Sharpening redux… yet another opinion

You’ve read it all before, so and so method is the best. Use this brand and your results will be faultless. I wanted to believe it every time. I bought the products thinking it would solve all of my sharpening woes, but they didn’t and you know why: technique. In short you have to be consistent in the way you present the tool at whatever angle to whatever tool sharpening product you have.

That’s why jigs are so popular. Garret and Jon didn’t use jigs; they have the natural ability/experience to hold the tool and feel the right bevel. People who sharpen by hand advocate it because it saves time over having to put the tool in a jig. I struggled with sharpening by hand, and I got it but it took time. Time I could have saved with a jig. So use a jig, I think they are fantastic. But figure out how to get the jig set up and use it quickly. If it takes you too long to put your tool into a jig and sharpen, you’re just not going to sharpen as often as you should.

After learning the right technique to achieve consistent results, I’m hooked on Shapton stones to sharpen. Shaptons are waterstones that don’t require you to soak them in water. You spray them with a heavy mist and get to work. They stay flatter longer and they cut aggressively and consistently. Try one the next time you get a chance. The 8000 is especially spectacular!

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