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How To Sharpen Your Wood Carving Knives

Frosts Mora offers this information for the best way to sharpen your wood carving knives.

*Thanks to the Frosts/Mora company of Sweden for the following information*

To achieve the best working results from your knife, the most important thing is knowing how to properly sharpen and maintain the knife edge. Of major importance in this task is your choice of knife sharpener. There are many different types available in today's market, three of which we recommend as most suitable for woodcarving knives:

Diamond Sharpener: We recommend a flat model, at least 50 millimeters long ,which enables a good grip and has sufficient space for the sharpening motions. The advantages of diamond sharpeners are that they allow quick removal of knife steel and, therefore, can be used on quite worn and/or blunt edged knives if you do not have a grinding wheel available.

Do note, however, that a diamond sharpener does produce a raw edge and that a finished knife edge cannot be produced, unless the edge is subsequently honed using a finer stone to produce an optimum even and sharp edge. Diamond sharpeners are used dry and can be cleaned using some type of spirits should the grinding surface become clogged.

Arkansas Wet Stone: This works especially well to polish a raw or somewhat blunt knife edge. A pear shaped stone is the most suitable since it can also be used for sharpening wood turning tools and other curved radius edged tools. A grinding oil should be used.

Japanese Water Stone: This does a very nice job of polishing the knife edge and is used soaked in water, producing a fine paste which gives a high polish. The Japanese sharpeners are fairly soft and can wear unevenly, however, this can be corrected by subsequently using a diamond sharpener together with water. Choose a Japanese sharpener with a grain size of 6-8,000.

Sharpening and honing of woodcarving knives should always be done along the whole length of the knife blade without putting an extra angle on top of the edge as is necessary for hunting knives to prevent damage to the knife edge due to excessive strain during usage.

Such an extra angle on the edge of a woodcarving knife would cause deflection when cutting a wooden item. The wider cutting edge also provides support during cutting so that the knife works more like a traditional plane where the ground lower cutting edge of the blade is against the wooden surface much in the same way as the under side of a plane.

Mora Frosts Knife Sharpening

It is helpful to lay the whole cutting edge against the sharpener and at the same time press the upper side with your index finger to make sure that the whole edge is in contact with the sharpener. This method increases your ability to control that the tip does not cut into the sharpener but moves in a careful sliding movement along it during the sharpening/honing operations.

Mora Wood Working Knife

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