1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

  2. Week 17 of the BladeForums.com Year of Giveaways is live! Enter to win a KaBar Becker BK 15 Mini Camp!

    Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a KA-BAR Becker BK 15, or Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!
    Be sure to read the rules before entering, and help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread!

    Entries will close at 11:59PM Saturday, Apil 27; winners will be drawn on Sunday @5pm on our Youtube Channel: TheRealBladeForums. Bonus prizes will be given during the livestream!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

Sharpening Woes

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Lorenzai, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Lorenzai


    Aug 15, 2016
    Confession time. I can't sharpen a knife to save my life. I got a brand new Ontario SP1 a week or so ago and it was pretty dull out of the box, with a not very even grind. I spent quite literally all night last night using a lansky to try and get this thing evened out and sharp. I would say that it's basically no sharper than it was before.
    What sharpening product might you guys suggest for someone who is 100% inept at putting an edge on anything? At this point, even a $9 pull through would be better than what I can do.
  2. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Probably not hitting the apex. It's not going to feel any sharper until you do.
    mycough likes this.
  3. l1ranger

    l1ranger Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    I agree
    what stones do you have for the lansky?

    get a sharpie marker (i like blue), a good light source, and something to magnify with.
    borrowing a picture I found on the net

    Color the entire edge of the blade with the sharpie, clamp it in the lansky, grab a medium grit stone and lightly hit a one inch section of the blades using the 25 degree slot.
    does this remove all or most of the sharpie from that section? if so, you've got the angle close.
    if it only removes the sharpie from the shoulder (see green above), go back and try it at the 30 degree slot.
    if this still only removes the sharpie from the shoulder, you have your work cut out and have a lot to steel to remove.

    if using the 25 degree slot only removes the sharpie from the edge (see red above), then try to the 20 degree slot.
    Removing just the edge will get sharp, but it wont be an even bevel from the edge to the shoulder...and thats not really what we want.

    Once you determine your angle (and they might be different on each side, but you probably want them to match) you'll have to go to work with the coarsest stone that you have. The goal is to remove all the sharpies off of the whole edge on both sides. use a jewelers loupe, magnifying lamp, or some other aid to help you see that edge better and make sure all the sharpie is gone. If you've removed the sharpie on part of the blade, you can focus on the part that still has sharpie.

    only use light pressure on your stone, and keep it lubricated - switch sides back and forth, workign on removing the sharpie from the entire blade, both sides, from heel to tip. once all the sharpie is removed, you've apexed the edge and should have a serviceable toothy edge.

    from there, you can refine the edge with finer stones to meet your needs, but you have to find/create the apex first.
  4. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I think you have your description of the colours backwards. If only the green sharpie is being removed means you are hitting the apex, the red sharpie removed means you are hitting the shoulder. You have it opposite that in your description.
  5. l1ranger

    l1ranger Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    sometimes my brain words and my typing words don't say the same thing :)

    if after some passes, you still see the green sharpie left as shown - you only hit (and removed the sharpie from) the shoulder

    likewise, if you are still see the red as shown, you are only hitting (and removing the sharpie from) the apex.

    maybe one day when i get some time, I'll do a lansky tutorial with pics
    FortyTwoBlades and scottc3 like this.
  6. Lorenzai


    Aug 15, 2016
    What does it mean if it's leaving the sharpie right in the middle of the edge?
  7. It's possible the edge bevel may be concave, i.e., hollow-ground, if the ink is left only in the middle of the bevel. If the edge bevel was ground on a wheel, that could be the result; it's not uncommon. In such a case, don't worry too much about the central portion of the bevel, so long as your stone is flush against the very edge and the shoulder at the same time. Subsequent sharpening on stones will eventually flatten or (slightly) convex the bevels anyway. You can grind enough away to do that now, or just let it happen over time. So long as you're indexing the edge and the shoulder flush against the stone, that'll help steady your angle hold and you'll still get it plenty sharp.
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  8. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    That your edge is hollow and you're flattening it out.
  9. BruceMack

    BruceMack Basic Member Basic Member

    May 20, 2015
    I was in the same despond as you a couple of months ago. I have found that if I use my Lansky to reprofile at 17 degrees I can then make a savagely sharp micro-bevel with the Spyderco Sharpmaker at 20 degrees. As noted, medium and fine Lansky diamond hones speed the process. Be sure you can feel a burr assuring you have reached the apex. After using these, I finish with the fine non-diamond hone in the Lansky kit just for appearance. Use the Sharpmaker as instructed, 20 swipes each side with medium and fine rods (edge, flat, edge, flat). I don't think you need the ultra fine rods or the diamond rods. Stropping is elective but seems to give me the best final edge. Good luck!
    Cscotttsss likes this.
  10. Lorenzai


    Aug 15, 2016
    After a LOT of work with the 120 grit red stone, I managed to get it ground to 25 degree per side. I figure that's a good chunky angle that will hold up to being used for chopping things. The angles from the factory were all kinds of messed up. One side was closer to 30 deg, the other was closer to 20 degrees. It's not shaving sharp, but it's a lot better than it was.
  11. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Personally I find 15° per side good, but it might take you a while to set a bevel that thin if 120 is as coarse as you've got.
  12. Minnesota Man

    Minnesota Man Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 30, 2014
    Work sharp Ken Onion edition.
  13. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013

    What He said!^^^ Also, may i add, squirt the 120 stone and all others with a heavy application of Simple Green Soap.... Then wipe with an old T-shirt or paper towel etc... This will float the grit out of your stones and give a clean cutting edge on all of your naturals stones etc. No need with Diamond. Your stones will cut faster!
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  14. Aquaholicc


    Oct 17, 2016
    I’ve yet to work with 1095 steel but..

    Hmm..the lowest I go on my high carbon steels (M4 and D2) is about 17dps. I don’t like chips! Unless with salsa ..
  15. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I've never chipped any of my blades at that edge angle. Granted, I don't use D2 since I don't care for its large carbides and fussy nature with sharpening.
    skyhorse likes this.
  16. bflying

    bflying Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    I think the op said that it may be used for chopping things. In that case, I'm wondering if it might be better to leave it a bit beefy as stated?

    I've never used the Lansky, but would like to sometime so I can better understand the motion and caveats of it. I do use the Spyderco Sharpmaker often for touch-ups. Also spent a bunch of time on the EdgePro, and still pull it out for "special" blades. I think it's a great compromise between a guided system and freehand. For large or unusual blades, it allows you to add a little "English" to the process.

    But lately for most of my edges that need a little extra attention, I reach for my KME. It looks like it may be very similar to the Lansky, but appears to be a tad more precise. If a bevel is out of whack right out of the box, it will absolutely drive me crazy until I re-profile. And then I end up obsessing over it trying to make an exact looking bevel....Tip to heel, side to side.

    The op has been given some great advice by others, and sounds like he's off to a good start also. Just don't obsess over things like I have done in the past. When I don't get crazy, sharpening can be both fun and relaxing. Also fun to try out different setups on different steel's and geometry's.
  17. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    You know, I'm reading this and I had the same problem with this exact knife. Thanks guys for the tips
  18. Daniel paul

    Daniel paul

    Aug 14, 2017
    If the middle section is staying colored it is likely to have a hollow edge. But if you like me ive done it where i hit shoulder then apex because im a bad sharpener.
  19. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I chop with edges that thin all the time without issue. :)
    bflying likes this.
  20. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    It's entirely possible with the Lansky. It can bounce in the slots.

Share This Page