Knife noob needing advice

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Dirty Larry, Nov 10, 2018 at 5:02 PM.

  1. Dirty Larry

    Dirty Larry Tinder Gatherer

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    So I'm new to bushcraft and (serious)knife-use. I took the first step and purchased a Mora Bushcraft Black(I hope it wasn't a bad decision) and two DMT Dia-Sharp credit card size sharpening stone(600 mesh and 1200 mesh). I've never really sharpened a knife before other than using some cheapo pull through with ceramic rods on some random kitchen knives.

    I've watched videos on techniques and think I might have an idea of how to do it but wanted to confirm with the pro's(you guys ;) ). So, right out of the box do I go for the 600 mesh and go to town for a bit on both sides and then go for the 1200 or not? I assume based on what I've seen that I lay the bevel flat on the stone and work it either back and forth or simply stroke forehand/backhand.

    All advice is welcome! Really wanting to get serious about bushcraft this next year and hike/camp etc.
     
  2. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael

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    Mora's come laser sharp so all you should need for normal maintenance is sandpaper and a a piece of leather for a strop. Sharpeners are really only necessary if you put large nicks in your blade.

    As for using 600 or 1200, that would depend on how bad the damage to your edge is. The lower the number, the more material it takes off.
     
  3. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Scout

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    IMO, any Mora is a solid choice.
     
  4. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    THE best advise I can give is to blacken the edge with a Sharpie, and practice strokes on the inside of a cereal/cracker box, and watch where black rubs off, and meanwhile will be removing a factory burr to edge, which you will feel.

    Once confident of that, you can lay 600-2000 grit (depending on damage) sand paper from automotive paint section of WalMart/Autozone/etc) on same surface and work the knife, to include the burr on cardboard or leather.

    Then, buy whatever nice stuff you feel you need. Practice first duplicating what is there, and then move on to changing styles and angles.

    A can of "moveable" spray auto interior adhesive lets you spritz back of sand paper and stick on a piece of cereal box to lay on even your cutting board.

    It does NOT need be fancy or expensive. Light strokes, full flat on primary with paper NOT glued down will convex the edge, while paper stuck in place on hard surface will duplicate a flat stone, for maintaining the normally desired secondary for tougher edge.

    Have fun learning and experimenting.

    BIG PS to above advise....before using ANY abrasive on dinged up edge, use any handy piece of smooth steel, brass, whatever, stiff enough to stroke edge and straighten burrs you will feel..

    a screwdriver shank, whatever..

    it may not need sharpening at all, perhaps only stroking on the cereal box, after you do that, and will certainly save metal being ground away without need, prolonging the life of your knife. How? because metal on edge bent or crushed to one side, will be the first to contact the stone/paper/etc, will be ground away, leaving a divot, and then you must grind down REST of blade to level with lowest point. Steel the edge first to remove all perceptible hitches in the edge, which will be quite obvious.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018 at 5:51 PM
  5. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    I started off with the same knife. They come sharp, so you just need to maintain the edge. The scandi grind will make the proper bevel easy. Just make sure you don't rotate the blade at the end of the stroke.
     
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  6. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    Your Mora, good choice, will most likely arrive sharp. With the possibility of visible grind marks on the bevels. However the edge should be smooth, straight, and centered.

    Regarding sharpening, think of sharpening as hand grinding, and as such, you're removing a lot of steel from your knife. There is a time to sharpen, or grind, the knife.

    Instead of grinding your knife away, frequently consider a few light passes of a strop or hone to maintain the very edge itself.
     
  7. Walking Crow

    Walking Crow Supporter Supporter

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    You picked a good knife. It will meet most if not all of your needs.

    As for sharpening, your Mora can be honed many times before it needs to be sharpened. If you are not familiar with that term, it is basically polishing and or realigning the edge a bit. Leather strops (which will slightly convex the very edge...not a bad thing), a sharpening steel, or a hard stone, (ragweedforge.com "Viking" whetstone, black Arkansas, etc), will accomplish that. Just lift the back edge of the knife ever so slightly.

    When it is time to remove some material in an actual "sharpening" or nick removal, try the 1200 first. If a nick is really noticeable (a bit more common on Mora's laminated blades in my experience), the 600 will be the place to start. Take your time. Light pressure. Keep track of where the blade is moving in relation to all of your body parts, especially if you try to hand-hold the credit card sized sharpeners.
     
  8. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    Some of the best, common sense advice I've seen. I especially like the advice on "healing" a rolled edge. Stuff like this is what makes BCUSA so unique as well as useful.
     
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  9. Dirty Larry

    Dirty Larry Tinder Gatherer

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    Really appreciate the input, guys! Sounds like maintenance is the order of the day :)
     
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  10. Muskett

    Muskett Scout

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    The Mora wasn't break the bank cost, so go for it.
    All maintenance and sharpening is is taking material off with an abrasive. We all strive to keep that new knife shape and angle so its as sharp as when knew. How much we take off depends on the damage. How like the original just takes some application and practice.

