1. Washington action alert - Spring blade knife ban repeal thread. Hearing is Tues, Vote is Friday, let your voice be heard!

Sharpening questions from a rookie

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Torogoz, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Torogoz

    Torogoz Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 23, 2018
    Just got into knives over the past year and have some sharpening questions. I've read a lot on here but am still unsure about some of the details.

    I have a Lansky turnbox, the one with one set of ceramic rods and one set of diamond rods. That and a strop I bought on Amazon last year, pre-loaded with a high chrome rouge compound is all I have to work with.

    On the box, there are two choices of angles 20 and 25 and two types of rods, ceramic and diamond.

    With my folders am I correct that I should sharpen them using the 20 degree holes?

    Aus-8 and kitchen knives I’ve used the ceramic rods but what about D2, S30VN and S35VN? Do I use the diamond rods? Do I move the ceramic afterwards or just use the diamond rods? Should I strop afterwards with those steels?

    Lastly, I’m toying with a North Fork with a recurve. Can I sharpen this the same way as my other knives?

    I feel relieved that I only have two sets of choices, but it still isn't easy. I read about micro-bevels, reprofiling, etc. and my head begins to spin.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    The ceramic will work good to finish the edge or keep your knife sharp. The diamond rods are for making the knives sharp. 20° per side is fine for most general use knives but you will get better results especially in the better steels if you can adjust the angle to the steel & intended use.
    I recommend you learn to sharpen free hand. It will give you more options & can be satisfying.
    Torogoz likes this.
  3. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    I bought a Work Sharp Guided System. It was less than $50 and it has diamond plates and ceramic rods. Paired with my Sharpmaker (like your turn box) I can sharpen just about anything!
    Torogoz likes this.
  4. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Just don’t get in a hurry. A lot of guys I see use to much pressure and that will only wear your sharpener out sooner especially diamond type sharpener will pop the diamonds off and depending on the blade hardness or lack of it can roll the edge instead of grinding the metal off. Also a steady light pressure is easier to control the angle and result in a finer more uniform edge. Believe it or not but I have found it sharpens quicker this way . It takes practice and patience and developing muscle memory but it’s worth it. Practice on old knives at first and if you bubble it isn’t as disheartening. Have fun and keep the sharp edge and point where you want em.
    Torogoz and danbot like this.
  5. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp I support the 3rd amendment! Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Start with the diamonds then move to the ceramic once you've apexed both sides. Finish with the strop.

    Mark the edge with a sharpie so that you know exactly where you are. The most common mistake people make when sharpening is that they don't actually reach the edge apex with the stones/rods. So they spend a bunch of time working, but still essentially have the same edge they started with.
    Torogoz and danbot like this.
  6. brando555


    Sep 26, 2018
    The easiest way to sharpen that I've found is just keep going until you form a burr, then switch sides and form another burr. One you've got a burr just keep the same angle and ease up on your pressure, going lighter and lighter, switching sides frequently until the burr is gone and you're left with a razor sharp edge. If you do it right you won't even need a strop.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
    jpm2 likes this.
  7. Papilio


    Sep 6, 2019
    The two different rods should be used according to the condition of your edge. Diamond, as already said, for an edge that is rather dull and the ceramic rods for, well let's call it, honing. And then the strop. Maybe it would be a good idea to keep your knives sharp, not to use them until they are dull. Sometimes it could be enough to strop them. This will remove the burr and your knife should be sharp again. Or if you think your edge needs to be sharpened a little you could start with the ceramic rods to give your edge a little touch up.
    As coarse as needed, as fine as possible. Because if you wait until your knife is dull you need a coarser grit. And a coarser grit removes more metal. That means your blade wears down more quicker. That would be my advice.
    When I started to sharpen free hand, I knew nothing about stones and sharpeners. I always started with a coarse stone and quite soon my blade was worn out. Your sharpener isn't nearly that coarse then the stone I used. But maybe it is a good thing to keep in mind.
    Just try and you will get the feeling. And don't use much pressure, especially with the diamond rods. And the finer the grit the more passes you do. Stropping better flip the blade in the air, not on the leather or you will round up the edge.
    Torogoz likes this.

Share This Page