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  • Knife Sharpening
  • FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Anyone do it as a hobby? For some reason I want to get into it and bought some cheap whetstones and a leather strop from Amazon and watched a load of YouTube videos.

    Found it quite interesting but I think I’ve decided I probably won’t have the patience to get really good with a whetstone so rather than invest in better stones I’m wondering if I’d be better off with either something like a Wicked Edge setup (but they can be £500-1250) or something with mechanical assistance, like a Work Sharp Ken Onion edition belt system? Will probably keep practising with whetstones anyway but not looking to invest further in those at the moment but it would give me a good way to compare my progress or even finish on a whetstone after using another system to to do the initial sharpening.

    I think a paper or stone wheel system would be a bit overkill, I’m not looking to put a completely new edge on something just sharpen and maybe eventually grind out chips etc. (but sharpening being the most important)

    Will likely only ever sharpen my own and friends & family knifes (mostly kitchen but I guess outdoor type knives as well at some point) and a system that can also do a single edge sushi knife isn’t high on my requirements so something that could work commercially for a knife sharpening service isn’t important

    Happy to invest a few hundred in it (ideally a max of £750) but not really sure which system would be best. If you watch enough YouTube videos or read reviews then there’s about 50 different ‘world’s best sharpening systems’. Happy with something that takes a bit of time to learn just not as much time as freehand whetstone sharpening would

    Free Member

    I think it’s possible you are over thinking this….

    …starting with “as a hobby”

    Some sort of course diamond plate

    Some sort of finer carbide stone thing

    Strop and some abrasive stuff for it.

    The mistake you are making is watching YouTube videos.

    Free Member


    Full Member

    Yeah… i’d say £750 is a bit keen!

    TBH, if you want to do it ‘well’ as a ‘hobby’, then i’d suggest getting good with whetstones and strop i.e keep it basic, and make the ‘skill’ the hobby…

    It really down’t take long to grasp it, but DOES take long to get great at it…
    And in my view, that’s the ‘hobby’ part…

    dunno… your call ultimately


    Full Member

    I’ve got a cheap kitchen knife that I’ve had since university. It was a cheap one from Tesco – I think it cost me a fiver.
    It’s a bit crap at holding an edge, but is comfortable to use & well weighted.

    I decided to try & sharpen it a couple of years ago, so bought a whetstone from Amazon & set about with it one evening. I posted these pics on here at the time….


    [url=]HDR Unsharpened Knife crop[/url] by STW stumpy01, on Flickr


    [url=]HDR Sharpened Knife 2 crop[/url] by STW stumpy01, on Flickr

    Far from perfect, but a damn sight better than it was.

    As mentioned above – if doing this for a hobby, it’s probably worth spending some time getting really proficient with using a whetstone & sharpening things that way.
    The thing I found difficult was sharpening curved edges. I sharpened the blade on my Leatherman, but it has a pronounced curve at the tip, which I really struggled with; I guess it’s just a matter of experience & practice though.

    Free Member

    I’d been using a mechanical sharpener for a while but that only put a very fine saw edge on the knives so they cut but not cleanly so I took the plunge and got a 1000/4000 whetstone off Amazon for about £15. After a lot of time spent on the cheaper knives I now have the confidence to sharpen our ‘good’ knives.
    Results, even with a basic stone, are really impressive and we now have much sharper knives.
    Just bought a 3000/8000 stone to get a better edge.

    Free Member

    This is peak STW…. love it

    Full Member

    If you want to simplify the initial whetstone practice there are angle guides. I’m not great at it, but can go from a blade not able to pierce the skin of a tomato to slicing with no pressure after a few goes with the stone (rough side then smooth).

    Full Member

    oof…. my 6000 stone is like a bar of soap… i bet you don’t feel anything with an 8000 grit!


    Full Member

    Think this thread is peak middleclasstoomuchmoneystw

    I’ve just got this to sharpen my outdoor work knives

    Whitby Sharpening Stone

    Full Member

    oh, also, i got (from Wish..) a knife sharpener ‘table’ where you keep the knife still, and glide the stones over the blade. Brilliant at keeping a fixed angle etc…

    not sure which i prefer – the table thing feels like cheating! But it did get my thick outdoor knife sharp enough to cut paper with ease!


    Free Member

    i bet you don’t feel anything with an 8000 grit!

    I’ll report back

    Free Member

    I stuck with Shapton whetstones and have a range of them from 300 to 5000 grit. I’ve also got some Welsh slate whetstones from 10k-15k grit but I don’t use them much.
    The satisfaction for me is in working through the stones and keeping the edge keen.
    Maybe invest part of your money in a knife making course with someone like Joel Black. He’s a good teacher and smith and you’ll come away with a knife.

    Free Member

    If you are going to get a water stone. dont go too fine. 1000 and a 3000. Maybe a 2 in 1 stone could be got for not much. Finer are more expensive and are not needed for a kitchen knife. I use a flat piece of aluminium and wet and dry paper for coarser chips etc. this can also be used for flattening the water stones when they get dished. Knock off edge pros type jigs from ali ex are less than £20 havent tried them though. some sort of jig is good though . I made an adjustable angle waterstone holder and then clip a mini spirit level on to the knife so can get a consistent angle when i need it. If you tell me your email i can forward a pic of that. Also a cheap toy like microscope for checking if you are hitting the edge and seeing exactly whats going on is usefull.

