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Old 12-05-2009, 07:58 PM
petro petro is offline
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Default Best Portable Knife Sharpener



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I am getting a USMC Ka-Bar straight edge (1217) and I'm looking for a good portable knife sharpener.

I am thinking about getting the double-sided diafold:

http://www.dmtsharp.com/products/diafold.htm

I can always have some sort of knife sharpening system at home, but when I'm actually in the woods camping/hunting/etc I need to have a way to keep my Ka-Bar sharp. I don't need to shave with it, but being able to keep it sharp is a necessity.

Forgot to ask this previously, but also what cutting angle is good? I hear that axes are 30-35 degrees, survival knives are 20-25, and fillet knives are 10-15 degrees. Does this cutting edge truly matter?

Last edited by petro; 12-05-2009 at 08:34 PM.. Reason: Adding question
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:04 PM
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I carry the small one on my keyring all the time. Works great.

http://www.benchmade.com/products/983902X
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:05 PM
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Get the one at wally world........cheap , effective, quick and safe.
Old 12-05-2009, 09:22 PM
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I like the small diamond hones sold in hardware and sporting goods stores, Eze-lap or something I think. They're only about 3"x1" and very light, come in four grits and do a great job.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:49 PM
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I carry a small black Arkansas stone with me.

I keep one folding blade sharpened to a razor edge (single sided 30 degree), and one skinning knife at razor edge, but I keep most blades sharpened double sided at a greater angle.
Old 12-05-2009, 11:00 PM
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I had a friend sharpen my Kershaw with a Lansky sharpener. Small, portable, three angle, and very effective. My knife is now amazingly sharp. I bought one, too.

Last edited by BigTexMarine; 12-05-2009 at 11:01 PM.. Reason: spelling...
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:03 PM
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OK I dont know if Im just a tard but I cannot seem to get my blades as sharp as from the factory. Im getting ready to purchase one of those electric sharpeners. am I tossing money away here?
Old 12-05-2009, 11:34 PM
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Yes.

Well, not necessarily. The only electric ones I've seen that actually do worth a darn are the EXPENSIVE electric ones.....$100.00 and over. IMHO you're really better off spending the money on the Lansky (or similar). http://www.lanskysharpeners.com/LKC03.php

Sharpening with a good 'ol stone set is a skill that can be learned, it just takes practice and time. I still use an Arkansas stone with oil. Occassionally I'll break out some crock sticks that were given to me some 30 years ago.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:58 AM
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I've had my eye on the lansky system. It provides a highly controllable sharpening angle which is good if you don't trust yourself free-handing the process. The three grits let you get the job done, and the whole thing packs up into a small box that you can throw into your pack.

I'd like to get a good sharpening tool that'll fit in my pocket. The one mentioned previously (http://www.benchmade.com/products/983902X) seems to fit the bill. A 30-degree would be sufficient for breaking down most small game and at the same time doing some light wood buttoning.

While maintaining a sharp knife for all eternity in the woods might be a bit of a stretch, especially with a teotwawki event, but having a way to keep the knife sharp for a few weeks while fitting in your pocket would be certain gold.

I've been reading articles regarding their version of proper knife use, and they say to use the knife as little as possible. Combine that with a good sharpening tool and you could be set for quite some time.
Old 12-06-2009, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
OK I dont know if Im just a tard but I cannot seem to get my blades as sharp as from the factory. Im getting ready to purchase one of those electric sharpeners. am I tossing money away here?
I would buy a cheapish knife made of a steel that is known to be reasonably easy to sharp, buy a double sided stone and some oil and practice practice practice

I dont really like those carbide sharpeners. I have a small double sided stone in my BOB, and bigger ones at home.

The double sided stone I keep in my BOB has fairly coarse grit (dont know the number sorry), because I can get my knife sharp enough for field use with a coarse grit stone, but it will take a long time to get out a chip or dint or fold with a fine grit stone.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:23 PM
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I was rummaging in a pile of florescent light fixtures and found several smallish (2" long) ceramic tubes that put a really good edge on any knife I have tried it on.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keeber View Post
I was rummaging in a pile of florescent light fixtures and found several smallish (2" long) ceramic tubes that put a really good edge on any knife I have tried it on.
When I'm at work and my knife needs a touch up I've been known to use the bottom of a ceramic coffee cup. Works good!
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:03 AM
bltjr1951 bltjr1951 is offline
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I got the mini folder to keep with knife sheath.
I also got a Lansky diamond hone to use with my Ray LO sharpener, I wore out the stone ones.
Like the idea of no oil, just use water.

http://www.dmtsharp.com/products/other.htm

http://www.lanskysharpeners.com/LKC03.php

Last edited by bltjr1951; 12-07-2009 at 03:54 PM.. Reason: LANSKY
Old 12-07-2009, 10:37 AM
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I have been looking for a mobile stone to keep in my truck bag. So far the two sided DMT stone you linked is my first choice. If I didn't need a stone for the scandi grind knives I use I would probably just get a set of Croc sticks.

