Hey everyone, David C. Andersen from the knife
center coming at you from my home studio,
or at least my basement, because like a lot
of new people, I’m actually working from home
at the moment.
And with that said, it’s actually a perfect
time to make sure our knives are in tip top
Part of that is sharpening.
Now, for those of you who may be a little
bit fuzzy on sharpening, maybe it’s not your
forte, you’re not the best at it.
This is the first in a series of videos that’s
going to go over step by step what you need
to get your knives razor sharp.
Let’s do it.
(KnifeCenter.com logo) The concept of sharpening
is actually pretty simple, but there are a
ton of different ways to get the job done.
So today we’re going to be looking at the
traditional method at least traditional here
in the US of using whet stones as well as
taking a look at some ceramic sharpeners and
diamond plates as well.
The process is similar but there’s going to
be a few things you do a little bit differently
between all of them.
But first, let’s talk about a little a little
bit of concept when it comes to sharpening.
Now think of the edge of your knife as a V
or an inverted V in this case, and when we’re
sharpening, we’re going to be removing material
from one side until we gradually push a little
bit of metal past the apex and over the other
That’s what we call a burr.
Once we get that, we’re going to do the same
thing to the other side until we push that
burr back over.
And then we’re going to alternate sides 1-2-1-2
with progressively finer stones until we get
the level of refinement and sharpness that
we’re looking for.
It’s not really that much more complex just
requires a little bit of practice a little
bit of muscle memory to build up and we’ve
got all the time in the world right now to
make sure our edges are in tip top shape.
The first thing I’m going to show you here
is actually one of the first whet stones I
It’s actually a combination This is the Smiths
tri-hone or three sided knife sharpener.
This comes with three separate grits integrated
into one unit.
We’ve got a coarse stone, a medium and a fine
And the medium and fine stones are actually
what we call Arkansas stones and all that
is it’s a It’s a United States originated
mineral which is easily quarried, so it makes
a pretty affordable sharpening stone.
And it’s a very traditional way a very traditional
material used in sharpeners in this country.
Typically, this actually comes with a base
not quite sure where my base is, you could
still use this freehand, but I wanted to demonstrate
it with a base.
So I have another unit here that’s of similar
concept that we’re going to use today.
So I’ve got what I need to get started right
I’ve got my stone.
I’ve got a knife.
This is actually the Victorinox compact, which
I think is a pretty criminally underrated
Swiss Army Knife really ought to check it
It’s nice and slim, packs a lot of different
functions in there.
It’s very cool.
Now the first thing we’re going to want to
do is actually oil our stone.
Now, a lot of these sets actually come with
their own included oil, but if you’ve run
out of that, or if yours didn’t come with
it, maybe you’ve got an old stone mineral
oil actually works really well.
I like this for more than just the usage.
With a sharpening stone to this actually works
really well to lubricate your knives or folding
knives lubricate the pivots.
It’s food safe, it’s cheap, it’s widely available,
you can find it all kinds of different places.
And I found this at my local hardware store.
And it just works for so many different things.
It could even treat a cutting board with it,
a really handy thing to have around very Multi
Now, first thing, like I said, we’re actually
going to oil this down.
Not a whole lot.
Once we’ve got that on there, we could just
kind of go ahead with our blade.
But I usually like to smooth it out just a
little bit, probably doesn’t make much of
It’s just what I’ve always done.
Now the purpose of that oil is actually to
lubricate the surface of the stone, and it’s
supposed to help prevent particles of metal
from the blade as your sharpening from getting
trapped in the pores of the stone.
Of course, you’re going to want to clean this
after you’ve done your sharpening as well
that can also help with that.
Some folks like to use water instead of oil
and that certainly is an option.
Some folks will even swear by using it dry
with no oil.
As with anything, there’s no completely right
or wrong answer.
So we’re going to go with the most traditional
And that is using this, this oil mineral oil
in this case.
Now when it comes to actually putting your
blade to the stone itself, this is where things
get a little bit tricky and it takes a bit
of practice, because this is a free hand operation.
Now, most blades, at least on a production
scale on production knives in this country
come with what we call a 40 degree inclusive
All that means by inclusive is that when added
up the two sides of the V equal 40 degrees,
so we got 20 degrees and 20 degrees on each
So we need to hold our blade at a 20 degree
angle to the stone as we’re going.
Now you can practice with a protractor if
you want to get your angle just right, but
a lot of units including that Smith’s unit
that I showed you earlier, actually come with
a small little plastic ramp that will show
you exactly the guide that you need to follow
and you just kind of rest your knife blade
against it and carry that angle through with
your arm as you move up the blade.
So like I said, First step, we want to work
one side and wait until we get that Burr on
the other side.
