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Keep'm cuttin'

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by dario541, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    One thing that I have done over the years is to accumulate a number of knives. I currently have Kershaw, Buck, Shrade, Leatherman and a pile of "Potluck" brands. I'm sure that most of you are in the same boat.
    But, there is one thing I haven't prepared for. And, that is, to keep them sharp. I have started looking at various products in stores to do this. But, there are a lot of products for this purpose. I have seen Arkansas stones, diamond "stones", rods and other gimmicks to do this work. There are electrical sharpeners but I want something that I can use anywhere. I have used a whetstone a little, but I am not sure if that will suffice for stainless steel. Your assignment, fellow members, is: "what do you use? What is your opinion of the best products for this?
     
  2. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    For dull knives and a very quick fix, I like this. Note that it has two grooves, coarse and fine. It's diamond and it's quick. You pull the blade through manually. $15.00 at Target. They also make it in an electric version for under $40 but I don't prefer that. I feel I lose control, and the manual one is very quick. It has guides to keep the blade vertical while sharpening.

    For field work, I have a diamond impregnated steel that has a leather belt sheath.
     
  3. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    Wow! I'll look into it. I hope to hear from others, too. I have seen a number of different products, all claiming to be the best, but I imagine that there are better tools for certain jobs. Thank you, Gunner!
     
  4. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you guys must be logged into the satalite that is reading my mind. I use an Arkansa stone but what am wondering if there is anything better out there.

    I need to buy better tin foil.

    SF-
     
  5. yotehunter

    yotehunter north west Active Member

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    I have the chefs choice like above it works great to get edges but my knives don't get sharp enough. I also have 2 diamond stones course and fine my prob there is I am not very good at sharpening and still don't get the results I want.
     
  6. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    For a while years ago I worked in a factory that made leather goods. They had a jig that They used for initial sharpening, but they finished all of their skiving knife edges with a piece of leather mounted on/over a flat piece of hardwood. The leather was oiled, then rubbed (impregnated) with red jewelers rouge.
    This process polished out the fine "teeth" in the edge that were generated by the grain in the stones.
    I did all the hunting knives in the house at work. Bucks, Gerbers, Schrades etc.
    Those edges stayed sharp for ages.
     
  7. smithmax

    smithmax here Member

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    I use diamond stones and then finish with a piece of leather and some rubbing compound.

    Yotehunter, it just takes a lot of practice to get good at sharpening.
     
  8. Bill Siegle

    Bill Siegle Oregon Active Member

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    At home and on my custom knives, I use a Spyderco Sharpmaker followed by a leather strop. In the field, I use a dual sided DMT folding sharpener with medium and fine grits.
     
  9. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    So far, everybody has offered some good ideas. Anybody else?
     
  10. Mr.510

    Mr.510 Belfair Washington Member

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    I use a Lansky set similar to this:

    I wish I could find a pic of one of these in-use. I left mine at my other house this week or I'd shoot a pic. The T-shaped aluminum clamp attaches to the back of the blade and a guide rod is attached to each stone/handle. You poke the rod through the appropriate slot for 17, 20, 25, or 30 degree angle. You decide what angle to put on a particular blade then rough it to shape/angle with the coarse stone and then work your way down to the polishing stone. A total novice can take a razor blade out of the box and put a sharper edge on it with a Lansky than it had from the factory. The thing that's really cool is that once you've got a blade sharpened to a particular angle re-sharpening it takes about thirty seconds or a minute and you're able to remove the absolute minimum amount of material since the stone is always at the perfect angle. For really long blades (like my 12" chef's knife) you have to do half the blade, move the clamp, and do the other half. I sharpen stuff like X-Acto blades and my Al Mar folder that almost never gets used @ 17 degrees. That's scary sharp but of course won't hold an edge well. Woods knives get 25 or 30 degree angles so they'll hold an edge longer in rough use. Most of my kitchen knives are at 20 degrees and require some extra care in use as they almost cut too easily.
     
  11. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I should have been more clear when I said "For dull knives and a very quick fix, I like this."

    The OP said he had a number of knives including "a pile of "Potluck" brands."

    In that case I would start with this because it does get knives sharp enough to do the "slice through a sheet of typing paper" trick and it gets both sides of the bevel even. It's a really quick and easy start for a dull knife. Some would be satisfied right there, and others would want to do more so they could "shave" with the knife.

    $.02
     
  12. Buddhalux

    Buddhalux Hillsboro, Oregon Active Member

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    +1 for the Lanksy!

    I've been using those since I got my first pig sticker in the Army back in 90. I sharpened everything from a Benchmade Ballisong to a Kukari with it. It's great because you can use the same angle for a particular knife over and over without thinking about it. Smaller blades use a smaller angle.
     
  13. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco PDX Member

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    I'm okay with a regular whetstone, but I can shave with my knives after using my Lansky. Perfectly sharp. Every time. With every knife.
     
  14. CaughtSteelin

    CaughtSteelin Oregon Member

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    I have used a some of the ($$$) electric sharpeners. But they never came out real sharp and would dull fast. I now use a "Gatco" sharpener. Gets the knife 'shave sharp' and holds up well. 95% of my knife use is cleaning fish or skinning animals.
     
  15. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    I realy want purchase a sharpener that I can use anywhere. So, I don't plan on getting anything that needs electricity. And, I wish to thank ALL of you because everybody gave me good information.
     
  16. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    You can use a stone all day long but you will never keep your edge unless you use a strop.
     
  17. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I like using the Spyderco Sharpmaker for my EDC and kitchen knives. Someday, I'll learn how to use a Japanese water stone to keep them sharp - until then, the Sharpmaker does a decent job. No mess & folds-up compact.
     
  18. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian Tigard Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the Spyderco Sharpmaker. And the diamond stones that can be ordered for it. The diamond stones make it easy to set the angle of your bevel to match the preset angle of the sharpmaker the first time you use it. The touch ups are a breeze after that. Two key points in knife sharpening. Never let you knife get too dull to begin with, keep it sharp with touch ups. And, always raise a burr the first time you sharpen it, or if you ever let it get too dull. You will never get that perfect edge if you do not raise a burr first.
     
  19. phillger51

    phillger51 Gold Bar, Washington New Member

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    I also use a Lansky system. My skinning knife is like a razor. I've sharpened knives for my friends and they can't believe the edge I can put on their knives...
     
  20. country boy

    country boy portland area Member

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    I use a simple ceramic rod (and then finish with a leather strop). This obviously won't work for really dull knives, but a couple of strokes works great for touch up (if you want the edge to last use the strop). For really dull knives I simply use a series of whetstones and then finish with the ceramic rod.