Old School Rules When it Comes to Sharpening Your Knives

As several of the fish filleting, skinning and deboning videos on the website (www.barefootcatsandtackle.com) have been viewed several thousand times. I have also received numerous emails requesting information regarding the super sharp blades used, and what techniques I use to get them razor sharp. Normally I contribute to Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine with fishing/rigging articles, but decided this topic could be just as helpful, perhaps even more so than any article on rigging.

When it comes to the best way to sharpen your knives, there are many ways to put an edge on a blade, but I prefer old faithful! Old faithful is nothing more than a good old 10-inch (Norton) double-sided whetstone and a little elbow grease.

I was very fortunate to grow up watching my dad sharpening knives with a stone to a razors edge. I guess I took it for granted that this was the way to sharpen a blade. It was one of the very finest gifts my dad ever gave me without actually knowing he was giving me anything at the time. Just watching him over and over until I decided I wanted to do it just like dad was the way I learned. To be perfectly honest, I did not do it just right in the very beginning, but sheer determination and lots of practice got me to the point I am today.

There are several measured ways to keep a consistent 22.5-degree angle per side on a blade that work very well. I will never say anything negative about the mechanical methods like the Lanske Knife Sharpening system or any other devices that assist in keeping the proper angle to get a blade sharp. There are other devices that are designed to straighten the very edge of a knife that has dulled—or steels that butchers use to straighten the edge of hard working blades.

All of these methods work, and do the specific job that they are designed to do, however, I prefer the polished (stone) edge that I can create within just a few minutes. The double sided Norton stone I referred to earlier, has a coarse side and a fine side. The coarse side is for removing material, and the fine side is for polishing the edge created by the coarse side.

I cannot describe how to sharpen a knife in words as effectively as with a video. If you are a visual learner, and/or interested in how I sharpen my knives, please feel free to visit my website, click on “Video,” search the “How To” section, and click on “How to Sharpen a Knife” or just watch the video below!
Have a great holiday season!

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