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Please Tell Me About a Good ( and cheap ) Knife Sharpener

I'm no good with a sharpening stone. And those cheesy little sharpeners they sell at Wally World with the v-shaped stones don't last too long.
 

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I'm lousy with a sharpening stone. And Ideas for a good sharpener I can just drag over the blade a few strokes? Thanks.
 

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Re: Please Tell Me About a Good ( and cheap ) Knife Sharpener

See if you can find where Boy Scout uniforms and accessories are sold....I still have my stone from the 1960s in its leather sheath...probably some other fabric now...Amazon has some ...but about 12 to 30 dollars
 

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I have been using this Lansky set for the past 40 some years.

Runs about $25,(Cabela's) bit less on Amazon. They also make ones with 4 and 5 stones but never had the need. Will do anything from small jack knife to larger chef knives. And yes they certainly come out sharp as the hairless test spots on my arm can attest. ( shave them as test, could cut paper but where's the fun in that?)
MikeC
 

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I just use a stone.
 

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I rescued a old electric can opener from the trash that had a built in knife sharpener--it wouldn't open cans well (they would drop off after it cut the lid off!)--but it sharpened my pocket knives to perfection...
Now I'm wondering if I still have it-or if its lost in the clutter in my garage,or if I tossed it out..hmmmm!..haven't used it in a long time..
 

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I have been using this Lansky set for the past 40 some years.

Runs about $25,(Cabela's) bit less on Amazon. They also make ones with 4 and 5 stones but never had the need. Will do anything from small jack knife to larger chef knives. And yes they certainly come out sharp as the hairless test spots on my arm can attest. ( shave them as test, could cut paper but where's the fun in that?)
MikeC
I agree this is the best for the edge that you can get but it does take some time to get that edge.
For a good balance between edge and time, I like the Smiths 52564
 

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The Smiths DIAMOND sharpening system is also a good one similiar to this one.
https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/1015580617?pid=836194&utm_medium=shopping&utm_source=bing&utm_campaign=Knives+&+Tools+-+Knife+Sharpeners&utm_content=836194&cm_mmc=pf_ci_bing-_-Knives+&+Tools+-+Knife+Sharpeners-_-Smith's-_-836194&msclkid=5e9e6136d5881c90cf283cf37971dffd&utm_term=1101100736048

What I've done to get by cheap (and doing so for several years) once the just regular cheaper Smith set is bought (you can do the same with lanskys) is I buy the diamond sharpening stones like this from HF or flea bay and get some aluminum sign material and cut it too about the width of the stone including the 90 degree bend and glue the stones to the aluminum guide bars and then use the rest of the angle guides. The HF diamond stones last a very long time and come in fine, med, course. The diamond sharpening stones cut and sharpen more agressively and do not wear out very fast. Even Ronnie Milsap can sharpen a knife using the Smith or Lansky Diamond sharpening system.:tango_face_surprise:tango_face_wink:

The key to getting a very sharp edge is both edges of a knife have to be sharpened at the same angle and the Lansky and Smiths allow you to do such.

I've seen more accidential wounds caused from a dull knife than a sharp knife.:tango_face_surprise
 

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I'm lousy with a sharpening stone. And Ideas for a good sharpener I can just drag over the blade a few strokes? Thanks.
Most if not all of the sharpeners listed by folks will do a good job, but the key to this is in your first question. It takes care and work to make a good sharpening job and "just dragging over the blade a few strokes" doesn't cut it (pun intended). Most of the tools, or set of stones, start rough for a shaping step, then smoother for a smoothing step, then stropping or honing for the final step. The "extras" are mostly intended to help keep a proper angle on the bevel and can help, but it takes close attention and time to do it right.

My test for dullness is to look at the edge under a good light. You can easily see any flat, un-sharp edges as a bright line. If it's sharp, the edge can't be seen - and you can shave with it.

If you get it right at first, then maybe you can touch up with a few strokes.

most can-opener-type sharpening attachments and drag-through sharpeners will seem sharp but leave a wire edge that quickly dulls.
 

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Bottom line is sharpening a knife or chisel (or any edged tool, for that matter) takes skill or equipment. The former is developed over time, the jigs range in price from cheap to expensive. I've used the Lansky that Newsman suggested (descended from LouRay's virtually identical sharpener). This is relatively inexpensive and will do a nearly perfect job of sharpening your knife - but it is NOT going to be a few swipes on a stone. It is slow and will take time if you do it properly - and will give you a knife that you can shave with when you are finished.

