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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.
 

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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.
 

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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. :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
QKShooter said:
Then final finish with some jewelers rouge on a leather strop & you'll cut yourself just looking at the edge. :rofl:
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. :yup: and it gives me a flawless edge so I never saw any reason to switch to anything else.
 

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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AzQkr said:
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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Glockman...yep that's a real nice link. I've seen it before.
When sharpening just with a whet stone the same rules apply.
 

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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.
 

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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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Good morning your local Boy Scout here, don't spend an arm and leg on a sharpening system buy you a three dollar sharpening stone from Wally World, and it comes with pouch. Place a few drops of oil on the stone place the edge on the stone at an angle, I would say 45 degree and pull the edge across the stone a few times and then you can turn the blade over to get the other side. Sometimes I let water run down the stone under the faucet and do it like that. This is very simple and saves big time money.
 

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The secret to using a stone is consistancy. I like a Tri-hone (course medium, and fine) on one platform. With a new knife I start on the course stone and work it till I get the angle I'm comfortable with. I don't know the angle I use, but it is comfortable for me. I then work the edge progressively finer. I always work the edge into the stone, rather than back dragging it. Use progessively lighter pressure as you finish up the edge to the point that just the weight of the knife is working the blade.

edit to add: I finish up with a few strops on a smooth butcher steel to remove any remaining wire edge. A steel can give a blade new life, and alleviates having to sharpen so often.
 

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Nods*

If you cannot get a razor edge on a stone, then you either 1.) Have a really crappy stone or 2.) Using the wrong technique

Someone else mentioned a tri-stone conguration. Yes... these are best, although unless you are sharpening a camping hatchet, or an aussie bushwhacker blade, dont use the most coarse stone. In most cases, its not necessary and will cause you significant time and elbow grease to produce a fine edge.

Now, if your blade is very dull, begin w/ med stone, and USE LUBRICANT liberally. Oil designed for stones is fine, but if you really want a tip, get some WD-40, and keep that stone completely wet. The purpose here is to "float" the steel cuttings to the surface and not get them lodged into the pores of the stone. This is even more critical on the fine stone. Whatever angle you begin with, stay with it! Dont change your angle.

I do not USE circular motion. This is horrible for the edge! Begin on the base of the blade near the bolster, and push the blade across the stone.... when you are 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through the push, rotate your hands some to cant the blade toward the slope of the tip. In one fluid motion, you should be able to cover the entire blade regardless of the length of your knife.

Other tip! DO NOT WORK ONE SIDE FOR A FEW MIN'S, THEN WORK THE OTHER SIDE!

Push the blade away from you once, then flip and bring it back with the same technique and angle. Flip it agin. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Now, someone also mentioned Stoping the blade. This is CRITICAL if you want your edge to last. What happens here, is you look at your steel edge with a microscope, you will see microscopic "burrs" produced from the porosity of the stone (no matter how fine it is) it still produces burrs. These burrs, make your microscopic edge look like a mini saw-tooth. Its sharp as hell, and cuts like a razor for now, but it wont last, cause when you cut, your quickly knocking down all those burrs very quickly and thus your edge is dull again. By stoping it with leather at an angle, your removing all those burrs microscopically, leaving ONLY a clean fine edge that you can shave the popes neck with. And it will stay that way longer.

But if you dont have enough lubricant, the pores of the stone will fill up with metal frags, and the stone will no longer "cut" the steel like you need to. Use lots of WD-40. *nods

Side note: You dont need an expensive diamond sharpener to produce a high quality edge. All these do is take your money, and save you some time and elbow grease. If you are patient, and use the right technique, a proper stone set and leather stroping belt will will go head to head with any diamond sharpener on the market.
 
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