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Knife sharpening

hammerstriker

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So I have used NWF a lot for buying/selling/trading of firearms/ammo/accessories and more recently knives. This is the first time I've used the actual forum portion and apologize if this isn't the correct spot for this question or if its already been covered at length.:oops:
I'm starting to get into the higher end market of knives and realizing I'm not much of a pro at putting a good edge on these super steels. And so I'm wondering what/who y'all recommend for sharpening your nice knives?
I really appreciate all of y'all that I've dealt with and the forum overall and looking forward to the responses! Thanks everyone and hope all of you are having a great day!:D
 

Joe13

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So I have used NWF a lot for buying/selling/trading of firearms/ammo/accessories and more recently knives. This is the first time I've used the actual forum portion and apologize if this isn't the correct spot for this question or if its already been covered at length.:oops:
I'm starting to get into the higher end market of knives and realizing I'm not much of a pro at putting a good edge on these super steels. And so I'm wondering what/who y'all recommend for sharpening your nice knives?
I really appreciate all of y'all that I've dealt with and the forum overall and looking forward to the responses! Thanks everyone and hope all of you are having a great day!:D
Lots of company's offer knife sharpening.

However, I would invest in a couple medium and fine stones (get cheaper ones to start) and take a throw away knife to learn how to sharpen them yourself.

There are hundreds of videos on YouTube to use as tutorials.

If your going to have quality knives then you should know how to sharpen them, but that's just my 2¢
 

Pete F

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I bought a wet wheel sharpener from Sears many years ago. It is the best sharpener that I have ever used. I need to get it out again. It is much easier than using stones, although I have quite a collection of expensive Arkansas stones including a translucent stone for my razor.
 
As far as doing it yourself, I'd advise that if you have limited patience, stay well way from both Japanese and Arkansas stones. Go with diamond only. Nothing works as well,especially on the newer steels. It may be true that a master working a Japanese blade on Japanese waterstones will far surpass what can be done on diamond stones, but for any normal dull folks (like me) with a western impatience to get it finished and over with, a diamond stone will do the job, a Japanese set of stones will often not as even a moments inattention can set you back to square one.

My son was able to get a super sharp edge on his hunting knife with the Lansky system. He showed me how to do it when he was 13, and he had that blade about 99% perfect with their plain regular non-diamond stones. Lansky makes both non-diamond and diamond and the diamond will get the same edge at least 4 times faster. For myself, I take a medium/fine (each side) diamond DMT stone and get about an 85% good edge with it in a few passes by just eyeballing it, stone in one hand, knife in the other. Flip it over to the fine side and do the same. I can go through the wifes entire knife drawer in @ 5-10 min and she feels that they are very very sharp. An Apex, Wicked, or Lansky system would take 10 times longer to do them all and get them 95% of the way. If I had all day I could get them closer to perfect, but don't want to wast the time. I own the Apex and the Lansky (both in diamond) but will not spend the time unless on those rare occasions it is required. I don't hire that job out as once you get a feel for it, doing it yourself is quick easy and free. A good skill to have.
 
OP
hammerstriker

hammerstriker

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Lots of company's offer knife sharpening.

However, I would invest in a couple medium and fine stones (get cheaper ones to start) and take a throw away knife to learn how to sharpen them yourself.

There are hundreds of videos on YouTube to use as tutorials.

If your going to have quality knives then you should know how to sharpen them, but that's just my 2¢
You're absolutely right, which is why I'm asking for advice :D
 

Pete F

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I learned how to properly sharpen a knife in my Ag class in High School. A sharp knife is essential when taking cuttings from plants. We used Arkansas type stones exclusively, although I have discovered ceramic for knocking off the last little bit of a rough edge. I haven't tried diamond stones for sharpening, mostly because I try to stick with softer steels, even with stainless. For ease and quickness, that wet wheel sharpener is tops and gives you a great hollow ground edge unlike a flat stone or the Onion belt type (which gives a rounded edge).
 
*some* of the UToob videos offer good advice, and some will completely misguide you.
I have not yet experienced an electric sharpener that gave a satisfactory edge.
The kind you pull your blade through? Kvetch.

