“Use sharpie when sharpening. There are probably things one needs to know before even getting this far, but this is by far the thing that makes the biggest difference in beginner sharpeners’ sharpening. Heck, even skilled sharpeners benefit from this.”
“There is no “one size fits all” system, so starting out, use a system that can keep your edges properly sharp at the angle and style they were designed to be. Do not change the knife profile to fit the system.”
“1) Sharpening is more about knowledge than it is about skill
2) and the most important piece of knowledge is to understand is that Sharpening requires a very coarse stone. Fine and X-fine grit stones can not sharpen a knife. They can only polish and refine the edge created by the coarse stones. Advancing to fine and extra-fine stones before the blade is made sharp by the coarse stone will result in a highly polished … dull blade.”
“Match the angle of sharpening to the knife and its use. For example a meat cleaver would not need to have an edge that would be razor sharp. The edge is designed for heavy use and a chopping motion, the edge if sharpened thin and razor sharp would not last and could be damaged easily.
A fillet knife however would need an edge that is very thin and razor sharp for its intended use.”
“Choose your sharpening device according to where you plan to be when resharpening. You don’t want to be pulling out a benchtop stone while in the uplands hunting geese. And you don’t want to be using a handheld carbide stick-type sharpener at home when you could be using a stone.”
“It is very important to keep your angle right and have patience. Don’t get frustrated and chew the edge off your knife. As far as what product to use for starters, I would suggest the Spyderco Sharpmaker or the Work Sharp. If you’re going to get the Work Sharp, get the Ken Onion edition. It’s a bit more money but it’s so much nicer thus making the extra cash worth it.”
“Tip to professional knife sharpeners: Research your equipment you expect to purchase very well. Determine your field of potential expertise as there are many directions you can pursue in the sharpening endeavours. Return on investment and satisfaction of career choice are very important.”
“The best tip we could give someone who is just learning to sharpen a knife, is to maintain a consistent angle—no matter what sharpener you use. Obviously, the beauty of our Sharpmaker is that it does this for you and greatly reduces the skill necessary to sharpen a knife.”
“We work with beginning sharpeners on a daily basis. The most common mistake beginners tend to make is skipping the coarse grits and going straight to fine grits.
Fine grits sharpen many times slower than coarser girts. It is important to start with a fast sharpening coarse stone so they can see their results more quickly, and then refine the edge with finer grits. We have found that beginners focus on the end result and overestimate the speed that a very fine stone can sharpen. The fine stones sharpen slowly and therefore give slower feedback. The inexperienced sharpener may mistake the lack of progress for a lack in technique. Coarse stones will make quick work of sharpening by dramatically cutting down on the number of strokes needed and reduce the overall sharpening time.
While beginners can make a number of mistakes, starting with too fine of a stone is easy to fix. Simply use a coarse stone with a grit between 200 and 400 before you move to finer grits. The finer grits should be used to refine an edge after it is coarsely sharpened.”