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Case Sodbuster edge concerns

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Riley Carroll, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Riley Carroll

    Riley Carroll

    Mar 17, 2018
    Hello everyone,
    I have a Case Sodbuster CV that I have owned for many years. My primary question regards the sharpening of the knife. I am currently using one of those cheap pull through sharpeners that supposedly chew up steel and ruin the knife. However, my knife slices paper and shaves arm hair, so I feel it's doing ok. I want my knife to last forever so I worry that the pull through sharpener is not the best option for longevity, but I am terrible at stone sharpening and feel that may be a worse option. Am I overthinking it?
    bucketstove likes this.
  2. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Welcome to BF, Riley Carroll !!!!!!!
    Ditch the pull through, get a guided system. The Spyderco Sharp Maker or the basic Lansky are just two inexpensive sharpeners that are easy to learn.
    Free hand sharpening takes some time to learn, once you become confident with a guided system, understand what angles you are using, free hand will look more appealing.
    dc50 and T. Erdelyi like this.
  3. dsalazar

    dsalazar Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 22, 2017
    Ajack is on track. The lansky is good if you want to do some rebeveling. I use the diamond one to rebevel. After I rebevel on the lanky I just touch up on sharpmaker.
  4. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Agree with this. I have put a few of my friends on to the Lansky system and with a little practice they have learned to turn out great edges. And if you get frustrated, I am told there are a good deal of videos easily found that explain the system and show tips on using it. I bought one myself years ago and still use it occasionally to set bevels on blades that have difficult profiles.

  5. Idahonotu


    Mar 24, 2016
    Agree with what's said here but also don't forget to get a strop and use it regularly between sharpening that will probably do the most in ensuring longevity so your not removing excess steel and you can often get a sticky sharp edge from stropping touch ups. Welcome
  6. thebrain


    Dec 12, 2007
    Until you really get into sharpening as a whole other hobby like the rest of us no need for fancy. Look up the Lansky 4 rod turn box sharpener, it is much like the Spyderco sharpmaker but about 30% the cost. Use the pull through for major edge damage and the turn box sticks for everything else. Your sodbuster should last you 15-20 years like that.
    bucketstove likes this.
  7. vwb563


    Jun 29, 2007
    Get a Spyderco Sharpmaker. Very simple to use, don't require fastening a clamp to the blade for a quick touchup like the Lansky does, and removes such a small amount of metal during sharpening that your Sodbuster should last just about forever. It's just what the Dr ordered.
  8. Bob6794


    Apr 21, 2013
    Lansky diamond turn box will so the same thing as the Sharpmaker for plain edges. Biggest difference is preset angles are higher but you can drill some new holes at 15 degrees if you want to match the Sharpmaker.

    And the grit ratings, for their diamonds the Lansky is 600 vs the Spydercos 400 but with the Lansky it's equivalent to always using a "corner" with using a round rod so it will cut faster. The Lansky medium and fine rods are a little coarser than the Sharpmaker medium and fine rods.

    The Lansky will make it just as sharp as the Sharpmaker if the same angle is used. The difference is in the grit it changes cutting characteristics. A lower grit makes a more toothy edge that works best for slicing. A higher grit results in a more polished edge that's better for push cuts.

    My recommendation get the diamond turn box, sharpie up the bevel and reprofile to 20DPS and throw on a small microbevel at 25dps. And for touch ups use the ceramic rods at 25dps and every now and than go back to 20dps to bring everything back down.

    Come to think of it that's exactly what I did with my work knives I use and abused but I used the Worksharp Field Sharpener, they have a Pocket Sharpener now too. Either will do the same thing.

    I own the Sharpmaker with diamond and ultra fine rods, bought my wife the diamond lansky turn box, and own the worksharp field sharpener. They will all work well for you and be a big step up from a pull through sharpener in the edge for how sharp it gets and probably increase edge retention too. So pick the one you want and you think you enjoy.
  9. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Nothing at all wrong with using a guided system, I own one, but I must say I'm not a fan of the angle-rigidity of tools like the Sharpmaker. Although a Lanksy rod system only has a few angle selections, it is till more than the Sharpmaker. If you do get the Lanksy rod system, be mindful of not letting the rod bounce around in the slot. Again, nothing at all wrong with this system to start on. That's a narrow bladed knife (spine to edge) so not sure if there would be clamp issues, no experience there.

