How do you sharpen your knives?


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SniperStraz
February 8, 2012, 03:35 AM
Hello all!
Just wondering how everyone else sharpens their knives. Do you use a stone, a ceramic plate, or some nifty sharpening system.

I use the Lansky system. It works pretty well but takes a while to get a really nice edge. If I'm out in the woods I have a little pocket stone with a coarse side and a sharp side.

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ugaarguy
February 8, 2012, 03:39 AM
DMT Blue / Red (Coarse / Fine) dual side DiaFold diamond hone.

Valkman
February 8, 2012, 04:09 AM
Wicked Edge system - best thing I ever bought.

DNS
February 8, 2012, 04:33 AM
I just use a fine stone with a little water like my grandfather showed me thirty some years ago. I also wash the stone off after every use.

BigN
February 8, 2012, 07:24 AM
I have an electric water stone. Works great. I think I bought this at Walmart about a hundred years ago for $9.00. Of course the old standby, hand-held stone with a bit of oil or water on it works great in the field.

bikerdoc
February 8, 2012, 08:47 AM
Stones

Sam1911
February 8, 2012, 09:06 AM
I use the Lansky system a lot. With patience and some careful thought about the blade bevel geometry it really does do a nice, precise job.

I also like the Spyderco Sharpmaker for an easier and pretty decent sharpening system.

AFDavis11
February 8, 2012, 09:08 AM
I'm curious about the "stones" comment. When you guys use stones do you use anything as a guide or do you just make free-hand strokes?

SleazyRider
February 8, 2012, 09:21 AM
I free-hand it with my stones, and try to hold it at an angle that "feels" like I'm attempting to slice a fine layer off the top of the stone. Of course, the idea with a stone is to not let the knife get very dull to point that the blade needs angle restoration. If I'm feelin' a bit frisky, I follow up with a leather strop and diamond paste.

Geneseo1911
February 8, 2012, 09:38 AM
I tried using stones for years and finally broke down and bought the Spyderco Sharpmaker. Worth every penny. I only regret not doing it sooner. Also, the ceramic stones that come with it are very handy for other jobs. I recently cleaned up the sear on my Marliin 25 with them, for example. Also, they can laid flat and be used like a traditional stone if you have a need to. IMO, that is a big advantage over the systems that use round rods.

AFDavis11
February 8, 2012, 10:30 AM
I follow up with a leather strop and diamond paste.

I often shave with a straight razor, so this brought on a little smile!

Zeke/PA
February 8, 2012, 10:32 AM
I have used a Spyderco Sharpmaker for several years and I really like it.
However, I still on occasion go back to my bench mounted Medium India and Hard Arkansas stones.
With practice,the stones are a great way of sharpening and I really think the process can be learned if one wants to do it.
I really can't say what virtues are necessary to "stone sharpen" but I really think that there is none better.
Practice maybe??

hso
February 8, 2012, 01:40 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=8341

Ceramic sticks and stones, diamond plates, water stones (I like to play with sharpening).

The "just need to touch up the edge" equipment is the Spyderco Sharpmaker.

sidheshooter
February 8, 2012, 02:41 PM
If it's my Emerson CQC-7 (production, chisel grind):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi2gzCrS-fE


:D

Skyshot
February 8, 2012, 02:56 PM
I use stones and ceramic and for super hard steel I use a hard felt or hard muzzelin wheel with a polishing compound on a bench grinder. It depends on the type of steel that I'm dealing with.

TwoEyedJack
February 8, 2012, 04:27 PM
I found a very cool gadget at a sportsman show last year, called the Hunter Honer. Here is a picture with a few of my favorite knives

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/8421/sany0868.jpg

I was at this show and the guy was talking about how great a sharpener it was. I had a Leatherman wave with a pretty dull blade with me. He took about 20 seconds with it and it was sharp enough to shave your arm bald. It does not remove metal, just places it back where it was when it was ground. I still use a Lansky system for profiling really messed up blades, but after that, the hunter honer does an incredible job.

alaskanativeson
February 8, 2012, 04:43 PM
I have DMT Ceramic rods (http://www.dmtsharp.com/sharpeners/sharpening-steels/ceramic/) I use for a quick touch up, but to really sharpen I use a Work Sharp (http://www.worksharptools.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=90) system. Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Work-Sharp-WSKTS-Knife-Sharpener/dp/B003IT5F14/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328733428&sr=8-1) has them cheaper.

I have a couple of Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmakers around the house that I occasionally use as well.

thunder173
February 8, 2012, 05:13 PM
Uh,...I am probably gonna get flamed here,...but I pretty much use the bottom of one of gazillion ceramic coffee cups around here, free hand,...and occasionaly the side of the cast iron lid from the bean pot to smooth things out......

