Sharpening a Hollow Ground Knife
Whether you call it a hollow ground or a hollow grind, you can sharpen these knives with ease.
A hollow grind is produced when you use a wheel to sharpen the edge of a knife. Because there is less material directly behind the edge, this type of edge is less durable.
A straight razor has a hollow grind. A straight razor has a very delicate edge but the usage of the edge doesn’t require a durable edge.
Since a hollow grind takes the form of the outside diameter of the wheel where is was sharpened, different wheel diameters will produce a more or less hollow grind. Said another way, a large wheel produces a very shallow hollow grind, a small wheel produces a more pronounced hollow grind.
The illustration to the right shows an exaggerated hollow grind. This displays the cross-sections of a knife.
There are some people in the kitchen cutlery business who have decided to adopt the term "hollow grind" to refer to the indentations near the edge of the knife. The photos at the bottom show the difference between a Granton (or scalloped edge) and a true hollow grind. Yes, the Granton does have "hollow" indentations but using "hollow grind" to refer to this is very confusing. It is common for us to get calls from customers looking to sharpen their hollow ground knives when they just have scallops.
Whether you have a true hollow ground knife or not, we recommend a standard sharpening method using a sharpening stone. Sharpening a true hollow ground knife with a sharpening stone will produce a more durable flat grind at the edge. If you are sharpening a kitchen knife with the indentations on the sides, we also recommend a sharpening stone. A sharpening stone removes metal very slowly so you won't wear away the knife prematurely past the indentations.
This is a photograph of a true hollow ground edge.
While some people call these a hollow grind, this is in fact a granton edge or sometimes called a scalloped edge.