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Old 11-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #1
Death Dealer OP
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Knife Sharpening

School me on knife sharpening. What is the best, easiest to use sharpener? Wickededge, Edgepro, Lansky, Sharpmaker, or just a good old set of paper, stones and leather?
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:28 AM   #2
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Lansky- reasonably easy and almost foolproof.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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What's your level of sharpening experience, and how many/often?

When I only had 2-3 knives around, I used a set of DMT stones (continuous surface diamond plate). For sharpening smaller items, I used a lansky. For larger items (hunting knives, etc.) I often use a 1x30" belt grinder and a progression of belts for a convex edge. When I do more kitchen oriented knives, etc. I moved to paper wheels, because I can process knives MUCH faster and more consistently... though I still finish on leather/diamond, then leather/crOx, then leather only. A buffer from harbor freight is about 30 bucks, and a set of paper wheels from woodcraft runs about the same. Again, it really depends on how many knives/how often you want to sharpen. And don't use paper wheels without a firm understanding of how to sharpen a knife, as you can eff up a knife just as quickly as you can sharpen it. For the absolute keenest edges I use DMT coarse, fine, xtrafine, xtraxtrafine, then a 12k grit chinese water stone, then felt +5 micron diamond, then leather 3 micron diamond, 1 micron diamond on leather, then leather .5 micron chromium oxide, then just leather leather - that's how I do my straight razors (if I could do those on the paper wheels I could, but the edges are too thin and burn). I sharpen thousands of knives a year (side job, you could say. More like a hobby that I'm able to keep expense neutral!)
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonpcovington View Post
Lansky- reasonably easy and almost foolproof.
This
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #5
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This
can't really recommend a lansky until I know how many knives we're talking about :P if he's got a pile of 100 knives around the house, the lansky's going to have your fingers soooooooore
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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What about the WorkSharp unit?

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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What about the WorkSharp unit?

at that point you're better off just buying a 1x30" belt grinder (like 40 bucks at harbor freight) since 1x30" is a standard belt size.. you can get anything in that size, including plain leather.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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I don't have any experience, but I have many knives. This is why I am looking at the Wickededge system. Seems completely repeatable but much quicker than a Lansky...
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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In my shop, it's a Craftsman 2x42" grinder up to 1000 grit, then buffed with green chrome oxide on a sewn cotton wheel.

By hand, it's synthetic EDM stones, maybe 1000 grit paper on a soft backing, and a strop. Diamond hones are also used, depends on how much needs taking off to true up a blade.


Whatever you do, learn the difference between removing metal, honing metal, and polishing metal.

Good luck!
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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here's a quick video of sharpening with the paper wheels
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKIC2Q9_g5o
I took that the day that I got the paper wheels - I'm much faster now, about 90 seconds per knife. The knife I was sharpening was garbage steel (like chinese 420a or something soft like that) but at the end I was whittling a hair. I sharpened a gerber hatchet and then shaved with it, start to finish, to settle a dare with a friend. Just a thought - you want to make sure you understand edge geometry *very* well first.

Here's me sharpening a cold steel kukri machete (piece of junk as a knife, but invaluable as a yard/camping tool!) with a 1x30" grinder.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMIkUW_kjOA

Both setups are 50-70 bucks. Maintenance is almost nil for the wheels, add rouge when its out and regrit the wheel occasionally (after a few hundred sharpenings) vs. buying belts for the 1x30. I still use both; the belt grinder for convex edges, the paper wheels for otherwise. Still use stones too, for kitchen knives (like a slightly toothier edge, the DMT stones don't disappoint on that front).

You should probably check out bladeforums.com for a bit more info, there's a whole section there for maintenance tinkering and embellishment (Thats where the sharpning how-to's are).

As for the levels of sharpness attainable, all three of the above methods yield a hair whittling edge (can slice off pieces of a hair) but only the stones get to pass the hanging hair test (or either of the others, then finish by hand on leather with crox).
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
In my shop, it's a Craftsman 2x42" grinder up to 1000 grit, then buffed with green chrome oxide on a sewn cotton wheel.

By hand, it's synthetic EDM stones, maybe 1000 grit paper on a soft backing, and a strop. Diamond hones are also used, depends on how much needs taking off to true up a blade.


Whatever you do, learn the difference between removing metal, honing metal, and polishing metal.

Good luck!
I love love love using sandpaper on a mousepad (like your second option) because its just SO danged fast! As for your cotton wheel.. have you tried a leather belt for your 2x42? *personally* i get sharper finishes that way, I felt that the cotton wheel was undoing some of my other work...

seriously though, check out a leather belt, I'd never go back! You gotta remember to take the belt off and not leave it under tension, as it will stretch.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:55 PM   #12
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I use a whetstone and honing oil. Tired several sharpening tools but they don't hold an edge like a good hand sharpened knife will.

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:47 PM   #13
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If I was sharpening lots of knives, I'd get a Tormec & a nice big Forschner or F. Dick steel.

You want to do the initial grinding without overheating the blade, and NOTHING finishes an edge like a steel.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:55 PM   #14
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #15
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I worked at a knife shop for years for extra money, and learned a lot about sharpening. We sold the Lansky's and they sold well, but its a pretty slow system.

Belt sander, followed by ceramic sticks was the best sharpening system we found. Works great and leaves the working edge at a good angle for durability. '

Don't take the edge too thin or you'll seriously affect how long it will stay sharp.
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