what is the best angle of for budget knifes?

Well I may not be much of a light modder,and again thanks to this forum and my very addictive personality , I am now getting into budget knifes and I love them!Just this month I ordered 4 and I keep saying they're gifts for friends and family for Christmas(yeah right!) Any how I am trying to find the proper angle for the" best all around " to sharpen them,what I have available is the Gatco pro kit with these angles:11,15,19°22°25,30° and what is the final stone should I go over it for final pass to get that scary sharp feeling ,I usually use the 22° and would the ultra fine ceramic hone and can get it sharp enough go shave with but it lacks the edges a Cold steel or factory Benchmade that with just the weight of the knife makes it dig into your finger nails,thanks all.

I wouldn’t waste your time sharpening to too an acute angle because the steel is not suited to hold such a fine edge for very long compared to harder steels and heat treatment. With budget Chinese steel I seem to get more mileage out of a convexed edge than v grinds.

Thanks and I know how to do a flat grind how would you do a convex?Also I thought and HRC of 57-58 would hold and edge,if not what is a decent starting blade run and what kind. And thanks you for the incormagion.

The general rule is the harder the use the greater the angle.

Copy/paste from the Lansky website.Lansky website.

Sharpening Angles

17° Angle - A severe angle recommended for razor blades, X-Acto© blades, scalpels or similar tools. Provides an extremely sharp but delicate edge.

20° Angle - A commonly used angle for higher quality blades and provides an excellent edge for kitchen cutlery and filet knives.

25° Angle - The recommended angle for most knives that need a durable, sharp edge. Ideal for hunting and outdoor knives.

30° Angle - An outstanding angle for knives that see the heavy use of cutting cardboard, wire or carpets. Recomended for heavy duty use.

That’s a rough guide, 22° is fine as long as your blade is tough enough not to roll or chip the edge, if it does then 25°, 30° and so on.
It depends a lot on the type of steel, thickness of steel behind the edge and of coarse the usage.
It is a subject that is very deep if you really get into it. Manufacturers usually get it right but err on the side of caution, you might try a step finer than the original angle but be prepared to go back to original if the edge doesn’t last long enough for you.

Then you have Scandi grinds, microbevels, stropping. It’s a subject that goes on the more you know the more there is to know.
You’ve got the best tool there is to find out about it - the internet.

Answer to your original question, given the budget steel, 25° should do for an all rounder, 22° for a sharper edge that might need a bit more upkeep.

I reckon this thread has the potential to grow a bit. :bigsmile:

Strange this thread started today, yesterday I was looking up close at sharp edges on the Spyderco Forum.

Edit Must type faster.

Have to agree with Chloe that convexing is the way to go. Sure you can get a scary phonebook-page-slicing edge with a v-grind too. I usually go with a 15 degree per side for smaller light use knives and 20 per side for bigger allround knives. Field knives I usually convex. The reason you havent gotten the super sharp edge is the lack of stropping. You need a leather strop and some compound. Thats what makes the edge pop to a new dimension in sharpness.

Also the coarse stones make the edge micro toothy. Better for ropes etc. The finer the stone the better it is for slicing and pushcutting. Mirror edge wont last so long than a more coarse edge. Granted that mirrored edge is a gorgeous sight.

But as I earlier stated, stropping is the key for superior edge. And when you notice that the edge has deteriorated a bit usually stropping is all you need to get the edge back to its former glory. If that wont help then steeling is the way to go and then stropping.

I just sharpened my Fiskars X7 axe with a coarse stone. It was all dented and looked kinda sad. 10 mins with a coarse stone and the edge was smooth and had no dents. Then steeled it and stropped it. 14 minutes it took and now the damn thing shaves hair :slight_smile: of course axe does not have to be that sharp. Thats a bit overkill but still nice.

EDIT: You can do a convexed edge with a soft mousepad and sandpapers. You also need a strop for convexing to get the final sharpness from the convexed edge. Youtube has convexing tutorials.

