We have reblogged a bunch of content from KnifePlanet. In 2015 I participated in their round-table panel “23 Experts share their SHTF knife“, but it is their knife sharpening content that really stands apart. “55 experts share their #1 sharpening tip” is definitely worth a look-back if you missed it or want a refresher.
They are taking their sharpening content to the next level of late. They have launched a multi-part seminar series with professional knife-sharpener Peter Nowland, proprietor of New Edge Sharpening.
This first video highlights what one can expect from the course, which is now on its 4th installment.
As Peter mentions, the videos are best used in conjunction with the accompanying text. Like this example from the first lesson:
I think that angle control, the ability to maintain it, is the number one issue that folks have when they are about to launch themselves on their own journey. Sadly, it is often the one thing that prevents them from ever getting started. People who take a lesson from me are often surprised when it comes to trying to stabilize their knife when they start sharpening, the movement is foreign to them, it’s not easy and it becomes harder when they switch from one side of the knife to the other. The common fear is that they will damage their knife by attempting to sharpen it at an incorrect angle.
Then the first part of the magic happens: In a very short time, angle stability becomes a little easier, fears vanish as folks see that it is pretty difficult to damage a knife in this manner, in fact, I’ve never damage a knife, even in the old days and I am pretty sure that you won’t either. Remember, if you are worried about scratching the blade by getting to close to the stone you can always tape it up using painters tape leaving the edge bevels exposed. The rest of the magic reveals itself as muscle memory develops and you can’t do that on day one.
The stone is not going to grab the knife out of your hand, you’re smart, you won’t hurt the knife in this manner.
Which angle to sharpen at is another key factor to understand and I can make that easy for you as well, or at least, do my best to demystify this component of knife sharpening. You can sharpen your knife at any angle you choose, YOUR sharpening angle should be one that is best suited for your particular knife, the steel that the knife was made from. Simpler yet, you can be guaranteed that most knives are sharpened between 15 and 20 degrees, the exception being harder knives, the ones made of much better steel which can be sharpened and should be sharpened at more acute angles of 12-14 degrees.
As I said, the first 4 classes are online at the KnifePlanet YouTube Channel. They are worth a watch. You will probably want to skim through initially, and come back when you have time to really concentrate or even practice along. It really is a superlative series.