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Poll: Do you sharpen your own knives?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by eKretz, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Yes. I sharpen freehand.

  2. Yes. I use a guided sharpening system.

  3. Yes. I use crock sticks or Spyderco Sharpmaker etc.

  4. Yes, I use a powered sharpening system (belt, paper wheels, etc.)

  5. Nope. Not gonna do it.

  6. Not now, but want to learn.

  7. Yes, I use a pull-through style sharpener.

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. eKretz


    Aug 30, 2009
    Okay fellas, after a question on another thread from @Eli Chaps I wondered about this. Vote, and let's see what we're made of. You can vote with multiple responses if you use more than one method.

    Personally, I mostly freehand but sometimes will do a quick touch-up on the Sharpmaker. I also use a belt sander for heavy reprofiling or thinning out behind the edge and changing blade shape.

    Edit: to add pull-through option.
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  2. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I use Edge Pro to set the bevel and maintain the edge freehand.
    BTGuy and Lapedog like this.
  3. marthinus

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

    Dec 10, 2006
    I use power equipment, Sharpmaker and freehand. But have to admit, I love freehand.
    Lapedog likes this.
  4. SV-97


    Aug 18, 2016
    Freehand and guided :D
  5. DaveDM


    Dec 21, 2017
    Guided (Edgepro Professional) as of now. learning free hand.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  6. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    Yes, and i use any of the first four options when applicable.
  7. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    1. i started with Taidea mini pull-through, got 4 or 5 of em.
    2. then i wasted time on the Taidea guided (rebranded Exduct).
    3. then i spent hundreds of happy hours on the Ruixin guided (modded unit).
    4. then i got the Sharpmaker, operated it for 2 months conventionally in the "V"-setup but didn't like it
    5. finally i transitioned to freehanding on the aforementioned system stones (ruixin XOR 204uf) for touchups
    Being able to freehand a knife on such narrow stones means that i am not a beginner anymore. :p
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    willc likes this.
  8. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    Have a Kme and sharpmaker. I don’t use the guides and stands anymore. I prefer freehand. Takes less time and in my opinion is more fun.
  9. Rykjeklut


    May 23, 2018
    I have a couple of stones which i sometimes try on my beat to death Hultafors GK, but i mainly use the Lansky system. Not very good at it, but always improving.
  10. eugenechia1989


    May 15, 2017
    Freehand, mostly on Spyderco ceramic stones as most of my knives use low-Vanadium steels.
    kreisler likes this.
  11. Dangerously

    Dangerously Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    It’s too bad we couldn’t get a representative sample from the entire forum.
  12. eKretz


    Aug 30, 2009
    Feel free to repost a link to the poll if you like.
  13. Dangerously

    Dangerously Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    I can’t think of a good way to get a representative sample, even by posting it around. It’ll still be self-selected, so skewed to people who want to announce their answer.
  14. My ultimate goal in learning how to sharpen was freehand. I'm there now, and there's no looking back.

    I started with guided systems like Lansky, Gatco and DMT Aligner. They taught me what to look for in a fully-finished edge (full apex, burr formation, etc), and also the value of being patient in getting there. After establishing how important those factors are, I started focusing on doing the same in freehand sharpening. I don't use the guides anymore, though I can see that they can still be useful in some cases, when cosmetically 'perfect' bevels are a specific goal. Otherwise, sharp is sharp, and it doesn't need to look as pretty to be so. ;)

    Part of my 'freehand' sharpening also occasionally includes utilizing crock-stick sharpeners (SM, etc) for quick touch-ups. They're just too easy not to use, when applied in the right circumstance. The touch & feel learned in freehand sharpening is beneficial in using these tools as well, so results always get better if some freehand experience is applied in using them. I've drilled my own bases for some of my round-rod crock stick sharpeners, to set them at my own preferred angle (25° inclusive), a perfect complement to my freehand edges, for touching up.
    Keith Nix, eKretz and Dangerously like this.
  15. Malpaso

    Malpaso Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 17, 2000
    I use fine sandpaper and a strop. I'm average at best, but trying to learn.
  16. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps

    Apr 20, 2018
    I mostly freehand but my KME still sees regular use and I'm very glad to have it. I don't buy a lot of the "harder" steels and when I do it's pretty much in smaller knives so the KME and the diamonds get that work. It's also great for re-profiling or fixing my screws-ups freehanding!

    I know I'm in the minority but I freaking love Arkansas stones and the edge they give so they see the bulk of work (BD1, BD1N, VG10, various kitchen-type alloys, etc.)

    I hope that those reading this that don't sharpen don't get discouraged but rather inspired. Put some money into a guided system and learn. Discover the joy and satisfaction of putting your own edge on your own knife and realizing you can do it! If you want to start freehand, by all means, I always just worry that people will get flustered and abandon the notion.
    eKretz likes this.
  17. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps

    Apr 20, 2018
    eKretz likes this.
  18. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    Freehand, but always scratch the blade. It's not as bad with hollow ground as with flat. Would it help if I covered the upper sides of the blade with tape?

    I have a Sharpmaker, and even some diamond rods, but have never been motivated to try it. I watched the video. Is it as easy as Sal make it look? Sould I try it on some cheapo's?

    I am a real sad sack in this area.
  19. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps

    Apr 20, 2018
    You may be laying the blade back too far. Hard to know because edge angles vary so much but that is my first thought. Do you use a marker on the bevel to ensure you're hitting it properly?

    I don't have a Sharpmaker so will defer to others.

    Don't get flustered. It's just a learning process.
  20. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    I use an Edge Pro to set my edge, then maintain them with a Sharpmaker and a strop.
    bflying likes this.

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