EDIT: You can do a convexed edge with a soft mousepad and sandpapers. You also need a strop for convexing to get the final sharpness from the convexed edge. Youtube has convexing tutorials.

I’ll agree with that except the sandpaper, with sandpaper the abrasive sheds like crazy. Wet and dry paper or Emery cloth works a lot better, lasts a lot longer and is available in a lot more grit sizes than sandpaper.
It might be the old common language that isn’t deal though, terminology differs from country to country.

Yes. I meant what you said. Not the common sandpaper but wet and dry paper (didnt know the english terminology for that) coarse for shaping the edge and fine for finishing. Basically the finer the better for finishing. Best way is to go through a variety from coarse to fine. Wont work properly if you use 80 grit paper and after that a 3k grit paper. Convexing takes time and patience.

If treated well it will hold an edge, but hardness is only one factor. With well treated budget steel like in Sanrenmu knives you will find that fine edge won’t last very long. This is why more expensive stainless steels like VG10 are popular. They are also harder to sharpen, but can cut for longer.

Convexing can take a while depending on what medium you use. I have convexed a 10” knife using only a leather strop and compound. Needless to say, it took me a long time! :bigsmile: It’s quicker using progressively finer grades of sandpaper or Micromesh on a substrate with some give, such as a mousepad.

Something you can try now if you don’t have these things is firmly stroking the edge of a blade on some denim or the back of a leather belt (or even paper) to restore a slightly dull edge. The angle will be slightly different but the more you do it (stropping) the more pronounced the convex will become.

True, the way I see it, if you put a scratch (sharpening) on something the only way to get rid of it is to remove all the material round it.

Once I’ve sharpened the edge with the Lansky I can usually get away with touching up the edge with diamond slip stones and stropping until I have an evening sharpening a few knives.

Micro edges,when I first got my Kershaw skyline 1760 it had mcfo edges that had the scary sharp that dug in but after skinning a deer with it its edges had folded over and dull so I re sharpened and lost micro edges so if I go over with say a medium stone and stropped it should work,my question is what kind of a compound do I use?as far as wet or dry paper I have 80,220,320,400,600,1000 & 2000 grit and a mouse pad but how do I keep a uniform angle?

Those grits are a little low. I’d start with 320 grit up to 2000 (I’m guessing it’s around 3-4 micron?) then you can use leather or denim. But I’m a little obsessive about microscopic striations. >.<

About maintaining an angle, just try to relax and don’t rush, concentrate on smooth, even strokes at the angle already set should be fine. I have reprofiled many of my knives to a more acute angle but I don’t think it is a necessary step. You will see results just convexing the factory grind.

Compounds vary in their abrasiveness. I use Starkie blue (“smurf poo”) which is really versatile so I’d recommend it if you can get it.

I doubt a cheap Chinese budget knife is 57-58. My Coast Mini-tac is supposedly 56-58 HRC but I work in an aerospace company with a certified testing lab. I put it on the hardness tester and only got 42 HRC out of it. It certainly doesn’t hold an edge like the Winchester fixed blade cheapy I have which stays sharp even after lots of abuse. My Mini-tac is dull after simply cutting open cardboard boxes and plastic straps at work.

Basically if it can’t hold an edge even after you sharpen it, regardless of angle, I doubt the authenticity of the hardness.

Do heat testing of say 2024-0 material to say a t-3 condition or 7075-0 to a t-6 condition?and then have to verify Rockwell ?

Have to agree with Chloe again. Starkie blue is the way to go. Lovely compound that one!

You can strop with cardboard too, but nothing will beat a good leather strop. If you cant find Starkie blue, you can use Autosol metal polishes. Granted that they wont work IMO nearly as good as Starkie blue but thats still better than nothing.

ps. Skinning a deer is really hard for your knifes edge. The hairs on the fur will deteriorate the edge really fast.

