Any suggestions on a knife sharpener?

Hey all – I am looking for a good knife sharpener.

Any suggestions?

Thx – Rourke


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16 Comments

  1. I have 3, in no particular order of preference.

    Lansky – 4 stone Deluxe Diamond System. Clamp holds the knife and stone at exactly the same angle every sharpening stroke. Easy to use, fairly inexpensive (compared to a new knife), and works on everything from kitchen knives to axes. I also have one of their Rat Tail files to handle serrations and gut hooks.

    DMT – Aligner System. Same comments as for the Lansky system. The DMT is mostly plastic while the Lansky is mostly metal, but I have used both for years with no failures (except for the occasional operator error – note to self do not drink beer and sharpen knives at the same time).

    Spyderco’s Triangle Sharpmaker – this is what my local knife shop uses to hand sharpen their customer’s blades. Absolutely incredible edge – 440C, VG10, 154CM, S30V, D2, 1095, and even titanium – it handles every blade metal with ease. The only draw back is you have to be able to hold the correct angle. I have not mastered it yet. Given the right operator, this is the best in my opinion.

    Benchmade also makes some small pocket sized drag through sharpeners which are useful for touch ups (like when you are trying to finish quartering a hog before dark), though I don’t think they would take a truly dull knife back to razor sharpness.

    Good luck wading through all of the opinions you are going to receive on this topic.

  2. Well, I don’t have too much experience with this, but a fairly cheap and modular set by Lansky could be the way to go. Check out their sharpening packs, but you probably have already. The neat thing is that the introductory price on some websites can be lower than $30, definitely $40 (shipping price not included), but you can easily buy individual components (sharpeners) to have the desired effect.

    For reprofiling, you can purchase some of their diamond stuff. For maintenance, just the standard hones will do. You can also buy some really fine grit stuff for polishing the edge and stuff. If you’ve seen the sharpening stand, you know it’s fairly minimal and straightforward. It comes with honing oil, but that’s not necessary. You can just dip them in water for a bit if you’d like. To clean them off, a plastic eraser stand-alone or in one of those kits you get at Office Depot is decent.

    -DH

  3. I’ve tried several sharpeners and I’m not a big fan of most. Although I’ve never ponied up the money I hear that the Chef’s Choice electric sharpeners are worth the money (assuming you have electricity, of course). The other “best” option is to go low tech and use an Arkansas stone; only problem is I’m not that steady to use one real well. For basic sharpening duties of kitchen knives and such I keep a manual Chef’s Choice sharpener around which seems to do fine. Hope that helps.

  4. I like the spiderco type, it comes with 2 sets of rods a coarse and fine and it all folds up for easy tranport with little room. it also has guides to help you maintain the propper angle

  5. http://www.americastone.net/

    Try the America Stone from this vendor. He’s the only one who sells it and he is the developer/manufacturer.

    I’m 55 yrs old and have tried all kinds of knife sharpeners out there. Wet stones, dry stones, Japanese water stones, steels, diamond stones, ceramic sticks, etc., etc. Some work well, some don’t. I’ve inherited an 80+ year old very very fine Arkansas oil stone that two generations of carpenters used to hone their wood plane blades that works really well. What all of these have in common is that it will take 15 minutes to an hour to get a really fine edge on a blade.

    I watched the video that is on the America Stone website where he sharpens a knife in less than 60 seconds. I didn’t really believe it, but I went ahead and bought the stone. NO KIDDING!!! I can take a moderately worn blade and put a nearly razor-sharp edge on it in 60 – 120 seconds, no water or oil. I LOVE this stone and I need to get two or three more!

    I can (maybe) put a finer edge on a knife using my dad’s (above mentioned) very very fine Arkansas oil stone, but it will be a real chore. If I had a razor strope and dressing, I probably could put an actual razor edge on a knife after using the America stone, but why bother?

    I truly know of no other tool or system that will sharpen a knife as well and do so in mere minutes or less with very little effort. Try it exactly how the developer shows you in the video. If you have a quite blunt edge, maybe put in two to three times the effort and time (geez, all of three minutes!). Stop and test the blade and you’ll be a believer! You could sharpen one knife at a time during those two minute commercials while watching a Sunday football game!

    There are a lot of gimmicks out there when it comes to knife sharpening. You can spend a lot of money and have to deal with a lot of time, supplies, clutter, and tabletop space and end up doing an average job.

    With the America Stone, all your cost is up front (shipping is included!!!) and there is nothing else you need!

    Note that you will need to use some light soap and water with one of those green kitchen scrubbies every now and then to clean the metal filings out of the stone for optimum results. I cut down a scrubbie so that I could fit a piece into the pouch that holds the stone to take with me, but I have not had to use it yet in the field.

    Did I mention that it is the size it is so that it will fit in the “stone pocket” on many of the military knife sheaths?

    For the recond, I am not affiliated in any way with the America Stone or its developer/manufacturer/seller. I get nothing out of this other than the satisfaction of helping some other knife lover find the best knife sharpening stone I’ve ever seen. And I though I’d seen them all.

    Do yourself a favor and follow the link. And Rourke . . . if you end up getting one and you don’t care for it (unlikely), get my e-mail address out of your site’s system and drop me a line. I’ll buy it from you and pay your postage to send it to me!

