what's your sharpening regimen?

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Oct 26, 2000
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Most of the time, I start out reprofiling the edge bevel on a new knife, then use a steel and a strop to realign the edge between sharpenings, and sharpen when there is damage, or when the edge begins to require frequent steeling and stropping due to metal fatigue or whatever. Sharpening is just removing a tiny bit of metal at the edge. I don't reprofile again unless I screw up an edge by chipping, or getting a deep dent in it.
 
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Oct 24, 2004
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with my cooking knives (Global), I steel all the time. But I guess those knives are a bit softer than S30V stainless.

I'm wondering if I should steel my new folders, and if so, how often.
 

HoB

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May 12, 2004
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I set the edge at 15 deg each side with #180 stone, work up through #700, and #2500 to #10000 on waterstones and finish with a few strokes on CrO loaded strop. Strop in between whenever it stops shaving effortlessly. If I used it hard and the blade has nicks, I go back to #180, if it is extremely dull, I may go back to #700, if it just needs a touch up that is a bit beyond the capabilities of a strop I start at #2500.

If I am in a hurry or on the road, I use a Sharpmaker according to the recommendations.

I used to use a steel, but have totally gotten away from it. I think the whites on the Sharpmaker work much better under similar conditions. They align + refine, while the steel only aligns. The material removal with the whites is really not an issue.
 
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For general purpose if its not a hollow grind, 20 deg on a lansky with a diamond and then a ceramic to touch up as necessary. If its totally FUBAR'd then back to the Lansky.
 
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Apr 29, 2002
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HoB said:
I set the edge at 15 deg each side with #180 stone, work up through #700, and #2500 to #10000 on waterstones and finish with a few strokes on CrO loaded strop. Strop in between whenever it stops shaving effortlessly. If I used it hard and the blade has nicks, I go back to #180, if it is extremely dull, I may go back to #700, if it just needs a touch up that is a bit beyond the capabilities of a strop I start at #2500.

If I am in a hurry or on the road, I use a Sharpmaker according to the recommendations.

I used to use a steel, but have totally gotten away from it. I think the whites on the Sharpmaker work much better under similar conditions. They align + refine, while the steel only aligns. The material removal with the whites is really not an issue.

how do you set the edge angle on the waterstones? do you use any jig? thanks...
 

HoB

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Underaged: Just as suggested by Spyderco: first the corners than the flats. I don't think the flats are necessary, if you want to maintain a decent edge, but they certainly give it that last bit of edge refinement which I like so much :)...actually, if I am not in a hurry, I finish of on the UF rods.

Spyken: I have made myself wooden wedges in 12, 15, 17 and 20 deg. and coated them with polyurethan to protect them against warping due to moisture. I put the wedge onto the stone and put the blade flat on the wedge to get a feeling of the angle (if it is a full flat grind that ads a couple of deg, but who cares...if you really do, you can compensate by using a 12 deg. wedge), every few strokes I check in the same manner if I am holding the angle. It takes a little bit of practice (I first practiced on a piece of wood instead of a stone), but it is surprising how well you can hold an angle this way. Usually I hold an angle to about 1 deg. You can check by taking the finished blade and guide it along the edge of a piece of paper and see where it bites, draw a pencil line along the angle of the blade and measure the angle...it is extremely consistent. Once I have cut in the angle on #180 and #700 I don't need the wedges anymore. The beauty of the waterstone is their softness, their "feel". You just angle the blade until you feel the edge is just about to bite into the stone (similar to pushing a blade, edge forward, over a leather strop). This way you ensure that you work right on the edge of the blade. I still use the wedges to get a rough idea of the angle, but the rest I do purely by feel. It is quite amazing how precisely this controls the angle. If you are careful you can get within fractions of a degree. But only the soft waterstones allow for this control of the angle. Arkansas stones or even hard ceramic waterstones like the Bester brand doesn't really allow for this kind of "feel". They are too hard. The edge never really bites into the stone no matter how you angle it. But the finer grit waterstones and especially the polishing stones usually all have this kind of "feel". The "sharpening of chisels" DVD from www.shaptonstones.com is an excellent guide, I find, even though it requires some adaptation from a chisel grind to a double bevel grind.
 
