knife sharpening, how to?

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luvhuntin
 
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knife sharpening, how to?

Postby luvhuntin » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:22 pm

I`m a freak about sharp knives. I have an old gatco three stone sharpening kit that comes with a guide you clamp the blade in and has different holes that guide rods on the stones slide through to keep the angle even on both sides of the blade.

I can get knives plenty sharp with it but not quite that factory edge I really want, anyone have another option that works better?

THANKS

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kellory
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby kellory » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:40 pm

this is exactly what I use, and I butcher my own. .......................................................................................................................................Product Description
Amazon.com Review
High-quality knives are a lifetime investment, and should be treated accordingly. Sharpening a knife is best done in two stages, as this device does. First, the knife is moved back and forth about twenty times in slot one (numbered for quick reference). Diamond abrasives remove the old edge and create a new bevel. In slot two, finer diamond abrasives create a second bevel for strength, and polish the edge to a razor sharpness. Bright red rollers guide the blade as you push and pull to ensure the proper angle.
Lightweight, compact, and portable, the sharpener stores handily in a kitchen drawer and can be carried on a camping or hunting trip. The durable body is composed of engineering plastic that simply wipes clean. Designed with nonslip feet and a sure-grip handle for either right- or left-handed users, the manual sharpener measures 7 by 2-1/4 by 2 inches and is covered by a one-year warranty. The tool is not intended for use on scissors or serrated blades. --Ann Bieri


Product Description
Chef's Choice 440 Diamond Hone Manual Sharpener ..............................................................................................................................These cost about $20, and I have used mine for about 8 years I think.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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motorbreaker
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby motorbreaker » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:06 am

luvhuntin wrote:I`m a freak about sharp knives. I have an old gatco three stone sharpening kit that comes with a guide you clamp the blade in and has different holes that guide rods on the stones slide through to keep the angle even on both sides of the blade.

I can get knives plenty sharp with it but not quite that factory edge I really want, anyone have another option that works better?

THANKS


3 stone kit works well. Try a leather strap after the stones for a better edge.
Jake

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:14 pm

The 3 stone system is the way to go. And as you already know the proper, consistant sharpening angle is of the utmost importance.

But when you say "factory" edge, what are you refering to? Some knives have a hollow ground edge, and once that edge bevel gets worn down after repeated sharpenings then I don't how you'd get it like that again without a machine.

Personally I don't like factory edges, because for me the edge bevel angle is too steep. They cut fine when your blade is close to 90 degrees to the cutting surface, but if you lay the knife flatter they don't cut as well, and because of the steep bevel angle, you will have to put the knife on a stone a lot sooner to regrind the edge bevel.

I will take a brand new knife and spend a good half hour with it on a series of stones to get the edge bevel where I like it, which is a much less steep angle than the factory edge. Once it's sharp, I finish it off on a leather strop to polish the edge. When an edge is prepared this way (on a high grade steel hunting knife), and you don't abuse it, you can do a lot with it before you need to touch it up again, and by touch up I mean something as simple as a leather strop, or maybe a little honing on very hard Arkansas stone, which basically just polishes the steel. After quite a few touch ups, or if the edge gets chippped, dented or otherwise abused, then you need to sit down with the stones again and regrind the edge again to regain the right edge bevel. I sharpen everything this way, from knives to axes and even machetes. A cutting tool of any sort that's sharpened in this fashion is much easier to work with and is a joy to use.

Hand sharpening knives is a time consuming activity, but it's the only really good way to get a knife extremely sharp, and with stones you will not wear the knife out near as fast as you will with a machine. I would never take a good quality hunting knife and put it on a machine sharpener! It's sacrilegious! :o
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kellory
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby kellory » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:30 pm

Question, what do you use for a strope? something premade, homeade, finished, or unfinished leather, oiled? I have never used one. I get good edges without it, but it would not hurt to learn.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:47 pm

Any kind of smooth leather will work. My wife had an old leather purse that she was going to throw away, so I comandeered it. It was smooth and soft. I cut the main outside flap off, and I used that for many years. I mounted it on a piece of wood and it was part of my sharpening kit. If I'm in the field, I will use my leather knife sheath (but I take it OFF first!!! After all, I may be crazy, but I ain't stupid! ;) )

I would think you could also go to a barber shop and find out where they get their razor strops.

Try a strop. I can have an edge that's sharp, but not totally shaving sharp, and after a few strkes on the leather it will shave the hair right off my arm. If the steel on the edge is smooth, then the leather will polish it to a razor finish.

Oh....and with the leather strop you push the knife edge AWAY from the edge, not toward it like you do with the stone!
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kellory
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby kellory » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:07 am

I also have One of those honing rod like you see the chefs using on tv (came with some knives) but I never quite got the hang of useing it. Now for a quick field sharpening, I have a carbide cutter about 3-4 inches long that rides in my pack that you slide down the lenth of the blade that does a great job. The cutting edge is about 1/2 inch or so wide. It will give a paper slicing edge in a few strokes.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

luvhuntin
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby luvhuntin » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:43 am

woods walker tell me more about the angles you refer to.

the kit i have has angles of 11 15 19 22 and 25 your saying you try to stay on the 11 to 19 side of the guide?

since I`ve gotten semi good with it i have always tried to maintain the factory angle so I can prevent having multiple angles on the finished edge I think this leather strope step is what i was missing.

