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View Full Version : Sharpening Stones-Oil,Water or Dry?



DeriusT
05-11-2011, 02:42 AM
Now this may sound like a very new guy question to some, but I know people have differing opinions, and I would like a few on the subject. I just picked up a brand new Fiskar's "x15" 23.5" axe today. (pic below) First I would like your opinion on the fiskar's brand. I know it is not a whetterlings or a bruks, but from what I have heard this axe would be #3 if those were the top two. Is this accurate?

Second, I picked up a 6x2x3/4in. coarse/fine combo stone today for the axe, my other axe's knives, ect. The stone itself recommends honing oil. I know there are petroleum based oils, and water based oils. All I ever used sharpening in the past was either spit on the stone or give it a quick dip in whatever clean water was handy. Is this a viable method? It's what I was taught. Was I taught wrong? Will it harm the stone or blade being sharpened by not using oil? Is water better? Spit? You get the idea.

I want to do the right thing, the right way, as some of these tools we use in bushcrafting and outdoor living are very expensive, and I need the ones I have to last a lifetime, so I do not usually buy cheap stuff, and I can't afford to replace it. (you get what you pay for is always true) Anyway, please let me know what you think and why, and what your personal experiences, or methods are. Many thanks.

GreyOne
05-11-2011, 04:38 AM
I have a gerber version of the fiskars, and it was a disappointment in that the edge rolled badly on mesquite and oak branches. I reprofiled the edge with a file, and it is a bit better, but i still have little faith in the steel / heat treat on this particular specimen.

Look here: <http://www.bushcraftoutfitters.com/Lansky-The-Puck-Multi-purpose-Tool-Sharpener-lansky-puck.htm > .

For axe sharpening I use a puck such as this , and water, and a small bastard file.
The water vs. oil debate is like many others. In the end, what works for you is best. :)

I use a Norton multi stone set at home, with an oil bath, but for field work I find using water on a stone is more convenient and less messy to carry.

Water is usually available, and the small amount of oil I carry is reserved for the blades and guns.

statikpunk
05-11-2011, 05:08 AM
certain stones are made to be used with oil (arkensas stones),water (japanese waterstones), or dry (falkniven dc synthetic stones) if your stones instructions say to use oil then use oil, and so on.
that being said the point of the "liquids" is to be a floatant for the fine metal that comes off your knife. if you dont get them to float away your stone will load up with metal and not function properly. As long as your flushing those fine shavings away your stone is gonna work for you.
one thing to remember though is that if you have used oil on your stone previously then try not to use water on it, because the residual oil will keep the water from penetrating the pores of the stone and keep it from working properly. I have used all three stones that I listed above, they all do the the job, but my favorite is the falkniven dc4 synthetic stone. its designed to use dry (which is more convenient) and when it loads up with metal, a qwick swipe on the jeans cleans it off and your back in buisiness.

I have the same fiskars you do. (not a great axe but very good for its price point) generally I would say to get an axe puck, but these fiskars axes have a zero degree bevel (scandi grind for all intensive purposes) and while a puck used in a circular motion would work, I think a regular stone would serve you better. when you use a puck in a circualr motion it tends to make a bit of a convex edge which is good for most axes, but not good for the fiskars (which has an unconventinal grind for an axe), unless your wanting to gradualy reprofile the edge.

Skogkniv has some great axe sharpening vids on his youtube channel, they dont nesecarily apply to your axe, but are chock full of good info anyway.

hope that helped :) good luck with your new axe :4:

dragonjimm
05-11-2011, 05:11 AM
Look here: <http://www.bushcraftoutfitters.com/Lansky-The-Puck-Multi-purpose-Tool-Sharpener-lansky-puck.htm > .

For axe sharpening I use a puck such as this , and water, and a small bastard file.

+1 thats the route i follow.

Mr. Tettnanger
05-11-2011, 05:11 AM
I have used oil for my stones on my Lansky sharpener. I just got a Lansky Puck and I may try Kerosene. I watched a video on YouTube from a Dude called Wranglerstar that suggested it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/wranglerstar#p/search/17/A6i91lKperY


You can skip to about minute five if you don't want to watch the whole thing. I suggest watching it though, it is rather interesting in my opinion.

Bush Otter
05-11-2011, 05:23 AM
Traditionally I have used what ever the manifactor recomends but have been seeing a lot of positive stuff on using the cleaning product Simply Green to clean and lubricate most stones (I don't know about water stones or Falkniven) .

