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Sharpeners

Benefits of a Combination
Diamond / Ceramic Whetstone

A combination diamond / ceramic whetstone, such as the Fallkniven DC3 and DC4, is a great tool for all your knife sharpening needs on the move.

The diamond side of the whetstone is great for working on a dull blade, and the ceramic side can be used to finish it with an incredibly sharp edge. If a blade is already sharp, the ceramic side can used to perfect it to a razor-sharp cutting edge. Having both surfaces on a single whetstone makes for a very versatile and effective piece of kit, and is highly recommended.

One of the factors to consider when looking at whetstones is the grit. Grit specifies the mesh used to separate the abrasive particles, but different countries use different standards and they don’t compare easily. The diamond side of the Fallkniven whetstones is 25 microns, or 600 grit, depending on your preferred standard. The ceramic side is made up of incredibly small industrial sapphires, producing a super-fine surface. There is a careful balance here, as if the surface is too fine it won’t remove any metal and simply won’t work. Synthetic sapphires produce a uniquely tough surface which will sharpen any steel, including extremely hard powder steels like most Fallkniven knives.

Lubrication isn’t needed when using these whetstones, but it’s advisable to clean them with warm water and liquid soap occasionally to keep them in prime condition. At first they can appear surprisingly coarse, but with use they soon become much smoother.

The technique for sharpening a knife with a whetstone takes some practise, but is easy to learn. Start by laying the blade flat on the whetstone, then raise the ridge of the blade by its own thickness and move the blade in circles or figures of eight. It can be difficult to see where the edge of the whetstone is working, and the felt-pen trick is the solution. Colour the edge with a felt-tip pen or similar, and it’s instantly easier to see exactly where the sharpening occurs. A great way to test the sharpness is to draw the blade very lightly on the edge of a fingernail. Done carefully this is a safe way to tell if the sharpening is complete.

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