I've been taught to work stones by three different people, and the only common denominator was patience.
Though I don't care for them (have the diamond and non-diamond), Lansky sharperner sets work well. Pay attention to your blade angle.
What I really miss is the one high carbon steel blade that I sold decades ago. Look at it and it would rust, but man, that thing would take and hold an edge beautifully. Paper thin tomato slices, like you were carving butter.
 

Mistman

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If your into newer knives you'll be into the latest 'super steels', take it from me you NEED diamond stones. I've had a Lansky for a while now and have been using it quite a bit, I have the regular stones and a diamond stone, you can buy additional stones as needed. I like the sharpeners that have set angles and give a very uniform edge. I'm working on free hand sharpening but it takes practice and good stones. A lot of people like the Spyderco Sparpmaker, looks simple and foolproof, KME is also another one that has an angled stoning rod like the Lansky but is a little higher end. Definitely don't use any pull through type sharpeners but you probably already knew that, they will smear and pull chunks off your edge. Edge pro and Wicked edge are also well thought of. Pick one that checks all the boxes for you and then start practicing on some lower end knives. I would stay away from wheels and electric sanders, they take off more material than needed and are much easier to seriously mess up the knife you just spent too much $$ on.

I can get pretty much a mirror polish on my edges using a 2000 grit stone and finishing up stropping w/cardboard and leather, they get as sharp as I'll ever need. I'll probably upgrade at some point to a WE or something similar but the Lansky is working for now.

The 3 biggest drawbacks to the Lansky are 1st - there are only 3 set angles, 17, 20 and 25. Fortunately they work with 90% of the knives I have. I will re-profile an edge to make it work but if it doesn't match the factory grind your out of luck trying to match it up and will end up re-profiling which can take some time. 2nd- The clamp only works well w/blades that have a flat area near the spine. If the spine is swedged and there are no flats on the blade it will rock in the clamp affecting your angles, you have to be very diligent to maintain your angle. A buddy brought over a BM Infidel he wanted sharpened, I gave up rather than ruin the edge. I do mine but very carefully. 3rd - it won't handle blades over ~5 inches very well. You can work on one section, un-clamp, and re-clamp in another section but it's a pain. I would recommend it as it's a great entry into a guided system, once you work out the quirks (mostly with getting the blade clamped correctly) it's pretty smooth sailing. Re-profiling an edge isn't that hard w/diamond stones, I had to get one to work up the 20cv, M390 even 35svn. I've done 35 w/the regular stones but it takes forever. I have a 280 grit diamond, it works great to remove metal but not real aggressively. I finish up w/the regular stones.

One thing you'll notice and will be a bit annoying is that not all factory edges have the same angle on each side, in fact it seems like an exception when I find one that's uniform. BM almost seems the worst, I've had one edge at ~30 deg+ on one side and ~20 on the other. Not uncommon at all. Once you've 'cleaned up' the edge you may find the profile is deeper on one side than the other, again, that's just the way of the beast and production knives. Spyderco seems to be an exception, they know how to grind an edge. Most customs and mid-techs seem to pay more attention at the grinder.

Sharpening quality knives is a process and takes a little time, understanding steel and edge profiles comes along with the learning. Generally a factory edge is pretty good and will last a while depending on your usage, some knives I won't touch some I put on the Lansky as soon as I get them. I feel I can always improve a factory edge at this point in my learning but it's not always needed. Once your edges are done like you want them maintaining them is the easy part, just touch up and straitening edges, stropping will keep them cutting for quite a while.

2 seasons ago I used 1 knife all elk season as a sort of test. I ended up gutting 3, quartered 1 and helped skin all 3 with the same knife only stropping once in a while. I could still shave arm hair afterward. You would be amazed at the knife I was using, a $20 Chinese knife w/D2 steel. I have knives that cost closer to $1k but at the end of the day a cutting tool is a sharpened piece of steel, everything else is just bling. How you maintain it will determine how good of a tool it is.
 
If your into newer knives you'll be into the latest 'super steels', take it from me you NEED diamond stones.
Ain't that the truth.
We used CPM-10V back in the early '90s on machines I designed, durable, tough as all get-out, exceedingly expensive to make and sharpen. Thousands of cuts through stainless tubing before you had to replace the blade.
When I see some blades are now made of it, I know they're tough, but think, "I'll pass..."
Then again, if all I had to open my canned food with was a knife, like in The African Queen, or use my knife to cut through a car door, I'd definitely want my blade to be made out of CPM-10V.
 
