Sharpen your knives

In the kitchen or in the garden. Dull knives are enough to drive you crazy. I have been trying to teach my self knife sharping for years but its truely an art.

I personally want to get a nice made in the USA setup from Knife Sharpeners | Wicked Edge ( but these things are way to expensive to learn on.

I have tried several clones and designs but honestly this one here is the best novice system that actually works to build confidence with.

Professional Kitchen Knife Sharpener System Machine Outdoor Knives Fix angle Diamond Sharpening Tool Sharpener Stone Whetstone|Sharpeners| - AliExpress

And before any Made in USA vs Made in China debates

Best of the Best Wicket Edge starting at $349

Easy to learn $23


Free hand sharpening is much easier for me than using these gadgets. I have tried them before, but they are too cumbersome and aren’t great at creating the burr.
I can get my knives much sharper free hand sharpening. The secret to me is I put a convex edge on all my knives, not worrying about the exact angle. I worry about creating and removing the burr.
I learned from this guy.

I lke shapton stones and you can do well with just three of them. They are about $40 each. I also like Norton stones and you can get a whole set for cheap.


Just wondering.

Why not get a good quality 1000 grit water stone (wetstone)?

TLDR. if you are new to sharpening get.

I would recomend a good quality stone. Will cost your roughly 50$. But will last a life time. Suehiro Cerax 1000 for example.
This video will talk about different 1000 grit stones.

I sharpend all my knifes on a naniwa combination (1000/3000) budget stone (20-30$ range) for a while. But i bought a higher quality stone now. And now i regret ever buying the budget stone.

for grafting purposes a 1000 stone and some practise should get your grafting knife razor sharp.
Better to have 1 quality 1000 grit stone. Than to have a budget 1000/3000 stone.

Higher grit stones have their use. But are useles until you’r technique is good enough. So get a 1000 grit stone. And once you can shave with your sharpend knife from the 1000 stone. You can always buy another 3000 or 5k or 8k or even 10k stone. You will probably not need it though.

Sharpening normaly. And then stropping on the 1000 stone, should get you a polished edge that can shave. Especialy if you strop without or with low pressure on the stone

Don’t get confused by all the different grits sizes and types of stones. A good quality 1000 grit stone. And 2 dollars worth of second hand knives (or spare kitchen knives) will get you 98% there.

You need to practise a bit. But the stones wear verry slowly. And a second hand knife from a thrift store is almost free. Practise on a expendable knife first. Don’t make your grafting knife your knife scharpening practise knife!

It is mostly technique. With the right technique you can even slice tomato’s paper thin when scharpend on 140 grit!!

You can even sharpen on a brick. Although i would not recomend it.

Most grafting knifes are flat on 1 side. And are sharpend at an angle on the other side.
comparable to a Yanagiba

Nice showcase of technique and “stropping” on your scharpening stone

And ofc a skillcult video <3

If you have a quality wetstone. Id use 1 side for “normal” sharpening. And keep the bottom flat. And only use the bottom for the flat side of your grafting knife. This saves you having to flatten your stones often, or at all.


I understand not buying quality in the first place but a 3 shapton stone set will set you back $120 before your first attempt, and that’s with a steeper learning curve and no in person tutelage.

Tool’s can benefit the rest of us. Everyone needs sharp knives not just those that can master the technique the traditional way. And success leads to a desire to continue improving. Better to see results for $24 then to sink a lot of money in day 1.

I agree with you. Thats why id recomend a single 1000 grit quality stone. (~50$)

It is corse enough to still grind a decent amount of metal away (if you sharpen long enough)
But fine enough that you can get razor sharp.

Although probably a personal thing.

I feel like learning how to sharpen on a wetstone is easier to learn than learning to graft.

On a 1000 grit stone. even if you don’t master the technique, you’ll stil get decent results.

The quality 1000 grit stones, give you better feedback, and usualy have a larger surface and don’t “load up”. All these things makes it easier when learning to sharpen.