So I’m going to place my edge here at the
back at a roughly 20 degree angle, and slowly,
not too much pressure smoothly move out towards
the tip like so, angling the blade as you
move so that the actual edge remains roughly
perpendicular to the motion you’re going and
we’re going to do this over and over until
we build that burr up on the opposite side
shouldn’t take too long.
This is a pretty thin, thin edge and fairly
soft metal on the Swiss Army knife so it shouldn’t
take too long to get there.
After a few strokes, we’re going to check
the edge and as you’re feeling for the burr
with your finger, you want to be very careful.
So if we’re we’re laying the stone on this
side of the edge means the burr will be coming
up on this side.
So I use my thumb to sort of thumb or fingers
to sort of feel along pushing away from the
edge and you’re going to learn what it feels
like to have that little bit of a burr sticking
Looks like I’ve got it here up at near the
belly area, but the area back near the heel
is almost there, needs a little bit more work.
Now quick little trick if you’re not sure
if you’re hitting the edge angles just so
you can always take a black marker such as
a Sharpie, I know that’s a brand name, but
you can color in the actual edge itself.
And then go through the motions, a few different
a few strokes and look at it and see where
the the marker has actually been removed.
And if you’re hitting it along the whole sharpened
edge, you know you’re in good shape.
So let me finish up here and raise the bar
It looks like I’ve got the burr where I need
it to be.
So now we’re gonna flip the knife over and
instead of placing it at the closest side
to you and working outward, you’re going to
place it on the far side and work towards
Be careful of course you want to keep your
digits out of the way so you don’t get in
the way of the blade.
Set your angle and repeat.
You want to try and make sure you’ve taken
roughly the same number of strokes off of
this side as you did when you were doing the
first part of it because we want to keep that
edge in the center of the blade as much as
Remember, don’t push down too hard when you’re
doing this, for a couple of reasons.
One, you could actually flex the blade too
And on a softer steel, or a more brittle steel,
I should say.
If you’re really pushing down and you hit
part of the hit an angle or something, you
might get a little bit of chipping if you’re
pushing really hard.
But the other thing is if you’re pushing really
hard, it’s harder to maintain a more consistent
So just a little bit of pressure not much
so that you can do it smoothly and repeatedly.
Now that I’ve been able to get consistently
get a burr on both sides, I’m going to come
back to the start.
And this is where things are a little bit
open to interpretation.
You’re going to find what works for you For
me, I like to take it back to the original
Give it another five strokes.
And then from there, I’m going to alternate
strokes doing 1-1-2-2-3-2 So on and so forth.
And I want to hit this once I’ve even that
first five is going to even out that that
burger just a little bit.
And then by alternating strokes, I’m going
to be refining the edge that I’ve gotten.
And I want to do for me personally, I like
to do about 20 strokes per side.
So let’s go through that now.
Now that we’ve run through that, you can kind
of take a look at your edge, see how we’re
And if there are any kind of aberrations,
you can go back.
If there are some chunks that are taken out
of this blade, I should have said if these
edges are really far gone, you’re going to
want to start with the really coarse section.
But for most cases, unless you’ve got some
chipping, you’re probably not going to need
So that’s why I started with the medium grit
We’re good to go right now so I’m going to
move on to the finer grit stone.
Now since we’ve already set our bevel on the
heavier grit stone, I’m not going to go through
working up a burr on each side.
From here we’re just refining the edge.
This finer gritstone is essentially a tighter
scratchpad pattern because that’s what all
these sharpeners are doing.
They’re creating scratches on your blade as
a tighter scratch pattern than the medium
So we’re just gonna go through, I’m going
to do again 20 strokes per side and see how
Now obviously, the finer the stone you go,
the better your final edge is going to be.
If you’re just getting started, I wouldn’t
worry about that too too much.
Just stick with something like this, that’s
going to give you a range of grits.
And then at the end, the blade could actually
benefit from a little bit of a stropping.
But that’s actually something we’re going
to be going over in another video.
But now we actually have to test our edge.
We move this to the side.
And I’ve actually got a bit of copier paper
It’s a bit of a no no in some circles, actually
testing her edge on a piece of paper because
like cardboard paper is fairly abrasive and
you can affect your edge with it.
But hopefully we’re going to be getting the
knife sharp enough that’s not gonna make that
big a difference, but you can actually learn
a lot by cutting through paper.
In the process, you want to hit all of your
That way you can find out if you have any
goal or flat spots that you may have missed
and you need to go back.
(cutting paper) We’re actually in pretty good
shape here, the edge isn’t super polished
because this isn’t a super fine stone that
we’ve got here.
But it does a pretty good job certainly serviceable.
And for a lot of folks out there, you’re going
to be able to get something with a little
practice that’s actually better than a lot
of factory edges out there.
So you’re gonna it’s definitely going to be
an improvement and it’s certainly going to
be improvement if you’ve never sharpened your
knife and I’ve used it an awful lot So, so
that’s how we sharpen one type of edge, that
being a flat ground blade.