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I've never been able to get an edge on a knife. I read good things about the KME system so went with that. It's awesome. I started with the basic kit and have added several pieces as I get better with it. It's spendy but great quality and nice that I'm no longer taking dull knives and making them even duller. :)
 

bbbass

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I can use a steel to touch up a blade, and I can use one of those butterfly pull-thru thingies with the coarse and fine stones set at an angle. Otherwise, there is no knife known to man that I can't make into a dull knife by trying to sharpen it... I've got Lanskys, I've got crock sticks, I have 5 or six stones. I've tried since I was 16 and am now 66! I hate trying to keep the angle correct, even with Lanskys. I hate how long it takes!!! I'd use an electric sharpener but some people might hunt me down for doing that to a nice blade, so....

I'm definitely not a person to give advise on this. ;);)
 
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*some* of the UToob videos offer good advice, and some will completely misguide you.
I have not yet experienced an electric sharpener that gave a satisfactory edge.
The kind you pull your blade through? Kvetch.

I've been taught to work stones by three different people, and the only common denominator was patience.
Though I don't care for them (have the diamond and non-diamond), Lansky sharperner sets work well. Pay attention to your blade angle.
What I really miss is the one high carbon steel blade that I sold decades ago. Look at it and it would rust, but man, that thing would take and hold an edge beautifully. Paper thin tomato slices, like you were carving butter.
I have a leather strop on my 1x34 belt sander that will polish an edge onto a blade. (Then again, It's primary practical use is making knives)My 1095 little razor I use for utility purposes I keep obscenely sharp. It is just made from a piece of scrap I forged and hardened and did a very light temper on. I do actually use a carborundum razor stone from the 20s for blade finishing and then use an oiled strop.
 

RicInOR

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So I have used NWF a lot for buying/selling/trading of firearms/ammo/accessories and more recently knives. This is the first time I've used the actual forum portion and apologize if this isn't the correct spot for this question or if its already been covered at length.:oops:
I'm starting to get into the higher end market of knives and realizing I'm not much of a pro at putting a good edge on these super steels. And so I'm wondering what/who y'all recommend for sharpening your nice knives?
I really appreciate all of y'all that I've dealt with and the forum overall and looking forward to the responses! Thanks everyone and hope all of you are having a great day!:D
Not clear from the original post, so please don't be offended, do you feel confident sharpening your everyday tools?

Practice.

Go buy a $1 knife and practice. Something about the size and blade shape you will most want to sharpen. Use what ever tool(s) you intend and practice with them. Then wreck the edge and do it again. Seen Forged in Fire? - wack it on steel, run on concrete, roll the edge or abuse it.



Get a Strope. On a board, or a leather strap. This makes a huge difference in finishing the blade. What ever you use to hog out material, deep cut, fine tune, or just polish, a final pass with leather makes a difference. And for long lasting edges, it might be all you need all year.



My personal favorite video on the topic is: "What is Sharp"
 

Flymph

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Do what this guy does if you want a sharp knife, or pay him the $10 or whatever and get the sharpest knife you'll ever use.
I use a wet stone, but I need to take a few to him to have them done properly.

I believe he's off Mill Plain in Vancouver, or somewhere around there. Supposedly he also shows up at the Vancouver Saturday Market, where he does live demonstrations.

Thank me later.
 
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Some don't have any aptitude for: Fill in the blank.

Example: My wife cannot speak a single word of a foreign language.

I can sit opposite of her, while ever so slowly, syllable by syllable, enunciate something as simple as 'agua' and it'll come out of her mouth as 'illustrate' or 'cat' or 'spaghetti'....

Do I exaggerate?

Yes, but not much.

She simply doesn't have a verbal language aptitude. If her life depended upon speaking a single foreign word correctly, she'd croak...

On the flip side: I can't recall any directions she gives me when it comes to computer stuff. She can fly on a computer. Her skill is wonder to behold. It's majestic.

Me, when it comes to computers, I look like a monkey trying to ahem, a football...
 

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