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Knife Sharpening Systems/Methods

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by D.B. Cooper, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    What is your preferred system or method for sharpening knives, and why?

    I've used a Lansky System for...well, forever. I like it. I usually get good results. However, it is horribly, painstakingly, slowwwwwwwwwwwww. Additionally, long blades are difficult and a hatchet, axe, saw is right out. Thus, I'm looking for something else.

    Has anyone used either those Workshop belt sanders on a Dremel tool those diamond-impregnated paper wheels that go on a bench grinder?

    I don't wish to sacrifice results for speed, but lately I just don't want to take the time to do it properly on the Lansky. I recently spent 2 hrs sharpening all my kitchen knives before butchering up some caribou, and they were dull in quick order. (Partly due to poor steel, partly due to me just being in a hurry.) The Lansky requires set up time, so I usually wait until I have a lot of dull knives and do them all at once-which makes me not want to do them at all.
     
  2. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I started with a lansky, still use it for setting angle, but I learned to hand sharpen with stones and various grit Emory paper and polishing with mothers on card board.
    Lot of sharpening threads in the archives.
     
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  3. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    I still have my Lansky and agree that it is slow and large blades are hard to work with.

    I bought the Ken Onion Worksharp a couple years ago. It's definitely a good tool and will sharpen anything you need to sharpen. You can bring dull knives back from the dead. Using the different grades of belts, you can go from rough to a high polish.

    There's also different tools that you can buy that attach to the machine end of the tool. The only drawback is the belts, they're kinda small and seem to wear out quick. Depending on how much pressure you apply to them, basically controls how quick they wear.

    I've found that applying moderate pressure and taking your time will keep them from wearing to fast. It will also help you control your results on the blade. This matters most at the tip of the blade, to fast and you can round it off!
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I use a Spyderco Sharpmaker most of the time.

    I like doing larger kitchen knives on my Tormek though.
     
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  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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  7. X62503

    X62503 Member

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    I use coarse DMT plate to profile or repair an edge, then 1000 and 5000 grit Shapton stones, all with water. I also have a black Arkansas stone that I use with mineral oil on carbon steel blades. I am still in the learning stage with these tools. I have used a Dremel with felt tips and rouge to polish, but am in the early learning stage.
     
  8. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

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    i have the worksharp tool you speak of. it works very well and very fast for me. you can sharpen a dull knife if prob 2 minutes. kitchen knives just take a few strokes on each side with the coarse or medium belt.

    the tool itself is kind of flimsy and entirly made of plastic. but so far it works well and put a very nice edge on a blade. it really doesnt seem large enough for axes and hatchets.

    i would like to try also those wheels that go on a bench grinder. i think they would prob last longer and also be good for axes and hatchets.
     
  9. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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  10. redneck

    redneck Member

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    I grew up using bench stones and have a mix and match collection of them. Kind of depends on what I'm working on and what mood I'm in, but most of the time I use a coarse diamond stone to start and then finish with a medium and fine spyderco ceramic (the large bench stones).

    I find that having some sort of belt sander or grinder, and a good set of bench stones is the most versatile set up you can have. I sharpen knives, wood working tools, leather working tools, outdoor stuff like axes/machetes, and have even done oddball stuff like clipper blades. I have a 2x72 inch belt grinder, a 4x36 belt sander, and a slow speed bench grinder with fine wheels (mostly for drill bits and stuff like that). I think for most folks one of the little 1x30 sanders from harbor freight and some bench stones would sharpen anything you need.
     
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  11. George P

    George P Member

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  12. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    IMG_20200927_101905021.jpg

    These are all I ever use, along with a Filson bridle leather belt if I want a blade particularly sharp. I keep a Red (medium grit) in my wallet.

    I once lived and worked at a place where dead horses and cows were cut up and fed to predators. I used an $11 high carbon steel Mora for much of that work. Once every couple weeks, I'd clean, sharpen and strop that blade. Then I'd shave my face with it. Did that for about 18 months. I used the same red DMT sharpener I still carry, and a Filson belt that, when it wasn't being used a strop, was holding my pants up.

    Those fancy mechanical devices just look like a waste of time and money to me. But I guess I have no real experience with them.
     
