Sharpening Our Knives

Feb 9, 1999
OK, everyone is talking about everything from A-Z... I hve learned enormous amounts of info. THANKS to all fun fun fun ! Lets talk about the best opinions on ways to keep our blades sharp. I think its an art in itself. I use spydie sticks and I'm sure its not state of the art, but its safe. You have to work pretty hard to mess up an angle. HELP there is a better way. Right? Come on give me that input. Lets talk about price, portability, safety, ease, and a job well done.
I've been a BIG fan of Spyderco Triangle-Sharpmaker for a long time before we started EDI knives. EDI recommends the SHARPMAKER to maintain the edge on our knives. Its that good. I've not met anyone that regretted purchasing one. They are fast, and effective. They also will sharpen almost anything; plain edges, serrations, kitchen knives, scissors, broadheads, fish hooks, whatever. I have our production sharpening equipment availible to me, but I keep a sharpmaker at home and use it all the time.

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
President-EDI Knives
I've tried a lot of different sharpening methods over the years, from Gatco to Razor-Edge and Japanese waterstones.
While these have thier purposes and work well, I find that none are better or easier to use than the Spyderco Sharpmaker.
As long as I need to regrind the edge, the
Spyderco is what I use
Will what is your production sharpening equipment? I am very interested in knowing how a production edge is ground.
I still swear by the Lansky system.
If you look around, a good basic setup can be had for around $25.
(Cheap and efficient equals good buy in my book!)


I like my Lansky system too, but I'm looking forward to buying the new Spydercon Tri-Angle Sharpmaker when it comes out.


Have you ever tried the Edge Pro. It will cost you about $125.00 but boy does it work. The only short coming that I see is that it doesn't do serations well. The maker recommends hitting the back side of the serations it works but it will eventally wear them down. But a great system
Over the past 20 years or so, the list of items that I've been suckered into purchasing as knife sharpeners is pretty embarassing. There's a cutesy saying I heard somewhere that if you can't figure out what something is, call it a knife sharpener and see if it sells that way.

I like a very aggressive non-wire, non-polished edge on most of my knives. It seems to be the best edge for the things that I most generally want a knife to do.

Some items that I've come to rely on would include; mill bastard files for standard high carbon steels to about 58 Rc., sickle hones (also called ax or adz hones) for rough shaping and rough sharpening, Coarse alumina oxide ceramic rod hones for all finer sharpening of work and kitchen knives.

In the alumina oxide round ceramic rod hones I'm particularly fond of the Lansky that most folks have never heard of: namely the coarse alumina oxide rod "steels" that contain no steel. They're just another version of the ceramic rod done as a standard "steel" but are far coarser than most typical ceramic rods. Actually, they come in coarse, med. and fine. As alloys get harder or tougher to sharpen, I typically go to a coarser grind hone. Note, the "Lansky" hone that I'm talking about has no fixtures or jigs, doesn't care how long your blade is, or how thick the spine or how curved the edge. It also costs about $10.

There's also a generic version of the classic 'vee' hone that sits all set up in it' red base in a part of my kitchen for touching things up there. It's a generic 'vee' hone that I got from SMKW for something under $10, but what sets it apart from the pretenders is that it uses coarse alumina oxide ceramic rods. If it sounds like I'm saying alumina oxide, (aka alumox, and some other similar names), then it's because I've found it to offer a surprisingly good cost to use ratio. Far better than the limited life of the number of diamond dust hones that I've tried.

Another product worthy of considerable mention is the classic Norton Crystolon hones. For some tasks, I simply think that the oven baked Norton hones beat heck out of many of the natuaral hones.

When it comes to steels, (other than the ceramic kind), three that I really like are: an antique Grant & Sons "Shefield" steel with a triple spiral pattern on it that I've never seen duplicated, a commercial duty 12" Mundial chef's steel, and the lowly flat folding "Sportsman's Hone" that was marketed by Schrade and Gerber.

Just an anecdote.
Many years ago, I had gotten a Puma sharpening rod. It was a thing of beauty! It had a stag handle, was diamond encrusted and had a finely made leather sheath for the rod.
A friend came over the house and I told him I would "touch-up" his blade for him.
I gave his knife a couple of swipes on each side and in about 45 seconds turned his rather sharp knife into a poorly designed bludgeon. I have since learned how to use the rod, but I still remember about a half an hour of serious apologies and embarassment.
There's a point to this story somewhere.

"Good judgement comes from experience, and
a lot of that comes from bad judgement."