How do you sharpen a knife with a whetstone?

How do you sharpen a knife with a whetstone?

This is a discussion on How do you sharpen a knife with a whetstone? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I feel really dumb asking this, but I've never been able to figure it out. I've read some tutorials online that didn't seem to help ...

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Thread: How do you sharpen a knife with a whetstone?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array ElMonoDelMar's Avatar
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    How do you sharpen a knife with a whetstone?

    I feel really dumb asking this, but I've never been able to figure it out. I've read some tutorials online that didn't seem to help much. I've even got 2 different sets of whetstones and neither seems to work for me. When I get done "sharpening" my knife, I can EASILY run my finger up and down the blade without getting cut.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    I have never been able to get an edge on a blade using a stone. Just can't figure it out.

    I resorted to a kit that has rods that attach to the stone, and a mount for the knife. Two companies that I can think of immediately is Smiths and Lansky.

    Of the two I prefer the Lansky system. The stones are better in my opinion, and the option for diamond stones is avaliable.

    With either of these kits I can put an edge on just about any knife sharp enough to shave with. My Schrade is my knock around "If I have my britches on" knife, and it stays sharp.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array ElMonoDelMar's Avatar
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    Do you have the Lansky standard or deluxe sharpening kit?

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    If you are going to sharpen an occasional knife then no need to buy the Lansky diamond.
    I have the standard & the diamond that I bought later on.
    You can buy the Lansky standard & then just buy one Lansky Extra Fine diamond hone to finish the edge. Then final finish with some jewelers rouge on a leather strop & you'll cut yourself just looking at the edge.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array ElMonoDelMar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    Then final finish with some jewelers rouge on a leather strop & you'll cut yourself just looking at the edge.
    Now you're speaking my language.

    I think I'm going to go ahead and order The Lansky standard system.

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    There are some other sharpening systems out there that are great also & folks swear by them and for good reason as they are fantastic also.
    I bought my 1st Lansky Many MOONS ago. Too many moons ago. and it gives me a flawless edge so I never saw any reason to switch to anything else.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    You might also want to check out Edgepro if you're feeling a bit wealthy today. Really though any system that allows you to maintain the exact same consistent angle for both sides of the edge will get the job done very nicely. It's not rocket science & that is the secret to a truly sharp basic kick a$$ working edge.

    Ouch! ~ I Just Cut Myself Clicking On This Edgepro Link!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array ElMonoDelMar's Avatar
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    The Lanskys look like they've got a good price compared to some of the other systems out there. I decided to go with one of those for the price and the good rating from you guys.

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    Everyone who carries a knife should understand how to shapren on a stone or smooth rock, for that matter.

    A small stone in the go bag and the knowledge of how to sharpen with it is essential IMO. I use a Spyderco system, but still sharpen by hand on a stone and keep a small stone in the go bag for those times I won't be near the kit.

    Our grandfathers and their fathers all knew how to sharpen tools by hand. It has become a lost art for the most part, but it should not be ignored for convenience or othersise [ the knowledge of how to use a stone ].

    Brownie
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr
    Everyone who carries a knife should understand how to shapren on a stone or smooth rock, for that matter.

    A small stone in the go bag and the knowledge of how to sharpen with it is essential IMO. I use a Spyderco system, but still sharpen by hand on a stone and keep a small stone in the go bag for those times I won't be near the kit.

    Our grandfathers and their fathers all knew how to sharpen tools by hand. It has become a lost art for the most part, but it should not be ignored for convenience or othersise [ the knowledge of how to use a stone ].

    Brownie

    I agree we should but there's one small problem. My dad wasn't an outdoorsman and we didn't have the boyscouts where I grew up so I never learned. I've tried doing what was described when I bought a wetstone along time ago and have never been able to put an edge on a knife without a grinder (even then I have messed it up pretty royally).

    The short of it is ANY tips I could get I would appriciate it.

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    One of the best I've seen at explaining the art of sharpening by hand on a stone is Bill Bagwell of Hells Belle bowies fame.

    I understand from a good friend of his, he may be putting out a dvd on sharpening. I could sharpen by hand pretty damned good when I trainied with him at a seminar. He showed us he could sharpen an 11 inch bowie from dull on a small stone that was 1/2 the size of a pack of cigarettes. He did it standing up, stone in the palm of one hand and the big knife in the other. Not even a table used, unbelievable how easy he made it and explained it. I learned more than just bowie skills that day with Bill Bagwell.

    Just awesome instruction from a guy known to make some great knives. Hopefully that dvd will be out this year. I'd keep an eye open for something and if I get wind of where it can be purchased, I'll let the readers know here.

    Almost impossible to tell someone how, they really need to be shown, then practice the skill on junkers until they just "get it". It can take hours, days, or months to get it down, it all depends on who is showing you the tricks of the trade.

    Brownie
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  12. #12
    Member Array Glockman21's Avatar
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    This link should get you on your way.

    http://gpvec.unl.edu/filesdatabase/f...p1.htm#sharp_a
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    Glockman...yep that's a real nice link. I've seen it before.
    When sharpening just with a whet stone the same rules apply.

  14. #14
    Member Array earthworm's Avatar
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    Buck Knives used to give away a pamplet calle 'Knife Know-How' that covered this & other topics.Also try the Boy Scout Handbook & Fieldbook.Glockman's link is very good if a bit technical for a beginner.
    I've had good luck with the Lansky system & some generic sharpners that hold 2 ceramic sticks at a 'V':prob with the ceramics is getting one with a medium grit.
    How I do it:
    Materials-1 medium & 1 fine grit stone.Try the WalMart sporting goods & hardware sections.RemOil. Paper towels or rags.
    Put a generous coat of oil on the stone.This "floats" away grit,metal shavings & assorted crud.Hold the knife at a +/- 15 degree angle to the stone:best way to describe this is hold at such an angle as tho you were going to shave a thin slice off the stone.Stroke away from you 10-20 times,turn the knife over & repeat on the other edge.Repeat until you get a good edge.Wipe excess oil off the blade & stone & add more oil as needed.Start with the medium-grit stone & when you feel you have a good 'working' edge go to the fine grit & repeat the steps above.I work my knives until I get just short of a shaving edge:the blade pulls a bit on my arm hairs as I try the edge.I stop here because a true shaving edge is too delicate for general use:dulls too quickly.Stropping on a leather is nice but not necessary IMHO.
    Hope this helps.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    The only warning I would have with Lansky is that you be sure that your factory edge is one that their system will accomodate. I've seen someone "reconfigure" a CS Tanto's grind using a Lansky, where Edgepro's higher jig would have easily have managed.

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