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Thread: Knife Sharpening

  1. #1

    Default Knife Sharpening

    The annual perfume of fresh salmon is in the air, give or take the occasional waft of volcanic ash, and like the salmon, struggling their way towards my freezer, I too have my struggle ....... trying to figure out HOW to correctly sharpen my fishing knives. Besides purchasing quality steel, and reading just about every article in print or on the Internet, and practicing for the last 30 years with natural and/or synthetic stones/rods/wheels (ad nauseum), I still can't produce an edge that even vaguely resembles that razor sharp tool which we all relish when the fishing is over and the work begins.

    In the past I just took my knives to a professional to refurbish, but now, with age and grandchildren creeping up on me, I'd really like to be able to sharpen a knife the correct way, just once. I recognize that it is probably only an ego thing, but if anyone has a tid-bit of knowledge that I haven't heard or tried I'd sure be willing to give it a try.

  2. #2
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I use the Gatco knife sharpening system.
    It has a jig the holds the knife and stones at the correct angle.
    It gets my knives nce and sharp.

    http://www.gatcosharpeners.com/produ...te_pro_sys.mgi


  3. #3
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    It may be costly but the Chefs Choice knife sharpeners work great. The wife got me one for Christmas and now all my knifes are razor sharp. It takes about one minute to make the average knife razor sharp. Cabelas carries these sharpeners.

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    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    Sharpening knives is an art and if you are like me I am not an artist I have bought many different systems trying to get a good edge. Most people can't get a good edge because they can't maintain the same angle and end up with a rounded or feathered edge.

    I had a guy sharpen my pocket knife about 12 years ago with one of these and I am hooked on them. I actually became a dealer for a while and sold hundreds of them they just work.

    I like this system so much I am going to start installing the wheels on my custom fillet/rigging tables that I make.

    Here is an add not mine but you can google the company and find many people that sell them.

    Mike

    http://myknifestore.net/rada-cutlery...ID=30878083022

  5. #5
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    I just buy new knives, who has time for all that Sharpening stuff.

    But a couple of summers back I took over 30 fillet knives to a shoe repair place and sharpened them on a leather polisher strap contraption they had and just last week I bought a set of ceramic stuff from the Seward Fish Fillet lady at the GASS, going to try that out or maybe I will just buy another 5-6 for the season ;-)

  6. #6
    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    Default +1

    Quote Originally Posted by akflyfisher View Post
    It may be costly but the Chefs Choice knife sharpeners work great. The wife got me one for Christmas and now all my knifes are razor sharp. It takes about one minute to make the average knife razor sharp. Cabelas carries these sharpeners.
    I will second the Chef's Choice. I have better things to do than sharpen knives. I have the 130 (I wish I had got the 120) and love it. I have a Lansky for the field (if needed). I purchased mine at Habitat in Anchorage. Our knives are always sharp now.

  7. #7
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    Smile Lansky fan

    I have a Lansky set up that looks just like the outfit posted by Drifter. I bought this sharpening kit over 20 years ago, and have never had any regrets. The key is to take care of your knives and never let them get too dull. Then it only taks a few short minutes to get them razor sharp again. Works on 1" to 12" blades.

  8. #8
    Member 9601's Avatar
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    I just bought one from the Eagle River Knife Company. I have one of their fillet knives and the sharpener works great with it.

  9. #9
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default No metal sharpeners....

    for my filet knives, they can chip a fine blade, especially if stainless steel. The lansky works well if you use it correctly, but takes a lot of time and fooling around. I like the sharpeners that have several ceramic wheels, fine on one side, turn it over if you need the coarse on a blade that went too long. Sportsman's Warehouse carries a nice one for about $20.

    Those little criss-cross ceramic rod sharpeners are just the thing to carry in the field, for filet knives or hunting knives. They don't do much if you messed up and chipped the blade or really dulled it, but a few strokes after a couple of fish or part way thru a field dressing, and the knife is as sharp as ever.

    That Chef's Choice 120 that someone mentioned is $140-170, a bit much for me for a knife sharpener, but I'll bet it works well.

