Tips For Sharpening
From constant feedback with our suppliers and customers, we have identified there's a lack of information about keeping a hoof knife performing at its optimum level. We want our customers to be happy with our product throughout it's entire lifetime.
Hoof knives should be sharp enough to cleanly slice a piece of paper or through a piece of leather-if you are using them for hoof work. The usual reaction to a dull blade is to apply more pressure and pull harder. Energy is wasted and sore wrists and elbows will soon follow. This stop/start jerking action also produces the gouges and chips seen on the sole and frog from using a dull knife.
The maintenance of sharpening a hoof knife requires some background understanding.
A perfectly tapered edge is necessary to make the cleanest cut with the least amount of force. A very low angle must be used. Low-angle blades are sharper than a blade of a higher angle, but dull more quickly. This is a tradeoff. Therefore, maintenance is required more often on a low-angled blade.
The blade should be touched-up lightly after every horse, lightly and often is the key to maintaining an edge. Do not proceed to trim the hoof with a knife unless it has been wire-brushed. First, it saves the edge of the knife by removing dirt and grit. Second, it better prepares the hoof. You'll find yourself actually trimming less.Grit and dirt can dull a blade in no-time minimizing its efficiency.
What to use?
Belt grinders and buffers are relatively inexpensive and with practice you can produce very sharp knives in very little time. If you're a professional farrier it would be worth your while to learn how to use one well. Practice with old knives until you get the hang of it. Don't overheat the blade, and be cautious about using these tools to protect your personal safety. Overheating the blade will negatively affect the precise heat-treating processwe have done to harden each blade. As for your safety, ask yourself, where will the blade go if it catches on the belt or gets between belt and wheel. If belt grinding your blades is not your cup of tea, then send them to us.
Use of buffing wheels with our knives is ideal because the radius of the buffing wheels matches the contours of our blades.
After an edge is destroyed by lack of maintenance, too coarse an abrasive, or sharpening by other means at too high of an angle, refurbishing must be done. This means restoring the desired angle by hand, with a dremel tool which is slow and time-consuming.