Sharpening a thick knife

If you have questions about sharpening products, steels or techniques post them here.
Post Reply
cwillett
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 11:56 pm

Sharpening a thick knife

Post by cwillett » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:10 pm

I find myself the new owner of a TOPS Tex Creek 69 knife. This is a 4 inch long, 3/16 inch thick belt knife for the outdoors. The edge on it had to be strategic, because the handle end was completely dull and the tip end was mostly not sharp. But it sure is pointy. It looks (eyeballing) like the bevel is 20+ degrees. I put it on a Cerax 1k, but the angle meant sharpening was difficult for me and I had to walk back the pressure in order not to gouge the stone. After a trip to a felt strop, I put in on a Rika 5k primarily to polish the edge. I really had to use almost non existent pressure to keep the high angled knife from gouging. The end was a better edge than from the factory, but still not something that I would be very happy with. I had some time this summer to get the knife in to a good state of things before my hunting friends make fun of me for having a nice, but dull knife. Any thoughts on sharpening a thick knife geared for the outdoors and not the kitchen?

jmcnelly85
Posts: 2112
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by jmcnelly85 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:29 pm

Never underestimate a good, coarse edge. I currently have a garden pocket knife rocking a 140 edge and I keep my other edc knives at 800. Stopping at the 1k might be worth exploring.

User avatar
Jeff B
Posts: 10319
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by Jeff B » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:44 pm

I sharpen my outdoor knives on a 400 and let them go.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

milkbaby
Posts: 564
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:12 am
Location: Sunny Florida

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by milkbaby » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:22 am

Sharpie trick. If you never properly apex the edge the whole way, you will not achieve the results you're looking for.

Also remember that a thicker blade at less acute angle won't do the same parlor tricks as a thin kitchen knife. You should be able to get it to shave effortlessly though.

User avatar
Kit Craft
Posts: 4712
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:57 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by Kit Craft » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:29 am

I simply use thinner outdoor knives. I tried some that were almost sharpened crowbars, not for me. Not that you knife is like that, I have no idea about it. However, if gouging is an issue try using pressure on the trailing stroke and relaxing on the leading stroke if you are not already doing that. If you are more into sharpening just for utility and not as a hobby then you can switch up and use something other than stones. A line of softer loaded strops with cbn or diamond, soft backed sandpaper or even some sort of power tool like a belt grinder. I have a few friends who use the later and keep up a micro bevel on a rod. Me, I am much more simplistic.

You have loads of options.

cwillett
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 11:56 pm

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by cwillett » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:34 pm

I'm going to try again, but this time starting on a Cerax 320. I'm not expecting performance like my kitchen knives, but it should be able to shave hair. Right now if I tie a long hair around the handle I could pull it out, but that is as close as it gets to shaving. TOPS should be embarrassed to let a knife go out the door in that state.

old onion
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: N.E. Ohio

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by old onion » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:45 am

That TOPS is a nice knife. Some of my outdoor knives are pretty darn old,I'm old,but back in the day,I think they all came thick so that the outdoorsman could chop down a tree with them.I have spent time sharpening mine and my best stone for those thick knives of mine has been my Norton Crystolon as of late.It's a two sided stone,comes fine and course.

User avatar
Jeff B
Posts: 10319
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by Jeff B » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:39 pm

cwillett wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:34 pm
I'm going to try again, but this time starting on a Cerax 320. I'm not expecting performance like my kitchen knives, but it should be able to shave hair. Right now if I tie a long hair around the handle I could pull it out, but that is as close as it gets to shaving. TOPS should be embarrassed to let a knife go out the door in that state.
The Cerax 320 should be able to get it to shave hair if you have a good apex. If you want to refine the edge a little farther after that stone I'd just put it to a strop and leave it with a "polished toothy edge." My outdoor knife works great from skinning to cutting rope with a 400 grit edge and seems pretty durable too at that grit. Sharpened my brothers knife on my SP320 and stropped it on bare leather and he loved it.

Where Ken preaches "master the 1k" I like to preach "master the low grit". After all it's the base that really matters.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

User avatar
lsboogy
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:23 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by lsboogy » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:08 pm

I used to hunt big game a lot when I lived in Montana (elk, a couple moose, and lots of deer - we could pull 7 tags a day for deer when I lived there). My old Buck 119 would take a great edge with a 3K stone - used it to gut a dozen deer in an evening many times. My old hunting buddies let me sharpen their knives as well. Still have the knife, have not hunted in 15 years, but it's still sharp enough to shave with.

User avatar
ken123
Posts: 4106
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:53 pm
Location: Northern California
Contact:

Re: Sharpening a thick knife

Post by ken123 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:22 pm

No argument with mastering lower grits. It's all based on achieving a solid foundation after all. I'm a big fan of the edge achievable with a 150 grit stone.

What grit you choose is a matter of personal choice. I have a lot of hunters / military / bushcraft folks who maintain their edges at 4 microns (4k) or finer especially on more abrasion resistant steels (cpm 3v 4v s35vn etc)
as well as A2 steel just using strops with compounds.

---
Ken

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests