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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.

    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  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
    Pensacola, FL, USA
    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
    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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