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Best Sharpening Method?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Rennd, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Rennd


    Jan 22, 2014
    I'm no stranger to knife sharpening. I spend almst every waking minute improving the edge of a blade. All this sharpening on my mind has raised the question: what do you personally consider the best way to sharpen a knife? What grits do you go to, what tools do you use, how do you use them? I'm interested to hear your responses.:D

    Myself, I use 80 grit diamond, 220 grit diamond, 400 grit diamond stones, a 2000 grit ceramic rod, 3000 grit compound on a leather belt, 8000 on the other side, 12,000 on a seperate strop, 30,000 on 2 different textures of leather, 100,000 on smooth leather, then i finish with 250,000 grit on smooth leather. The resulting edge is lightly convex and whittles hair.:cool:

    By best, I mean your favorite, not something proven as best. Everyone knows there isn't truly a "best" way.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  2. bpeezer


    Jan 27, 2013
    Depends on what I want to use the knife for. The edges will always whittle hair, whether the bevel has 400 grit scratches or 0.5 micron polish. They will feel different to the touch and cut very differently though. As for tools, I like my Chosera stones. I also use HeavyHanded's washboard system, a DMT XC plate, coffee mugs, and a leather strop.

    I certainly can't claim to produce the best edges in the world, so I don't think I know the "best" sharpening method ;)
  3. Rennd


    Jan 22, 2014
    I suppose it would have been better worded as favorite :rolleyes:


    Jul 17, 2012
    The "Best" sharpening method in my opinion is whatever each individual uses to get his or her knives sharp enough to do the job they need it to do. Not withstanding "fantasy" edges used for show or "bragging" rights, which open's a whole nuther' can of worms. As bpeezer stated above, that can be anything from a ceramic mug bottom, to a multi hundred dollar latest gizmo designed to extract the most dollars from your wallet. I personally use the paper wheels to keep my knives sharper than they really need to be for my uses.


  5. jobasha11


    Oct 9, 2013
    Do you find it hard to jump from the 400 grit to the 2000? It seems like you would have to spend quite a bit of time on that ceramic rod.
  6. bcknives


    Jun 22, 2012
    I have King Water Stones, Edge Pro Apex, Spyderco Sharpmaker, More Spyderco Benchstones, and DMT Stones. I have used all of these methods a lot, and I love them all in different ways.. If I had to choose one I would go with a combination of DMT's and Spyderco Benchstones. It is incredible fast, I can get a dull knife to hair whittling in about 15-20 minutes. I love my coarse DMT and Spyderco Benchstones.. There's my two cents!
  7. Rennd


    Jan 22, 2014
    Surprisingly enough, the ceramic seems to polish out the scratches from the stone perfectly. Also, the stone is pretty old and well used, so it's definitely a higher grit by now.
  8. Portman30-06


    Oct 18, 2013
    I think the "best" is the sandpaper method because there are so many grits and when raising the grit there is more option. However I prefer a set of stones. 1000, 4000, 8000 and then strop if necessary. Just my method.
  9. jobasha11


    Oct 9, 2013
    Thats not really how it works. A worn out low grit is just that. Not a slightly finer grit. It just doesn't cut as fast now.
  10. Liam021


    Jun 26, 2012
    I only use my 1x42 for sharpening now. I just dont have the time for stones, a quick run on one of the 15u belt (1200x) and then onto the leather strop with the green compound. I can whittle hair which I didnt even think was possible at first.
  11. Portman30-06


    Oct 18, 2013
    How long does it usually take to remove all the scratches from the diamond? Just curious because that's one of the reasons I don't use diamond.
  12. Rennd


    Jan 22, 2014
    It takes about 15 minutes, tops. They work better a little worn down.
  13. Rennd


    Jan 22, 2014
    Oh, is that so? Thanks for telling me that, good to know. Either way, I find it works a little better worn down.
  14. HeavyHanded

    HeavyHanded KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 4, 2010

    My two most favorite are just a simple ACE or Norton silicon carbide combination stone for my tools, and my Washboard for cutlery. Both methods are fast and relatively free of added fussiness.

    The combination stone for when I'm working on wood working tools like chisels etc. I use oil, so any mud I whip up can be claimed for a stropping compound on paper either on or off the Washboard - just smear across the paper and wrap around the same stone or my WB. This does not make a mirror polish, but can rapidly make an edge that will cleanly shave arm hair, shaves very thin strips from most woods, and is a real survivor on my workbench. Unlike many other types of stones, using oil allows most contaminants and debris to float off the surface. Also give very good feedback.

    My most often used is the Washboard - I find it works very much like a set of waterstones only without the water. Tends to keep my progression steps to a minimum, I don't like having too many progressions/transitions to deal with, and in this case they all fold up into a small pkg. Usually the 320 grit, 600 grit and strop with compound is plenty. Should I need to do heavier stock removal I'll use a 120 or 180 grit sheet.
    Even the compound I make is hard as a rock - workbench sawdust etc doesn't stick to it so contamination is minimal if I leave it out, and it makes a finish edge that does all I need - can even whittle a hair if necessary, but most time just getting close to treetopping is plenty sharp. Actually more than is needed for most chores. Simple, fast, sharp, and forgiving. The finish step doubles as indefinite maintenance as well. Once the bevel is set I seldom have to go back even to the 600 grit sandpaper - the compound can keep it sharp and maintain edge geometry.


    Edit to add:
    For touching up the cheaper kitchen knives, I swear by the old coffee cup method. What could be more convenient and makes a great edge. Does not work well on my tougher set, or most belt/pocket knives, but on the softer steels is a great option.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  15. HwangJino

    HwangJino Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2012
    For a long time I would spend hours hovering over an assortment of stones.

    I got tired and my arms ached.

    Because I have a few knives I use at work, plus my hobby of folding knives, I simply just do everything on a 8000 grit.

    Literally every few days I just wipe on the stone for about 30 seconds each side is all I need for a long lasting polished edge for work.

    I have a bunch of stones and stops collecting dust now.

    Once sharp, it doesn't take much to hone.

    I'll admit, sometimes I'll go the extra mile for when I want to show off.
  16. foxhunter2


    Jul 13, 2013
    Belt sanders rocks very fast #1
  17. Kentucky


    Dec 13, 2008
    I love freehand sharpening, I just like doing it. Though to be honest I can jerk up an incredible edge on a belt grinder in less time than it takes to unpack my stones :D
  18. bonzodog

    bonzodog Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Not sure as to what’s the best sharpening method,I use DMT aligner because I’m rubbish at freehand sharpening.
  19. notsim


    Sep 16, 2013
    depending on the blade steel, I have different progressions I would think about :)

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