This is an amazingly complex subject, with all manner of lore,
not to mention gadgets you can buy. You can sharpen free hand,
but most people are best served with some kind of jig to maintain
a constant angle. There seem to be 3 levels of skill in knife sharpening:
I own the Spyderco "Sharpmaker" and feel it is an excellent choice if you don't want
to spend a lot of money on a fancier system. I also own a DMT Duosharp diamond lap
with 600 and 1200 grit. The sharpmaker costs about $60.
The DMT costs about $60; it is for freehand sharpening.
- People who grind away with some stone and who don't really have a clue.
- People like me who use a jig.
- Artists who sharpen freehand with a series of special stones.
Videos by Murray Carter
There are lots of sharpening videos online, and probably lots of good ones besides these,
but I like what I have seen from this fellow.
Also, there is Shawn xxx, who seems to be "Deadboxhero" on the Spyderco forums.
He has supposedly done some great videos, but I have not found them yet.
A detour: lubrication
People use all kinds of things to lubricate folders. I currently use Tri-flow.
A product called "Nano-Oil" is recommended. People say the 85 wt is the best,
the 10 wt is too watery and tends to go where you don't want it.
Another product is "Tuff glide". You can also get "Tuf cloth" to go with it.
This is marketed as a lubricant, but its real virtue is corrosion protection.
Use Nano-oil or Tri-flow on the pivot.
Beyond the Sharpmaker
Ignoring freehand sharpening for now, I hear a lot about 4 other systems:
- Wicked Edge
- Edge Pro
The Lansky has been around a long time and is available in department stores.
For one reason or other it does not seem to be favored much these days and I will
say no more about it.
The Wicked Edge is wickedly expensive. That is probably all you need to know and
all I need to know to move on. It requires you to have two "stones" of each grit,
doubling the cost of adding any capability. It might have merit if you are some kind
of commercial high-volume sharpening service. Maybe.
So this leaves us with the Edge Pro versus the KME.
These are both well regarded by serious knife freaks.
The KME has a clamp to hold the knife.
The Edge Pro requires you to hold the knife against a rest.
Both are jig systems that sharpen at controlled angles.
I am hearing more good things about the KME.
One tip was to watch videos on both systems to understand the differences.
DIY knife sharpening systems
It is not too surprising, but people build their own jigs:
Drop me a line!
Tom's Knife Info / firstname.lastname@example.org