What do you use to sharpen your knives?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Hanzo, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I use Japanese water stones, a medium and a fine along with a Nagura stone to sharpen at home. Touch up/finish with a steel and/or strop.

    In the field, I use a Fallkniven DC4. A Ray Mears trick is to carry a bunch of little nails in the case to stabilize the sharpener on a log. Just saw a YouTube trick to use a Nagura stone to make a slurry on the DC4. Will try that since I love how the slurry helps with the sharpening.

    Tonight, I sharpened all the kitchen knives, including the butcher knife.


    Touched up a couple of pocket knives too. The TK3 hasn't been sharpened in a couple if camping trips. It was still really sharp. Now, it's sharper and cleaner. The convex edge doesn't do as good a job carving for me versus a scandi, but my Fallknivens do fine.

  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I use Arkansas whetstones and finish up on a leather strop with compound.


  3. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    How do those compare to Japanese water stones? Similar?
  4. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    i use the spider co knife sharpening set>>>...
    realy works well on serated
    Hanzo likes this.
  5. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Wyoming Site Supporter+

  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    It's the same process, but Japanese stones vary in fineness drastically and there are synthetic and natural stones and Nagura for making slurry. With Arkansas whetstones, you generally get a variation from fine to medium and finally coarse, and all of the stones are natural since it's the only place in the world you can get them. There are some ultra fine whetstones, but I am not certain how they compare to Japanese water stones, perhaps close to 2000-4000 grit. I generally only use a medium and fine stone and then hit the strop and rarely ever use a stone again unless I did serious damage.

    If the Japanese stones are natural, like a Chosera, I am sure they wear quickly and will need to be replaced, but if you can get a thick stone (expensive!) it can last many years of regular use. The Arkansas whetstones generally last a very long time, in fact I still have a fine whetstone which belonged to my father and I believe he got it from my grandpa.

    As far as finished edge goes, I couldn't tell you. I imagine there is little to no difference until you get up to the super fine Japanese stones, but that's what the leather and compound for stropping serve to do. With either setup, you should end up with a mirror smooth, razor edge.
    Hanzo likes this.
  7. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I use a couple (sometimes even three or four) 1x30" belt sanders with a variety of grit belts that may start with 600 or 800 and progress up to 1200 to 3000 grit with a final pass or two on a leather belt with some compound on it. I can get a razor edge in about 1-2 minutes. When we do a family get together and butcher 8-10 hogs I generally sharpen all the knives over the course of two days. Usually do something on the order of 150-200 knives, kind of have to be quick about it. Here is a bit more I wrote on this in Jan.

    Knife Sharpening FAQ | Page 3

    Have fun.
  8. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    That's a lot of knives to sharpen!
  9. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey+++

    Saw a thing on some site and had to try it, and it actually worked. You can use the unglazed bottom ring on a ceramic coffee cup to hone your blade.
    oldawg, BTPost and Hanzo like this.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yes, you can, but it is a lot like using chocolate to polish aluminum into a reflector mirror. It is slow, and not as good as some other methods, but it does work.
  11. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Every week or two, I touch up our kitchen knives. And pocket knives as needed.

    Because the knives never get too dull, it is a breeze to get them back to shaving sharp. And I find the Japanese water stones therapeutic too.

    Pocket knife didn't need touching up.

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
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  12. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    just found me a japanese water stone on a wreck the other day
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  13. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Sweet. How'd that work out? Still good or degraded?
  14. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    still good as far as i knows

    it was in the dry wen i found it
    Hanzo likes this.
  15. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have Japanese water stones that I use for my straight razors. I used them on my knives as well but recently acquired cardboard wheels on an electric grinder; one with silicon carbide surfacing, the other with jewelers rouge. The silicone carbide wheel is used just to bring a wire edge to the blade, the rouge wheel polishes the wire away and I finish whetting on my leather sharpener's apron. This system takes a little learning, so don't start with a fine blade. I used Old Hickory butcher knives until I mastered the touch. Now, I use it on all my blades, including serrated Spydercos and my best hand-made blades. I have developed 100% confidence in this method and achieve a superior edge in only moments so now, all my kitchen and carry knives remain razor sharp. I have always been a traditionalist but always intrusted a master knife smith friend to sharpen my best knives with this method and after several years of catching this guy at gun shows with three or four carry knives and watching him with questions, he finally sold me a set of the cardboard wheels. You have to be very careful not to over heat an edge, it usually only take one or two passes on each side with the silicon carbide wheel then maybe two-three passes on the rouge wheel and it never leaves a mark. You cannot tell that a knife has been sharpened by sight, I carry a small diamond steel in my GOD (Get Out of Dodge) kit but rarely use it more than a pass to straighten an edge.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  16. Tempstar

    Tempstar Pray for BT

    I just use a red diamond sharpener from the hardware store, and then the top of my drivers side window to finish it off. Gives a durable and sharp edge without a lot of work, and will slice paper.
    Question: How do the knife makers get my knives so sharp when new? I know they can't use a drawn out process on mass produced knives, yet every new Oso Sweet I buy has a razor edge.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  17. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    One of my all-time favorite folders by Kershaw, right there. The only thing I don't like is the pocket clip. I ripped it out within the first few days and it sits in my pocket like a true pocket knife, but I still love it. The balance, feel, and design of the blade are just awesome. I am only familiar with custom knife making techniques, and I am fairly certain mass produced knife makers have various arrangements. I do know Kershaw will sharpen the knives they sell for free at their Oregon factory for those who do not like to sharpen or know how to do so.
  18. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I am old, out of shape and lazy. :p I use a Work Sharp electric sharpener. Works great, quick, has multiple belts for different levels of sharpness. I used it on my kitchen knives about a month or so ago and haven't even needed to tough them up with steel since then.

  19. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I have several stone and ceramics but for the most part I use sand paper of varying grit ranges depending on the need.
  20. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    I just use an Eze-Lap pocket sharpener for everything.
    Trouble likes this.
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