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Old 08-01-2020, 08:10 PM
Dougaz Dougaz is offline
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Default Sharpen me up please!

It seems like I've bought ever knife sharpening "system" ever sold. Stones, leather straps, machines etc.

How can I best sharpen up a couple of cool pocket knives.

What is your preferred method?
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:17 PM
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Pretty simple: I use old fashioned stones. No gadgets.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:19 PM
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Couple years ago, bought a "Work Sharp" knife sharpener. Electric motor, different grade grit belts, and a knife angle guide. Day in, day out, the quickest way I have found to get a shaving sharp edge on a variety of knives with minimal fuss. When I first got it, I about ran out of hair on my arms testing different blades after sharpening. A leather strope really finishes the job. It really shines on some of these new, "super" steels that can be a real PIA to sharpen with a stone.

Larry

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Old 08-01-2020, 08:26 PM
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Spyderco Sharpmaker.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:50 PM
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I normally use a series of Arkansas stones, usually starting out with a soft Arkansas, then hard Arkansas, then finishing off with a ceramic stone.

Like I said...normally. I like to touch up my knife/knives pretty much after I use them that day...usually during the evening. However, if I neglect to do that, or more likely, one of my grandkids gives me a knife to sharpen and it's duller than a butter knife, I'll start off on a diamond sharpening stone until I get somewhat of a decent edge on it, then go to the Arkansas stones.

That's how my grandpa taught me, and I guess old habits die hard.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:51 PM
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My Grandpaw and my Dad taught me to sharpen a knife by hand using Arkansas stones........I still use that method, but I also use DMT Diamond stones for knives with harder steels. I finish the edge by stropping the blade on an old leather belt that I've rubbed some "Flitz" polishing compound into to get a shaving sharp edge.

Don
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:58 PM
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Spyderco Sharpmaker. Do a few passes with the fine stones, then a few more with the ultra-fine stones, followed up with a few passes on a stropping block.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:03 PM
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Work Sharp system.
I do not need it very often, I hone the blade on my kitchen and daily carry knives every evening. Keep em honed and you won’t need to sharpen them much at all.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
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Spyderco Sharpmaker.
+1

Excellent product
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:34 AM
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Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener. I have the Work Sharp, but no place to leave it set up, so I usually just reach for the Field Sharpener. It has two diamond-coated steel plates, a ceramic rod, and a leather strop. Because there. Is no setup time, it is overall quicker and easier than the belt sanders.

This device gets just about any knife I own to shave my arm hair in just a couple of minutes. It is the size of a large harmonica, easy to pack for any trip.

For machetes, I usually use a file.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:23 AM
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Lot's of the better (more expensive) sharpening systems will get the job done after the learning curve, but they are sometimes finicky, have expensive proprietary parts and when you need them most something breaks or goes missing.

IMHO the best overall way is to get a medium and a fine Arkansas Stone ( minimum size 2" x 8" ) and some honing oil. Take a few less expensive practice knives, read about how to do it, watch some videos, then practice, practice and practice until muscle memory kicks in and you can get your knives sharp fast and efficiently. It will take you a little time BUT once you learn the skill you will thank me.

You can take two Arkansas stones anywhere and won't need to rely on and drag along all sorts of kits, systems, etc. It's the simplest and least expensive method in the long run and works quite well when correctly learned.

While on a week long hunting trip with the Guys about 5 years ago, I was forced into proving a point. I took an ordinary extremely dull butter knife and sharpened it on a red brick right in front of two fellas watching. Certainly no surgical knife but I got it sharp enough to slice a tomato. Yes - a crude method however the point was that once you have the technique you CAN if need be sharpen almost any piece of steel on almost any abrasive material.

As I get older I find that the basic simpler time proven ways are still the best in the long run.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:14 AM
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i use a steel to touch up before they get too dull - i use arkansas stones when they need sharpening - never found a machine that does not wear steel with use -
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:27 AM
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You can develop the skill with a whet stone , oil or water .
It's not rocket science you just have to sit down and practice sharpening knives ... after a while you get good at it .
I also use a sharpening steel and a ceramic rod to sharpen blades with , the steel is fast and the ceramic rod gets a fine razor edge.

I believe in this new day of instant gratification a lot of folks don't want to invest the time to learn the skill ... an app on their smart phone would be preferred by them... Anyone got a knife sharpening app ?
Gary
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:27 AM
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On "Really Dull" knives, (like my wife's kitchen knives), I will start out with my 1" belt sander with the 600 grit belt, (Just about worn out), and then sharpen on a medium stone on my Smith's Tri-Hone. When edge is about right I put it on a old Barbers razor stone for final finish. All stone work is by hand.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:05 AM
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Spyderco Sharpmaker works fine but I also use a variety of stones and a strap at times.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:42 AM
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The secret is the angle. It must be shallow enough to get an fairly acute edge and You must hold that angle while you work the edge. A chopper can have a heavier edge than a fine cutter. I have become a fan of diamond stones. But, even those must be kept clean and for the most part you get what you pay for still applies. Also work the edge until you see a fine feather of steel along it, then strop on a piece of leather with jewlers rouge worked into it tto polish that off.

