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Help a khukrically challenged guy sharpen a khukuri.

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by BruiseLeee, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. BruiseLeee


    Sep 7, 2001
    I've owned khukuries for a couple of years. However, my ability to sharpen one or any other knife is "less than optimal". I can sharpen a knife enough to hack my way through a block of aged cheddar cheese (not that soft medium stuff), but when it comes to slicing well my performance isn't great.

    Some forumites in the past tried to help my thickheadedness but sadly failed. This was in the age before youtube so people could only describe in words. Yvsa had some good tips, and Pendentive made a CD with some videos while Uncle Bill laughed and offered to sell me more khukuries. Others offered bits and pieces of information but I either never got the hang of them or figured them out.

    I left the knifie world for a while but some tomahawkery lured me back to it. There's not much on youtube but a couple of channels that have some good information.

    So.. how do you sharpen your khukuries?

    Teach a thickheaded person like myself to sharpen. I have a nice Bura BAS that I think had a couple of Nepali termites in the sheath. The wood in the sheath turned into sawdust and I have a dull BAS with no sheath that has sat dull for a bunch of years.
  2. Gehazi


    Jun 30, 2013
    i buy a new khukuri every time I feel like I need to sharpen one of my khukuris-- but for the most part I don't sharpen so I am in the same boat, I just use my kvluks to beat through things
  3. xylum


    Dec 11, 2011

    lol, so that how you got so many.

    I use the sandpaper and mouse pad method. It works for me. I've also moved on to cardboard instead of the mousepad, a little firmer of a surface and still has some give for the convexing.
  4. wroughndt

    wroughndt Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 31, 2011
    Worksharp all the way. Learn how to use it with out the guides on a cheap knife first. I always keep my kukri shaving sharp using a Worksharp and then a leather strop loaded with diamond paste. Takes no Time at all.
  5. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
  6. BruiseLeee


    Sep 7, 2001
    Thanks for the link. There certainly is some good info there. There are some fine detail questions I have that I may have missed or weren't in those threads.

    Everyone has their own favorite set of items for sharpening. I asked about sharpening years ago and someone said get a loupe. I bought a loupe but didn't ask the key question, "what the heck am I looking at?" It's great for locating slivers and other things stuck in your hands though. It wasn't until recently I saw a couple of youtube vids with someone putting a knife edge under a microscope that I learned what I was supposed to look for. At least I think I know what to look for. That's sort of the reason for this thread. To ask all of the stupid questions I didn't ask before.

    I may just need a few of those details that for some are obvious. However for the thick of skull like me goes over my head.

    Does anyone set the angle or height of the bevel before sharpening? Some of the ones I have depending on the kami have different heights, angles and various bumps, dips and other variations due to them being hand forged. Does anyone sand or stone out the bumps?
  7. jdk1


    Apr 21, 2010
    I'm no expert by any stretch, but have had success with sand paper on a phone book,, Spyderco Sharpmaker, and have even managed to lock my angle control Gatco/Lansky type unit onto my WWII spine (with the help of thin leather bits) and it worked well. The sand paper on a phone book at the kitchen table may be the easiest (but the blade will get scratched). While not very detailed, Simon of Tora has some vids up on this as well. Good luck.
  8. leebrewer

    leebrewer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    You can use about anything if you want a new bevel. If you use the mousepad remember to not apply much pressure and round up the edge. Here is how I like to sharpen big convex edges. If I don't use my belt sander. Use a file to get out any big nicks or if rolls, you might try tapping them flat with a hammer or use a steel or just start sharpening over any nicks. If you want to stay with the bevel already set by the Kami, use automotive wet/dry sandpaper. If you really need to start an edge begin with 400. Cut some 1"x4" strips, hold the khuk with the edge facing away from you, hold the strip of sandpaper with two fingers and sand along the bevel all along the edge. You will have to slide your fingers up the sandpaper after each 1/2" portion is used up, I wipe it on a paper towel every time I move the sandpaper up. Every couple minutes or so. It takes some time but I get the strongest edges this way. Keep sanding the same side until you feel a sharp burr on the opposite edge. Then do the other side until you raise a tiny burr on the first side, then go back and lightly sand the burr down. You can continue this with higher grits if you want a finer edge. You should at least use 800 after 400 to hone the edge and make the steel grain tighter for an edge that will be tougher and last longer. Or continue after 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 after each stage sanding marks are gone and when you get to 2000 it will look just like the mirror that came from HI. The more polished the steel is the easier it will be to maintain. This seals the grain and prevents or slows oxidation.
  9. BruiseLeee


    Sep 7, 2001
    I think that was the main thing I did wrong the last times I tried sharpening. I don't recall anyone mentioning not applying too much pressure so I pressed down fairly hard. "after all, I was reshaping steel" :eek: Maybe I wasn't listening.

    I dug up an old HI knife. I don't remember what it's called It's shorter than a kumar karda but roughly the same shape. The edge is rounded from overlealous stropping, the bevel is shallow and has a couple of bulges in the steel. I'll have to find the password to my photothingie website to post some pictures. It'll motivate me to work on it. Plus, if I fail everyone can laugh and point fingers. :D

    I'll start after procrastinating a little longer. :D
  10. leebrewer

    leebrewer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    I'm the great procrastinator
  11. uluapark


    Aug 10, 2013
    I use a worksharp field sharpener. gets my knives razor sharp using the ceramic rod.
  12. Bookie


    Mar 25, 2014
    I used one of my kuks about 3 hours steady today. Took down some 80 saplings and a dozen or so small walnut trees up to about 5 inches thick. Mulberry can be right tough once in a while. After this much fun, cutting the trunks with one swipe became the standard of acceptance for me. Just barely can get through a 2 incher with one stroke. (Ain't the young buck I used to be.) The blade needed sharpened (it never got really dull) 4-5 times. Don't remember for sure as I was too busy sweating. The chakmak was used to flatten out some flat spots on the edge and it shows it's honest wear, too. The blade was finished off with a few swipes of a diamond "stone" on both sides. The kuk will scrape hair off your arm, but not shave it off by sharpening it this way. I have not been too interested in keeping the edge as the kami made it as it is a working knife and must perform on various densities of wood and to my satisfaction. If they had to look pretty all the time, I'd give them to Bawanna.

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