Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by Kev117, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. accident

    accident Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    middle GA
    I have about 400-500 knives and with sharpening for the less-experienced I'd reccomend the Lansky system.I'ts cheap (not the diamond stones),and it will help you practice that all too important angle.With enough practice you can then use the oilstones.Also depends on the type blade (hollow ground is quicker to sharpen),and the Rockwell hardness of the knife.Practice practice.Lastly strop with the back of an old belt to finish.This last step is important. Joe
  2. patrol

    patrol Member

    May 19, 2007
    can't go wrong with a Lansky system.

  3. patrol

    patrol Member

    May 19, 2007
    try again sorry
  4. patrol

    patrol Member

    May 19, 2007
    there finally...again, Lansky
  5. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    one trick i use is to vary the pressure applied to the blade. when starting i use a little bit of pressure, then as i get closer to finishing i ease up until i am using almost no pressure at all when im finishing.

    then i strop on a piece of leather.
  6. 199er

    199er New Member

    May 5, 2010
    Columbia SC
    I've had a knife or knives from my cub scout/boy scout days to present, so I guess that puts me in the 'practicing group' when it comes to knife sharpening.

    I've never tried any 'sharpening kits' when sharpening a knife or broadhead. My dad taught me to use a course stone (to remove blade nicks or reset the blade bevel angle) and a medium stone (to 'smooth' out the work of the course stone and/or put a 'generally' sharp edge on the blade), and then a hard stone to 'finish' the blade to a 'razor' edge & then strop the blade with a piece of leather to remove any fine metal burrs and polish the finished blade.

    Over the years I've added a 3"x 1" fine grade EZE LAP diamond sharpener to do quick 'touch up' resharpening. I've found it to be a very useful and handy tool especially when skinning tough skinned animals with a lot of fat just under the skin such as black bear or wild/feral hogs (animal fat quickly dulls a knife).

    Here are some info/techniques that have worked for me that you may find helpful;

    ......all blade edges are not the same angle so to resharpen your knife to a 'razors edge' with a resharpening kit you should know at what degree of angle your blade is beveled
    (10, 20, etc). This is usually listed in the instructions that come with the knife.

    ......the hard part of resharpening any knife is being able to hold the knife at the proper angle throughout the resharpening process.......working the knife on the stone at the wrong angle repeatedly is where we 'go wrong' and end up changing the angle of the blade bevel or 'flattening' the blade edge. To overcome this takes some practice but I've found if you take a black Sharpie non-permanent marker and color in just the bevel on both sides of the knife from the tip to the hilt this will give you a 'guide' to follow when sharpening and provide you instant feedback when you get off angle. This technique allows you to catch a sharpening mistake before a blade is mis-beveled and enables you to aquire the 'old school' sharpening skills without the usual migraines.

    .......Don't use the course stone at all unless you have to reset the bevel of the blade or remove nicks out of it. So if there is no need to use the course stone there is no need to be 'agressive and apply gorilla pressure' when you use the medium and fine stones. You want to apply only enough pressure on the medium stone to where you can feel the stone lightly 'grinding/working' the bevel and blade edge; if you apply too much pressure you will change the bevel and or flatten the blade edge; don't forget to use and reuse your Sharpie as you deem necessary to mark the blade bevel & edge when using the stones........When you use the fine stone use it with very slight pressure, all you want to do is to 'gently polish' the bevel and blade. This step is what obtains your 'razor edge' unless you apply too much pressure and change the bevel, so go 'gently here. Lastly, strop both sides of the finished blade with leather. Three or four passes on each side of the blade will remove any fine metal burrs.

    ......If you keep the grinding angle fairly correct then usually no more than 15 to 20 strokes on the medium stone with both sides of the blade are necessary to bring a general sharpness back. Then the same number of strokes on the fine stone plus stropping each side of the blade 3-4 times will easily return a knife dulled from skinning & dressing a deer back to a razor edge.

    .......I always begin my sharpening stroke at the hilt of the blade, pushing the blade away from me, and ending the stroke at the tip of the blade. I turn the blade over and repeat the stroke by pulling the blade to me. This is certainly not the only way to do it but it's the way that works for me. You may find another way that is best for you but.

