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Step 4: Flatten Away

Splash some water on the sidewalk and rub the stone on it til the stone is flat. Use plenty of pressure.
Listen to "The Great War for Civilization" by Robert Fisk while you work to understand what went wrong in the Middle East.
<p>your casual and humorist is very empowering I'm going sharpen my own knives. IM GOING TO DO IT!!</p>
I'm using a Lansky sharpening system to reprofile my blades and Spiderco Triangle sharpmaker to finish off the edge to give hair splitting sharpness
<p>I have to laugh about your comment implying that a city with a Chinatown is somehow more civilized. Any Chinatown I've ever been to in this country is the epitome of barbarism. Rude shop and restaurant people, rotting food smells all around, sidewalks 8 deep with throngs of people. Shady-looking people on the sidewalks. My Chinese wife feels the same way. We visit Flushing fairly often and there is (some) good food to be had there but that's about it. The only Chinatown we have ever been to that is an exception is the one in Toronto. It is clean and spacious and respectable. The exact opposite of the American variation. Where we live now, there are Asian stores so no Chinatown necessary. Chinese stones are crap IMO. They are of inferior material and 'bow' rapidly. I think the sidewalk idea could net you a fine if you're caught. A cheap square of tile would do the same thing. As for sharpening by hand, it takes years of practice to get good at it. The Lanksy sharpening system is what I use. It keeps the stone at the proper angle(s). My stones are still flat after decades of use. They are high quality stones.</p>
<p>Fabulous ible and even &quot;fabulouser&quot; humour, you're NUTS (but in the nicest possible way!!) TYSM for the laughs and great instructions. Looking fwd to seeing more of your stuff. </p>
<p>Well done! I really enjoyed the tongue in cheek humor. Especially the story about your grandfather! Don't you love old family stories!?! I'm a BIG believer in spanking. But spanking with your hand is as far as you get to go, you don't get to leave marks, bruised and such, and you NEVER EVER spank while your angry! THAT'S when things get out of control! It's also where the phrase, this is gonna hurt me more than it's gonna hurt you!&quot; comes from. Much harder to spank a child when your not angry!</p><p>Anyway, I digress.... The idea of running a knife down my fingernail makes me a bit nervous! But I might just have to try that. Definitely not an expert with knives, not sharpening them anyway, although I do sharpen my regularly, I question how well I do it. Again, well done and I enjoyed it.</p>
<p>Well done! I really enjoyed the tongue in cheek humor. Especially the story about your grandfather! Don't you love old family stories!?! I'm a BIG believer in spanking. But spanking with your hand is as far as you get to go, you don't get to leave marks, bruised and such, and you NEVER EVER spank while your angry! THAT'S when things get out of control! It's also where the phrase, this is gonna hurt me more than it's gonna hurt you!&quot; comes from. Much harder to spank a child when your not angry!</p><p>Anyway, I digress.... The idea of running a knife down my fingernail makes me a bit nervous! But I might just have to try that. Definitely not an expert with knives, not sharpening them anyway, although I do sharpen my regularly, I question how well I do it. Again, well done and I enjoyed it.</p>
<p>Yes! Great humor!</p><p>I would advocate for finer sharpening. Up to 4000 grit is good for me. I go 600, 1200, 4000. If you spent a whole day butchering animals you would want to sharpen that well. The edge lasts longer, cuts faster, and you can do fancier cuts without cosmetically ruining the meat. Some of my relatives scoffed at me for taking the extra few minutes to sharpen, but once I got them to try it I couldn't get my sharpening stones back.</p><p>And remember...sharpen often. A sharp knife is dangerous, but a dull knife is unpredictably dangerous. </p>
<p>Its not until you've used a properly sharpened knife that you realise what crap youve been trying to cut with. I started making knives, and sharpening my own when i lived with my parents so every now and again i'd sharpen my mums everyday use knives. and when i moved out i urged her to, even once a week, just give them a quick 5 min sharpen, but no, 3 months later im visiting and her knives are so dull you can drag your finger down the blade with no risk of a cut and shes complaining potatoes slip out her hand and chicken just 'mashes' when shes trying to cut them. So cue me spending 2-3 hours sharpening all her knives, buying her a knife steel, and teaching her how to care for her knives properly. She now has the audacity to complain about my knives being dull when she comes for a visit haha (my knives are never dull, its just a running joke).</p><p>So yeah, whole point of this is people really dont know what their missing until they actually sharpen their knives and then generally never go back. One proper sharpening of your blade and a few flicks of a knife steel before you cut something you wont need to resharpen using stones for upto a month (depending how much you use it, and depending on your chopping board too actually. Plastic and wood are much better for knife edges than glass or stone.)</p>
<p>I SOOOOO agree with you! I LOVE a sharp knife in my kitchen! </p><p>My brother makes knives that are unbelievable! And no, I'm not just biased. I AM VERY proud of him though! He has a degree in mechanical design and has made some extremely impressive things over the years! He has multiple videos on YouTube about his knives. You might be interested in watching, just for fun. . . He's well known for his durability demonstrations where he &quot;cuts&quot; through cinder block with his knife .... to show that the blade won't break .... Check him out. Search for &quot;NateAIM&quot; on YT, I think you'll get a kick out of it. He makes field knives as well as kitchen knives.</p>
<p>Do you have a link to the Blacksmiths in China please? I could do with some new knives.</p>
<p>@Hassocker - Hi! Check out NateAIM on YouTube. He makes knives that are virtually indestructible! AND he stands by them. THEY ARE NOT CHEAP ..... BUT THEY ARE PHENOMENAL! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w1_WX_fNN8</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1w1_WX_fNN8 " width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>Get a belt sander like I just posted about. You wont regret it. Don't mess with anything else.</p>
<p>I bought a belt sander from Harbor Freight and a leather belt to fit it somewhere online. Then I loaded the belt with green polishing compound. After stoning a knife I strop it on the belt sander. It makes the sharpest knives I've ever seen. I can shave with my pocketknife.</p>
<p>I go all the way to a 6000 grit water stone. </p><p>I just push down on meat. No slicing needed.</p>
<p>Love the humor. Thanks.</p>
<p>I grew up in a olds school barber shop.. German gold inlaid cut throat razors, ans a father who also hunted and filleted meat fish etc</p><p>The biggest thing to a sharp knife is storage.. NEVER in a draw, and never draw across a bone when filleting or carving. Select the right hardness blade for the use. The sharpness of the edge depends on the use.. no need for a stropped cut throat razor edge (if possible ) on a kitchen knife cutting tomatoes .....dont expect a good and lasting edger out of crap steell</p><p>Angle depends on a combination of 3 things</p><p>1/ the hardness of the blade...harder the steel the finer one can hone the blade and keep an edge</p><p>2/The use of the knife...in the kitchen or cutting baits out fishing. Harder the item cutting steeper the angle.</p><p>3/ The alloy.. high carbon steel doesnt chip, high carbon stainless knives tend to drop the carbon crystals out of the edge resulting in very fine and sharp saw edges.</p><p>To sharpen.. work the blade on the hone at the required angle determined by the above to get an even reflected working edge each side and remove any chips. Working a fine burr each side. Move to finer stones as required and lighter pressure.. each time forming a very fine burr.. till one is using just the weight of the knife....</p><p>Things like axes or machetes where chopping takes place.. one edge will be wider than the other depending if the user is left or right handed.. stops the blade glancing off on a angle chop.</p><p>For softer blades, a final very light wipe on the stone at a steeper angle will help to maintain the edge longer.</p><p>A steel or ceramic edge doesnt sharpen, it just re forms the microscopic edge burr on good steel alloys..and will not need to be re honed on a stone for a long time if used , and stored well.</p><p>Sharpening tools is not rocket science, just a little practice, bit of thought and commonsence</p><p>The best 'definition ' of a sharp (kitchen) knife, is will cut 1/2 way thru a tomato under the weight of the knife only, when drawn across.. think was Julia Child who said that.</p>
<p>Very nice article, thanks for the added humor.</p><p>Sharoening tends to be very personal.</p>
how do u sharpen a scirated edge
<p>I use a water stone designed for sharpening woodworking gouges</p><p><a href="http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=33015&cat=1,43072,43071&ap=1" rel="nofollow">http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=33015...</a></p><p>But a wood dowel with 1000 grit sandpaper would work too.</p>
<p>I personally use one of the rough carbide bits on a rotary tool at a REALLY low speed. </p>
<p>I would use a rat-tail file or a chain saw sharpening file if it is really a mess<br>You might then use corrundum paper wrapped around slender dowels. </p>
<p>Nobody answered this?? It's a great question, because good bread knives are often serrated, and they get dull too. You can do this with a round ceramic rod, or a part-round file. My ignition file set came with a small file that works well for that. Luckily, these are usually only ground on one side, so you can put them on a flat surface so the edge sticks out slightly, and use similar techniques as above. The &quot;look at it edge-on in bright light&quot; is the most important part for deciding what needs sharpening. This is also how you sharpen bigger blades like machetes - use files and hold the file at the angle to the blade, not the other way around like with a sharpening stone.</p>
The Smith's CCKS 2-step sharpener is all I need. I picked up a couple of them from my local Ace Hardware. One is in the kitchen and the other is in my camping kit.
<p>yea these carbide sharpeners are horrendous for knife steel. If it's a cheap knife you problably won't care, but what these tend to do is rip the carbide out of the steel. This not only leaves you with a rough edge, but it makes the steel on the edge softer due to the loss of carbide. </p>
These work ok for really dull knives, but they can also ruin your blade if you use them to much. Moreover, you can get your knife much sharper if you use a bench stone.