I have convexed a fillet knife. Needless to say that it was a bit tricky because of the flexing of the blade :slight_smile:

I use Solvol Autosol as well but with an old leather belt, anything abrasive can be used but a proper strop and compound are the way to go.

If a blade can shave hair it’s sharp…

An extra-fine ceramic stone will polish an edge and provide a sharp result. What you want to be careful of is not to bend the edge over during the final stages. If the edge is “bent” it will be sharp but may not cut well and be prone to rolling over.

As an alternative to a strop, a good final finishing tool is a polished steel (not the grooved type) or a glass rod…or the top edge of a pyrex casserole dish, again, being careful not to bend the micro bevel edge.

A steel needs to be used as an edge starts to dull; and before it is so damaged that the blade needs to be re-sharpened on a stone. Once you learn how to use a steel properly, you may not need to use a stone for a year…the only reason to use stones is to re-profile the edge or take out chips; but keep in mind that low quality Chinese steel with questionable heat-treat can be pretty hopeless with regard to accepting a very sharp edge or maintaining one during actual use.

About angles…

Just about any angle can be made to be sharp enough, but the cutting qualities of the blade will be different depending on the overall grind and the profile of the entire blade. The best cutters are thinner blades where the taper begins high on the blade near the spine. A hollow ground blade will be the best cutter/slicer, and may be perceived as the “sharpest” of the bunch. That’s not entirely accurate, but it will seem so during actual use.

Most blades, as they come from the factory, will come with a hollow ground final bevel. That’s because in production the factory quickly grinds the blade on a grinding wheel, so the final edge will be hollow or “concave”. A hollow ground edge provides the most aggressive cutting angle, but is more fragile.

Changing the angle of the edge, or evenly lightly sharpening a hollow ground edge on a stone will remove the factory hollow ground bevel and the knife may appear to be less sharp afterward, regardless of how steep the angle is…this is largely a matter of perception, however, and doesn’t really affect the cutting qualities of the blade during actual use for most purposes.

Unless you have a dedicated water cooled grinding wheel system it’s not practical to maintain a hollow ground edge for the average user; and unless your blades are high end, and very well made from very high quality steels, it’s not even close to being necessary to justify the extra effort.

A much more important factor is to have the capability to maintain a sharp working edge during periods of heavy use…in other words, buy a good steel or a pyrex dish or a strop.

If you can shave with your blade it’s sharp enough for most uses.

The blade with the coarse diamond stone @22° so it has groves in the edge then went over and over the blade with the ceramic hone also@ 22° then went very lightly with ultra fine (white) ceramic hone @30° to get rid of the folded edge and now it has some minor serrations in the edge with a SHARP.flat edge I took all day but I think I have what I was looking for (thanks Chloe for the heads up on serrations) now to see how it hold up .thank you also Topcat itsi ,and everyone else you all gave me great input and ideas I never knew about a strope until now which is now on my to get list along with compound. EDIT: I will try convexing the blade after this edge wears down but could you all tell me where could get some stropping compound ?Please understand that I am taking in all the information you all have given me and I don't think I know better than what you all have passed fo me I just want some different views and I will sooner or later everything you have mentioned.

A steel is one of the handiest tools to have in the kitchen…

10 seconds and even a dull knife is sharp.

I know that some folks can get real obsessed with this stuff because it’s entertaining, but the total process is like a 5 minute job max once you get the hang of it.

It also helps to keep in mind that whatever the choice of tool, that the finishing touches take such a feather light touch that it seems like nothing is being accomplished…but assumptions can be wrong.

A strop is handy, but if you have a pyrex dish you are good to go.

The goal is to end up with a sharp knife, not to make a career out of sharpening it.

It sounds like you are doing a good job so you should soon end up with a drawer full of sharp knives.

I get mine from knifemaker “Longstrider”. I can’t find any US-based sellers. Another option is jeweller’s rouge, although I have not used it myself.