Knife sharpening suggestions

carnivore

12 pointer
Nov 17, 2007
11,302
Ky
I guess another thing to mention is a lot of your stainless knives these days Are pretty difficult to sharpen Compared to old carbon knives. You might not be as bad as you think if you’re working with a difficult Steel. You need to take better care of a carbon blade but keeping it clean and oiled is really all you need to do
 

bigbonner

12 pointer
Aug 5, 2015
4,624
Never heard of the rada wheel, I’ll have to look that up. I’ve seen commercials of the work sharp tool but didn’t know if that was just a as seen on tv gimmick or not.
I use them a lot. I also use one on my hay roller string cutters.
 

slobear

12 pointer
Nov 20, 2014
5,637
Trump town, USA
Sharpening is skill everyone should be proficient in no matter how long it takes.
Truer words have never been spoken. I know in my younger more rambunctious days I wanted to touch up an edge like my grandfather, dad, and uncles.

Sure I knew the process but I lacked the focus and patience. Time and practice spent on a rock is well worth the investment.
 

KYBOY

12 pointer
Apr 21, 2005
8,631
Floyd,co..Kentucky

I guess another thing to mention is a lot of your stainless knives these days Are pretty difficult to sharpen Compared to old carbon knives. You might not be as bad as you think if you’re working with a difficult Steel. You need to take better care of a carbon blade but keeping it clean and oiled is really all you need to do
cheap stainless is gummy, its what has turned a lot of folks away from stainless. When they hear stainless they think of crap that came from walmart or the flea market.
Good stainless like S30v,cpm154 and so on are excellent steel and properly heat treated will process several deer without even needing stropped..
The tradeoff is that its very hard. Its a high Vanadium steels and are very abrasion resistant. Hard carbides. They will laugh at arkansas stones..
 

EdLongshanks

12 pointer
Nov 16, 2013
19,492
Northern Kentucky
Best and easiest knife sharpener I’ve ever seen! My dad bought it at the farm machinery show decades ago. I have absolutely no idea if they are still made?
 

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KYBOY

12 pointer
Apr 21, 2005
8,631
Floyd,co..Kentucky
Im gonna get nerdy for a minute. Im a blacksmith/knifemaker I cant help it..
I suggest hand sahrpening if at all possible. Its not hard when it clicks. It will "click" I promise you. Its as simple as meeting two planes together..Its all muscle memory. If you dont want to go hand sharpening here are some things Ill suggest you avoid..
Carbide sharpeners.. These things are the devil. They seem to work pretty good at first but they change the edge geometry and literally shave off steel instead abrading it..
Belt sharpeners are ok if you practice first. You can overheat an edge is a nano second if your not careful. keep your blade cool,dip it in water often..
Paper wheels work great but again, practice on junk first and be careful what direction you run them in..
.....
What I do suggest...
A simple Lansky. Its a guided system that works well, especially for the price.. Many guided systems cost 5x as much or more..
A Spyderco sharpmaker.. Its a pull through, ceramic stick design. Simple and you only have to be able to hold the knife vertically as you pull it...
......
My overall first suggestion. A DMT double sides diamond plate with a good strop..A coarse/fine DMT will sharpen everything from soft steel you find in case XX knives to SS super steels..
Practice until you can work up a burr then strop it on a loaded leather strop..You can touch up a knife in minutes to hair popping sharp..
...
When I make a new knife I usually sharpen it on a set of water stones and send it out with a really nice shiny crazy sharp edge that "wow's" the buyer.. For my personal knives I usually sharpen on a diamond plate and strop.. Except kitchen knives I take them to a finer edge..
 

Little FR

12 pointer
Nov 10, 2021
4,156
West Kentucky
I use a sharp maker by spyderco. Very easy. Also I can’t recommend a leather strop enough. No matter what you use if you want it to be hair popping sharp, strop it for a finish.
Just for kicks some time after stropping it on leather. Strop it on a piece of cardboard. Like those paper towel roll boxes or the inside of a coke box. My dad would always strop on leather then finish on newspaper, when they were a thing.
 

JR PORTER

10 pointer
May 1, 2014
1,691
KNOTT CO. KY
I have a 4 in diamond stone I've had for years that works great. After I use it I like to strop it on a good piece of leather that puts a really fine edge on it. If it's really dull and hard to sharpen, I borrow my BIL's work sharp, it does a really good job but be careful not to take too much off. Sometimes it just takes a lot of practice to be able to do it right.
 

barney

12 pointer
Oct 11, 2005
18,003
One of the #1 biggest problems I see with folks trying to learn how to sharpen is that they have a really dull knife and try to sharpen it on a really fine or clogged stone. That combination gets them absolutely nowhere so they give up.

The edge must first be defined with an aggressive coarse grit that is visibly removing material before stepping down to a finer grit. Another issue is stones get clogged and won't remove material. If the stone isn't cutting the steel you're just wasting your time.

I learned to sharpen on stones of all kinds, but I have since moved on to wet or dry sand paper backed by a float glass plate. If a knife is just dull with a defined edge visible, I start with 320 grit until I raise a burr, then step down to 400 grit. I rarely go past 400 grit unless I want something scary sharp. Scary sharp knives are plain dangerous.
 


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