It would seem, with all that’s going on in the world, that little things would start becoming more important – things like having enough ammo, storing enough extra food, water, and supplies, and even having your knives sharpened.
This is not meant to sound ominous, just preparatory. After all, with all the police defunding, someone has to take responsibility for you and your loved ones. Ideally, that should be the same person who was taking responsibility even before the chaos – you!
There are three things I have way more than I’ll ever need.
- Holsters, not that you can never have enough but good holsters are hard to find. And, once you do, if you change firearms, then you have to start all over again.
- Bags, because you can never quite fit what you need in them and, as stated above, if you change firearms, or anything else, now you’re looking for new bags to fit all your new gear. A never-ending problem. And,
- Knife sharpeners, this is because sharpening knives can be such a long term learning experience. So you start somewhere and after being frustrated a few times, your knife dulls and you change and restart your frustration with a new sharpener.
There has to be a better solution out there that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Isn’t there?
Secrets of sharpening knives
There really are only a few secrets to sharpening knives. Once you understand these, you’ll see how the recommended solutions fit nicely into reducing your frustration and increasing your ability to make and keep your knives sharp.
All knife blades have a specific angle. Typically, every-day carry knives, folders, have a 25-degree angle. Kitchen knives, on the other hand, usually have around a 20-degree angle. It’s not important to be able to memorize the angles of various knives, what is important is using a sharpener that will hold the desired angle when you are sharpening the knife.
Knives are sharpened by progressively moving from a coarser material to a finer material. As such, knife sharpeners that have only one stone or sharpening material will not produce the best result.
Kind of a subset under progression, the most coarse stone will produce a burr on the knife blade. This burr can be felt by feeling the metal that is pushed over the edge of the blade. The object of sharpening is to create and then eliminate the burr by sharpening with finer, less coarse, stones on both sides of the blade.
Another important aspect of sharpening is to place the blade on the sharpener so that it follows the shape of the blade. Your goal is to refine the knife manufacturer’s blade design, not create a new design.
Some knives are developed with harder metals. This contributes to the longevity of the knives sharpness but creates problems by making it more difficult to sharpen. It would be nice if the knife sharpener was able to overcome this difficulty.
Recommended knife sharpeners
I could go on with at least 10 sharpeners and try to blast you with options. I probably own that many but that is why I’m writing this post. I only want to recommend two. Both will meet the needs described above, and while one will meet your needs even better, it is more expensive and may be overkill for your needs. Don’t get me wrong, there are other, much more expensive options, but none in my experience that really fit the bill.
Lansky Sharpening System
The Lansky is a trusted name in knife sharpeners and this system is really inexpensive. It meets the requirements of providing a specific angle and having a progression of sharpening stones. You could opt for some of their other systems that offer more stones, but, this is a simple and effective system without all the frills that will meet the needs of most people. Check out their YouTube video on how to use this system and you’re off to the races. The price point for the system just can’t be beaten.
Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener – Ken Onion Edition
You may think that this is a bit overkill, but I guarantee you, you’ll never have to buy another sharpener and this will sharpen everything you own from your everyday-carry folders to kitchen knives to scissors and even axes. Believer it or not, this is still hundreds of dollars less than a number of other sharpeners. One of the best features, aside from meeting all the requirements discussed above, is the ability of the electrical motor to sharpen even the hardest blade materials.
The booklet that comes with this sharpener will guide you in sharpening every knife and tool you own. All with angle presets and sharpening belt progressions that a professional knife manufacturer would use. They, also, have a number of YouTube instructional videos here. This truly is the secret solution.
There are literally hundreds of knife sharpeners available. Dull knives are a problem and they’re dangerous. I won’t give you the top ten or the top five. It will just waste your time.
After years of trying different systems with frustration after disappointment, these are the two best options out there and at really reasonable prices. Choose the one that best meets your needs and budget and forget about knife sharpening problems forever.