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This is a follow up question from my, how do you clean your knives. I was just wondering how y'all sharpen your knives? Do you just use a sharpening tool, leather strop or something else I haven't thought of or heard of? I personally use just a cheap knife sharpener I got at Walmart for $5.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Edge Pro mainly but Japanese water stones for freehand sharpening also a strop to finish off . It is possible to become a fanatic for sharpening I think !

I'm glad you started this discussion Tristan.  I have never been able to sharpen a knife using a stone.  I couldn't get the angle right and just didn't have whatever it took to do it right.  So until recently I had been using a cheap sharpener I got at SMKW to keep my pocket knife sharp.  It might be the same one you use.  I have seen them at my local Walmart.

http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/products/Smith+Abrasives%2C+In...

154327 Smiths 2 Step Knife Sharpener CCKS Smiths Consumer Products Inc Smiths CCKS Knife Sharpener 2 Step 2 Step Knife Sharpener Features 2 Tungsten Carbide Blades With Pre-Set Angles To Ensure The Perfe…

But my wife had been complaining about her kitchen knives being dull.  She was trying to slice some very large boneless chicken breasts to make smaller pieces.  She was having a hard time of it.  I let her use my custom hunting knife made from 01 tool steel.  It is very sharp.  She was amazed at the difference.  (I told her to be careful, that it would slice her finger as easily as it was slicing that meat!)  Anyway she told me she wanted some good kitchen knives.  So I bought her a set of Case kitchen knives.

I decided I needed to get a good sharpening system that even somebody like me who couldn't sharpen knives could use.  Because even though her Case knives started out sharp, with enough use they would eventually become dull.  And she had told me she didn't want me to ruin them trying to sharpen them!

So I researched and studied the reviews and bought a KME sharpening system.

http://iknifecollector.com/forum/topics/kme-precision-knife-sharpen...

One thing I like about it is you can set the angle precisely from 17 to 30 degrees.  And I like the instructions that come with it on how to use it.  Before I tried to use it on a good knife, I took an old dull nothing Chinese knife that you would have had to baton through hot butter as a test case.  I had no idea what angle it was ground at so I set the KME to 20 degrees and went to work on it.  It took me a while because the knife was so dull but I got that knife hair shaving sharp!

Just a few days ago my wife told me her Case paring knife was getting dull.  I set the KME to 17 degrees and was able to sharpen it hair shaving sharp.  (I then got in trouble for using her kitchen knife to shave my arm hair!  LOL)  So I recommend the KME system.

BTW I still use the little Smith's sharpener to keep my EDC, a Rough Rider RR718 work knife, paper slicing sharp.  But I stroke it at least a few times on the fine side of the sharpener every day.

You can read about how the Rough Rider holds up here.

http://iknifecollector.com/group/roughridercollectors/forum/topics/...

I keep a set of these Diamond sharpening cards handy.  Medium, Fine and Extra fine, though mostly I use the Fine and Extra Fine.  They run about $10.00 each, but they work great.  I finish off by stropping on a piece of a bely blank.

DMT Diamond Card Sharpener

Edge Pro Apex for me. Can get down to a 10 degree angle with it, and it will sharpen almost any size of blade. Shapton Glass stones at 500, 1000, and 4000 grit with a Kangaroo strop with .5 Micron diamond spray. Works wonders!

Thanks everyone!

 If the knife is REAL dull ..or.. I'm re-profiling a factory edge ..... I start with a belt sander.

I have a # of diamond files .. Eze-Lap Diamond Hone & Stone .. in med / fine / & superfine grits.

They are almost essential when the blade steel approaches or surpasses 60 HRc .. e.g. Queen's D2.

I finish the sharpening process with a hard Arkansas stone of very fine grit.

I perform all steps freehand .. just how I learned.

.

However

.

That maintaining of a constant angle is difficult for most. There's little more disheartening than spending time .. lots of it .. only to still have a dull knife. One of my brothers purchased a Lansky system for that very reason. I purchased a similar system for my daughter. They can both now successfully sharpen an edged tool in a relatively short period of time. There's alot to be said for those fixtures that maintain a constant angle & facilitate successful sharpening by ... most.

.

In closing .. let me note .. it is NOT just the angle that is important. The finishing polish is also important. One can have an edged tool that is precisely sharpened @ a 20 degree angle .. and not slice as cleanly as an edged tool that is sharpened @ exactly the same angle .. and then polished on a fine grit hard arkansas (or equivalent). I've a 500 power USB microscope & one look through it will tell you why. The resultant edge using a "super fine" diamond stone is "RAGGED" in comparison to the same edge finished on the hard arkansas.

I have several stones, E Z lap diamond stick, strop. I also use some river jack stones that I find and strop on my shoe leather when necessary. Always good to learn to use sharpening techniques if you are away from home or anywhere commercial items are not available.

lanski ! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n97hZbHtY2I

it is really good !  believe me !

Have sharpened by hand on oilstones for years.  It does take some practice and patience, but I agree completely with Dale above that beyond the proper angle, the grit and/or stones make a world of difference.  Pay the extra money for the better stones and you'll see.  I added/upgraded late last year to a high quality black hard Arkansas stone as a "final" finishing stone and wow, what a difference.  Its nice to be able to get that true razor sharp edge on a knife!

I had always used stones of various grits. When I was a teen, I carried a very large Kabar jack-knife, and kept a razor sharp edge on it. I don't believe I could manage that now. I recently purchased the Work Sharp system. It is easy and gives you an edge as sharp as you like.

I have seen the work sharp used at shows and it can get just about any knife razor sharp 


Donnie hand sharpens the pocket knives on arkansas stones and always finishes on an old german hone.  I can tell the difference if he doesnt do the finishing touch.  Not oly right away but in the time it takes for it to lose that ultra sharp feel
D ale said:

 If the knife is REAL dull ..or.. I'm re-profiling a factory edge ..... I start with a belt sander.

I have a # of diamond files .. Eze-Lap Diamond Hone & Stone .. in med / fine / & superfine grits.

They are almost essential when the blade steel approaches or surpasses 60 HRc .. e.g. Queen's D2.

I finish the sharpening process with a hard Arkansas stone of very fine grit.

I perform all steps freehand .. just how I learned.

.

However

.

That maintaining of a constant angle is difficult for most. There's little more disheartening than spending time .. lots of it .. only to still have a dull knife. One of my brothers purchased a Lansky system for that very reason. I purchased a similar system for my daughter. They can both now successfully sharpen an edged tool in a relatively short period of time. There's alot to be said for those fixtures that maintain a constant angle & facilitate successful sharpening by ... most.

.

In closing .. let me note .. it is NOT just the angle that is important. The finishing polish is also important. One can have an edged tool that is precisely sharpened @ a 20 degree angle .. and not slice as cleanly as an edged tool that is sharpened @ exactly the same angle .. and then polished on a fine grit hard arkansas (or equivalent). I've a 500 power USB microscope & one look through it will tell you why. The resultant edge using a "super fine" diamond stone is "RAGGED" in comparison to the same edge finished on the hard arkansas.

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