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sharpening stones which are best for the price


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Searched the tool site could not find an answer to my dilemma. In the past I have purchased tools based on reviews most of the time they are ambiguous. Want to purchase sharpening stones they cover the gamut from oil to water to diamond stones expensive to cheap The problem is I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars when I know there  are reasonably priced stones that do the same job for a lot less money.

 

I want stones that will sharpen micro chisels and gouges, to exacto knives and chisels up to 3/4 inch. I am aware of the stropping and sandpaper. I have an Arkansas stone but am not pleased with that as an all around stone.

 

I have bought tools that were pricey and found them not as good as a low or mid-line tool.

 

I have bought cheap based on reviews in the past and they are now in some landfill.

 

Want good based on your reviews, and experience, is two stones with fine and medium grit do the same job as 3 or 4 stones with different grits.

 

Awaiting your responses hope I have not confused everyone because I am totally befuddled after writing this. :huh:

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In addition to what Gaetan and Joe recommend let me add a good ceramic stone, usually white in color, roughly 1200-1500 grit. Do not need lubricate, sharpen dry, clean with Comet type powder cleanser and toothbrush when they get really dirty (actually it's metal deposited on the surface) - they do not clog like other stone and put a nice edge on any knife or chisel. Use them all the time on my carving knives.

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http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/143657/SLIPSTROP.aspx?gclid=CjwKEAjwwOvABRC08aedoZ_lnTMSJACs_cbu-tRPVbRzOb7_XRi0KCTJ78vQ5d9vYC3a_jQGhfhV4xoC1RHw_wcB

 

I found this product to be the best at sharpening small gouges. I don't know what the brownish/red block is made of, it isn't a stone its some kind of hard foamed plastic with a coating that is abrasive bonded to it. I had tried to sharpen my gauges with slip stones with no real success- success measured by weather or not I could get a razor sharpness and I could not- but this product does the job with MINIMAL EFFORT.

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/3pc-Large-Diamond-Sharpening-Hone-Set-Stone-Whetstone-Block-Kitchen-Knife-/142010731085?

 

For all the other sharpening I do I use one of these Three Plate Systems. I guess it is some kind of diamond abrasive bonded to the plates in three degrees of coursenes. I bought a very cheep set off ebay and it sharpened everything I threw at it amazingly- much better than any whetsones or Arkensas stones I had used all my life up till that point. Now I am never going back, the three plate system is superior in every way. Since the ones I purchased were very cheep I did not expect the abrasive surface to hold up very long but it has. Over a year later I'm still getting sharp edges with ease.

As to the idea that you can sharpen exacto blades: Other people claim to be able to do it but I believe most rational voices will tell you that whatever results you get it can't be worth the trouble and you will never get those blades to be as sharp as when new. They simply are not intended to be resharpened.

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Joe,

 

I do know what you go thru been there done that and am still doing it. Just the wonders of the human body saying please no more I can't take it. Every time I see Rocky 1 I cringe when he runs to the top of the steps. EMS would have to cart me off after the first two. But I am still having fun hope you are too. Will update you when  I get them.

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John,

Some great advice here, you cant really go wrong with any of the tools/abrasives mentioned. I happen to be a fan of water stones for hand sharpening and Tormek when I have a lot of sharpening to do. Water stones cut fast and can give a great edge but they wear faster than the others mentioned above. If price is your main concern, why not try the Scary Sharp method? http://primeshop.com/access/woodwork/scarysharp/ Several people I know use it and they are very happy with their results.

More than anything I believe its HOW you sharpen rather than what you use, others will argue that, just my two cents. Learn the proper angles for what you are sharpening and how you use the tool. Get some fixtures/guides if that helps, and keep the backs of your chisels and planes flat. Oh, and dont forget a strop of some sort, I use one from FlexiCut. when I was doing residential carpentry I would use one of my leather tool bags as a quick strop.

 

Looking forward to your decision.

 

Sam

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I can remember one of our club members giving a demonstration using a Japanese water stones that by utilizing the water you develop a slurry using the dust and filings from the blade and from the stone this helps to really put heads on the blade once you finished you would take the stone to a strap and with the green Rouge buffing compound the end result was a chisel that you could shave with. I on the other hand am a firm user of a good oil Stone which has given me good use. I picked up some of the Diamond Stones that was shown earlier I didn't take my blades to a leather strap that's been charged with the green roof the end result is something I can work with As for sharpening exacto knives I've done it with my card models and it doesn't not really work very well.

David B

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

it can't be worth the trouble and you will never get those blades to be as sharp as when new. They simply are not intended to be resharpened.

Frankie, I respectfully have to disagree with you on this one. I can shave with the # 11 that I resharpen. just because a tool was designed to be thrown away, doesn't mean that you have to follow the rules.