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Oct 25, 2004
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I just use a cheap machinist's protractor.... this one actually
http://www.lowprice-tools.com/47/tools_B00004T7TB_lowprice.htm
though I think I picked up mine for something like $3 on some sale table at some mall about 20 years ago and originally used it for drawing.

Generally, I get the angle (relative to a flat part of the blade, bolster or handle) and note it in relation to some mark on the handle (or stack up some coins or cardboard for a quick reference) and then go to work on coarse - fine diamond laps, (if needed) and then to the waterstones.

I've got a no-name red clay stone in about 1 or 2000 (not to great on stainless but works well on plain carbon steel), a 5000 grit Global ceramic waterstone (works really well on my stainless kitchen knives), which is where I usually stop with the kitchen knives. I also have some finer stones (8000 grit Suehiro, a Chinese natural waterstone I got from Woodcraft-somewhere around 10,000 grit maybe? and a Shapton 15000 ceramic), that I use on my little utility knives (I keep trying to whittle a little, despite my seeming lack of talent).

Fascinating how certain steels seem to like some stones better than others... some sharpen best on soft clay stones, others on harder ceramic stones, and some get a nice frost finish but a keen edge from natural stones.

Would love to try a natural bluestone (1-3k), Naniwa super, Ice Bear, Takenoko, Kitayama, Shapton (M15 vs pro series), Uchigumori or Awase Suita stones in hard and soft grades. etc.

Which are your favorite stones?

(Yeah, I know... I'm probably totally crazy, but one day I got tired of my butter knives being sharper than my butcher knives, dug out my old wood-carving class supplies and tried to sharpen everything. In the process, I discovered that, occasionally, there is just something mindlessly relaxing about sitting there doing nothing but polishing a hunk of metal.... Doubt if I could hack doing it as a career like those Japanese sword polishers though)
 

me2

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Oct 11, 2003
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For my rough use kitchen knives, you know, the ones that get used as screwdrivers and such, I use a 320 grit belt on a 1x30 sander, then remove the burr on the inside of the belt (from "The Complete Guide to Sharpening).
For the fine slicing kitchen knives, its an 800 grit water stone at 17 degrees, then light burr removal at about 25 on the same stone. My TSEK gets a rough in about every 6-8 weeks on a strip of 220 grit wet/dry. I have to remove the thumb stud, but it cuts quickly. I do this with the paper stretched tight from a clamp. Then, about 10 strokes total on a Norton fine India, and about 4 strokes on a leather strop. The india stone will sharpen for weeks as long as there is no damage to the edge. I used to use a sharpmaker for all my sharpening, but not since I switched to the slack sandpaper.
 
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Aug 4, 2001
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If the factory edge is good enough, I'll use it until it doesn't shave very easily and then just strop it on a HandAmerican rig with CrO rubbed into the leather. This will bring back the edge quite a few times until I have to actually sharpen it.

If I didn't let it get too dull I will only have to give a few strokes on a Black Arkansas stone to bring it back, then a few passes on the strop. If it's dull enough, I start with a fine DMT stone, then the Black Arkansas, then the strop.

I rarely have to go back to the DMT though. The DMT has a coarse side as well, which I've never had to use on my knives but for my wife's kitchen knives which are usually blunt steel sticks by the time I get to them.

The less steel removed, the better. That's why I use the strop and try to maintain a sharp edge rather than sharpen a dull edge.
 

HoB

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May 12, 2004
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yuzuha said:
In the process, I discovered that, occasionally, there is just something mindlessly relaxing about sitting there doing nothing but polishing a hunk of metal....

I hear ya! Same for me. Sure I have a Sharpmaker and it works so well that I can't really justify having waterstones for the price of three high end Spyderco knives, but there is just something relaxing about working on a sharpening stone the old fashion way.

