knife sharpening : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

what's the best method?from hilt to tip at 45 degrees or a circular motion?the circular method seems stange to me,but I have some buds that have pretty sharp knifes using it.....thanks!

-- zoobie (, May 03, 1999


With the stone moving toward the cutting edge, as if you were scraping buttor off the stone.

-- walt (, May 03, 1999.

Well two major questions is what is the knife to be used for (cutting through chicken joints or fileting a fish) what type of knife blade (nice soft stainless steel or medium soft GI knife or some $300 super wonder)? This might lead you to select different edges, hollow ground for fileting bluegill, single straight for general purpose or double angle for kitchen work.

You can't go wrong buying a Lansky knife sharpening kit, three stone is adequate, the five stone model will allow you to fix anything from razors to lawn mowers. Read their instruction manual and buy some spare oil. The bench mount device is nice but not essential.

If you're going to have electrical power, the Wen with the cylindrical stone (wet) is great, but the 5 stone Lansky will do everything but hollow ground.

If you had to have only one item a diamond faced synthetic would be the one because they don't require oil to prevent clogging of the pores (supposedly).

-- Ken Seger (, May 03, 1999.


I do the "scraping butter off the stone" method, about 30 degree angle (look at the previous grind on the blade and go by that). I have even used olive oil - has not caused a problem yet. If butchering chickens use the following IMHO: Small hatchet/axe for making the bird go night-night, a $5-10 chinese meat cleaver for wings, legs etc. and a slim, pointed knife for skinning/gutting.

Just realized I was rambling on about butchering chickens and realized that you didn't say that was what you were doing...sorry!

Re: Stones, I have a 3 stone set I think I paid less than $20 for and it works great - I hardly ever take the time to make it to the finest grit stone, usually just get a quick edge and get to work. Good luck!

-- Kristi (, May 03, 1999.

hmm, well I'll throw this one out and see who shoots at it:

how do our resident knife experts feel about ceramic sharpeners? Personally I use one, because I've found it relatively easy to get a good edge on my utility knives with one...however I'm no expert on this sort of thing, so I thought I'd ask.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, May 03, 1999.

1. Procure the best blade you are able to afford

Cutco makes one of the finest modern day replacements for damascus steel blades, I prefer the pocket folders. (I also recommend knives that can be disassembled and cleaned

Buck is another fine steel blade.

There are a few very good ones.

2. Get a blade that can be sharpened with the hand system (Lanksy or equivalent) - not hollow ground.

3. The blades on Gerber pocket tool and Buck and Leatherman tools perform very well when all sharpened with the Lansky system.

just like chainsaw and tree saws, when kept sharp, they will always perform very well. Avoid over heating (by motor grinding) or you lose the temper, avoid abusing blades on damaging materials.

read these posts, the instructions with sharpening systems and you will have success.

-- Dave (, May 03, 1999.

I lppk forward to the day when Lansky adds a couple stones like I have in front of me, with the SpyderEdge grooves in them already. I have been maintaining a Police and a Delica with them and the blades are getting a bit scratched because of them.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, May 03, 1999.

I use a coarse carborundum stone if the blade is really, really dull, followed by a soft Arkansas stone, then a hard Arkansas stone, then a coarse ceramic rod, then a fine ceramic rod, then strop them on an old wide leather belt, first on the rough side of the leather, then on the shiny side. I start at about the old sharpening angle first, then move it up a bit for the hard stones and ceramic rods. Be careful when stropping on the belt - since you strop the blade backwards, a jackknife can fold up on you - and as sharp as it is by this time it will cut to the bone.

My oldest daughter closed one of my jackknives on her hand once - no other pressure, no slicing but her jerk when it folded up - and it took two surgeries to get her thumb working right again and all the tendons attached properly. A truly sharp knife is a very dangerous instrument - handle with care.

-- Paul Davis (, May 03, 1999.

Watch out guys! knife laws! . And you thought this thread was a haven from the storm!

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), May 03, 1999.

Ken and others,

I, too, have a Lansky system. GREAT! However, for serrated (sp?) edges such as fishing knives, you need a very narrow stone. For that, I have a triangular stone to get into the various nooks and crannies. It also sharpens fish hooks.



-- Jollyprez (, May 03, 1999.

I find the the better the steel the better and longer the blade holds an edge. High carbon steel holds one hell of an edge but will stain, if that matters to you. Best folding knife I've owned is by AL MAR. You get what you pay for, and a best quality pocket knife is one the best ways to spend your money. I use India and Arkansas stones to sharpen knifes using the "scrape the butter" method. Tool and die makers use all kinds of sharping stones and they are cheap from tool suppliers.

-- Greenthumb G.I. (greenthumb@i.g.i), May 03, 1999.

Good tips above... What you do when the blade is much longer than the stone. Let's see if I can draw this.

     |  []----->

The [] is a Japanese water stone held at about 20 degrees to the blade and drawn away from the guard.

-- cory (, May 03, 1999.

I also use the "scrape the butter" method with plain old rectangular stones. In cases where I have to completely rework the edge of a battered blade, I use a sharp new mill file (Smooth Cut) and drawfile to thin the edge and remove nicks. If done carefully no work with a coarse stone is necessary, just begin with a medium grit stone and go from there. Alternate frequently from one side of the blade to the other to avoid creating a "wire edge", a very thin, ragged burr that will break away at the first use and take part of the cutting edge with it.

-- Max Dixon (, May 03, 1999.

An excellent book on the subject is The Razor Edge Book of Sharpening by John Juranitch. His company sets up the sharpening systems for some of the largest meat packing plants in the world, they've done some fairly scientific comparisons of different sharpening methods, and they sell some very effective (though somewhat expensive) sharpening kits.

The basic principle is, start by using a rough stone to grind down the edge to a real shallow angle. This is the "relief" edge. Most knives are manufactured with much less relief than is optimal. You grind one side in a circular motion until you can feel a burr along the entire edge, then do the other side the same way. Then you switch to a smooth stone and grind the two sides with alternating strokes, at a slightly steeper angle, with gradually less and less pressure. The final cutting angle should be less than 25 degrees. Also, contrary to popular belief, it's best not to use oil. All it does is collect grit and turn into a grinding compound, and running your knife through it is like running it through a pile of sand. They tested this by comparing results under an electron microscope.

The book goes into detail on sharpening all sorts of different blades, axes, arrowheads, fishhooks, what have you.

-- Shimrod (, May 04, 1999.

If it is a smooth blade, i run through the stones and sticks I have and finish either on an old Black's Strop n' Stone, or the stone and strop in my Rolls Razor.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, May 04, 1999.

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