Best sharpeners (Diamonds good?)

Best sharpeners (Diamonds good?)

This is a discussion on Best sharpeners (Diamonds good?) within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What is the best way to sharpen a knife? I have some knives I love and want to take care of, but I need some ...

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Thread: Best sharpeners (Diamonds good?)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Best sharpeners (Diamonds good?)

    What is the best way to sharpen a knife? I have some knives I love and want to take care of, but I need some advise on sharpeners as I am a novice.

    I was looking at this, but dont know if its any good?

    G T Distributors Product Detail

    Let me know.
    Yeah I like Glocks, wanna fight about it!


  2. #2
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    Diamond is the best.
    Search Ebay. They are less expensive than that on Ebay.
    Always use very little pressure with diamond hones.
    Diamond cuts even the hardest steel like it is softer than butter.
    Most people who sharpen with diamond exert too much force when attempting to sharpen. They try too hard...let the hone do the work with only three hairs and some air of pressure.

  3. #3
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    I am not that familiar with diamond sharpeners I prefer a Japanese waterstone to do the initial sharpening and to set the bevel then ceramic stones to sharpen and polish the edge. Bench stones do take some practice to produce a good edge especially maintaining the proper bevel. One product to help with this is the Lansky sharpening system but there are other systems available from other makers.

    Lansky Sharpeners

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    Member Array Bando's Avatar
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    I have heard good things about Lansky brand sharpeners. Thats if you want easy. I have not used them myself. I use a Japanese wet stone. They are used to put edges on sushi knives and I have had great sucess with them. You soak the stone in water for a while and then get to work honing.I like them because I don't need to use oil. They are also very hands on. I can control my edge angle very well. Did I menton they sharpen sushi knives with them? Research them online and get a course and fine grit set.
    The Problem: When stupid people do stupid things, smart people end up getting killed.

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    I have used several different sharping systems and have spent a good bit of money on them, but the best I have found is the Warthog V-Sharp. It is really worth the money I invested in mine. Here are links to a couple of my posts about the Warthog in another thread.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...197-post7.html

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...598-post9.html
    George

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    Member Array Hammurabi's Avatar
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    I don't believe that oil should be used with a sharpening stone. A stone that has been used with oil in the past should continue to be used with oil or resurfaced, but anything new is better used dry or with water (depending on the stone) imo.

    If you want fast cutting for stock removal or you need to get an extra dull blade back to working condition diamond stones are the way to go. If you want to get the hang of sharpening without too much of an investment get some automotive sandpaper (something like 800 or 1000 grit should do in most cases) and put it on as flat of a surface as you can find. This gives you a reasonable quality full size sharpener for just a few bucks. Even if you want to play around with several grits it won't cost you much.

    As you sharpen a knife use less and less pressure as you work. A light touch cuts a less aggressive scratch pattern across the edge meaning material is removed more slowly and a finer edge is left. Don't be fooled into thinking that a very fine sharpener is necessary to make a knife sharp. Even coarse stones can be used to make any good blade sharp enough to shave arm hair off with appropriate consistency, pressure, and a little stropping.

    The sharpener you linked to I don't believe would be a good one to start with. Something longer and with more surface area that you could lay flat on a table would be easier to learn on. Even if we assume that style of sharpener was ideal a double sided DMT diafold would be a safer buy. It's a little cheaper and DMT has an outstanding reputation for quality.

    One of the easiest tricks to make sure you're sharpening correctly is to mark the edge and bevel with a marker so that you can see exactly where you're removing material from.

    I usually sharpen freehand with the synthetic sapphires that come with a sharpmaker. I keep one side of a fine rod extra smooth for finishing.


    Edit: forgot to mention something important that not many people seem to discover. "Grit" does not always mean the same thing. Several grit scales are used, the major ones being ANSI/CAMI, FEPA, and JIS. For example, a 4000 grit waterstone (JIS) has an average actual grit size of ~3 microns which is the same as 1500 grit American sandpaper (CAMI) or a F1200 grit European abrasive.
    Last edited by Hammurabi; August 11th, 2008 at 04:20 AM.

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    Senior Member Array jeep45238's Avatar
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    Diamonds certainly are the fastest. I don't use them though.

    I use a Spyderco Sharpmaker, which uses ceramic rods. If something is REALLY in desperate need of help, I'll lay down some sheets of varying grit sandpaper, from 120-320, and go over those. Works just as fast, and is a lot cheaper than buying the diamond stones.

    I like my edges polished. They cut better and cleaner. You just don't get that edge from diamonds without a TON of stropping in my experiance.
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  8. #8
    Member Array Hammurabi's Avatar
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    I also enjoy a good polished edge. More specifically I usually go with an edge that is as polished as possible towards the tip and a bit more coarse (but still very sharp) towards the rear. Where the transition is depends entirely on my mood. This is because if I'm cutting with the rear of the blade I'll probably be drawing the blade and if I'm cutting with the tip I'm more likely to be push cutting.

