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Tungsten Carbide Sharpener

Posted by CliffStamp 
Tungsten Carbide Sharpener
April 09, 2012 07:20PM
Some use showing how you can use them to achieve a decent edge in both terms of initial sharpness and edge retention :





If you listen you can clearly tell when it is removing the weakened metal and when it is sharpening quality steel. I have found that if you use these ultra-light, and I mean ultra, as in 5-10 grams, these will act like a smooth steel and just burnish/align the edge.

As you increase the force they start to cut, therefore they are fairly versatile, but they are also one of the easiest things to damage an edge as well :





Travis by the way has really solid freehand sharpening skills :



Re: Tungsten Carbide Sharpener
May 05, 2012 08:19PM
Thanks for the write up and video. I've been an advocate of using these simple pull-through for non knife nuts. More interestingly, I've floated the idea on the other forum of knife nuts learning how to use a tungsten carbide sharpener. The reason is twofold. One, to gain an appreciation and respect for a useful if often misunderstood tool. And two, to gain an insight into the hows and whys of sharpening. I've found many knife nuts may be well versed in a productive method of sharpening, but don't have a very clear understand why it works. Mastering a carbide sharpener not only adds a skill to one's palette, it gives insight into sharpening that applies to just about any method. While the pull through sharpener is a user friendly method, it's often a brute force tool for non knife people, and a few knife nuts, too. It seems finesse is the key to making one work optimally.

I've also played with several freehand tungsten carbide sharpeners. One marketed specifically for knives, one for garden tools, and a paint scraper bit similar to this. All did fine. The paint scraper bit needed a little lapping on a diamond hone to make a crisper edge. All these tools have edges capable of removing steel with a light or heavy touch, and have flat or rounded surfaces capable of burnishing/steeling when desired.

In the end, I've found the carbide sharpener to be an inexpensive, generally easy to use, and surprisingly versatile tool. Especially for folks not needing the absolute maximum of sharpness and not inclined to observe edges with microscopes. winking smiley
Re: Tungsten Carbide Sharpener
May 06, 2012 01:51AM
These certainly have their place. Just imagine someone who doesn't have much experience with freehand or owns an angle sharpener like the Sharpmaker and needs to reprofile a knife fast. Refining the edge later would work good and this could solve a lot of problems if the knife was as dull as a brick
cKc
Re: Tungsten Carbide Sharpener
May 06, 2012 03:00AM
Tracks has bought some o1 and is getting some n690. he is young and by the time he is my age he should be an excellent knife make if he keeps it up. He should be good much sooner than that.. Lol

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Re: Tungsten Carbide Sharpener
May 06, 2012 06:27AM
Quote
shecky
In the end, I've found the carbide sharpener to be an inexpensive, generally easy to use, and surprisingly versatile tool.





Skip to about 6:30 to see the knife before and after. It is hard to argue that this would not fit a lot of people's needs very well. The problem is with most of them though is that while they can be much more useful as you noted it does take a bit of thought and application of knowledge by the user and I question as to how many people will actually do that.

What will happen for example if the edge on the knife trying to be sharpened is a little heavier ground? A few pulls will do less than nothing and could lead to frustration and the conclusion that these are just gimmicks. If the edge is ground at a much finer angle and heavier force is used it could lead to the edge rippling under the slots.

That being said, I would agree with what you wrote almost exactly, and have one of the single hand held ones as well. I don't use it to sharpen much but do use it to recondition an edge which is heavily impacted before I take it to the stones as it will simply remove metal so much faster.

Interesting to see you actually lapped it on diamond, I can not imagine very many people are maintaining those at all.

Nice post.

Here is something similar :





This isn't a scraper type sharpener it is basically a smooth steel on a spring system to allow for angle matching. I would think that if people had these in their kitchen/tackle box they could go a long time before needing to have their blades professionally sharpened.
cKc
Re: Tungsten Carbide Sharpener
May 06, 2012 06:33AM
the spring idea is cool. seems to work very well.

above i wrote "tracks" spell checker.. lol.. i meant Travis is getting steel and making knives.

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