I just wanted to know the best tool/gizmo/method for sharpening a convex blade. I have nothing to sharpen my knife with as I am knew to all this, so I wanted to buy the right equipment for the job. Can anybody please recomend anything?
If the edge is in good condition at the moment stay clear of the DC4 for the time being or you may well do more harm than good to the blade if you have never used one before.The best way to maintain a convex edge is with a good strop and compound(cheap as well)then after that, as others have recommended, wet and dry+mousemat if edge gets really dull, but practice on an old knife first.
I reckon a DC4 could mess up a convex edge unless you are very skillful. I have never managed to sharpen successfully my F1 using mine and I reckon there is a real risk of over-rounding the convex edge. Even a mousemat and wet/dry is tricky. I'd stick with a strop - and even then use a board rather than a belt and don't lift too much on the end stroke. Sorry if you already know all this.
Things to watch out for with the mousemat method are the firmness of the mat and your 'angle of attack'. If the mat is too soft, or you push down on it too hard you're in danger of rounding the edge off the knife rather than sharpening it. This is made worse still if you hold the knife at too steep an angle. One disadvantage is that you are constantly working on the underside of the knife, so you can't see very well what you're doing to it until you've made a few passes and you vcan see the 'scratch pattern' left by the abrasive on the blade.
Working with a flat hone on the upper side of the blade allows you see exactly where the hone is contacting the steel as you work with it, so you can follow the convex neatly and not take the edge to too steep or too shallow an angle.
i use a propper size bench stone. pocket sized stones are fine when your out and about but a bigger stone that can be clamped on a table so that both hands are free makes life easier.
i push the blade back and forth while tilting the blade. i find tilting the blade up (steeper angle) on the backwards stroke then tilt down for the forward stroke works best.
stropping with an old belt smothered with pollish makes a big difference to the edge and for touching up but you will definately need a good stone to remove chips if you damage the edge.
Fallkniven F1's are supposed to be full convex, but I'm yet to come across one fresh from the factory that is. They all seem to be convexed nicely for about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way back from the edge, where they have a little hollow in them before thickening again to the spine. The hollow is shallow. I mean really shallow .. but a truly flat hone will show you where it is if you try sharpening an F1 over the whole of the bevel (as you should with a full convex )
The steel in them is good, and the heat treat is, as far as I have seen, impeccable. They take a great edge if sharpened properly, and keep it well too. I'd never go shooting, fishing, or for a bimble in the woods without one in my bag in the days before I made my own knives.
IMO a leather strop always trumps a mousepad. It's not like it's expensive either. The strop, rough and fine sharpening compounds and maybe a couple of grits of sandpaper (400-2000 maybe?) will be enough to tackle most things and won't cost too badly either.
You can strop on any abrasive surface (your belt then your skin), but from what I've seen the most efficient way to sharpen is on a full sized strop.