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WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Don't worry too much about

Don't worry too much about it Hal.  It requires practice and patience.  Also some grades of steel just will not take an edge as well as other grades will, no matter how good you are at sharpening.  Steel grade and type really matters.  Of all the knives I've sharpened there is one that consistantly and effortlessly takes a hair shaving razor sharp edge and retains it pretty well too, no exaggeration.  That is a blade on an older Marble's Woodcraft knife that still used the old ball-bearing grade of high carbon steel, before the company switched to a different steel about 7 years ago.  I'm sure the blade cross-section grind has something to do with how well it cuts too, it's a convex grind.

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Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 383
I know what you're talking

I know what you're talking about with types of steel used to make the blades.  I've got an old Green River skinner I won at a blackpowder rondezvous blanket shoot probably 30 years ago.  The guy who put it on the blanket said he had had it forever & it was old when he got it.  Made out carbon steel, it'll sharpen up on the stones fairly easy (as long as I'm concentrating on angle and pressure) and holds an edge well.  Of course I can't neglect it or leave it laying on the ground for a day or so or it'll rust up some. 

I'm convinced thats one of the reasons why the new modern miracle steels are so popular; they require little or no care or maintenance (aka thought), can be miss-used and stored with little effect & when sharp will hold a reasonable edge for along time.  In most communities, there are professional tool sharpeners  doing good business sharpening dull knives for those not inclined to do it thenselves.  Most of these pros use jigs to ease & speed up the process on these new hard steel blades.

I enjoy the sharpening process similar to enjoying tying my own flies.  Thirty years from now I'll still be practicing & learning how to do it right.  Unfortunately in this age of instant gratification, many are never experiencing and appreciating doing things themselves and doing them well.  The ultimate example of this in regard to knives are the new things out (can't think of the maker of the top of my head) that use replaceble scalpal like blade inserts.  Easy, quick and efficient you bet.  Satisfying?  Not for me.

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