  10. #10
    Member slimm's Avatar
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    +1 on the gatco and lansky.. it takes a little practice but once you figure it out its a snap..

  11. #11
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    i agree the gatco and lansky sharpeners work really well, infact the finished edge is perfect! HOWEVER it really is no big deal to "hold your edge" and hand sharpen using a 6" soft arkansas stone.

    hold your stone with a little oil (honing oil or plain cooking oil) and start the edge from the heel of the blade. use only moderate pressure. using the same number of strokes work forward on both sides of the blade. finish by using long strokes from heel to tip.

    practice on an old knife..........it really is easy.

    ** hot soap your stone and clean it afterwards.
    happy trails.
    jh

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundog View Post
    Sharpening knives is an art and if you are like me I am not an artist I have bought many different systems trying to get a good edge. Most people can't get a good edge because they can't maintain the same angle and end up with a rounded or feathered edge.

    I had a guy sharpen my pocket knife about 12 years ago with one of these and I am hooked on them. I actually became a dealer for a while and sold hundreds of them they just work.

    I like this system so much I am going to start installing the wheels on my custom fillet/rigging tables that I make.

    Here is an add not mine but you can google the company and find many people that sell them.

    Mike

    http://myknifestore.net/rada-cutlery...ID=30878083022
    I just bought one off of Ebay, I don't want to spend a lot of $$ for a tool to sharpen knives. I want something simple, not complex. Hopefully it'll live up to it's billing.

  13. #13

    Default Knife sharpening is not an art

    It is a skill. Hecki if I can do it, anyone can figure it out. When I want to get a mirror finish I use my fancy Edgepro Professional. I don't usually care about such nit picky sharpening though.

    Here's what I do to get just a regular working edge that will easily pop hair off your arms if you are into such things.

    Get a very rough stone that will rip lots of steel off your blade so you can get the bevel to a level where a Spyderco Triangle sharpener can do the rest. The problem with most people that use the sticks is the actual working edge of the blade isn't getting sharpened because the shoulders on the blade in the way. I can sharpen most any blade this way in about 5 minutes.

    Check out bladeforums.com is you want to read about other techniques until your head hurts.

    Good Luck!!

  14. #14
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    Default

    Here's another option, if money is no object:

    Wicked Edge Knife Sharpeners. Their website is here:

    http://www.wickededgeusa.com/

    I saw a demo of this sharpener at the Pacific Northwest Sportsman's Show in Portland. It was unbelievable. I had the rep sharpen one of my fish filet knives. The resulting knife edge is sharp as a razor, and it stays sharp, even when cutting thru fish bones. The only downside is that it ain't cheap ($200 plus $50 for the optional granite base). But if you have alot of knives to sharpen, it's absolutely the best.

    The rep indicated that he and is partner have an elk ranch in Colorado, so they butcher alot of elk. Before they created the Wicked Edge tool, they would use 3 to 4 knives to field dress one elk, before the edge was dull. Now with their sharpening system, they use one knife for 3 to 4 elk! There is probably some marketing exageration to that story, but from what I saw, it's great tool. If I get happen to get an extra $250, I'll get one.

  15. #15
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Just a few more comments. If the knife has been sharpened many times, the cutting edge will be too thick, and the knife won't cut well, no matter how sharp. If the edge is 1/32" wide that's about perfect, if it's 1/16" wide then you should have a pro take a cleanup grind on the blade to reduce the cutting edge.

    The other comment is don't let the knife get dull, frequent touchups makes processing fish much easier. Fish skin takes a keen edge of a blade in short order. So after each fish or two, run the knife 3-5 swipes through one of these and you'll be back in action.



    They only cost a few bucks, so keep one in the tackle box, one in the boat, etc.

  16. #16

    Default

    +1 on the Gatco. You can reproduce an exact angle time after time. Depending on whether you get regular stones or diamond impregnated ones the cost is about 35-55 dollars.

    Talking shaving sharp. I bought the diamond version and now own knives you can shave with.

    Have used ceramic sticks and the ceramic wheels where you have both course and fine grades. That worked the best until I decided I needed to be able to vary the angle on the blade. That was the reason behind buying the Gatco. Have been happy with it ever since.

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