My favorite stone is the non-paraille blue stone: Great feel, as fast as a much lower grade stone but a finish like a #3000. Must be the combination of the different grits in the stone. Affordable and LARGE!
My #10000 is a Naniwa super. VERY nice feel, but a little delicate. Would love to try a Shapton. I am still eyeing a #5000 shapton, but can not bring my self to part with the money yet, too many knives to buy. The Ice bear are "just" the regular King stones. IMHO very good stones, but they don't last as long or cut as fast as the more expensive Bester stones. And in my experience their #6000 is only little finer than the #2500 blue stone. But they are great to start with and a little easier to use than the softer variety.
 
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Nov 13, 2004
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I'm new to this forum so maybe someone has mentioned this already. I sharpen all our knives, folding, fixed and a set of Henckel Kitchen Knives on a set of cardboard wheels mounted on a grinder. One wheel is coaled with Aluminum Oxide and puts a burr edge on a dull knife. I finish it off on the second wheel which is lightly touched while spinning with a white stick that I think may be jeweler's rouge. Supposedly, because the wheels are cardboard, minimal heat is transferred to the blade and no harm is done.

I've tried other forms of sharpeners over the years and this seems to be the easiest, fastest and cheapest (I think that the wheels cost $39 and I already had an extra electric grinder.
 
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HoB said:
My favorite stone is the non-paraille blue stone: Great feel, as fast as a much lower grade stone but a finish like a #3000. Must be the combination of the different grits in the stone. Affordable and LARGE!

Good, I was thinking of ordering that (do have a small natural bluestone on backorder... thought maybe I'd compare it to the man-made one). You get it at Hidatool or Japan woodworker?
My #10000 is a Naniwa super. VERY nice feel, but a little delicate. Would love to try a Shapton. I am still eyeing a #5000 shapton, but can not bring my self to part with the money yet, too many knives to buy.

I was eyeing that and the Naniwa 3000 ceramic or 6000 diamond stone. Delicate? How? I do have a stone that is delicate in that it gouges easily (the markings wore off a decade ago but it might be a white Suehiro 6000), but it it is quite fast and works well on carbon steel and some stainless (seems too soft for the M2 steel of my BM910 though). The Global/Yoshikin 5000 is a hard, pink, ceramic stone that seems to work very fast on stainless (though I was mirror polishing the sides of some blades and leaves a dark stain on some types stainless... comes off easily on the Shehiro stones though) and handles M2. Has a nice little rubber-web base but half of it is a white ceramic substrate (like the Shapton M5 series) so it seems a bit over priced. I gather some people like the Shapton M15 series on the wooden base better than the pro series, but I thought I'd splurge and try the 15000 pro. It is only about 1/2 inch thick so I wouldn't want to drop it. Feels like fine velvet and seems to polish quickly though I haven't really got a feel for it yet (have only touched up a couple of knives on it so far, but it got them sharper than anything I've ever seen).

Know what you mean though... costs way too much money to play with all the stuff you'd like to try, and I found a small family owned knife factory in Japan that makes some reasonable hand-forged, laminated kitchen kives in carbon, white and blue steel and takes international orders.... New stone to play with, or save my pennies and throw away some of those K-mart specials I have in my knife drawer and get a couple of nice gyuto or deba knives?

The Ice bear are "just" the regular King stones. IMHO very good stones, but they don't last as long or cut as fast as the more expensive Bester stones.

Never tried the Bester. Looked at the Moor http://www.woodcarvingstore.com/SharpeningTools/CeramicSharpeningStones.asp The white stone seems finer than the Spyderco fine ceramic. Might be nice to have a stone you can use dry, though I'm wondering if they wouldn't load up too much.
 
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my Global kitchen knives have a different regimen.

I use the Global diamond coated steel to maintain the edges. I steel the knives constantly before, between and after chopping chores. The Global knives stay shockingly sharp for a long time this way. My family is not as careful about steeling and when I get back from a trip, they are sometimes not as sharp. (We use the chef's knife for tough cutting such as raw semi-frozen chicken backs for the dog).

Global sells a special inexpensive sharpener with two ceramic wheels in a plastic housing that you put a little water in. You are supposed to use that to sharpen and indeed, it does a fine job of sharpening the blades as the wheels are at the correct angle.

