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Thread: Knife sharpening kit for a man with little skill

  1. #1

    Knife sharpening kit for a man with little skill

    Hello everyone.

    This has probably been covered a fair bit before, but I'm thinking of asking Father Christmas for some knife sharpening gear. I have a few quite nice knives, and also some not so lovely old kitchen knives, but we're looking at low-frequency use here. I also don't want something that takes up a load of space as I don't have that, and finally - but importantly - I lack sharpening skills. So is there a reasonably-priced foolproof system out there that I could point Father Christmas towards?

    I expect that I'll receive a thousand opinions on this one but I will particularly value the experiences of others who don't really know what they're doing.


  2. #2
    Lansky is pretty fool proof. The wee blade tech 10 quid sharpener does fine too.

  3. #3
    Only Lansky (or equivalent) on any decent knife. Why not treat the kitchen ones to the Lansky too....


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post

    I expect that I'll receive a thousand opinions on this one but I will particularly value the experiences of others who don't really know what they're doing.

    As a third generation craftsman I don't really qualify. So you may choose not to place any value on my experience as per your criteria… however for what it is worth my suggestion would be that you treat yourself to an hour of a knife makers time and buy a one to one lesson so that you then can sharpen any blade with confidence. It is really not that difficult.

    The big advantage of gaining the knowledge and practising the skill is that you can then adjust the process and produce exactly the edge to suit your purpose rather than sticking to some arbitrary angle determined by a knife sharpening gizmo manufacturer.

    If you need an address near you in London you can pm me...or go onto the british blades forum and post a request...or get in touch with one of the knife makers on this forum….If you have a good relationship with your local Butcher it would be worth chatting to him, perhaps?


  5. #5
    No room for storing a sharpener, no problem, just send them to Longstrider on British Blades forum.
    Or buy a Lansky system
    Both will give a sharp edge, one requires effort on your part, the other requires you spend money.


  6. #6
    Knife sharpeners are like women:

    Approach them at the wrong angle and its game over.

    Purchase the largest top quality two-sided Japanese wet stone you can afford and take the lesson referred to above.

    The trick, as already alluded to, is that of matching the angle of grind the knife came with unless you wish to first re-profile to the accepted norm that is the basis for all these pre-set angled bits of kit.

    There is a certain pleasure to be had in turning a blunt knife into one you can shave arm hair with and no less frustration when you 'knock' the edge off having lost the angle on just a single pass!



  7. #7
    Lansky gets my vote too. I have used a set for years. It is simple to use, effective and lasts 'forever'. When 'forever' comes, you can buy individual replacement stones.

    I never could get a decent edge using a 'proper' stone, despite my (skilled) brother's efforts to teach me how. Lansky changed all that and I wouldn't be without it.

    I have found the 'quick' pocket sharpeners ok for a couple of strokes in the field if your knife edge becomes dulled. I do not use them otherwise as all those I have tried tend to put a very fine 'wire' edge on the blade. Such a fine edge is easily blunted.

  8. #8
    Get yourself an Ice Bear two sided Japanese wetstone. 1000+6000grit. Does the job great for 30.


  9. #9
    Many people struggle with this - you are not alone!

    The Lansky ceramic rod systems we ( and others ) sell work well and are fairly goof proof. Others like the comfort of systems that incorporate a guide system.

    The key is to understand what you are trying to achieve. Richard Blaine Youtube vids - are quite good - just avoid hacking at your thumb to test sharpness! Probably too detailed for many, but a great resource to understand the process and some of the pitfalls.

    EDIT - no idea how I managed to get the 'whole video' showing up! Thought had just posted a link. Anyway - whole range of vids on sharpening in the series. If you can bear the accent, worth a look.

    One day I'll get Dougster to get his own Youtube video out there.
    Stalking and Courses
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at Kelso, Scone & Moy 2016

  10. #10
    Pine Marten,

    I've tried a few different sharpeners and from what I can gather, there are three broad types; ones that are used freehand (such as stones and hand held sharpeners); "V" shaped ones, which have two rods held in a base, and fully guided ones, in which the blade is held at an angle during sharpening.

    I've tried the freehand ones and can't get good results from them. I've had lessons from a knife marker, but haven't got the knack.

    I've since bought a Lansky four rod box system from one of the guys on here. I get on really well with it. There are two angles (20 and 25 degrees) and two sets of rods (medium and fine). The pre set angles might not suit every blade. However, I've had great results with mine on a Mora clipper, Cold Steel lite and mini hunters, a couple of flat ground custom knives and the Cudeman knife I got from Cheshire Lad.

    One of the V systems might be good for you.



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