sharpening how you hold the knife

Oct 4, 1998
I got a question. I have been doing a lot of knife sharpening and I have found a way to do it that works much better for me. People tell me if this way it is not as good as the "right" way

Ok first this is free hand no cheater.

Now here is the right way you put the knife on stone starting farthest from the tip pulling it down and across the stone lifting up to get the tip.

Now here is how I do it,

I put the tip down first and push the knife up and across.

Ok what is wrong with it

[This message has been edited by gregj62 (edited 25 January 1999).]
Hey Joe are you still there? How about this question? Will this way of sharpening work, what do you think?


[This message has been edited by gregj62 (edited 29 January 1999).]
Greg --

I think in theory this technique should work fine. In fact I remember Mike Turber advocating something like this, on the theory that if you put the point down first, you won't get the point-rounding action that happens if you're not careful when sharpening using the traditional technique.

In practice, I haven't been able to get comfortable sharpening "backwards". I don't know if I'm just not used to it, or if it's a naturally more cumbersome technique (I think a little of both). But if it's working for you, great!
Thanks Guys, To me it is easyer, at least on bigger blades. I couldn't think of a reason why it wouldn't work as good. But figureed I was missing something.

I should read my post before I post them. I think I have edited all of them.


[This message has been edited by gregj62 (edited 29 January 1999).]
I go both directions. Following Joe T.'s FAQ guidelines, I sharpen one side until I get a burr, then I do the other side. When sharpinging each side, I keep the blade on the stone (diamond hone, usually) the whole time. I go from choil to tip in one direction, tilting the knife as I go through the slicing motion as required to keep the edge in contact with the stone. Then, without lifting the edge off of the stone, I bring the knife back the other way, from tip to choil. As I procede in this manner, I usually end up grinding different parts of the edge different amounts, because the edge (especially a factory edge) is not always consistently ground. The goal is to get the burr up all along the edge. I have achieved consistently good results using this back and forth method, and there is no rounding of the tip, as the tip never leaves the stone.

Once I've raised a burr on both sides of the blade, I then go to alternating strokes, with less pressure, using conventional choil to tip strokes (no more back and forth--this is only for re-shaping the edge, when you want to remove metal quickly).

The advantage to using the back-and-forth-without-lifting-the-blade-off-of-the-stone method is that it's easier (with a bit of practice) to keep a consistent angle. By the way, once you've established the correct angle, you can tell by feel that you have it right. It feels like the edge is sort of sliding along the stone rather than scraping. Sometimes this takes a bit of faith and patience.

It's worth learning to sharpen freehand, in my opinion. And sharpening is kind of fun!

David Rock