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Hi Guys,

We all need sharp tools, whether it be knives, chisels or planes. When I have sharpened any of my tools I test them by shaving the hairs on my arm. This works great but I went to hospital today for an appointment with one bald and one hairy arm. It wasn't until the nurse pointed it out that I realised that I must have looked a bit odd.

How do you guys test how sharp your tools are? N.
 

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Yea I second "on wood". Not too big on shaving anyway. I too strop and rub across to check for burs.
 

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I still do the shave test only because work has destroyed my fingertip sensitivity. I know some people use a brass rod but shaving still has that cool cheesy macho factor.
 

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I don't know if this is the ultimate test for sharpness, but as a comparison, look at the edge of your knife in a good light. Turn the blade so the edge is faci g toward you. If the knife is not sharp, you will see a line of reflected light. If there is a dull nick, you will see a spot of light. Now sharpen the knife and look at it again.
 

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I used to try the arm hair shaving test, but I bought a truly scary sharp Japanese gyuto, and laid it on my arm straight out of the box. Something distracted me, and I turned my head. When I looked back, I found I had sliced off a very thin patch of skin just from the slight change of pressure turning my body caused. Now, I figure slicing newsprint is a good enough test.

And I have a very good magnifying visor, supposedly 1600% magnification, that I use to inspect the edges.
 

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Perhaps you guys that like the hair shaving test could shave the wife or girlfriend's legs?
 

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I never said that I haven't ever done it :devil: , I'd say we all have at some point. :D

Just to clarify what we are talking about when we say "sharpen", I think of regular and often use of a strop to bring a clean edge back to the bevel of our tool, i.e. stropping, If I shaved every time I stropped, I would be an Olympic swimmer :)

Shaping and nick removal with the use of stones or other abrasive is different and is only done when needed, then it is sharpened(stropped).

Those are my definitions of course and could be subject of discussion.
 

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I have cut myself with the shave test, finger test and thumbnail test, For my self testing it on a scrap of wood tells me if it is ready to work with. The tool should cut smoothly though the wood with little pressure. Over time I have learn to avoid large or deep cuts. I do multiple shallow cuts. You have much more control mistakes are smaller and the blade stays sharp longer.
 

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Hi Guys,

We all need sharp tools, whether it be knives, chisels or planes. When I have sharpened any of my tools I test them by shaving the hairs on my arm. This works great but I went to hospital today for an appointment with one bald and one hairy arm. It wasn't until the nurse pointed it out that I realised that I must have looked a bit odd.

How do you guys test how sharp your tools are? N.
We match! Though my bald arm was caused by lighting the barbeque.

Rodney
 

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If it doesn't slide off my thumb nail its usually sharp enough for my uses.
 
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