Using Coticule and/or BBW for knife sharpening?

slartibartfast

Active Member
Does anyone use these stones for knife sharpening? If so, what is the process?
Or am I crazy and there are better stones for knives?

Thanks
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Yes, I do use a Coticule for honing pocket knives and kitchen cutlery.

For full disclosure, I mostly use a Tormek sharpening machine for that.

Because that device excells in keeping the honing angle constant.

But in the field, or at work (where I have no Tormek), I use a Coticule.
And it works well.

Someone (me?) should write a future article to put in the "Coticule Sharpening Academy."

In the mean time, here's a short explanation:

Raise a milky slurry on your Coticule.

Fold a sheet of paper to a 90° angle, fold again for 45°, next 22,5° and finally 11. Thats represents your approximate honing angle on the stone.

Lock the angle in your wrist (very important, because your ability to maintain a constant angle defines your success) and hone on one side of the knife with circling or back-and-forth motions till you can feel a bur folding over at the other side. (Coticules give only very small burs, but it can be felt if your run your fingernail off the edge with a plucking motion.) It's OK to use some pressure while honing. Once the bur is present along the entire edge, turn over the blade and start honing on the other side (I find it easiest to turn over the handle, so I can keep honing in the same direction, instead of turning over the spine). Hone till the bur is present on the other side. Flip one last time and remove the bur with a few very light strokes.
Finalize with one very precise stroke at a slightly raised (obtuser) angle on each side of the knife.
No need to steel the knife (not off a Coticule)

There are variations possible, but this will work.

If the bevel is really beaten up and chipped, you need to restore it first with aid of a coarse hone. At Ardennes Coticule they sell combo hones with a BBW on one side and (if memory serves) a 300 grit carborundum hone for rough bevel shaping on the other side.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

slartibartfast

Active Member
Thanks bart. So no need to dilute the slurry at all then. I played around with it a bit last night. I swear that the slurry turned grey from the steel faster with a knife than it does off a razor.

I usually use one of my diamond hones if i need to do heavy bevel correction.

So which stone is better suited for a knife, a BBW or Coticule?

I have not seen coticules advertised for knife sharpening, but have seen BBW's. Like the cotcarb you referenced above.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Coticules are faster.

The slurry indeed turns gray quicker. Most knife steel is tempered far softer than a razor. The hardness of a razor renders the steel far to brittle for other uses. Kitchen Cutlery is usually around 53-56 HRC. Most Razors are in between 58 and 62 HRC. It's an exponential scale, so the differences are very significant.

BBWs are cheaper and work very well for knives.

Indeed, no need to dilute slurry and other tricks to boost sharpness that you would quickly loose anyway.

Bart
 
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