This also works really well on hollow ground
blades, but you can also do a Scandi grind
with this type of method.
Right here I have got a Condor Terrasaur which
you may have seen our review of this knife
we did this, we did a shootout between this
and the Mora Garberg.
We can use a little bit of attention on the
Now the advantage of a Scandi grind is it
essentially comes with a built in angle guide,
you simply have to lay the blade flat on the
And you don’t have to guess because you can
actually use the grind of the knife to tell
you exactly where the angle needs to be.
Other than that it’s the exact same process
as a any other type of knife.
You just have the advantage of that grind,
that you’re able to follow through with (edge
grinds on stone) as you move down the stone,
very easy to do, and even less guesswork thanks
to this Scandi, so for true beginners, this
might be even easier.
Alright, so that’s your garden variety whetstone
that comes with a base, maybe not garden variety.
A lot of the garden variety stones out there
are just a stone.
They may or may not come with a base, they
may be a little more portable than this.
This is certainly a bench stone style of whetstone,
but another one I really liked for portability
is this little item from Wazoo Survival Gear.
This is the Viking whetstone pendant.
It’s really cool.
Just a small oil stone there that which this
type of whetstone sometimes is called an oil
Small whetstone that’s on a leather thong
means you can wear it very comfortably and
take it just about anywhere.
So you can always have that with you.
Right now I want to talk about two more types
of devices that the concept is very similar,
but you’re going to use them just a little
Both of these are portable units.
First, here I have the Spyderco Double Stuff,
you can see it comes in a its own leather
And this essentially uses the same material
as their SharpMaker only in stone form, you’ve
got medium and fine sides here.
Now this type of stone, apart from being portable,
is not going to use any oil, you’re just going
to use this dry.
And when you’re a little more accomplished,
you’re a little more comfortable.
You’ll just be using this in your hand.
Although of course be very careful when you’re
on the stroke coming towards yourself.
But all the same concepts apply same types
As with any of these, like I said they work
really well on hollow grinds.
They work really well on flat grinds and Scandi
If you have a convex grind where it convexes
all the way down to the the zero the zero
edge itself, you’re going to want to use something
a little bit different than one of these something
like this will work but you will kind of affect
So just keep that in mind.
And we’re going to be going over that in some
future videos in this series.
Now the other advantage of this unit that
comes with its own little leather slip case,
is it’s got essentially its own strop built
in which again stropping that’s another episode.
All right, now I want to talk about diamond
Now this they can come in a wide variety of
different form factors.
You can have the benchtop versions as well
as more portable versions.
This is actually one of the DMT Diafold series.
It’s a bit of an older one.
I’ve had it for quite a few years.
I think the modern ones actually have clear
plastic handles as opposed to these color
they’ve still got their color coding underneath
the plate itself.
But when I mentioned plate rather than a stone
that’s either quarried or a synthetically
made stone like some of the Spyderco piece
We’ve actually got a steel plate with diamond
Diamond, of course, is one of the hardest
materials out there.
And it’s certainly harder than than most Steel’s
out there as well.
Now the key to using any kind of diamond sharpener
Now I know earlier I told you you wanted to
maintain a fairly moderate pressure, not too
heavy on the standard whetstone that’s even
more important when it comes to a diamond
Because the harder you push, you’re more likely
to actually tear those diamonds out of the
But other than that, it’s it’s used exactly
the same way.
Just no oil again, here, you’re going to use
this one dry.
And these portable Diafold units I find really
handy because you can take them anywhere.
They make keychain sized ones as well for
another portable option.
But it’s the same thing.
You’re just you just don’t have a base with
these portable units.
You’re going to want to set your angle and
go through all the same steps.
Easy as pie.
Well, that’s all I’ve got to show you in this
edition of how to sharpen a knife.
We’re going to have more of these coming up
in the future going over some different methods
of sharpening so keep sticking around for
If you have any questions, make sure to drop
them in the comments and we’ll do our best
to answer them.
But hopefully this gives you a good primer.
If you’re a little unsure about sharpening,
you’re a little bit of a novice.
Hopefully this gives you what you need to
be a little more confident and getting started
to do what you need to do to keep your knives
in tip top shape.
Now if you need to get your hands on some
good sharpening gear, or another good knife
to sharpen, we’re going to leave links in
the description below that will take you over
to KnifeCenter.com as of right now, our warehouse
still is shipping orders out which is fortunate
I’m here at home because we’re socially distancing
as much as we can.
But we’re very fortunate to still be able
to be in business and servicing you guys.
Make sure you’re signed up for our knife rewards
program while you’re at our site as well because
the only thing that beats a new knife or some
new gear is some free money to spend on your
I’m David C. Andersen from the KnifeCenter.
I hope you’re all are staying safe, sane and
sanitary out there.
See you next time.
Hey everyone, David C. Andersen from the knife