American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I've been sharpening with stones now for several months and have had a great deal of success with the DMT plates. They are hard enough to cut all steels but really shine when used on 3V and S30V.

I can get knives sharp enough to pop hairs and then strop to refine the edge for a little more durability (a smoother edge should break down a little slower.)

Yesterday I took my Spyderco Paramilitary (the first knife I got to pop hairs with the DMT plates) and just touched up the edge with a piece of 320-grit sandpaper on top of my leather strop using an edge-trailing motion (like stropping) and did 10 passes per side followed by 20 strokes on the strop for each side.

The very slight "give" in the leather has put a very slight convex edge on the knife and it's so sharp that my brain screams out, "STOP!" when I rest my finger tips on the edge to test it. It makes a cold chill run up and down my spine as though I'm about to separate flesh with just the lightest touch.

I haven't felt sharp like that in a long time.

I'm going to have to work with the knife for several days to see if it's really as sharp as it feels and just how long I can keep it that sharp.

There's certainly something to be said for the ease and efficiency of putting convex edges on steel. With JRE's handheld system, I can show a complete newbie how to put a razor edge on a knife in minutes without going in to the discussion about building your own sharpening block. The motions take seconds to learn and the details take much longer but just getting the motion nailed down is enough to sharpen.

I still like my water stones, DMTs, DC4s and DC3s, and my ceramics and will continue to use them but the ease of maintenance on a convex edge is pretty hard to deny.

Thanks for reading,



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