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File knives

Discussion in 'Blades' started by wrc223, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    I have some file knives ranging from 3" to 14". I have had these for many years and they have maintained sharpness. However, this year I think they need some work. I know these are difficult to sharpen because I have done maintainence sharpenings but I want a like new edge and am thinking it may be a little more than I can do.
    Is there a commercial product out there that could work on these or should I seek a professional knife sharpening person?
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I wish I could help - I'm looking to get into sharpening but don't yet have the funds to buy the equipment I want. Once I get set up I'd be happy to do them.
  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    a slow turning grindstone
    one of those old footpedaled jobs
    with lots of water
  4. Georgia_Boy

    Georgia_Boy Monkey+++

    This is what works for me (and I am on a pensioner's tight budget).
    1. Touch up the edge after each heavy use or even if they haven't been used for a while at least a coffee cup edge (or car window edge) followed by a good leather stropping (an old leather belt back edge works well).
    2. Buy cheap diamond impregnated sharpening tools (those three colored 1-1/2x6 inch) tools found at Lowe's, True Value, or at those seasonal Chinese tools sales at the local National Guard Amory. A file will work here but you have to be careful to maintain a consistent angle when filing and also not to file too far back away fom the edge you are trying to improve.
    3. I use an America Stone (America Stone) which has a flat edge, a rounded edge and a triangular edge. This tool I like a lot as it is small enough to fit in my watch pocket in my bluejeans. It will quickly restore an edge ready for a quick strop. The stone is about $30.
    4. You will immediately hear a difference when stropping a blade. If there is a bead on the edge it will remove it through friction and you will then be able to do a paper cut test or "shave your arm" test.
    This is certainly not the best or ultimate way of maintaining an edge. This merely an inexpensive way that seems to work for an old cheap man. BTW, I use this on my hatchet, machete, and other knives, especially the kitchen knives.
  5. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    i always just use my gut for a strop
    works great
  6. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Waterstones are great and the Japanese Waterstones are the best IMHO....
    Especially on your high carbon knives.... they can be very expensive though and it takes a while to resharpen a well used knife.... especially if you are re-establishing the bevels....
    But they require a steady hand, patience and have a somewhat long learning cure to develop the feel and muscle memory to get the profile you are looking for... no preset jigs or clamps to help you along....
    Look into EDGE PRO or Wicked Edge sharpeners... both are well made and make sharpening much easier and a bit more precise.... They approach sharpening in a slightly different manner but I like both of them and use both depending on the application... they will have an initial cost to them that may sting a bit... but the investment is a long term one.... they also have a learning curve with the Wicked Edge being the shortest...
    Much cheaper and easier than a good set of waterstones... but there something very relaxing about spending a hour or so with a tub of water, the dog by my side and the sun shining and ocean breeze blowing that makes it a very rewarding experience...
    My suggestion is to do some research on the Edge Pro (get the scissor attachment if you go with this one... you will be glad you did ) and the Wicked Edge and if you can ... pick one of those up... both have youtube videos so you can get a sense of how they work... you'll soon find that you'll be sharpening all the knives you have ... including those kitchen knives way back in the drawers that nobody uses....
    After that... learn how to sharpen on stones... oil, water, or just a river rock....
    Sharpening is a skill worth learning... you'd be surprised how may of the gazillion knife owners out there with awesome knives ... can't put a decent edge on a blade...
    You'll be learning a skill that you can pass on to your kids and that is always in high demand...
    Plus its a safety issue ... dull knives are just dangerous...
    Hope that helps...
    Let me know if you have any questions...
    Take Care,
    sticks65 and beast like this.
  7. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The Wicked Edge Pro Package is what I'm looking at buying. The videos on the site make it seem easy to learn how to use.
  8. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Good choice... probably the easiest to learn of its kind...

    By the way... WRC... when you look up Edge Pro... look up EdgePro Apex Sharpener...
    There are lots of variations if you just look up Edge Pro in the search...

    Hope that helps... Let me know if you have any questions...

    Take Care,

  9. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Just in case anyone is looking... Hope this helps...

    Wicked Edge... various models up to the Pro + ... 15% off plus free shipping...
    Good guy... its where I got mine... (1st gen... this is 2nd Gen)....

  10. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Bear, I was going to order from WE as they're having a 20% off sale but it turns out they want $45 shipping. I think your deal is better with the 15% off and free shipping!
  11. shotgunner

    shotgunner Monkey+

    I have some kits remaining if anyone wants to take advantage of the free shipping.
  12. shotgunner

    shotgunner Monkey+

    Hi Bear! Thanks for the business. If I sold you the kit it is second generation. The "first gen" was a limited run of 300 units and I never got any of those. Put a magnet on the stationary side of the vise to feel the metal insert inside. If this is felt, then you have Gen 2!

    Happy sharpening.
  13. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've sold stuff on ebay to get the money I need for the Pro + pack w/base but the money isn't available for a few days yet - then I'll order!
  14. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I've been in his shop: US Hand Knife Sharpening Systems | Edge Pro System
    Hood River , OR - Probably going to pick up the Pro model one of these days and add Mobile Knife Sharpening to my list of weekend work.
  15. jim2

    jim2 Monkey+++

    Not to derail the thread or go too OT, I'm wondering if a file would make a good center of hard steel in a laminated knife. Heat treat a shaped file, then fold some soft steel or iron over it and weld in the forge. Has anyone tried this?
  16. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That's what I plan on doing also.

    Jim, I have not heard of anyone trying to do that.
  17. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Figures! The Sharpener Shop stops it's sale right when I'm about to order. Got money released from Paypal and ordered straight from WE.
  18. shotgunner

    shotgunner Monkey+

    One method for a small cash knife sharpening business is to set up shop at a "farmer's market" type street fair. In a metro area you can find four a day to go to 7 days a week.

    Commit to 4 months at that spot at that street fair and advertise it! Scream it loudly on signage. Tell everyone you'll be there every week, bring your kitchen knives, your pocket knives, your whatevers....

    Market the he|| out of it. Signage, flyers, business cards (I have the best guy if you need referral, $100 plus artwork for 5000K cards!). When you are not sharpening; hand the cards to anyone walking around, if they show any interest at all give them a flyer with more details on it. If they are a chef or restaurant manager make an appointment to see them and keep it!

    At first you will get a dozen folks asking for their pocket EDC blades to be sharpened. Then at about 6 weeks you start seeing whole kitchen sets (24" at $2!). At 8-10 weeks you will be busy the entire fair and be getting requests from local kitchens for site visits. The chef's usually seem to "wait and see" to see if you will stick it out. They dont want to rely on someone that is going to disappear in a few weeks.

    Successful retail pricing has been $1 an inch for a 800 grit finish (three minutes for a 3" blade) and $2 an inch for stropped shaving sharp blades (5 minutes). Kitchen wholesale visits are priced at $25 a visit plus $1.50 an inch for stropped shaving sharp service. But the commercial kitchens may give you 200-300 (or more) inches in a visit! If they want weekly service then the service charge can be waived and if the inches are there the price can be reduced to $1 an inch. Make appointments and keep them!

    Once you have enough kitchens you can cut back on the farmer's markets to one or two a day.

    Once well practiced you can do 60-100 inches an hour.

    I have kits in stock. I was sold out until now.
  19. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    I've made my share of knives in the past and some of you guys are neglecting the fundamentals.... you don't start with the edge you start with the bevel...
    the one you pick should mimic the original blades bevel... and each bevel type has it's own purpose...

    here's something else to look at
    Every knife has a purpose... and as the old saying goes...."A knifeless man is a lifeless man" so do it right the first time around
  20. shotgunner

    shotgunner Monkey+

    Thanks Grandpa! That is a nice bit of knowledge you shared. I for one appreciate it.
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