Today I visited Precision Sharpening here in Albuquerque to drop off some kitchen knives for Mom.
While I was there I asked them for a price list on my way out.
I have several 10" carbide blades I bought cheap or scrounged over the years and several that I've purchased new that have lost their edge.
After getting the price list home and looking it over I saw a lot of terminology that is new to me.
I want to have a good understanding of these terms while deciding the cost effectiveness of having my blades sharpened as opposed to replacing them.
Here are my questions. Hopefully many others here will also be interested in the answers.
1. What does "facing" a carbide blade mean and when is it necessary?
Does this mean dressing up the forward portion of the carbide tip?
2. What does "topping" a carbide blade mean and when is it necessary?
Does this mean dressing up the top of the carbide tip?
3. What is a "complete side grind" and when is it necessary?
Does this mean grinding both sides of the carbide tip?
4. What does it mean to "repair broken shoulders"?
Where are the shoulders on a circular blade?
5. What does it mean to "re-gullet" a blade?
I have several steel blades as well.
I've always assumed that steel blades are inferior to carbide and that once dull they should be tossed.
Prices on the list include those for steel blades so apparently my assumption is wrong.
6. When is it advantageous to use a steel blade?
Thanks guys. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
It's after midnight and I've got to turn in but I'll log on tomorrow.
These are questions best answered by a sharpener, which I am not, but I'll try.
1 & 2: Most sharpening involves just grinding the front edge of the carbide (face). Top grinding is touched up as necessary.
3: Regrinding the sides is less common because it changes the overhang of the carbide and all the side clearances and angles, which are very important to how a blade performs. It's also more difficult to do correctly.
4: The shoulder is the part of the steel body that supports the carbide tooth. Occasionally they get broken and need to be repaired.
5: The gullet is the deep space between the teeth and shoulders. It's purpose is to remove the chips from the saw kerf. Blades with large gullets, like rip blades, can remove the chips very efficiently. I can only guess that regulleting means to grind the gullet deeper to compensate for heavily ground carbide teeth that have been greatly reduced in size from many top grind resharpenings.
6. I don't use steel blades, as overall they're just not as practical. They don't stay sharp very long, but steel can be sharpened to a finer edge than carbide. You can try "facing" steel blades with a file, but I wouldn't bother to have on sharpened professionally. Inversely, I would not recommend trying to touch up carbide blades on your own.
I would also not bother to have cheaply made blades resharpened at all. The carbide will be sharper, but the quality of the steel, the carbide, the brazing, the overall design, etc., will still be poor, and the blade will likely have high runout, poor performance, and will dull faster. Make some clocks with them! I do recommend having high quality carbide blades resharpened by a competent professional....Scott Whiting in Glendale AZ is highly recommended.
Common types of grinds: