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Sharpening your Knife

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Old 11-09-2008, 10:43 PM   #11
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+1 on the slicing the meat technique.

Always use, at a minimum, water on your stone, oil is better. If not, the pores of the stone become clogged.

I clean mine with Comet or a similar cleanser when finished.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #12
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I beleive the correct way is to start out with a well oiled stone (use 3&1 oil) Slide the blade over it like your trying to cut a thin slice out of the stone. They're alot of instructional websites for correct ways to do this.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:20 PM   #13
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I like these things, they're cheap and easy and they work really well:

Sharpening your Knife - Other Weapons
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:08 AM   #14
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Rather than a stone, I use a ceramic stick for touch-up on most blades. Of course, if you have a really GOOD knife, it does not require sharpening as often. Have a Gerber I sharpened in 1980.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:42 PM   #15
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Knives are my bread and butter (as a collector and dealer), I've tried all the sharpening jigs out there, Lanksy, Spyderco Sharpmaker, etc. and I've found NOTHING beats proper free hand sharpening technique with quality equipment.

Have you ever tried to sharpen a convex ground knife on a Lansky sharpener? It would ruin excellent knives like Fallkniven or Bark River. For these sort of blades I prefer wet/dry sandpaper over an old mouse pad or leather (depending on how stiff you want it to be). I start with fairly coarse grits, and move all the way up to 1500 or 200 grit for a nice mirror finish, before stropping on some leather with cromium oxide.

For my flat ground knives and the very few hollow ground knives I've got, I've settled on Spyderco ceramic stones.

For field sharpening and the occasional touch up when I'm not at home, I carry some sandpaper and a couple of DMT pocket sharpeners.

However, a few passes on my charged leather strop is all it takes to get the edge back.

Another problems this set angle systems like the Lansky have is that the edge bevel of the knife you're trying to sharpen might not match the angle set by the guide rods, in that case you'll need to grind off a good amount of metal (which can be a pain in the butt if its something like D2 or any other steel with high wear resistance). The only use I find for my Lansky is to set new bevels on knives that need reprofiling, I use the coarse diamond stone for that.

My advice would be to practice with cheap kitchen knives, try different methods and see which suits you best (pulling the knife back across the stone, pushing as if you were slicing a thin layer off of the stone, moving the blade in circles). With the money you save from all the sharpening contraptions you can buy better knives and quality stones.

I'm completely obsesive when it comes to knife sharpness, if it doesn't shave cleanly it won't go anywhere near my pocket or belt.

Last edited by Franciscomv; 01-13-2009 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:43 AM   #16
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I am not sure how much the cooking world carries over to some of the more unique combat blades, but here is some food for thought anyway.

From Cooks Illustrated & America's Test Kitchen:

Even the most expensive, well-made knives lose their sharpness quickly when used regularly. And it doesn't take months, or even weeks: A knife can go dull in just a few minutes, especially if you're cutting through tough materials, such as bone.

What's the best way to maintain that snappy edge that makes light work of chopping and slicing? First, it's important to note that there's a difference between tuning up a relatively sharp knife and sharpening a dull knife. A so-called sharpening steel, the metal rod sold with most knife sets, doesn't sharpen at all: It's a tune-up device. As you cut with a sharp knife, the thin cutting edge of the blade can actually turn to the side, making your blade seem duller than it is. Running the knife blade over the steel, as most professional chefs do each time they're about to use a knife, simply realigns that edge and makes it straight again. It can't reshape a truly dull blade that's rounded and worn down. That's when you need a sharpener that can cut away metal and restore the standard 20-degree angle of each side of the edge.

To reshape the edge of a dull knife, you have a few choices, depending on the amount of effort, skill, and money you want to invest. You can send it out (inconvenient, even if you can find someone to do it). You can use a whetstone (very difficult for anyone but a professional). But the best option for most home cooks is to buy a tool (either electric or manual) that does most of the work for you.

Most sharpeners, both electric and manual, start their work with a coarse material and progress through stages of finer material to polish the edge. In general, the hardest material is diamond, followed by tungsten carbide, followed by high-alumina ceramic, followed by steel. Hardness isn't everything, though; the material is only as good as the angle of the knife being swiped against it, so the design of the sharpener is important. Some models guarantee that even an inexperienced user will get the right angle; other models make this more a matter of chance.

Most of the electric sharpeners we found to be up to the job. They did differ on how quick and easy they were to use. In addition to taking less time and trouble to reach a fine edge, newer models feature spring-loaded blade guides that allow no ambiguous wiggle room as they hold the blade against the sharpening wheels at the proper angle, replacing the trickier magnetic guides on older models. The sharpening wheels on newer models also reach closer to the edge of the machine, ensuring that the sharpening extends all the way to the end of a knife.

Should you bother buying a manual knife sharpener? The better options will help you maintain new knives and are fine with moderately dull blades. But be prepared to pay a professional to handle your more challenging sharpening needs. In the long run, an electric sharpener is a good investment, if you can make the initial cash outlay. If not, pick up a cheap manual sharpener. The best ones are far superior to steeling rods and will keep many of your knives in decent shape.

Highly Recommended: Chef's Choice Model 130 Professional Sharpening Station $149This quiet model is the Rolls-Royce of sharpeners. Spring-loaded blade guides make sharpening foolproof. One slot works like a sharpening steel but removes all guesswork from the usual steeling motion.

Recommended: Chef's Choice Model 120 $139Very easy to operate; spring-loaded blade guides make sharpening foolproof. Knife seems to "fall" somewhat jarringly into first slot.

Recommended with Reservations: Chef's Choice Knife Sharpener $85
Does the job at a reasonable price, although somewhat noisily. Instructions are a bit confusing and magnetic guides could control blade angle more easily. Grinding elements are set in from edge of machine and miss the heel on knives.

Recommended with Reservations: Presto EverSharp 8800 $27.31
Very loud, and stalled when testers applied any pressure. Appeared to scuff blades.

Not Recommended: Waring PRO KS80 $99
Grinding wheels on this large, quiet machine are set in too far from end of slot, so user can’t hone entire blade edge. Knife dropped onto wheel, causing "scoop" to develop near heel end.

Not Recommended: Kershaw Electric Knife Sharpener $59Loud, "nerve-wracking" metallic noise. Grinding action sharpened at tip and heel of knife but not in middle, eventually ruining our knife. Crucial operation instructions found only on DVD. Can only operate two minutes at a time.
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Last edited by Bighead; 01-19-2009 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
If you want to put a razor sharp, professional edge on your blade, you need the right tools. If you spent all day, everyday, sharpening knives on a wheel in the old country, making your living at it, you would have the skill to free hand it. I am assuming you don't have that kind of time and have to work for a living like the rest of us. What you need is a specialized tool to take out some of the angle changes and guess work. Here are two options and a ridiculous option if you want to go crazy....

Lansky Sharpeners: This company makes a good quality, portable knife sharpener that is easy to use and does a good job of putting a real usable edge on almost any blade...

Lansky Sharpeners - Outdoors

Edge Pro: I have one of Benji Dale's Apex systems and love it. Works great and puts a razor edge on damn near any knife I own...

Edge Pro, Inc.

Want something all automatic that can sharpen anything in your house / garage / shop?

Steve's Knife Sharpening Site - Tormek SuperGrind Sharpener

Dillinger My father is going to like you. Because I am buying two of the $205 apex systems and sending one to my father. Who can on his own sharpen one hell of a knife. But he will love that. I might even upgrade to the low end pro models I will have to look more. But that Edge Pro looks like a cats nuts for sharpening knives. I try and try and try I can sometimes get a decent edge on a knife. But if you do not put the proper angle on the blade it will lose its sharpness very quickly.
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