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Titanium knife - how to sharpen

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by BillL, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. BillL


    Jan 12, 2005
    My brother in law visited Belgium recently and his friend over there gave him a small titanium pocket knife. The knife was very sharp initially but dulled quite quickly. Is ther any particular method to sharpen titanium knives? or do we just treat it like any ordinary knife. I'm pretty sure we just treat it like any knife.

  2. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Treat it like any knife. Just sharpen it lightly. You don't want to wear the edge out too fast.
  3. Mossyhorn


    Dec 6, 2009
    Stay away from diamond stones or honing steels. Ceramic sticks and stones are best. Don't use anything magnetic.
  4. richard j

    richard j

    Apr 1, 2007
    like esav said. sharpen it lightly. i sharpened a knife zaph1 made from titanium and it was freaky sharp when i got done with it. i worked up a burr with a 400 grit belt before going to the slotted paper wheel to buff the edge. you might try stropping it instead of using any abrasive on it and like mossyhorn said, stay away from diamond stones. if you dont have any luck you can send it to me and i'll fix you up :D.
  5. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    Diamond hones are actually the most recommended for titanium because its softness tends to cause rapid clogging of standard stones. If you have the need for it to be non-magnetic you will need a dedicated diamond hone that has never been used for a steel blade, but unless you are a EOD tech its not really a concern.

    Remember when sharpening to use a light touch, Ti is easy to deformed and excessive pressure in sharpening will roll the edge causing difficulties getting a sharp edge.
  6. richard j

    richard j

    Apr 1, 2007
    bill, if you get some 3m wetordry sandpaper and a piece of glass that will work the best and be the cheapest route. titanium is not bothered by magnets either.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  7. Atlas Knife Company

    Atlas Knife Company KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 16, 2010
    Completely ignore the above portion of Nut's thread. Unless you are trying to make an electromagnet out of it, no amount of rubbing the titanium against steel will ever make it magnetic. Second, only naval mines were magnetic, and such a slight amount of steel dust on your knife wouldn't be enough to set the mine off any more than the iron in your blood would set it off. Second, titanium has a very high coefficient of elasticity. This means it is extremely springy. Don't be concerned about bending or warping the knife, it won't happen.

    Stick with Richard or Esav's suggestions for sharpening and you will be fine.

    BTW: Have you checked that the blade is actually titanium? If a magnet sticks to it, then it's not titanium. Titanium produces massive amounts of bright white sparks if you barely touch it to a grinder belt. If you sharpen on a belt, you will know instantly at almost any grit whether it's steel or titanium.
  8. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    That's right. Magnetism has no effect on Ti, you only need to worry if you don't want steel particles on your Ti blade, so just don't use the same hone for steel and Ti in that case.

    I have a small handheld conical diamond sharpener from Mission Knives to use on their Ti blades.
  9. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    From Mission knives web site:

    Titanium is magnetically inert, and is used by the Navy SEALs and Explosive Ordinance Disposal units (EOD) to defuse magnetically triggered mines. Knives must be sharpened with nonmagnetic sharpeners to remain inert.


  10. richard j

    richard j

    Apr 1, 2007
    i doubt that bill will have to worry about his knife around any mines :rolleyes:
  11. gooeytek


    Jul 12, 2011
    Sharpen it once to get the profile you want/need, then have the edge carbidized. It will be extremely low-maintenance from there.

    As far as preserving the nonmagnetic attributes of a titanium knife, if it is really that big of a concern to keep it from being 'contaminated' (this all largely depends on what you would most use it for), use a dedicated sharpening stone for it. Doesn't have to be anything too expensive either. As others have said, sharpen it like you would any other normal knife.
  12. me2


    Oct 11, 2003
    Why would diamonds not be recommended?

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