After failing to hold a consistent blade to stone angle, the most common problem I find people have with hand sharpening knives is their failure to periodically “thin” out their edge bevels. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the knife in question is a hunting, pocket, combat, or kitchen, the bevels behind the cutting edge are almost always left too thick to perform well. If you have worked around meat cutters, you have probably noticed they are almost never happy with the factory edge on a new knife. The first thing most do is hand sharpen or grind back the bevel 1/16- to a ¼-inch or so behind the edge to make the knife cut better and sharpen easier. It is equally common for them to send all their knives out for “thinning” by a professional sharpening service on a regular basis.
Even when a knife starts its life with a proper bevel, repeated honings slowly back the edge into a thicker part of the blade. After a while, you end up with a knife that may seem shaving sharp but still doesn’t cut all that well. The easy answer is to reshape the edge bevel at a lower angle than you would normally resharpen at. While the pros usually do this on either a belt or a wet wheel grinder, there is no reason the task can’t be done by hand. All that is required is a good, large Silicon carbide benchstone.
Silicon carbide is a totally manmade abrasive that rates only slightly lower than diamond on the hardness scale. For reasons I don’t fully understand, it doesn’t seem to be well suited to really fine abrasives, but it excels at coarse grit, fast metal removal jobs. Of course, “fine” seems to be a relative term to many people and practically the only sharpening stones you will find in an Asian cooking store will be Silicon carbide. I was reminded of that on my recent trip to Thailand. All of the shops stocked the exact same Chinese-made stones you would find in any Asian grocery here in the Northwest.
Visually, Keng tried to make the AR MultiTasker stand out from other multi-tools. One way he did this is by adding G10 grip panels to the handles. Not only does this add style and uniqueness to the tool, it also increases grip in muddy and oily conditions. All metal parts of the tool are finished with a salt-bath nitride, which is a perfect complement to the G10 grips. And for the real AR platform fans, the pivot screws should catch their eye, since they have been designed to mimic the look of a forward assist button.
After failing to hold a consistent blade to stone angle, the most common problem I…
by Jeff Randall / Mar 22, 2010