Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Educate me on sharpening knives

Discussion in 'Knives & Other Discussion' started by Joe Link, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,272
    Likes Received:
    4,551
    Though I feel it's an important skill to have, I don't know much about sharpening knives. The set in my kitchen is getting dull, and it'd be nice to have what I need to touch up my pocket knives when they're losing their edge. I'll need to sharpen both serrated and standard blades.

    These seem to get good reviews, but I'm not sure if it's what I need: http://www.amazon.com/Smiths-PP1-Pocket-Multifunction-Sharpener/dp/B000O8OTNC/

    Where do I start?
     
  2. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,914
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    I use four different whetstones.
     
    Sgt Nambu, Bob1259 and U201491 like this.
  3. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    8,547
    Likes Received:
    19,873
    I have that same tool. It works well for knives that already have a good edge to work with. A few swipes from time to time keeps a good blade nice and sharp - kind of the same idea as a honing steel. When I worked in the field, I kept a small whetstone and some oil on hand for in the field sharpening.

    But if your blades are really dull, they may need more work than that tool can provide. I prefer to leave that kind of sharpening to more experienced folks than myself. Once you get them properly sharpened, if you take good care of them, and if they are good quality steel, they should hold that edge, with just a little maintenance, for a long time.
     
    Loptr, IronMonster and Joe13 like this.
  4. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,043
    Likes Received:
    2,188
  5. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

    Messages:
    1,561
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Well to Start:

    1. You need one/two Marks All, if two, different colors.

    2. That Smiths is OK, BUT i prefer Flat Diamond "Files" Eze-Lap or DMT are the only other brands I will buy, other than One "Smith" same company....

    Now, to Start:

    1. Color both edges, side one & two, where ever the ~Grind~ shows.

    2. Holding the Blade FLAT or Horizontal, tip the "file" (I will use the Term "file" for Diamond honing or sharpening) to what YOU determine to be that angle of Grind. Use One Long Stroke, either way, from Start to Point or reverse, Point to the Start, it matters not, but keep it the same way!

    3. Look At What That One STROKE did! Did it Follow that Grind? Is there MORE edge below the Stroke or Above the Stroke?

    Edit in, does Your stroke STAY THE SAME, through that process????? < Important!!!!

    ~~> These issues help to create an Even Edge, and now, you can Flip knife and do the same thing, with same intense study of your edge!!!!

    4. After awareness of the above, use Opposite Color, (my suggestion to New Knife Sharpeners) and color what you removed.

    5. Do One stroke, Again, maybe both sides then STUDY!!!

    ~~> Did your second Stroke MATCH THE SAME First Stroke????

    The Idea of sharpening, is three fold:

    1. Consistent holding of angle.

    2. Keeping the Correct Angle of Edge.

    (Edit in: #1 & 2 are not the same thing restated, One is holding that angle, every Stroke, Every TIME, Two is knowing your Knifes requested angle, and following it!!!!)

    3. Keeping Edge CENTERED on the Width of the Blade!

    Really, Joe, that is it, but keeping the ANGLE is the #1 key, followed by SAME NUMBER of STROKES side one side two.

    I would Also suggest the following: start by doing the Same Kind of Knife Edges, for DEVELOPING angle holding Ability.

    Later try a Chisel or an Axe, Hatchet, Understanding that you have a Dual edge Angle (really ALL CUTTING EDGES, even Razor Blades, have a First angle, then Final Angle...)

    With Really Damaged Edges, nicks or broken tips, you learn to Cut the First Angle, then Sharpen the Final Edge!

    When you get Proficient you can do Multiple strokes, "Like the old timers do" but.... First practice practice practice!

    I am, in this an Old Timer: two Fridays ago, I was in California, and went to Bates Surplus Store, where I bought my First Knife & Stone... Circa 1962 12 years old, they are still the same family owning the store!!!!! If it has an edge, I can sharpen it, If you want to make a nice knife for carpenter type work, I can teach a person just like above, and where to buy the correct metal.... My favorite knife is about 3 times larger than life than an Xacto #11 blade, and is a shy 1/16" thick, it never got to hot to hold in my hand, and so never lost its Electro-Hardened metal... Its about 62/64 Rockwell Hard!

    philip knife making since the early Seventies....
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    ogre, Caveman Jim and U201491 like this.
  6. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

    Messages:
    1,561
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Caveman Jim and U201491 like this.
  7. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,043
    Likes Received:
    2,188
    Had you actually read that thread you may have realized you didn't need to retype what you said in it here. So I guess a cigar is warranted.
     
  8. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    330
  9. omenwolf

    omenwolf Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    80
    Sharpening takes a lot of technique with flat stones. If you want to get dull blades sharp with out heavy reprofiling the spyderco sharp maker is a great quick way for almost all kind of blades.
     
  10. Don H

    Don H Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    418
    I'm lazy but love sharp knives so I picked up The Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition. I've had it a couple of weeks and love it. It's very easy to learn and gives you an awesome edge, check it out!

