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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    Now that we've established that we rely on knives for both sporting and utility uses, how do you maintain that perfect factory edge?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    Hi Ard,

    I have used most available types of sharping methods including stone, diamond, steel and ceramic. Here are my thoughts.

    1. Stone may be the best but it takes more than one to condition a dull blade and it is slow. After a blade is sharp and is made with good steel, a hard stone can make a very smooth and durable edge.

    2. Diamond is quick to sharpen but most diamond rods or flats don't have fine enough grit. Consequently the edge is not as smooth as with stones. You can't see the rough edge except under magnification. I have used diamond dust on aluminum flats but it is expensive. Diamond dust is used to sharpen hand cutters that engravers use. I have a complete set with a ceramic finish wheel.

    3. A steel is very good to reset the edge on a properly sharpen knife. Some steels will sharpen but I find they are best at setting an edge. Sharpeners that are made from carbide sharpen quickly but remove too much steel. They will wear down a blade over time.

    4. Ceramic is hard and you can get different grits. The fine grits being good at putting a finishing edge on a knife. The very fine ceramic are also good at resetting the edge.

    5. Wheels with paste polish added. I have used leather, cotton and cardboard wheels. This is a terrific way to sharpen knives and chisels. I have a bunch of gunsmith chisels and I found the medium hard leather to be a very good sharpener with the right past added and a quick touch with a cotton wheel to finish. There are also stone wheels that some use to sharpen knives and chisels. They have to turn at a slow speed to prevent burning the steel you are sharping.

    Over the years I have gravitated to ceramic. I have a fine ceramic rod that I use to condition the edge on a Wüsthof kitchen knife that I have used for years. It is as sharp as it was new. Every once in a while I do a swipe or two with the ceramic rod and it is back to new with no signs of wear.

    Frank

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Monroe, Michigan
    Posts
    2,584

    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    If I have to sharpen a really dull knife; usually one of my friends, I pull out the Loray set. It puts a nice edge on if you follow the directions. For touch ups I have started using the manual Chef's Choice sharpener, it keeps my Gerber pocket knife shaving sharp.

    Dan

  4. Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    I do my hunting knives on a Lansky. It's a great way to sharpen knives and keep the proper angle. I have a diamond coated steel but it's hard to keep the exact angle for me. I bought it from Bob Dozer when I bought a few Dozer custom knives. In the kitchen I have Wustoff knives and use a steel to touch them up.

    WT

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pinedale, WY
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    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    I primarily use ceramic sticks for quick touch-ups, but like Frank mentioned, if I want a really fine edge I take my knives down to my son and use his wheels with paste polish. Here is what it looks like: http://www.yukonforge.com/FarrierTips.htm

    Larry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Upper Mojave Desert
    Posts
    1,823

    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    Funny this thread showed up the day I finished sharpening my pocket knife. I'm terrible at getting a good sharp edge on my knives. Our FF Club just had a sale where I bought a large hook hone shaped like a triangle. I sharpened my pocket knife on the edge of the hook hone and it seemed did a better job than normal. May be a little harsh though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pinedale, WY
    Posts
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    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie View Post
    Funny this thread showed up the day I finished sharpening my pocket knife. I'm terrible at getting a good sharp edge on my knives. Our FF Club just had a sale where I bought a large hook hone shaped like a triangle. I sharpened my pocket knife on the edge of the hook hone and it seemed did a better job than normal. May be a little harsh though.
    Jimmie: Rick sent me the flyer for the sale, sure wish I could have been there, hope they got a good turnout!

    Larry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Missouri City (near Houston), Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
    Hi Ard,

    I have used most available types of sharping methods including stone, diamond, steel and ceramic. Here are my thoughts. . . .

    Frank
    Frank,

    This was an excellent explanation of the differences various shapening systems afford.

    Neil
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    Hi Everyone,

    I should have mentioned the Lansky System. There are a couple of different makes but the Lansky is the one I used for a few years. The advantage of this system is the tool holds the correct angle between the stone and the blade edge. For anyone who wants to sharpen hunting knives or pocket knives this is a very good system. You can buy it with stones or diamond tools. I prefer the stones for a better more durable edge but the diamond sharpens quicker. Once you get the correct edge using the different stones you only need the finer stone to touch up. One thing I don't like is they don't provide a burnisher or steel to reset the edge. So with every sharping you are removing metal. Nothing stooping you from getting a burnisher to reset the edge.

    A well made knife with good steel does not need metal removed to return it to its sharp condition. Knife edges, even with the hardest steels, will roll over. It seems not to be sharp but with a smooth steel or a burnisher you can recondition the edge without removing any steel. I use to make my own scrapers for inletting stocks. I used tool steel that was harden but not tempered. So it was very hard. I could take a burnisher and put a hook on the edge. If it stop cutting to my satisfaction I could reset the hook with the burnisher. I very seldom had to resharpen the edge.

    Frank

    Thanks Neil!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening

    I can't get a real Swiss Army knife back to the super razor sharp edge it
    has from the factory, but I'm WAY better at sharpening knives with two
    stones than I used to be. I have a beautifully sharpened Buck hunting knife,
    but I've never cut anything with it (except to shave the hair off my arm at
    the shop..LOL!). I carry it for "MUST HAVE RAZOR EDGE" emergencies.

    Most of the time, four passes on a rough stone, and then a couple on a
    smooth stone get me 90% of the way back to factory edge. I don't let knives
    go very long at between sharpenings, and that probably goes a long way.

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