster - an even fine cut should ensure a consistent brown colour.
 

Jacob

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I can only conclude that different knives are needed for different bread.

....
Don't tell the knife sellers! They'll be working on 57 varieties of knife each with different sharpening regimes and expensive kit involving diamonds!
Actually my very ordinary modern knife seems to cut every variety bread with no problem at all.
 

hlvd

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They’re really easy to sharpen, just a few pulls on a knife sharpener would do, no need to sharpening each gullet individually.
 

Rorschach

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They’re really easy to sharpen, just a few pulls on a knife sharpener would do, no need to sharpening each gullet individually.
A knife sharpener?! Heretic! You'll be suggesting jigs for chisels next! :ROFLMAO:
 

Zedgeezer

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I'm surprised not a single response has mentioned the angle of the grinding. I have been hand honing 5 Knives tonight (admittedly not serrated this time) to a 30 degree shoulder angle then a 20 degree blade angle. Does anyone else have an opinion of the the honing angle?
 

woodieallen

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I can only conclude that different knives are needed for different bread.

Coarse teeth on a crusty loaf will tend to rip chunks of crust rather than leaving a smooth clean edge. Fine teeth may leave a better finish but take longer to cut.

......
Surely that's what your bandsaw is for ?;)
 

woodieallen

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I'm surprised not a single response has mentioned the angle of the grinding. I have been hand honing 5 Knives tonight (admittedly not serrated this time) to a 30 degree shoulder angle then a 20 degree blade angle. Does anyone else have an opinion of the the honing angle?
Ah, but do you put a rounded bevel on it ?
 

TFrench

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At work we have to use "safeblade" knives for cutting insulation. Too many morons stabbed themselves with kitchen knives so they invented a laggers knife to keep the HSE happy. It does stay sharp for a long time considering its used to cut compressed rockwool. Fastest way of resharpening it I've found is to run the serrations down the very edge of a 240g belt on my sorby pro edge. Takes about 10 seconds and its good for another couple of months.
 

hlvd

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A knife sharpener?! Heretic! You'll be suggesting jigs for chisels next! :ROFLMAO:
As an apprentice it was frowned upon to use a jig, hand hold only, and so it continued for around ten years, rounded bevel, re grinding, rounded bevel and so on, then I started using a honing jig, voila, no more rounded bevel and I’ve never gone back.
 

againstthegrain

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I bake granary-style bread with seeds in it and I always cut it with a smooth knife. I am a bit precious about having really sharp kitchen knives, which, like really sharp chisels and planes, are a joy to use. The scalloped bread knife tears the bread in a way my smooth knife never does.
 
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