How do I check to see if I have created a burr on an edge?
Feeling For A Burr When Sharpening
To feel for a burr, gently place your thumb on the side of the blade opposite to the side that was in contact with the sharpening stone. Then slide your thumb away from the edge. Always move perpendicular to the edge, never along it. A burr is a bit of waste metal forming at the edge. If a burr is present, you will feel a slight catch as you move over the edge. Check several locations over the length of the blade.
The presence of a burr indicates that you've sharpened to the edge. A lack of a burr indicates that you're sharpening at too low of an angle and thus sharpening behind the edge, or that you're angle is correct but that you need to sharpen more.
Another way to find a burr: If you have difficulty feeling the burr, an LED Magnifier can also be used to check visually.
Since we first posted this article we have added an updated article Sharpening Tip - Feeling For a Burr that has some nifty GIF's and a video so you can see the motion more clearly. Follow the link to check it out.