The Beginner’s Guide to Sharpening Your Knife

Hey I’m going to give you a couple tips on how to sharpen your knife. I know a lot of people avoid doing, they think they’re going to mess up the blade, but it’s actually pretty hard to mess up the blade if you’re paying attention.

The things you’ll need to start, a stone obviously. I’d prefer a fine stone, but I’m generally pretty easy on my knives and it doesn’t take much to sharpen. If you’re knife has a lot of burrs and flat spots or you have a really hard knife steel, you’re going to want something a little coarser to start. Then besides the stone just a piece of leather. I actually prefer just a thick piece of leather set on the table and you can use that like a strop or you can go out and get an actual strop. I use it the same way by setting it down so I have more control over it.

Hopefully this will give you the skills you need to avoid the edge of a knife that’s run through a carbide sharpener. I’m constantly telling people not to run their nice knives through it because it will ruin them. It takes off more material than it needs to and I’ve honestly never been impressed with an edge that’s been run through them.

So from the factory I know this knife has a 15 to 22 degree angle and that’s common. That’s going to cover basically all your folders and most your fix blades unless the company puts a different angle on it for a special purpose. Now my recommendation is stick to about 22.5. That standard enough where it’s going to sharpen your knife and it won’t change the angle too bad, if at all. So to find a 22.5 degree angle you just need a piece of paper. I use standard computer paper and lay it down. I fold it corner to corner to give me a 45 degree angle. I then fold that again to give me a 22.5 degree angle. This makes a great reference for most folders and most fix blades. We’re gonna take your stone set it down and take your piece of paper and then take your knife and slide it down and remove the paper. Now that’s going to give you angle you should be running over the stone. If you find yourself wavering and forgetting how you should be holding your knife bring it back in and remind yourself of the angle. You’ll find after a few times that you can put the knife down by memory. From there you want to run the blade up the stone at that angle. An even number of times per side. Now you want to check your progress after couple sets make sure you’re keeping the angle of the knife and that you’re actually sharpening at. I use blades that have a harder steel so it’s going to take a lot more passes to get it sharp if your blade is softer you’re going to notice you can remove a lot of material with just a single pass, but it’s a lot easier to make mistakes so you want to be careful of that. If you notice when you check your blade that it kind of feels rough and has a bit of micro scratches, don’t worry about that, that’s what the leather is for.

Now after a few passes if you notice that you have problem areas, flat spots that aren’t coming out, you’re going to want to take it with a rougher stone and just work that area until it’s fixed and then go back to a fine stone. Now once you’re satisfied with the edge there’s no burrs or flat spots and it’s reasonably sharp you can move on to the leather. If you have a strop I recommend you put it on the table so it doesn’t move. If you hang u it by the hook on the end I find that sometimes it flexes and it can round off the edge of your knife. If you have a just a normal piece of leather you want to put it on the table and use it like the stone. Now to find the angle you need you’re going to rest your knife on the leather look closely and rock it just until the edge touches and that’s the angle you’re going to use for each pass. One common mistake I find with stropping is that they’ll go through the pass and at the end of the stroke they round up the knife and that’s generally a sign that you’re moving too fast and you should slow down and remember to stay consistent throughout the whole pass. It may not feel like it, but leather is pretty abrasive and it can ruin the edge of your knife and you’ll have to start all over. So you’re going to find the angle and then treat it like the stone doing an even number of passes per side. This is only polishing it so it’s going to take a little bit longer than the stone, but using leather like this is how you achieve shape sharpness. So once you’re done with the strip your knife should be quite sharp, as sharp as it was from the factory.

Please share this post: