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I Can’t Sharpen Knives: A Cry For Help

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  • #56374
    jamejhon
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 1

    It’s confession time.  Although I own multiple knives and use them frequently, I am hopeless at sharpening them.  I’ve tried various methods, and even paid a guy to do it for me, but I feel it’s a pretty basic skill that everyone should be able to do with a moderate degree of success.  I use knives for chores, for work, for fun, for cooking.  I should be able to figure this out!

     

    I’m gonna break down what I have and what I know, and maybe some of you knife wizards can give me a friendly suggestion.  I’ve checked on some other forums and read articles, but the information is either incredibly generic (sharpen your knife at a consistent angle) or way too specific for me to understand (If you’re using #G7r12 steel and living in the Southern Hemisphere you need to be sharpening with a whale bone at 12 degree angles…).

     

    So I get the basics of knife sharpening.  By consistently removing material from either side of the blade at a set angle you can acquire a sharper edge.  And I assume the edge/angle put on the knife is correct, so I’m just looking to sharpen up what already exists.  My issue seems to be finding and keeping the correct angle while sharpening.

     

    I started out with a basic knife sharpener from AccuSharp (green and orange image).  I’ve used these before at a restaurant and they work fine, but the angle of the sharpener is often different than the edge geometry of my knife.  Sometimes it’s close, other times it’s not…

     

    So question 1: Is this type of sharpener okay for most knives?  Do you just keep swiping away till you’ve destroyed the old edge angle and established the new one that fits the sharpener?

     

    Next, I’ve experimented with a whetstone.  I have a three sided one from harbor freight (see image 2) with different grits for stainless steel, carbon steel, etc.  My dad showed me how to use these as a kid, but I always seem to have trouble finding the proper angle for the knife and then maintaining it.  I’ve tried with a couple knives where I spend a good amount of time carefully honing both sides of the blade only to realize I’ve been off by a fraction and made the thing duller than when I started.

     

    Question 2:  Is the whetstone the type of tool you keep practicing with until you become proficient?  ie – is this a skill tool that just requires hours of abusing knives till you’ve mastered it’s potential?

     

    Finally, I’ve been eyeballing these little wedges you can affix to your whetstone with rubber (See image 3).  You pick the one that matches the angle of your blade’s edge, and utilize it to make sure you’re getting consistent swipes each time.  I feel like these might be a good option but haven’t seen many reviews on them.

     

    Question 3:  Has anyone tried these wedges before and how well did you think they worked?

     

    I’m limited in funds so I’d like to make one of these solutions work.  I’ve seen really fancy electric sharpeners that allow you to dial in the correct angle then sharpen the blade with a motor, but I don’t think I can justify a purchase of that level for my cheap knife collection.  Any help or tips you all can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    regard

    @jamejhon

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by jamejhon.
    #56393
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 232

    This is the Wicked Edge forum. We discuss things concerning the Wicked Edge sharpening systems. For what you need I would advise you to start here.

    #56432
    MIKE
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 5

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Let this be a lesson to you… buy it cheap buy it twice. Wicked Edge is idiot proof. I am a living example of that. I have $1600 invested in my system. You don’t need all this crap. For day to day sharpening of EDC you can get away with 600grit stones and the lowest tier system. If you have a hundo burning a hole in your pocket buy the next size stone up. I have thousands invested in Japanese cooking knives to Busse Combat knives to your basic Benchmade EDCs. This is why I spent thousands in Wicked Edge and Shapton Glass whetstones in order to respect and maintain the edges as I have received them.</p>

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #56437
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2009

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Wicked Edge is idiot proof. </p>

    Well… pretty much, but we have had a couple of individuals who gave up on it either because they didn’t want to invest the time to learn the basics or were so mechanically-challenged they didn’t begin to understand the basic principles.  Never underestimate the limitations of those at the bottom end of the bell curve.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #56456
    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 168

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Wicked Edge is idiot proof. </p>

    Well… pretty much, but we have had a couple of individuals who gave up on it either because they didn’t want to invest the time to learn the basics or were so mechanically-challenged they didn’t begin to understand the basic principles. Never underestimate the limitations of those at the bottom end of the bell curve.

    I wouldn’t say it is “idiot proof”, keep in mind there are some very “talented” idiots out there!

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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