    I can't sleep so here's a few more tips:
    -I mentioned that a sharpener you can lay flat on the table is a good idea. Once you get the hang of that you might enjoy trying holding the stone in one hand and the knife in the other. That's the way I do it when I freehand with my sharpmaker stones. It makes it easier for me to do sharp curves such as the front of a spey blade. Be careful not to get your fingers in the way when you do this.
    -Angle consistency is key. Without consistency you cannot expect great results no matter what stones you use. This is the bulk of the learning curve of sharpening without a guide.
    -It is much better to sharpen at slightly too obtuse of an angle than too shallow. A microbevel will not noticeably diminish cutting ability whereas the edge of a knife sharpened at too shallow of an angle will not be shaped properly.
    -Even if you decide to go with a guided sharpening system practice sharpening freehand from time to time. It'll be fun and if you screw up you can always use the guided system to fix the edge.
    -Not all knives sharpen equally. It's best to learn on a knife that takes a great edge easily such as a Buck 110.
    -As you've probably guessed from the replies so far there is no "best" way to sharpen. The best strategy is to play around until you find what works best for you.
    -Give stropping a try. This slightly polishes and refines the edge and I believe that it also cleans out any loose fine dust/oil/grime or whatever that might be on the edge. You don't need to buy a "real" strop to try it out. Many improvised strops work well enough for anything less than a straight razor.

  9. #9
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    The 'best' arguably, is the EdgePro Apex line. Good stones, and easy to keep a consistent angle without scraping up the sides of the knife. It's also one of the more expensive ones out there.

    As mentioned previously, the Spyderco Sharpmaker works well too and is extremely popular. Similar in design, A.G. Russel has their Field Sharpener which comes with diamond stones as well as the ceramic. These types make it easy to sharpen, but only at a single angle.

    Finally, there is the Razor Edge system which clamps directly on the knife. It will scratch the knife up, but will produce nice results as well. AND, if you're serious about sharpening, pick up their "Razor Edge Book of Sharpening"...basically the Bible of sharpening things...it's the book with a picture of the owner shaving with an ax on the front.

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    DMT makes my favorite sharpening stones. Worth checking out IMO.
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    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Wow, now I need to do some research. Thanks alot for the info
    Yeah I like Glocks, wanna fight about it!

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    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    So will the Lansky Arkansas stones give a good edge or should I get some water stones? Are these the same thing? I literally have no idea what I'm doing here. But I really want to get started without investing alot of money. The sandpaper idea sounds like a great idea at least to start with.
    Yeah I like Glocks, wanna fight about it!

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    Senior Member Array jeep45238's Avatar
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    Any of them will give a good edge if you keep a good CONSISTENT angle.
    Last edited by jeep45238; August 11th, 2008 at 10:17 PM. Reason: edited to add CONSISTENT
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  14. #14
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    If you want to be certain of a good edge a spyderco sharpmaker is about as foolproof as it gets.


    Waterstones are used with water. They typically require soaking before use. They also require maintenance (periodic leveling). Waterstones have a great reputation for being able to remove material quickly and/or give you a splendid polished edge depending on the grit and kind of stone. I've been thinking about trying out a slow cutting 12k Chinese stone for fine polishing.

    Arkansas stones are simply hard flat rocks. They're best used dry or with just a little water (no oil). Depending on the hardness and frequency of use they may also require leveling from time to time. The only really practical way to do this that I'm aware of is with silicon carbide sandpaper. Arkansas stones are considered by some to be the best way to get the sharpest edge on a knife. I haven't yet had the chance to play around with a translucent stone so I can't say from personal experience one way or another.

    Whether waterstones or Arkansas stones are "better" depends on the specific stones being compared and personal tastes. Rough stones of each type give a serviceable edge quickly and the finest stones of each type are good enough for straight razor honing.


    I like to think of sharpening as involving three possible steps. The first step is to form a rough edge. If you never let your knives get dull this never becomes necessary. The idea is to make the bevels meet properly the whole length of the edge. The blade will be fairly sharp at this point. The second step is to refine the edge to the desired "toothiness". This is done by honing with increasingly fine grits and/or using a lighter touch. After this the edge will be somewhere between barely sharp enough to shave arm hair and being able to brush it off with a light touch. The third step, finishing/polishing, is optional. This involves extra fine honing, using polishing compounds, and/or stropping.

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    Member Array Hammurabi's Avatar
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    I just remembered a couple videos I watched a while back that you might find helpful, especially for understanding water stones:
    Sharpening with Ray Mears Part 1
    Sharpening with Ray Mears Part 2

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