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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been struggling with sharpening my knife forever.Bought plenty of stones,have read tons of information that makes it seem easy but its much more difficult.Can somebody share their sharpening tips with me?

Thanks
 

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bera in mind that You can sharpen with a lots of items. Elecriclas rotating elements (to me a very poor choise) or by hands (best choise). By hands you have stll to decide wich way You likemore: whater stones (like some naturals very difficoult to find, ie european pleistocene era stones or japanise diffrent grades natural stones) oil stones (ie arkansas honey or grey) or reconstructed-artificial stones (worst of all). Or you can go also with diamonds sharpener or sandpaper differents grit+mouse pad (n this case you'll get a bombed blade). Once you make your's choise its' only a matter of practicing and practicing: diferrent corners, different steels and blades shapes, different force applied: but youl'lfind you way for shure.
 

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I love a sharp blade! Hair poppin sharp- the kind of sharp that trims your eyelashes just looking at the edge. I don't like working that hard at it though. I use the Lansky kit w/ coarse and fine diamond stones. For touch ups the Spyderco Sharpmaker ceramic set. If you have a high dollar knife - the Lansky jig can/will leave a mark on the spine of the blade if care isn't used. I can and do use whetstones but the Lansky holds the angles much better than I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think I've learned anything yet.My preferred method is by using a stone and strop.But i'm clueless how to effectively use them.
 

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I use two grades of oilstones for repair, Spyderco 204 Sharpmaker with Ultrafine stones for touchup, and a polished steel (actually a Razor Edge Systems MouseTrap) for setting the edge. In practice, the stones are rarely used except when knives are made or people send me damaged knives for sharpening. I get sent all the family's knives in a bad state, including Sabatiers that have been battoned with a cleaver, Chinese choppers (fine edged vegetable slicers) that are sharper on the spine than the edge and steak knives corroded and snapped in half.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I use two grades of oilstones for repair, Spyderco 204 Sharpmaker with Ultrafine stones for touchup, and a polished steel (actually a Razor Edge Systems MouseTrap) for setting the edge. In practice, the stones are rarely used except when knives are made or people send me damaged knives for sharpening. I get sent all the family's knives in a bad state, including Sabatiers that have been battoned with a cleaver, Chinese choppers (fine edged vegetable slicers) that are sharper on the spine than the edge and steak knives corroded and snapped in half.
do you strop??

Also how coarse is your stone designated to creating an edge.My coarse stone is virtually smooth.In a coarse stone,should i be able to feel the roughness of the stone?
 

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I do not strop. I prefer the keenness of a very very fine stone which leaves an angular edge, whereas a strop will give a micro convex final edge. I do have a flint-hard felt wheel and a leather wheel and they get used for some applications, but generally not.

I have a big range of stones from very coarse oilstones to silky smooth P5000 (and higher) Japanese waterstones. The idea is not to hog at it, but to remove as little steel as possible to restore the edge without changing the final bevel angle. The more steel you remove, the shorter your knife's working life. The edge is a very small area, maybe 10 thou' or less that actually does the cutting. the rest of the blade is just there to support the edge and set up the material being cut to feed it into the edge at the right angle. Doing more than the touching up the edge is usually gratuitous and excessive.

At the same time, the best edge angle and smoothness depends on many factors, like the material being cut, the manner in which it's cut and the duty cycle. For a push cut into something like wood or leather, you want an acute and finely polished edge. I sharpen to a fine edge and use a drawing motion. For a draw-cut into something fibrous, micro serrations are useful and you sharpen perpendicularly to the edge on a slightly coarser stone and don't finish polish. If you are cutting onto something like a ceramic plate, or need to slash at a rope (as opposed to chop) then you want serrations because the raised points wear down but there's still a lot of edge in the hollows; the same principle as the Circulon saucepans and their long lasting Teflon coatings.
 