I've tried oil stones, Japanese water stones, self stick abrasive film applied to glass, an off brand and Makita power wet stone set-up, the Stone Pond, and more than a few plane iron/chisel jigs along with even a 2 x 72" belt grinder (using a 9 micron belt for final polish). All do a good job. The key is holding the knife at a constant angle as it is drawn across the abrasive medium. Those quick kitchen knife sharpeners use hardened steel cutters arranged in a "V' to take a shaving off the knife, and I've never been happy w/ them. Kitchen 'steels' do not sharpen a knife - they simply reshape the edge. For a really sharp knife you need to use a variety of grits from coarse to very fine, as said, holding the angle constant. Any 'knife sharpener' that uses a single stage - one grit - wheel or stone will give you a knife edge that is, perhaps, sharp enough. But not, imo, a good sharp edge.

To answer your request: Any set of oil stones or water stones will do the job. You need to supply the skill. Absent the last, rely on a jig - get a good one, you get what you pay for.

Go to youtube and look for a video showing the Japanese masters sharpening a samurai sword. They sit cross legged in front of the stone and draw the sword across the stone from right to left (or the other way), pause and then repeat. The mastery is these guys have been doing this for years and can hold the angle constant over the entire length of the blade for every stroke.
 

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The problem with this device is the user has to hold the blade at the same angle without changing it as the diamond plate/stone pivots slightly below the knife. This is not easy, and is the skill I was talking about in my earlier post.

I like this one from A G Russel:

https://agrussell.com/knife/A-G-Russell-V-Sharpener-Ceramic--CS94

Does a good job in a few strokes, The rod holder gives you the angle if you keep the blade held straight.

Just be sure to order the ceramic rod cleaning stone with it or opt for the diamond rods version:

https://agrussell.com/knife/Rust-Eraser--RTZ-EB
Again, the same problem, though it is easier to hold the knife vertical than at an angle 17 deg off the horizontal. Any time you deviate from the correct angle, the knife's bevel changes from flat to convex and the sharpness suffers. A hollow ground edge is going to be sharpest, and also the weakest, flat is a compromise, and convex is what is put on axes and hatchets for strength to combat abuse. A flat edge is what you get when you use something like the Lansky/LouRay system. This is a jig that holds the blade at a constant angle as you drag it across the stones (or the other way round since you are moving small stones over the steel). And, the Lansky uses several grits from coarse to ultra fine and that does a better job of eliminating scratches on your way to a polished edge. Nobody ever sands wood with only one grit, neither should you sharpen a knife with only one or two stones. If you do use a two grit system it will take longer to eliminate the scratches made by the first stone with the second. It really depends how dull your knife is and how much time you are willing to spend sharpening it, how sharp you want it and the purpose of the knife.

Lansky's jig offers you several angles from a very shallow (weak but very sharp) to a less shallow angle (stronger but not quite as sharp). Other jigs that hold the knife at a constant angle as you move the knife across the abrasive also will give a sharp edge.

Not mentioned yet are the abrasives used. Arkansas oil stones are the standard, Hard Ark's have been used to get a sharper edge, but they cut much more slowly. Self stick abrasive films adhered to glass are excellent, Japanese water stones cut quickly and will give a superb edge, however the stones are soft and need flattening often. Diamond stones are expensive but last nearly forever. A Fine Woodworking article said that diamond powders and water gave the ultimate sharp edge for woodworking tools - chisels and planes. Some of this might be over kill, especially if you are not sharpening an heirloom Samurai sword.
 

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I have been using this Lansky set for the past 40 some years.

Runs about $25,(Cabela's) bit less on Amazon. They also make ones with 4 and 5 stones but never had the need. Will do anything from small jack knife to larger chef knives. And yes they certainly come out sharp as the hairless test spots on my arm can attest. ( shave them as test, could cut paper but where's the fun in that?)
MikeC
X2 on the Lansky. I have scared people with my sharp knives. That's not bragging on me, that's bragging on the Lansky.
 

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Re: Please Tell Me About a Good ( and cheap ) Knife Sharpener

As others have said, consistency, consistency, consistency.

Some setups allow for consistency better than others.

Personally, I can freehand and achieve a very sharp razor edge on nearly any setup. But I attribute that to my grandfather. He used to hold my hand as he taught me to sharpen on emery clothe. He would whisper “the same, the same” through every stroke.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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