    Also making some sort of stone holder over a washing up bowl or for your sink would be great but i just use a sheet of silicone and mop up water with paper or rag as i go along

    a bit like this guys one is great but my idea for a mini spirit level with magnet on back is usefull for accuracy.

    Full Member

    I have tried many times to master stoning a knife, but the results are always disappointing. A Lansky Deluxe system for about 40-50 quid, plus a stand, plus a bit of patience learning to set it up and use it and you’re good to go.

    I loathe blunt knives, and get a bit “perfectionisty” over blades, so the kitchen knives were treated to a decent edge, and the edge kept with a steel … chef’s knife will slice tomatoes with very little pressure.

    My stalking knife is a 70mm scandi-grind Enzo Necker, 12C27 steel which sharpens to shaving sharpness at a 20 degree angle on the Lansky. Stropped, it’ll take hairs off your arm with little or no pressure.

    You can get stropping boards online, but they’re a breeze to make at home. I used apiece of 3×1 and glued a strip of leather from an upholstery sample to it. Loaded with jeweller’s rouge it gives a fantastic final polish to a decent edge. In the field I simply strop the blade on the inside of my belt.

    Free Member

    I bought 4-stone Lansky system a few years back. It is easy to use, creates a very sharp edge without too much hassle. A stropping on an old leather belt makes it insanely sharp. the whole system can be had for reasonable money, even if you add the optional ultra fine diamond stone. The only downside to the Lansky system is that very long blades require a bit of practice.

    But the whole point of some hobbies is to make a project as challenging and expensive as possible, so some may see using a system as cheating!

    Free Member

    I’d second the Lansky system. I bought the ‘pro’ which has a set of diamond files in it. It’s very, very difficult to not get a damn near perfect edge. I was using a minosharp sharpener but the edge on the Lansky seems to be far more robust as well as initially sharper.
    think it was about £50?

    Free Member

    Old bone China mug or plate. Turn it over so that you have the raw porcelain. Pull knife across it.

    Seriously, this works.

    A Chinese housemate showed me after another housemate bought a kit (German style). He sharpened knives quicker and better using an lass mug than the guy using his expensive, nerdy kit.

    Free Member

    Old bone China mug or plate. Turn it over so that you have the raw porcelain. Pull knife across it.

    Similarly, I use an upturned stoneware roasting dish. Rest it on a damp tea towel so it doesn’t slide across the worksurface.

    Free Member

    Lansky system here as well, got it on sale on Amazon. Reviews were great, TBH a bit disappointed when it showed up as it looked a bit pants but it really does work as good as the reviews said. Kitchen knives get done on it roughly twice a year to shaving sharp and edge maintained with steel in between.

    Full Member

    Not sure where you are, but I would recommend a knife sharpening course. I went to one here.
    Green Aspirations
    There might be a course near you.
    It was about £60 and I can now sharpen knives, axes, scissors, secateurs etc with nothing more than different grades of wet and dry.
    Well worth it.

    Full Member

    I took my kitchen knives to a local butcher who sharpened them for free. In return I agreed to his request to buy all my meat from him in future, which worked out well for me as a near life-long vegetarian.

    (I bunged a few quid into the Mountain Rescue charity pot instead, I’m not a complete animal.)

    Full Member

    I’ve looked a bit at the Lanksy system but think I read some negative comments somewhere which put me off, maybe I’ll go back and research it a bit more. I guess the Wicked Edge is similar in how it works, not sure why it’s so much more expensive though. I’m not determined to blow a load of money on it if I can get as good a solution for under £100!

    Using whetstones until now I can get a knife sharp but not as good as a quality kitchen knife and although I think I understand the process I don’t really understand if it’s just I need more practice or if I’m doing something fundamentally wrong. I certainly not at the stage I’d want to sharpen an expensive knife (but then practising on crappy knives might be part of the problem).

    Stumpy01’s pictures so a very clean and consistent edge, kudos for getting it that good with just an evening’s use of a whetstone

    I’m still a bit torn about just focusing on whetstones, it would certainly be the most sense of achievement going that route but I also don’t want to spend months on it and still not be confident of sharpening expensive knives. The Lansky/Wicked Edge type systems (where the blade is fixed and you swipe the stones over it) look somewhat enjoyable to do and I figure you’re always going to get a good result (once you learn the basics of the angles and when to change grits). If those systems can give as good a result as a whetstone (even with years of practice) I’m not sure it’s worth bothering with whetstones. I don’t want to over-complicate it just for the sake of it, it would have to give a better result

    Looking for a knife sharpening (on whetstones) course sounds like a good idea, at least it would confirm technique to me and then I can better decide whether to invest the time in it going forward…

    Full Member

    I bought a kitchen knife from a shop in Osaka. They showed me how to sharpen it in 5min with a whetstone.

    How sharp a knife do you really need? I pulled that knife through my nail, while washing it gently. I’m glad it wasn’t sharper!

    They have some straightforward sharpening videos. They showed me how to use a couple of coins to keep the angle consistent.

    Free Member

    I just realised the Op wants to spend big bucks this so my post sounds a bit out of place.I must have read it in a hurry and missed the last part of the op. If you want to get a better idea of what to do have a look at theres plenty to find out on the subject there and many who spend big on their knife hobby.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)

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