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Gettiing The Knife Sharp
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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 9283
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 1:54 am    Post subject: Gettiing The Knife Sharp Reply with quote

Just Typed this out for another Forum..Gelandagan can chuckle away to his hearts content Very Happy
It is said that we learn from our mistakes,it is also said the day you stop learning is the day you begin to die.
Getting knives sharp is something I have always been passionate about and Im still learning.
Reading comments on this great forum in last year has given me new insight about some things,Ive had to eat humble pie too..that was good for me to do as the learning was priceless.
Bruce made comment re keeping angle constant and just to keep going with harder steel knife...took that on board and revisited a couple of knives that I just couldnt quite get right angle really good then switched to super fine/hard stone and continued.. results are hair shaving sharp.
2 years ago I made a custom knife on course,as 50th birthday gift from my wife...only in last month have I really got to grips with getting it super sharp,I had origonally left blade very meaty with rounded shoulders for strength..but realised was shooting self in got stuck in and took shoulders right off blade so have ended up with sort of a long shallow angled scandi grind maybe 15mm from my fat raw cast section down to razor edge...I also took about 5mm off back of blade along the spine...figgured no way will I grind down that far in remaining 30 years on this earth so why carry the extra metal around the hill???
processed two goats with knife yesterday and MUCH better to use and taking that 5mm off back edge dropped point back closer to level of back of handle..more to my liking have never liked a sweeping skinning blade.
That brings me to another wee tootoo I did last week..had old green river?? works knife with sweeping skinning blade,close to half worn down but still lots of life left in it..but I dont like swept blade...asked question on this a month or so back,was it posible to rebend it...NO was answer but maybe grind it to more user liked I took big slice off tip and rear..not quite enough to have it straight backed but has had added bonus of creating a much better point. love using that knife now..before it sat un used.
mate had older boning knife sort of a lamb skinner shape..he really liked knife but it was really blunt.Ive put edge back on it twice over last 18mths but it had really pronounced shoulders...a blade cross section that was fat till about 5mm from edge then steep taper to ccutting edge... he gave it to me the other week with permission to "get stuck into it,use grinder if needed" so I took it to shed and did get stuck in..I dont have linisher but have got good at using 4" bench grinder with blade just touching wheel at very very shallow angle..its fine balancing act of mark blade up too high..but get stuck in I did,took shoulder back from 5mm to about 10mm back from edge,then used rough stone,then fine stone to finish it off...gave it back to him and week later after cutting up ANOTHER pig..we is stoked,completely different knife to use and very sharp.
Now I have another wee delima and its caused a learning in of itself,it involves the use of a steel.Having served my time on fish filleting line,I learned that steeling can be done both ways and sometimes putting point of steel onto table and stroking knife down from handle of steel towards the tip while looking along steel can be VERY effective,It allows you to watch your steeling angle...I watched mate use steel out of corner of my eye and noticed on some strokes the angle between blade and steel was far far to steep..EG knife was close to 45 degrees into steel..PERSONALLY I prefer knife to be much flatter onto steel so its brushing along stroking feather edge back into line not grinding it I have to work out how to tell my older much experienced mate this without offending him (Ive already threatend bodily injury if catch him using drag through grinding thing again) Im positive with wee tweek to technique his knives will stay sharper for longer.
Comment by Mr Songhurst some time back...I now polish blade using fine wet n dry sand paper...lovely to see a dark dirty looking blade come back to mirror finish..the look on face of "dirty old pig hunter" when the trusty previously rusty svord is removed from sheath is priceless.
Thankyou to all you folks for caring enough to pass on knowledge,sometimes without even knowing you are doing it.
My left arm is often seen hairless,when you give me a knife to sharpen you find out why.
Hopefully this rambling may help someone somehow
Sharp blades

You shot it You pluck it !
Them who eats the most duck eats the most feathers!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Gettiing The Knife Sharp Reply with quote

That’s a great diatribe mate. Sharpening a knife is an experience you need to learn…it doesn’t come naturally.

I use a Lansky knife sharpening kit when a steel doesn’t put the edge back to “new”, with the last stone being a 1000 grit. I’ve seriously debated buying the diamond “stones” they have, down to at least 3000 grit, but I’m wary of diamond stones because they tend to remove a lot of steel.

I agree with your comments on steel usage, but it all comes down to what each of us finds works for us. Personally, I hold my steel horizontal at chest height and wipe my knife across the steel that way, with the knife moving almost vertically as you wipe the blade on the steel. I find it easier to maintain a shallow edge that way and it brings up a nice sharp edge. Also, my steel is almost dead smooth and you only need gentle pressure on it to get an edge. Putting too much pressure on it with the knife puts a bigger burr on the edge and doesn’t seem to sharpen the knife…all it takes is a few soft strokes to bring it back.

Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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Joined: May 07, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 6:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Gettiing The Knife Sharp Reply with quote

Technically steeling is to re straighten the tip of the blade that may have "fold" microscopic-ly along the cutting edge and the angle you hold is not usually an issue as long as the end result is a straight edge.

Diamond stones are awesome, I started long ago with expensive japanese stones, then I use sandpaper on a piece of glass for a few years, but nowadays, I only use diamond stone from ebay.
Just remember to strop the knives once you re-edge on the stone and get rid of the burrs.

Folded burrs is the number one thing that make knives no longer feeling sharp. Straight off the stones, the burrs might give you a sharp feel, even cut hairs off your arms, but burrs are very weak and will fold soon.
Thus removing the burr to expose the true apex of your knife edge would make your knives feel sharp much longer.

No I wont laugh at those who are willing to learn.
Happy to discuss further if you wish.

A straight line is the shortest distance between two points.
A smile is the shortest distance between two people.

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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 9283
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Gettiing The Knife Sharp Reply with quote

feel free to continue ...I am forever learning.agree re what a steel does, the wee burs you refer to as folding over..I call feather edge. ive got steels with diamond grit ,lamb steel from works ,short ones,long ones smooth ones

You shot it You pluck it !
Them who eats the most duck eats the most feathers!
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