Fixed Blade Drop

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Flushed v. Recommended Angle Knife Sharpening?

I recently bought a Peter Janda Fin Fixed Blade Drop Point Ka-Bar Tactical Knife. The sharpening edge is 20 degrees, but when I usually sharpen knives I just start at the angle where the blade edge is flushed on the stone. But with this blade, it flushes at about a 5-7 degree angle that is far short of the manufacturer recommended angle. But when I increase the angle to 20 it just seems far to broad of an angle for the knife. I don't know too much about sharpening blades, I just get by. Any recommendations? I want to make sure I get the perfect angle, because it is a D2 and without the right angle it will take much longer to sharpen, and could damage the blade. I appreciate the help.

So, there are a couple of different issues here. First, you are correct to sharpen at the angle where the edge is flushed to the stone. That actually sharpens the knife, any other angle either damages the edge by creating a secondary edge bevel making the knife cut worse, or it sharpens on the "shoulder" of the edge grind which essentially does nothing.

Now, regarding the actual angles involved in the blade. So, if I understand you, what you were expecting is a knife where - if I were looking at the edge from the point, the total included angle from one side to the other would be 40 degrees - 20 on each side. That is pretty normal.

I'm a little confused though about what you actually have - is the total included angle 5 degrees less on either side? Meaning a total included angle of 30 degrees? That is pretty narrow - but that isn't all bad. D2 is a very high performance steel so the edge is going to be tougher than you might expect even at that angle, but it will certainly chip out of you put too much lateral force on it. However, it is going to cut through soft tissue, cardboard and whatever like it is going out of style. Thinner edges cut better.

Or is it that the angle is wider - meaning an additional 5 degrees on each side so the total included angle is 50 degrees? If it is that, you will be able to get it sharp - but it still won't slice that efficiently. However, for hacking, chopping or other types of hard cutting it will hold up better and not chip out. If that is the case you can take it to about any knife maker and have them thin it out for you.

Or you can buy something like a Lansky kit with an fixed angle bracket for your knife and then just keep working on the shoulder until you move enough material to have reprofiled the edge. It is a pain, and you are going to want a diamond encrusted stone to deal with how hard D2 is, but it certainly can and is done pretty routinely.

Thinkingblade

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