    — Bowser in Kansas

    P.S. Did I mention that I really, REALLY like this stone? 🙂

  6. I think I tried them all, at one point or another. I recommend going low-tech. Get a good 4-stone set – coarse, medium, fine, Arkansas, and some oil. When one of the online cutlery companies has a good sale, pick up a couple tungsten-carbide “V” sharpeners, and a couple dozen ‘crock-sticks’ (ceramic rods – these do fine ‘cutting’ as well as tuning the edge) too.

    The TC sharpeners go in your bags for “quick’n’ dirty”fixes and you can make it even better with the crocksticks .

    Get a couple cheap (but good) carbon steel kitchen knives (like ‘Old Hickory’ brand) and use them for practice. You WILL mess up the edges a few times – that’s why you have a coarse stone to start again. What you learn will serve you well for the rest of your life, and you’ll teach it to your kids.

    Rule #1 is take your time and don’t push too hard. If your biceps pump up like Rambo ‘sharpening’ in the film, you are messing up your edge.. stop. If you try to do the “Iron Chef” trick with a steel (which only tunes/straightens the microscopic saw-edge- it does NOT sharpen) without at least a year of practice, you are most likely turning your knife into an expensive garden trowel. Take your time. You’re not staking a vampire.

    The tungsten carbide tools will cut metal quickly and give you a reasonable edge. A lightweight tool to include when you don’t have time to mess with your stones.

    Of course, this is dangerous, and no one would ever do it, but if you hold your blade by thumb and forefinger and run the edge over your thumbnail (dont press, just blade weight) – if it sticks, that spot needs more polishing .
    A bit more work, and you have to practice, but more immune to the inevitable dropping a set-screw in the grass 🙂

  7. I have to agree with Milleniumfly….

    My favorite is the good old fashioned Arkansas Stone, the longer the better, and practice. I have found some sharpeners that can get a sharper edge than the AR stone, but none can deliver a durable and long lasting edge.

    The best thing about manual sharpeners is the control you have over the edge, all the power sharpeners seem to be “locked in” to a specific sharpening angle or two. I have an old buck hunter that I keep a very fine, sharp edge near the tip (for skinning or gutting) and a more durable low angle edge nearer the hilt for cutting cartilage or near bone. this cannot be done well with a power or guided sharpener. If you are serious about keeping your blades in good shape, get a good quality Arkansas stone, a fine ceramic rod, and a triangle sharpener if you need to tune up a serrated edge. Then get some old cheap kitchen knives and practice, experiment, and practice more. The hardest part is keeping the angle matched on both sides of the blade…

    Good Luck
    Al

  8. I have the Wicked Edge – I have used every sharpener that has come along – I also own a Edge Pro – The Wicked Edge beats them all – Really easy to use – It uses diamomd stones compared to the tape that the Edge Pro uses – I can change the angle on a knife with it ( you should get the 25 and 50 grit stones for that ) and sharpen it to a razors edge – You can also put a secondary bevel on a knife to make sharpening your knife in the field with a stone much faster

  9. Stones, just like blades, have their own special characteristics. I use both a hard (white) and soft (black) Arkansas stone for some blades, a diamond hone (EZ Lap) both flat and round for others. A few require a scrape with a carbide edge. Fish hooks need a special stone / hone, lots of stones will fit into your ‘bag of choice’ and not weigh you down. Better take a good fine file for your axe as well, and of course a smooth/ coarse axe stone. Ceramic is often used for real hard alloys, and each knife makers fancy serrated blade requires its own special little sharpening rod. So its like trying to find the perfect firearm…..you just keep trying them until you find one that might shoot/sharpen better. Eventually you may find yourself with a fine collection of both.
    Wanda

  10. I will have to look into the America Stone – looks very useful.. Thanks, Bowser.

    (Yes, I’m an admitted Tool Geek – I even have a “Samurai Shark” sharpener that my ex-wife bought and couldn’t figure out – it’s not half-bad for quick ‘n dirty sharpening and the little tungsten carbide blade can fix a nicked serration …. Can be a good yard sale purchase, if you find one.)

    The America Stone demo video did bring up an interesting point I didn’t think about mentioning. Get some gloves for your sharpening work. A set of plastic-coated cloth cheap work gloves work OK. Kevlar is better. The cheapest source I have found for these is the Rapala brand “Fillet Kit” at a megamart on the fishing aisle. A ‘one size’ Kevlar glove, a plastic cutting board and an extra fixed-angle ceramic sharpener to stick in a kit for about 10 bucks. Cheap insurance.

    Especially if you use a round honing stone on an axe after filing, you stand a VERY good chance of nicking a hand. Wear your Kevlar glove and be safer. Axes and sickles have gotten me more often than knives because of the unconscious (but dumb) assumption “that’s not as sharp as a knife”. They can still bite you .

  11. I’ve been using the Hunter Honer http://hunterhoner.com/ for years. They are U.S. made and have a lifetime warranty, replacements are no questions asked. They work by re-aligning the knife’s metal rather than removing it like other sharpeners. I’ve used the on things ranging from machetes to Kukris to kitchen knives, all worked well and stay sharper longer. For $20 it’s a steal!

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