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Thread: Tips for Newbies?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    St. Paul, MN

    Tips for Newbies?

    First of all, I still consider myself a newbie to sharpening and will for years to come, but when I was first starting to sharpen I watched the three videos (Carter, Korin, and Dave's) and noted down preparation/sharpening tips that I thought I might forget, but would be good to remember.

    Even after some time now, I still find myself referring to them every now and then just as a helpful reminder before I hit the stones.

    So anyhow, here was my list from way back when:

    * Wash hands and knives before handling stones.
    * Flatten stones before each sharpening session.
    * Clean flattener before moving on to next stone, so as to not contaminate grit.
    * Examine knife blade (for chips, bends, cleanliness) before sharpening and correct if needed.
    * Hone knife blades before sharpening.
    * Debur after each stone (felt pad).
    * Remember to turn stone around during sharpening to even out wear.
    * Wipe off grit on knife before moving to next stone.

    I know that those tips are more about preparing for sharpening and the in-between stuff than actual sharpening. Sharpening techniques are so varied, I only had a few sharpening tips on my list.

    * Use light pressure on stones.
    * Place fingers directly over the portion of blade you are sharping.
    * Raise a burr along the entire blade.

    If you were instructing a newbie, would you add any other tips or good practices (or take any away)? Just wondering.


    Danny 'Zwiefel' Owen - 1971-2016 Moderator and Knife Knut for Eternity. RIP

  2. #2
    Senior Member FryBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hermosa Beach, California
    Have a box of Band-Aids nearby.

    Doug Collins
    Hermosa Beach, California

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Use a magic marker and a loupe to see what you're doing. Otherwise, you're flying blind.

    Don't use a sub-1k grit stone until you know what you're doing. It's way too easy to destroy a knife on a 400/500 grit stone.

    Painter's tape on the sides of the blade may save you some scuffs, unless you consider them as a rite of passage.

  4. #4
    cannibal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Have patience when sharpening, take your time to learn good technique and get comfortable with your angles. slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

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