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Knife Sharpeners: Sharpening Your Knives is No Dull Job for the Knife Collector

Mar 25, 2008
To keep your collection of collectible knives looking good and sharp, you must learn to sharpen your knives properly. The knife collector knows that value in a collection of knives is derived by the appearance of the knives and the sharpness of the blades.

Knife sharpening used to consist of grinding the knife against a stone or another hard surface. It could also be hard particles on a supple surface, like that of sandpaper. Using a razor strap made from quality leather would do the job for fine sharpening.

The slighter the slant among the stone the more razor sharp the knife would be. Unfortunately, this makes it easier to chip the blade off or turn the edge over, so less force from the side would be needed. It is important to be careful. Ten degrees is for extremely sharp knives.

Typically knives sharpen at around 15 degrees. Chopping knives require sharpening on 20 degrees because of their tough edge. Chisels, which have a tremendously durable edge, get sharpened at a 30 degree angle. The composition of the blade, as well as the structure of the stone affects the raggedness of the blade. Some blades keep a sharpness better than others because of their chemical makeup.

Honing Stones -

The duller the blade, the coarser the stone you will need. Arkansas is a long established state for finding honing stones. Whetstones stones, also called honing stones, come in two types: course and fine. Furthermore they are soft or hard and could be used with honing oils or water. Natural and artificial water stones of Japanese are fine grit stone for sharpening.

Ceramic honing stones are also commonly used particularly with the fine grit size. The Japanese water stones are covered with water before used, and then immersed in water sporadically to rendering new stone matter to the blade of the knife. The mixture of abraded stone and water and material from the knife is known as a slurry. This assists with sharpening the blade and helps to shine the knives' edge.

When using a sharpening stone make sure to keep your blade in constant contact with the stone and maintain a steady pressure as you move it along.

You Can Use Stone Knife Sharpeners -

Fear not the sharpening for one way is not right and another wrong when it comes to sharpening with a stone. Some people go beginning hilt to tip while others prefer to go starting tip to hilt. Many people use circular motions and other use a straighter stroke, such as a back and forth motion.

If you are using a portable, small stone, straight strokes are favored. Move the edge of the blade in the path of your stroke, like if you are trying to slice a small snippet of the stone out. You are creating a thin ridge or a blur on the blade.

Clamp Sharpening -

Clamp-style sharpeners are a tool that utilizes a clamp supporting numerous holes and a pre-defined angle. The stone is then attached to a pole and pulled all the way through the holes; this insures the angle remains consistent.

Another method is the crock stick system where two sticks are placed in a V shape inside of a plastic or wood base. When the knife is slowly run up the V, the angle is held according so that the edge is at a 90 degree angle to the base.

Honing Steel -

There is another way to sharpen your knife and that is with a piece of honing steel. This is a type of round rod used like the honing stones. Since steels contain a little diameter, they are highly accurate. Local pressures can influence the knife metals when using a tiny bit of force.

Gentle steel knives are what they're planned for. The ones with the intention of being steeled many times during the day, but are not healthy for today's harder and tougher blades of steel.

Stropping -

The finishing step is stropping your knife. This is done using a strap of leather and produces a razor edge with incredibly modest metal edge lost. It's practical for a knife that continues to be sharp; however it is missing some of its 'true sharpness' from its edge.

Steel can also help with maintenance of the blade. The alignment is affected by the edge. A simple realignment of the rim can maintain a knife's sharpness.

Knife Sharpener Beginner's Tips -

If you are a beginner with a knife sharpening, no matter what method you are using, begin with a knife you are not that fond of. Use one that is not that expensive or valuable to your collection or to you personally. This way, if you scratch or knick your knife while sharpening it, you won't be as upset as if it were your favorite knife.

Nowadays there are numerous dissimilar styles and sizes of portable and sedentary knife sharpeners that are not as prehistoric as a stone and oil. However, the stone method gives the best control over the knife and sharpness.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett is a knife expert and owns an Internet knife shop, Knife & Supply Company, LLC. You wanna get those knives razor sharp? Stop by for great deals on a huge selection of Knife Sharpeners. Your Knife Sharpener source.
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