I own a couple of good stones, a couple of fine diamond sharpeners,..and various other little gadets that work too,...but,..the coffee cups work,..and I can usually FIND one of them pretty quickly. :-)

BTW,...I use my knives every day for something,..if nothing more than cutting a piece of twine or a rope. And I hate dull blades.

Marlin60Man
February 8, 2012, 05:16 PM
I have a Norton waterstone. Just the 220/1000 grit. Puts a great edge on my knives, I also have a "strop" with MDF and some of that green compound stuff that helps keep them sharp.

I really want to get some of the DMT diamond plates. Waterstone maintenance is a PITA

JTW Jr.
February 8, 2012, 09:10 PM
Sharpen : Bader BIII with 220 grit , then 400 grit , then either a worn 600 grit loaded with rouge or off to the 8" paper wheels system.

Resharpen: worn 600 grit loaded with rouge or the 8" paper wheels system

22-rimfire
February 8, 2012, 09:46 PM
I use a large DMT DuoSharp primarily with coarse and fine sides. If I feel like it, I do a final touch up with a the green extra fine DMT. Also use cermic rods for touch up as well.

dayhiker
February 8, 2012, 10:58 PM
Freehand with a DC-4 stone, a combo stone with ceramic on one side (fine) diamond plate on the other (medium).

Touch-ups with various grits of sandpaper, only up to 1000 grit.

JohnKSa
February 9, 2012, 12:46 AM
I have a set of graduated grit ceramic stones that do most of my sharpening work which is all done freehand. I use them dry and clean them with an eraser when they load up too much.

If I want a finer edge, when I'm done with the finest ceramic stone I have, I strop using aluminum oxide powder on a piece of scrap leather.

If I need to completely reprofile an edge, I used a diamond stone for that because it's so much faster.

RevolvingGarbage
February 9, 2012, 01:12 PM
Uh,...I am probably gonna get flamed here,...but I pretty much use the bottom of one of gazillion ceramic coffee cups around here, free hand,...and occasionaly the side of the cast iron lid from the bean pot to smooth things out......

I own a couple of good stones, a couple of fine diamond sharpeners,..and various other little gadets that work too,...but,..the coffee cups work,..and I can usually FIND one of them pretty quickly. :-)

BTW,...I use my knives every day for something,..if nothing more than cutting a piece of twine or a rope. And I hate dull blades.

Thunder, I had never though of this, but I just tried it and I'll be damned, it works!

hso
February 9, 2012, 02:20 PM
.I am probably gonna get flamed here,...but I pretty much use the bottom of one of gazillion ceramic coffee cups around here, free hand,

Nope, you won't hear a negative peep. We've had a couple of threads on all the "stuff" laying around that someone that knows how to freehand sharpen can use. Look at the frosted top of your car/truck door window glass for a handy fine sharpener. ;)

If you want to learn patience, SM recommends the back of a notepad. That paste board has enough mineral content to put an edge on a knife if it isn't too far gone.

StrawHat
February 9, 2012, 02:25 PM
I sharpen for a living and use a variety of things. For most of my work I use a series of wheels from 100 to 2000 grit. I spin them about 200 rpm and can get results quickly. I also keep my bench stones, diamond stones, ceramic stones, steels, and strops handy. I have used the ceramic cup and sometimes a sheet of emery paper but never thought about the top of a car window until I saw it in the post above. Great idea!

Some of the other sharpeners use the Tormek system and one guy uses paper wheels. There are a bunch of way to defur that feline.

Cosmoline
February 9, 2012, 02:36 PM
Arkansas whetstones followed by a stone chef's sharpener. I'm not as particular as some of you! And I've even been known to scratch blades while whipping them back and forth on the stone. It's terrible, I know.

Jaymo
February 9, 2012, 03:42 PM
I have diamond hones, Arkansas oil stones, and water stones.
What I'm honing has as much to do with what I use to hone it as what it'll be used for.

The straights only get the water stones and strop. Sometimes newspaper used as a strop.

Spec ops Grunt
February 9, 2012, 04:07 PM
I've got a Sharpmaker that I tend to use the most, except for my Scandi knives.

I've also got some cheapo diamond plates, the only time is use them is with the sharpmaker for reprofiling. I set the sharpmaker to flats, then use rubber bands to attach the plates to the rods. It works alright.

For my Scandi knives I have a Finnish waterstone I bought from ragweedforge.com, and a soft lansky Arkansas stone I bought from Midway, I use water with it.

