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I am a bit obsessed with sharpness, mainly because its easy to sharpen a blade up to a point but when you need that extra bit of sharpness that makes a difference, you face problems that make you learn things "at the edge" are not how you expect them to be.


I am putting up a challenge.


TASK: Sharpen a knife blade in such a way that you will be able to cut in one swift (slow or fast) , one direction move, a cigarette, somewhere at the middle of it, while holding it by the filter. Cut angle must be between 90 (perpendicular) and 45 deg. The cigarette can be any normal brand but not "cigar" or slims. The blade can be any material you wish. The cut must be clean and not leave the cut part hanging or tear the paper. . I never tried with ceramic blades or very high-carbon steel. Also various blade shapes might offer a better chance.


There are two types of motivations in this. One is that i never managed to do this, and i will keep trying till i succeed, i am competing too but i am obviously doing it wrong maybe. The second is that i am offering a kill dagger md-item as a reward for who succeeds.


If you manage to do this, you will need to film this, with a md logo and playername paper next to it as a proof. I am fully aware that you might find a sharp enough blade and not sharpen it yourself, so i will offer a second reward, privately, for a detailed explenation and pictures or schethces of how you've sharpen it. Without such explenation, you still winn the prise, but with proof its YOU that sharpen the blade, i will match your effort in a customized reward.


You either show me an other creative way to do the trick or show me you aquired such skill to make it real and sharp (streight edge, sharpen by you).


underaged people please do not participate, i don't wan't any of you near ultrasharp blades, cigarettes or sharpening tools.


I do realize there might be nobody to participate in this quest. There is also a chance to learn something out of this "outside md", therefore the high reward.


Good luck.


ps, if you want to participate, please state your name here, for my own pleasure, i want to know how many have tried.

Edited by Muratus del Mur
reformulated the task
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What do you mean by any normal brand? What about slims, do they also count among normal? What about people who roll their own cigs? Besides cigs from various manufacturers can have different density filling which will affect the cutting of it.


Does the cut have to be vertical or can it be diagonal in relation to cig? Can cig be vertical or horizontal to the ground or it doesn't matter? If it can be horizontal, can cut come from bellow the cig or it must come from above?


I don't quite understand what are you trying to achieve. You can't make sharp knife more sharper. Either it's sharp, which means that edge is at "right" angle and that it's not deformed due to (ab)use (serations aren't deformations), or it's not sharp. Only thing you can do is ruin the blade, add serations or change the angle. That's it. If you have problems with cutting specific stuff you get blade from different material or change the angle. If you are changing the angle, you should be aware that one angle which cuts insanely good one thing (material) can damage your blade on another material, that is if you go to extreme in doing so, but I think you are doing just that, being extreme.

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Cigarette of normal form factor not slim but longer allowed. Not slef made cigarettes or rolled..
You may hold it firmly in your hand just from the filter (as opposed to holding it close to the cut). The cut may be slightly diagonal..but not exagerated. 45degrees max should be enough. The cut needs to show clean without tearing or squashing the cigarette paper. As i said i did not tru with a razor or any special material knife. I am currently sharpening a medium-cheap steel (chrome-vanadium-molibden) to such a degree that i can easily shave with it... but it still can't cut the cigarette right. I will try now with a top quality razor, happens i have a very very expensive one ... and i will let you know if it works. I also did not yet try with slighty serated blade. My blade angle i used is 10deg (insane..i know) ..you might find other shapes more suited for this...it is NOT an impossible quest at all. ..but will require a certain level of experimenting and involvement. Its also time limited because as soon as i see a clean smooth cut done with your own sharpened blade. I will award the prise.

The concept i am using now to sharpen insanely sharp blade is to polish manually both sides of the knife to a flat surface. The intersection of two flat surfaces will end up in a mathematically precise line..this line can get insanely sharp even on crap cheap steel..but you will get easier results with carbon silversteel or aus8..or cheaper chisese versions. A common 440c steel that you find in most cheap hunting knives can also be sharpened this way. A laminated multilayered (damascus) blade (crazy price) can theoretically achieve a narrower edge and be sharper...i never tried.

I go try the razor now and let you know

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YES ..my best razor cuts the cigarette in one swift move.

so, no commercially purchased razors allowed :))


sharpen..something ..yourself, in a way to cut a cigarette in half, somewhere in the middle, by holding it just by the filter, without bending or damaging its shape. 

