The knife edge. How to SHARPEN KNIVES
Knife edge out of the box
Most of the time when you buy a knife from a big box store weather it is a hunting knife or kitchen knife you get a factory made edge.
For many this means the knife is either dull right out of the package or the edge doesn't last very long and the knife ends up in your kitchen drawer or in your collection of lost hunting knives that you just don't want to carry.
Many factors come into play when getting a new knife that doesn't hold an edge or you just cant get sharp. I list some below.
1. stainless steel knives vs carbon steel. I lean toward carbon steel every time, but I have a bias because I forge all my knives from 1095 high carbon steel. If you are familiar with carbon steel then you know what I mean. This being said carbon steel does take a better edge on almost any type sharpening stone and will stay sharp longer, than stainless. Stainless while it wont patina is harder to re-sharpen when you have to and if you do I would recommend a diamond stone.
2. The edge put on the knife in the factory is either ground to wide, is ground uneven, Is a rough ground edge,or just is simply made cheaply.
3. The hardness and tempering in the steel. Several factors can come into play here. One being type of steel and the way the factory hardened and tempered the knife. If the knife wasn't heat treated properly you can find your knife getting dull quickly, or very hard to sharpen.
Being a custom knife maker and hand forging each blade I use traditional hardening methods and each blade is done individually, most large factories or mass production don't do this. Also as I mentioned above carbon steel knives are easier to sharpen and will hold and edge much longer. For a good sharpening tutorial I posted links to some of my videos below.