Instructables

DIY Knife sharpening kit

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Most knife sharpening kits that you can buy can damage or scratch your knife. The professionals always recommend using a set of sharpening stones, such as Arkansas stones, wetstones, or waterstones. However these stones often run $40+ and even more for a good sized one. These stones also have the problem of developing a "bowl" shape after repeated use, which in turn requires you to buy another stone - a flattening stone. As you can guess, buying these variety of stones becomes extremely expensive.
The knife sharpening kit that I made is capable of making a knife sharp enough to shave with, utilizes easily obtainable parts, and never goes bad or develops "bowl"-ing problems. Some quick repair/maintenance and the knife sharpening kit is as good as new, with minimal costs.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
So the basic idea behind this, is that you will be attaching sandpaper onto bathroom tiles, in order to create DIY sharpening stones. Simple, and it works. The best part is, that you can replace the sandpaper whenever they get old, really easily.

Materials Needed:
Container of Acetone ~ $10?
Spray Adhesive - $10
A variety of high grit sandpaper - $3/(pack of 5 sheets) * 5 packs = $15
cotton cloths (or cut up an old t-shirt) - Free
rubber bumpers (optional) - $3
smooth bathroom tiles -  $0.80/tile *5 = $4

The high grit sandpaper  can be found at automotive stores, or in the automotive section at Walmart. For those that done know, the higher the grit number, the finer sanding. You'll want 800, 1000, and 2000 grit sand paper at least. 200-400 grit sand paper would be used for a really dull, dinged up, and damaged knife that you want to remove nicks from. Though at 200 grit, you may as well use a dremel with grinding bit. While 2000 grit sand paper will give you a knife that you can shave hairs off with, if you are sharpening a straight razor and actually plan to shave with your blade, you may need to order higher grit sandpaper (4000 grit).

You'll want as large (long) of these sand paper sheets that you can find, and then get the smoothest bathroom tiles that you can find, that will fit these sheets of sandpaper. The sandpaper sheets that I found were 3.5" x 9" and the tiles I found were 4" x 8".

Everything else on the list can be found at a Lowes/Home Depot. The cotton cloths can be found in the painting section there.
wizarduss1 year ago
You should always sharpen a knife by pulling it, moving it AWAY from the sharp edge. This is because most knives dont get blunt by actually losing sharpness, but because the edge will get bent. Most tools to sharpen knives focus on getting that edge straight again, if you have proper knives they should last you a year (at exessive use, ie. restaurant kitchen or something) before you have to sand them down to resharpen the edge.
legamin wizarduss4 months ago

professional kitchen knives are most often now made of the rather soft stainless. These you would pull from the edge. (Also safer kitchen practice). But a hardened-tempered blade of around 60 hardness test should always be pulled towards the edge and never away when sharpening. Then opposite when stropping (so you don't damage your strop). Check your sharpening guides, you will find this correct.

legamin4 months ago

anal Bob, here... I LOVE your kit! But would start at 1000 paper and finish after five steps of 1000-2000-4000-8000-5 micron for dull blades and stay on the micron papers reducing gradual size until friction is not felt when sharpening razor type blades. I suppose, as a tile setter, I would recommend cut and edge sanded pieces of thick plate glass (mounted sturdily on flat wood) as most DIY store tiles are woefully uneven in the surface flatness and the graininess of the glaze finish. My knife blades must be perfect. So must the surface that I sharpen them against.

Now this is one clever idea. Congrats on a great Instructable!!
Dbro395 1 year ago
That's a really cool idea I never thought of doing that thanks man.
bruce50001 year ago
good information here ,,check messages
yes, and the fold of metal your taking off can fold over the egde and make it seem not sharp
joen1 year ago
Great instructable! This is definitely on my to-do list. One thing, when I need some little rubber bumpers as you call them, instead of buying them I use a dab of hot glue. When you put a dab down it self sticks (obviously) and spreads out to form a nice round rubbery cushion. It also resists sliding on almost any surface. I couldn't see if this instructable is entered in a contest. I would like to vote for it.
Quad89 (author)  joen1 year ago
Good idea with the hot glue gun, unfortunately I don't have one. I could see there being a potential problem with inconsistent glue blob sizes though, which might lead to an uneven or wobbly tile. I haven't entered into any contest. I looked through some of the ones going on and didn't really see anything too applicable. If you have a contest in mind, I'll enter it.
nanosec121 year ago
this is a great instructible, and a good set of instructions if you want to DIY...
However, for less than you spent on supplies you can buy a professional sharpening setup from various online retailers or your local big box store. I use a smith's kit that I picked up from a big box store for about $20. It only has 3 grades, but one of them is an ultra-fine diamond stone.

just my thoughts
Quad89 (author)  nanosec121 year ago
I've used a Lansky kit in the past - essentially the same as the Smith's. The problem I had with it, is that the clamp used to hold your knife can often scratch the finish on the blade, but you're right it is a cheaper option. I more or less wanted a set of sharpening stones without having to pay the crazy cost of $40+ per stone.
stubbsonic1 year ago
I've used sandpaper to sharpen my knives for years now. That's a good selection of sandpapers for this purpose. At first, I fastened the sandpaper to flat surfaces, but now I just put the sand paper on the edge of a flat table. A knife with no edge takes some work. I use 600 grit to get the edge shape. 1200 to smooth it more. 2000 for a great finish. Once I get a good edge, only requires the occasional touch up with 2000 grit. I also learned that you can use corrugated cardboard to strop a blade though it takes a little more time. "Anything that can make a knife dull can make it sharp." --kinda makes sense.
Quad89 (author)  stubbsonic1 year ago
Thanks for your comment. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only crazy SOB doing this. What kind of flat surfaces did you use and how did you fix the sandpaper?
l8nite1 year ago
The back of the tile would make a great hone just like the bottom of most coffee or tea cups. This is a good idea for occasional use but if you really care about your knives a decent stone is well worth the expense but they can often be found at yard sales or flea markets as well. Several of my stones were once my grandfathers so they tend to last a while
I will second that. One of my stones was my great grandfathers. I have only ever bought one stone. All the rest are family stones. In fact my best ones are the oldest ones.
Quad89 (author)  l8nite1 year ago
Yeah, I would like to get a nice stone set, but you know - poor college students and all that. I haven't had much luck finding a second hand sharpening stone that was worth buying, but I'm always on the lookout. The sharpening kit that I grew up using was my dad's lansky kit, and I always found the results disappointing.
Good idea, using tile is new to me, sometimes this is done on plate glass. ( plate glass is very flat ) You should note the paper should be "wet or dry" type. This is sometimes know as scary sharp method. Google it for more info.
Quad89 (author)  russ_hensel1 year ago
You know, I've heard of people using (or talking about using) high grit sand paper to sharpen their knives, but I could never find a case where someone had described how, or shown how they did it. I actually wanted to use glass instead due to the flatness and smoothness, but I was worried about the fragile aspect of it. I couldn't find thick enough glass at lowes/homedepot where I wouldn't be worried about it shattering. Plus tiles come in convenient, pre-cut sizes.
sunshiine1 year ago
Thanks for sharing your hard work! Have a splendorous day!
sunshiine
abottoms1 year ago
this is an awesome idea, thanks