You don't really want to use the V notch style quick sharpeners like the linked Benchmade. Just about all of them really chew up your edge. To use as a last ditch effort in a survival situation would be fine but there are better options out there for routine use.

I have a the 5 stone deluxe Lanski at home and if I had to do it over again I would have gone with the DMT kit. Their stones are like 3x as wide making for a much quicker job. It doesn't look like it will do any better than the Lanski on long blades though. That is a major drawback to the design of these sharpening systems. You can only do about 3" of blade at a time. If your knife is bigger than that you have to adjust the clamp several times with each stone to get the whole blade.
Old 12-07-2009, 10:57 AM
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I don't know about other folks, but I don't want to spend alot of time sharpening my knife. How sharp does a knife need to be? Razor sharp? Not mine. I carry a Smith's knife sharpener in all my packs and choose good blades. A couple of swipes with it and it's ready to go, whether it's my WP machete or my pocket knife. Remember back in the day, the barber stropping straight razors on leather? Not necessary, outdoors.

http://www.knivesplus.com/smiths-kni...r-sm-jiff.html
Old 12-07-2009, 07:10 PM
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I think I'm sold on the Diamond Diafold (Coarse & Fine). I found a very nice price for this over at:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...2007_200332007

I thought about the Fine & Extra-Fine version, but the Coarse & Fine would give me a shot at being able to repair edge damage (325 and 600 grit). I like the design of the sharpening surface because they have built-in areas for metal shavings to fall into so you don't clog up the surface. This means you can sharpen the knife without oil or water...a definite plus since oil runs out and water can sometimes be scarce. I'd rather pour water down my throat than on my stone.
Old 12-09-2009, 02:29 AM
curlybill curlybill is offline
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http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30167003
i use this, the best cheap ceramic sharpener around.
Old 12-10-2009, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewS View Post
You don't really want to use the V notch style quick sharpeners like the linked Benchmade. Just about all of them really chew up your edge. To use as a last ditch effort in a survival situation would be fine but there are better options out there for routine use.
This is caused by pressing too hard on the knife, causing the blade to chatter. Only light pressure should be used.

Also, when using this types of devices, don't wait until the edge is totally thrashed before sharpening. Use the sharpener on a regular basis to keep the blade dressed properly.

I have numerous DMT sharpeners, from the bench stones to the folding Mini-Sharps. They all work great, as expected.

I carry these in my BOB, tactical bags and tool boxes:

http://www.knivesplus.com/smithsknif...nersm-pp1.html

The carbide cutters with the addition of the ceramic polishers and diamond rod makes this a great pocket sharpener.

As Kipper (and others) mentioned, practice is the key to success. I picked up some ~$25 knives and practiced on those until I understood what was happening and got good at it before I started working on my higher end knives.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wifiwaves View Post
This is caused by pressing too hard on the knife, causing the blade to chatter. Only light pressure should be used.

Also, when using this types of devices, don't wait until the edge is totally thrashed before sharpening. Use the sharpener on a regular basis to keep the blade dressed properly.

I have numerous DMT sharpeners, from the bench stones to the folding Mini-Sharps. They all work great, as expected.

I carry these in my BOB, tactical bags and tool boxes:

http://www.knivesplus.com/smithsknif...nersm-pp1.html

The carbide cutters with the addition of the ceramic polishers and diamond rod makes this a great pocket sharpener.

As Kipper (and others) mentioned, practice is the key to success. I picked up some ~$25 knives and practiced on those until I understood what was happening and got good at it before I started working on my higher end knives.
That is a nice sharpener. I really dig that. Very informative post. Thanks
Old 12-12-2009, 11:20 AM
ColoradoWildcat ColoradoWildcat is offline
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The BudK catalog has some nice little handheld ones for about 5 or 6 bucks. Work great.
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