Sharp knives

CBH Australia

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,521
Reaction score
1,832
Location
NSW Australia
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Sporting Shooters Association Australia, Africa Hunting website!!!
Hunted
Australia and now South Africa
Good observation Bruce.
You are not messing with that Von Gruff edge yet i hope.
I generally sharpen free hand. I generallly get a sharp edge and have tried finer stones, finer steels.
I think there will always be a feather and thats what we percieve as sharpness. Maybe, a couple of cuts will cause the fine feather to come off or or even remove some of the serrations/scratches of the abrasive sharpener. Pending what you are cutting of course.
Obviously the steel and stones or strop will remove or straighten a feather.
My eyes are not good enough to see whats really happening in the process, but i think ot would be worthy of using a microscope if you could.
Ive been shown a few things and opinions vary too.
So long as you can hold an edge for your purpose.
I like the idea of a Lansky or similar. I think it was you said the diamond versions are better being they stay flat.
The only diamond sharpener i use is a short steel of some reputable brand because it is light i carry it with a Victorinox Rabbit knife.
Our fascination with knives sees me trying various steels and i made a paddle strop to when i thought that was what i needed.
I find dharpening Therapeutic to when im doing because i want to not have to.
Like reloading.
Off to the shed!
 

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,274
Reaction score
2,929
bob, I am enjoying the journey the steam driven way.
back to basics.
what I am really trying to do is set the edge up so that all I need in the field is the little steel.
thus far it feels like I am heading in the right direction.
actually the warthog looks interesting too.
bruce.
 
Last edited:

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,274
Reaction score
2,929
chris,
I meant to raise the point you mentioned.
how sharp is real world necessary?
how sharp you start out is one thing, but how much you might need is another altogether, as is how sharp you can keep it doing the job with minimal work.
I am just exploring this, but do not intend it to become an artform in itself.
bruce.
 

TMac

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
117
Reaction score
141
Location
Oregon
Media
4
Hunted
US (AK, WA, OR, MT, WY, SD, NV, UT, NM), Canada (Alberta, BC)
I’ve used the Warthog and the entry level Work Sharp (not the Ken Onion model). I prefer the work sharp, much faster. It only has two angle guides, 20 and 25, all I need. Then several different grit size belts. Kitchen knives, filet knives, etc. end up very sharp with very little time spent. The Warthog works, but has been retired for now. I may stick it in a hunting cabin I use from time to time and leave it there.

On my Von Gruff, I’ve only used a strop per Garry’s recommendation and not found a need for more even after multiple animals. I’m actually afraid to try anything else out of fear of messing the edge up. I look forward to getting his new steel as an upgrade to my group by skinner and have ordered a new mini skinner with a steel. I will use the steel as he describes in the field and the strop as needed at home or in camp, that’s the plan anyway.
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
3,777
Reaction score
5,426
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,601
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
Got these little honing steels all polished (yes @bruce moulds , properly polished ;)) and ready for the split rings today. Short and longer models for setting in the sheath of my hunting knives
steels.png
 

CBH Australia

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,521
Reaction score
1,832
Location
NSW Australia
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Sporting Shooters Association Australia, Africa Hunting website!!!
Hunted
Australia and now South Africa
Bruce, not knocking you, I enjoy my time messing with my knives when it suits me. Was just thinking if you could see what is really going on with the edge you/ we get a better understanding of what is hsppening in different steps.
I believe Garys knives come sharp but they all blunten sometime/somehow.
It sounds like you have enough knowledge to get through and we are still learning everyday.
Nothing wrong with the old way we may need that in the field.
I think theres a lot of options and part of it is also honing your technique of your preferred technique.
Gonna google Ken Onion, kinda sounds funny.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
2,723
Reaction score
3,823
Location
Wyong new south Wales Australia
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia
I’ve used the Warthog and the entry level Work Sharp (not the Ken Onion model). I prefer the work sharp, much faster. It only has two angle guides, 20 and 25, all I need. Then several different grit size belts. Kitchen knives, filet knives, etc. end up very sharp with very little time spent. The Warthog works, but has been retired for now. I may stick it in a hunting cabin I use from time to time and leave it there.

On my Von Gruff, I’ve only used a strop per Garry’s recommendation and not found a need for more even after multiple animals. I’m actually afraid to try anything else out of fear of messing the edge up. I look forward to getting his new steel as an upgrade to my group by skinner and have ordered a new mini skinner with a steel. I will use the steel as he describes in the field and the strop as needed at home or in camp, that’s the plan anyway.
@TMac
The Ken Onion knife sharpener can be adjusted from 17 degrees, 20, 22.5, 25 and 30 degrees and any where in between also comes with 5 or 6 belts down to one that just polishes the edge.
Bob
 

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,274
Reaction score
2,929
chris,
nothing would be more interesting than using a powerful microscope during this process.
however the cost might be better spent on ammo, knives, and other stuff.
without it one can only conjecture and surmise.
one thing I know, I cannot get a flat bevel freehand.
more of a convex.
does this matter?
man has been sharpening blades since the beginning of the iron age, and in those days they used them a lot more, for a lot more things than we do today, freehand.
I still keep coming back to my old pro roo shooter friend who only ever steeled his knife, often in the dark, complaining about his knife being blunt and it was way sharper than mine whigh up until then I thought were very sharp.
if I can set my blades up to work that way I will be most happy.
and yes, if my von gruff is anything to go by it came extremely sharp.
bruce.
 

