Ray L. Walberg asked:

Ever since the very first tool was made it was seen just how important it was to sharpen knives. In colonial times when a new settlement was created a grist mill was normally the very first building to be built. These were used to sharpen tools, without sharp tools the speed of development will slow down dramatically.

Modern sharpening tools work in the same way as these old mills and whet stones. Modern equivalents are however much more powerful. Grinding wheels used to be powered by water, however they are now powered by electricity.

What to Look for in a Knife Sharpener

A knife sharpener is an extremely useful tool which will last for a number of years. There are various different types of knife sharpeners which all serve the same basic purpose. A table top grinder is very useful for sharpening the blades of gardening tools and axe blades.

You will commonly need to sharpen your chain saw blades on a regular basis to make sure that everything is cut evenly. To sharpen these chain saws you need specialist equipment. A drill bit style attachment is placed into the drill and rotates as the chain saw blade moves against it. When you are choosing a chain saw sharpener to buy you should find one that has multiple tips, these will wear down quickly.

A very high quality knife sharpener is the Tormek, this is mounted on the top of a bench and uses water to prevent any friction which would wear the machine out quickly. This grinder comes with a leather strop, however some other people suggest using a paper wheel to strop the edges of the knife.

When choosing a knife sharpener the most important thing is to consider the versatility. You should choose a device which can sharpen as many different types of blades possible, find out if it can sharpen longer blades, and make sure that it can strop the edges well. Also check how long the machine will last for, and find out how easy it is to get any spare parts. Some knife sharpening equipment can cost a lot of money.

Sharpeners for Everyday Uses

Heavy duty sharpening tools are probably only really needed for serious woodworkers or anyone that uses a chainsaw on a regular basis. For the general consumer you can get cheaper and more portable models.

You would find a basic handheld knife sharpener in a butchers shop, this is a very simple tool which does not need electricity. There are many other variations, including machines where you pass the blade of the knife between two sharpening wheels. A knife is sharpened when the knife is drawn at a 30 degree angle on an abrasive material.

You don’t need to use electric tools if you don’t want to, you can get good results using hand sharpeners. The skill is getting the angle right so that you can sharpen your blades as best as possible. There are plenty of classes which you can go to so you can learn more about knife sharpening.

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Filed under: Knife Sharpening

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