what is the best angle to sharpen knives at?


knife law moderator
Dec 25, 1998
The topic says it all. I know there are different angles depending on chisel grind, etc. But generally speaking which angle is the best for all around scary sharpness.

Front Site Communications "web sites with impact" http://www.knoxplace.com/fsc
As thin as you can get it and not have the edge chip with the kind of tasks you normally use the knife for. As thin as you can get it and not scratch the side of the blade on the stone.

Thin to win. That's my motto.

But please bear in mind that I don't use my knives for cutting wire and chipping rock.

David Rock

Never carry a knife shorter than your schnoz.
The Correct angle or sharpest angle to sharpen you knife would depend on its intended use. An angle of 15-20 would be the desired angle for Chef knives. For utility use and the standard by which most folding and fixed knives are sharpened use an angle of 22 - 28. An angle highier then 28 would be what an axe should be sharpened to.

Now for your question after I have rambled on. If you want a very sharp knife "razor sharp edge" you must be willing to give up edge durability. The steeper the angle the thinner the edge. I my opinon the optmal angle for sharpness yet maintaining edge strenght would be between 18 and 22 degrees.

Also consider the life of the knife. A knife with an angle of say 6 will need lots of maintenance.

Sorry if i wrote too much, But I hope I answered your question.

David is on the money, you have to tell from experience. You can't really specify angles because different steels will behave much differently. In general the really hard steels will take a much thinner edge without rolling.

Well, for what it is worth, I keep my knives at the angle they came with. Unless I am really unhappy with the grind, and then I get out my three grades of Arkansas stones, the honing oil, and prepare to remove a LOT of steel; as the usual problem with a grind is that it is too obtuse an angle, and you need to make the angle more acute. Walt
thinnest for shaving...thickest for hacking trees down....and for everything in between, you will have to decide.....however...one thing that hasnt been addressed here....not every knife is suited for every application, I have 5 1911s...every one is for something different...but they all are 45s and look somewhat alike......if i could only have one knife.....it would be a 45...but really...I have watched people skin pigs with a bowie knife...but it would be much better suited to chopping down the aforementioned tree..
I was going to add my 2cents worth, however, I can't add to what has already been mentioned!!
If you want to change/shape the blade angle I have had good experience with the Lansky diamond system.