sharpening pocket knives

Discussion in 'The Speakeasy' started by benvh, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. I just got a new pocket knife and I've never sharpened anything in my life. Can anyone recommend something that works well and would be a good introduction to knife sharpening? Seems like a handy skill to have.

  2. Looks cool. It would be handy to be able to do kitchen knives also...
  3. I use an old stone I've had for years then finish up on a ceramic tube.
  4. Fileroman

    Fileroman Contributor

    If you don't use something that will maintain the angle the blade meets the stone, you will in all likelihood round the edge, so you need something like the Lansky, crock stick, etc. Spyderco has a set of crock sticks that are triaingular shaped, and I've heard good things about them, fairly cheap too.

  5. I've always heard rounding the edge mess. Samauri swords have a rounded edge and are some of the sharpest items in the world.

    The point of keeping the angle is to help with the sharpness and how long it stays. Too much of an angle and it can dull faster, not enough and it won't seem as sharp. On some harder metals you can increase the angle and it will help it cut better. Softer metals you can decrease the angle a bit to help it stay sharper longer.

    Btw on my skinning knife I round the edge on purpose. The only cut animal flesh, helps roll the meat out of the way. On wood working tools I keep a straight angle and it helps the wood to roll and chip off. I have never used an angle gauge on anything my whole life. The knife in my pocket regularly strips cables at work and even not sharpened in 2 weeks its rounded edge still shaves my arm hair.

    DISCLAIMERN for some the angle gauge might be a good idea to keep from ruining a high dollar knife.
  6. The Spyderco device is easy to use and keeps a pocket knife plenty sharp for us non-perfectionists.
  7. I'll throw in another vote for the Spyderco Sharpmaker. I use it for everything from kitchen shears to pocket knives and it is always, quick, effective, and easy to use.
  8. I'm with jazzman & stobes21, The Spyderco system takes the worries out of the sharpening angle as the angle is built right into the system. I Have been using it for close to 25 years on many diff. items and it's bulletproof. My system came with a book that shows how to sharpen everything from fishhooks to shears and pretty much everything else.
  9. My grandfather uses, and taught me to use regular old files...may not be the proper way, but files are a bit more common, and get the job done.
  10. While I have been using a combination of flat stones my entire life there is a learning curve that can frustrate many. Good to learn but there are other ways. I will vouch for the Spyderco Sharpmaker also. It's a simple, effective system that yields great results. Comes with medium and fine stones plus an instructional DVD. You can add on diamond and ultra fine stones as well. I also sharpen all the kitchen knives, tools, fish hooks and scissors with it.

  11. No one right way to do it. I've used flat stones but, as noted, it's a skill.

    Another option, I use a different Lansky than the one mentioned. It's more like the Smith's, above. It comes in a ceramic version, as well. Like others, it also holds the blade at a constant angle and lets you select the angle of the bevel for the purpose of the knifeĀ—steep angle for rougher work, shallow angle for fine stuff.
  12. I've been thinking about getting a Worksharp (here). It looks great as far as versatility and ease of use, but I don't really want to be bothered with having to order replacement belts and I don't want to be required to have electricity to use it.

    Now I'm thinking the Spyderco is the way to go.
  13. I've used the Spyderco, the Lansky and now just use a set of Norton waterstones, same ones everyone uses to hone straight razors. Yes, there's some skill involved, and there is a learning curve, but nothing else will give the superior results of freehand sharpening on a stone.
  14. I agree with using a good stone to sharpen a knife....slight learning curve.
    For me I always carry a sharpe knife. A lot of times, I get asked by people if I would sharpen their knives. Most are so bad it is easier to use the smith to get the blade sharpened right.
    Whenever any one borrows my knife I tell them be careful it's sharpe.
  15. Second the Sharpmaker. Get the Ultra fine Sticks too. You can get a scary edge with a little practice. There are lots of videos on YOUTUBE to help you refine your technique.

  16. Fileroman

    Fileroman Contributor

    Absolutely correct, a convex edge is very appropriate for meat cutting, but there is a learning curve with stones. As you said, you've been doing it all your life, but I assumed the OP had not and thought the Spyderco set would be good for someone new to sharpening.

  17. I like my Norton Sharpening Stones. I got the 220/1000 and 4000/8000 combo stones. They work great on my str8 too.

  18. I like oil stones for their versatility and long life. but any sharpener will work after a fashion. if you have no experience sharpening and it's just a pocket knife get one of the many sharpeners that have two small crossed ceramic rods in a plastic handle. just run the blade is the notch on the end of the handle several times and the knife is sharper. not perfect but fool proof.

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