Knife sharpening

Easiest way to do it?

1 to 20 of 28 messages
14/02/2005 at 21:26
I have just got a new decent knife and want to know the best way to keep it nice and sharp the knife in question is a Gerber gator

i have seen ceramic rods, water stones oil stones diamond stones and the ubiquitous bench grinder (which i take is out as it heats the metal reducing its temper but how/ what do you use? i have also seen a sharpener in tescos for kitchen knives which has a handle and a spring loaded v shaped hole you draw the knife through. but what works best with the least chance of an knife blade ruining incident and getting the best sharp edge right to the tip? been stainless is it hard to sharpen?

14/02/2005 at 21:52

Sharpening block with oil of any sort (cooking oil).

Or Long sharpening rod thingymabob

First method:

Rub oil onto aforesaid block and rub knife in circular motion away from sharp edge of knife. Repeatedly on both sides of blade

Second method:

(long steel rough rod)

45degree angle and away from body down the rod reapeat on both sides of blade. (pressure does it faster and better but be careful not to make grooves in blade.)

When swiping down the rod start from one end of blade and end up at the other by the end of the swipe.

Hope that makes sense?
14/02/2005 at 22:00
flat stone and oil - the only real diy means in my opinion!
14/02/2005 at 22:02
failing that or you don't want to wreck it yourself, find a traditional Ironmongers/hardwear shop who may do it for a small fee.

Never a Tinker around when you need one.
14/02/2005 at 22:09
Gerber actually make a small knife sharpener thats handy to keep with camping kit. It works really well, i've had mine for ages.

If the Gator has a serated edge then you might need something else but gerber do loads of different types.
14/02/2005 at 22:12
Oil and stone is probably the best method for all round general sharpening.

You can also use a waterstone or a DMT diamond sharpener.

Many stones can be used with oil or water, but once you have used oil on stone you should always use oil.

hold the knife blade at a 20-30% angle to the stone, and draw it first one way, then turn the knife over and repeat the process the other way. Make the same number of strokes for each side. turn the knife slightly to accomodate the curve of the blade towards the tip. About 10-15 strokes should be enough if the blade is well looked after.

It's one of those jobs which requires practice to get the right technique. You'll soon pick it up.

I find that a small DMT block is the best sharpening tool to carry with a small knife. Most tool shops stock these. They cost about £6-8 for a credit card size block. Ask for the equivalent of 800 grit, which will give you a good edge for normal use.
14/02/2005 at 22:14
forgot to say....draw the knife edge backwards when sharpening...never 'push' the blade forwards, this will just wear the blade down.
14/02/2005 at 22:29
Ask your local butcher. We used to do sharpenings in the one I worked in. That was a real traditional local shop though.
14/02/2005 at 22:52
the other thing is, practice on an old, blunt knife that you don't mind loosing first. Better to bugger that up than a £90 Gerber.
14/02/2005 at 23:05
See the following link for all sorts of good advice & tips re knife sharpening. It's about kitchen knives & aimed at chefs, but just as good for others:

Fully agree with ED's suggestion to practice on an old knife first!!!
14/02/2005 at 23:29

This site is almost certainly beyond what you need to know for keeping your gator usable sharp...but does have some useful stuff on there..

...if your gator is 400 series stainless it will be fairly easy to sharpen, but be gentle as 400 is quite soft.
15/02/2005 at 10:41
Block & oil as the other suggest.

The rods or steels don't sharpen a blade they only put an edge back on one.
15/02/2005 at 10:42
Block and oil here, too. Those kitchen gadget things are a bit cr*p. IMO
15/02/2005 at 14:30
depends on what the blade is made of and the angle of grind. never use it on a hard surface e.g. glass as this will de-hone it quicker than a de-honing thing. get a small diamond rod and sharpen the knife each time you use it. if it gets "blunt" sharpen it again. an oilstone is fine but rather impractical in the field. never allow the knife to become blunt. this not only accelerates the rate of decay of the edge but makes it dangerous too as you don't know where the blade is going to go next.
is your knife sharp. easy to test. will it slice a tomato? (standard cooks test if you get bored shredding newspaper) if you can't get it to tomato slicing sharpness then it nees a regrind.
my kitchen knives are razor sharp which was a good thing for when i sliced the end of my finger off when not paying attention. a nice clean cut!
15/02/2005 at 14:32
Er where is Caras post here?
15/02/2005 at 14:56
Block and oil. Those V shaped scraper things take off too much steel and rapidly wear the blade away.
15/02/2005 at 17:50
DMT diamond whetstones for me.

But if you want the ultimate guide:

Steve's Knife Sharpening Site

Will tell you more than you'll ever want to know. Including links to some rather scary individuals...

Or Equipped to Survive is good as always.

or, as always, Google is your friend...
15/02/2005 at 18:13
Oh, and if you're after a quality, but cheap, general purpose knife, you won't go far wrong with Frost's Mora 'Swedish Army Knife', which you can pick up for about £8 or £10, either in carbon (Model 740) or stainless (Model 760) steel. Their website also gives instructions on how to sharpen and a knife.

If it's good enough for Ray Mears, it's good enough for me...

Of course, since they have 4.25" blades, you may have to provide PC Plod with a suitable reason for carrying them.
15/02/2005 at 19:22
LOL @ Paranoia
"to provide PC Plod with a suitable reason for carrying them."

like my air rifle "hunting" in the back garden, The best way to prove what i was doing was to go to the bin and walk back to them holding "it" (grey squirrel) up by its tail saying "this is what im shooting at!" the WPC's face was a picture.

I have an duel sided oil stone (corse and fine) in the garage for sharpening chisles (spl) but its a bit worn so i think i will be going shopping for a new one, So am i OK to use normal (car) oil on the stone or is cooking oil better i read somewhere a mix of methelated spirits and oil works better??
I take it sharpening is removing burs and knicks and honeing is finely grinding the edge to a razor edge?
Thanks for all the replys
15/02/2005 at 19:44
My post Julie? Well I sharpen my machete with stone and oil V funny going into B&Q when I was first looking for ideas - asked "do you have things for sharpening blades?" and was taken to things for lawnmowers etc (v specific and unsuitable). I said "no, not that sort of blade" and they asked what, so I said "I need to sharpen my machete".
I had some very strange looks :):)
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