    That said, I'm going to go against the grain and ask why do you think you are "terrible" at stone sharpening? The fundamentals are not bad to learn, but all too often, people just don't understand the fundamentals. It's more of an education thing than it is an art. At least just getting a working edge. Yes, some of us go down a rabbit hole and start debating and pondering and testing different media for different steels and on and on, but the fundamentals of putting a free hand edge on a knife that will perform well is not that hard to learn.

    I don't own any CV steel but understanding is it's basically 10XX type steel with a little chrome and vanadium tossed in. That should make it very receptive to sharpening. Some folks will think I'm nuts but I'd say consider getting a 6"x2" combination Soft and Hard Arkansas stone. If you use your Google-fu and shop around you can find them for about $25-30. Get yourself a 4oz bottle of honing oil and a red Sharpie. Use the Sharpie (or whatever permanent marker) to color just the edge bevel. Try to feel for the angle on the stone but don't stress it too hard to start. Just give that angle a good look and imagine what that looks like coming off a flat surface. Lightly run your knife down the Soft stone, slightly curling up toward the tip so that edge bevel stays in contact with the stone. Do that a couple times and have a look at your edge. If more marker is gone near the shoulder (spine side) then you're laying the knife too flat. If more is gone along the cutting edge but not the shoulder, then you're pulling it up too steep. Re-mark and adjust and try again. Light pressure, a few strokes, check. Try to maintain constant angle but just relax, trying too hard can cause shaking and such. Relax. If you get flustered, just stop. No big deal. Come at it later. But, eventually, you'll find yourself taking the marker off the entire width of the edge.

    Now, there might be some small spots along the edge that are a little wonky but that is just the difference in the company's sharpening method and your hand. It'll sort itself out over a few sessions. Lightly work on side until you feel the burr along the edge that is opposite the stone, the side facing you. Once you feel that along the entire edge, you're good to go. Now the other side, just like before, starting with the marker. I like to take one or two strokes on that side before I mark, just to knock the burr down a touch. Do the same thing. Once you have a burr along the entire edge on that side, start doing single strokes per side. Stroke, flip, stroke, flip, etc. Maybe a dozen or times.

    Do not be concerned with speed. All that matters is angle. Keep your stone oiled, light pressure and focus on angle. If you want you can repeat those same actions on the Hard stone but not until you have it sharp off the Soft.

    Practice on a pairing knife. Although if it's already really dull the Arkansas stones might not be course enough to raise a burr.

    Maybe get the Lanksy and the freehand stone. Then you'll have the system to fall back on if you find yourself struggling with freehand. But you can do it and the folks here are more than willing to help and there's tons of good info to be found out there on the big ole interwebs. :)
  10. dsalazar

    dsalazar Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 22, 2017
    It seems consensus is on the sharpmaker or lanky turn box. Get one of those to start. Research both and spend the amount once. You can move to a guided system like lansky diamond. This would be best for major repair or rebeveling. Once you set the angle you can touch up.
    I have a Smith pockwt pal. Its a pull through that has ceramic rods in it and a rat tail diamond rod.This is good for high carbon touch ups. I use this for all my traditional knives. A couple pulls and I'm good to go. I hate pull throughs that use tungsten carbide.
    Eli chaps is on something though. Buy a decent size stone and practice on old kitchen knives. You can get an old hickory paring knife for around 10. 1095 carbon and it has some meat to get lots of practice.
  11. bucketstove


    Sep 23, 2014
    pull through dont have to chew up the edge, it just takes a bit of skill
    video that taught me how to use those tungsten carbide pull through sharpeners and other interesting links in is-the-accusharp-the-best-inexpensive-simple-sharpener.1512200/page-2#post-17386111

    stuff that sits on the shelf lasts forever :)
    should you cut off apex/destress before sharpening ? It depends on what you want, knives last a long time
    If you raise a burr on purpose you'll remove more steel, for me, ~100 sharpenings about ~5mm of blade width removed ... in my kitchen use that is sharpen every 3 months (or longer with unrolling/realignment), or 25 years of use, with another ~2cm blade width left.

    In Sharpening and Knife Lifetime me2 says: With care and practice (both very important), I can sharpen the knife in question, including destressing the edge, and remove as little as 0.0005" of width per sharpening (0.0127mm or 12.7 microns). This is with forming a detectable, but small, burr. That translates to 0.05" lost over 100 sharpenings (1.27mm/300). That translates to 0.15 inches lost over 300 sharpenings (3.81mm/300). If sharpened monthly, that is 25 years.
    Cliff says: ideally ~1.5mm / 100 sharpenings, or 15microns per sharpening

    There is always room for improvement, just keep it fun :)

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