No substitue for shapening skills

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Twindog, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007
  2. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
    it should also be reinforced that sharpening equipment is no substitute for sharpening skill. If you can get your knife to shave arm hair without discomfort at double digit grit, then you might buy some finer or more expensive stones. A 30K grit or higher stone is expensive and pointless if the edge isn't sharp before you start working on it.
  3. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007
    I'll second that, you will always get the best results with the sharpener you use most.
  4. marthinus

    marthinus KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 10, 2006
    I just watched some of the videos. Can one use normal 2000 grit sanding paper? I really did not know that. I only have till a 1000grit white stone of lansky. Will a 2000grit polish the edge even more?
  5. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007

    The higher you go the sharper it will become.
  6. Ming65


    Sep 4, 2002
    This is just just so true; not just of owning knives but of life in general. People are so often reaching outside of themselves for life's solutions - for that hot stock tip instead of saving, for the latest exercise/diet plan instead of just putting in 1-hour/day of training etc.

    My adventure buddies are always rapping on about the benefits of serrations and how your don't have to sharpen the blade etc - or wax on about super hard steels with amazing edge holding capacity. I just pull out my little 3 inch ceramic rod (which only weighs a few grams) and say 'learn to sharpen dude'.
  7. RedEdge77


    Jul 13, 2005
    For me, the sand paper and mouse pad method is my go to sharpening style. I have tried with stones and ceramic rods and just have not been able to achieve the edge that I like. For bigger knives I do use stones simply because it is easier and quicker to get a "working" edge, but occasionally do re-profile back to convex after a few months of use.
  8. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    When my knife slices paper into curly pig tails, I know it's going to be a pleasure to use.

  9. tradja


    Feb 10, 2006
    Thank you. The techniques I discussed in those videos are not much like what I learned in BSA either. I am a huge BSA proponent, and most of the other skills I learned were golden (compass, firestarting, winter camping, knife safety, and other skills that I still use at 35), but honestly the knife sharpening instruction in my troop was a little perfunctory.

    Better? Some will say yes. IMHO it's just different. IME, maintaining a convex edge is about the same difficulty as a few swipes on the Sharpmaker. As much as I enjoy my convex blades and "convexology" generally (and the honor of winning the KSF contest), I really view convex as just more knifeknut voodoo. That is to say, I love it! :D

    I am no convex guru, but many people find them to be great slicers. Knifenut1013 puts it well:

    My experiments with convex techniques on hard surfaces were disappointing. It really just turned into beveled sharpening. However, I still strop most of my beveled edges backwards (spine leads, edge trailing) on hard stones.

    I don't know that it is "normal" 2000-grit paper -- I and others prefer 2000-grit wet/dry paper of the type usually found at auto-supply stores. And yes, you really can use it for sharpening convex or beveled edges (lay it on a table or glass). I love it and use it frequently, but mostly as an intermediate step. For real edge polishing nothing beats compound on leather.

    Back OT, I too am surprised at the number of dedicated knifenuts who are not really very good at sharpening. It's like gun owners who can't really shoot. It's an evolving skill in all of us -- there's always something to learn or learn better. However, Phil is right to caution - many of us put down the gadgets on occasion and do take sharpening pretty seriously.

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