What is sharpening a knife about? (2015 updates!)

Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
1,277
Thank you.... A newbie, I haven't found a burr.... arkansas stones ... It's taking me too long; ... Blind mouse asking seeing mice for comments , recommendations.
' Cause next up is a batch of six Sabitier knives (ebay purchase) that are in rugged condition with a badly worn chef's knife that might need re-shaping and an extradorinary long (12"s or better) blade.
Hi,

How do you recondition your arkansas stones, when is the last time you did that?

If you want faster grinding, get a coarser stone than soft arkansas,
something 100-300 grit range
local ace hardware ought to have 8in stone..,
online town or winco 12 inch crystolon stones for around $11ish
... and many more choices...


If you want to learn what a burr is,
grab something short/easy to grind like a paring knife from your kitchen drawer,
and put 100-300 scrubbing passes on one side only,
preferably one handed,
that should raise a burr on opposite side,
even if you're wobbling all over the place ,
if it doesn't work, do another 100-300 passes but speed up a little (let the wobble work for you)
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2002
Messages
85
I have owned a Sharpmaker for many years and it has been my only method of sharpening until I did not have one for some time.
I then bought the Smith's DCS4 4-Inch FINE & COARSE Diamond Combo Sharpening Stone which while small gave me a feel for non guided sharpening.
Roll on many years, I have my Sharpmaker back but got intrigued with stropping. I got some nice leather and made a few strops of different smoothness levels,one of them covered in green compound.
So, now I figure it's time to get a bench stone. I have a whole bunch of Spyderco and other folders that I carry and I like keeping the kitchen cutlery sharp as well. I'm not look to split hairs right now but want something to get me going. Given that I have the course diamond plus diamond sleeves for my sharpmaker I guess I have the course end spoken for. I was thinking along the lines of a 400/1000 whetstone to start with.
If I am not happy after 1000 followed by stropping (assuming my technique is right) I could always look at the finer grit stones.

This whetstone seems very highly rated and comes with a guide and at $16 shipped seems like good value.

Makes sense or do you suggest a different approach?
 
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Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
720
More updates for 2015: see all new sections on stropping, edge retention, getting started, the Spyderco Sharpmaker, and more!: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/1014274-What-is-sharpening-a-knife-about-(2015-updates!)/page6#post15164590
Hi Mag, you may wanna recheck all the links in your post or the OP, they don't work (or not anymore). For example the correct working link for the post15164590 is:
Code:
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/what-is-sharpening-a-knife-about-2015-updates.1014274/page-6#post-15164590

In the meantime i taught myself a new kind of stropping motion. It is easier and fail-safe than the orthodox motions, i.e. the most common motions one sees in youtube clips and tutorials. I always had a trouble with sharpening or stropping the belly of a blade, with my new technique all problems are gone.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
15
I'm working on my sharpening skills and this thread is great. I'm a leather craftsman not a knife maker. I've been using 180 grit sandpaper to sharpen a skiving knife (chisel edge) made of HSS. It got a nice burr but not quite all the way across. The sandpaper eventually clogged up. I moved to 220 but it didn't get a nice burr.
Should I only go in one direction or back & forth?
 
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Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
4
All of the above advice is good...if you don't feel you need more knives though and your friends all have crappy stainless then I would suggest "cutting across glass" it won't cut but it should immediately dull the edge. If your knives are carbon, just cut some fresh citrus and they will need instant re-sharpening.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
13
I'm working on my sharpening skills and this thread is great. I'm a leather craftsman not a knife maker. I've been using 180 grit sandpaper to sharpen a skiving knife (chisel edge) made of HSS. It got a nice burr but not quite all the way across. The sandpaper eventually clogged up. I moved to 220 but it didn't get a nice burr.
Should I only go in one direction or back & forth?
Hello fannintexas! Please don't stress too much about sharpening technique, but if you want to think sharpening in scientic way you do back and forth sharpening but pressure only when u push (edge leading) ; and the reason is you great less burr that way; Why you want to create less burr? = Because less burr you create easier your burr removal process is! (burr minimal is very important); Also when you read something about ''how to detect burr'' you are also able to feel burr even it is very small. Also chisel edge sharpening you can read from ''John Juranitch Razor Edge Book Of Sharpening'' (even some people say he don't know the best ways for sharpening but chisel edge sharpening part is very well written.)
 
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