Chipped tip nit-wits

We have been sharpening knives a plenty at Netil Market and recently we have had some absolute corkers: it seems to be the month of the chipped tip.

I don't know what the good people of London have been doing with their knives but it is worth stating again: if you use your knife to prise the lid off a jar, hack into bones, tighten up screws, or stick it anywhere else it shouldn't go, the tip will likely chip. The beauty of carbon steel is that it gets sharp easily and stays sharp but it does also mean that it is more brittle. If it is struck against other hard surfaces or subjected to any twisting or prying motions, it will chip. Our experience has suggested that this is most likely to happen when you lend your knives out; in short, don't do it!

The good news is that a chipped tip can be saved (more on this later). It takes a while to reprofile the end of the knife and work it through the different grades of stones, and will effectively shorten the blade (there is only so many times you can do this before your gyuto becomes a petty). Better not to go there in the first place.


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