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Sharpening knives from a old silver-plated cutlery

Started by WimSpi, March 09, 2023, 03:39:45 PM

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I have been asked to sharpen the blades of a 50 year old 'silver' cutlery.
Are there any points of interest, which I should pay attention to?

(I read on the internet:
"Silver-plated cutlery is often made of stainless steel to which a layer of silver is applied. This is done by electrolysis, a method in which silver is dissolved by electricity and attached to the steel.)

3D Anvil

Sounds like this is going to be flatware?  If so, I'd take into consideration that people are going to be using these knives to cut on ceramic plates, which will make any knife dull very quickly.  I'd maybe go with an edge angle of 20-25° per side.  I don't think the silver plate will be an issue.  Just be careful not to scratch the flats, and dry them off right away so they don't tarnish.


You are right about flatware. The translation probably didn't go well.

The thoughts you have, I have as well.  Not grinding too sharp an angle and also being very careful with the surface, especially with clamping.



Flatware is usually not supposed to be sharpened to cut. The high pressure applied on a thin blade is supposed to be enough. Sharpening them is IMHO both dangerous for the unaware casual eater and will not last on random steel, chosen for characteristics other than its ability to be sharpened and hold an edge.

I'd just grind them perpendicular to the blade if needed to remove knicks, then strop at a 45° angle on both sides to round them off.


Perhaps that will be enough. It is a collection from an elderly couple who got it when they married 53 years ago. I think they are too dull now to cut anything.


And by the way, silver or not, the blades should be uncoated stainless steel. In my experience, "silverware" is usually silver plated on some other material, most likely brass or less frequently copper. Sterling silver flatware exists, but is rare, expensive, and malleable.

3D Anvil

I believe even solid sterling flatware sets have knives with plated blades, because silver is too soft to use as a cutting implement.