Sharpen a Knife Quickly and Easily

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Introduction: Sharpen a Knife Quickly and Easily

If you have a carbide tipped saw blade, you have an excellent tool for sharpening a knife quickly and easily.  Just clamp it to a tabletop or lock it on your saw's arbor so it cannot turn.

Step 1: Draw the Knife Edge Against a Carbide Tooth

Draw the cutting edge of the knife against a front corner on a carbide tooth.  You do not need to use a lot of pressure.  A few repeated passes will do wonders to a blade.  The green lines represent the angle of the tooth face and the angle at which the blade is held.  The brown lines represent a vertical line and the angle from the vertical at which the knife is drawn across the corner of the carbide tooth.  Draw the knife slowly.  Hold the blade with two hands to keep the edge on the relatively small corner of the tooth.  

Step 2: Do the Other Side

After a few strokes on one side, turn the knife over.  Use the same angles relative to the carbide tooth that you used for the first side, but draw the knife from the other side of the saw blade.  Alternate sharpening one side of the knife blade and then the other every few strokes.     

Step 3: Test for Sharpness

I have often seen people pull a knife edge across the soft skin on a fingertip.  That is a sure way to receive a cut.  Much better is to scrape the blade laterally on a fingernail as shown by the green arrow.  If the knife is sharp, a curl of fingernail will roll up in front of the cutting edge.  If the knife is not quite sharp, powdered fingernail will gather in front of the cutting edge.  If the knife is quite dull, nothing will appear in front of the cutting edge.  Test at various points along the length of the cutting edge.  Some parts of the cutting edge will be more dull than others and will need more attention.

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24 Comments

cant i just turn my skillsaw upside down, "running" and then run my knife across

That would not end happily for you, for the saw, or for the knife.

I have used the commercial carbide sharpener set in a V and found it removed a lot of material fast, great for knives that should have been sharpened long ago or just need to be trued up quick. I would not want to use it as my first go to every time i sharpened my knife as the knife would disappear faster than necessary. It also left it almost serrated as cojonc mentioned, which is great in the kitchen but not so good in the wood shop.

I would agree. The commercial carbide tipped knife sharpener I saw was a simple bar of steel with one piece of carbide on it, which allowed adjusting the angle and the pressure. We bought a sharpener ith to pieces set in a V like you describe to use in another location in a pinch. The single piece sharpener is more gentle.

Good idea, but why are you purple?

judging by your picture, I don't think you have much room to question someone's color

HAHAHA, it is the makeup color, Bob. Very good note.

Thanks. Poor lighting coupled with inadequate photo correction software.

I worked on the photo and made it a bit better.

It doesn't do the saw blade much good however.