I have had a few questions on sharpening Titanium and thought I'd go over a simple and cheap way to sharpen it. It sharpens up very quickly this way and a few dollars worth of sandpaper will keep it sharp for a long time. Most stones will clog so I'd avoid them... diamond is reported to work very well but I haven't tried it yet on Ti.
Get a pack of wet/dry silicon carbide paper (the black stuff), it is easy to find at any hardware, automotive or large grocery store. I think something like 400 will work to maintain or work up an edge.
Take the paper and cut off a piece, put it on a flat surface where it will stay in place and sharpen away! It is that easy. Your kitchen countertop will probably do the trick. Use a piece of heavy duty leather or even a mouse pad behind the paper for a convexed edge. A rectangular piece of glass or flat wood and sprayglue to attach the paper makes a nice setup.
You could start at 220-320 if it is far from sharp but it sharpens quickly in my opinion. If you want you can work your way up to 2000 grit but I wouldn't recommend it, Titanium cuts better with a toothy edge in my opinion. play around with the grits to see what you like.
Try to keep the burr to a minimum, they are tough to remove. Never use your nice leather strop to remove a Titanium burr, it will contaminate the strop. I like to do an ultra light pass on the paper to remove the burr if the burr is large, usually enough to loosen it up is enough then a few passes through wood will remove it. If you didn't build up a huge burr just slice through some wood and you should be good to go!
If you are cutting heavy duty stuff you will still need to sharpen them from time to time, I touched up one the other day in about 10 seconds.
The carbidized edge is hardcore, I noticed my KMG running Gator belts wouldn't touch it, only ceramic removes it. I have heard it won't even sandblast off and I believe it.
Daniel, you may want to make this thread a sticky. That way it won't get lost.
Great info man, perfect timing too. I was planning on asking you about it!
They also sell credit card sized diamond sharpeners, they seem like they would be ideal in the field. http://www.usaknifemaker.com/index.p...oducts_id=1622
Here is another slim diamond "stone," I own the one on the far right in 400 grit, it should work great, I need to find it and try it, lol... you could probably get one for 6-7 shipped.
daniel, the paper wheels will sharpen up a titanium knife in no time. zaph1 sent me the mushroom knife he made for his wife and i got it shaving sharp. the slotted wheel removed the burr easily too.
Last edited by Daniel Fairly Knives; 08-31-2011 at 04:33 PM.
Thanx! for posting this.
Good to see richard j over here---have heard good things about him & his 'wheels.
When you Carbidize a Titanium blade, do you use Tungsten carbide or Titanium carbide (both electrodes are available)? Also do you coat one side of the blade or both? I would guess that a one side coated blade would be more self-sharpening.
I used to sharpen my knives using whetstones (600 and a 1000/6000), sandpaper on a mousepad, and sandpaper on a mousepad on a 2" diameter PVC pipe cut lengthwise (I have a lot of recurves), and a big piece of 8/9 leather for stropping. I enjoyed doing it, but it would take a while to get the edge to where I liked it. A week ago, I got the paper wheel kit and put them on an old craftsman bench grinder that I had. Dizzamn! It's so fast and easy, I've run out of things to sharpen. I even dug up an old Blackie Collins machete and made that scary sharp. It's just a bit difficult to do large blades like that, since you have to watch out for the other wheel. I guess you could always remove the stropping wheel and sharpen whatever you have to on the honing wheel, then replace it and remove the honing wheel and do everything in batches. I really like the paper wheel system though.
soooo easy! Not quite sure how well it works for convex edges though, I haven't tried those yet. For the simple bevels, and even recurves, its amazing.
Update - You can use a diamond or ceramic setup (rough is good) on the bevel and strop the carbidized side for maintenance on Ti Knives
Great sticky and great advice. Thanks all.
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