    For every full sharpen then its dozens of light realignments. Full sharpen is really to remove really deep damage or wear.

    Use a knife and its edge is going to get some damage, goes with the territory as no steel is that hard. Softer steels edges tend to fold, and harder chip. Most normal use its tiny so a strop, a light wipe down a steel or extra fine ceramic rod, or fine grit auto paper over on a card or mousemat, will sort that out. Loads of ways to get there.
    Eventually all those quick little maintenance realignment sharpens add up. Thats then time for a full sharpen.
    A deep full sharpen gets rid of much more material, down so all damage is gone and the edge back to factory keen. Its requires some courser grits, 600 then 1200. Loads of ways to remove more material, but too fine a grit just takes an age which is why to go through the grits from course to fine. The trick here is to get that edge profile like the original which might mean taking the back of the edge down as well as keep the angle to the edge. Often done by first using a very flat angle to start and then finish at the usual angle (often blended together when final stropped).

    At the end of the day can you keep the edge sharp enough? The better you get the more even your edge will look, and look the same each side. Some people are really good. Most of mine are just sharp enough. I'm right handed so most of mine after a while aren't it seems perfectly even both sides. The fancier the knife the more time I put to it, but work knives its tough as it going to need some maintenance again soon enough.

    Anyhow, you have a good knife in the Mora and perfect to start learning how to sharpen on. For all the voodoo its not difficult and anyone can get good at it. You will have every knife in the house stupid sharp in no time; do warn everyone in the house as most households aren't used to sharp knives. Have some band aids ready.
    Lastly, DMT's are very good.
     
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  11. Robert Y

    Robert Y Tracker

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    I have had better success using a metal hone and leather strap with my Mora. Very light pressure, alternating strokes on the hone will have it shaving sharp very quickly. I would not put it on a stone for a while. I don't think 1200 is fine enough to get factory sharp.
     
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  12. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    Some folk cut into the stone as if slicing stone, while I drag backwards....
    Most folk tend to lift handle too much at end of stroke.when dragging, and end up flat spotting tip on both sides, seriously weakening it.
    On a Mora, start with the tip, and you will avoid most of that tendency.
    To be clearer on my own post, the knife has a very deep primary flat grind, with a dinky secondary edge applied....most sharpening will involve only the dinky edge, unless you wish to lay primary on stone for a true flat razor edge, or lay same on looser sandpaper or paper atop something with give for a razor convex. Those razor edges dink quite readily with most common steels, and counterproductive for heavier use past razor edge needs.
    Just wanted mainly to cover any vagueness....as for anything you have on hand and want to practice with prior to metal removal, if surface is thoroughly degreased, you can slap tape on it, blacken the edge, and stroke with what you have to check and make sure hitting where intended, and then can pull the tape and ruin your knife (wink!)...
    Remember, everybody here screwed up or vandalized perfectly good stuff thru ignorance or pig headedness, at one time or another. Nobody was born an expert at anything.
     
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  13. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    The steeling thing is only as old as slaughterhouses and butcher shops and professional cooks....suprising how little it mentioned in all the modern armchair expert microwavicle surface finish crowd. Those butchers steels with the ridges are simply more efficient at grabbing those bent edges, than is a smooth steel...but a smooth hard surface can be a wonder at keeping you cutting, no matter what the surface. Save the rough stuff for when really needed.
     
  14. southron

    southron Guide

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    There are a lot of tricks and tips out there on using and sharpening and stropping your blade.

    The Mora's are all good knives, the one you have is very popular among people.

    One thing about using a knife, you might take some time to look at youtubes by folk like mor's kochanski (sic) and ray mears and others.

    There are various safety tips and ways to do what you want with the least risk of cutting yourself.

    I'd advise making a habit of keeping something like a shop rag or bandana in your pocket. It serves so many uses from holding something like wood shavings for a fire, berries you just gathered, to making a tourniquet or just slapping on a cut or scrape. Sopping sweat, etc.

    A lady I know; her husband works construction and he got a bad cut that hit the artery and tendons in his arm. Nearly took it plumb off a month or so ago.

    The fellow with him got the shop rag in his pocket around the arm and twisted the knot to make a tournequet and got the emt's there and he is on the mend. Said he would have bleed out but for that fellow. I think it galls him to be laid up though and it's pressing on his ladies heart hard.

    There are a lot of useful tips around the forums, and don't miss the bush class sub forums, a lot have videos of how to do this or that with a knife and even if you don't want to seek a bushclass tab for your bag or jacket, the knowledge is a great starting point.

    When your ready make a "try stick" and some trap triggers, then a spoon and a kuska cup etc.

    Never ending fun to work with.

    Over time you will probably get the bug for what ever is your grail knife, but the one you have will carry you for many years if that is all you have / choose to use.
     

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