How do you sharpen a recurve blade?

Apr 19, 1999
Hi all! I'm thinking of getting a recurve blade style knife but i've seem treads complaining that it is hard to resharpen? Can anyone guide me on this one? What kind of sharpening stones should i use? Flat or rod? Thanks.
Ken, you can sharpen recurves just like regular blades on a flat hone. The only problem is that you will end up with the angle varying along the edge. If you want to keep it consistent then you need to use a hone with a small width and work it perpendicular to the edge. A Sharpmaker does this fairly easily and Joe described his exact method in detail in the review forum awhile ago.



[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 15 September 1999).]
I get best, easiest results sharpening recurved blades with a ceramic rod, freehand.
Oh, I usually use the rod as a file, with the blade clamped on my workbench.
That's just the way I do it...others may have different and equally effective techniques.

BTW, has anyone come up with a way to sharpen Cold Steel serrations?

-Mike L.

Real men ride Moto Guzzis!
Sharpening CS serrations is easy. Just use a Dremel with a coarse sanding drum. If you have a lot more patience you can use very small files commonly used by jewelers and such.

Joe Talmadge has a great instructional article here . It's specific to a Benchmade Axis, but it should translate very well to any recurved edge.


Knowledge without understanding is knowledge wasted.
Understanding without knowledge is a rare gift - but not an impossibility.
For the impossible is always possible through faith. - Bathroom graffiti, gas station, Grey, TN, Dec, 1988

AKTI Member #A000831

[This message has been edited by Codeman (edited 15 September 1999).]
I use my Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker for just about everything....It works great on Recurved edges...and it seems to sharpen CS Serrations just fine!
After much Saying of Bad Words and thinking I had forgotten how to sharpen a blade free hand (didn't happen, thankfully) [ not to mention scratching the blade to hell and back- OUCH!], I broke out the old Smith's Precision Sharpening Kit. It has a clamp for the blade and guides that the different sharpening hones in either a 25 deg. or 20 deg. angle. (I used 20 deg.) My Axis now cuts like a champ. (Sorry, Joe T.- I had to use a gadget to get the job done.)

Let me tell you, I was *not* happy with the factory edge, but I am with mine.
Now, if only my Military will dull out a wee bit....

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
-Derek Bok


[This message has been edited by Christian (edited 16 September 1999).]
Don't apologize to me! I'm totally cool with gadgets, use 'em myself often. I think it was Desert Rat who is our local anti-gadget guy


Can you sharpen CS small serattions with dremmel? I will go buying a dremmel tomorrow, then. Or did you mean the big serations?

TD, sure you can sharpen them, its quite easy, and in fact it is a one-time only job. They will never have to be sharpened again (they are no longer there).

The only way to do it and keep the pattern the same is to use a file that has a corner sharp enough to fit in the groove. Jewlers use files that are really small and detailed so they should work.

What you could do either is take some sandpaper (thick) and simply fold it and use the fold. Emery paper would probably do that. If the fold is too thin just use a little backing. You would have to work each of those little serrations though.


If you plan to buy a Spyderco Sharpmaker, you might want to check out a lower priced option first. I just bought a two rod handmade sharpener from Craig Gottlieb for $20. I dont have the Spyderco version, so I can't give a fair comparison. All I know is that I can put a razor edge on my aggressive S shaped recurve w/ no problem. It works for me. It might work for you too. The guy who makes them gives an exchange warantee if you break a rod. He'll replace it free from what I'm told. You can contact Craig at if you want one.

"But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword let him sell his garment and buy one." Luke 22:36 & John 3:18
First off, I should say that the majority of people here are MUCH more experienced with sharpening than myself.
With that said...
I've tried just about every kind of sharpening system, and Spyderco's Sharpmaker is the simplest and most effective that I've ever tried.
ANY kind of serrations are the easiest to sharpen! Plain edges take a bit more practice, at least for me, but they come out fine too.
I admit that I don't get the same factory edge as when the knives were new, but I'm still able to shave hair off my arm, and that's outstanding for a klutz like me.

That's my two cents. Hey! How come you're giving me change?