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  13. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    I like that idea of those cards.
    Going to have to look in to that product, very easy to carry...
     
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  14. KandBA

    KandBA Member

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    the Lansky can't be beat, I've been using it for 30+ years. It's my favorite gift for every sportsman I know!
     
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  15. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    Picked up this handy little knife sharpener made by Lansky years ago.

    Take it with me wherever I go, it will sharpen any knife I need it to.

    20200927_173128.jpg
     
  16. kmcdonou

    kmcdonou Member

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    Kalamazoo 1sm belt sander (1"x42") with the following belts, aluminum oxide 120grit; Trizact A45(400 grit), A20 (1000 grit), and A6 (2500 grit); and a felt or leather belt for final sharpening. Start with the 120 grit for very dull knives. Normal knives that aren't too dull I start with A45, then A20, and finish with leather/felt. If I am feeling particularly anal, I will throw in the A6.

    I used to use a Lansky system, but it was too slow. Belt sanders are great. Quick and sharp.
     
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  17. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Member

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  18. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Instead of the workpro, look up a Scott Murray lapidary drum sander. They started out as knife equipment,bought an 8" model from Brownells heck,goin on 40 years ago.

    The web design is such that it can be spun in either direction. The angle of the slot openings provide a different degree of firmness depending on their orientation. When it's not spinning,the "belts" just slide off. I use one dedicated belt for tungstens' (Tig welder),then when needing to put the "grind" on a knife,just pop on a new belt.

    Think they make a 6" too. It can be mounted to a bench grinder. I just have it on an old 1/2 HP motor with an orphaned bench grinder rest fabbed on. They work great,heck you can even sand wood with them. Good luck with your project.
     
  19. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass Member

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    I am not big in to collecting Knifes. Been using the same Knife for hunting for years. But for myself the best or easiest sharpner that cost so little and does IMO a very fine job is the Rada.

     
  20. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    My grandfather wanted me to learn certain shop skills. He was a Swedish cabinetmaker woodworker. He taught me to sharpen with bench stones. Started with his planer blades and chisels. When he thought I was ready he gave me my first knife. Still use bench stones but also have a spyderco sharpmaker.
     
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  21. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Thanks for you input, everyone. It is obvious that a lot of you really like your stone based, manual sharpening techniques. And for good reason, my Lansky turns out great results...if I invest the time. I'm ready to move on from that. Lately, I find that I just really dread sharpening knives (because of how long it takes), so that leads me to simply not doing the task. I need to resolve that.
     
  22. Whizzbang

    Whizzbang Member

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    KME sharpening system for me. I’m not sure if it’s more efficient than a Lansky or not (never used a lansky) but unless I’m reprofiling a blade it takes 5 minutes to get an ok edge to a rediculous one. I’ve used several different methods and this one blends speed and repeatability quite well. I also only use the diamond stones the Arkansas stones seem to take waaaaay longer.
     
  23. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've found that Spyderco's Sharpmaker strikes a nice balance between quick setup and semi-guided sharpening. The course / fine (blue / red) DMT Diafold is a great pocket sharpener, and bench stones are nice for their very large surface area; both of those with the caveat that you need to practice your free hand sharpening. The Worksharp is great if you just want pure speed, but it's easy to round tips if you're not really careful. The metal dust from sharpening also tends to build up in the guides and scratch blade flats if not cleaned out frequently. There's always a compromise somewhere.
     
  24. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    I'm of the same mind. I use a Chef's Choice with the diamond wheels and a felt polishing wheel. Very fast and gets them shaving sharp. The one Ii have will do either 15 or 20 degrees. For the really nice knives, I still use the Lansky.
     
  25. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I admit it.....I use the worksharp. I have no issue sanding on a car for 200 hours to get it to suit me or hand filing parts for hours on end. Restoring old furniture or guns, I've spent many an hour. But I just never would take the time to learn to sharpen consistently. I could get them serviceable with a stone....usually

    With the worksharp I have made all my old knives (as well as machete, hatchets, and axes) shaving sharp. And with no talent or time spent. I don't i ever take the time to use a stone or puck again. Even the big old hard fighting knives go from beat to shaving sharp in 10 minutes or less.
     
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