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As the adage goes, “A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife.” Just like any tool in our boxes, a well-made and well-maintained hoof knife will help us at the horse. Farriers will often take the hoof knife to the buffing wheel to maintain that sharpness. However, be mindful that just because you are maintaining a sharp edge, eventually the knife may not be as effective.
Having made hoof knives, it has given me a perspective on looking at the blade. In a way, my approach is to sharpen knives similar to wood chisels. Figures 1-3 help illustrate my point.
The hoof knife blade.
In Figure 1, shows the spine, backside and bevel. This helps illustrate my initial grind. The bevel starts at the spine and goes to just about the edge, which at that point transitions to the micro-bevel on the grind. I’ve exaggerated these for the illustrations as it is easier to understand. The micro-bevel will actually change as conditions of the environment change. For example, in my home state of Minnesota, we tend to have wet springs. I do a fairly sloping micro-beveling on a knife (original), which gives a sharper edge for cutting through a saturated foot. It is a precision edge. However, the downfall of the shallow micro-bevel is that it is fairly fragile. So if you hit a nail or rock, it will sustain damage more easily. In drier conditions, I run a bit steeper micro-bevel. It…