Knife Sharpening suggestions

The91Bravo

BNDN - Been Nowhere Done Nothing
Verified Military
Joined
Jul 1, 2007
Messages
1,125
Location
In a van, down by the river...
I need your help.

I have had some low to mid quality blades throughout my life, so sharpening was 'as good as I could do' so I would just try my best.

I would like to get better quality blades to USE, so I would like to learn to sharpen them better.

SO, I have two questions/scenarios.

1. For my regular quality knives, using just a whetstone/oilstone, what can I do to get consistent smooth sharpening done. (little to no investment, just tips on doing it right)

2. If I do start to invest in some better knives or kitchen cutlery, what devices should I look at to sharpen professionally.(mid to upper investment in new devices/equipment to use)

I had a lansky multi stone (multi colored with clamp and rod) years ago, but it was 'acquired' when the ex hauled ass with all my shit....

Thanks in advance,
Steve

p.s. xSFmed, with all those knives, what do you use??
 
R

rangerpsych

Guest
Get a lansky system again, I use ours for all knives from 20$ walmart blades to the wife's 350$ kitchen knives and my 450$ combat/hunting knives.
 

x SF med

the Troll
Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
10,841
Location
Not far from the south of Canada, 'Murica!
SSMP
SOF Mentor
An Oregon Logger turned knife designer, An Oregon Biker turned knife designer, and a South African knife designer/manufacturer told me the same thing when I asked the knife sharpening questions... The answer (s) for accurate quick sharpening - the small Smith's pull sharpener, for when you have time (or extremely rugged steel) - the DMT 6" red/blue (works excellenly for the GB/Yarborough).

Oh, yeah the terrible trio that gave me this advice... Harsey, Onion and Reeve - sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?

look at Badlands forums too - Mick Strider / Ken Onion /Ken Brock own/manage/ are represented there.
 
8

8'Duece

Guest
An Oregon Logger turned knife designer, An Oregon Biker turned knife designer, and a South African knife designer/manufacturer told me the same thing when I asked the knife sharpening questions... The answer (s) for accurate quick sharpening - the small Smith's pull sharpener, for when you have time (or extremely rugged steel) - the DMT 6" red/blue (works excellenly for the GB/Yarborough).

Oh, yeah the terrible trio that gave me this advice... Harsey, Onion and Reeve - sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?

look at Badlands forums too - Mick Strider / Ken Onion /Ken Brock own/manage/ are represented there.

If you really wanna get yourself confused on knife sharpening, then just look at the thread with title over at PS.COM............................it's still taking a year to read all the information. :doh:
 

Hard H2O

Unverified
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Location
Oakdale, MN
I have a GATCO kit. It is similar to the Lansky with, IMHO, a few advantages.
The stones are wider.
The rods simply pull out.
The angles are 11°, 15°, 19°, 22°, 25°, and 30° versus the 17°, 20°, 25°, and 30° of the Lansky.

I added the extra fine and the ultimate finishing stones. They put a wicked edge on a blade in no time.

I then further refine with leather strops and white and red polishing compound.

Once you have an sharp edge maintenance is the key. I am able to use the two finest hones if an edge is dulled followed by the strop. For really minor maintenance the strop is all that is needed.

I can do all but the narrowest blades with the GATCO. A very narrow SAK blade would not work. It was not mine it was a buddies. Other than that there is not a knife I own that has not been successfully sharpened on the GATCO. I have sharpened a number of knives for others and they have been pleased by the edge that it produces.

I do 15°on my kitchen cutlery and they all slice really nice. Other knives edge angles are determined on a case by case basis.

Here are a couple of forums with a lot of good info and some really knowledgeable guys:

Blade Forums: Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment

Knife Forums: Keeping Sharp
 

Hard H2O

Unverified
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Location
Oakdale, MN
I forgot to mention ease of use. Out of the box I was sharpening every knife in the house. Ramp up time was very short.

The GATCO is relatively inexpensive versus the other rod guided systems.

If you are looking to spend a few more bucks look at the Edge Pro Professional and Apex units. The are touted as the top of the line of the rod guided systems. They are a bit bigger and cost a bit more though. I like the space that the GATCO takes up. I can fit all of my sharpening kit in a small bin.
 

Hard H2O

Unverified
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Location
Oakdale, MN

Yep that is the model I have. That is the Professional kit. I prefer traditional stones. They have kits with diamond hones.

I got mine through Cabela's. The stand (GATCO® Easy-Grip™ Clamp Mount) comes with free from Cabela's. I would not want to use it without the stand. Just something to keep in mind.

ezgripclampmount500.jpg


http://www.gatcosharpeners.com/

GATCO Sharpeners from Cabela's
 

Hard H2O

Unverified
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Location
Oakdale, MN
You have to be a little bit cautious about scratches from the clamp. I have not had too much trouble with it. All of my knives are users and have scratches and nicks from use so I do not take any precautions with my own knives. With knives I have done for others I have used masking tape to aleviate the worry that I might scratch someone elses gear.
 

JBS

Leatherneck
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
2,150
Location
USA
Tried to order from Cabelas.

They're on backorder.

Apparently, although I could find the SAME set cheaper elsewhere, nobody else seems to be offering the clamp-stand, and the shipping via Cabelas seems to be cheapest.

Anyone been able to find a better deal, please let us know :)
 

Hard H2O

Unverified
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Location
Oakdale, MN
Thanks for all the tips.

Does anyone have suggestions for basic stone sharpening?? Not the kits mentioned but just a good old whetstone..

Thanks again
Steve

I use a three stone Arkansas setup. Hard, medium and soft stones. They are arranged in a triangular fashion and sit in a vee block. I use oil on them.

If you go to the bladeforums.com maintenance section and the knifeforums.com keeping sharp section and do some searches you will find lots of threads on freehand sharpening.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,187
The problem with freehand sharpening is getting the angle right.

I can't do it properly, I use one of those fixed ange whodackys.

Mates back home who worked in slaughter houses could get a blade honed wonderfully with a sharpening steel.
 

Hard H2O

Unverified
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Location
Oakdale, MN
The problem with freehand sharpening is getting the angle right.

I can't do it properly, I use one of those fixed ange whodackys.

Mates back home who worked in slaughter houses could get a blade honed wonderfully with a sharpening steel.

A steel is not a sharpening device unless it is a diamond steel.

An edge will roll over a bit with use. A steel aligns the edge. A steel can lengthen the useful life of an edge but is not a replacement for sharpening.

I have learned a lot about sharpening from the two forums I posted above. One of the most important things I have learned is that the precise angle is not critical. It is nice to be able to repeat angles using the guide but even on a single blade and using a guide the angle will vary from heel to tip.

Some experienced sharpeners proclaim that a convex edge is the sharpest and most durable. In a convex edge there is no angle. It is a continuous transition from edge to flat. I have heard it said that even the best freehand sharpeners get some sort of convex edge due to it being impossible to maintain the exact perfect angle from stroke to stroke.

I have been using the GATCO for a while. I was told that I would learn a lot about sharpening and edge geometry from using the rod guided system. They were right. I recently succesfully sharpend a few knives freehand on the Arkansas tri-hone. It was really satisfying.

The most important thing I have learned is something that is readily apparent. To sharpen a blade you scrape steel against a stone and try to have the two edge bevels meet in as thin of an edge as you can get. You need to remove steel so that this occurs. It is best to remove as little steel as possible. Coarse stones work faster and remove a lot of metal. Then you move to the next finest to remove the marks from the coarse stone and to refine the edge. You proceed untill the two edges meet and the edge is as refined as you wish. Some stop with a medium stone. Some continue through finer stones and onto polishing tapes.

One of the most important tools in my sharpening kit is a sharpie marker. I mark the edge bevel on both sides. If I am removing marker from the shoulder of the edge my angle is to low. If I am removing marker from the very edge my angle is to high. If I am removing marker from the entire edge bevel I am right on. This is also useful for changing the angle of an edge. Mark the edge and you can see where you are removing material from.

Here is something from another thread on a different forum:
There are those who sharpen just enough to get the job done.

There are those to whome sharpening is the hobby and there is no end to tinkering and aquiring equipment and stones to take an edge to the next level.

Then there is somewhere in between.

I am somewhere in between. I can get a blade sharp enough to do the job and then take refine it a little more. I like to fish, hunt, cook... My knives are all working knives. No safe queens or blades that get sharpened just to sharpen them and then sit.

You can take it any direction you choose.
 

JBS

Leatherneck
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
2,150
Location
USA
^^^

I tried the sharpie marker trick, using my old stones.


It really works, just as you said, and it also showed me where I had screwed up several spots on the blade from previous sharpening jobs.

Thanks for the tip!!!
 

Hard H2O

Unverified
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Location
Oakdale, MN
^^^

I tried the sharpie marker trick, using my old stones.


It really works, just as you said, and it also showed me where I had screwed up several spots on the blade from previous sharpening jobs.

Thanks for the tip!!!

No problem.

It is probably the single most useful tool I have in the sharpening kit. It does show you problem spots, shows you how far you have to go when changing angles and tells you if you are over or under when matching angles.
 
Top