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Thread: Knife Sharpening

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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Default Knife Sharpening

    Where are you guys taking your knives to get sharpened? I just got done fleshing & salting a black bear hide and my dull knives added an extra couple a hours to the job. I bought an electric sharpener, which completely dulled my knives, and my small gerber diamond sharpener will not put a razor sharp edge on my knives. I figure I will send them off to get professionally sharpened so I dont run into this problem in the field. Thanks

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    Dude, you need to learn how to sharpen your own knives. Forget the gimmicky diamond crap, electric junk and pocket sharpeners. Start with a good knife and get a good stone (two preferably, one coarse and one soft). It's super easy once you get the hang of it and you can do the same job some company does. If you are not sure of the edge angle or have no idea what to do I'd suggest one of the Lanskey kits. it has a bracket you attach to the back of the knife blade and it guides the stones. It works great and is not expensive. Get a couple of India stones and have at it. I carry a little pocket india stone in the field for touching blades up. Weighs maybe two ounces, plus a little bottle of oil (gun oil works). In 5 or ten minutes I can revive any dull knife to razor sharp.
    For 50 bucks you can everything you need. You should learn how to do it.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, with new steels like D2, it's becoming harder to get a good edge on my knives for me. I can make my old Old Timer razor sharp in under a couple minutes, but I have to do it 10 times on a friggin' moose. I have a Benchmade knive in D2 that will go through a whole moose without sharpening, but my stones simply won't return it to good order in a reasonable amount of time.

    I now just use a Lansky sharpener with the diamond stones and it gets the job done quick.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Default Chefs Choice

    Sure it removes a bit of the steel and some feel it heats the steel up causing it to loose some temper, but I have as many knife sharpening steels, stones, and strops as the next guy and for me it depends on how much time I want to spend rubbing steel. In my humble opinion There is nothing that gets it done in as timely and effective manner as the old Chef's Choice.
    Will

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I used to take my knives to Alaska Knife on Spenard for their sharpening services. They do a great job for a fair price - I was never disappointed. I don't need to do that any longer, though. I got a havelon piranta (removable scalpel blades) for fleshing work and a couple of Cutco knives for skinning and quartering. The Cutco knives hold a great edge for at least 3 animals, and then I just send 'em in to Cutco to be sharpened during the off season.

  6. #6

    Default Cutco

    just call Cutco and tell them you would like a home demonstration. Then when they are giving their sales pitch you can ask them to demonstrate how they sharpen their knives with one of yours.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I can do a pretty good job sharpening a blade freehand but I've been using a Lansky for 20 years now. It's a simple concept--holding the stone at a consistent angle to the blade, and it literally puts shaving sharp edges on my knives. The Lansky system has some inherant design flaws. Namely the blade must be clamped into the calipers straight. You have to play with it a bit and eyeball the setup from different directions to ensure everything's lined up properly. All in all it's simple, reasonably priced, portable (though I never take mine to the field), and does a consistently good job.

    I suspect CGswimmer is making the most common (and biggest) sharpening mistake...rolling his wrist (even slightly) as the steel sweeps the stone.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    Where are you guys taking your knives to get sharpened? I just got done fleshing & salting a black bear hide and my dull knives added an extra couple a hours to the job. I bought an electric sharpener, which completely dulled my knives, and my small gerber diamond sharpener will not put a razor sharp edge on my knives. I figure I will send them off to get professionally sharpened so I dont run into this problem in the field. Thanks
    I take my D2 steel knives to Northern Knives on 5th Ave in Anchorage. I find them difficult and time consuming to sharpen well. Northern Knives price is right and they do excellent work. For those who say I need to learn how to sharpen my own knives, I have learned over the years that there are some things I would rather pay other people to do correctly for me. Not that I can't do those things myself if I put in the time and effort but I prefer not to put time into some things that could be more valuably spent on others. I cut my own lawn, do my own painting, electrical, light plumbing etc. I pay people to fix my automobiles and tile my bathrooms.... oh ya, and to sharpen my knives. Personal preference I think.

    If you want them sharpened professionally in Anchorage Northern Knives is a good place to start.

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    AKDoug, true the D2 knives can be a little tough to put an edge on. But..they are extremely easy to keep a edge on too. I use a D2 knife from Bob Dozier, tough as nails and very hard. Hitting the edge with a stone a couple of times every now and then keeps me from having to hone a completely dull blade. I can make it through a year without having to do little more than hit the edge with a fine stone after each animal or after some other big chore.
    The lansky bit works well to cut a new edge from a completely dull blade or to hone knives that are tough to work freehand. And for beginners.

    Brian, Love my havalon knife too. I do not just carry it though. It's too small for camp work or big processing jobs but it sure does come into its own caping, skinning or doing any other fine cutting.

