Sharpening a new knife out fo the box

Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
609
Curious to know how many of you sharpen a brand new knife out of the box? What are your own personal steps that you go through when you recieve a new knife being that we all have different sharpening equipment? Dull the knife before sharpening? What stone do you usually start off with? What if the edges have different angles? So what is your ritual when you recieve a new knife and you know its going to be a user?
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
3,281
If I sharpen before using because of abject dullness I fight the urge to radically reprofile. I use a sharpie and do a light touch up then give it a good work out. Iv have found going nuts with the edgepro right away is not always the way to go. Just me and I am no expert... Russ
 

dalefuller

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
4,254
I check an edge before I sharpen it. I have a loupe that I'll use to look at the edge. If it looks pretty good, I'll slice some yellow pages. If that's a nice even cut all along the length of the edge, then I just strop lightly to refine the edge a bit.

I use a Sharpie when I actually sharpen an edge on my Sharpmaker, but not until I'm ready to do that.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
6,642
Curious to know how many of you sharpen a brand new knife out of the box? What are your own personal steps that you go through when you recieve a new knife being that we all have different sharpening equipment? Dull the knife before sharpening? What stone do you usually start off with? What if the edges have different angles? So what is your ritual when you recieve a new knife and you know its going to be a user?

Absolute first thing is a visual inspection of the entire knife starting with the grip and moving up. I'm checking for warps mostly because I'll have to account for that when its time to regrind. I also want to see how well the factory job was done, how off center etc.

Next I check the pocket clip or sheath, looking for spots that will make holes in my clothing or if the attachment points need modification, retention in the sheath etc.

If it appears sharp I'll use it till it stops cutting acceptably and this will give me a chance to see what works about it and what doesn't. At that point I generally have a list of items to be taken care of, almost always having to do with the way it carries (pocket clip, sheath). The knife might be out of rotation for a while taking care of this stuff, sometimes its an easy fix.

Once I have all the peripheral issues hammered out I go ahead and put a new edge on it. Nine times out of ten this will involve making it more acute. Last consideration will be working around any warps and deciding how much correction I want to do to the factory grind where its lopsided etc. Usually lowering the inclusive allows me to fix these issues, but sometimes it has to happen over a period of time - I'm not going to grind away years of potential use to correct cosmetic blems.

Martin
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
162
I am with HH on this one. I use it first, then when needed I will try to improve the factory edge.
 
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
117
I used to reprofile right from the box if it didnt pass the sharpie + sharpmaker at 40° but now i freehand on sandpaper and i try to match the factory bevels and thin them out over several sessions until im satisfied, i dont go hard on little defects as i dont really want to grind several years of steel just to correct a little recurve or uber broad tip thus i bite the bullet and settle for a less than perfect edge during the 'work in progress' time.
 

Jason B.

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
11,143
When a new knife arrives I give it the usual inspection then go straight to the stones. I make the edge mine by sharpening it and setting the angle to what I am used to. It's easy for me to surpass a factory edge and in truth I would prefer if there was a option to receive a knife unsharpened.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
7,743
When a new knife arrives I give it the usual inspection then go straight to the stones. I make the edge mine by sharpening it and setting the angle to what I am used to. It's easy for me to surpass a factory edge and in truth I would prefer if there was a option to receive a knife unsharpened.

That's easy, buy custom knives. ;)

I have a very hard time not reprofiling the edge to at least 30º if the edge is more obtuse than that, which is ridiculously often.

I don't buy uber crappy steel. I want it to perform at its best, or at least close.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
795
Depends on the knife.

If its something i bought on a whim then ill use it for a bit first.

If i already know what the knife is going to do for me then i jump right into it. Typicaly i start off with the Atomas (140-1200) and get the geometry and angle corrected , personalized. Then i drop down to the shaptons (220-30,000) and go through until i have an edge im happy with. If i stop tbere then strop with a CBN compound slightly finer than the finishing stone (5k at the lowest) , if im chasing sub.micron finishes i go to CBN or Poly after the 30k shapton
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
939
I have my preferred profiles for varied knives and always reprofile them out of the box. I also remove the clip and give the back side...the side that slides on the pants material...a polishing using either 1500 or 2000 wet/dry sand paper.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
609
Awsome answers so far guys. I like getting different personal perspectives on things like this.
 

whp

Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
3,519
If the factory edge is more than 18 degrees per side I bring it down to that level. Later I ll adjust it to 15-17 degrees depending on the blade. Even if the blade appears to be very sharp , I ll always polish it with a fine grit and/or strop before using it. I test it for uneven spots by push cutting the entire blade, section by section, through phone book paper. Then I correct any problem areas.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
4,008
I have had a couple knives that came with acceptable edges. 15 DPS is generally my starting point, users get 400-600 grit finishes, for guys that like the shiny, they get 1k-6k, some knives beg for lower angles only a rare few will get more than 15 DPS. I didn't buy or ask for it, but my dad sent me a CRKT M16-14T for Christmas, it got 15 degrees, sadly that's too steep for the crap steel so I'll micro bevel at 18 degrees next time and continue raising the angle until it begins performing acceptably.
 

jc57

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
8,468
Depends on how good/bad the edge is in the first place. My tools are 3 DMT diamond bench stones, a Spyderco Sharpmaker, and a strop made from a leather belt and some fine polishing compound.

If the edge is basically OK but just has a burr, then I'll just strop it. If the edge is a bit coarse, then I'll try to touch it up with the Spyderco. If it needs more work than that, or if it's not at one of the predefined Spyderco angles, then I'll use the DMT stones to get it shaped right, and then back to the Sharpmaker and strop for finishing.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
2,032
Depends on the knife. First thing the knife gets is a quick look over checking blade, blade play, construction, fit and finish, etc. After that I usually test the sharpness if that is bad I sharpen it otherwise it's left alone for the time being. I tend to be more lenient with a new blade than a blade I just sharpened, I like to get a feel for the fresh out of factory performance a lot of times before I put my own edge on it.

As for equipment, I got in a DMT Alinger with C/F/EF stones a little while ago so I am using that now with a leather belt as strop. Basically the Aligner is just there to re-profile after that first re-profile it's all done by hand when it comes to sharpening. As for specifics on what I do here I can't say as they are changing quite frequently as I have been practicing and changing my technique a lot in the past week or 2. A week ago I got a sharp edge on this setup, a few days latter I found a way to get an even better edge by a significant margin, than a day latter I found another way to improve by a significant margin without even using a strop. And once my "Box O Knives", aka my box of freshly purchased knives is delivered early next I probably get even better as I have a cheap dedicated kitchen knife bought to practice on so I don't feel bad about dulling my EDC's just to sharpen it back up.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
4,383
I sharpen all my new knives since factory sharpness doesn't work for me.

First I'll polish on 6000 or 8000 to see how factory did (usually tip or heel will be over ground, even $500 sebenzas) then I'll grind with 200 to 400 grits until even and will progress from there.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
2,237
I might fondle and cut stuff for a few days, but I've always been dissatisfied with factory edges. I prefer much more acute bevels on knives than what come from the factory--keep in mind, though, that the factory is balancing cost, time, accuracy, and interpersonal variability in sharpening when producing knives.

I'd almost want my knives to come without an edge so that I can grind my own without having to worry about if they had overground one side vs. the other.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
609
For those of you that sharpen immediately out of the box, do you intentionally dull the blade first or do you leave the edge as is, and start with your first stone?
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
4,008
As is, the only thing I've ever dulled for is tip repair so the spine would be untouched.
 
Top