Obervation on the Skarb sharpener

Oct 11, 1998
I was looking at the edge of my Calypso Jr which I sharpened with the Skarb. The "scratch pattern", sharpening lines, is very nearly parallel to edge. I wonder if this effects cutting.

It is widely believed that coarser stones give the edge better cutting ability for slicing cuts. I find this true too. It is also believed this due to the coarse stone creating micro serrations. This may not be the case with the Skarb.

I just use the Skarb to set the bevels and maintain the edge with the Sharpmaker. So it won't really matter. Its just an observation.

Roger Blake
When you use the Skarb, does the blade near the hilt get sharpened as well as the blade near the tip? From the pics, it looks to me like the tip gets a lot more travel on the stone than the base so you might end up with a well sharpened tip and barely sharpened base. Is that true?

Ouch! Dang, that's sharp!

I would say, as to more sharpening on the it somewhat depends on the method and the length of the blade. There seems to be a tendency to sharpen more to the middle, at least for me.

Roger Blake
Great question on the scratch patern. I don't know. As I think about how I sharpen I get them running at about a 45 degree angle from the edge, not parallel. If I strop , and I rarrly do they will run across the edge. And when I steel I think they will run parallel if that would make a scratch at all. As I think about it it may make more difference as to the caurseness you sharpen to and not so much as the scratch patern. I hope someone who knows this for sure will answer.
[Skarb had a table at the Blade Show. We brought 30 units and sold them all. We must have sharpened over 100 knives. On only 3 were we not able to bring up a burr all the way to the handle. These were Benchmade recurves on which we didnt do a burr on the 1/8" bevel next to the handle. We, however, were ablwe to produce a fine burr all the way from the tip to this area. Our biggest challenge was an Atkinson folder which a buyer brought to which had no bevel at all. We were able to double bevel an edge on this folder in about 20 min.

As to evenessof burr, one can concentrate on very small areas at any given time, so that you can produce the identical bevel all along the edge. This is due mainly< I think, to the fact that when factory edges are applied to a blade they are not totally uniform. We sharpened some Gerbers on which the burr on one side appeared instantly, but took a few minutes on the other. - again a bevel not originally applied equally
If the abrasive runs along the edge the finished edge should be weak and prone to blunting as compared to using an abrasive at an angle to the edge.

Take a stick of hard butter and cut it into a blunt wedge. Now take a small scoop and hollow out ridges across the face of the wedge running in the same direction of the edge. Work down the wedge lowering the face until you have reached halfway then flip it over and continue until the "edge" has been formed.

Now repeat this but instead work the scoop at about a 45 to the edge. Again after going halfway down flip the scoop over and run at 45 but in opposition to how you did the other side (the ridges should cross each other, to see why don't do it and see what effect it has). Compare this "edge" to the above one.

I have never used a Skarb, but one of the first things I learned about sharpening was not to go along with the edge but instead across it. It vastly reduces the "wire" edge and gives a stronger tooth pattern.

Cliff are you saying the 45degree angle to the edge should be one way on one side and the other direction on the other. Kind of like this handle / tip other side handle \ tip, So the sharpening stroke would be handle to tip and the other side would be tip to handle. Is that clear? I think I am cunfusing myself.

yikes! I need help.