I am not 100% sure. But the wicked edge or clones. I don’t think they can sharpen a single bevel? Like grafting knifes or a Yanagiba? Purely by design.


No single bevels are easier than double bevels on devices. You only have to do one side rather then fliping it and doing both.


How are you knocking off the burr/ polishing the flat side than?

Just sharpening on 1 side, and leaving the burr on, is comparable to grafting but than not wrapping the graft. Might give you some results some times. But generaly will disapoint.

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What I am telling you is that I don’t believe you will get a sharp knife with that $24 gadget. I agree with Oscar here that you really only need a good quality 1000 grit stone. I personally like Shapton stones

You can find them for cheaper than this.
It is not as hard as you think to learn from videos. You have to learn many of the same things using a contraption anyway because the hardest thing to learn is how to manage the burr. Both techniques require this to get a sharp edge.


This is a very interesting thread for me because Knife sharpening is a skill I just have never learned and always wish I did. I’m a hunter so a sharp knife for that is very important. I’ve tried whet stones of different kinds but never really got the hang of it- partly because I’ve never had anyone teach me how and I’m sure there is more to it than just rubbing the blade on the stone. Angle, direction, amount of pressure, etc. I use one of those ceramic sharpeners that are V shaped and you just pull the blade through but they don’t work that great either. I’m always amazed when fellow hunters loan me their knives or I take one to a gun show and pay to have it sharpened- the difference is amazing.

I may try one of these gadgets above!


I use diamond plates freehand these days for most of my sharpening, the ones made by DMT are great and you can get them in many sizes and price ranges. I carry with me daily a double sided fine/medium that is now discontinued by Buck that keeps my knives sharp on the go. I would also recommend a Spyderco Sharpmaker, it is a system that is very easy to use and portable as well. Really the sky is the limit with sharpening systems and you can get a sharp edge with most sharpening systems and most systems. It is just something that takes practice with stones or plates with freehand. The systems will work well (even budget ones) with some time spent on them as well,

I also forgot that Lansky makes many different systems as well. The one they are famous for is their guided system that is called the Lansky Sharpening System but my favorite system by them is the Turnbox, it is similar to the Sharpmaker by Spyderco but much cheaper. It uses round rods vs the triangle rods that the Sharpmaker uses. I have the model that has ceramic and diamond rods.

The thing with sharpening is that it can be made simple to very complex. With freehand to an almost unlimited amount of systems. All with the end result of getting a sharp blade.

Going back to the OP, I have heard many great things from the Wicked Sharp but no personal experience with them :+1:


I’m going to throw another vote in for freehand with stones. Will give you a better result 100% of the time.

@oscar I would recommend getting a 3000 or 6000 waterstone as well. 1000 grit waterstone is roughly equivalent to 600 grit US stones, which is sort of between a medium and fine. You can get a shaving edge with that (or with a coarser stone) but the finer stones will make a smoother shave. I’ve found that smoothness makes all the difference with grafting cuts. Most of my “technique” issues seem to disappear when I get that extra smooth shaving edge. I sharpen with a hard Arkansas stone (roughly 3000 on the Japanese scale, 1000-1200 on the US scale) as my final stone before stropping. It’s also worth getting a coarser stone. You save yourself a lot of time and heartache (and get a better edge) by starting with a fairly coarse stone, getting a shaving edge on that, and refining that edge.

@thecityman you should give it a go! It’s not that hard to learn. As with anything, you just need to be willing to make mistakes, examine said mistakes, and learn from them. I will say that stones that cut faster like waterstones, diamond stones, or aluminum oxide/silicone carbide stones are way easier to learn on, as you get much more immediate feedback on your technique, and you’re less likely to get tired or bored (which leads to sloppy technique). Waterstones are probably the easiest, but they also require regular flattening (not as scary as it sounds). Within a given type, the bigger the stone, the easier it is to use. Also, try sharpening a cheap stainless knife first to figure things out (the steel is also softer, so it goes quickly). There are some great articles here that explain the how and why behind sharpening (and this is a great store to buy stones, sharpening guides, etc.): Sharpening Basics

The other big mistake that people make (and I certainly did) is not getting a coarse enough stone. I started out with only fine and extra fine. It technically works, but it takes forever. When I finally bought some coarse and medium stones, it was way faster and I got much better edges. Mostly because it was easier to see each grit through to where it should be.


See, like I said everyone needs a teacher. But your missing something. I I don’t mean to imply your going to going to get the same results with a $24 tool that you would get with a skilled hand. You do get results, and that’s important to encourage someone to continue. Also I did not intent to focus the discussion specifically on grafting knives, while I know why it went there. Kitchen knives need a lot of attention to and once you realize what a difference the edge makes you realize you need to sharpen all things.

I bought a fancy spyderco sharpening tool, and I’ve been using it for my kitchen knives. But i use whetstones for my other knives. (I whittle, and graft.) I agree that it’s easier to give yourself a concave edge and not stress too much about the exact angle. And also that whetstones are easier to use.

I’ve been considering converting the kitchen knives to concave, and switching to the stones. This thread may push me to do so.

I was given a set of course, medium, and fine arkansas stones by a now-ex boyfriend when i was in college, and i still use them.


I have bought a guided sharpening system, and various types of stones all of Which have added up to a considerable investment.$
After trying all these new gadgets,I have returned to my old method of using Wet dry sandpaper on a flat surface.
I cut sandpaper to fit my $ stone , using the stone only as a platform to keep my knuckles off the table.
On a knife that needs considerable Reprofiling I will start with 220 grit, then 600 , then 1000—2000 finish with a leather strop.
Once a knife of good steel has been properly sharpened ,
A few passes on 2000 grit and stropping will keep it sharp.
I prefer freehand method , which can take some time to learn.
A variety pack of sandpaper is pretty cheep $5 …-$10 …
Needs replaced , but a modest investment to get started .
Much cheaper than buying various grits of fancy stones .
So just sandpaper on a flat surface is a good cheep start .


This works great and is fast. Mine cost 80$ years ago.


Depends on use of knife. For the kitchen cutting soft items like tomato or filleting a soft fish like bluefish a $10 V rod sharpener works fine and takes less than a minute. For grafting something like a stone or other device may need to be used. Here a comparison test of a few types.

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One of my favorite things about “Growingfruit. org” is that you just never know what kind of neat topic will come up next! Thank you for the great information and the encouragement. This is a bigger deal to me than you might think and I’ve thought about it a lot over the years and hated not knowing how, yet never gave it a serious go. I’ve skinned dear with one of my faily dull knives and had someone hand me their hand sharpened knives and the difference is mind blowing… Even just watching a barber sharpen an old fashioned razor on a piece of leather (I’ll never understand how steel can be sharpened by something as soft as leather, btw), and so on. I didn’t even know about most of the things you and other mentioned here (diamond stones, aluminum oxide, etc) so I’m going to do some more reading and get me one of the products mentioned by you and others. Anyway, this is something I’d love to learn but always been intimidated by, so I deeply appreciate the encouragement and information, Jay ( and others)/


I have an older Porter belt sander intended for carpentry work. With a 240 grit belt and clamped to the top of my table saw, it does an outstanding job of shaping the edge of my knives. Once shaped properly, a 1000 and then 8000 grit stones put a polished edge on them. Please note that my knives were all purchased used and had been variously damaged by the previous owners. Shaping the edge properly can be done with stones but takes half of forever.


Leather doesn’t technically sharpen it. They pull it backwards on the leather, stropping it on each side and that brings the microscopic particles of the blade edge up to the edge and the burr that forms is what makes it good to shave with :+1:

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