When the person says: "you relax on the way forward", when sharpening a knife, what does he mean?

Here's a video where I heard that term https://youtu.be/0TPDgdo7jfM?t=2m54s

  • @Joe this should have been an answer.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 2, 2018 at 8:09
  • BTW: That video shows things done a way (sharpening very fast and forceful on one of the fastest stones on the market, checking edge condition with fingers ON the edge) that a somewhat experienced sharpener will approach with respect, and that could leave a beginner bleeding and/or with a hard to repair knife. That man seems more experienced than me, but to me what he is doing certainly does look technically correct. Feb 3, 2018 at 22:53
  • Also: Following the progression in that video blindly could leave you with insufficient burr removal - he certainly knows what he is doing, but does not explain a few things he is doing right by instinct. Also: The chromium oxide strop is a good idea - but be careful testing the resulting edge, that stuff is powerful, treat the result with caution like you would treat a razor blade. Feb 3, 2018 at 23:03

1 Answer 1


This will generally mean to not apply pressure (press the blade to the stone by either leaning/twisting the edge firmly into the stone, or keeping your fingers close to the edge) while you are in any edge leading phase of the sharpening motion. Edge leading and edge trailing abrasion have slightly different effects (regarding speed, burr formation, fineness of the edge), and so does sharpening at various levels of pressure (highly dependent on the stone used.).

  • I don't know if it 'generally means' that, but from context that's my take on what he was saying, too.
    – Joe
    Feb 2, 2018 at 12:46

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