 

I haven't purchased a new #11 since 1984

 

Michael

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Searched the tool site could not find an answer to my dilemma. In the past I have purchased tools based on reviews most of the time they are ambiguous. Want to purchase sharpening stones they cover the gamut from oil to water to diamond stones expensive to cheap The problem is I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars when I know there  are reasonably priced stones that do the same job for a lot less money.

 

I want stones that will sharpen micro chisels and gouges, to exacto knives and chisels up to 3/4 inch. I am aware of the stropping and sandpaper. I have an Arkansas stone but am not pleased with that as an all around stone.

 

I have bought tools that were pricey and found them not as good as a low or mid-line tool.

 

I have bought cheap based on reviews in the past and they are now in some landfill.

 

Want good based on your reviews, and experience, is two stones with fine and medium grit do the same job as 3 or 4 stones with different grits.

 

Awaiting your responses hope I have not confused everyone because I am totally befuddled after writing this. :huh:

depends on the steel, arkies are great, but you need the right oil to do the job, or the clog and dont cut, they are also a bit slower than most other stones. i use a small pocket hard ark to sharpen fish hooks, file my nails, smooth pen nibs, just a whole bunch of odd jobs. if you wanted to go with a whetstone, norton makes a combo kit that has a 220/1k and a 4k/8k, flattenting stone, and prep stone. for about 150. if you really want a keep edge, get some balsa wood, and micron paste, for after using the stones. but the sharper the edge the more delicate it is, so its a balancing act. i lap all my stones using a piece of granite tile and loose SiC powder. hope this helps

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Let's try a recapitulation for resharpening:

 

Oil stones:  Rough grit in hundreds, slow and dirty, why use it?

 

Diamond stone, between oil stone and water stone, much faster than oil and you can use water.

 

Water stone are easy to use and  perfect to bring back  the cut again. A good sharpening is done in thousands that provide water stone. You can go farther in sharpening with a water stone compare to a oil stone. A good sharpening  needs a high finish that an oil stone can not provide an oil stone. In a way, the finer the grit, the finer the edge. The finer the edge, the sharper the edge. Water stone must always be kept flat. here is an example  of a dressing stone:

 

http://www.leevalley.com/fr/Wood/page.aspx?p=55067&cat=1,43072,67175,68992&ap=1

 

Water stone does the job but you can add another step with leather with or without compound. I guess it is probably again  a matter of number; the higher the number, the sharper the edge.

 

In number:  preparing the edge: 0-1000

                   bring back the edge: 1000 to 20000

                   finishing the edge: 50000 to 100000

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I've spent a lot of money on sharpening tools that were supposed to be quick and easy to use.  I rarely use any of them.  For plane irons and chisels, I use Norton water stones.  I picked up a "set" at Jamestown Distributors for about $125.  It included (1) 220/1000, (1) 4000/8000 and (1) flattening stone.  They can put a mirror finish on plane irons and chisels that are sharp enough to shave hairs.

 

From my experience, I'd say it's technique and patience that will get you that razor sharp edge.  While those pricey stones may make your work easier, you can achieve a very good result with less if you take your time and do it right. 

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Today I saw a very convincing demonstration by a 35 years experience carver on how to sharpen a knife.

# 80 water sanding paper and soft polishing cotton  wheel with green compound.

 

He sharpened using sand paper until  he felt burr on the edge of the blade.

Then he took off the burr with the polishing wheel.

 

To check his work  he tried the knife on a sheet of paper... and it was cutting.

 

Experience is better than  a lot of tools!

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I recently posted some pictures of my sharpening station which I'll post again below. I showed the flattening stone I use on my my water stones. You just crosshatch the waterstone with a pencil and run it against the flattening stone until the pencil marks are gone. It works great and is pretty inexpensive with Amazon prime.

 

The stone is the Norton Flattening Stone for Waterstones, 3/4" x 3" x 9" it's about $29 including shipping from Amazon Prime.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00067ZSJ0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

The other stuff in the pictures are a tub for the stones, the three stones I use, the Veritas sharpening jig, a Kell sharpening jig, and a cookie sheet with some non-slip cabinet liner.

 

Best,

John

 

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post-18302-0-20768200-1480808096.jpeg

 

ps As you can see, using water stones can get pretty messy. I suppose I could have cleaned this stuff up for the pictures, but it will just get messed up the next time I use It :). J.

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Lionfish,

 

Thanks for the reply checked the website and reviews they look good for the money, especially the combo kit you suggested reasonably priced. Your take on the Balsa very interesting.

 

Thanks again

hi john, the combo kit and pasted balsa are both used to hone and maintain straight razors, so the tools are very capable of creating very good edges. the pasted balsa with micron grits might be a little far but experimentation would prove usefull

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