The Too Sharp Sword

If you sharpen your sword constantly keeping it at its peak sharpness, the sword will wear down quickly and you will have to forge a new sword. But the opposite, of never resharpening and using a dull sword means while you may have the sword for longer it will eventually become so useless as to effectively be no sword. There is a balance to strike between the two, finding the perfect sharpness for the task.

The Too Sharp Sword is a maxim we use for describing how constant maintainance can lead to extra unnessessary work, a decrease in overall efficiency. The example goes that a blade kept too sharp will wear away quicker. You’ll need to reforge a new blade more often if you keep the edge constantly at its peak sharpness. While you may be able to get a finer cut with a sharper blade, past a certain point there is no increase in material benefit from finer sharpening.

A commercial knitting machine may be able to knit a finer cloth than knitting a garment by hand, but the time spent to build the machine would take longer than the time spent knitting any garment itself. And a very coarse and shoddily made hand knit fabric can be nearly as warm and comfortable, the increase is minimal.

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