July 19, 2014 at 4:44 am #19326
So I had not seen a basic tutorial on how to sharpen a knife the good old fashioned way on this site yet, so i took it upon myself to look up some basics. City slickers such as myself have never even truly used a bush knife of any sort for any real reason, let alone maintain and sharpen one. So what I discovered is that it is extremely simple in theory, but tricky to master in practice.
What I have been doing is practicing by sharpening utility knife blades instead of replacing them for work. Obviously, I don’t do this at work so as to avoid frightening the sheeple. I have had some success and hope to get better with time and move on to other blades and more importantly, other blade materials. Not all steels are created equal!
Here is a quick tutorial I found. NOTE, HOWEVER that the ‘sweeping motion’ described in the tutorial is not featured in the animation. Here it is:July 19, 2014 at 6:32 am #19331
White – I have been teaching myself to sharpen knives and tools for 2 yrs. This spring bought an old grinding wheel. Go to a thrift shop and buy all the knives u can…practice, practice. You will have many small cuts as u learn. Keep super glue or New Skin on hand! Learn to use the sharpeners you can buy, small, for serated knives as well. Chain saws are one of the hardest. Good luck n have fun…it is a useful skill. I have hairdressers that pay me to sharpen their scissors n I make some nice side money on that.July 19, 2014 at 11:07 am #19335
Being a person that has used sharp tools my whole life, I’d like too stress the importance of knife safety. The rule of never cut towards yourself is paramount. This includes your free hand. Do not get anything in front of the cutting surface.
Do not think your locking blade is as strong as a fixed blade. If you apply enough pressure to the edge the wrong dirrection it will close on your hand like a shear.
I have a lot of scars from my younger days when I thought I could control my edge. Believe in Murphy’s Law.July 19, 2014 at 2:05 pm #19358
I was camping about a month back, and there was a creek right by our site. I had forgotten my whet stone, so me and my brother got a smooth flat stone from the creek. It was perfect. Sharpened my knives quite well.July 19, 2014 at 6:16 pm #19384
White Knight – good discussion; might I add that the simplest and yet still old fasioned (by hand) setups I have used are the Lansky and Gatco sharpeners – mainly for knives ($25 or so). You can pick your angle for the blade use (17, 20, 22, 25) and then do a few strokes on one side, remove stone & guide, flip over and insert into same angle and do some a few more. Switch from course to medium to fine and finish it up with super light strokes – you’ll have shaving sharp (which is the real test IMHO). The Lansky has a longer stroke for larger knives, but smaller stone width. The Gatco, shorter stroke, but wider stones. No need for trying to guess the angle and all that. If you want to use technology – the Work Sharp is awesome for everything and super fast ($100). No, I don’t get endorsement money, but have used them all and swear by them. Much easier to learn than the plain stone or butcher steel – those take years to master to hold at just the right angle.
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
- Thomas PaineJuly 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm #19391
Thanks Novus, your post is definitely helpful and I’ll be looking into it. I’d like to master the bare bones skill regardless, however, as I might not have that handy little kit with me if SHTF.
Great posts guys and yes, safety is paramount as always. Knife ain’t useful if I don’t have fingers to manipulate it!July 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm #19392
Or fingers that work. About 1966I was 11, I went to the local hardware store and bought an Estwing hatchet & knife set. Knife had a 4 ” blade. One day I took it to a patch of polygonum (a invasive soft bamboo) and started to hack it down like I was swinging a machete. Low and behold I swung all the way across my body and hit my left hand right on the inside of the wrist. Knicked an artery and blood was squirting out like I was taking a leak, but in pluses. Blood on my clothes everywhere before I could get it back in the sheath. Good thing you heal fast when you young, I had enough pressure on it to make it stop bleeding by the time I walked home. Since I wasn’t bleeding anymore the only thing I had to worry about was getting caught. Some how I didn’t by throwing away my shirt and pants.July 21, 2014 at 6:20 am #19461
74 I have to say that after hearing that you were okay I definitely laughed… because that sounds exactly like me when I was 11 haha. Forget medical attention! If my parents find out I’m doomed!July 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm #19482
Hahaha man do I know that feeling. Yeah I have lots of secret scars.September 1, 2014 at 4:51 am #23885
I like the DMT diamond sharpening rod. No oil no water and it does grooves because it tapers to a point. It’s very light weight. Occasionally out of some kind of stupidity on my part I get a cut. Usually nothing that can’t be handled by the superglue in my first aid kit. Knives are made out of so many different types of steel, it’s fascinating to see what can be sharpened easily and what can’t be. Sometimes I think the only knife I should carry is a box cutter with a bimetallic blade. Gets dull just flip and keep going.September 1, 2014 at 5:26 am #23888
it’s true that every knive have it’s own properties
cheapo stainless steel knife are more “soft”
but not easy to make it sharp
( it edge tend to “bend” if we shape it too thin )
carbon steel are “harder”
but its more easy in sharpening it
because of tough edge ( not like stainless steel )
problem appear if knife edge are too thick
( because of soo often we do sharpening )
the elevation of the edges are worse for cutting
to the point that it become still dull
even if we are sharpen them
yup… we go to the black smith
or make it “retired”September 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm #24485
I am not too happy with using exclusively either stones, steels, or strops. I personally feel that you need all 3 to keep up with knife mainenance. There have been times when I have also used sandpaper or polishing wheels as needed.
When I roll an edge, I bust out the stones and then transition to my strop. If I am just touching up a meat cutting knife, I grab my steel. If I need to actually sharpen it because of an edge getting beat up I will start with a stone and then go to the steel.
My axes will start off with either a stone or water bath grinder to get the angles correct and then I will go to a ceramic, then strop.
It all really depends on what you are using the cutting tool for as to what angles you will use and what type of edge you are wanting. My bushcrafting knives for instance are so hard RC that I seldom need more than a strop, but they are not for shaving or cutting meat. My meat cutters are at a more acute angle and could be used as razors. My general use knives are just short of razor sharp, but will shave hair or cut paper edges ok. They are at less of an acute angle, but hold their edge much longer under heavy use. I also can put an edge back on them with only a few strokes on the back of a belt…..
SO….. In addition to the knife properties (steel type and edge grind) you also need to keep the intended use in mind when sharpening.
This is my $.02…….
http://ageofdecadence.comSeptember 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm #24496
You probably would like the information in this thread Topic: Knife Blade Geometry ArticleSeptember 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm #24497
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>74 wrote:</div>Sled,<br>
You probably would like the information in this thread Topic: Knife Blade Geometry Article
Nice….. Interesting to see in print with specific angles and such. I learned from an elderly man that I used to LOVE to talk with. Good post.
http://ageofdecadence.comSeptember 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm #25268
Interesting. Ive always been taught to sharpen knives by sweeping them not forward (but backward). I guess because usually the only sharpening surface I have is some concrete or a round stone and sweeping forward with them (as described) will just dull the actual cutting edge.
Ive certainly got the precision to hold the angle correctly.
What I wanna know is how to sharpen the Points of a knife well, that way it has a penetrating point just as sharp as the blade does. This is important in some situations (not talking about fighting or even skinning animals).
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