Sharpening on a small stone.

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Asa Samuel

May 6, 2009
St Austell.
Hi, I know there have been a lot of sharpening threads recently but none of them covered this :)

I was just wondering what people do when using small stones such as the DC3 or other small stones? I've heard of doing circles and "slices" from handle to point. What's best?

I guess everyone will probably have their own way of sharpening. If I'm using the DC3 or the DC4, I hand hold the sharpener and sharpen from handle to tip, 10 times with the diamond side on each side of the blade. I then do 10 more strokes per side, but alternate the sides for each stroke. I then do exactly the same on the ceramic side. A quick lick on the sharpening steel or strop after using the DC3 or 4 and it's done.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I do that on my DC4 but I have some small stones which I don't have enough room to move it backwards and forwards (they are only 1-2" square)

You're probably only going to be touching a blade up with a small stone. I do different parts of different blades with different sharpening needs in different ways. For sharpening the whole length of a blade that's much larger than the stone I make a slicing action starting with the part of the blade nearest the handle on the end of the stone nearer to me and push the blade away from me at the same time as sliding it along its length to finish the stroke with the tip of the blade at the end of the stone farther from me. I try to do both sides of the blade the same amount and most important I try to wear the stone evenly. I use one hand to do one side of the blade and the other hand to do the other side. I don't know if everybody can manage that, I'm left-handed but not strongly so, bordering on ambidextrous. If I couldn't swap hands I'd probably turn the stone over for the other side.

This whole sharpening thing is oversold IMHO. You need patience to sharpen a very blunt edge but most of the time a few seconds is all that an already reasonably good edge should need. I mostly use steels and small oval or round stones, I only use diamond hones and larger stones to do the blades of smoothing planes and wood chisels, or to take a lot of metal off (which I don't like doing). I sharpened my SOG Toolclip with a steel this evening, it took about 15 seconds. It won't need doing again for weeks and I use it several times every day. I'm not looking for competition-winning edges, I just want to cut something into pieces with relatively little effort.

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