Knife sharpening | Ron Payne | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction and project


    • 2.

      Steel types


    • 3.



    • 4.

      What makes for a sharp edge


    • 5.

      Knife sharpening


    • 6.

      Final thoughts


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About This Class

A dull knife doesn't cut well.  It requires more force and is more dangerous.  While there are gadgets that can put some sort of edge on a knife, better results can be obtained by hand sharpening.

This class will go into the different grinds and what each is best suited for, and will demonstrate how to take a knife to razor sharpness with just a few tools.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ron Payne

Blacksmith, woodworker, all-around crafter


I am driven by a need to create. This has lead me down some interesting roads.

I know a bit about woodwork, metal work, leather, casting, and several other disciplines. I also enjoy passing along what I know to others.

Life is a continual path of improvement.


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1. Introduction and project: Hello. My name is wrong. I was recently watching a class here on skill share, and the instructor mentioned taking eyes out to get them started. I said to myself, Self sharpen a knife isn't that difficult. Maybe you are presenting class on how to do just that. I thought about bitten. Answer myself. You know itself. That's a capital idea. So here is my class on returning a dull knife to sharp enough to cut again. I'm going to show you the way my dad showed me. There are, of course, other techniques that will restore an edge by the end of this class. You should have a basic understanding of how to sharpen a knife and the tools and equipment you'll need to do just that. Then it's a matter of practice to be able to consistently put a good edge on your Cutler. For this class, you'll need a knife that need sharp me and some material to sharpen with. I'll go into what sort of abrasives work and pros and cons elsewhere in this class 2. Steel types: Before we get down to the nitty gritty of sharpening knife, there is some additional information you'll find useful. First, I'm going to discuss steel types. There are three broad categories that knife steels fall into today commonly, anyway, and which one you're trying to sharpen can have an effect on which breaks if you choose to use first. Carbon steel Carbon still has been around for thousands of years, depending upon exactly how street heat treated it can take a very fine edge that slices like nobody's business. The downside is that, uh, Mr Rust and made dull a little bit faster. But another upside is that it's very easy to sharpen. Any of the abrasives that I mentioned in a moment can be used to sharpen a carpet steal enough. The next broad category are the stainless steels. These will never get quite as hard in the heat treatment as a carbon steel will. So being a little bit softer, it's it doesn't take us buying an edge, but it can still get razor sharp. It is a bit more wear resistant than carbon steel, but not to the point that yeah drastically effects the choice of braces you may decide to go with something that's a bit more aggressive than the simplest stones that the simplest owns had will work just fine. On most stay in this deals. The third category are higher alloy steels. These are your CPM various PNV Elevens, a twos. These have alloy elements in it that make them extremely wear resistant. The positive side of this is they don't dull very quick, but you cannot pick evenness. Find a sharpening angle as carbon or stainless steel, and they require some of the more aggressive bracing. Such is Diamond or Henry or even an aluminum oxide sandy sandpaper. With the that bit of knowledge, I'm now going to move on and discuss abrasives a little bit. 3. Abrasives: now for a few words on braces. I'm using abrasives as a catch all for whatever substrate used to sharpen your knife with. I'm excluding steals and schtrops because thes aligning, the agents did of shortening the edge. The braces are going to discuss our oil stones, Waterstones diamond, whether as stones or a pastry grip used on a substrate and sandpaper. I was taught to use oil stones, and for the next deals I you regularly sharpen. They work well, so that's what I'm going to demonstrate with oil. Stone should be used with a drop of honing oil or a light machine oil on the surface of it . This is not so much to provide lubrication as it is to prevent. That's Worf. That is the metal that gets abraded off the edge from clogging the stone and glazing it waterstones. I've never spent the money on waterstones. I know people who swear by it. They work, but they're also messy. They have to be soaked in water before use. This is the traditional way of sharpening or polishing. Japanese blades is with waterstones. Both waterstones and oil stones are available, either man made or natural diamonds. Diamond stones are a diamond grit that's embedded, usually in a nickel matrix. That's that here, too, a bit of steel. Sometimes it's a very thin piece of steel that's then bonded to a plastic backing. I've tried some. I have not been impressed with the cheap ones. The bonding on thes is frequently subpar. Uh, diamond stones will be very great aggressive. When you first get them, they rapidly lose that aggression. This process is is referred to as wearing in by people who use diamond stones Pretty much if I pull out a diamond stone or a stone. That's because I've got a blade that needs a lot of work on it. And it's a bit faster than waterstones or oil stones. I do have some diamond paste, which is just great in a substance to carry it, that I will spread on eat, sometimes