Knife Care 101 – Sharpening vs Honing

Originally posted elsewhere on August 2014

On this episode of “You don’t know what you are talking about.” I want to discuss something I’ve heard people have talked about incorrectly in the knife world.

For those of you that may not know I was trained by a professional knife sharpener when I was around 12 years old. From that moment on I’ve gobbled up whatever information I could on keeping knives sharp and happy.

Now I have listened to people talk about their knives over the years. Recently I’ve spoken to people about various forms of care for various types of blades. I’ve found, especially in the local BDSM community, a misconception of honing vs sharpening. I even had someone tell me once “I prefer a strop to a sharpening stone.” So allow me a moment to type down some basic ideas here. Not going to go into technical stuff or what not. Just going to talk about concepts

Sharpening – Sharpening a knife is actually removing tiny strips or pieces of metal from your knife. It brings that edge back to life. It restores it. Makes it that oh so deadly we all love. If you do not do it correctly you will ruin your blade.

Some of the tools of the sharpening world are, grinding wheels, files, whet stones, bench stones, Japanese water stones, fine grit sand paper (upwards in the 1500 + range), etc.

With sharpening the more coarse the stone the more metal that is stripped away. The finer the stone the less metal and obvious as the name goes the finer the edge you put on the blade.

Honing – Honing is basically realigning your already sharpened blade. As you use a knife, be it a kitchen knife or a hunting knife, the edge will curl to one side or other. Honing encourages that edge back in its proper place. It straightens it. Honing also removes any microscopic burrs that are left behind in the sharpening process. It smooths the blade. Think of it as the “lotion” for the blade (it puts the lotion on the skin).

Some honing tools you’ll find are pieces of leather, strops, honing rods both ceramic and steel (these you often see in knife block sets), compounds to rub into your leathers or strops, etc.

Now with honing rods it is always better to not get the really low-end ones or it can really mess up your knives.

So there you have it children. Sharpening is not Honing and Honing is not Sharpening. They are completely different elements in caring for your lovely edged friend.

Knife Care 101 – Sharpening vs Honing

Just a ramble about working through current events

I realize lately that I’ve been failing at mindfulness. I have been tripping over trip wires and bramble vines of my own mind.  I’ve been bouncing off of the same wall over and over again for weeks. Honestly I’m not sure why I’m having so much difficulty with this.

You see I had gotten very well versed in just being aware of all the insanity that hops and skips around the fields of blooming bones and bleached roses.  I was able to catch each fluttering thing, be it positive or negative, and examine it’s delicate wings before letting it go completely. That hasn’t been the case the last few weeks.

No I trip and stumble while trying to catch things. I fall into cesspools which ilk simply won’t scrub off. It just transfers from spot to spot and I get distracted with scrubbing at it in maddening OCD cycle. This makes me miss the real issue as it flutters by.

I’ve made some progress since starting this blog. I’ve been able to start cleansing some of the ilk off. This has allowed me to snatch up the slower moving issues, examine them, accept them, and let them go.  But restoring the balance has been way too slow for me.

I know I should not be so hard on myself. I know that forcing mindfulness is completely against what it is. It’s reminding myself that these forceful moments are counter productive to what I am trying to restore. So I will keep working on them and I will be successful.

Another thing I’m having issue with lately that I’ve realized more this morning are things people are saying to me. They are saying “You deserve to be happy.” “I want you to be happy.” “You deserve whatever you want.”  and many variations of these things.

The simplest of these to deal with is the “You deserve whatever you want.” Really I do not. If I did my mind would not have find it in the current state of flux that it finds itself in. Just as simple as that. If my wants = what I deserve balance would have never been upset. So every time I hear this it makes my eye twitch.

Happiness…. That is something that is never my goal. So many people believe that happiness is the be all end all goal. No. Happiness comes and goes so easily. It’s just another state of ordered chaos. What I want again is balance. I want to have contentment again and I want the simple satisfaction to be able to sit still again in silence without any thing necessary to keep me focused. I do not deserve happiness because no one deserves happiness. Everyone deserves the right to pursue it but to expect you will always be happy is a thing of failure.

Anyway, off to do go work on some folding and sewing. Do check out my About section on the side bar, it may change from time to time. Feel free to dance around my blog. The topics are always changing here and you might find things you like. As always thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read anything I jot down here.

Just a ramble about working through current events