Sharpening your blades?

timelinex

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I've got an edge maker pro system that works ok on my kitchen knives, but I think my blades are too thick (and possibly require the correct edge angles?).

Whats a good system thats pretty foolproof and not too time intensive to keep a sharp edge on our camping/fighting/survival/etc knives?
 

seanh

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I'm interested too. Not interested in spending 100 + for a sharpening system.
 

timelinex

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I'm interested too. Not interested in spending 100 + for a sharpening system.
I would be willing to spend $100 if it was fast, effective and easy to use. But a quick search didn't turn anything up. All I found was good sets that have a steep learning curve to use (needs to be hobby to use effectively).

Edit: Obviously an easy and not too expensive system would be best!
 
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Wading

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i use a Lansky Crock Stick. its pretty easy to use, and u can choose the level of grind yourself. about 15 minutes on it and its pretty damn sharp. ive never really had shaving sharp, but thats probably because i stop too soon. idrc if it can shave me really......
 

G-Dog

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I a big fan of the old fashioned hard Arkansas stone followed by a leather strop with silver polish.

Medium Arkansas stones are decent too, but I just love the edge the hard stones provide. Not a “system” per say, but inexpensive and works well. My 2 cents.
 

stefan73

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Different blades have different blade angles to meet different requirements. A number of stones ranging from coarse to fine is always nice to have especially when cleaning up well used or abused blades. For a finishing stone I like the cheap ceramic tri sided stone (I can't remember the stone name maker).
Follow with a good strop.

For my shaving blades I will use an escher or a Belgium coticle, but that is a different sharping technique that is always followed with a strop.
 

sirhrmechanic

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One of these will basically sharpen anything on the planet. You just have to learn to hold your blades at the right angle.

Practice on kitchen knives and cheap knives. Then do the good stuff. Keep it wet with water and add a drop of dish soap every once in a while to flush out the chips, so to speak.

All the fancy in the world doesn't beat a set of good stones and a bit of practice.

Sirhr
 

Pre-64

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Wicked edge, they are super easy to learn, not really cheap but you're talking about sharpening a chris reeves, I doubt you spent less that 300 bucks on one of those, possibly a lot more. As it has been said on this forum a thousand times "buy once cry once".
 

Pre-64

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And yes you can clean up small dings in blades with the WE.
 

Hobo Hilton

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Keep it simple and sharpen often.... Any of you guys remember when a wet rock was a standard item on the counter at the farm store, auto parts store or the hardware store ? Always a good time to put an edge on your pocket knife while waiting for your order to be filled....

Now, everyone is "busy" and sharpening a knife is an event. Usually the event takes place after the knife has been dull for a long time...

Hobo
 

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bunsen27

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Wicked edge, they are super easy to learn, not really cheap but you're talking about sharpening a chris reeves, I doubt you spent less that 300 bucks on one of those, possibly a lot more. As it has been said on this forum a thousand times "buy once cry once".
Agreed. It's not an inexpensive system, but it does an amazing job sharpening, plus it makes getting a super sharp edge ridiculously simple!


Another tool after sharpening is stropping to help maintaining that edge.

 

timelinex

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Wicked edge, they are super easy to learn, not really cheap but you're talking about sharpening a chris reeves, I doubt you spent less that 300 bucks on one of those, possibly a lot more. As it has been said on this forum a thousand times "buy once cry once".
OK, if I spring for a Wicked edge system, is the WE100 good enough?

Will the Wicked Edge system be better than getting some big 10" DMT diamond stones and an angle guide ?
 

bunsen27

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OK, if I spring for a Wicked edge system, is the WE100 good enough?

Will the Wicked Edge system be better than getting some big 10" DMT diamond stones and an angle guide ?
Yes, I started with the DMT diamond stones and found it much easier to get a great edge on the Wicked Edge system. It's probably the easiest system out there to use.

I have the WE120, but the WE100 should be fine. Both have the same stones and 8" guide rods. The WE120 just has a larger angle range (13-35) and micro-angle adjustments. For the $50 increase it's probably worth it to go WE120. I mounted mine to a 12"x12" piece of MDF for a base.

Two other pieces of equipment I found useful were:

Clay's Youtube channel has a LOT of great info too:

 
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fng23

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Unless you make your living by achieving the sharpest cutting edges possible.........don't overthink it.

A decent set of 2"x8" stones should be a fixture on any man's workbench. Other than that.....I like an 1/8" pliable pad (like a firm mouse pad or thick leather) with Norton wet grade sandpaper (about 600-800 grit). After using the stones to cleanup the edge and getting it "sharp" I then go to the pad and with a few backward passes on each side I am left with a hybrid flat grind edge with a little convex shape right at the edge........it will not be dry-shave your face sharp.....but more than adequate for knife use and the convex edging really last A LOT longer than a flat grind all the way to the edge.

I've used a number of the "systems" out there and I always come back to handwork and simple stones. You got a stone/sandpaper and a flat surface......you can sharpen about any knife or tool.

Just my $.02

Ern
 

Lesch

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I have tried every devise in the planet and come to the conclusion.....I cant sharpen a knife. I have a folding Buck knife I have been working on for 40 years. It gets kinda sharp, never really sharp. I have friends than can sharpen a butter knife with a rock and shave an ape.....
 

MinnesotaMulisha

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    i use a Lansky Crock Stick. its pretty easy to use, and u can choose the level of grind yourself. about 15 minutes on it and its pretty damn sharp. ive never really had shaving sharp, but thats probably because i stop too soon. idrc if it can shave me really......
    This. I can shave with my knives after using one.
     

    mike e

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    Tried all sorts of sharpenng gadgets. Ended up buying 2 good water stones and taught myself how to use them. Took a while but works and on every blade.
    lansky I had was hopeless on large blades and filleting knives.
     

    Wildfire1550

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    Do a lot of leather work and constantly sharpening. I like the razor edge paper wheels and recently the kenonion work sharp. Not as good a result as whetstone but a fraction of the effort. If you want sharp knives either of the above are great, if you love sharpening get stones
     

    rhsc

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    Keep it simple and sharpen often.... Any of you guys remember when a wet rock was a standard item on the counter at the farm store, auto parts store or the hardware store ? Always a good time to put an edge on your pocket knife while waiting for your order to be filled....

    Now, everyone is "busy" and sharpening a knife is an event. Usually the event takes place after the knife has been dull for a long time...

    Hobo
    This plus a couple of light strokes across the Schrade Walden honesteel I inherited from my father gets almost every blade I own shaving sharp, then touch up occasionally on the honesteel to maintain. It doesn't have to be expensive or complicated.
     

    Strykervet

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    i use a Lansky Crock Stick. its pretty easy to use, and u can choose the level of grind yourself. about 15 minutes on it and its pretty damn sharp. ive never really had shaving sharp, but thats probably because i stop too soon. idrc if it can shave me really......
    If it can't shave then it's a bludgeoning tool.

    I can shave with all mine. Even the cheap ones can be brought to a shaving edge, they just won't hold it as long.

    I just use a fine diamond stone --I seem to have lost my sixty year old smooth stones. Those do better, the fine diamond stones last forever and are great but they'll only do so fine and a really fine stone can do even better. But diamond is MUCH faster, you can get shaving sharp pretty quick --15min. and I can dry shave beard fur with good steel. Unless you use the edge until it's literally flat, you won't need the coarse stones.

    If you've got a nice blade and aren't getting it shaving sharp, can I ask why a $500 blade over a $5 one?

    Practice, patience and sometimes changing the angle on the grind (this can take forever if you're doing that with a whetstone but it's doable to go from 40 to 20 this way, BTDT and with a KaBar no less, which would cut 550 cord under it's own weight).

    If you think sharpening like this is a pain, check out how they used to sharpen samurai swords. That was a whole MOS in and of itself, as important as the blacksmith that made it. Sharpening is very much an art.
     
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    Bigfatcock

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    Diamond stones from extra course to extra fine, a hard black Arkansas stone, and a strop with fine compound. Will sharpen anything.
     
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    Kir

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    I take my kitchen knives, two at a time, to my local Raley's Supermarket and they sharpen them for free. Pick them up within two days. :cool:
     

    Kein Mitleid

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    For general use knives: 400, 1000 then 3000 Grit Naniwa Chosera or similar stones would be plenty.

    I like Arkansas stones also buy they are going to super slow cutting for alloys that a lot of blade makers are in love with at the moment.
     

    Maverick3009

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    I use a Lansky 5-stone system which runs about $50 and then I added a Sapphire stone and Leather strop both from Lansky for finishing touches on the blade. Works well with my Hinderer M390 blade.
     

    timelinex

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    Alright guys, thanks for all the advice. I've decided to bite the bullet and just go old school. From all my research, I've came away with the following idea. It seems like alot of the systems have bases of people that are happy with it meanwhile everyone else heavily critiques them. Wicked edge is the only system that most people seem to praise, but I would need $500+ to get a decent package to get started. Meanwhile with good quality stones, the only complaint I ever read is the same one I had (hesitation with using the right angle). Otherwise good quality stones can give just as fine of an edge and in just as short of a time as the best of systems. So.......

    I bought the following:
    1. DMT extra course/course diamond Stone
    2. DMT fine/extra fine diamond Stone
    3. DMT Stone Holder Base (was cheaper separately)
    4. DMT angle guide (only $15)
    5. Flexcut Strop w/ compound

    Now I just have to find a good how-to youtube!
     

    Remington_Steel

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    I want to encourage you to work a knife you don’t care about first, it will show you how your tools work. Roll that burr.
     
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    farwest

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    Worksharp's Ken Onion is easy to use. Worksharp has systems from about $20 up. If you can attend one of their classes (like Atlanta Blade Show), you get a coupon for 50 % off your webb orders. It would pay to watch some of Worksharp's u-tube productions.
     

    Mike Islander

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    Sharpening is all fun :)

    I have used the Worksharp KenOnion set with great results but also a relatively inexpensive Whetstone; both require practice and both give good sharp knives.
    This. With the Work Sharp you can easily and quickly put any blade angle on the hardest steels. Practice on a cheap knife and set much slower for soft steels, because you can also easily and quickly remove more metal than you intended. Takes just a few minutes to get the hang of it. $65 for standard version. Ken Onion version gets you a wider range of blade angle.
     

    ddavis

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    Buy once, cry once.

    Tormek T-8

    https://www.tormek.com/international/en/machine-models/tormek-t-8/

    But get the Japanese waterstone additionally.

    Also remember that unless you are a gorilla, arm hairs don't count for shaving sharp.
    :LOL::LOL:
    I'm a poors so I just have a T4. It will get a dull hatchet shaving sharp in a couple minutes. They are around $400 but remember there are people paying more than that for non-motorized systems and sharpening knives like a cave man.
     
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    Eostech

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    I'm a poors so I just have a T4. It will get a dull hatchet shaving sharp in a couple minutes. They are around $400 but remember there are people paying more than that for non-motorized systems and sharpening knives like a cave man.
    T-7 here, always enjoy using it.
     

    hermosabeach

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    The Ken Onion Edition of the little belt sand will work for most casual folks who want sharp knives....


    The plastic cutting mats for the kitchen.... I destroy them- my knives cut through the mats...

    If you are willing to spend more time and $$$ then there are 2 awesome systems to sharpen knives




    The second link has you use 2 of the same stones at once.... swipe the right side- then left....
    As you need 2 of each stone, the kit is more...


    with any of these kits you also need a pack of abrasive - $10 or so and a 3/8" piece of glass... you use the abrasive and flat glass to flatten the stones as they dish out over time.


    the Japanese water stones are an awesome tool if you will commit to learn the art of the sharp knife and are cool with soft stones that wear fast and spending the time and space to store wet stones and the process to flatten them as the dish out...

    I purchased the Edge Pro as I was not aware of the Wicked Edge at the time....
    The issue with sharpening is to do the same number of strokes on each side to keep the edge centered.


    The Ken Onion work Sharp gives you a specific angle adjustment. Great for sharpening knives without too much thought

    If you ever cut on a plate.. or ever set a knife in a sink: 22-24 degree is good

    If you only cut on wood or a item made for knives, and you never set a knife in a sink... you might love the fine 16 degree angle.... it's fragile... so don't go 16 degree if you will have someone cut on a plate and wreck the fine edge
     
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    hermosabeach

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    edit- the SHARPIE trick

    Sharpie wipes off with a little alcohol on a paper towel...

    So mark the cutting edge with a sharpie- 1/8' up from the edge to 1/4" from edge

    make one pass with a medium stone... the stone will remove the sharpie... is your angle too shallow or too steep?

    Did you remove the sharpie 3/16" up from the edge? Did you just hit the edge? or did the angle match the cutting edge?

    Adjust the angle to the existing angle.

    If you are re profiling the blade, cover with sharpie to see where you are cutting/ removing steel.


    many production knives are not symmetrical... on side could be 18 degrees and the other 20-22 degrees.

    If this is the case, pick the angle you want and reprofile so the cutting edge is centered and the left and right side are the same angle.


    Sharpie sticks on steel very well... a dab of alcohol- rubbing - vodka- run- etc, will remove the sharpie that is left over.




    as to the work sharp, the Ken Onion is the only work sharp to get for knives. If you picked up the base model, see if you can exchange it and buy the $130 or so Ken Onion edition.
     
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    tomcatmv

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    Just ordered a Work Sharp off Amazon. Will post results after I get it.
     

    Doctorwho1138

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    Get a work sharp. Guided 20 angle so you can learn angle and it’s pretty much foolproof. And it fits in your pocket or pack w ease. Cheap as well. I think I paid 20 bucks for mine and it has lasted me 10 years of regular use
     

    hermosabeach

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    Did you get the Ken Onion Edition?

    The Ken Onion is a few pesos more but allows you to set a specific degree angle for knives...

    It is a simple and easy to use platform. Do you have a wide tipped sharpie?

    If not pick one up before it arrives.

    If you don't know the sharpie method- I can explain (above now)


    DIAMOND- skip diamond... Diamonds stick into knife steel... they pull out of the block.... Diamonds have a place... Diamonds are NOT for sharpening carbon and stainless steel knives
     
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    PracticalTactical

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    I have been using a 1" x 30" belt sander like this (1x30 Belt sander) for many years. My blades are always hair shaving sharp.

    Here's another https://www.homedepot.com/p/WEN-1-in-x-30-in-Belt-Sander-with-5-in-Sanding-Disc-6515T/307873039

    The trick is not the brand of sander you have as much as it is the belts. I have several belts now 120, 240, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000 and leather with polishing rouge. I got all of them from Lee Valley Tools.

    I also have many good stones, but that requires alot of elbow grease especially when beginning with a badly sharpened or badly dull blade.

    I'll use the stones to touch up a slightly dull blade, but I'll still always finish with the leather belt on the belt sander for that mirror finish. I don't buy stones that are sold in sporting goods stores or knife shops. Instead I get them at industrial supply stores that specialize in abrasives where the quality is excellent but the prices are much much better. Hopefully there's one near you.

    I would advise you guys to buy a generic power tool such as this belt sander where you can get belts at the local hardware store, rather than some niche product with hard to find or limited selection of belts. It's very important to have the fine belts and leather for a razor edge.

    You learn a lot about blade steel when you have a belt grinder as you learn what steel throws a large burr or not. Often times a cheap knife well sharpened is an awesome knife. Case in point, I bought a Shimano fillet knife at the dollar store (actually I have several now). Out of the box it was crap, but excellent after I re-profiled the grind angles and polished the edge. When I was done, it was like a brand new Mora.

    I don't believe it is important to obsess about the exact grind angles or tools sold in an effort to help you maintain an angle. You'll get a feel for it anyway.

    If you think about it, it is very difficult to sharpen a blunt edge, but less work to touch up the edge if the angle is slightly too slight... So err on too sharp rather than too blunt. I hope this statement makes sense for you guys.

    1597802418134.png

    Here's a couple pictures of a beast of a survival knife I made last year from 1/4" D2 steel. It's an awesome blade with a hybridized full flat grind / Scandi grind. I made the canvas Micarta too. Soon I'll need to take the handle scales off and polish it up again.

    1597805007758.png
    1597805038212.png
     
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    tomcatmv

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    Did you get the Ken Onion Edition?

    The Ken Onion is a few pesos more but allows you to set a specific degree angle for knives...

    It is a simple and easy to use platform. Do you have a wide tipped sharpie?

    If not pick one up before it arrives.

    If you don't know the sharpie method- I can explain
    Please explain.