View Full Version : Blade sharpening FAQ and resources

08-30-2013, 12:28 PM
Examples -
Knives: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/963298-My-advice-for-newbie-knife-sharpeners-%28freehand%29

Swords: http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/sharpen-swords.html

General: http://www.knifeart.com/sharfaqbyjoe.html

Do note that there are entire web sites - as Blade Forums, above linked - about knives and such.

Feel free to add links to articles and sharpener reviews, or write your own. (Please do not quote whole articles without permission in writing.)

SoCal Gunner
11-24-2013, 6:58 AM
Knife sharpening is clearly my Achilles heel. I love precision, I have patience, I like building things, but I BUTCHER (ha ha, pun intended) knives when I sharpen them.

Gadgets - I've bought many of them; from all those quick pulls, to the Lansky style with the rods, to diamond impregnated blocks, to a higher end electric unit.

Nobody has a good write up or link to a youtube video you liked?

I have a Spyderco coming in SV30 and I want to take care of it and have an incredible edge on it without destroying the satin finish.

01-06-2014, 8:01 PM
After searching this area, I didn't see anything on how to judge the quality of a stone. i see them for sale anywhere from $5 to $80. Basically I want to get a nice two sided set that will hone a razor finish. I have a dremel jig that already puts a SWEET edge on anything.

If I'm going about this all wrong, please let me know. I just grew up with a two sided hand-me-down that just occasionally needed spit. I was really good with it, but don't know what it was.

02-20-2014, 9:10 AM
I've used a lansky sharpening system jig since 1988. I've since added a rough diamond sharpener to breakdown the edge quicker.

With the Lansky I'm able to get hair popping sharp edges on my blades. My best blade to sharpen is a Browning Ice Storm VG-10. The hardest to sharpen is my Spyderco Endura in VG-10. I can get it crazy sharp, but it takes forever to get it there.

The only advice i have for sharpening are:
1. Same angle on both sides.
2. Always push or pull the blade/stone from the edge to the back of the blade.
3. Never sharpen the same side of the blade more than 2 times before sharpening the other side.

Maybe I should do a youtube video.

02-20-2014, 9:16 AM
I use a Lansky and leather strop for knives. I suck at sharpening freehand, I just don't have the skill. The Lansky does a good job if you follow the instructions, sharp enough to shave the hair off your arm, if you strop the blade a bit after the Lansky. I also have a jig called Veritas to sharpen my wood chisels on Japanese waterstones, and OMG those get scalpel sharp, but that setup doesn't work for knives. As for stones, I greatly prefer the Japanese waterstones, I keep them flat with a piece of float glass to which I stick a sheet of wet/dry sandpaper.

02-20-2014, 9:28 AM
What Lansky kit do you guys recommend for sharpening non-serrated pocket knives? I was looking at either the diamond deluxe or professional.

02-25-2014, 9:13 PM
Additional knife sharpener thread - http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=830495

04-12-2014, 2:58 PM
Hi All,

Anyone know of a decent knife restorer here in the SF Bay Area? South Bay would be great if possible.

I dont have a high value item, its my grandfather's knife from when he was in the Philippines, so more sentimental than anything.

PM would be best.
Thanks for any info!

10-10-2015, 12:38 PM
Allways carry out in the field

Pocket Stones or a small sharpening stone.

10-10-2015, 12:40 PM
The Tool for Axe and Hatchet

10-10-2015, 2:18 PM
Good Wetstone VIdeo and info on blade angles

10-10-2015, 2:49 PM
Edgepro is the best system I've used yet. Quite pricey, though, but worth every penny I paid.

10-10-2015, 2:57 PM
How to sharpen a knife with a coffee cup


Heard you can use the bottom of a china saucer or cup as well.

10-10-2015, 3:17 PM
Anyone have any experience with the Work Sharp guided sharpening system?

10-11-2015, 7:19 PM
The Official Buck Knife - How to Sharpen a Knife Guide

01-22-2016, 8:19 AM
I have a side hobby of sharpening knives of all kinds from pocket knives to chefs knives.

With a three step process I've gotten dull pocket knives to shaving sharp fairly easily.

You need a decent two-sides whetstone, oil or water, and a leather, blade polishing strop:

1. Roughing-out or reshaping the blade edge:

NOTE: This step is for truly dull knives, meaning the bur (the true cutting edge) of the blade is gone or nearly gone. You can skip this step if all you need to do is make a decent cutting edge a great one.

You start on the lower grit side of the whetstone. I use a 600/1000 grit bar at home. So on the 600 grit bar you place your slurry medium on the bar. This can be honing oil, water, or any all-purpose oil you have around the house (I personally use Hoppes 9 gun oil). Then you pass the blade over the stone surface in a consistent semi-circular motion with the blade facing away from you with the blade at the correct angle (15 degrees for chefs/kitchen knives, 20-25 for pocket knives and 30 for large hunting knives) for a given number of strokes. I usually start with 50. After you've completed the 50 strokes on one side of the blade you flip the knife over and do the same thing on the other side (this time the knife will be coming towards you rather than away, be careful).

As I said, I start with 50 strokes on either side, then I check the bur. If you have really good eyes you can kind of see the bur under magnification but the easiest way to see if you raised one is the pass the knife edge over your skin perpendicular to the blade edge. If there is a rough feeling, you're raising the bur. If you test the bur after 50 passes and you don't feel it, you need to give it 50 more passes per side. If not then, another 25 and so on unto you raise the bur. It's hard work, but it's the foundation for a sharp and durable knife. Once the blade is shaped, you shouldn't have to reshape it again for a very long time provided you are taking proper care of your knife.

2. Flip over your two-sided stone to the finer grit side, repeat the lubricating process. Then pass the blade over the stone as you did before. However, you won't be doing it for 50+ strokes. You will do 5 strokes in one direction and then 5 in the opposite direction. Remember to hold the knife at the correct angle, the same as when you used the rougher grit side. You should begin to notice the blade begin to move more smoothly over the stone surface, with less resistance. This is a good thing. When I get to this point, I typically test the blade on scrap paper or cardboard to see how sharp the blade is. If I'm happy with it, I'll move onto step three. If I'm not, it needs more passes on the finer grit stone.

3. Now it's time to break out the stropping block and honing compound (usually comes in a solid or paste form). This is the part that really takes a sharp blade to razor sharp; polishing. You don't need to do this with chefs or kitchen knives, at least IMHO.

You apply the honing compound to the leather side of the stropping block liberally and then pass the blade over the surface of the block similarly to how you did on the whetstone except with the blade facing the opposite way. You want to move the blade in the opposite direction as if you were cutting something, meaning the blunt edge of the blade is leading the motion rather than the cutting edge. I do this in a "1 for 1" motion, swiping one direction on one side of the blade then turning over the blade and swiping the other direction on the other side of the blade. I usually try to get 20 or so passes per side (again you will notice the difference of how the blade feels on the leather after practice) and then test with paper or cardboard.

If the edge seems really sharp, I "shave" a little of my arm hair off with it. If it can't shave at least a few hairs off, then it needs to be polished more, or maybe even needs to go back to the finer side of the whetstone and then repolished.

PS: DO NOT wipe the blackish looking steal shavings on your blade during the stone sharpening phases. You want those shavings to mix with the oil or water you are using as lube to create a slurry that will aid in sharpening the blade.

Hope this helps. If you are interested in more info or if you want a knife sharpened, PM me.