New to knife sharpening !!

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Donpie, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. Donpie


    Oct 16, 2020
    This forum is making my wallet and bank account very anxious I have purchased way to much sharpening gear.
    Black Oak Bladeworks likes this.
  2. BBW

    BBW Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
  3. Tx308

    Tx308 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2014
    I have over two grand in my system. Over the last few years I have discovered that I use three inexpensive diamond plates on my system and then spend time stropping on my homemade strop. Get the same edge I used to get on the high dollar stones.
  4. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    guy g and Eli Chaps like this.
  5. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Sharpmaker is what I wound up with, after trying many rigs. If you just want a nice sharp edge without a lot of work*, this is the way to go.

    If you want to make an art form out of it, polish it to a mirror finish, strop and all that jazz, you'll have to look elsewhere.

    * It's not great for re-grinding bad factory edges, (takes forever) but excels at good basic sharpening. It'll slice paper and shave.

    I have a Worksharp Ken Onion that just sits, even though it's faster. I hate how fast it goes through belts.

    I tried Lansky, but it doesn't work well on full flat grinds, and I have a lot of Swiss army knives.

    I tried traditional stones, but maintaining the angle is hard, they're expensive, and basically just a primitive version of a Sharpmaker. Crock Sticks were the original, but Sharpmaker improved upon that design.

    I invested in the diamond rods, which should be included in some package, I think, as there are no coarse stones provided: only medium and fine. I do wish they made longer rods, as the included ones are a bit short for the longer kitchen knives.
    Ben Dover, marchone and guy g like this.
  6. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    I have the.original worksharp and a strop! Unless I hit a rock or some other item that will really ding a blade, my strop is my main blade maintainer! I find stropping my knives therapeutic and relaxing! IMG_20200306_071732_kindlephoto-480197622.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
    guy g likes this.
  7. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I use DMT diamond bench hones for 99% of my sharpening: extra coarse (220 grit), fine (600 grit) and ultra fine (1200 grit). Occasionally I use an ancient Buck Honemaster angle guide. The other 1% is done on a Black Arkansas I inherited from a great uncle who was a carpenter. That Black Arkansas leaves an incredible finishing edge on high carbon steel, but you need diamond hones to sharpen "super steels" with high volumes of very hard carbides. I've never worn out a DMT even after more than two decades of regular use.
  8. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    I use a $30 sharpal coarse/extra fine diamond stone, and my spyderco medium and fine stones. Simple and effective. I can use just the coarse diamond and get useful edges, you don't need anything fancy.
    I used to use a Lansky, and they work well, but the setup is annoying and it doesn't work well for all blades. The sharpmaker is a great system but reprofiling is a pain. I decided to get good at freehanding and I have accomplished that, but I'm also still learning!
    guy g likes this.
  9. Donpie


    Oct 16, 2020
  10. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    I have a half dozen sharpening systems. I also have an assortment of bench stones and nice strops.

    Currently I'm doing 99% of my sharpening on the bottom of coffee mugs and stropping on cardboard boxes, though. Works just fine. The Arno Bernard Meerkat in my pocket today needed touching up and after giving a few passes on the mug it casually shaves arm hair.
    sparkyvega and Smaug like this.
  11. Donpie


    Oct 16, 2020
    What are your thoughts on the Worksharp Ken Onion with grinder attachment apart from belt usage?for say kitchen knives. my folders are 20cv I don't think the Worksharp is suitable for really hard steels like m390 or 20cv,Worksharp say to use 120 grit for hard steels,not sure myself.I have a sharpmaker and strop for keeping my folders sharp and nothing else .
    Smaug likes this.
  12. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    May 29, 2004
    It depends. If you think you might really get into knives/sharpening, then I’d actually suggest AVOIDING a motorized system and suggest learning to freehand sharpen instead.

    Once you’ve mastered the skill, you can sharpen practically anything with practically any gritty media wherever you happen to be.

    If you go the “sharpening system” route, you’re learning how to operate machinery. You will produce sharp knives, but it will take much longer/more space to just keep your users sharp and there frankly won’t be as much pleasure in the process.
    garry3, MtnHawk1 and Smiling like this.
  13. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    May 29, 2004
    Monterey formation chert - my main kitchen stone - extra fine natural grit.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
    garry3, jfk1110 and JerseyFresh85 like this.
  14. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    If you value the longevity of your knives useful lifespan, I’d avoid any motorized sharpening devises.
    sparkyvega, garry3, 000Robert and 2 others like this.
  15. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I have 8€ Fallkniven DC4 and few Chinese whetstones that are 2€ each, plus Chinese diamond polishing paste that cost me 4€ per a 50g jar.
    I spent 24€ total on all this...

    Does it work?
    My knives can whittle hair so I'd say it does...

    Why people spend fortunes on sharpening systems is beyond me
    MtnHawk1, jfk1110 and scdub like this.
  16. Lodd

    Lodd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    I got and Edge Pro Apex. Then I got the diamond stones for it.

    I got it because I simply wasn't getting good enough results sharpening freehand and I wasn't practicing enough to make any progress. It produces a very nice, consistent and polished edge, but...

    It takes forever and it's very expensive. Also, I don't think it does convex edges.
    scdub likes this.
  17. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    My $.02 A coarse and fine diamond stone is all I need. A bench stone is a luxury, but a $15 smiths portable is all I need.

    I used to have convexed edges, then I learned how to maintain an angle. The fact that some people like convexed edges and do them on purpose is mind blowing to me.

    I need knives to cut flesh, ropes, cardboard, and veggies. I’ve never ever even tried to shave my arms, or whittle a hair.

    Just my opinions,
    MtnHawk1, Smaug and Smiling like this.
  18. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    I started out with a guide rod system, I noticed a few quirks when it came to the edge bevel and I got tired of all the setup. I took some time and learned how to sharpen with hand held sharpeners and benchstones and I think I'm better off for learning how. All of my stones are cheaper stones ranging from about 200 grit to around 1000 grit. It works well enough for me, I can make them shave and the edges look fine. The biggest advantage of learning how to freehand sharpen is that you are independent of any bulky or expensive system and can sharpen on any decent rough surface should the need arise.

    It's not necessary to buy expensive, but don't buy bottom dollar cheap, either. I found a dollar store $1 stone that I bought just to try out for kicks. It's terrible, it wears inconsistently and it leaves grit sticking up from the top of the stone. It produces a crappy edge and sometimes dulls it more than it sharpens. It ended up thrown away.
    MtnHawk1 and scdub like this.
  19. Hal


    Feb 26, 1999
    A very little known fact is that - the edge of a car/truck/SUV window can be used just exactly like a Spyderco Sharpmaker......
    I'm not kidding or joking around.
    If you want to touch up the edge & restore it to scary sharp - give it a few swipes on a rolled down vehicle window.
    sparkyvega, MarkN86, Smaug and 3 others like this.
  20. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    I have a strop bat, it works well. But a question, after awhile, do you have to apply rouge to the surfaces to help? The Strop has different grit surfaces, but I noticed the rouge that you have with your strop, do they help? My learning curve is trying to keep the same angle.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020

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