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Thread: Sharpening Stones-Oil,Water or Dry?

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    Default Sharpening Stones-Oil,Water or Dry?

    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.
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    Elder Super Moderator GreyOne's Avatar
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    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/L...ansky-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.
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    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
    Last edited by statikpunk; 05-11-2011 at 05:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyOne View Post

    Look here: <http://www.bushcraftoutfitters.com/L...ansky-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.

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    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/wrangler...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.

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    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) .
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    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.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xj35s View Post
    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.

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    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

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