How To Hollow Grind A Knife And The Best Tools To Do it!
Among the many different options to properly are for your kitchen knives is the option of hollow grinding. While you may have never heard of hollow grinding in the slew of kitchen knife references out there, hollow grinding is a very common knife maintenance tactic. There are multiple types of knife grind, all with different characteristics and techniques. Let’s take a look at how to hollow grind a knife and how best to accomplish a hollow grind.
What is a Knife Grind?
The grind of a knife blade is in reference to the shape of the cross-section of the blade. The grinding process involves the removal of portions of metal from the blade using a grinder. Grinding is most typically used during the first sharpening process of a new blade or to repair a damages blade.
Grinding can be used to repair significant blade damage, such as chips, a broken tip, or even corrosion. The different types of grind that are prominent and which on is best for a particular knife is a typically a matter of what the knife will be used for.
It is important to know that grinding a knifes blade is not the same practice as simply sharpening it. The grinding process can remove a great deal of metal from the knife blade, which over time can runt thin.
A knife that is hollow ground Is also more likely to be on the fragile side on comparison to other knife blades. You may find that it damages much easier and needs to be sharpened more frequently than other knives. However, a hollow ground knife will also have a narrower edge that will allow for a easier and more accurate cut.
Different Types of Knife Grind
- Flat Grind refers to a knife blade with only a single bevel when both edges are sharpened from the spine to the tip of the knife blade.
- Hollow Grind refers to a knife blade that appears with a beveled cutting edge, as well as, a characteristic concave on the blade.
- Chisel Grind refers to a knife blade where only one side of the blade is ground, while leaving the other side of the blade flat. The majority of common kitchen knives are chisel ground.
- Convex Ground refers to a knife blade that is tapered in a curve in comparison to the typical straight angle.
- Sabre Grind refers to a grind that begins at the middle part of the blade rather than at the spine of the knife. The sabre grind is very similar to a flat grind and often found on kitchen knives.
What You Need to Hollow Grind a Knife
- Powered Grinding wheel of your choice. You can pick one up at most hardware stores, specialty shops, and online retailers
- Knife of your choice
- Heavy duty gloves
- Eye Protection
- Gun oil to prevent discoloring or loss of temper during the grinding process.
How to Hollow Grind a Knife
1.) The first thing that you need to do is carefully study the knife that you intend to hollow grind. You need to examine the edge and identify the trough. This is the contour of the blade sides where the blades angle deepens and then slopes down to a cutting edge. The trough is where you will position the knife on the grinder.
By grinding at the start of the slope, you will decrease the angle from the trough to the edge, which in turn creates a thinner profile and gives you the characteristics of a hollow grind.
2.) Before starting, be sure to put on the proper safety gear and be sure that you are working in a well-lit environment. Start the grinding wheel and adjust it to the lowest possible speed setting in order to reduce the chance of the blade being tugged from your hands during the process of grinding it.
3.) Liberally coat the sides of the blade with the gun oil. If you are using a self-cooling grinding wheel this step is not necessary.
4.) Place the handle of the knife in your main hand and grip the back of the tip with the other, don’t forget the safety gloves! Then place the trough of the knife flat against the grindstone and draw it from the hilt toward the tip of the knife in one smooth stroke. Be sure that you are keeping the trough horizontal with the ground at all times.
5.) You will then flip the knife over in your hand so that the tip is in your dominate hand and the handle is in the other. Repeat the same smooth stroke as you did on the other side. Be sure that you are maintaining even strokes on each side of the blade.
6.) Examine the blade after each set of grinding strokes, it may take anywhere from 3-10 sets to achieve the hollow grind you are looking for.
In the beginning stages of hollow grinding your own knifes, you may find the process to be a tad bit intimidating; but with the proper equipment and a bit of practice, it isn’t a hard skill to master. When you are first starting out I recommend that you test out the process on a less expensive knife and when you are comfortable, move up to your quality cutlery set.
With the many different sharpening and grinding options available, it may take you some time to determine which practices you are more comfortable with tackling. Regardless of your skill and comfort levels, once you have made a serious investment in the proper kitchen cutlery, it is time to dip your toes into the world of proper knife care, maintenance, and repair. Though it may seem like an intimidating task to tackle, with a little knowledge and practice even the most basic home chefs can be knife connoisseur.
Do you have a great hollow grinding tip or trick? Let us know all about it in the comment section bellow!