May 22, 1999
I thought I would search for websites of manufacturers of knife sharpeners but this forum is such a great resource I'll ask you guys first. I found spyderco's homepage easy enough but I can't find one for Gatco, Lansky or DMT. Do they have a website? What are their URLs? Am I missing any? Is there a internet dealer that carries all of the knife sharpeners?

I'm considering something different than my trusty stones and I want to see what is out there.
I was looking for the same a few days ago, and surprised they didn't have 'em in the BF links section.

Knife Connection at

under the "manufacturers" section has a listing of URLs for some of those (not Gatco).
Hi David,

Some other great pages of links to knives/supply/makers/manufacturers are the International Knife Directory at and the Knife Center of The Internet (click on the pull down menu and choose 'To Contact a Knife Company Directly').


Ooops... The Knife Center of The Internet website is of course at

[This message has been edited by Frantium (edited 07 July 1999).]
David, I've been into several sharpening threads over the last few weeks and sharpeners using carbide cutters were mentioned as unsatisfactory because 1) they remove too much metal and 2) they leave small nicks in the edge.

Aside from that, I suppose they're not of any use for thinning the blade to improve the cutting action as time goes on.

I was specifically asking about cheap sharpeners as I have a ceramic disk type sharpener (Firestone) recommended at a knife shop which does a decent job on my kitchen knives. Again, there is the problem of blade thickening with use, but another member said the ceramic disks would be adequate for softer steels such as in kitchen knives (and that they would be ineffective on something as hard as ATS-34).
Re: the Steling sharpener. . .

Haven't tried one but it looks VERY interesting. Perfect for out in the field. Have you tried one yet? Has anyone?
David; I got the Lansky Deluxe Diamond Sharpening kit, with 4 hones, for fathers day. I sharpened one ATS kitchen knife, to a razor edge, and it worked great. It's in great shape. However, I think I'm going to sell it to buy a professional sharpening system for knives and scissors (costs about $400). If you're interested, it's $50 shipped, with pedestal clamp.
The voice in the wilderness is here again to remind you that if you own a stone (or a steel for kitchen knives) you have all you need.
There is an article in the latest BLADE that reviews some of the newest and/or most popular ways to avoid doing it the easy way.

Desert Rat

Hey Desert Rat, your message isn't lost.

This is an education for me and I'm sure you'll eventually find me in the shade one day with a brick in my hand.

What Norton stone grit do you use for general sharpening?
While surfing around I see mentioned watersones or Japanese waterstones. What are these and where do I get one. I saw Joe Talmage mention it but I can't find that thread again.

Desert Rat, Longden,

I don't plan to ditch my stones but I do plan to try out what is new. My Arkansas stone is getting desperate though. Not only getting dished but has nicks or grooves that catch the edge. I do plan to get a belt sander and buffer and stick with that for home use. I can get a halfway decent edge with stones but nowhere near as well as a belt sander and buffer can. Just never been able to bring my stone sharpening to the 'master level'.
David, waterstones are are designed to be used in a water-logged state. Lee Valley sells them :

I don't use them, but I have a friend who is a woodworker and he swears by the finish that the 4000 grit produces. I keep meaning to get the x-coarse one (the big green 250 grit block) and see how it compares to an x-coarse DMT benchstone in terms of speed and ease of profiling.

You can get water stones at wood working stores. Somehow you use a much finer grit with a water stone than with any other type of stone. Norton has a chart which shows a 1000 grit water stone cutting as fast as a 450 grit diamond stone and producing a finish comparable to a 500 grit soft Arkansas. I have a two-sided 1000/4000 stone that I got at Woodcraft that is pretty practical; however most of my real work is done using medium and extra-fine diamond bench hones. Sometimes followed by ceramic rods and stropping.
I suggest Spyderco Stones, they are not expensive, work very well, and you use them DRY!!!!! When they get "loaded" you can clean them in your sink with a scotch brite pad.

True Japanese Waterstones are expensive, and meant more for a maker of traditional Japanese blades (for polishing etc...) For this they are the best. I havent used them but I have learned that you build a "slurry" with them, so i imagine they are messy too.

I cant recomend the Spydie stones enough, in my opinion they are the best sharpening stones on the market. If you buy them, buy all 3 grits.

Answer to Longden : I use a medium Norton when it's handy, but really, I use just about anything else if it isn't. I have a very old three dollar diamond "stone" about one inch by three that I have had epoxied onto a slat about a foot long for 20 years. The off side of the slat gets a new leather scrap now and again, and the leather gets some rouge or chalk dust on it when I think of it. This thing is in my brief case or at my side table nearly always. So it gets the lion's share of the work that the more expensive stones don't.
Desert Rat

[This message has been edited by Desert Rat (edited 09 July 1999).]
Japanese waterstones are actually fairly cheap compared to other materials like Diamond and Ceramics (if I had not thrown out my cat. from Lee Valley I could be more specific, but you can get a much bigger waterstone for cheaper than a smaller diamond). They also come in the broadest range of grits suitable for a lot of work besides polishing (250 - 8000 grit).

Notes on Waterstones:
The grit on these stone DOES NOT translate directly to the American system of grits. The Late and Great Bob Engnath had a comparison chart in his catalog showing how ceramic/Arkansas/Water Stones compare to each other. To wit a 600 ceramic would cut (polish) like a 1000 waterstone. When I find my old copy, I'll arrange to post it here. -Brian
You also ought to check out Razor Edge Systems ( Even if you don't choose to use their excellent sharpeners, check out the Edge Tester, the book, and the video. These are three products you won't find anywhere else and they are, IMHO, indespensible.


Knowledge without understanding is knowledge wasted.
Understanding without knowledge is a rare gift - but not an impossibility.
For the impossible is always possible through faith.
- Bathroom graffiti, gas station, Grey, TN, Dec, 1988

[This message has been edited by Codeman (edited 09 July 1999).]
I have the Razor Edge Systems book, and now that you mention it, I had been wondering about that Edge Tester.

Not having a lot of arm hair myself, and not being inclined to ask the casual stranger if I can test my knife on their arm hairs (how's that for a pickup line
), I've always just thumbed the edge of the blade or cut paper to test the sharpness. So I was interested seeing the Edge Tester in the book, but a few days ago I found a website with some old sharpening tips and one of suggestions was to use a Bic pen in exactly the same way as the Edge that's how it came to be.

You run the flat end of the pen over the blade to check for nicks, or hold the pen at a 45 deg angle and the knife blade should rest on the pen without sliding. Probably not as indicative of true sharpness as hair cutting, but hey for the hair impaired....

When I run out of arm hair I use leg hair. I must say I look great in shorts. In some circles you have to claim you are a swimmer though.

Thanks for that link to Razor Edge Systems. I'm not settling on one system yet but that was one of the ones I wanted to try out.

Does anyone know if GATCO has a manufacterers home page?