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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » And Now For Something Completely Mundane
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…but it’s a question that has been nagging our humble self for quite a while, and what better place to ask than among the smartest people in the world, the LCs of our Empire?

Obviously, nobody would ever dream of going anywhere without a blade of some sort. If not a KA-BAR, then at the very least a pocketknife. The thing is, they tend to get dull with use, just as one would expect. Now, nobody needs to teach us about the finer points (pun very much intended) of sharpening a knife the way G-d intended us to do it. We’re a purist by heart ourself, and nothing, nothing beats a lovingly, carefully honed edge made the old-fashioned way.

But really, who wants to spend that kind of time on a throw-away pocket knife that you use for everything from tightening screws to opening beers? Or, more accurately, who has that kind of time in today’s hectic world?

So we started thinking about those “quicky” knife sharpeners where you simply drag the knife through a slit a few times and you’re done. Problem is, our only experience with those has been that they do anything but sharpen the knife. Then again, that was years and years ago when those gadgets were still new, and we pretty much gave up on the concept once we saw what a shitty job they did. It’s quite possible that they have improved markedly in the intervening decade(s).

So that’s what our question is: Have any of you found an incarnation of those things (or something similar) that actually works?

It would be extremely helpful, because as it is it’s cheaper for us (insert introduction to Opportunity Costs and hourly rates here) to just throw the pocketknife away when it gets dull and buy a new one from Academy or some other such outlet.

Yes, a real knife we’ll happily spend hours on, but a cheap pocketknife? Not on your lives, mates.

24 Responses to “And Now For Something Completely Mundane”
  1. CiSSnarl5.7 Comment by CiSSnarl5.7

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    Have any of you found an incarnation of those things (or something similar) that actually works?

    Nope ….Cant say as I have…

  2. Elijah Comment by Elijah

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    Get a sharpening wheel with angle control.

  3. akornzombie Comment by akornzombie

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    I personally wouldn’t recommend one of those sharpeners or a sharpening wheel. Nothing can replace the kind of hone a set of Arkansas stones can provide…

    But that’s kind of opinion ya get from a guy who was in boyscouts up until tenderfoot. :em93:

  4. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    I personally wouldn’t recommend one of those sharpeners or a sharpening wheel. Nothing can replace the kind of hone a set of Arkansas stones can provide…

    No argument there. The problem is, I’d feel utterly daft spending half an hour or more sharpening an eight dollar knife.

  5. Unregistered Comment by Drew458

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    This is what you want. $2.50


    Ceramic pull-through rod sharpeners do a decent job, unlike the carbide ones which turn your blade into a ragged saw.

  6. jaybear Comment by jaybear

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    I bought a little DMT sharpening stone years ago, it still does the job on everything from my Buck knife, to the KA-BAR, to my Swiss Army Knife.

  7. Hardclimber54 Comment by Hardclimber54

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    Oh Emperor,

    This humble LC might point out an item that just might do the trick throughout the Empire. The Carbcut handheld sharpener. Cost $27.00 US available thru The KnifeCenter of the Internet. Address PO Box 600 5111 Berwyn Rd STE 110 College Park MD 20740 USA. Fits easily in one’s jacket pocket, lightweight and quite capable of handling most blades, including the least expensive types…

  8. Unregistered Comment by LC Mike

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    I have a small stone (approx. 1″ x 3-7/8″) stone that I use to finish any small knife. It’s no good for larger knives (too small, and it’s hard to keep it in place unless you have a vice handy), but my new hunting knife will now shave hair off my arm. It took less than five minutes to get that edge from a new (Gerber) knife. I also sharpened some older pocket blades with it with similar success.

    The stone is made by Smith’s. It’s no good for rough work, but a decent sharpening steel will handle any minor issues before you turn to this little baby. I’m sure I got it at Sportsman’s Warehouse.

  9. akornzombie Comment by akornzombie

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    No argument there. The problem is, I’d feel utterly daft spending half an hour or more sharpening an eight dollar knife.

    True, true. Me, I don’t care if it’s an eight dollar knife, or an eighty dollar knife. If it doesn’t have a good edge, it’s useless.

    So, I stick with the Arkansas stones.

  10. Unregistered Comment by LC EFA

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    I have it on good authority that this company makes the good shit

    http://www.lanskysharpeners.com/

    http://www.lanskysharpeners.com/LKUNV.php

  11. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

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    I just use the diamond file on my Leatherman Wave for general sharpening duties on a cheap knife.

    (i.e. Ones that I don’t want to just totally destroy,that I use for things a little more genteel than cutting up cardboard boxes…)

    (For the good stuff, I use my Lansky set.)

    For an “abuse it” knife, (opening boxes, cutting banding, labels, etc.) I have two choices. One of the Husky knives that uses the replaceable utility knife blades, and a cute litle micro-Gerber that does the same trick. (Gerber carries in a pocket on the outside of the Leatherman, the Husky goes in the left front pocket. Yes, it has a clip on it. They both do. (The Spyderco/Byrd/CRKT/Cold Steel of the day, naturally, is on the right front pocket… (For social purposes, don’t you know!)))

    And if I have to hack and slash left handed, well, I’ll use a utility knife if I have to…

  12. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

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    Dammit. Snarfed by Akismet again!

  13. DдrтH бдкфи Comment by DдrтH бдкфи

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    EFA,

    You fucknugget!

    I showed you those, you thunder-stealing, gin-jockeying upside-downer!

    I can proclaim- as the LC who spends more of his time playing with knives than any other- that the Lansky is the only way to go. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, the whole process takes five minutes or so.

    And yes, the sharpening elements are Arkansas stone.