For stropping I use a sheet of cardboard I glued to a block of wood, charged with Mothers Mag Wheel polish.


The cheapest stropping system ever.

bikerdoc
February 9, 2012, 08:24 PM
For stropping I use a sheet of cardboard I glued to a block of wood, charged with Mothers Mag Wheel polish.

Use a piece of cardboard with mothers mounted to a sanding disk on a reversable electric drill. Fast easy remarkable results.

xm21
February 10, 2012, 01:26 AM
http://i1161.photobucket.com/albums/q506/hootie11bravo/2012-01-29_141351.jpg

I like stones,Arkansas and Norton Fine India for the most part.The stone above is a Lily White Wa****a that has since been boiled in water and scrubbed to remove the gunk that had collected on it from setting unused in its cardboard box for at least 50 years.Then it was soaked in mineral oil and is now used to keep my knives sharp.

snakeman
February 10, 2012, 01:30 AM
diamond stone, course, medium, fine, super fine, then a quality steel. I usually start with fine though unless I need to create a new edge.

Jaymo
February 10, 2012, 01:25 PM
So, is Wa****a pronounced Wah-SHEE-Ta, WAH-Shih-Tah, or how?
I've always wondered.

Hamilton Felix
February 10, 2012, 02:17 PM
I have a Lansky (I've had several over the years) that I have not used much lately, and I believe guides do eliminate the "human wobble factor." And we have those plastic handled "Edgemaker Pro sharpeners (look like a bigger version of the Hunter's Hone above, with little metal rods in a Vee) in the kitchen, along with a steel.

Lately, I've been taking dull knives to work where we have a little-used Wilton belt grinder (I am not impressed by its alignment and would save money for a Burr King if I was looking for a square wheel grinder) that has a half worn belt on it. A few careful moments with the Wilton, then finish with the 8 inch Norton Crystalon stone, maybe strop for a moment on the same cardboard I use to check the edge. That usually gets to where it shaves hair off of my arm OK. It's not SUPER sharp, but shaving sharp is fine for general use.

I sometimes use ceramic rods to touch up a knife. In the past, there were more fuses with ceramic bodies (I'm an electrical worker). They worked well. If you ever salvage out any knob & tube wiring, the ceramic tubes are great knife sharpeners. Look for an extra long one where they went through two or more 2x4's.

I have carried a small pen-sized EZE-Lap in my pocket for years. It's handy for a quick touch up.

I've had lots of sharpening gadgets over the years. In the garage, there's a WEN Wet Stone machine and a Wet Wheel machine. Right now, I'm looking at a fancy sharpener that cost me $100 at a gun show; it says Warthog on one side and V-sharp on the other. I need to track down the maker and get replacements for the diamond "stones" that are losing their diamond surfaces. They are square steel rods with a diamond grit surface.

A steady hand and some skill with a bench stone is always useful. Belt machines let you create a convex edge if you wish. They also let you destroy knives quickly.

Ghost Tracker
February 10, 2012, 02:25 PM
Tried (almost) everything. Settled on Lansky w/diamond hones, Spyderco Sharpmaker & some old-fashioned strop techniques. Learned the car/truck window trick 10 years ago. Lots of folks laugh at it until you hand their knife back to 'em...SHARP!

zhyla
February 10, 2012, 06:56 PM
For plain edges I use "scary sharp" (successively finer grits of sandpaper) freehand. Works on my straight razor, hand plane blades, chisels, etc.

For my Spyderco combo edges I probably ought to pick up a Sharpmaker. I keep meaning to mail them back to the factory for sharpening but I never get around to it. Spyderco used to come by the county fair every year and sharpen for free but not since they started metal detecting everybody.

conw
February 10, 2012, 07:34 PM
Sharpmaker, one of two ways:


From the ground up (for a very dull, uneven, or otherwise mistreated blade):
Mark each bevel with a Sharpie
Start with diamond extra-rough rods and make sure I'm taking off the sharpie evenly with each stroke; stick there until I get the bevels even. I prefer a 30 degree angle. This can take an hour with premium steels.
Move to rough stones and reapply sharpie; stick here until all the sharpie is gone, and/or a burr has been raised on either side
Move to fine srods. Depending on the role of the knife (outdoor work knife, kitchen knife, EDC) I may just do a few strokes here...or I may repeat the burr step, then do a few strokes on the ultra fine. I never do more than a few strokes on the ultra fine stones
On a 7" piece of balsa wood that has Mother's polish on one side I will drag one to two VERY light strokes (like, the weight of the blade only), then repeat on a side with no polish


Touch-up (for EDC knives every few weeks) Raise a burr using the coarse rods on either side
Optional: raise a burr on the fine rods on either side
Optional: balsa strop as above


*Other considerations:

For serrated blades (my H1 ladybug for example) I usually just use the rough or fine stones.

