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#5659518 - 03/19/15 09:37 PM Knife Metals
Brother in-law Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 27202
What are some options for an easy to sharpen knife? I would want to be able to get a razor sharp edge and quickly with a simple style stone or quick sharpener.

I have found a knife I really like but im not big on the colors and I was told it was a hard steel to sharpen. Im researching to see if I might clone it the way I would want it to look.

Edited by Brother in-law (03/19/15 09:58 PM)

#5659646 - 03/19/15 11:18 PM Re: Knife Metals [Re: Brother in-law]
Dink Dodger Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 1400
Loc: Lewisville Tx
I'll let the experts answer but my opinion is carbon steel is the easiest to sharpen. I have a knife that tuskbuster built from carbon steel. It is super easy to sharpen but needs to be stropped often between sharpening. I also have a D2 knife from Jason Frye that took about an hour to get hair splitting sharp but it has cleaned two deer and probably four pigs. It needs to be stropped occasionally but has not needed to be resharpened. It will still shave.

#5659653 - 03/19/15 11:32 PM Re: Knife Metals [Re: Brother in-law]
jeffbird Offline

Registered: 03/09/09
Posts: 2773
For ease of sharpening, blade geometry is the first and most important thing on the list, thinner is easier than thicker. Stick to 0.125" for blade thickness for a starting point.
Next as a general rule, a softer blade is easier to sharpen than a harder blade, but the trade off is edge retention.
Carbon steel is easier to sharpen than stainless, if all other factors are constant.

Good easy to sharpen common carbon steels are O1 and 52100, but there are lots of others. D2 is pretty easy to sharpen and a good intersection of easy to sharpen vs. edge retention. It takes a very sharp edge. You probably should avoid 154CM, and S30V, which are common in hunting knives, but can be harder to sharpen if you are just starting off.

Also, you might want to take a look at an Edge Pro sharpener.

To learn to sharpen, buy a cheap carbon steel kitchen knife for $5 at a thrift store. They are very soft and very easy to sharpen. Once you master that, then move up to some harder steel with more wear resistance, which is what produces edge retention.

#5660239 - 03/20/15 11:37 AM Re: Knife Metals [Re: Brother in-law]
billybob Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/28/10
Posts: 3615
Loc: Southlake, TX, Billy Bob Ranch...
The key to ease of sharpening is heat treatment... high carbons and stainless are easy sharpened if they are heat treated to 57 to 59 HRC (rockwell hardness standard). 60HRC and above are a little more difficult. D2, S30V and 154CM heat treated to 60-61 HRC are relatively easy but can take awhile if you are using stones. A work sharp ken onion or a warthog can make sharpening easy and quick. With that in mind I would stick to the hardest heat treat available for a particular steel primarily for edge retention. I have gotten a couple of hogs and a deer with 440C stainless with just a field touchup. To specifically answer Brother in-law's question... ask the person you're buying it from "what has the knife been heat treated to?" If it is anything higher than 59HRC I would buy a Warthog. They don't studder with higher heat treats and don't require electricity. As far as the colors you can change out the handles to virtually any material.


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