     
  11. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

    Messages:
    4,187
    Likes Received:
    6,677
    There is a lot to sharpening a knife and the best way to learn is to spend some time with someone who REALLY knows how to sharpen a knife. I would recommend finding someone who is at least a ABS journeyman blade smith and ask him if you could buy a hour or two of his time for a private lesson. All the fancy tools and equipment in the world are dependent on the operator.

    Its not hard to get a useable edge, However it is very difficult to get a knife truly sharp. That being said 95% of people have never held a truly sharp high quality knife. One that will split a hair or slice razor thin sashimi

    I should also say that for a pocket knife or most working knives there is such a thing as too sharp. (although its almost never a problem as it takes some real work to get them that sharp)

    For a kitchen knife though you cant have it too sharp.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    Brutus57, Caveman Jim, Joe13 and 2 others like this.
  12. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    3,856
    my father-in-law gave me his lansky sharpener. so far so good. im happy with it. my dad gave me his old leather strop stapled to a 2x4. talk about razor sharp. i can shave with most of my knives.
     
    Swedish K, U201491 and jbett98 like this.
  13. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,438
    Likes Received:
    2,777
    Barefoot African and mjbskwim like this.
  14. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,917
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    I've got some diamond hone stick I got at a cutlery a few years ago that gets my kitchen knives pretty damn sharp. Not quite razor sharp, but very close, very easily. I lube with dish soap and water, so cleanup is super easy too. Razor sharp is cool, but it's pretty hard to keep a knife that sharp... I just don't know how realistic that is as a goal. You know... if I don't want to spend several hours a week sharpening them all.

    I recently bought the wife a set of Shuns and tried to show her how to use the "steel" that came with them - honing with the steel will keep them sharper for longer and make them easier to sharpen later. I don't think most people understand the purpose of the steel - you use it to realign the blade edge after (usually before, because you forget to do it after) each use by running it down the length of the blade with the blade, rather than against. Definitely keeps them sharp for longer between actual sharpenings.
     
  15. mikeybuck

    mikeybuck Clark county Active Member

    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    203
    Paper wheels and a bench grinder. Turn a butter knife into a razor blade in no time.
     
    BoonDocks36 likes this.
  16. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

    Messages:
    1,561
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Deadeye, IMHO, handing off the question with a UTube link is Not What Joe asked for.

    Any one can LINK UP for most anything, I make my knives either SHARP, (or) Scarey Sharp, I have been able to hone to Slice the hairs off my arm, for 52 years....

    I provided the Instruction Set, that anyone with a fair brain can Follow.... And I have been Teaching that method, since the Mid Seventies...

    Sorry, if that offends you... But word-smithing is like everything else, Get to the point with Original Knowledge.

    My favorite Small Knife steel is the Driver from a Bostitch 1/2" Crown Flooring Stapler, it is induction hardened (electro-hardened is what I called it, because I was very tired).

    I'll stand by my words, it is a Proven method, and one can by a 'Fine' cut Diamond file for less than $12.00, and Pass it to their Grand Child, my 1976 Eze-Lap is still in use... Though I have added medium & course grits, when I Needed them, like to Repair the Edge on my (Free to me) Kutter brand Shingler Hatchet, I selected the handle, shaved it to fit the Eye, and been using it for Thirty Years.....

    All those other companies, and gadgets are fine for others... But my Father gave me my first Knife, as a Cub Scout, and my first Stone to Sharpen it... That was in 1959.

    philip, .... my knives are a BIG Part of my life, and now with arthritis, I custom carve handles for my tools, to get effortless control .... I use them on everything from Ebony, Wenge' Lane County Maple Burl, and Local Lane County Holly.... In fact, I probably OWN more Holly (the WOOD), than anyone else in Lane County, close to 40 Board Feet.... And I have been cutting off that Supply, for a Decade Plus.... More like 15 years come to think on it..... :confused:
     
  17. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    162
    Depends on the edge profile that you want.
    I've gone to using scandi grinds almost exclusively for my fixed blades and convex for my EDC floders because they are the easiest profiles to hand sharpen and maintain along with being effective.

    To convex the best way I've found is this -
    Sand paper is cheap and effective. Some of the finest wood working tools in the world have never seen anything but that for sharpening.

    For the scandi grinds I use a water stone -

    If you maintain your knifes and don't abuse them then stropping is what you should be doing most of the time to maintain the edge -

    I'll strop my knifes after 20-30 minutes of use and only have to sharpen on a stone rarely. You can make a strop with some scrap leather from some place like Oregon Leather and glue it down to a flat piece of wood with a couple of other pieces of flat wood and clamps. Saves a lot of money that way.
     
    Barefoot African likes this.
  18. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    4,352
    Ha!! This guy should confuse the heck out of ya.:D

     
  19. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,043
    Likes Received:
    2,188
    So it is really obvious that you didn't click the link now. The link takes you to an older NWFA thread that YOU wrote the same thing you are saying here is more than one post, check post's 14 and 19.

     
  20. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

    Messages:
    1,561
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Deadeye, I have Zero desire to argue with you. You have made your Point, I have made mine.

    It is Joe's website, maybe in asking he did not realize there was a Thread on the Subject???

    Is there a Rule I broke, by Repeating my Instructions????

    Sincerely,

    philip, knife sharpener, extraordinaire... :confused: