what do you use to sharpen pocket knives?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by brownthumb, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. brownthumb

    brownthumb Well-Known Member

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    What is the best way to sharpen a knife to get a razor sharp edge on a folding pocket knife?
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use A fi;e then A stone. finished with A strop.
     

  3. Rod Torgeson

    Rod Torgeson Well-Known Member

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    You can do a search in google "how to sharpen a pocket knife" and get several responses. I use the scary sharp method. To find out what this is, do a search in google "scary sharp". You will get several responses. Hope this helps.

    Rod<---in Appleton, WA
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I use a 1 inch belt sander with sharpening belts. You can get 60 grit for roughing lawnmower blades to leather strops with honing compounds. I used to use finer belts but lately I've been trying a 120 grit for my farm knife.
     
  5. Tagalong

    Tagalong Go Hogs Go

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    I use a knife daily in my line of work,and I am not good at sharpening. In the kitchen we use fillet knives that come with little sharpeners,that is the best way to sharpen pocket knives I have found,you can find the fillet knives in a sporting goods department like wal~mart. Hope this helps you.

    Amy
     
  6. Herb

    Herb Well-Known Member

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    I use a stone with some 3 in 1 oil.
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    My friend John, whose photo is below, is a world champion sharpener. He is REALLY shaving with that axe in the photo! His best advice was to never let your knife get dull in the first place. Always keep the edge sharp by using one of those little sharpening devices that Tagalong described. When ever I filet fish, dress a deer, or whittle, I run the knife edge thru one of these gismos with the ceramic sticks every few minutes.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. sleeps723

    sleeps723 Well-Known Member

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    if u have trouble sharpening a knife lansky makes a kit that u cant do wrong, i use ark stones and have several types of smoothness and diff sizes. i dont know how to describe it but i can just feel the blade on the stone so i know at what angle to hold it. dad could never sharpen his so he used one of those that u run a knife thru or one on his can opener til i moved back into town. i sharpen all mine by hand, usually on weekends while watching football. im also like herb i like the 3 in 1 oil, its very good. if u want a long sharp blade u can purchase a low rpm bench motor with a buffing pad. this will polish the blade and will remove any burrs and the edge will last alot longer than reg sharpening
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    For the knife sharpening impaired get a small cheap looking tool called an Accusharp Knife Sharpener. It is foolproof.
     
  10. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I use an Arkansas whet stone with oil to float the particles removed from the blade. I clean the stone and apply fresh oil frequently.

    I stroke the blade along the full length of the stone making sure that the entire blade glides across the stone. With each following stroke I do the opposite side of the blade.

    When the blade is almost as sharp as I want it I slightly increase the angle of the blade against the stone and use a much lighter touch of the blade against the stone. No more than two strokes per side. This removes any metal curl should there be any from preceding operations.

    I then switch to 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper for a few final strokes. Kind of like a honing or stropping.

    For razor blades that I use to cut paper or cardboard I resharpen them on the sandpaper alone.

    BTW, the blade is always sharpened with the edge of the blade attacking the stone in the direction of travel.
     
  11. gunslinger598

    gunslinger598 Well-Known Member

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    I just got done cutting up 2 deer about 45 minutes ago. I keep a diamond steel handy for keeping the knives sharp on bigger jobs like this. I also use the arkansas stones & oil, & have a diamond flat stone. It reallyhelps to have decent steel in the knives you use. For my hoof knives I use when shoeing horses I use one of those e z lap diamond shapeners. I can usually get through 2 or three horses befor I have to resharpen. For keeping a keen edge on a few of the pocet knives after using any one or a combinations of the above mentioned, I have a ceramic rod That can really put a fine edge on, but ya darn sure need to start with a sharp knife for that to be effective.
     
  12. Herb

    Herb Well-Known Member

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    A trick an old timer showed me to set the proper angle when using a whet stone is to use two quarters. Stack the quarters on one end of the stone and lay the back of the knife on the quarters with the edge touching the stone. This gives you the correct angle to sharpen the edge.
     
  13. sleeps723

    sleeps723 Well-Known Member

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    i d love those ceramic sharpeners n ceramic knife blades. i dont think there is any correct angle on a blade. different angles give u diff results. short n sharp give u a stronger edge and a longer edge is much sharper but more brittle
     
  14. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    I use a 7 inch whetstone to start with, hold the blade at about 7 to 10 degrees away from the stone. When the sound becomes a 'swish' rather than a multi sound scraping you are done with the whetstone. The motion at the whetstone is a circular one, water lifts the filings away or you can use oil (petroleum).

    Next I transfer to leather, backward motion only is now the case. After about 10 swishes each way I transfer to a glass surface (coke bottle, mayonnaise jar) for about the same count, again back wards.

    Lastly use the palm of your hand to put the final touch on the blade, most surely back wards then, it will split paper with the finest of edges.

    Under a microscope, a sharp blade issues a rugged surface, much like a saw blade's teeth.
     
  15. sleeps723

    sleeps723 Well-Known Member

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    i have never heard of the glass trick so u know what im gonna try this weekend
     
  16. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    I use a wet stone to put on a sharp rough edge and then finish on a ceramic rod.Wishing i could get more of them.A country store up the road was selling them on the counter a few years back for .50 cents each.There about 6inches long and a little bigger than a pencil.

    Best thing ive seen used was the ceramic? round glass tube inside a mercury or sodium light bulb.The 45 dollar bulbs.It very thin fragile and cant be dropped buddy mine used to get them from work when there light bulbs shot.You didnt even have to put a rough edge on it first.

    Ive tried glass but you really have to do some fancy stone work first.Usally about the time im getting the edge where i want it i make a bad stroke on the stone.

    I seen an old man use an old piece of steel one time to touch up his knife.Got to talking to him about it and found out it used to be a sqaure file,which he had ground and sanded round and smooth.Said they used this method at a slaughter house he used to work for.Old Black Diamond files where made out of very good hardened steel.

    After seeing him use steel like that i dug around and finally come across a 1/2 impact extension that was made out of some pretty hard stuff.Sanded for ever seemed like to get it smooth enough though.Worked awsum for years but was stolen in a tool box from the bed of my truck one day.

    When using steel like that you can touch it up several times before you have to work it out on the stone again.
     
  17. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Ive tried and tried to learn how to do it that way. The only way i can do it is run it down the stone like im slicing a piece of it off. Ive perfected this method but it doesnt work well when using small stones and big knives.
    My great grandfather used to use a 2 1/2 inch square piece of stone held between his finger tips to put an edge on his three inch bladed knife. He could get an almost razor edge in a few seconds. His secrete he used to say was tobacco juice as he spat on his stone.

    Ive still got that old peace of stone but cant use it because of my technique. By the way regular spit works well to. :D
     
  18. diamondtim

    diamondtim Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the Arkansas stone camp. Start with the Wa----a. Then the Hard Arkansas. Go to a Black Hard Arkansas for the hopelessly anal :help: (those who shave their arms to prove how sharp the knife is).

    Usually a stone set comes with oil and instructions.

    I guess there is some filter on the forum that is scared of the name of the stone mentioned above.
     
  19. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah. I do do too. Well I do LOVE good Honest steel, too.
    Sounds kinda funny, but the local Pottery factory,
    Clay City Pottery, had a festival a couple years ago, every year since.

    They make a little flat, with rounded edges, knife sharpener. It sells for
    50 cents or 3 for a dollar, at the Festival. 1st year I bought 3.
    And, I like them so well, I bought about 5 dollars more since.
    I gave them to my sons & SiL's. They love them too.
    Once a knife is good & sharp, there is no reason to use a coarse whet stone,
    on it. Rarely any whetstone, more than a light touch up.Then ceramic & a good strop.

    And as far as blade angle, you are Right-on, AFAIC. You do Not want a thin sharp edge for chopping, as in a machete(Not exactly a pocket knife, a knife,
    all the same), or for chopping bones.
    You do not need to be able to shave with an axe, although it's a cute trick.

    Different Tools require different edges. My wood carving tools are an example there, chisels, gouges & such and my folding "Pocket-knife carvers".

    Now, everyone has a favorite way to sharpen. And, they all work the "best", for us.
    Ain't it great.
    Have fun.
     
  20. SmartAZ

    SmartAZ Well-Known Member

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    I have studied this a lot and after some wasted effort I finally sorted out the key principles. Here they are:

    1. You need to know how knives are sharpened, so you can use and care for them properly, but if you make your living with them you should not sharpen them yourself. (That may or may not apply to you. You decide.)

    2. When you find a good knife for a particular job, buy at least a half dozen at a time. You get a volume discount, and you can have a couple of knives while you send a couple to be sharpened.

    3. Axes are sharpened with a file, most knives are sharpened with a stone, razors are sharpened with a strop, and kitchen knives are sharpened with a steel. That thing you got at the department store is not good enough, and the grinder on your can opener is a sad joke. If you want a motorized sharpener, only get the best. If you are going to sharpen them yourself, you need a motorized sharpener.

    4. A good knife for one job is a lousy knife for a different job. You can shave with an axe but you don't chop with a razor, and you cut cheese with a wire.

    5. In sharpening a blade you consider temper, two or three angles, and polish. Some blades are tempered and sharpened differently at the tip. There are three or four processes in sharpening: grinding, ticketing, polishing, and maybe removing the burr. (For some jobs the burr is left on.) Every knife owner calls these by different names and perhaps does them differently, and thinks he has a totally different method. Learn these methods so you know how to select and handle your blades right, then hire somebody to sharpen them for you.

    HERE is a thorough course in sharpening. HERE is the same information in a PDF file.