Phaedrus
05-11-2011, 05:48 AM
Every stone, no matter the type, can be used with water instead of oil. In fact, that's preferable. But if the stone has ever been used with oil you've got your work cut out for you to get it clean. You can soak it in turpentine or kerosene, then rinse copiously in water.

For every application I find water stones to be superior to everything else. JMOHO, YMMV. The only other sharpening gear I use is DMT DiaSharps and a Kalamazoo belt grinder.

xj35s
05-11-2011, 06:39 AM
Grey one, I wonder if your Gerber was made in Finland? I have an X7 made in Finland it it has held a shaving edge so far. sliced paper right out of the plastic sheath...

I use a carborundum stone. I have been using it dry. It works faster. I hope it isn't ruining it. 3 strokes each side of my ontario or mora and it's back to shaving again.

64duracraft
05-11-2011, 06:44 AM
Grey one, I wonder if your Gerber was made in Finland? I have an X7 made in Finland it it has held a shaving edge so far. sliced paper right out of the plastic sheath...

I use a carborundum stone. I have been using it dry. It works faster. I hope it isn't ruining it. 3 strokes each side of my ontario or mora and it's back to shaving again.

I have the same. I was actually surprised how much I could mistreat it and still have an edge left. I use a DMT diafold on it, dry.

hootyhoo
05-11-2011, 07:48 AM
I have not had a Fiskars in years - but I had three of them. They were excellent axes in my opinion. Sharp when I got them, and stayed that way with care and a little sharpening now and then. You have likely got an axe that you can do some serious work with. I liked em a lot.

I sharpen both my Wetterlings with sandpaper and a mouse pad. Then I strop the crap out of it until it shines. I am careful with my axes (see note 1)and have not nicked the edge on one in a long time so sharpening is not that hard for me.

Note 1 -When I say careful with my axe that does include when I chopped my knee recently - in this context it did not hurt the axe. And the skin on my knee closed up nicely, I might add. hahaha

br79
05-11-2011, 08:37 AM
I only use water on my stones, like Phaedrus said, any stone taht says use oil can be used w/ water. Only thing is if you ever use oil on it then you pretty much have to keep using oil, that whole oil and water don't mix thing is true. ;-)

I've never had a Fiskers axe but a buddy of mine (great guy but not the sharpest) actually split his Fiskers axe head chopping a frozen log, I wasn't there so I don't know exactly what happend but I saw the broken head.

Trekon86
05-11-2011, 09:13 AM
Waterstones you only use water on, Arkansas you can use either spit, water, or oil on, and carborundum stones I've always used without lube. Not sure if that's correct, but it's always what I've done.

I want to see if I can remove the residual oils from my Arkansas stones using my cousin's dishwasher. Might work, might not.

Anybody have pointers on the setting to run it on? Problem is, my bigger Ark. stone has a wooden base attached, probably with glue. I can always replace or reglue the base, but...any pointers?
PMZ

Swissarmy
05-11-2011, 09:41 AM
I cut my teeth on Norton combo stones, and all I ever used was spit.
I used WD40 to clean them up when they got clogged.

These days, I usually use my EZE-Lap combo stone dry.
But, I've found that adding a little water helps in final polish by creating somewhat of a slurry.
I don't think I'd ever add oil to my Diamond stones.

solocanoe
05-11-2011, 10:01 AM
decades with the same Arkansas stone my g-pa gave me
he taught me to spit on it - so that's what I've always done.

I got a new DC-4 stone combo recently - it's to be used dry.

Lansky set comes with oil - so I've used it - seems to work.

99% of my experience is the Arkansas stone and just some spit though.

Ratty1
05-11-2011, 10:06 AM
Waterstones you only use water on, Arkansas you can use either spit, water, or oil on, and carborundum stones I've always used without lube. Not sure if that's correct, but it's always what I've done.

I want to see if I can remove the residual oils from my Arkansas stones using my cousin's dishwasher. Might work, might not.

Anybody have pointers on the setting to run it on? Problem is, my bigger Ark. stone has a wooden base attached, probably with glue. I can always replace or reglue the base, but...any pointers?
PMZ

I've tried it several times and it worked somewhat. The problem lies in that the soap and water has a hard time penetrating the stone because of the oil. I like to take a bowl full of very hot water with a tiny amount of dish detergent to help unclog my stones. It takes quite a while and some work but it doesn't bother glues on the backers as much as the alternatives.

Hiwa
05-11-2011, 11:29 AM
I do a lot of sharpening and have many stones and set-ups. I use only water on everything but diamonds. My Japanese waterstones get a lot of water when using them , to build a slurry. Oilstones and such I use dry , but wash them when they get built up with comet and water ( Norton oilstones that is) Same goes for ceramics , including the DC4.
If it's an old oilstone I had for years that was originally used with oil for a while, I just wipe it down with WD-40. Soaking it in some laquer thinner ( read safety stuff) does wonders for de-greasing them.

BTW, the DC4 glue is poor. Separate the diamond plate with a thin knife after running under hot water , clean the old glue off , and epoxy the thing back together. I have 7 of them and tried everything. Epoxy is the best. Just line it up and put a couple of spring clamps overnight. Hope that helps ya.

xj35s
05-11-2011, 11:49 AM
I only use Dawn dish soap. It has the most surfactants of any detergent. It's actually industrial grade and used in food plants and dairy barns. It will cut through the oil. Use warm water and an old tooth brush. It should come out looking like a brand new stone.

Unless you're lazy, then the dish washer will work too.:4::54:

DeriusT
05-11-2011, 01:56 PM
Thanks to everyone. My grandad just taught me to spit on 'em, and that's all I've ever done really. lol I used to have a lansky lawnmower blade sharpener. It was kind of oblong, about 8" long or so, great stone. Can't find them anywhere around here, hence the stone I did pick up. I think I am giong to stick with good old fashioned spit and water, that way no problems with the stone and no need to carry oil in the field.
(I usually just put a thin wipe of petroleum jelly on my knives and stuff when in the field for maintenance).

Trail Dust
05-11-2011, 02:27 PM
Second, I picked up a 6x2x3/4in. coarse/fine combo stone today for the axe, my other axe's knives, ect. The stone itself recommends honing oil. I know there are petroleum based oils, and water based oils. All I ever used sharpening in the past was either spit on the stone or give it a quick dip in whatever clean water was handy. Is this a viable method? It's what I was taught. Was I taught wrong? Will it harm the stone or blade being sharpened by not using oil? Is water better? Spit? You get the idea.

I also belong to a master woodworkers forum (a good woodshop is FILLED with cutting tools) and we seem to always have a thread going on stone oils, lubricants, cutting fluids and compounds, etc., etc. The subject seems to be exhaustive, apparently. :)

Our shop has stones of almost every size, shape, brand, type, purpose one can imagine (many were inherited). Water stones are my favorite for some things, abrasive papers, diamond, crystolon, Arkansas, India for others. The water stone manufacturers recommend 'water only' on their stones. Diamond stone manufacturers may recommend using anything from water to non-petroleum sharpening fluids...depending upon their business interests in some cases (look at Smith's, for example).

One of my favorite manufacturers of oil stones is Norton (I like their water stones, too). Of those, I use the fine and medium India stones the most often. One of my favorites for bench sharpening is a 12" fine India (a gift), and I even use the pocket-sized 4" fine India for some field sharpening or touch-up.

Just when I think that I have tried every type of sharpening fluid or oil out there, someone comes up with something new that I have never heard of before. Not necessarily "better" in most cases, but just "new." From experience, I have learned to be cautious with "new" but I dearly love to experiment. :)

Back to the Norton oil stones: Over the years, I have tried everything from kerosene (pure or mixed with clean motor oil), mineral or baby oil (baby oil has mineral oil in it), water, most brands of commercially available sharpening fluids (many have mineral oil in them), and a few other things that don't come to mind right now. I have pretty much settled on the quality Norton brand of stone oil on my larger stones (I purchase it in bulk), and Green Works Glass & Surface Cleaner on my stones smaller than 10". For the curious; the Clorox owned Green Works Glass & Surface Cleaner is 96% naturally derived and has kept my stones absolutely clean and me healthy. NEVER an issue with the stones loading up. I avoid the Kerosene, WD-40's, the ilk these days for health reasons.

Though I use diamond stones/rods most often in the outdoors during extended stays, when I decide to take my pocket-sized Nortons, I use only water on these. BTW, I use NO oil on my coarse stones. If I need a flush on these, I use water. Occasionally the coarse stones will get boiled out with some detergent water.

http://imageshack.us/m/17/4449/oilstones1.jpg

Bush Otter
05-11-2011, 05:44 PM
I do a lot of sharpening and have many stones and set-ups. I use only water on everything but diamonds. My Japanese waterstones get a lot of water when using them , to build a slurry. Oilstones and such I use dry , but wash them when they get built up with comet and water ( Norton oilstones that is) Same goes for ceramics , including the DC4.
If it's an old oilstone I had for years that was originally used with oil for a while, I just wipe it down with WD-40. Soaking it in some laquer thinner ( read safety stuff) does wonders for de-greasing them.

