Sharpening Stones

This last weekend in a garage sale, I picked up a few extra sharpening stones.  They were cheap and I added them to my collection.  Not all of them were the best quality but they all have uses.  There are many potential uses for sharpening stones in a long-term disaster.  Examples of items that may be sharpened with a stone include scissors, scythes, knives, razors and tools such as chisels, hand scrapers, plane blades and small items like sewing machine needles and fishhooks.

Sharpening stones come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and material compositions.  Even old stones that are badly worn can be used for small items like needles and fishhooks.  Stones may be composed of natural quarried material, or man-made material.

Stones come in various grades and grits.  Generally, the finer the grit, the denser the material.  Finer grits cut slower because they remove less material per stroke.  Grits are sometimes given as a number, indicating the density of the particles, a higher number denoting higher density and therefore smaller particles

Sharpening stones may be natural or artificial.  Artificial stones can come in the form of a bonded abrasive.  Bonded abrasives have a faster cutting action than natural stones.  They are normally available in a double-sided stone with a coarse grit on one side and a fine grit on the other.  You normally start your sharpening process with a coarse stone and progress to a fine stone to get your finished edge.  Natural stones tend to clog up without oil or water.  Most man-made stones can be used dry.

There are also special kits like the Lansky or Spyderco Tri-Angle both of which I have and recommend.  If you can afford it, a set of diamond hones are very valuable.

I am not about to try to tell you how to sharpen a knife or anything else in this post, this is a subject you could write books about.  You need to practice and learn for yourself.  You can always find old knifes in garage sales to practice on.  I recommend you buy the best sharpening stones you can afford and practice.


4 thoughts on “Sharpening Stones”

  1. Matt in Oklahoma

    I have a Smiths ceramic/carbide pocket sharpener with the diamond steel for serated edges and several stones to include a large rough one for the axes/machetes. We also have diamond steels and regular steels we keep in the camper. Edged tools need to keep that edge and a touch up after every deer (or every tough haired squirrel) is required. I liked the Lansky but i noticed the angles didnt always match what I carried.

  2. I like the idea of having a variety of stones. Not all cutlery sharpens the same and may require testing different stones. I usually use a hard and soft stone of quarried material. Don’t for get to use a very light oil to keep the pores of the stone clean. Honing oil is readily available and works well. I have been experimenting with some of the new spray lubes for sharpening and they seem to work well as they leave a minute coating on the blade to prevent rust. A candle can also be used for this purpose. Just run the sharpened blade over the candle a couple of times to prevent rust.

  3. I had an early Buck knife that almost defied sharpening until I obtained a hard and soft quarried stones. I have found similar situations with various blades probably depending on the hardness of the material. I have recently tried using “superlubes” like Petron Plus spray lube to prevent rust and help the blade to cut tough material. Seems to work well on hacksaws too!

  4. Thanks for the great short article, I was looking for information like this, visiting look into the other blog posts.

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