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Date Published: 2015-05-27

You Need to Get a Sword and Knife Sharpener

By Adelia Ladson

Buying any item with a blade, whether it’s a knife, an axe or a sword, is an investment. Taking care of and maintaining your blade will ensure that you get the most out of your investment. A knife will serve you well for many years if you keep it properly sharpened and the same goes for an axe or a sword. There are a few routes you can take when looking for a sharpening agent.

When looking for a simple whetstone, you can find them in natural or synthetic materials for fairly little expense. Of course, a natural stone from a mine somewhere in Belgium might run you a little more than normal. If you have your heart set on a natural stone, then, look at something like the Arkansas Stone from Smiths. It will be a much better price than an imported whetstone. Synthetic whetstones are made from different materials like ceramic, tungsten carbide or aluminum oxide.

This sharpening system has both natural and synthetic whetstones.
This sharpening system has both natural and synthetic whetstones.
There really isn’t much difference in quality in natural or synthetic stones. Some believe synthetic is better because the properties of the stone like particle size can be controlled, whereas, the inconsistencies in natural whetstones’ particles sizes may make them less effective. But really, folks, this fact is negligible.

What you want is a sharpener system that offers a couple of different grit options. The grit is the size of the particles in the stone, which affects the finish on your blade – a finer grit giving you a finer finish. Smith also has its Three Stone Sharpening System that actually gives you a medium grit Arkansas stone, a fine grit Arkansas stone and a coarse grit synthetic stone, all mounted on a molded plastic base with non-skid rubber feet.

These are diamond-coated steel rods.
These are diamond-coated steel rods.
Sharpening stones can also be divided into two categories – oil stones and water stones. These come in either synthetic or natural stone. Of course, the basic difference is one you use oil on and one you use water on. The most traditional in our part of the world are oil stones as the water stones are relatively new to the West, being an import from Japan. The difference in the two options is that the water stone is much softer, which promotes faster sharpening but also faster wear of the stone itself.

Another option is a sharpener that incorporates diamond particles into its design. You can get anything from diamond-coated steel rods like the Diamond Retractable Sharpener to diamond-coated metal plates. One of the advantages of getting one of these is that they retain their shape and the whetstones don’t. If you want just a simple diamond sharpener, look at the Diamond Sharpening Stone with Case.

This Accusharp is a very popular model.
This Accusharp is a very popular model.
There are quite a few sharpeners out there that are set up in a way that will make your life much easier when it comes to maintaining a sharp edge on your blades. They are in quick functioning formats that just require you to insert the blade and pull. Accusharp has a couple that you might like to take a look at like the Accusharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, which is a popular choice, and the SharpNEasy, which has both coarse and fine grit ceramic rods.

Choose the whetstone or sharpener system that fits you specific blades’ needs but make sure you get one because a sharp blade is a happy and efficient blade. Take care of your bladed tools and they will take care of you.

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