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heres an article i wrote,it may help:

To some its second nature ,to others a mystery! so heres a basic guide based on 20+ years of butchery.
whether preparing game or cutting wood a blade must be sharp.Some may be suprised to find that a blunt knife is far more dangerouse than a sharp one this is because a blunt knife requires a lot of preassure behind the cut and when things go wrong they go wrong in style! so a sharp blade is a good safe blade.
firstly there are many devices for sharpening knives,ive tried most of them from cheap to expensive.the first to chuck in the bin is the carbide/tool steel type that the blade is pulled through,all they do is tear and scrape the blade edge.so that leaves you wet stones,diamond hones and steels.
Wet stones and oil stones are very good,when buying look for the type with two different grades one side rough and side smoother.Diamond hones are in my view the way forwards,avoid the cheepie ones and go for the proprietry brands like draper,they both look the same but the cheeper ones are covered in tiny resin clusters which rub off quickly,the better ones are actyally diamond grains and realy do the job well.Steels or butchers steels are brilliant for keeping an edge super sharp once honed to the right angle etc,in the trade i used 2 steels one rough and one near smooth.
in the following description of the method i use and teach trainee butchers i will refer to the sharpening tool as a stone but the method is the same for the diamond hones.
Use the rough side first to remove any burrs chips or shoulder on the cutting edge,then the finer side to achieve a fine usable edge that will last and not chip with use.
Tsharpen the blade,hold the handle in your right hand,use a clockwise circular motion and apply a steady preasure on the blade with your fingers of your left hand as you push away.try to keep the angle constant at 22Degrees,and the stone wet or oiled.what ever you do dont drag the blade towards you under pressure ,all this will do is produce a burr.use less pressure when using the finer stone.to sharpen the other side of the blade simple do the same swapping hands and work anti clockwise.
Once you have got a 22 degree angled cutting edge its just a matter of a little upkeep to maintain this edge,personally i have one of those pen type diamond steels that are sold by B&Q and Screwfix.just a quick rub after each use and the edge will last.
 

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Depends on whether it is a coarse stone or a fine one.
 

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I like to use a set of Japenese water stones. If you are unsure how to use the method of your choice check out you tube, they have several methods you could watch.
Martin.
 

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Depends on whether it is a coarse stone or a fine one.
coarse.I bought one,thinking it was coarse to find it was smoother than a baby's bottom and has no effect on my knife when i use it.
[/quote]

Are you trying to regrind the bevel or refine the edge? Maybe it's technique.
 

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Despite years of practice, I could never really get great results from the "v grind" edge bevel used on most all modern knives. I tried stones of various types and most of the gadgets out there that promise a great edge. Then I discovered convexing and finally found a way I could get my knives gruesomely sharp. Some knives come with a full convex grind, but you can also convert a v grind edge bevel to convex. When convexing by hand I use THIS method. I also picked up a cheap 1x30" belt sander from Harbor Freight a few years ago and can also do a beautiful convex edge that way a lot quicker. If you decide to try out convexing, I'd suggest the manual method first, as using the sander takes a while to learn (practice on cheap blades, since you can burn them up and round the tips very easily with too much pressure or misalignment). Not for everybody, but if you are an absolute no hoper (like I was) when it comes to sharpening, this may well bring you to a whole new level of ability and confidence.


Here's the SANDER I use.
 

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Years ago, I was taught how to sharpen a knife blade by hand.
I learned from a master, who was probably one of the best metal workers I will ever know.
He not only taught me how to sharpen a knife..but also taught me how to make beautiful
knives from materials at hand.
One of my favorite sharpeners, is an india oil stone. A very hard natural stone, that will cut even the most hardest steel on the rockwell scale. Solingen steel, I find, is one of the hardest steels around.
My second favorite , is a two sided diamond stone that has a course side, and a fine side.
At first, knife sharpening was a mystery, but as I learned to feel the cutting action when sharpening, it is second nature anymore.
If I want the ultimate edge, I will strop the blade on leather a few times for final tuning.
When I am cutting deer, I have a sharpening steel to intermittently touch up the blades as we cut meat.
When I am sharpening blades for other folks, I will warn them to be very careful, because these things are razor sharp. Even so..some people will cut themselves, not being used to a sharp knife.
Knife sharpening is not for everyone. It takes practice. Once you get the feel of it,
and keep the angle of the bevel constant...you will succeed.
In an emergency, I can sharpen a blade on a hard rock. I had to once when camping in the boonies with my family. My 6 year old son had sunk numerous hooks into his head from a fishing lure. Being miles away from any doctor...I had to perform minor surgery.
No crying was to be heard from him, because he never felt the sharp razor edge.
true story.
Tom
aka. bunnybuster
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know this thread has been dead for a while but wow...i envy you ^. I can't accomplish anything primitively.I can't even make my own slingshot or bow and arrow. Haven't figured out anything about woodworking after trying to read books and what not.I guess i'm not cut out for it even though it interests me.
 

