Knives are very important tools. You can use them for outdoor activities like camping and hiking; for preparing food; for doing artistic masterpieces; as well as for combat. A Kershaw chive knife and even Ken Onion knives are examples of knives you can use during these occasions. Keeping these razor sharp, however, is tough especially if you are doing it by yourself. Getting professional sharpeners is ideal but expensive. If you want to save money by carrying out the task yourself, here are simple reminders you should know:
-Know what materials are best for sharpening.
You can't just pick a random rock on the sidewalk and take it home as your knife sharpener. There are specific rocks you must use that could really file your knife right. If you're planning to sharpen your Kershaw chive or your Ken Onion knives, you'll need an Arkansas stone or sandpaper as sharpening tools. Make sure you handle the knife with a steady hand. If you cannot do it, leave the maintenance to a professional.
-The right angle makes a fine knife!
Find the right position in sharpening your knife. If you don't know how to get the best angle, ask the company or a dependable knife shop. They're going to tell you what angle is suitable for your knife. If you are not able to consult a knife expert, play it safe and select an angle of 10 degrees per side. Note that that shallower angles make sharper edges that don't last for very long, while steeper angles are often more durable. A 17 degree angle is a safe bet. Kershaw chive and Ken onion knives are comparatively smaller so choosing an angle for them will not be tough.
-Knife lubrication: Applicable in special cases.
Consult with the company before lubricating your knife. Sharpening stones like carborundum can be used for wet or dry sharpening but get destroyed when oiled. Make sure your sharpening stone is an 'oil stone'.
Grind your knife midway through steel. Flip the knife over and continue with the same procedure till you make a new edge.
Important warnings you must heed!
Electrically powered stones and grinding wheels should be used carefully. Do not forget that knives dull quickly when using these sharpening tools as the heat made while grinding can soften the steel.
Get quality knives for cooking! Cheap stainless steel knives don't have very strong edges plus they dull quickly. You may use a steeper sharpening angle for these or just order a knife with more durable steel.
Remove the right amount of metal to create a new edge. If you fail to do this, you'll leave dull edges on the knives. Dull blades will reflect light from the very tip of the blade. A well-sharpened knife won't show any 'bright spots' when you hold it up against a bright light.
Dragging your finger across a just sharpened edge to check its sharpness will definitely leave you with a cut. A better and more logical way of testing the sharpness of your blade is cutting a piece of paper between the two fingers.