BTW, the DC4 glue is poor. Separate the diamond plate with a thin knife after running under hot water , clean the old glue off , and epoxy the thing back together. I have 7 of them and tried everything. Epoxy is the best. Just line it up and put a couple of spring clamps overnight. Hope that helps ya.

Afellow posted on another thread that Falkniven made the stones withthat type of glue so you could flip the ceramis when it gets worn the glue as you like.

Two Bears
05-11-2011, 06:19 PM
I only use diamond and dry on all of my stuff. I have 3 Different sizes of the Gerber axes and I like all of them. I have not had any problems with them at all. Either Fiskars owns Gerber or Gerber owns Fiskars, I don't remember but there the same company.

Swissarmy
05-11-2011, 06:25 PM
Either Fiskars owns Gerber or Gerber owns Fiskars, I don't remember but there the same company.

Not to sound like "a know it all" (which I'm most certainly not), but I was just involved in that subject yesterday. Fiskars bought the Gerber company in 1988.
Just though I'd share, sorry for going off topic.

briarbrow
05-11-2011, 08:38 PM
Waterstones you only use water on, Arkansas you can use either spit, water, or oil on, and carborundum stones I've always used without lube. Not sure if that's correct, but it's always what I've done.

I want to see if I can remove the residual oils from my Arkansas stones using my cousin's dishwasher. Might work, might not.

Anybody have pointers on the setting to run it on? Problem is, my bigger Ark. stone has a wooden base attached, probably with glue. I can always replace or reglue the base, but...any pointers?
PMZ

Oven cleaner and soapy lapping will get a oil stone ready for water but old foggies learned from doing; having been one who's used water 'cause it's not so messy... oil stones really do better with oil.

oven cleaner and a full lapping will make filthy oil stone ready for oil too;)

If any one thing were perfect it'd take over the sharpening world, but each has pro and con likie everything obviously/

Go to> for me is ceramic waterstone. they need to be lapped....

you're asking about an axe it's possible to do well enough with a lone single cut bastard file. Add a second or third file with discretion and you can make some fancy fine edges; after you learn how to file all the different way s to file.

I have a couple old India oil stones that cut like the dickens and seem fine grit. I don't know if they match any Nortons made today. Look in the scrap heaps first-no telling what's lost. Then you have something to compare more expensive stuff to if nothing else you loose a buck or two each,:)

If you are patient with an 8 inch stone you can make a 2x3 and 6 x 3 or whatever x 2 or 2,5 or 4... cut off a puck or use as full length.....

i just dont get how any steel edged tool user can get by without sharpening or why anyone would want to try and get by without a basic set of hones. I cut metal with hand tools. I f I want to remove a lot I use a 16 inch double cut file if just a tiny amount a 16, 000 grit natural stone. a way of life that needs a sharp steel edge is a way of life that requires sharpening

there is not fits all bullet you just have to live and have stuff that needs cutting ;it'll come to you as needed. so get something and get busy. it's all the same in the end sharpening shovels or shaving

Trekon86
05-11-2011, 08:43 PM
Briarbrow, do you use water or oil or anything on carborundum stones?
PMZ

briarbrow
05-11-2011, 09:41 PM
carbos like the two sided versions common from hdw, stores to day. or an old style vitrified carbo; or am i just trying to confuse the issue????

I am not sure exactly. I have had some old razor hones that were carborundum, I believe- couldn't be hurt
oil or water acting more like novaculite. But add water to "carborundum" from the hardware store and they mush(when I had one i was an oil hater did not oil in other words)..... Most of these are more coarse than what I'd use or choose, which would be diamond for coarse work.

I'd think you'd be better off with Norton India stone for 12, 20 $ whatever they cost than $2 carborundum stone from ACE

But I need a sharp edge every single day, to cook, to plane etc.

I'd say best money spent would be 1k Shapton Professional waterstone if you can still get one. IDK... they have been pushing the glass bottom maybe because the noncomposites warp... maybe all brands do. Synthetics need to be lapped(!?). it's easy and makes little difference to the lifespan if done minimally at each use.

Jeffro
05-11-2011, 09:46 PM
I started using Simple Green after reading about it on this website and have used nothing else since. It is the stuff superheros are made of.