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Best angle to sharpen your blades


Feb 13, 2000
Whit all the discussions on blade sharpening the one topic I dont see is what angle do you use to sharpen your blades? I use my knives for general purpose use. What is the best angle to sharpen it to that will hold an edge ? Also are there any specific reasons for different angles?

Peter Giorgetti
15 degrees allows a wicked sharp shaving edge, but is more fragile under anything but delicate to moderate use.

30 degrees can be made to shave, but not nearly so scary sharp. however, the edge will last longer under use, for hard use knives, outdoor knives, camp knives, etc.

My daily carry folders get between a 20 and 25 degree final edge, and that is a good compromise.

Machete's get 30 degrees.

15 degrees was just too fragile for me personally. I suppose on a self defense knife not used for much of anything else, this would be dandy IF you had a stoutly ground tip geometry to go along.

You will get as many opinions on this as there are a$$holes... everybody has one.
I always sharpen "double bevel".
Back bevel for delicate cutting (say meat, or so) is 25°, so I can upkeep the edge on the 30° angle of the sharpmaker.
Back bevel for utility is 35°, so I can upkeep it on the 40° angle of the sharpmaker.
For outdoor use, where stability comes before ultimate sharpness, I'd go for 50°.
Remark: all angles are "included" between both faces of the edge. The sharpening jigs normally give half this value, i.e. the angle between the hone and the axis of the blade.
Happy sharpening

I just saw the previous post. The following diagram should help illustrate DT's point. It shows a blade sharpened at a total, or "included", angle of 30 degrees. However, some folks would refer to this edge as having a 15 degree angle.


After literally years of trying to maintain different angles on different blades, I've simplified my life. Now, I usually either a) use the Sharpmaker's 40 degree angle (i.e., 20 degrees per side), or b) sharpen freehand & follow the blade's original angle.


He who finishes with the most toys wins.

[This message has been edited by bcaffrey (edited 01-21-2001).]