Best Way to Sharpen a Knife

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Many years ago I asked my dad how to sharpen one. He pulled out the old wet stone, spit on it and proceed to show me how to place a razor edge on his pocket knife. He then handed it to me for me to do it to my own.

Since then I have tried a number of different things to sharpen my knifes trying to find the one that would give me the best edge in the least amount of time. In those years I have used pieces of sandstone that I have picked up off of the ground, files to sharpen the knifes that I used in my jobs, oil stones, crock sticks, and finally the Work Sharp system.

Since then I have settled on the Work Sharp system. Some don't like them saying that they will grind the blade down to nothing. And if you use the coarse belt it will grind it down to nothing. But so will just about any of the sharpening systems out there.

I'll use one of their coarse belts for just a couple of passes to get the angle that they have set in their jig. I'll then switch over to the purple belt which is the finest grit to finish off the edge. It puts a edge on any knife in seconds and it is going to be sharp. A number of my friends have switched over to it also. Even a old Marine who claimed that he couldn't get a real sharp cutting edge onto one of his knifes switched once he saw the edge that I got onto that knife.

Now when I am in the field and need to touch up a edge I'll pull out a pair of crock sticks and in a couple of swipes I have that razor edge back onto my knife
 
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kidoggy

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knives these days are a dime a dozen . gets dull just toss it in the gutter with all the needles and grab another. :rolleyes: :LOL:
 
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Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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I use a couple of different things for keeping an edge on my knives.

To start the process, I use a traditional whetstone with cutting oil. The oil keeps the stone from filling up with the residue I take off the knife.

Once the knife has the edge I want, I use a Smith's edge "refresher". It is one of the cheaper things you see in a lot of gun shops. It is yellow plastic and has a coarse (carbide) set of sharpeners and a set of ceramic fine ones. It sharpens at a given angle and a couple of swipes on each side will resharpen it to a fine edge. I carry one in the3 field when I am hunting, never go without it.

I also have a diamond file that does a great job too, just have to be careful as it really removes the material from the knife fast.

I also have a round diamond dust file that works great on fish hooks.
 
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buckbull

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I was always amazed at the patience my dad had with a whetstone. I'm a works sharp man myself.
 

mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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Work sharp.

I run my leatherman through it about once a week.

In the field I use a little cheap yellow one with carbide on one side and ceramic on the other to keep things cutting good while butchering. When I get home everything goes through the work sharp.

I do have a smiths diamond kit that does good but it just takes too much time.
 
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Fink

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Apr 7, 2011
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West Side, MoMo
Outdoor Edge or Havalon knives with replaceable blades are the way to go.
I have a worksharp that I use occasionally, but I struggle to not mess up the tip of the knife.
A few years ago, I accidentally ground down the point on my favorite Benchmade knife.. I sent it in to have them fix it. Got it back - basically a new knife, except the belt clip, I like to think they left that on there for nostalgia purposes with all the wear and tear on it.
 

BKC

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Feb 15, 2012
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I own a havalon and only use the short blades in it. I also carry a wyo pac saw and an outdoor edge game skinner. I think this is a good small setup. To buy a fixed blade knife, you would spend a lot more money and then carry a sharpener also. If you have replaceable blades, when you have to change the blade, I drink some water and eat a snack and straighten myself up and stretch. I think the actual job of cutting and gutting is a lot of work if you are by yourself. I go thru about 4 or 5 blades on an elk. I slip the dull ones back in the packet and take them out with me. I DO NOT leave my trash in the back country. I still have a Lansky but it takes forever to get a good edge on a knife. I also have a work sharp but it only gets used for kitchen knives and my chisels, I think it is gimmicky.
 

taskswap

Very Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
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Colorado
I use a traditional wet/dry stone for kitchen knives. I also have one of those fancy things with the long rod that you clamp different stones onto, and it works great, but as said above it takes too much time. Honestly for most of my knives I tend to abuse the heck out of them, at least the one I carry daily - 90% of the time I'm opening boxes, cutting garden hoses, or other rough stuff like that, and I've just found over the years that I'm not the "scary sharp" guy. I'm the "pretty sharp in 10 seconds, what the heck you're just going to run it through some cardboard in an hour anyway" guy.

That said, for field dressing I was a big fan of replaceable blade knives, but I always break the blades. Again, I'm no surgeon. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but this year I got the Havalon Talon. Any of you guys that are heavy-handed like me should check this thing out. It's replaceable-blade so it's always surgery-sharp, but with two big differences. First, the blades are MUCH thicker so you're not going to break them. Second, the blade replacement is much easier, especially with messy, sticky hands.
 

JimP

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The last time that I used a Havalon was when I was cleaning a javelina down in Arizona and the blade came off. I quit cleaning it. I found the blade when I skinned it and split the brisket and throat open. Any knife or replaceable blade knife that can loose a blade inside of a animal has no business being used in the field.

I do have a Outdoor Edge knife that I let others use when they want a sharp knife and I bring the blades home and resharpen them with my Work Sharp. The sharpened blades are just as sharp as factory or so close that you can't tell the difference.
 

buckbull

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Jun 20, 2011
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That said, for field dressing I was a big fan of replaceable blade knives, but I always break the blades. Again, I'm no surgeon. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but this year I got the Havalon Talon. Any of you guys that are heavy-handed like me should check this thing out. It's replaceable-blade so it's always surgery-sharp, but with two big differences. First, the blades are MUCH thicker so you're not going to break them. Second, the blade replacement is much easier, especially with messy, sticky hands.
I receive a Gerber with replaceable blades with my latest RMEF renewal. It has really heavy blades compared to my Havalon. Looking forward to trying it as well.
 

taskswap

Very Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
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Colorado
That's why I like Havalon's new Talon. No way am I breaking one of these blades. I think they're honestly stronger than my steak knives.
 

mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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I can relate to the broken blades.....I broke a blade in my Havalon when I was cutting my elk up last year.

And I quote: "Nobody move.........did you see where that blade went?" lol

I really like those knives though.
 

marcusvdk

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Dec 13, 2011
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Michigan
Great informational video. I have several knifes, havalon, some fixed blade RMEF kit, and a handful of others.