  14. Terrapod Comment by Terrapod

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    Your eminence,

    I have a small half cane steel rod with diamond impregnated surfaces. It is about 5″ long and has a lucite handle. Seem to recall picking it up at one of those mall type tobacco/knife/lighter sales shops that seem to be in every mall on the planet. Two strokes on each side of my pocketknife blade makes it as sharp as a razor for a couple of months of use. Takes no time at all and can be done in the AM while you are enjoying a cup of java, better make that after the first cup, would not want anyone getting cut after sharpening a blade ;-)

  15. Unregistered Comment by LC EFA

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    EFA,

    You fucknugget!

    I showed you those, you thunder-stealing, gin-jockeying upside-downer!

    Gin-jockey isn’t very PC , your supposed to use indigenous cowboy these days.

    I can proclaim- as the LC who spends more of his time playing with knives than any other- that the Lansky is the only way to go. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, the whole process takes five minutes or so.

    And yes, the sharpening elements are Arkansas stone.

    I did say that I have it on good authority…

  16. Tom The Impaler Comment by Tom The Impaler

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    I like the Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker

    http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=77

    It may not be as “fast” as you want or as versatile as the lansky, but it does all of the sharpening I need it to with about 1/3 the set up time. I think if you want a quick rough edge they make diamond inserts for it.

  17. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty

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    Lansky.

    Definitely Lansky.

    (It’s the only way to go, especially if you want a double beveled edge.)

    Here’s a nice primer on sharpening, BTW.

  18. Unregistered Comment by jbuist

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    If you want a good knife then carry a good knife. Don’t use it for tightening screws or opening beer bottles. Find another tool to do that and leave your knife to the cutting matters.

    I’ve knicked a fair number of blades pushing it into issue when another tool would have been much better.

    So, when Tamara (View From the Porch) blogged about the Prybaby from Atwood Knives I went and ordered myself one. It sits on my keychain and I use it for all those things we hate using knives for, but often find ourselves doing anyway. I turn screws with it, open beer bottles, and a couple of times have used it as a nice lever to pry something open.

    Cheap? No, but it’ll keep you from using your good knife for anything but cutting duty.

  19. NevadaDailySteve Comment by NevadaDailySteve

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    I have a Gerber like Drew458 and it works great. I keep it in my pocket at all times. It isn’t the best sharpener out there but it is the best sharpener out there that is easily transported. I sometimes find that I’ve not sharpened a knife when I should have and a couple of swipes through both sides of the Gerber will get you a decent edge no matter where you are. If you’re looking for something more robust a good stone is hard to beat.

  20. MuscleDaddy Comment by MuscleDaddy

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    Probably too late, but…

    If it’s not my good Wusthofs in the kitchen, I use …

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95984
    (can’t see that the ‘link’ thing worked in preview)

    Don’t lean into it and it works quite well.

    Plus it’s tight enough to throw into the ‘junk drawer’ until next time.

    - MuscleDaddy

  21. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    Thanks for all of the great tips!

    Not only have I found a few handy-dandy tools that are easy to carry and will give me a serviceable edge in seconds for the crappy knives I don’t really care that much for anyways (which is what I originally asked for), I’ve also learned about quite a few tools for really sharpening a good knife that I hadn’t heard of before.

    And I have both kinds of knives, so both kinds of tools will come in very handy indeed.

    Yes, I know that you shouldn’t use a knife for anything but cutting, because cutting is what they’re made for. Just like you shouldn’t use a hammer to put a screw in the wall. I know all of that, but I don’t want to carry around a toolbox wherever I go. Sure, I could get a Swiss Army knife, but it’s my experience that, whereas they do most things, they do none of them very well. Which brings me back to carrying around a toolbox if I want to do things right.

    So that’s why I like to have a small pocket knife around that I can use in a cinch for stuff that it wasn’t meant to do. Sure, it won’t do it well and sure, it’ll hurt the knife, but that’s why I make sure that they’re cheap enough that I don’t give a shit. Not cheap enough that they’re crap, just cheap enough that I won’t feel bad about punching a hole in a can, tightening a screw or opening a beer with ‘em. And that means that I need a tool that will put a serviceable edge, if not a perfect one, back on it in a hurry.

    I would never dream of treating a real knife that way.

  22. Unregistered Comment by crazylegs

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    If I need a cheepy blade to open boxes, strip wires, and cut crap stuff, I usually get a razor knife. When the blade gets dull, just swap the disposable razor blade.

    For real multitool missions, I’d recommend an actual multitool.

    I do have a sharpening stone somewhere that I inherited from my Grandfather, (I don’t know where he got it, he died shortly after I was born. Apparently God decided that Kentucky could only contain so much coolness at a time.) unfortunately my dear sainted mother cleaned my room while I was away at Basic. I fear its lost forever.

  23. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

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    For what it’s worth, Boss, the little Gerber dingus in # 5 is excelleny for a quickie edge on a not to serious knife. I have five of them - one in both cars, on in the tackle box, one in the hunting kit and one on my dresser in the bedroom.

    They work, they work well, and at about two bucks a pop, if ya lose one, no big deal. That is about as much as i can ask.

  24. AyUaxe Comment by AyUaxe

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    My basic Lansky kit has been sufficient for all my needs. The key, I think, is to get the right angle on your blade (”stockier” edge for harder work) and make sure you don’t sharpen it in a way that leaves the edge either too thin (like an edge of foil) or ragged. Does seem like the ceramic V thingies would work pretty well, and on the above recommendations, think I’ll check one out. But for serious sharpening–definitely Lansky. BTW, I’ve got a pretty decent, cheap little pocket knife I ordered from Frost years ago–surgical steel, not stainless, so the edge is more strong than hard and less brittle.