One of the least appreciated aspects of a carving knife is a wide, rounded spine. This is so central to long-term comfort when carving that we don't even notice it.
Until it isn't there.
It turns out, most knives aren't made this way. They are not designed to be used with the thumbs on the spine of the blade. I first noticed this when I went back to my Mora classic after finally getting a Mora 106 back in the day. I hadn't had any point of comparison before, but the Mora classic blade, I realized, was thinner than that of the 106. And the edges were also sharp whereas the 106 had been softened.
At first I didn't know what to do, passively assuming that it just was what it was.
And while that is true for the width (nothing to be done there), I quickly realized that I had it within my power to soften the edges. I just took some sandpaper, went at it, and in five minutes or less they were nice and round.
This same trick can be used on inside bevel hooks, which over repeated sharpening will form a sharp corner on the inside edge of the spine. This can be harsh on your forefinger that rests against the spine of the hook when in use, but a few minutes with some sandpaper will soon make it better.
Sometimes what holds us back is what we don't know. Sometimes what holds us back is knowing something but assuming there is nothing we can do about it.
Now you know. And you know what to do.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.