I found and old belt it`s not perfectly smooth but it still touched up a hunting knife rather quickly. with some practice i think i will have attained that level of sharpness i`m looking for.
what bugged me about my sharpening was the blade edge felt more like sandpaper than a polished edge.that`s what i was calling a factory edge.

I`m also using a couple of gerber knives they seem to sharpen way better than the outdoor edge knife i have. that one took some work after it was dull. but seems to hold the edge now that i have it sharp again.

I agree about the sharp knife being a joy to use. I`ve had to resharpen some hunting freinds knives. it got to a point this year no one would gut a deer till i got there with the good knife, good grief!

Thanks for the help Guys

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:16 am

kellory wrote:I also have One of those honing rod like you see the chefs using on tv (came with some knives) but I never quite got the hang of useing it. Now for a quick field sharpening, I have a carbide cutter about 3-4 inches long that rides in my pack that you slide down the lenth of the blade that does a great job. The cutting edge is about 1/2 inch or so wide. It will give a paper slicing edge in a few strokes.


#1. The carbide cutter will also destroy the bevel I like to have, and will wear a knife out far faster than handstones will. To me, it'd be like using an $80.00 dress shirt for an oil rag!

#2. Honing rods......All those do (and they do it well for the most part) is to polish/touch up an already sharp edge, which means that the proper bevel is already set. If you are having trouble getting a sharp edge with a honing rod, then one of 2 things may be going on. First, your bevel may be off, so you can stand there until your teeth fall out and you'll never get a razor edge, because you have to remove way to much steel from the edge to even get to the point of where the honing rods can do any good. Second, if you are doing it freehand with no guide, then your angles may not be consistant.

Many times you can get a brand new sharp knife, and the first few times you have to touch it up it touches up quickly and it gets very sharp. After that it gets progessively more difficult to achieve the same edge, and it takes more time. Eventually you get to the point where it will barely sharpen at all. That is a sign that your bevel is now off, and the knife needs to go back on the stones to recreate the edge bevel.

This is also where a good quality knife shows it's worth. The better the knife, the longer you can get by with touch ups. On the other side of the coin, when you do have to regrind the edge bevel, the longer that will take.
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Woods Walker
 
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Re: knife sharpening, how to?

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:35 am

luvhuntin wrote:woods walker tell me more about the angles you refer to.

the kit i have has angles of 11 15 19 22 and 25 your saying you try to stay on the 11 to 19 side of the guide?

since I`ve gotten semi good with it i have always tried to maintain the factory angle so I can prevent having multiple angles on the finished edge I think this leather strope step is what i was missing.

I found and old belt it`s not perfectly smooth but it still touched up a hunting knife rather quickly. with some practice i think i will have attained that level of sharpness i`m looking for.
what bugged me about my sharpening was the blade edge felt more like sandpaper than a polished edge.that`s what i was calling a factory edge.

I`m also using a couple of gerber knives they seem to sharpen way better than the outdoor edge knife i have. that one took some work after it was dull. but seems to hold the edge now that i have it sharp again.

I agree about the sharp knife being a joy to use. I`ve had to resharpen some hunting freinds knives. it got to a point this year no one would gut a deer till i got there with the good knife, good grief!

Thanks for the help Guys


Yes, I would stay on the 11/19 side. You need to do this by first starting out with a coarser stone to take steel off faster so that you can get to the angle you want. Then you go to a medium stone to start getting the edge smooth. ALWAYS maintain the same angle, and ALWAYS count your strokes. I start on one side...counting strokes...and I will stay on that side until I can feel a feathered edge start to roll over on the side opposite from where I'm sharpening. Then I turn the knife over and repeat on the other side. Same number of strokes, same pressure. Then I move on to the less coarse stone and repeat. Now I go to a "hard" stone, and will start out by doing 20 or 30 stokes on one side, starting out with heavy pressure and then ending with lighter pressure and then repeating on the other side. I will gradually reduce the number of strokes until I am just doing one stroke on each side. ALWAYS keep the stones wet with honing oil. A dry stone will do very little, and you can ruin the stone. The hard stone gets the microscopic scratches and gouges from the coarser stones out, and then the polishing can begin. Many times the edge that you can get from the hard stone...IF you did the coarse stone work properly...is plenty sharp for many. I like to take it a step further with a leather strop.

Crock sticks, or even butcher's steels, essentially do the same job as the hard stone (a VERY hard stone), and I do use them in the field or if I'm in a big hurry.

The strop is only going to polish an already sharp edge. If your edge is that rough that you can see or feel it, then what you need first is a medium and then a hard stone to get those out first before the stop will do much good.
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