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I've used pretty much every kind of sharpener there is out there.
Most will do a decent job... But for the EASIEST to use, that creates the absolute sharpest BEST edge, I use a variable speed motorized lapidary wheel with water drip cooling. My favorite wheel for putting an absolute razor edge on a knife is the 3000 grit one.
One tip, after sharpening by whatever means... you will have a microscopic wire edge still attached... lightly strop, or flash it a few times on a steel to knock off that wire... and your knife will be as sharp as it can get.

Also keep in mind, some blade steels are capable of becoming sharper than others due to grain size, temper and malleability. Generally speaking higher carbon content blades are able to be made sharper to begin with, but with the ease of care an issue, "stainless" type steel tends to make them more attractive for most people.

A good choice for an everyday carry type knife is a compromise.... CPM-S30V steel like that in some Lone Wolf knives... is a pretty good balance. With a rockwell hardness of around 60, a decent amount of carbon, a small grain size and a wide belly to the blade... the blade can be sharpened to a fine edge, will retain it fairly well, and has enough chromium in the mix to make ease of care not a real issue.

Again... you'll want to finish the edge on the highest grit sharpener you can find... and keep the blade cool while sharpening using water or oil... you don't want to ruin the knife's temper.
After sharpening, you should knock the microscopic wire off the edge.
Start with a decent blade steel, that's around RC 60 for an everyday carry knife.
Higher chromium amounts = easier maintenance...
Higher carbon content = able to be made sharper and hold an edge.
 

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As an old wholesale knife distributor, in the past, I have set up many times and sharpened knives for hunters by hand. The reason that I did this was to teach them how to get the proper edge for the job that they were going to use the knife for and to sell knives for my retail customers where I set up. Given the time, I can sharpen any knife to a razors edge by hand. I use several different stones for different steels and finish with a strop. I fully understand what a wire edge is and have shown it to others under the microscope. For a lasting edge the wire edge must be removed. It is one thing to get a fine edge, but you must be carful not to take the temper out of the edge while doing, so cooling lubricant is very important even on hand stones. Some stainless steels require a special hand stone as they tend to work harden while being sharpened and the edge must be formed quickly. A few stainless knives (a few older Bucks in particular) were so hard, for the steel that they used, that they chipped instead of shaping. I had a process to remove just enough temper to allow them to be sharpened with out losing there ability to hold a lasting edge. If I were buying a manufactured hunting knife today for myself I would buy one from Sweden or Denmark there is a couple of fine makers in those areas. If I had the money I would probability buy a custom knife from somebody like our own ZDP. I must assume that his knives are top quality, because of his expertise in the technical areas. Also there is a world renowned knife maker (John E. Spencer) that lives about 10 miles from me, that makes really great hunting knives. -- Tex Ps -- I made knives for several years myself, but was not very good at it.
 

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I use this kit that I bought from LOWES. Smiths Kit I'm not an expert at sharpening, so having a device that keeps the blade at a constant angle and running the blade over the fine diamond edge is usually enough to restore any blades that I have to a reasonably sharp edge with little actual knowlege or skill on my part. The allen wrench looking things screw into the stones and then keep them at the same angle while you run the blade across, simple as can be. I'm sure that some of the more knowledgable guys on the board could put a sharper edge on a blade, for now, I'm happy with just not screwing mine up..
 
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