Hoof knive sharpening
To make a proper job of hoof trimming a sharp hoof knife is required even when working with a trimming disc. New hoof knives are never sharp when bought, however some models do come pre sharpened. Pre sharpened knives (e.g. Aesculap VC 320 / 321 or GDS R and GDS L) have a thinned cutting surface that simplifies sharpening which means the knives staying sharp longer. The following method relates to the sharpening of all pre sharpened knives.
– Bench grinder
– Rubber sharpening wheel
– Felt or Cloth Buffing wheel
– Buffing paste
Make sure the wheels of the bench grinder turn away from you!!
Knives are sharpened on the rubber sharpening wheel.
The inside surface only of the knife is sharpened.
The outside blade surface should be left flat.
The cutting edge is as long as possible to allow for easier working.
Make sure the knife doesn’t overheat (it turns blue if it does) as this diminishes the quality of the steel.
A good quality hoof knife (stainless J2 steel) doesn’t spark.
Non stainless hoof knives do spark a lot and a greater quantity of metal will be lost while sharpening.
The hook of the knife is best sharpened on the outside surface by holding it to the outside of the rubber wheel.
After sharpening on the rubber wheel the bur is removed on the felt/cloth wheel. Buffing paste is applied to the felt/cloth wheel for the best result. By moving both sides of the hoof knife over the felt/cloth wheel the bur will be removed and the hoof knife becomes razor sharp.
To check for sharpness test it carefully on a fingernail or try shaving the hairs on the back of your hand. Keep hoof knives sharp by storing them in an old milk liner or a piece of garden hose.