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Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs? 1202

Newbie Posts: 13
Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« on: November 22, 2013, 02:51:38 AM »
I'm considering purchasing some Arkansas stones to maintain my SAKs (and INOX Opinels). Do Arkansas stones work well for these knives?

I have a lot of experience freehand sharpening with Japanese bench-sized water whetstones but would prefer to maintain my pocket knives in the field instead and not need to be concerned with water. I'm thinking about one or more Arkansas stones and using honing oil.
Full Member Posts: 150
Re: Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 05:21:47 AM »
Have you looked at ceramic stones? They don't need water or oil, and should be more durable, also available in a variety of grits.
Hero Member Posts: 883
Re: Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 07:21:50 AM »
Any method you chose should be adequate. Victorinox steel is soft (which I somewhat dislike) but it lends it's self to easy sharpening.

I've sharpened blades with the bottom of a coffee mug, you should be fine...
No Life Club Posts: 1,439
Re: Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 01:13:55 PM »
Any Spyderco sharpening device.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,701 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 01:25:54 PM »
I'm considering purchasing some Arkansas stones to maintain my SAKs (and INOX Opinels). Do Arkansas stones work well for these knives?

I have a lot of experience freehand sharpening with Japanese bench-sized water whetstones but would prefer to maintain my pocket knives in the field instead and not need to be concerned with water. I'm thinking about one or more Arkansas stones and using honing oil.
They work great. I used those kinds of stones for years for all kinds of blades. It will take a little practice to get it down. But once you do, it will turn a blade into a razor.

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Hero Member Posts: 583
Re: Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 01:32:37 PM »
Victorinox steel is soft (which I somewhat dislike) but it lends it's self to easy sharpening

I disagree, that steel is right balanced between not too soft and not to hard. Despite the face it hardly rusts. If you compare that steel to really cheap and soft steel you know, what I mean. :)

You even get Victorinox blades to shave hair from your arm and it keeps so for a while. But I don't recommend such sharpness for a user-knife.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 01:34:34 PM by HankSolon »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,488
Re: Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 01:47:52 PM »
Since you're talking about field maintenance I'm guessing size is of some concern. Ceramic is excellent for sharpening and when it comes to steels with high grindability (probably a bit more accurate terms soft and hard steel, but no need to concern oneself with that now) a medium grit ceramic works good enough to repair an edge and get it sharp enough for most utility work. That is around a 15 micron stone

The downfall of ceramic is that it gets clogged and needs to be cleaned. It's easy enough to do but it is an extra thing that might be a bit of an issue when relying on it for prolonged periods of time.

Diamond stones are also very good, at least when made by the better known brands, although they are a bit aggressive. They are faster but means you can mess up more. They don't need as much maintenance and they can be used dry, with oil or water. Just don't switch from oil to water or vice versa at any point cause that might cause problems.

If you have some DIY skills and a way to make big stones smaller, crystolon stones are rather inexpensive and effective. Again they can be used dry, with water or oil.
Another minor point, some stones work even better with a bit of dish soap mixed into the water.

Since I brought up that 15 micron stone might cover your needs here are some examples of which stones fall close to that:
Spyderco Medium ceramic - 15 micron
Chosera 800 grit - 14 micron
Japanese waterstones 1000 grit - 16 microns (a bit of generalization as there are some differences with manufacturers)
DMT fine - 25 micron
DMT extra fine - 9 micron

The problem with Arkansas stones is that they are rarely put in proper perspective with a number value given. As far as I know they go from the coarsest to the finest with approximate numbers:
Soft - 15 - 25 micron
Hard - 8 - 15 micron
Hard Black - 4-8 micron
Hard Translucent - 4-8 micron

so if your heart is set on an Arkansas stone I'd say go with a Hard one

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Hero Member Posts: 883
Re: Arkansas stones to sharpen SAKs?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 03:47:31 PM »
@hank, even the edge on my 58mm's can shave hair. >:D :D
All my carry blades have a hair popping edge. My Vic's just don't keep it as long as I'd like. Not saying it goes dull instantly, but keeping that razors edge for weeks...nah. Not from my experience.

I only own 58mm's and 91 mm's, but they haven't been able to compete with the edge retention of even my value Spyderco's. (Tenacious line)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 03:49:23 PM by Fattsgalore »

 

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