In this video I show how to use the Ray-Way Sharpening Board and Stropping Board on the Ray-Way Knife to achieve the sharpest blade possible.
I shot the video in real time, without repeating takes, so you could see the actual process of sharpening a Ray-Way Knife to a "wicked" degree of sharpness. To make it real, there was no re-shooting and filling in of gaps. And I was very careful to show the specific details so you can emulate my techniques.
Learning to sharpen a Ray-Way Knife by following our Video is a great way to spend a quiet evening or weekend, learning to work with your hands and produce something not just extremely functional but truly spectacular.
A word of caution: As I have noted many times, sharpening a knife, or handling a sharp knife is potentially dangerous and must be done with the utmost care - and without distractions.
We have put a lot of work into producing the Sharpening Video, so please note that someone would be most unwise to pirate our work. For example, to show or loan this video to someone else. That would deprive us of a sale. If someone wants to see your copy, you might recommend they buy their own copy. That arrangement would keep us happy and enthusiastic about making more videos, books and kits
I coined the term "wicked sharp" and to my knowledge my system of sharpening is the first one that can produce a wicked sharp blade. Wicked sharp is a major step beyond razor sharp.
In the video I show you both razor sharp and wicked sharp, and leave the choice up to you. If you start with a new
Ray-Way Knife and follow my instructions, you are quite likely to produce a wicked sharp blade.
However, my technique involves a fair amount of flatwork practice - at least an hour - before you set out to sharpen the blade in earnest. In the video I describe what flatwork is, and show you how to proceed.
Razor sharp is something that you could use to shave with. Wicked sharp is a major step beyond razor sharp, and will not slide across your skin. Wicked sharp will not slide; it digs. Suffice it to say that having something this sharp around the house could be dangerous - to anyone who might pick up the knife without realizing it's degree of sharpness. The technique only works with the Ray-Way Knife, and if you choose to make your knife blade this sharp, you first must learn how to handle it. Most methods people use to test for sharpness can result in self inflicted injury, even among experts.
I can think of many instances were a wicked sharp knife would be dangerous. For example, I would not have a wicked sharp knife in our kitchen drawer. But a razor sharp knife is very handy in the kitchen for food preparation, and for carving wood and so forth.
Our Sharpening video covers only the sharpening of the Ray-Way Knife. I did not have room for the other subjects, including sharpening other types of knives and sharpening scissors. You can use your Ray-Way Sharpening Kit to sharpen any of these items. However, it is not possible, that I know of, to sharpen a non-Ray-Way knife or scissors to a wicked degree of sharpness. That can only be done with a Ray-Way knife, as shown in the video.
Our Sharpening Kit comes with three different grits of wet-&-dry, (course, medium, and fine) but in the video I used only the fine grit to sharpen a new ray-way knife to wicked sharpness. On a well-worn ray-way knife, I might use the medium, or even the course depending on how worn the cutting edge has become. But note that I always use my sharpening technique, so that the angle and the precise flatness of the bevel is not altered. This insures that I can always use my sharpening technique on that knife.
Now, suppose I have a ray-way knife, or some other knife, that someone else has sharpened using some other method. In most cases I will be able to bring the edge back to razor sharpness, but not wicked sharpness, at least not reliably. Other sharpening methods change the angle and flatness of the blade's bevel; and once changed, the flatness of the bevel is very difficult to get back.
I like to sharpen my Ray-Way knives to the wicked degree of sharpness, then get to work carving - for example making fireboards and spindles for starting primitive fires. I don't shave my face; but if I did, I would use a safety razor, not a knife. You can strop a straight razor with our kit, but please don't try to shave with a knife. It might be safe in the hands of a professional barber, but otherwise forget it.
As with all our kits, these projects are very gratifying, but they are not instant gratification. For something to be gratifying, you have to put in your time. And the good news is, this is quality time - like sewing a quilt, or making a knife and sheath.
Note: If you have already made a Ray-Way Knife but have sharpened it with some other method, be advised that our system will produce a razor-sharp knife, but certainly not a wicked sharp one. If you want to try sharping to wicked sharpness, you must start with a new ray-Way knife.
Whether you strive to create a wicked or a razor sharpness, this project is a great way to develop the skills of sharpening knives and other cutting tools around the home and shop. And once mastered, these skills will stay with you for the rest of your life.