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Gunnyman88

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How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:18 PM ( #1 )
There are dozens of ways to sharpen knives out there, there are those little pull-through sharpeners with a ceramic V shape and a Carbide V shape, there are stones with oil, stones without oil, and many others, like the sharpening rod. What is your preferred method for knife sharpening and why? I use a 6" coarse & Fine combination sharpening stone, and I was curious as to what other knife fans use, why they use it, and what technique they use.
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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:36 PM ( #2 )
I am by no means an expert, but this is how I just established a shaving sharp edge on my blunted 12" bowie machete(both edge and clip).To establish a working edge I used a Fury sharpening system (using the no.1 stone) I then used a Spiderco triangle sharpener (coarse and then fine stones).
To maintain a good shaving edge I use my Deluxe Turnbox Crock Stick Sharpener on all of my knives.I have also used a Lansky deluxe sharpening system  with success, especially to establish a very poorly maintained edge. I particularly like the Lanskys ability to mantain the bevel edges angles exactly(from 17-30 degree edge angles)


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redplague

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:52 PM ( #3 )
Lansky universal sharpening system. Used it to put new edges on my crappy kitchen knives, and a few of my folders. Works great!
Adam2670

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 9:15 PM ( #4 )
I pick up the phone and dial (800) 255-4716, I ask for Anthony, I say hey man I need to send in some knives for sharpening, pack em up, send em out, couple weeks later....sharp knives arrive at my door, it's like MAGIC!
jankerson

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 9:21 PM ( #5 )
I use the Edge Pro Apex mostly.

I also have stones and Ceramics that I use.

Also a Sharpmaker.
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g_core18

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 10:05 PM ( #6 )
Sharpmaker and finished on a strop. 
jlauffer

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 5:08 AM ( #7 )
I use the Gatco rod & clamp system.  Works very well, but can get a bit tedious on larger blades.
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grindermcgee

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 6:06 AM ( #8 )
Many knives to sharpen, many ways to sharpen them.

1. Belt grinder    
2. Norton Coarse/fine
3. Sharpmaker and pocket hones

Sometimes all three
MM60

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:21 AM ( #9 )
In part of my military training, each guy in my class was required to keep a good working edge on his knife for inspections. Just about everybody but myself went out to an Army/Navy store and bought a Lansky sharpening system with the clamp and rods and diamond blocks. I just brought my own rectangular and rod sharpening stones from home. I remember seeing guys in their barracks rooms sharpening their knives for an hour or more at a time. I would take about two minutes. My knives always had good working edges on them, but everyone elses knives would be sharpened like razors. Unfortunately for everyone else, their knive's edges were so thin and fine that they became dull almost instantly if used to cut any kind of tough materials like wood or rope. My knives, on the other hand, were always sharp, and I really never needed to resharpen them at all other than to remove dark spots on the shiny edges (one was Carbon V). My knives always passed inspection and the instructors even used them as examples for the class; they did not like the Lansky-sharpened knives very much.

These are the two knives I was issued at my school. I sometimes used the MK3MOD0 knife on the left for inspections prior to a swim. The SRK on the right had already been used before it was issued to me, and the tip was already somewhat rounded. I got a great working edge on both of these knives with the two sharpeners at the bottom of the photo.


Below are some nicer sharpeners I've acquired in more recent years. At the top is a 12" DMT diamond rod. The next is a telescoping DMT diamond rod with a fishhook sharpener. At the bottom is an EZE-LAP sharpening rod that fits into it's own handle. The two sharpeners in the pouch I made are coarse and medium DMT diamond blocks (made of stainless steel - I believe). I use the 12" rod most, but the small brass-handled rods are great for keeping in pouches on the knife sheaths for field use.



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jb

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 8:00 AM ( #10 )
g_core18


Sharpmaker and finished on a strop. 

 
Thats what I also do the majority of the time.
 
My strop consists of a foot-long piece of old car drying chamois (synthetic leather?), with some auto polishing compound rubbed in.  It is mounted to a 2X4.  A handful of passes (after the Spydero Sharpmaker or pocket stone), makes for a hair splitting blade.
My Khukuris and LTC kuk, I just use a Medium stone with some gun oil.  I just want the edge to be a good working edge, not paper shaving sharp. 
 
I use a file in the field, sometimes, like when camping with my kuk's and machetes.

You see in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.
RFL

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 8:12 AM ( #11 )
DMT bench stones 12 inch: coarse (325), fine (600), extra fine (1200) and ceramic rod 14 inch (2200)

In the field: Smiths Diamond, two sided- coarse (350), fine (750)

For touch-ups: Henckels diamond rod 8 inch fine  (700)

I like how grit specifications vary, shows how technique is most important.
Ookami

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 9:17 AM ( #12 )
Waterstones. Most of them Japanese.