I will continue to shrpen my pocket knife till it reaches this sharpness, now i know its very possible :D

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okay I tried with 2 crappy brands of cigs they had quite a bit denser tobacco filling than well known brands and it wasn't stuffed but rather sardine-packed (fascio style). 30 degree angle blade edge, quality steel with serations. Best result was with slower move at vertical cutting angle in relation to cig. If you add velocity to your move due to cig being to soft and filling too dense you will deform cig and cause tearing. I managed to almost do it, when blade reached back end of cig and only small piece of paper remained, it teared appart due to bad quality paper roll and due to thickness of my blade. To ensure success use cutting edge at angle 25 or lower, let's say 20 degrees. Lower angle ensures better entry point and won't question blades integrity when it comes to soft things like paper, cig and such. Sharpening below 20 degrees I consider ruining so I suggest you not to do that if you don't want to ruin it. Another note is that if you blade has two surfaces at different angles, edge and swedge/grind, this will make it more difficult to make clean cut because of transition from one surface to another and due to sudden increase of thickness of blade, so use single surface blade or make edge surface bigger with grinding, it's length should be longer than diameter of cig. I ain't ruining my blades :p


With this tips somebody should be able to do it, so good luck in being the first to do it and winning the prize :)

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I'm going to try this. I've got a set of fine files I use for my gardening stuff, and a leather strop, but putting that much of an edge on something isn't something I've tried yet. Will update sometime tomorrow after work.


*edit: I can't spell simple words today.

Edited by Intrigue
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i am not destroying knives, i just respect them for purposes they should never be used for :D

actually looked at it  today and its more like 6deg angle..but whatever. Such a blade i am doing for FUN, or for the ultimate cutting experiencing when cutting vegetables in one swift move :)) ...i am not doing this to all my knives and will ever do this to a heavy duty knive such as a hunting knive.


Please let me know if your vg10 cuts the cigarette in one swift move , especially the last part of it where is the actual tricky part ! ..i don't have a vg10 to try, and if i would have one i would not shape it as this angle either.


I was criticized this quest is too simple for the reward, i am still intrigued by how simple it looks and how hard it actually is. I was stroping (or how its called) my pocket knife foor the past day, its almost razor sharp, can cut half the way or more, but to the end the paper gets ruined. Remember i said at most 45deg angle.


I still consider this to be a work of finesse, something that will teach you what the difference is between very sharp and a bit sharper than very sharp. Anyone that has anything to complain about this contest being unfair, is welcome to try to win it fast before someone else wins it so unfair as it might seem.


I changed my mind about ending the contest on the first winner. I will keep the contest open after the first person will win it, but i will not give the same insane reward...i will give something less valuable, but more personal..and the second place of this contest will be selected by other criteria ..


If you think you can do it, TRY IT. If you can't film it due to privacy issues, remember all i asked is a paper to write your playername in it , i don't need anything else that might identify you and there are numerous places you can upload pics annonimously if you don't like to post it irectly here or storenow/ Stop hiding behind such crap arguments, nobody is aiming for your identity or anything. The only real argument is that you might not posses a web camera, but its VERY likely you know someone with a phone that can help you film one with the phone, we live in tech era, seriously you can't say you can't manage to film a 10sec movie if you realy want to.

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please correct me if i am wrong, currently the only person trying to win this contest is Intrigue? Please state your playername clearly here and say you are participating... i can't tell just from your comments if you are planning to try or just talk about it.



p.s. remember the hardest part is at the end, you need to cut it clean off, not just leave it hanging. I did some progress myself, almost there, its harder than it looks, but except the fact that i will probably quit smoking if i keep ruining my cigarettes on this, its a very fun thing to do..the sharpening i mean..and you realize how something so fragile like paper, is still so resistant in front of a mighty blade :D

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Intrigue, Azull, Shadowseeker and me


for now


update: i lowered the angle on the blade..its probably 3-4deg now... more like a shallow ground razor. The problem is that the edge starts to be brittle and actually lost its smoothness. I will not give up, i intend to polish it back to remove the shattered parts, but it takes time. I am not using any special tools, i am not "sharpening" it with a piece of cloth and one of leather, and used fine sandpaper at first...so it really takes time, but i do it because i enjoy putting my thoughts in order while i do this. 


My example or way of doing might not be the best...actually for sure it isn't. I am sure there are probably other, obvious ways, to achieve the target of the contest. I am not excluding the possibility that you can grab your existing kitchen knife and just cut the cigarette in one try, who knows, maybe what i am doing is so totally wrong that i don't even realize it .. it wouldn't be the first time to happen so.



I didn't try to cut a cigarette again since last time i replied to this topic, but i will soon, just a bit more sharpening before that

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I reformulated the initial task text to fit with everything i detailed later in this topic.



 Task: Sharpen a knife blade in such a way that you will be able to cut in one swift (slow or fast) , one direction move, a cigarette, somewhere at the middle of it, while holding it by the filter. Cut angle must be between 90 (perpendicular) and 45 deg. The cigarette can be any normal brand but not "cigar" or slims. The blade can be any material you wish. The cut must be clean and not leave the cut part hanging or tear the paper.



I also posted this on MD facebook page... and i welcome anyone organizing a RL related contest to do so ("by submitting the contest details to the authorities" ) :))

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