Introduction: Keep Your Knife Sharp!

Picture of Keep Your Knife Sharp!

A sharp knife makes any task easier. But we don't always have the time or skill to sharpen like the pro's do, so here is an easy and effective method. Using a stick weldingelectrode/rod is easy and quick. It won't replicate the results from a oil- or waterstone, but it will keep you working when your knife has dulled.

Normal mild steel electrodes work fine, but if you can get those black or blue hard-facing rods, even better. 

Step 1: One Knife, One Electrode.

Picture of One Knife, One Electrode.

Get your hardworking knife and the electrode of your choice.

Step 2: Technique

Picture of Technique

Hold the electrode at the tip and press the other tip to your hip. Now stroke the blade at a very flat angle over the electrode. Start from the hilt and slide the blade along the electrode, drawing to the side along the length of the blade. Press the knife down hard enough to create some friction, but don't buckle the electrode.

Step 3: Change Direction.

Picture of Change Direction.

Turn the knife over and start from the hilt again. Maintain the same flat angle, only slightly higher than the bevel of the blade. Slide it back towards you drawing the full length of the blade over as much of the electrode's length as you can safely use.

Step 4: Repeat.

Picture of Repeat.

Repeat this about 10 times. Carefully feel the edge with your finger to check for a burr. Repeat steps 2 and 3 if necessary to get the result you desire. Remember, this is not an exact science, but it will give you a functional knife. 

Step 5: Test Your Tool.

Picture of Test Your Tool.

Slice something. I cut a fillet from this very deserving, evil tomato.

Please be careful with the sharp stuff.


sagum (author)2011-02-03

You might find it easier to cut soft fruit (such as tomatos) and and cooked meats with a fine serrated blade. For whole breads and the like, a larger corse serrated knife will work better.

mightywombat (author)sagum2011-02-07

You're absolutely right, Sagum, but the sensation of cutting a tomato or cucumber with an extremely sharp, plain-bladed knife is just incredibly satisfying.

maddogtjones (author)2010-11-21

Not a bad technique if you need quick access to your stomach cavity. Might I suggest putting a small block of wood or piece of thick leather to protect your guts.

pfdanielson (author)2010-09-24

is the knife with the wood handle homemade?

Phil B (author)2010-07-27

Do you know what electrode you used, 6011? 6013? Other? Does it matter? Do you recommend washing the knife again after sharpening and before using?

jongscx (author)Phil B2010-08-22

Basically, you need a grade of metal that has a hardness that is much higher than the knife. The blade of a knife, microscopically looks like a comb of thin metal fingers. When it's Sharp, the fingers all point up, when Dull, they are bent off center. Using the rod/electrode realigns them so that they are all pointing in the same direction again. Using a Whetstone just files off the bent fingers and makes new ones.

chrisdp (author)Phil B2010-07-31

Hi. No, I dont now the exact code. They all work quite well. Yes, wash before using, or you might see a grey line on your first cut.

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