It is better to sharpen a knife as soon as it looses its edge than keep on working it. First of all it is less work to cut with a real sharp knife and it is easier to get a edge back from slightly dulled than one that is as my Grandpa used to say "It is so dull you could ride it from here to Texas and never scratch your butt."
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:54 AM
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I like a good sharp edge on my knives, and I like to do it right when I can. Soft Arkansas, hard Arkansas, ceramic sticks to complete the job.

Several years ago I found a 10" Westhoff diamond sharpening steel. For most of the kitchen knives it takes less than a minute to restore a good usable edge, and is also handy for the serrated knifes. Touch up with the crock sticks (ceramic rods) and good to go. I also carry these tools on hunting trips, and I can quickly restore a knife edge while dressing out a deer or elk. Less than a minute from noticeably dull to functionally sharp (not a razor edge, but sufficient for most other uses).

Regardless of which method I'm using I have learned to let the tools do the work; don't try to force things to happen, just take your time and use a light hand to get the desired result.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:30 PM
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Spyderco Sharpmaker.
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:42 PM
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I spent over 50 years using soft and hard Arkansas stone. Learned how to get a good edge on a knife when I was less than ten years old.

I tried then bought a worksharp a year ago. It has spoiled me. I'm not throwing away my stones but I won't be using them nearly as much now.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:19 PM
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This thread reminded me that I needed to sharpen a few pocket knives today. In 20 minutes I took two 3-blade knives and one single blade knife and made them shaving sharp! I used the Medium and then the fine Arkansas Stones - then stropped on leather a few times. I rarely even use the extra fine black Arkansas stone because it's just not necessary to have a scalpel type edge on a pocket knife. I use the extra fine when I do sharpen my fixed blade scalpel blades (left over from Biology Lab in College) many moons ago. I use them in the workshop for fine detail work when an Exacto knife just isn't sharp enough.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:33 PM
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I just go down the street a ways to Chris Reeve Knives. $5 a knife he
puts an edge on my blades that I can shave with.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:41 PM
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I just go down the street a ways to Chris Reeve Knives. $5 a knife he
puts an edge on my blades that I can shave with.
HEY - that's cheating!

He'll sharpen other brands too? If so that's cool!
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
Spyderco Sharpmaker. Do a few passes with the fine stones, then a few more with the ultra-fine stones, followed up with a few passes on a stropping block.


Yes, yes, yes! If you use a Sharpmaker properly (repeat: properly), you'll get a shaving-sharp edge.

Electric sharpeners? They're great if you want to wear down the blade in 3 months. I would not use one. I have a vintage British Navy pocket knife, circa 1930, that was, sadly, put on an electric sharpener at some point in time by some clod, and now the middle part of the blade is skinny. Looks like utter ****. Thanks, some clod. You ruined a great knife. What are electric sharpeners also called? "Handle makers." Get it? All that's left is the handle.


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Old 08-02-2020, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
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HEY - that's cheating!

He'll sharpen other brands too? If so that's cool!
They have sharpened several of mine and none of them are
their own brand. So I guess the answer to your question is yes.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:29 PM
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I have the 2 paper wheel system on a habor freight polisher in2 minutes I can take dull blade to hair shaving. Watch I guy at the gun show years use this system, final asked him and he happily gave me a lesson.
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:26 AM
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Throughout the years I've collected a bunch of the fancy knife sharpening systems and have not used them in many years. That was before I decided to develop the muscle memory and the skill to sharpen on the Stones by hand. In fact I will more than likely give them to my son who hasn't yet decided to develop his Arkansas Stone skills.

I have the KME system, a Lansky system, and a few sharpeners from Marbles and Wusthof. None work better, faster or sharper than the Arkansas Stones! The best of the lot of the fancy ones is the KME but it's a pain in the neck to use and very time consuming. By the time I could set it up, I can be done sharpening by hand on the Stones.

I also decided to teach myself to sharpen drill bits by hand on my 8" Bench Grinder. After years of trying Drill Doctors and fancy Jigs sold in many stores, I decided that I was going to achieve the skill level to sharpen a Drill Bit in a minute or two better than any Jig I owned can. I am happy to say I have done just that.

I sharpen pretty much any Drill larger than 1/8". Anything smaller than that I toss and take a new one as smaller than 1/8" is very difficult to see and inexpensive enough to just replace.
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:47 AM
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