They give no sharpening help for serrated knives and the lore is that when the serrated knife finally dulls you need a new one. I am hoping that my Sharpmaker that is on the way to me, with the optional diamond rods, will let me sharpen my serrated knives in addition to the non-Global knives and folders.

I may use the Global diamond steel to steel my folding knives. I am not sure about this though...will it damage the blades at all? The Global knives are said to be extremely hard for a kitchen knife, so I feel that the steel designed for them will work on my S30V folders as well.
 
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I seek your advice .....everyone please come up with an answer to my situation...

I make a few knives for co-workers and family so I have to sell them sharp, (everyone expects I must know how to sharpen, yet I'm very challenged in this area)

So then all my friends and co-workers have gotten ready for this deer hunting season by handing me their knives to sharpen,,,some are very expensive buck knives that seem very sharp already,,,others and cheap Walmart knives that seem to be nicked and scratched from years of abuse.

WHAT I DO NOW:,,,,I have a Norton Fine India Stone, and I freehand sharpen with this first..(I do it freehand because I think I need to learn this skill)..I raise a burr on one side of the blade, flip raise a bur on the other side, then do the normal, stroke-flip-stroke-flipping.

Next I take to my Grizzly belt grinder and sand "edge-down " with 600 grit to get rid of the scratches from the Norton stone.
Next I use 800 grit, (my hightest grit) and take out the last scratches from the 600 belt

Next I move over to the buffer and use a gray cutting rouge
Last I change buffing pads and use green chrome rouge.

When I'm done the edge will shave hair from my arm....But is this all I could do?...what step did i miss?...what step could I yet move on to when the buffer is finished?.
 
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Oct 25, 2004
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With the power buffer, I don't know what else you could do, but I did see this loose wheel that can be used with a special micro-fine green honing compound (has the abrasive graded to .5 micron and is finer than regular green rouge) http://www.woodcarvers.com/buffingwh.htm

Don't know if it would be helpful but a jewler's ring clamp
http://www.gesswein.com/catalog/cat...bsub=4&catalog=1&CFID=413564&CFTOKEN=99369092
might be useful for helping hold some of those blades without damaging them and maybe keep your angle more consistant.
 
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Apr 20, 2001
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I give my EDC (currently a Buck 110 from PCS with Elk scales) a good cleaning and oiling usually every Friday afternoon. At that time I check the edge to see if it still shaves hair from my arm. If not then I touch it up on a DMT diamond pocket sharpener.

I use my EDC to cut cigars alot, and when it will no longer cleanly cut one, I give it a good session of sharpening to get it back to prime.
 

HoB

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May 12, 2004
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yuzuha: Both the man-made blue and the Naniwa gauge pretty easily, but the Naniwa seems to chip quite easily on the corners and it looks as if it may even get small cracks on the corners due to the wetting and drying (your not supposed to store in in water, as a matter of fact, hidatool recommends against storing the any water stone in water, but I store all but the Naniwa in water). Yes, I bought them from www.hidatool.com. Very good service and best prices I have found. Especially, since they are willing to give you a 10% rebate if you buy 3 man-made stones at once.

DQ Forge: I find it makes a big difference, whether you go from a rougher grade like #1000 or below to a stropping compound or if you go from something like #6000-15000 to a stropping compound. I think, this may be due to the fact that in the first case you are essentially polishing much larger (still microscopic) "teeth", whereas the teeth you are giving a polish are much smaller in the second case. In both cases the edge appears similarly sharp but I find that the edgeholding is much improved in the latter case possibly due to increased cohesion along the edge.
 
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HoB said:
yuzuha: Both the man-made blue and the Naniwa gauge pretty easily, but the Naniwa seems to chip quite easily on the corners and it looks as if it may even get small cracks on the corners due to the wetting and drying (your not supposed to store in in water, as a matter of fact, hidatool recommends against storing the any water stone in water, but I store all but the Naniwa in water).

Interesting. Do they have square corners? I usually take a small diamond hone and put a slight 45 degree bevel on the edges of my stones to keep from chipping them with a thumbstud or the like (read somewhere that it helps prevent edge cracking do to the wet/dry cycling too) The Shapton comes with a slight bevel it probably won't need touching up until I have to flatten it a few times.
 
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