leather, sometimes in gear. Sometimes I've got other things, but I just use this to polish woodworking tools like chisels and plane. I don't use it for typical life. Finally, sandpaper, including emery paper cloth as well. Emery works really well. Aluminum oxide. Good work. Well, Silicon Carbide, I've never had a problem with that, although some people claim that breaks down faster than either aluminum oxide or Emory, if you've got a lot of work to do on a knife, you might want to start with something along the lines of 200 gripped three or 400. Where is a good general purpose? Edges 600 or higher is a polished edge, something that it's getting something that I've never really gotten into using. But it's a very cheap way to start. If you want to learn this yourself, well, it's a cheap balsam. Paper is a cheap way to start. Long term oil stones air about the cheapest way to go. They don't cost very much, and they last for decades. 4. What makes for a sharp edge: here is some additional information that should help you understand sharpening a bit better . This information can be referred to as the theory of sharp me. The important aspects include things like grand type, bevel angles, sharpening angles and what happens to dull and edge. There are three common grind types and one additional one that you may see. The first of these is the convex or apple scene. This is viewed as better for chopping. The next type is con, cave or hollow. This is better for slicing. It's a common got grind for the primary. Bevel will cover the different levels in a bit. Flat grind is a compromise between the two chisel grind. You may also see, but I personally don't have much use for this on a knife. And it tends to be on specialty blades as four bevel angles, and the first is the primary bevel. This is, but you'll see as one of the aforementioned grand types. You shouldn't worry about the primary bevel unless you're making a knife. The secondary bevel is next. This is the edge of the blade and what you will sharpen when you hold a knife. If you sharpen Freehand like I do this will develop a convex bevel, but it's small enough that it doesn't affect the performance of the edge when slicing the secondary angle is also what's called the included angle, and you may run across that terminology. The sharpening angle is half the included angle, and this is the angle. You'll hold a knife to the stone when you're sharpening. Smaller angles slice better, but it has a bit weaker edge. A larger angle is more robust and is better for chopping. 18 to 21 degrees or so is considered small and above 26 or 27 is considered large. Around 23 degrees is a good general purpose edge when it comes to how on edge dulls their two things, you commonly see one, the fine edge folds. A roll over the edge is still there, and this can be fixed by the use of a steel Orosz trop on the other. The edges actually warned down and is rounded over. To fix this, you will need to sharpen the blade 5. Knife sharpening: here. I have a few knives that I'm going to use for my class on how to sharpen a knife. I also have an oil stone, some honing oil and a cloth that I could wipe this Worf away from the stone if it builds up sufficiently on oil stones. This particular one is. What's referred to is an Arkansas stone. You'll want to put a a few drops of oil on the stone. This will keep. This were from building up in this dome, referred to his glazing. Once a put a few drops of oil, I just spread it around with my finger. The stone is now ready to be used now to show you the sharpening angle. You said your blade flat on the stone. You start to lift the spine. You'll feel where it hits the primary bevel. You continue to elevate this bine. You're looking for something in the neighborhood of 23 25 degrees. A little more, a little less is just fine. Oftentimes, if you buy a new stone, you'll get a little plastic angle. Guide the's air. Okay, I've never used it because I learned without it. Sometimes these angle guides run up really steep like this. This is a little bit too steep for a general purpose Kitchen knife. I like something about here. This is in the neighborhood of 22 23 degrees. Now, as you work freehand, you'll rock this dome or the knife back and forth a little like this. This is where you get a little bit of a convex edge right at the edge of your knife. It's not a big deal. You're still going to be able to slice just fine with the knife like this. You want to hold your knife? Secure culture stone secure. I was initially taught to hold the stone in one hand and the knife in the other. But you can hold the knife in one hand and have the stone resting on a table. This will be a little bit more stable for the stone. You just start your sharp mean by making well circular motions. When you reach the end, you have the handle up like you saw there. That will allow you to follow the curve of the belly of the knife. It seems this is easier seen from the top. You can see it's just little circles lifting as you go across a curve in the blade from the heel to this point and back again As you're working, you're removing a little bit of metal and a the leading edge gets dinner and dinner. It's going to start to roll. This is referred to is developing a burr. The nice thing about shortening by hand is you can get this ber without moving very much metal. Here, you can see that the oil has gotten a little bit darker. That's the bits of metal that have been eroded off of the knife. This is how you want to check the bird. This is gonna tell you your progress. Place your thumb or finger on the knife and just gently slighted off the edge. You don't want to slide along the edge, and you certainly don't want to push into the edge. Both of these are likely to cut you as the night get sharp. You want the burr if you haven't got the burr along the entire length of the knife and just continue with your little circular motions until you do get a burr the full length of the blade. If you notice that the stone is starting to look dry. Just put another drop of your honing oil on and back to your little circular motions. Once you've got a bird developed along the entire length, turn the blade over and the same technique little circles from the old to the point and back again. Lifting the handle as you go through a curve. Do you maintain your proper angle? It does take a little bit of practice to learn how to follow a curve like that. Maintaining the angle. Now I'm going to show you how to check the birth from another angle. You want to place your done more finger on the face of the knife and you just slide it. You don't need to put a lot of pressure. I just slide the finger off the edge. Don't pull back into the knife and don't slide along the edge. Both of these are likely to result in cuts. You want to check the entire length of the blade for a burger. If you felt if you've got an area that has not developed the bird yet and just go back to, uh, your little circular motions until you get the burr along the entire edge to refine the edge. You're going to change technique up a little bit, just passing alternate alternating sides from the hell to the point or the point to the hell. Take care of your doing this not to slice yourself open. Work slowly until you've developed your technique, and then you can speed up. Sometimes you'll hear people talk about attempting to take a thin slice off of the stone. That's the sort of motion you're looking for here if you've got the burr. If you've created even Burr on both sides, this will only take 1/2 a dozen or 10 passes on either side to reduce the size of the bird down. This will make the next step a bit easier. The next step is referred to is dropping here. I'm just using a piece of scrap leather. Sometimes I'll use an old other belt. I worked on the rougher side of the leather, and you just alternating the sides of the knife pulled the blade across the leather. This will remove that burr, resulting in a fine edge. To do this, you want to make sure you pull away from the edge. If you try to push into the edge, you're going to slice the leather and you may slice your finger get. Take this step as slow as you need to in order to be careful. Once you've finished that you will have a sharp knife. The same technique can work. If the knife is a little bit larger than the stone, I'm going to demonstrate that now I found it's fairly easy to do this to sharpen a knife, provided that the knife is less than about 1.5 or so times the overall length of the stone . If you get longer than that, you wind up moving the stone across the knife instead of the knife across the stone. But you still maintain the same angles and you're still looking to develop a bird the same way as you see here. Did you know longer knife? Same circular motions from the heel to the point, lifting the handle as you go through the curve of the belly to maintain the angle all the way to the point, you want to take care not to slouch yourself. If you hold your stone like you see like you see me doing here? If you notice the stone drying at another drop of oil continually may check to see if you've got a burr along the entire length Exactly the same techniques you saw on the previous Blake. If you wind up working just a small section of the blade because it doesn't isn't developing a Bourke white us fast. Don't concentrate too much on that section. So you don't Where a hollow you want to pass back and forth Once you get your birth on the ones I flip it over. Exactly the same is you saw on the previous blade. No, here in a moment I'll have my birth along the entirety of this edge. And once I do that, all show how to passed back and forth along this Because this blade is a little bit longer than the stone, you want to pull a little bit faster. The goal is still to move the knife across the stone in one smooth, passed from the heel to the point or the point to the hell alternating sides. But you have to pull blade across a little bit faster, pull away from the stone a little bit faster when you are working with a blade that's longer than your stone. But aside from that, it's still the same technique. You want to keep an angle along the entire edge until you've developed a burr, and then you'll want to stop the same as you saw previously. Now a bit on stone maintenance. Most of the time, you can just wipe this war for oil away. Occasionally, you'll want to wash the stone. I use the detergent and old tooth pressure soft bristle brush to scrub it down. 6. Final thoughts: in conclusion, you should now be able to sharpen any nice that you won't. You'll find that longer. Nice are easier to sharpen on longer stones, but even a little bitty what's referred to as a Fieldstone can sharpen a big knife. If instead of moving the knife over the stone, you move the stone over the knife. Slightly different technique and not overly applicable to your standard kitchen knife. But it is something that you can practice on, and breakfast you'll need to do is this isn't a task that will a skill that will come to you overnight. If you don't want to practice on a good quality kitchen knife, just go get a cheap carbon knife and been a little bit of time working at it. You develop a technique that will work for you. At this point, you'll be able to keep your kitchen knives sharp enough to be and asset when you're cooking . If you care to, you can upload a picture of either something you've cut your freshly home night or a freshly sharpened knife. Duthie Project Gallery Thank you for watching and enjoy