Support BladeForums! Paid memberships don't see ads! Most Important: All are welcome and encouraged to participate if you want. Quick Background: I'm pretty new around here but far from new to forums, knives, and sharpening. But experience doesn't necessarily equal expertise. I've been sharpening knives for around 40 years. But what does that mean? Have I been doing it well? What steels have I sharpened? What do I think is a good edge? What mediums have I used? So on and so on... A few days ago, I posted a bit of a ramble in a thread about my experience and I stand by what I said, except for my mention of Arkansas stones on some "super" steels. See, what is absolutely most important to me is helping others learn or make educated decisions. Ego has nothing to do with it. I just want to share my honest experiences so that others can take in what I have to share and digest it as they see fit and hopefully help. The internet can be full of BS and I never want to be a part of that. I love everything about the art of sharpening and I want everyone to know that they can do it. It can be such an intimidating thing. Anyway, I let myself get a little sucked down into my own, I don't know, desire I guess, to stand by my silicon carbide and my beloved Arkansas stones. I've posted similar over at Spyderco. I said I was getting good working edges on S90V and such. I was in no way lying or trying to be misleading, but in retrospect, I think I wasn't being completely honest with myself. Yes, I was getting ragged edges, but I've spent the past couple weeks testing myself and my assertions with S30V, S90V and ZDP-189. The truth is, I was wrong. Yeah, I can get passable edges with those media but it takes a long time and I'm not getting the refined edges I like. But when I put them on my KME with diamonds, the edges really crisp up. And so, I wanted to right that. As I said, I just want people to get good honest information and encourage people to try. YOU CAN SHARPEN! It is the most complicated simple thing I can think of but you can do it. Start with softer steels as the principles are all essentially the same. So, first post... What is sharp? This is the basic essential question. What is sharp? Is it polished edges? Toothy edges? Does this or that steel matter? And a million more considerations. But for the most part, all of those discussions are just, pardon the pun, splitting hairs. The first definition of sharp is the knife adequately performs the tasks you want it to perform. Someone who is hard using their knife all day at a construction site may have much different views than a professional chef or a general EDC user etc. We see people on YouTube getting insane edges and, if you're like me, you can find yourself chasing them. There's nothing wrong with that at all and it is a fun endeavor, but isn't necessary. I've done a lot of things in my life, a lot of stuff that most people will only ever see on TV or in the movies, but one thing I have never, ever needed to do was whittle a hair. Slicing apples, opening packages, cutting cord, slicing sandbags, and on and on are all tasks that I've needed a knife to do and the truth is, overall, a "lower grit" edge has served me pretty well. Steels, tasks, knife design, etc. are all factors, so there is no one-size-fits-all in the sharpening world, but if you ask me, when you're starting out, default to course. A course sharpened blade should be able to shave arm hair. If you can shave arm hair, your knife is sharp. Sharp enough becomes subjective but it is sharp. If you sharpen long enough, you'll start to realize that blade geometry is almost if not as important than your edge. My quick advice to new sharpeners? Start slow, set realistic expectations, work on softer steels. So yeah... What say you all?