How good are you at sharpening?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by VicAlox74, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    My scale goes : "Up to 11".

    When I drop the silk over one of my blades the cloth folds its self into an origami bird and flaps off in terror.
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  2. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    The first edges that were "adequate" (adequate means sort of pretty much shave sharp . . . ish . . ) that I ever produced (after sharpening since I was a little kid up to my thirties) were on high end edge tools for hand tool woodworking. I used a Veritas jig designed to hold plane blades and chisels.

    I found out about it from FineWoodWorking magazine articles. They recommended using at least three stones in a progression. I was using one stone (King 1000 ) and one of those funny things . . . what are they called ? . . . strrrrrr? . . . plaaaap ? . . . oh yes . . . strop.

    Once I tested the edge off the jig using a stone progression :
    Well lets see what we have here . . .
    will it "shave" hair . . . come on . . . just scrape one little hair off so I can quit all this business and get back to work . . .
    OH MY GOSH ! ! ! !

    F_____ hand sharpening and leather things with dirt on them.


    It was just natural to then go looking for a jig to put my pocket knives in.
    I stumbled into the Aligner
    and stumbled right out again. It wouldn't hold normal old pocket knives like a medium Stockman (seriously ! ! ! ? What good is it ! ! ! ? ). Wouldn't sharpen at a low angle ( ditto ).

    Edge Pro . . .
    I'm HOME ! I'm HOME ! I'M . . . etc., etc., etc.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  3. brando555


    Sep 26, 2018
    Oddly enough I'd say that my Edge Pro helped me get better at freehand sharpening. It really pounded the concepts of using the correct pressure, holding a steady angle, and burr removal into my head. I still like the guided systems though, some of these super steels can be tedious to sharpen, especially if you plan on thinning them out behind the edge a bit.
    kreisler likes this.
  4. T. Erdelyi

    T. Erdelyi Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Beats me, whatever I’ve scrounged and picked up over the last 40 years. A handful of diamond hones and ceramic stones. I have an Edge Pro, a Sharpmaker and a handful of acquired stones.

    What do you have? I’m
    mycough likes this.
  5. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee

    Jun 6, 2019
    I have just rediscovered hand sharpening after many years of not sharpening anything, so count me as a complete novice. I was pretty tickled to take a blade from "have to saw through white bread" to "slices tomato without squishing it." I'll get better, though.
  6. Bikerguy


    Jun 22, 2019
    So if I want to move up eventually from the lansky to some Japanese water stones, any recommendations what stones to start with (I'm guessing a 1000 grit is essential) at reasonable prices?
  7. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    King K80 is a good starter stone
  8. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    Over the hill,
  9. Bikerguy


    Jun 22, 2019
    Anyone any knowledge of Naniwa stones? I was wondering if a 1000, a 3000, and an 8000 would cover all my needs. I don't really need to worry about recovering damaged blades.
  10. DeadboxHero


    Mar 22, 2014
    Drop the 8k for a 400.
    That will speed things up.
    Get a stone flattener and maintain them too.
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  11. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I used a Lansky basic system for 2+ decades. Cumbersome and slow. But sharp edges.

    About 20 years ago my dad gave me a cheap Smith Diamond stone and Ceramic rod combo. I switched to sandpaper and strop maintenance for some knives, and the diamond stone and ceramic for others.

    I recently bought a new coarse and medium folding DMT, and the Sharpmaker ceramic rod set from

    I can get hair whittling from any of the methods I have.

    I recently used the Lansky to reprofile a CPM 3V warncliff from Ben Tendick. Terrible mistake! I ruined the plunge grind!!! I would have been better off using my fast, removes too much too fast 1×30 grinder!!
  12. Bikerguy


    Jun 22, 2019
    I pulled the trigger on a King 1000 / 6000 stone. Should turn up in a week or so...
    How long to soak for before using? 10 mins?
  13. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I usually soak for about half an hour, but I imagine ten minutes would work. It really depends on how much water permeates the two grits.

    You will need to periodically splash water on the stone while sharpening as well.

    Messy process, but effective.

    Good luck and enjoy!
  14. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I try not to leave mine lying around—edge exposed—so I don’t cut myself.

    If I do, I don’t even know it until I see the blood.
  15. panella

    panella Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    I'm adequate for my needs, but impatient. My main sharpening system for many years has been an EdgePro. I'm able to get to hair popping sharp if I take my time and pay attention. I usually settle for shaving sharp. Never even tried for "hair-splitting" sharp. I just shake my head in admiration and wonder at that type of sharpening skill.

    However, I recently bought a WorkSharp Ken Onion Edition. It's fast and easy to use. It produces shaving sharp with just a few passes on either side and a belt change or two unless you're reprofiling - something at which it excels. I use it to sharpen my large blades (machetes), kitchen knives, and to set an angle when reprofiling. Then, if I want, I use the EdgePro.
  16. OogieBoogie


    Mar 29, 2014
    I'm not so much good at sharpening on stones as I am at actually making a knife duller! I have tried them time and again and just don't have it. I'm also very impatient. I lucked up on a Ken Onion WS for cheap. Now I can get knives very sharp. I have a friend who tried one of my knives and commented on how sharp my izula was. When I told him I used the WS he was "disappointed" in me. For him it's about the journey to getting the knife sharp, for me it's about the destination. When I got the WS, I started on my Spyderco Tenacious. I took my time and followed the directions and in no time had a knife that went from dull to easily slicing through paper in about 10 min, and that's good enough for me.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  17. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    I respect those who sharpen with stones by hand. I’m not up to it. I used a Lansky set for awhile but the lack of an articulated clamp for distal tapers left me cold. I use a Sharpmaker now with pretty good results but have my eye on a Wicked Edge.
  18. wardcleaver

    wardcleaver Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 17, 2017
    I've been trying to get serious about freehand sharpening for about 3-4 yrs now, and would consider myself a advanced-novice freehander. I can do alright if I take my time and concentrate, but a lot of the time I get cocky and rush it a little too much and end up getting my angle a little low on a few strokes and get some finish wear clouding or scratching low by the edge. On the other hand I've come up with a few nice looking straight, uniform lowered angled edges, but usually, although very sharp, I leave some visual defect on the blade :mad:

    I can usually get an edge to whittle a course, wavey chest hair...if I hold my mouth just right. Haven't had any luck whittling a fine, straight head hair yet though.

    Have built up a decent collection of different sizes and grits of DMT plates, diafolds and cards. I also like the Spyderco pocket stones (med & fine) for touch ups and the big Extra-Fine white ceramic.
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