For blades that really need a touch-up on the very tip, I use a method where I put the rods in the parallel slots on the underside of the sharpmaker, and drag the blade at a 45 degree angle with the blade facing upward. This really makes the tip pointy again but can cause some scratches.

For SD knives I am inclined to finish with the rough stones and a light strop as I like the aggressive toothy edge. For titanium SD knives I do a few strokes on either side of the rough stones, and a VERRRRY light strop.

As far as cutting tests, EDC knives should shave the hair on my arms and "pop" it as well as push cut paper with ease;

SD knives should catch in my nail bed easily at a 45 degree angle, especially at the tip, and slice paper more easily than they push cut it;

and kitchen knives should be able to push cut a circle out of printer paper.

MYREDTAIL
February 10, 2012, 07:37 PM
I own a few Tri- Stone knife sharpeners from Smokey Mountain knife works,? Great company for all of your needs,? & they make your knives razor sharp with a little work on them.?

JTW Jr.
February 11, 2012, 01:43 PM
Right now, I'm looking at a fancy sharpener that cost me $100 at a gun show; it says Warthog on one side and V-sharp on the other. I need to track down the maker and get replacements for the diamond "stones" that are losing their diamond surfaces.

http://www.v-sharp.com/

Tried one , didn't like it , unless they redesigned it , it doesnt work for very thick blades. My Strider AR wouldn't even fit in the "slot".

SniperStraz
February 11, 2012, 02:39 PM
Yeah, I was really interested in the V Sharp for it's simplicity bit all of the reviews say that it's not all that great and that it only really accommodates coarser stones. Seems like Edge Pro Apex is the best product going.

Hunter125
February 11, 2012, 03:04 PM
I have a lansky systemm that I use for starting a blade and major touch ups, a plain jane kitchen sharpener that works well for thin bladed kitchen knives, and several cheapo pocket hone deals that I use every few days for minor touch ups.

My dad has a Razor Sharp system that is pretty neat, works really well, but it's expensive.

I refuse to ruin any more knives at work, so I carry a utility knife where the blade extends out of the handle so it's thinner than the folding ones. I switch blades about every two weeks, saves me a lot of sharpening.

sm
February 11, 2012, 05:25 PM
hso wrote:
If you want to learn patience, SM recommends the back of a notepad. That paste board has enough mineral content to put an edge on a knife if it isn't too far gone.

Three years ago hso shared with me, I could actually turn the notepad over and have something to write on.

I free hand, have a rep as hso does. Translated: we ain't normal.

Today I used 1500 grit emery paper as I was too lazy to get out my DMT diamond stuff, and my wittle legal notepad.

Until I get a piece of leather...I still strop on my jeans, or hand, or...

A lot of where I come from is the fact, one will be out and about and have to make do with what is available.

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

Define "normal" anyway - anon

ARMike
February 11, 2012, 05:29 PM
So, is Wa****a pronounced Wah-SHEE-Ta, WAH-Shih-Tah, or how?
I've always wondered.


its pronounced WAH-Shih-Tah... these stones are "mined" out of the Ouachita Mountains (same pronunciation) in West Central Arkansas.

SDG
February 11, 2012, 06:13 PM
I use the Spyderco Sharpmaker. As long as I can get my Benchmade sharp enough to shave hairs off of my arm, I am satisfied. The sharpmaker does this just fine.

Quickdraw Limpsalot
February 11, 2012, 06:30 PM
Dad taught me how to free hand sharpen when I was a kid and I don't like serrations, so all I've used for the last 10 years or so is an EZE LAP Diamond "Stone" (also have an identical one marked "Lansky" that is newer.)

http://www.lifeviewoutdoors.com/images/detailed/4/EZE-Lap-Diamond-Sharpening-Stone-1.jpg

I grab any ol' coffe mug or ceramic plate to fine tune 'em when I have time.
They work on anything from scissors to machetes with care.

bikerdoc
February 11, 2012, 08:02 PM
^ got one of them in my pocket. :)

Skidawg
February 11, 2012, 08:25 PM
The Lansky system has been my choice for 15 years. I am used to it and can gaurantee a knife that will "shave" if the steel will allow it.

baylorattorney
February 16, 2012, 09:46 PM
The warthog v-sharp @v-sharp.com is something I picked up this year and it is the best I've found in 20 years of seeking. Here is a pic.

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