Sharpening a Stainless Steel Pocket Knife

2009 July 17

Question from William:

I keep my pocket knives “shaving sharp” by using a diamond flat sharpener, then use leather and cloth buffer. This is for carbon steel knives. However, I have been buying stainless steel pocket knives and having difficulty getting a “shaving sharp” edge on them. What is the best and quickest way to put a sharp edge to a stainless steel pocket knife?

Expert Answer from President, Richard Smith


It sounds like your sharpening method works and I would recommend that you stick with the process that you are having success with. The one thing about SS blades compared to carbon steel knives is the difference in hardness and the makeup of the steel, which makes sharpening stainless a lot harder than the softer carbon steel. You might check the angle that you are sharpening the edge, sometimes this can help. A flatter edge always gives you a sharper edge, but your edge retention doesn’t last as long.

Also, I might recommend that you try going to a flat ceramic stone after your diamond stone, which on harder steel I find works great.

Good luck and “keep it Sharp”!

Best Regards,
Richard S. Smith

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