Tough time sharpening the BK11

Jun 13, 2010

Im having a really tough time getting my becker necker bk11 shaving sharp. I am using a spyderco sharpmaker, and I cant seem to get it very sharp. I actually have two of these knives, and neither will take an edge.

Any suggestions? I cant figure out why these two wont get very sharp, all of my other knives sharpen up flawlessly. Is it possible the knives have a very obtuse angle grind?
Can you see where you have removed metal?

Is this their first sharpening?

I don't really like ceramics for carbon steels, they don't do IMO a very good job and are very slow. Use some sandpaper over glass or wood.
Is it possible the knives have a very obtuse angle grind?

This would be my FIRST suspicion.

The Sharpmaker works really well for many knives, but only if it can hone the edge of the blade. Try the "marker test" and see where you are removing material, and perhaps try using the 40 degree setting if you are not already.

Here is a video of what the "marker test" is and what you are looking for if you do not already know.
Is it possible the knives have a very obtuse angle grind?

Yes. The good news is that the primary grind is fairly thin so it won't take too much steel removal to lower the edge bevel. Personally I only find the Sharpmaker useful for final edge refinement. I use benchstones to remove steel quickly and then move on to the Spyderco ceramic rods after I have raised a burr.
Mine will get really sharp, I use it constantly so I am always sharpening it, so don't sweat that part.

You might be best off getting an el-cheapo Norton benchtone at Home Depot or something to establish the edge. It will work fine for the carbon steel, and won't cost more than like 6 or 8 bucks.

Use the benchstone to get the knife sharp, then polish the edge with the Sharpmaker, and you should be GTG. That is the way I did mine for a long time, except I just used a blue ceramic stick instead of a SM.

ETA, look at the "Sharpmaker UF rod came in" thread at the top of the page, and you'll see what I mean about my Necker getting sharp.
Last edited:
if you look at the edge and you dont see marks along the edge then the angle is too obtuse. i get a lot of knives sent to me that are this way for thinning so they can be sharpened with whatever the owner uses. you should be albe to get the knife sharp with ceramics since thats what i used to use before i bought the paper wheels i use now. i still use a single ceramic stick to touch up a knife if i'm using it at the time and dont have a few spare minutes to sharpen it on the wheels.