Ready to try freehand sharpening! What stones?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Travis Santelmann, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. 353

    353 Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    I really like my DMT Dia-Sharp duo stones. Regular sharpening takes minutes!!!

    I have two. One is coarse/extra coarse and the other is fine/extra fine. I have moved away from everything else, other stones, the sharpmaker...

    I still might use a strop with diamond spray on it, but I am not sure it is really necessary after the extra fine stone.
  2. Bill3152


    Nov 27, 2018
    I'm with you on that although I do strop some knives on cbn for theatrics(hair popping). Lol. For my kitchen including my plain edge steak knives 325 DMT one and done. Except the filet knife gets more.
    353 likes this.
  3. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    . . . hmmmm I keep being told an angle cube is of some purpose or use in sharpening a knife.
    The Edge Pro keeps cranking out perfectly spine chilling edges (that whittle hair) with no angle cube. I suppose someday I will have to get an angle cube and see how the other half lives.

    . . . but anyway . . . my point in this post is a 180° to my previous post. Not un common with me.
    At least once you get comfortable with hand sharpening you won't be stuck with a dull knife if you loose your angle cube.
  4. MtnHawk1

    MtnHawk1 Basic Member Basic Member

    May 22, 2019
    Travis Santelmann, you might want to read the book The Razor Edge Book of Sharpening, by John Juranitch. The author took the mystery out of freehand sharpening for me and made it into a simple, common-sense procedure.

    I'm not an expert on knife steels so what works for me might not for you (I don't have any daggers), but if you need serious metal removal I'd suggest looking at the 60 grit Baryonyx Manticore bench stone. I tried higher grit stones (around 100-140) for reprofiling (relief grinding) but they were too slow and I didn't have the patience or time for them. I often use grits in this range to start finishing the edge after reprofiling, though.

    I've tried both diamonds and stones made out of common abrasives such as aluminum oxide and silicon carbide. Usually the instructions for diamond plates say to just use light pressure. I find I can remove more metal faster using more pressure, so I go with non-diamond abrasives for that purpose. That said, after the burrs have formed and you're at the apex (very delicate then), only very light sharpening strokes should be used. At that point, I've found it doesn't matter much what kind of abrasive I use (assuming comparable grits, of course).

    I don't need smooth, refined, polished edges, which saves me sharpening time and I don't have to buy very high-grit stones. I usually finish at 400-600 grit.

    I'm not saying that any of this is the "best" way, just what works best for me so far, for what I need (my knives are mostly for sometimes hard wilderness use), after a lot of experimentation.
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  5. Baron Mind

    Baron Mind

    Mar 30, 2018
    I second the suggestion to learn how to freehand on your wicked edge stones. The obvious benefits are the stones you currently own will still be viable. Additionally, due to the popularity of the wicked edge, edge pro, and tsprof, most of the recent innovations in abrasives are being produced in the 1x6 format. The smaller size also keeps the price of the new superabrasives in a somewhat more easily accessible range.

    Another benefit of stone in hand sharpening is you can position your hands so that you can see the apex ot the edge contacting the stone, giving you a better shot of not going over angle and setting back your progress.

    There are some limitations to this technique. Larger knives, like chefs knives are difficult, so learning to use benchstones is not a bad idea either. Having an understanding of multiple sharpening is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. Or you could just sharpen kitchen knives with your guided system.

Share This Page