Not true. The ceramic rod side is equivalent to a butcher's steel. It doesn't remove material; it straightens out the curled metal on the edge. All manner of stones remove material through abrasion and will wear out an edge far faster than the Smith's CCK-2 and similar sharpening tools. The tungsten carbide side is for &quot;really dull knives&quot; that have gotten that way through abuse. Once I sharpen a blade, I rarely use anything but a ceramic or steel rod to keep it sharp for months on end.
<p>Ceramic rods do remove some steel but not much. That's why the light colored ones turn gray. The steel can be scrubbed off the ceramic with a sponge and some Comet cleanser.</p>
Ok, If you role your edge its better to remove the edge and re-sharpen the knife. Once an edge is rolled the edge metal is weaker. Moreover, instead of straightening the metal the ceramic side will fold it over and eventually tear it out. Leaving your blade with pits and a weak/useless edge. Not to mention the cck only offers one angle of sharpening. The cck-2 (and similar sharpeners) is, in all honesty, an easy way out of learning how to use a bench stone. It just doesn't work. If you dont use your knife much, the ceramic side works ok for a quick, short lasting edge. The carbide works well for establishing an angle on a really dull knife. But neither work well for maintaining a strong sharp blade.
Oh, and butcher's steel is not a SHARPENING device, it is designed to realign the deformed edge. Thats why butchers and chefs use it. Its a quick honing technique, not the proper way to sharpen a knife. Outside the kitchen, one needs to take the time to learn how to use a stone and strop.<br>
Whatever. Whether I use a butcher's steel or the ceramic rods of a Smith's CCK-2, the blade is sharp enough to slice through a piece of 18 lb bond paper held between two fingers in the air or the skin of a tomato as if it were soft butter, i.e., razor-sharp. That's all I care about.
<p>If I understand correctly, you can achieve sufficient sharpness with a kitchen sharpener like this one, however a knife sharpened this way won't hold an edge as long as a knife sharpened properly with a sharpening stone. The key difference in sharpening technique is the direction you move the edge against a sharpening device - in a kitchen sharpener you pull the edge along the sharpener, with a sharpening stone the edge is perpendicular to the direction of movement (much like if you were trying to cut a thin slice off the top of the stone). If look at the edge under high magnification, you will see different patterns (micro &quot;hills and valleys&quot;) depending on the way of sharpening. The pattern created by the sharpening stone will look like micro serrations, if I understand correctly this is more durable so the knife would keep it's sharpness for a longer time.</p><p>Kitchen sharpeners are definitely much faster in use and foolproof (no messing with angles etc.), also the things you cut in the kitchen are usually not that hard (compared to typical uses for an outdoor knife etc.), so it's more convenient for most people to resharpen their kitchen knives more often, but in an easier way. However, I know many knife fanatics who sharpen all of their knives (including the wife's kitchen knives) with various sharpening stones, strops, etc. </p><p>P.S. Not an knife/sharpening expert, just my understanding.</p>
I have one of these. I like it, but it only works well with my folding knife with a /\ point, but not my one with the |\ blade. It also won't work with my survival knife, but it's probably been dull about as long as I've been alive. <br>
Your suggestion would be totally what most people on this instruct.need,as I would never ruin my wet stones as well as knives doing some of the things they are doing,so good job to you.
<p>may I recommend adding a step ? Using a strop is extremely important in most cases. A rough piece of leather with stropping compound, Julers rouge, or plain old polish ( I use the flitz polish personally ) is a great way to polish the edge of a knife, and can be made simply with an old leather belt. Highly recommended.</p>
<p>Because you worked so quickly I could not discern whether you were drawing the blade on the stone toward the cutting edge or away from the cutting edge.<br>I would assume that you would draw away from the edge, as though you were actually trying to cut a 20degree slice off your stone, but I've been making it up as I go!</p>
<p>&gt;&larr;<br>This is what I mean by &quot;draw away from the cutting edge.&quot;</p>
<p>I use the bottom of my coffee mugs to sharpen all my kitchen knives. Works great on all of them.</p>
<p>@broberts1302<br>That hones them nicely between sharpenings, but it does not sharpen them. </p>
<p>A great bit of information to any taking photos or video, make sure the sun is shining from behind the camera. Yes you should be looking at the camera and the sun or light. Invest in some cool sunglasses. Shadows suck and destroy the best shot when taking photos and videos</p>
<p>I really enjoyed reading your sharpening advice, thanks for posting. I've sharpened knives, axes and machetes for maybe fifty years and I've never paid too much attention to the theoretical best cutting angles. As a hunter, fisherman, cook and outdoors enthusiasts I use cutting tools often, and I love them. Best wishes from Nelson, New Zealand... Stephen Coote.</p>
Great post.Thanks<br><br>
Stainless steel is an alloy of chrome and steel, thus making it weaker. High carbon steel is harder. I work with metal every day.

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Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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