How to Sharpen a Knife With a Honing Kit

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A honing kit for knife sharpening will allow the sharpener to utilize three grit stages, which are course, medium and fine. Find out what to use on knives when honing oil runs out with help from a bladesmith in this free video on knife sharpening.

Part of the Video Series: Knife Sharpening
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Video Transcript

How's it going? My name is John Hedrick, and I'm going to show you today how to sharpen a knife using a honing kit. This one has three stages, three grit stages, course, medium and fine. Course is for heavy removal, the medium is for just removing the scratch lines so that you can get a cleaner cutting edge, and then the last honing stage is for polishing it out, that's the last step, okay. Now what this kit has, like I said, three stages, it also got a tool holder to hold your knife or tool, this is mounted on the rear and it establishes, maintains your angle, and these are the rods that go on the end of the sharpening stones, there's three of them so you don't have to swap them out every time you decide you have to change grits. Okay. It also includes this honing oil, but you don't have to order new honing oil if you run out, just use motor oil or olive oil or corn oil, anything, it doesn't matter. Your goal is to reduce friction and create a viscus medium which is called slurry and that just helps the removal rate, it just creates a little bit more of an abrasive without wearing into the stone too much, because they will wear away into nothing overtime. Okay, now when you mount this up you want to make sure that the jaws of this holding device are parallel to the flat of the knife, alright, you don't want it to have any gaps, you want it to be completely parallel, and that's going to give you the most secure hold on the piece, alright. Because if it shifts then so does your angle for sharpening, and you don't want that. Usually the darker the stone the courser the grit, okay. Or it'll have a marker on here as far as the number that it is, this one says course, okay. So, I'm just going to put a little bit of oil on here, don't need much, like I said just enough to create the slurry and lube it up a little bit. You want to use the entire stone to sharpen along the entire cutting edge, because if you don't then you're going to get low spots on your sharpening stone and it's not going to provide consistent or ideal results. Your goal in doing this is to maintain, like I said, the angle, but also equal removal from both sides. So the way that you're going to do that is by either counting your strokes or counting the amount of time that you spend on each side using a timer or the old mental clock upstairs. After you have your course grit stage out of the way then you will switch to a medium grit. And one thing that I recommend is the finer you go the less pressure you use when sharpening the knife, okay. Because that's going to give you a higher degree of motor control and it's less pressure, let the tool do the work for you, okay. I'm going to put a little oil on here. Now one thing you'll find is that when these things get dirtied up you're just going to have to wipe them off and reapply the oil. This whole process should not take you more than 20 minutes at the most.

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