School me on knife sharpening

1,740 Views | 19 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by big ben
cupofjoe04
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AG
I've tried sharpening my own knives with all sorts of gadgets. Never happy with the results. A few years ago, I got a Lansky Delux knife sharpening kit, and I've never been truly satisfied with the edge I'm getting with it either. Ive watched some videos on it- better but still not great. The common denominator: me. I suck at this.

Anyone got some tips or advice for me? Can anyone recommend some good stones or a set? Any YouTube channels I should be watching to learn? I want to sharpen my skills, and subsequently my knives (pocket, hunting, & kitchen).
RCR06
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AG
I went through the same dilemma a few years ago. Ended up with the Work sharp ken onion edition.

https://www.worksharptools.com/shop/sharpeners/powered/ken-onion-edition-knife-tool-sharpener/
rootube
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AG
Just get an inexpensive sharpening whetstone on Amazon and watch videos on YouTube. There are a ton of contraptions that are supposed to make it easier but just add to the expense and nothing else.
Texicurean
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AG
What kind of knives?
The type of steel makes a big difference. Old school high carbon steel can get a razor edge fairly easy where most stainless are (to me) very difficult to get an edge I find acceptable.
cupofjoe04
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AG
Texicurean said:

What kind of knives?
The type of steel makes a big difference. Old school high carbon steel can get a razor edge fairly easy where most stainless are (to me) very difficult to get an edge I find acceptable.


My pocket knives are likely all stainless.
Kitchen knives, I have no idea. Probably stainless too.
I've got a couple custom knives that are some type of carbon steel.
Old Sarge
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My Dad, who was a knife poor individual (joking just had a BUNCH of knives) used stones exclusively. For pocket/mid size knives he'd just sit in his chair and watch football (he was an old coach) and smoothly glide them at an angle unknown to anyone but him. Some stones he'd use a little oil, some none. When he got done they'd be razor sharp. One of my cousins cut herself badly opening a gift and if she'd not seen the blood flowing out on the carpet had not known she'd been cut.

For hunting knives, he'd not make them the razor sharp cut, and preferred a little "grind" on the blade. Yes, you'd have to run it backwards on your pant leg field dressing an animal a time or two, but it would peel an animal open like a zipper with ease.

I have tried to replicate that kind of sharpness for either occasion. I got the "grind" down pretty good. My hunting knives can clean an animal quick with a couple of backstrokes. However, the razor has escaped me, and I cheat with the "devices".

I still can see, and will never forget, him sitting for hours watching football an hearing the ever so slight sound of a knife on a stone. Staring intently at the TV watching football and never cutting a finger. He was not satisfied at shaving hair on his forearm, he knew he had it right if he could shave his thumbnail with one move. That sharp.

I miss him. Every day.
BurnetAggie99
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Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone.

https://www.amazon.com/Sharp-Pebble-Sharpening-Waterstone-Whetstone/dp/B01FZZUL30
DatTallArchitect
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AG
cupofjoe04 said:

Texicurean said:

What kind of knives?
The type of steel makes a big difference. Old school high carbon steel can get a razor edge fairly easy where most stainless are (to me) very difficult to get an edge I find acceptable.


My pocket knives are likely all stainless.
Kitchen knives, I have no idea. Probably stainless too.
I've got a couple custom knives that are some type of carbon steel.
Stainless comes in many forms. Some of them (like 440) I can easily sharpen on a regular Arkansas wet stone, others (like 154CM) I prefer paper wheels. Then there are the cheap Chinese knives that won't ever get a decent edge because the blade metal is so bad.
CactusThomas
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AG
I can get a knife sharp with an upside down coffee mug and a leather belt. Of course I would much prefer my Work Sharp mini belt sander or even an old EZ LAP steel. Once you learn with one system, you can pretty much use any of them. But it takes a lot of practice. Just stick with it - whether Arkansas stones, lansky or whatever.
jpistolero02
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I have used most of them out there and the Wicked Edge system has been my favorite. It's not as fast as the Work Sharp, but it will get the full length of the blade super sharp.
Wearer of the Ring
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AG
Dexter-Russell 07946 12" Manual Tri-Stone Knife Sharpener System
NRD09
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AG
I have used a spyderco sharpmaker almost exclusively for nearly 30 years. Bought it when i got my first serrated knife. Never have liked the lansky system.

Edit to add: a lot of the time a knife that won't get sharp doesn't have the angle set yet. Like the bevel is different on either side of the blade and you're only really sharpening one side until the angle is set on both sides. Make sure you have bright light when you're sharpening and look at the edge once in a while, you're looking for the glitter of the dull edge, and sharpen until it disappears from some then all of the edge. On my spyderco stones it may take 100 or more strokes on either side with the coarse stones to get the bevel set, then 20 strokes or so with the fine stones and you're razor sharp
A_Gang_Ag_06
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AG
I have been making knives for about the past two years for one of my many hobbies. What I've found is that the best way to get them sharp to where they stay sharp is this. Whenever I need to sharpen them I use my Grizzly 1x30 belt sander. I actually take them down to "rough" starting with 400 grit then use a 1000, 1200, 1500 and then finally a 5000 grit belt to finish it off. I can shave the hair on my arms with all of them when I'm done, including my cheap Schrade pocketknife. They will all have an edge like that. Where the quality of the blade comes in is how long the edge lasts.
HTownAg98
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I send them to a professional who knows what they're doing.
Trigger06
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AG
If you want something easy to use (but very expensive) check out the wicked edge sharpening system.
Cromagnum
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AG
Trigger06 said:

If you want something easy to use (but very expensive) check out the wicked edge sharpening system.


Check out KME. Easy to use and produces great results.

https://www.kmesharp.com
Mark Fairchild
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AG
My Very Favorite Knife Sharpening Story as told multiple times by a dear friend: 'If you are ever lost in the woods, sit down on a log and take out your knife and start sharpening. In about 15 minutes someone will come out of the forest and tell you that you are doing it wrong!'
Gig'em, Ole Army Class of '70
SanAntoneAg
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A true classic!
Gig 'em! '90
Mark Fairchild
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For really GOOD advice, try the Burrfection videos on You Tube!
Gig'em, Ole Army Class of '70
big ben
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Buy a havalon for $20 and move on
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