how to sharpen your khukri...

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by Bladite, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    hollowdweller has a leather slack stropping belt thing, that is quite entertaining... i've been wanting one for ages, and bought parts to make one. time. oh, time.

    eventually, i fear, i'm going to have to just buckle down and buy one. great for the field too. touchup buffing compound on one side, and a slightly higher cutting grit on the other, good stuff.
  2. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    I usually do my knives freehand on the big belt grinder. It looks like you could do that on the WorkSharp too if you took off the guides. With a slack belt and a convex edge, there is not a well-defined angle anyway.

    I agree that the belt sander is not for everyday. I use crock stix most of the time. It may be a year or more between visits to the belt sander.

    Ouch. I wish you guys would quit saying these things. I've thought seriously about paper wheels, and a few more bench grinders so I wouldn't have to swap out wheels in the middle of a job. They could sit right next to my powered, water-cooled grindstone, by DMT hones, my sharpmaker, etc.

    I also have a leather belt for my sander. They're not expensive. I've used it on khukuris before, just for kicks, but usually I don't go that fine on an edge for a khukuri.
  3. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Howard, i have several old antique-er bench grinders laying around, and a couple of belt sanders. But what i use for fixing things is the last one my Father built himself. It's a bench grinder motor with a spline that goes into a bearing and on the end is a large drill press Jacobs chuck. I can swap out any wheel i want in seconds. I have a grinding wheel, drum sander, wire brush and buffing wheel all set up to be used with that unit. It's portable so i can do my thing where ever i feel like it and have AC. I could make knives in a closet if i wanted to. :D I've been thinking about getting a set of paper wheels for it too, but i find i can do a decent job of sharpening with sand paper and stones.
  4. MagenDavid

    MagenDavid Want some Kosher Salami?

    Nov 2, 2008
    This raises an interesting question for me. How fine do you folks typically polish the edges on your working knives? I usually leave mine fairly coarse, but I got to wondering what the HI sharks like to do for chopping wood and butchering game.
  5. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker

    Jul 9, 2000
    A semi worn slack 400 grit belt is what I use for the final edge on my Khukris and machetes. Kabar also uses 400 grit to put the final edge on Becker knives by hand. They use something like this 4" craftsman:Craftsman 1/3 hp Bench Top 4" x 36" Belt/6" Disc Sander Or this 6" Delta: 6" Belt/12" Disc Sanding Center™. My 1x30 Delta (discontinued) works really well, but I'd love to get one that takes 4" or 6" wide belts too and maybe a 1x40 or another 1x30. I could grind knives, handles or leather with out having to change belts often. :)

    Howard, I look forward to your review. Wonder if my brother has one yet...
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2011
  6. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    That sounds like a neat setup for quick swaps. Maybe you should see about taking your pa's idea commercial.

    I have used cotton belts with rouge. I imagine paper wheels have many similarities. While they are probably kinder and more forgiving to the knives, I suspect either could easily cripple or kill an inattentive user.

    I can put on hair-shaving edges if I want, but I usually don't. Working blades get a pretty coarse edge.

    For the knives that don't see work on a routine basis, I'm more likely to put on a finer edge.

    That's the same model I have. I didn't know they were discontinued.
  7. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker

    Jul 9, 2000
    The 1x30 and 1x42 are both no longer listed on their web site so I figure that they are discontinued. Guess I'll be looking else where for my next one.
  8. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    Mine arrived and I tried it out on some knives that could use a touch-up.

    General thoughts:

    Less powerful and slower that a full-size belt sander.
    It would be more difficult to burn a blade with this.
    Plastic housings are not super-durable. Good for keeping knives tuned up at home, probably not for professional use.
    This is not something I would use for daily use as over time it would take off a lot of metal. I would use it once in a while, an do periodic touch-ups on a ceramic abrasive like the crock-stix.


    Kitchen knives:

    medium belt left a slight burr. A single swipe on each side with crock-stix knocked it off. The finer belt probably would have done it also, although with more fuss.


    Field knives:

    Guide worked well for the smaller knives but khukuri and tomahawk needed to be sharpened sans guide due to the thickness of the blade. I'm used to doing this freehand and would probably do most blades like that in the future. Many will like the guides though, and should understand they probably won't work with khukuris.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  9. drbarnes


    Sep 13, 2010
    I have one of these as well and it doesnt heat up the blade hotter than what you can handle with your bare hands.

    I have sharpened my sgt khadka bonecutter with it as well as some other blades and am pleased with the results. I have not used the coarse belt only the medium and fine belts. I find on larger knives it is easier to freehand without the guide.

    Howard - What is the knife on the far left in your bottom picture?
  10. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    It's the Buck/Hoods Woods Hoodlum.
  11. deltaboy


    Jul 6, 2014
    Work sharp systems seem to work well on 90% of the things you would sharpen!
  12. kronckew

    kronckew Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    I have one, I use the diamond belts and find the thing does better with out the 'guides' on dull axes, Khuks and swords, sharp ones I touch up by mousepad ^ 2000 grit emery cloth. Kitchen knives, with much thinner blades, I use a diamond coated butcher's 'steel'.
  13. hollowdweller


    Sep 22, 2003
    Bladite, how you doin??
  14. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    not too shabby. staying in touch with a few of the folks of times past. have been more into axes and froes and wood working than knot.

    even achieved a few of my dream knives and so on.

    how about you?

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