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,274
Reaction score
2,929
garry,
a nice picture.
while I await the opportunity to try my knife/steel on flesh and blood, the steel preparing for that has proven to be most effective.
I refuse to cut tomatoes, chicken breasts, cardboard boxes etc to do tests.
bruce.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,437
Reaction score
7,472
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
40 years ago when I was at Wester Cutlery, we did use a microscope to develop our production sharpening and polishing methods. And it was interesting to see what happened to the edge with each step of the process.
There’s probably some pictures on the internet of edges through a microscope today.
 

CBH Australia

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,521
Reaction score
1,832
Location
NSW Australia
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Sporting Shooters Association Australia, Africa Hunting website!!!
Hunted
Australia and now South Africa
Bruce, you will get a chance to test that knife/steel. Once you break it on meat use it when you need it, unless you do something sill you won’t wear it out.
I’m not sure what effect a convex Edge has possibly some negative effect but it won’t stop you cutting.

It’s a good knife look after it but can we keep a perfect edge at all times? Does it matter. We expect them to come perfect, we expect them Tom come sharp but most commercial knives come sharp perhaps they can be improved but each cut must dull a little.

I’m sure whatever you do will look after it, I dare say your Lansky is still suitable If you don’t want to get into anything else. I would say a little patience and technique you will improve your skills and get good results which ever method you use.
 

Shootist43

Gold supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
5,744
Reaction score
5,658
Location
Grosse Ile, Michigan
Media
25
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
I have both the Ken Onion Work Sharp and Lansky Sharpening systems (both stone and diamond versions.) I plan on using both. For the Cold Steel Carbon V knives that I bought off the internet (which are generally dull) I'll use the Ken Onion Work Sharp which delivers a convex edge, simply because it is so much faster and there were lots of them to do. However, my Von Gruff Knives as well as the Cold Steel Knives my sons and I purchased new will be sharpened on a Lansky as they are a flat grind. Since all we do is "field dress" deer, our edges last many seasons without any touch-up being needed or done.
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
3,782
Reaction score
5,604
Location
Houston, Texas
Media
235
Articles
4
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY, Canada (Yukon)

TMac

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
117
Reaction score
141
Location
Oregon
Media
4
Hunted
US (AK, WA, OR, MT, WY, SD, NV, UT, NM), Canada (Alberta, BC)
@TMac
The Ken Onion knife sharpener can be adjusted from 17 degrees, 20, 22.5, 25 and 30 degrees and any where in between also comes with 5 or 6 belts down to one that just polishes the edge.
Bob

Yes, I’ve used a demo model. I did notice if I pressed too hard the guide had give to it, which I did not like. I just needed the two angles, or so I thought...
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
2,723
Reaction score
3,823
Location
Wyong new south Wales Australia
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia
Yes, I’ve used a demo model. I did notice if I pressed too hard the guide had give to it, which I did not like. I just needed the two angles, or so I thought...
@TMac
That's the beauty of it you don't have to push hard to do the job..
Bob
 

CBH Australia

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,521
Reaction score
1,832
Location
NSW Australia
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Sporting Shooters Association Australia, Africa Hunting website!!!
Hunted
Australia and now South Africa
I’ve looked at the Scary Sharp system that Mr Gruff uses. It’s like a Lanksy on steroids! It could be adapted to use any standard size stone of choice.

It’s well constructed and they offer postage to Australia. It’s not cheap construction either. It’s made of stainless and will outlast any user. The stiffness of stainless aids the rigidity of the design.

Gary’s You Tube demo showed him complete the final sharpen on a new knife pretty quickly with a finished edge that has pleased many satisfied customers. But with that big box of knives on the bench I wonder if there are elves in his secret workshop.
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
3,777
Reaction score
5,426
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,601
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
Nah, no elves. My wife says they wouldn't get in there for the dust.
The scary sharp is a fantastic unit but stone choice does make a difference. I am convinced that a mirror edge is not the best finish for a field knife.
 

TMac

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
117
Reaction score
141
Location
Oregon
Media
4
Hunted
US (AK, WA, OR, MT, WY, SD, NV, UT, NM), Canada (Alberta, BC)
@TMac
That's the beauty of it you don't have to push hard to do the job..
Bob

Well I have been known to break pencils and pens while writing, so there is a ham-handed tendency I might have... I think I was pressing too hard against the angle guide in some misguided but well intentioned effort to keep the angle perfect. But you are right, they do not take much effort to use at all and I have been very pleased with my basic unit.
 

Desperatezulu

AH veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Messages
138
Reaction score
139
Location
South Africa
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, UK
To add my 2c, I don't think the dulling of an edge is a linear process - my experience is that a properly sharp knife with a fairly polished, uniform edge lasts a long time. But once the edge starts dulling, it gets dull fast. My approach is to touch up a good edge just as I sense it may be dulling and that works for me. Not so much work to maintain a sharp edge versus leaving the blade til it's dull and needs a whole lot more work to get it back sharp. Usually a ceramic rod and a strop does the job for me.

The Worksharp field sharpener is the best tool IMO to carry in the field for touch ups - it has 2 different coarseness diamond plates, plus a ceramic rod and a strop. They're all quite small surfaces but work fine for touch ups. If you had to reprofile or restart a blunt edge in the field you could do it but it would be slow.

As has been mentioned before, quality of knife steel and blade geometry are two key prerequisites in being able to get a super sharp edge that lasts. Some knives just don't get that sharp, even in the hands of an expert 'sharpener'.

My practice is to get my blades properly sharp at home, where I have the right stones, strops and time to get the satin (not mirror) edge that works for me. I strive for 20 degrees but it's just freehand so I could be a few degrees out - the little Worksharp field gadget has guides at 20 degrees which make touching up at the same edge angle pretty easy in the field.

The role of my knives is primarily for cutting - i.e. cutting skins and skinning, cutting throats if needed and parting out and butchering carcasses. No whittling and splitting logs or any other 'survival tasks', for which other edge angles and profiles may be better.
I do carry a couple of el-cheapo outdoor knives for the skinners in case needed - seeing your custom heirloom knife being viciously ground against a hunk of shattered concrete tends to stick in the memory...
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
3,777
Reaction score
5,426
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,601
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
To add my 2c, I don't think the dulling of an edge is a linear process - my experience is that a properly sharp knife with a fairly polished, uniform edge lasts a long time. But once the edge starts dulling, it gets dull fast. My approach is to touch up a good edge just as I sense it may be dulling and that works for me. Not so much work to maintain a sharp edge versus leaving the blade til it's dull and needs a whole lot more work to get it back sharp. Usually a ceramic rod and a strop does the job for me.

The Worksharp field sharpener is the best tool IMO to carry in the field for touch ups - it has 2 different coarseness diamond plates, plus a ceramic rod and a strop. They're all quite small surfaces but work fine for touch ups. If you had to reprofile or restart a blunt edge in the field you could do it but it would be slow.

As has been mentioned before, quality of knife steel and blade geometry are two key prerequisites in being able to get a super sharp edge that lasts. Some knives just don't get that sharp, even in the hands of an expert 'sharpener'.

My practice is to get my blades properly sharp at home, where I have the right stones, strops and time to get the satin (not mirror) edge that works for me. I strive for 20 degrees but it's just freehand so I could be a few degrees out - the little Worksharp field gadget has guides at 20 degrees which make touching up at the same edge angle pretty easy in the field.

The role of my knives is primarily for cutting - i.e. cutting skins and skinning, cutting throats if needed and parting out and butchering carcasses. No whittling and splitting logs or any other 'survival tasks', for which other edge angles and profiles may be better.
I do carry a couple of el-cheapo outdoor knives for the skinners in case needed - seeing your custom heirloom knife being viciously ground against a hunk of shattered concrete tends to stick in the memory...

As you say "The role of my knives is primarily for cutting - i.e. cutting skins and skinning, cutting throats if needed and parting out and butchering carcasses" ---- and them 2 cents is worth a whole lot of dollars when it comes to understanding the proper care of a knife and field maintainence.

I have to add to what you said and I quote " quality of knife steel and blade geometry are two key prerequisites in being able to get a super sharp edge that lasts". The other and possibly even more important aspect is the heat treat. The best steel in the world will not perform if it is not heat treated to give of its best for the tasks it is designed to perform.

You also said "My approach is to touch up a good edge just as I sense it may be dulling and that works for me." and this is the best advise that can be given for good knife care. we may differ on how to "touch up an edge" but not on the need to do so. A correctly sharpened knife should last through a number of animals with just a few strokes on the steel to keep the blade in its best condition as the work progresses.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
35,609
Messages
664,497
Members
60,365
Latest member
AleidaCoth
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

matt vejar wrote on kevin masters's profile.
Kevin,
Played rookie league for the Yankees in Paintsville after winning the College World Series at Fullerton State, in1979. All I could think about was the movie “Deliverance”- lived up in a hollow with some other players. Refused to go on a moonshine run because it was a dry county-no way. Met some of the nicest people on the planet there! Van Lear the home of Loretta Lynn was highlight of summer LOL.
Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS wrote on jfowler812's profile.
hi Mr fowler

im happy to do these deals for 2021

i will knock off 10% off each deal if you take 2 so $18000 per package

look forward to your response

regards
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...
Boyd Brooks wrote on Skinnersblade's profile.
Ellwood Epps has 1 box of 25-20 in stock. Look them up on the web. They are located in Orilla Ontario.
Lkhntr wrote on Warpig602's profile.
On the vx6 2-12 what does the zl2 stand for?

Thanks, Oliver
 
Top