Knife sharpening as a fine art and overview of the importance of metallurgy in knifemaking and what it takes to get and maintain a keen cutting edge.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

To view the entire article "The Secret World of Knife Sharpening" please go to www.proknifesharpeners.com
Knife Sharpening is one of those things that few of us think about much and yet it affects every one of us as we go through life. Some kind of knife sharpener will have a place in just about every thing that man endeavors to do.

I have had a long time interest in knife sharpening as an avid outdoorsman from Montana and found an interest in making knives back in 1976 and still at it.

Although I learned how to sharpen knives by using a stone and later by using my belt grinder, I was intrigued by the array of knife sharpeners offered to the public. I found most of them to be more detrimental to a knife than good, but a number of them actually worked and a very few worked very well.

I started stocking some of these better systems such as the Lansky, Spyderco Sharpmaker and Gatco. Later on when I ran across Ben Dale and his Edge Pro Apex system, I knew that I was looking at the best knife sharpener that I have ever seen at the time and have since sold many of these fine systems via my web site and here at the shop located in Country Village, Bothell, Washington.

The Lansky and the Gatgo systems work the same way and you simply attaché the guide on to the back of the blade and select the angle hole of your choice for the guide rod. The draw backs are re-clamping the guide to sharpen the longer blades and keeping the clamp in place with some knife blades.

The Spyderco Sharpmaker uses triangular shaped ceramic rods inserted in a base at a given angle and you hold the blade vertical while dragging it from heel to point across the rod. You can position the rods so that you are using the corners or the flats to sharpen. The corners cut faster for removing steel and also get down into the serrations of a blade. The flat is used to finish the edge.

The Spyderco Sharpmaker is a bit slow in removing steel for those real dull knives and does not offer much in the way of changing the edge angle, although the newer models I think do offer some degree of adjustment. All in all, the Sharpmaker is a nice touch up system and would work very well for a quick touch up between knife sharpening with something like the Edge Pro.
I am now stocking the EZ Sharp system from Australia and have decided that it is one very serious sharpening system. This system is as good as the Edge Pro Apex units and perhaps a little easier to use for those who have trouble using both hands at the same time. It costs a little more, but it locks the blade securely in a flip over jig allowing you to use both hands to operate the full size bench stone on the blade.

Both the Edge Pro Apex and the EZ Sharp, have received great revues from sites such as the knife forums and the knife list.

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