I get excellent results with my benchstones.


Ookami
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brtaylor81

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:21 AM ( #13 )
Once I gained some confidence in my angle-holding skills, I started using these cheap piece of crap diamond hones from Harbor Freight. My dad and I picked them up a couple of years ago, and I would doubt that we paid more than 10 bucks for the set...

When I got to where I could get a nice edge using those hones, I bought some "higher quality" (more expensive) ones thinking it would be an upgrade...

I always go back to those cheapo crap no name diamond hones...  and I love them

This is how I like to sharpen most knives that aren't too beat up... YMMV:

1) 200 passes on one side using coarse diamond hone (to establish a burr)
2) 200 passes on the other side to even it out (this also moves the burr to the other side)
3) 200 alternating passes using light pressure to remove burr and establish initial edge...

4) 200 alternating passes on fine diamond hone using lightest pressure possible.

5) 200 alternating passes on a fine ceramic rod

6) Then I like to finish up with a two sided paddle strop... 200 alternating passes on the rougher side.

7) Then I take my hands and rub them on the finer strop (to get the natural oils from my hands on the leather) sounds crazy, but it works better for me than using the plain leather... then (you guessed it) 200 more alternating passes on the fine leather strop

8) Cut something!
 

For larger blades, I use paper wheels on a bench grinder. Then I finish with steps 6-8 above.
<message edited by brtaylor81 on Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:53 AM>


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Picksmith

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:34 AM ( #14 )
Depends on how much work the edge needs.  Usually just a black arkansas stone and a strop.  I use a ceramic crock stick quite a bit, just because it's easy to carry.
buckshot

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:47 AM ( #15 )
6 inch stones, with and without oil. I never have been impressed with any of the V pull through type of sharpeners.
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Ookami

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:53 PM ( #16 )
brtaylor81

1) 200 passes on one side using coarse diamond hone (to establish a burr)
2) 200 passes on the other side ...
3) 200 ...
4) 200 ...
5) 200 ...
6) 200 ...
7) 200 ...


Maybe you should find a way to assess whether you have had enough strokes, because this looks like it will wear down blades quicker than neccessary.

I've never been a fan of 200 this 200 that. When you have raised a burr, it is time to move on to the other side (or finer grit) and that is that. If you have formed a burr with 50 strokes, the remaining 150 are a waste of time, energy, and money (good hones often cost good money), and they will wear the blade down prematurely.

Stropping too much can also round the edge, so that it loses some of its bite.


Ookami


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Magius

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:25 PM ( #17 )
Ookami


Maybe you should find a way to assess whether you have had enough strokes, because this looks like it will wear down blades quicker than neccessary.

I've never been a fan of 200 this 200 that. When you have raised a burr, it is time to move on to the other side (or finer grit) and that is that. If you have formed a burr with 50 strokes, the remaining 150 are a waste of time, energy, and money (good hones often cost good money), and they will wear the blade down prematurely.

Stropping too much can also round the edge, so that it loses some of its bite.


Ookami


I agree completely. How dull would a blade have to be to require 200 strokes on a coarse stone? Moreover, another 200 strokes on the same stone for the other side? Going back and forth until you get a burr on one side, then once more on the opposite side will save a lot of stone, and more importantly, blade.
 
Once you have a burr at any grit you should get one very quickly on subsequent stones. Stroke count is irrelevant.
brtaylor81

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:25 PM ( #18 )
Ookami

Maybe you should find a way to assess whether you have had enough strokes, because this looks like it will wear down blades quicker than neccessary.

I've never been a fan of 200 this 200 that. When you have raised a burr, it is time to move on to the other side (or finer grit) and that is that. If you have formed a burr with 50 strokes, the remaining 150 are a waste of time, energy, and money (good hones often cost good money), and they will wear the blade down prematurely.

Stropping too much can also round the edge, so that it loses some of its bite.


Nah, I'm fine. Thanks for your concern, though... 




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Sharpest in the Shed

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 4:12 PM ( #19 )
Straight butchers steel, gets me to paper shaving. flat diamond hones, especially the ones that deploy like a balisong. Never been able to get to razor sharp yet. Will aquire a strop and try...
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wave man

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 5:37 PM ( #20 )
Quote MM60" I remember seeing guys in their barracks rooms sharpening their knives for an hour or more at a time. I would take about two minutes. My knives always had good working edges on them, but everyone elses knives would be sharpened like razors. Unfortunately for everyone else, their knives edges were so thin and fine that they became dull almost instantly if used to cut any kind of tough materials like wood or rope."
 
Now I don't think of my self as a  sharpening expert,and advocate you use whatever style of sharpening method that works for you,but the advantage of the Lansky system is that it has various bevel angles(range from 17[razor blades],   20[pocket knives], 25[hunting knives], 30[machetes]) and is repeatable.The example MM60 put forward shows that those fellas were probably putting too acute an angle on their blades,my LTC kukri has a Lansky 30 degree shaving sharp edge on it and it has never chipped and never prematurely goes blunt,and I have chopped many soft(animals) and harder targets(trees/wood/bone) with it for over 10 years.My normal belt knife(SOG government model)has a lansky 25 degree shaving sharp edge and again it is great, but I don't abuse my knives (accidents do happen) and try to use the right tool for the right job.


  "At close quarters Cold Steel has a decisive edge"  Lynn Thompson
  "The differance between Citizen(free men) and Civilian(slave) is firearm ownership"  Wave man
  Cold Steel Knives I own.. 
Trail Master san maiIII, Master Hunter san maiIII, LTC kukri, Bushman, 12" bowie machete, Outdoorsman lite, Pendleton lite hunter, Kobun, Scimitar Spike, Double Agent1, Super Edge, 3x Kudu, 2xPocket shark, Trench hawk, Trail hawk, 2 Handed Katana Machete, Smatchet


Magius

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:00 PM ( #21 )
I agree with wave man regarding the angle. I subscribe to the double bevel school of thought. Basically, the blade is sharpened at a fairly acute angle, then a second less acute angle is put on the primary cutting edge.

The initial angle (commonly called a back bevel or relief edge) allows the blade to slide through the cut easily, while the second angle presereves the cutting edge as it is less likely to buckle with pressure.

Picksmith

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:10 PM ( #22 )
Nice diagram!  It can also be called a micro bevel.  I have a tendency to make the angle too acute, and that's how I fix it.  The only better way is a fully covexed edge.  Both techniques miles away from V sharpener. 
bbbb

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:36 PM ( #23 )
I sharpen my knives on the bones of my enemies.
citizensoldierny

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:56 PM ( #24 )
I've had lanskys's, Arkansas stones, and a bunch of others but the most idiot proof and quickest to best end result is easily the Spyderco Sharpmaker. Pricey but well worth the money.
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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 8:06 PM ( #25 )
Once you raise a burr there is no reason to keep going on removing metal on that side unless you are reprofling it.

What I do is raise the burr, flip the knife raise the burr, switch to the next stone, raise the burr etc.

It doesn't matter if it take 200 strokes or 5 to raise the burr.
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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 8:22 PM ( #26 )
Fine Diamond to get an edge.  Arkansas stone to perfect it.  Compound saturated leather strop from Knives Plus to polish it.
Sometimes I do like 5 strokes on a side to start, but when I am really getting down to finishing a given stage I alternate sides with each stroke. 
I have tried guides, but prefer to freehand it.
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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Thursday, June 24, 2010 9:05 PM ( #27 )
Picksmith


Nice diagram!  It can also be called a micro bevel.  I have a tendency to make the angle too acute, and that's how I fix it.  The only better way is a fully covexed edge.  Both techniques miles away from V sharpener. 


Yeah, the cutting edge would be the micro bevel, and is usually barely visible. Definitely out performs a V edge, although a convex edge beats both.
That said, the diagram above is somewhat misleading. The angles shown would be 15/20 per side. Therefore, ab=30 and cd=40 degrees.
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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Saturday, June 26, 2010 2:32 AM ( #28 )
I use Japanese water stones.  Its a little messy but for me its worth it.
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MM60

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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Saturday, June 26, 2010 8:51 AM ( #29 )

brtaylor81

1) 200 passes on one side using coarse diamond hone (to establish a burr) 
2) 200 passes on the other side ... 
3) 200 ... 
4) 200 ... 
5) 200 ... 
6) 200 ... 
7) 200 ... 

Maybe you should find a way to assess whether you have had enough strokes, because this looks like it will wear down blades quicker than neccessary.

Ookami

20 years later...

These were my grandfather's. I think he sharpened them every time he used them.





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Re:How Do You Sharpen Your Knives? - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:06 PM ( #30 )
I just bought a 8" course/fine stone at Ace Hardware. I pick up oil whenever I run out, but I couldn't even tell you what kind. I don't like a razor edge on my knives, just because I know it's impractical for the work I do with them. I have a good buddy of mine sharpen my kukri because honestly, there's no way I could get that thing sharp with my stone. I generally just keep sharpening and keep assessing my work throughout the sharpening process, and quit when I deem it 'sharp enough' for whatever it is I'm doing. I hike and camp, so it's usually a bad idea to get it razor sharp. My hiking buddy likes his that way, and that's fine, because he asks me to sharpen them for him. So I get to sharpen knives super sharp and then I get to sharpen my own knives however the hell I want to. For the time being, it's a system I can definitely get used to.
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