    .......The angle you hold the blade is a key element in knife sharpening as is the amount of pressure you apply to your strokes and insuring you use an equal number of strokes on each side of the blade.

    Hope you find this info useful and good luck to you.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  7. denny 714

    denny 714 Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    DMT Diamond Stones,...Course,..Fine,..Extra Fine,..3 Micron diamond,...then the leather paddle...!!! I always get Razor results.!

    Denny G.
  8. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

    Apr 6, 2010

    Let me first say you never want a "razor edge" unless you are sharpening a "razor". A razor's edge has very small angles and if a knife is sharpened to these angles usually the edge will quickly wear away to dullness in my experience. What you want is a sharp edge for the tool being used for the job at hand. An axe and a scapel can both have sharp edges but obviously they are not the same sharp edges. Does this make any sense?

    I'll toss out three sharpeners that I really like. These systems help you because they eliminate the problem of trying to keep a certain angle on the edge freehand. Freehand sharpening can be done with lots of time and practice.

    1. Do you know what it was that Spyderco sold when they were in their corporate infancy. Wrong - it wasn't a knife. They went to all the gun shows selling their Sharpmaker system. Only after sharpening thousands of crappy knives did they realize they could make a better one and their knife business took off.

    Their Sharpmaker is easy and fast to use. It does a very good job and it folds up into a small easy to store container. I have other more expensive sharpening stones and systems but find the Sharpmaker the one I reach for for everyday sharpening.

    2. For travel, hunting, the kitchen knife drawer, etc., where you need a quick resharpening, here is a $2.00 gem made by Gerber knives. Again it is a small package that does a great job on resharpening an already sharpened knife blade. It should be in every tackle box, does a great quick sharpening on filet knives.

    3. When I first sharpen a very good knife I use my "Edge Pro Apex". In my opinion it would be almost impossible for a sharpener to put a sharp edge on a knife better than with this sharpener will. It holds the exact edge angles and the stones are excellent. After using the stones you use the abrasive tapes to polish the edge. But I think you really have to be into expensive knives to afford such a sharpener. But use this once and you will quickly learn what a sharp knife can do.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  9. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

    Use the Spyderco Sharp Maker and I am very pleased with the results. You can get scarey sharp without too much effort. As some person mentioned earlier it is easier to maintain an edge than it is to let it go to the point of having to reshape the blade.
  10. dammitman

    dammitman Active Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    all good advise,,,,,,,,
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    This is exactly the way I do it, and is the way all the men in my family were taught.

    My personal preference is a good whetstone with a course and fine side. draw the blade edge first across it at a 10 degree angle starting with the course side for a brand new blade or a damaged blade to establish the initial angle, then proceed to the fine side of the whet and refine the edge. Heres where my technique has sort of evolved from my dads and grandads, I incorporate a fine diamond steel next and draw the blade always edge first at your 10 degree angle to hone it, this is where I get the razor edge you can shave with. Once i have sucessfully shaved my arm testing the blade ill strop the edge on my grandads old leather razor hone which brings it to a scalpel edge. I dont dare try to shave with that one it will get under the skin very easily.

    Also use a good honing oil. My grandad used 3in1 and passed that preference to my dad, I use SBGO. :)
  12. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    All good advise.

    But sitting on a forum is not hands on. I got fed up one day and went to a knife shop to have a professional show me how to do it. You will learn about different metals, angles, how to push the knife aganist the stone and when to apply pressure and when to change angle. I use a Norton stone and Leather strap at the end once you get that little curve on your blade. Like I said you need to have someone show you.

    I also never use typ buck knives or the hunting type knife. I now have a collection of filet knives. Thin blades, soft metal makes sharpening easy.

    Buck knives have alot of carbon in them and are especially hard. I find they dont hold an edge. Pain in the rear to sharpen.

    Go get you a variety of Rapala filet knives at wally world for 10 to 20 bucks and be done with it. As far as skinning goes use a Wyoming knife. When it gets dull change the blade. Done.
  13. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    I use the Lansky system as well. Like it!
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I too am a fan of filet knives, but ill admit I buy the german steel bakers and chefs filet knives with big handles. My favorite knives for cutting meat is a 7" filet, a 7" santoku and a 7" slicer. All german steel and all have scalpel edges.
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