    CGSswimmer, seriously though, get the kit or some stones. Dull knives suck and it's so simple and inexpensvie it's wort the five minutes it takes to knock it out. The only drawback is a number of friends and family constantly ask me to sharpen their knives.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    Where are you guys taking your knives to get sharpened? I just got done fleshing & salting a black bear hide and my dull knives added an extra couple a hours to the job. I bought an electric sharpener, which completely dulled my knives, and my small gerber diamond sharpener will not put a razor sharp edge on my knives. I figure I will send them off to get professionally sharpened so I dont run into this problem in the field. Thanks
    I've used the DMT system and the diamond plates for quite some time. Usually will set an approximate angel with a smooth mill fill; use the DMT system; and while skinning just touch up the blade with with a piece of leather.
    On short hunts with only an animal or two being taken probably no big thing about being able to sharpen the knives - on longer hunts where it isn't practical, or possible, to use a commercial knife sharpener probably a good idea to develop the skill.
    Joe (Ak)

  11. #11
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default

    Been using one of these for some 30 yrs. Once you have established the bevel it is really easy to resharpen to "shavin' sharp" prior to leaving for a hunt. I do take a small steel to touch up the knive edge in the field. With good steel one should only need to sharpen a quality knife every 2 or 3 animals. Currenlty I really like S30V - but there are newer .... and maybe better modern steels. Good luck.

    http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=77

  12. #12

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    I use an Edge Pro for all my knife sharpening. Pricey and time consuming, but well worth it, IMO.

    I use S30V knives, and I can get them razor sharp with the Edge Pro.

  13. #13

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    If your going to take them somewhere, I would drop them at Northern Knives. I think it was like. $2/knife

  14. #14

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    EDGEPRO!!!!!!!!!all that needs to be said.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Lansky system is easy to use and a great way for beginners to get the hang of it.
    Got a couple drawers full of knives and usually grab the softer steel ones - they do dull quicker but also take an edge quicker. I get them good and sharp on a stone then in the field carry a set of ceramic sticks or a steel - either one brings it back to edge quick.
    If you want to shave with it simply take off your leather belt and drag your knife backwards across it several times and you will have a surgical edge!
    Got Havalon also - great product when used properly...
    I like a half serrated / half standard blade in the field - serves many purposes...
    A man can't have too many guns or knives I reckon!

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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the help fellas. I completely agree with the Havalon opinions, I have one on order right now. My buddy came over to help me flesh and turn the face with a Havalon and a Dexter Russell fleshing knife. I had my skinning knife and a couple of scalpels (brand new) that I got from Van Dykes taxidermy supply. We started on my bear and my dull skinning knife would not remove any flesh and the brand new scalpel was not much sharper than the skinning knife. We ended up doing the whole bear with his knifes!! We got done about 11pm and the first thing I did before going to bed was order the Havalon!! I will be passing through Anchorage next month on my way to Cordova for a Salmon Shark trip so I figured I would take the knives to get professionally sharpened. Before I pull the trigger though I will take a look into the systems you guys suggested, thanks again.

  17. #17
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    You wanna flesh a bear or other animal in record time? use an ULU.....thats what taxidermists use for most fleshing chores....and the scalpels are used for feet and face. ulus are very easy to sharpen....my boss at the taxidermy shop i work for every fall gets his from the ulu factory, cheap like $6 a piece, uses a steel to sharpen em......very fast and clean. also, what alpine earl said- while doing feild chores, stop every few minutes and strike your blade on whatever sharpener you have, keeps it nice and sharp and doesnt let it get dull....



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    Default I always thought knife sharpening was all part of th hunting expirence

    I guess I'm one of those whom cannot just sit in camp and do nothing.
    If I'm not double checking my gear, I'm sharpening something .
    I have a favorite edge for different knives depending on their metal,and application.
    I make my knives the way my grandfather did,from files . the edges are great and endure lots of abuse . Glass brittle,you can't touch them with a file, you have to use a stone.
    To me saw blades and axes meat grinders,can be smoothe edges ,they are not so critical. knives on the other hand function best for me with a micro fine surration,in stead of polished. A polished serface leaves such a fine edge that it can roll over very easily . You learn this by working the worst metals first and look at them under a micro scope. Larger surraded edges are hard to maintain in the field, fun , but time consuming.But even the worst metals, with a microfine surration will last supprizingly well.and though one may not wish to shave with it, don't take it for granted.
    While I'm not the big game hunter you boys are, Most of the work I have done in my life involved using knives all day long.
    A simple "boy scout" manual has instruction on knife sharpening, I've taught just a few scouts and adults through the years.
    I do like the idea of a ulu, and may just for the fun of it make one .

  19. #19
    Member AK-Sniper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    I take my D2 steel knives to Northern Knives on 5th Ave in Anchorage. I find them difficult and time consuming to sharpen well. Northern Knives price is right and they do excellent work. For those who say I need to learn how to sharpen my own knives, I have learned over the years that there are some things I would rather pay other people to do correctly for me. Not that I can't do those things myself if I put in the time and effort but I prefer not to put time into some things that could be more valuably spent on others. I cut my own lawn, do my own painting, electrical, light plumbing etc. I pay people to fix my automobiles and tile my bathrooms.... oh ya, and to sharpen my knives. Personal preference I think.

    If you want them sharpened professionally in Anchorage Northern Knives is a good place to start.
    I usually take mine to Northern Knives before I head out and then use a Lansky stone out in the field to touch them up.
    Diamond Marquis

  20. #20
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    FYI, While a great place to buy stuff from, I have had very poor luck with Ak Butcher Supply sharpening my knives. As mentioned keep going to Northern knives.

    My .02$, Dave

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