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What do you use to Sharpen Knives?
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:43 am    Post subject: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

I've enjoyed the thread on knives and leads to the subject question.

What have you found to give the best results for sharpen hunting knives? What angle do you try to maintain for a basic hunting knife? When in the field, what type of sharpener do you use? What is the biggest challenge for you in sharpening your knives?

For me, the Lansky system is a good starting point. I can choose the angle I prefer and use the various diamond stones to get a near "perfect" sharpening. From there, I take the blade to a 14" hard arkansas stone, followed by a leather strop and linen. Properly honed, this produces a fine edge, eliminates the feathered edge and retains the edge longer. Of course, I always use a good grade of honing oil.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

Honing oil, arkansas and wachita stones and about 15 Degrees...When in the field I carry or have in camp a small arkansas stone that can be carried in my pocket...

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k3yston3
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

I've been using the Lansky system with 5 stones for years and it puts a rather nice edge on the blade, quickly and consistently.
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Morax
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

99% of the time i use the lansky 3 stone setup at the 25 degree, it gives a good edge, holds for a long time with very little fold over, touchups in the field or whathave you i use either the old steel from shrade i think made it, or i do a strop from my pants belt, and thats all it usually needs.. BUT this is also one of the reasons why i carry a few extras on me in the woods.. pulled the crosslock out one day and the back of the blade was sharper than the edge was! pulled the old timer out and it did the job nice as you please!!
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bergy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

I've been using the basic Lansky 3 stone sharpening system that I got for a Christmas gift years ago. Use the 25 degree angle and it's simple to put a good sharp edge on the blade pretty quick.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

I just use a normal Arkansas (or "india" grey) honing stone and some cutting oil (miniral oil) generally, never got used to thouse fancy knife sharpening set ups. Smile

And if its really bad the blade then it gets to meet the bench grinder. Shocked

Dimitri

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Pitt55
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

I use the crock sticks in the wood block. The one I have gives 2 angles 20 & 25 deg. I also like stones with honing oil. I tried the Lansky system but had trouble getting a shaving edge. I got my first knife with a guthook for christmas, any tips on shapening the hook?
Don

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

Use the corner of the stone, thats what I do, a triangular stone helps as well as there is more clearance. Smile

Dimitri

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freedyf
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

Ise use an Arkansas stone, and bring a diamond steel with me into the field. I Have a good Buck skinner knife, sharpened to a point. I can dress an elk or several deer without sharpening. I like a sharp knife, Don't know how good I am at sharpening, but all my buddies bring their knives to me for sharpening. Haven't figured out if it's because I'm good or easy.
Freedyf

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Vince
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:42 am    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

For really REALLY blunt blades I use a Carborundum Stone that is coarse on one side and fine on the other. Use a very thin oil on the stone. I only use this stone sparingly though as it can be a bit aggressive if you aren't careful.

I have a Cambrian fine Steel that I use for touchups when necessary, and I finish on a fine Arkansas Stone, using only water.

In the field I have an ultra fine Carborundum stone and a Shefield coarse steel. Both do a good job if my knife needs any work, although the edge isn't as fine as when I do it at home.

Not sure of the angle as I do it by feel.....I think that it is somewhere around 17-20 degrees.

I will never touch any of my blades with a diamond sharpener. They take off far too much metal.

Cheers, Vince

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Morax
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

wow a real purist there huh..... you say you do it by feel for the degree, how long did it take for you to master the feel for it, and also about how long does it take for you to do one? i have that western hatchet that o do by hand, using a small (I am guessing) arkansaw stone and oil, and to get it to shave takes me about 5 minutes, but first hone it took a good couple hours...
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SavageRuger
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

Vince,
Without worrying about the angle; do you find you get a really sharp cutting edge? I only ask this because I have used stones but for some reason cannot get the same results as my local sharpening shop. For a $1.50 they give me a blade that can easily slice paper and I have a hell of a time trying to duplicate the same with a stone.

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GroovyJack
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

I have used ceramic sticks for more years than I can think of .. Fast and easy ..

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

The best way for someone who has not spent a lifetime sharpening knives is with a good system like the Lansky that keeps the angle constant. You can set an angle from 5 to 25 degrees but you have to remember that the smaller the angle, the more sensitive it is to damage. A good angle for skinning is near 20 degrees. This angle will hold up well with rough use and is sharp enough to cut easily. A stone is the only thing that ever touches my knives. You can get a perfect edge with any kind of stone that you want to use but you have to have various grades to take a blade from "store bought" to a good edge. I like the man made stones because the are harder and wear slower than the natural stones. The only time a grinder should touch a knife blade is when it is a motorized whetstone. Grinders kill the temper of a knife blade in less time than it takes to shut it off and walk away. I do have one exception to the stone rule; I use a ceramic rod to freshen my kitchen knives before and after each use. I do not use a ceramic rod on my hunting or skining knives. When they get used they get stoned - after each use they are sharpened, oiled and put away.

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Morax
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you use to Sharpen Knives? Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
The best way for someone who has not spent a lifetime sharpening knives is with a good system like the Lansky that keeps the angle constant. You can set an angle from 5 to 25 degrees but you have to remember that the smaller the angle, the more sensitive it is to damage. A good angle for skinning is near 20 degrees. This angle will hold up well with rough use and is sharp enough to cut easily. A stone is the only thing that ever touches my knives. You can get a perfect edge with any kind of stone that you want to use but you have to have various grades to take a blade from "store bought" to a good edge. I like the man made stones because the are harder and wear slower than the natural stones. The only time a grinder should touch a knife blade is when it is a motorized whetstone. Grinders kill the temper of a knife blade in less time than it takes to shut it off and walk away. I do have one exception to the stone rule; I use a ceramic rod to freshen my kitchen knives before and after each use. I do not use a ceramic rod on my hunting or skining knives. When they get used they get stoned - after each use they are sharpened, oiled and put away.

saying a grinder kills the temper is a big generalization there paul. wet grinders are designed for blades, if you know what you are doing a grinder can be used for lots of things on blade work without damaging the blades at all. oh and btw lansky goes from 30 degrees down to 17 degrees
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