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Knife grinder, Paris, France, 1875-1885

The leather strops of this machine are used to polish the knife blades such as those used in surgery. The knife is placed in the steel holder at the top and when the handle is turned the leather strops rotate against the knife’s edge. This is the final stage in knife sharpening. It is important that knives are sharp for surgery so they are effective when used. The drawer contains a number of accessories to maintain and adjust the machine.

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Glossary: knife grinder

used to sharpen surgical knives