How Do I Go About Sharpening
My Dull Throwing Knives?
Do you love to collect knives? If so, you're not alone.
Knives remain as popular today as they were many centuries ago. They serve many purposes, from hunting and fishing to cooking to knife-throwing competitions. No matter what you use knives for, it's important to keep them sharp.
If you own throwing knives, you've come to the right place for tips on maintaining a sharp edge. This article takes a look at the proper methods for sharpening steel that will take your blade to the next level.
Keep reading to get the inside scoop.
What You'll Need to Sharpen Your Throwing Knives
The supplies for producing sharp knives aren't complicated. In fact, they are extremely basic. And yet, it's crucial to have the right items.
The most important tools are sharpening stones. These include the primary sharpening stones and the finishing stone.
Your primary sharpening stone is also called a whetstone. These are stones that are differentiated by their grit numbers. For example, the coarser the stone, the lower the grit number. Thus it's important to keep in mind that lower numbers or best for the first sharpening, and higher numbers are intended for finishing a knife that is already sharp.
Another detail to remember is the fact that stones below 600-grit are best for extremely dull blades, thus you'd be wise to use a 1000-grit stone for the initial sharpening of your knife.
A finishing stone is used to eliminate any remaining burrs on the blade. Burrs are typically produced when sharpening a dull blade or one that's never been sharpened before. These stones can range from 4,000 to 8,000 grit.
Understanding the Blade
Before sharpening your knife, you should take the time to study the blade. Notice the edge and determine how much sharpening you think is needed.
After all, there's really no reason to over sharpen a blade. In fact, oversharpening a blade will simply reduce its lifespan.
You'll also need to determine whether it's single or double-beveled because this will determine the proper sharpening method to use. Other considerations include the material, such as carbon steel or stainless steel, as well as what the knife is used for.
Keep in mind that the more you understand about your blade, the better you will be able to produce the end result that you desire during the sharpening process.
Soaking Your Sharpening Stones
Now let's talk about soaking your stones.
What is meant by "soaking"? This is the simple process of soaking your stones in water so that you won't risk chipping or scratching the blade while sharpening it.
The key is to use a plastic tub large enough to hold your stones, and then fill the tub with several inches of water. Now simply place the stones in the water and let them soak for at least 15 minutes.
Learning the Proper Grip
The next thing to consider is the way you hold your throwing knife during the sharpening process. The key is to keep a consistent grip in order to reduce the risk of injury.
The best way to grip your knife is by placing your thumb on the spine of the knife blade, with your index finger on the heel of the knife, and then wrapping three fingers around the handle.
Now use your off-hand to apply proper pressure on the blade as you force it across the surface of the whetstone.
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Finding the Right Angle Matters
The sharpening angle is perhaps the most important aspect of the process. After all, the angle you use will determine how the blade contacts the stone.
Keep in mind that getting the angle just right is often one of the biggest challenges for beginners. That's why it's important to focus and be patient.
It's also important to remember that every angle will produce a slightly different result. To find the correct angle, lay the knife face-down on the stone and place two fingers on the blade's edge. Now use your other hand to slowly lift the blade until you're able to determine the shallowest angle while keeping the edge flush to the stone.
This will take practice.
You can also use pennies to gauge the proper angle. This can be especially helpful the first few times you sharpen a new knife so that you won't scratch the blade.
The Sharpening Process
Now, you're ready to begin sharpening the blade of your throwing knife.
Once you've mastered the proper blade angle, you can create a new edge. The key is to get comfortable with the motion and pattern required to sharpen the blade. Again, this will take practice.
There are two basic components to this process: the downstroke and the upstroke. The downstroke is achieved when you pull the blade toward you, and the upstroke pushes the blade away from your body.
Keep in mind that you need to change the position of your fingers on every stroke so that you'll produce a nice, edge along the entire length of the blade.
Each stroke should be nice and smooth while maintaining the proper angle. It's really a simple process, just make sure to pay attention to the gap between the stone and the tip as you continue your downstrokes and upstrokes.
Keeping Your Sharpening Stones Wet
Be aware that your stone will begin to dry out during the sharpening process. As sediment builds up, simply apply a few drops of water rather than washing it off.
Finishing the Blade
Once the blade is sharp, you're ready to use your finishing stone. This won't require the same degree of labor as your primary stone. Simply make a few smooth strokes at the same angle to remove any burrs that remain on the steel.
Testing the Blade
Believe it or not, slicing a sheet of paper really is a great way to test the sharpness of your blade. Simply hold the paper in one hand while using the other hand to slice the paper.
The Complete Guide On How to Sharpen Your Throwing Knives
Keeping a sharp edge doesn't have to be complicated. Fortunately, this guide to sharpening your throwing knives will keep you ready for action.
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