HOW TO SHARPEN A TANTO KNIFE
Tanto blades. Theyíre as functional and as cool as any blade on the market. Tanto blades are great because they sport two cutting edges at different and the blade shape supports a very strong point. They can be found in all kinds of cutlery, from automatic folders to fixed blades and swords.
Sharpening a tanto knife is a lot like sharpening any other blade. The idea behind blade sharpening is to remove steel from both sides of the blade to create a finer edge. The method behind sharpening a tanto knife is to sharpen both edges separately, taking great care with the secondary point between the cutting edges. Oversharpening this point can lead to it being rounded off, and believe us, thatís not something anybody wants.
If you finish sharpening a tanto blade and want to see how to strop a knife or other sharpening life hacks, check out our guide on How to Sharpen and Strop a Knife.
Free Hand Sharpening Methods
Free hand sharpening is as old as time (well, pretty much) and is enjoyed by many knife enthusiasts. It can be both therapeutic and frustrating, but thatís why weíre here to help.
There are three types of free hand sharpening stones: dry (used with no liquid), wet (use a honing or mineral oil), and water (use with water). Some popular sharpening stones are Spyderco Double Stuff Ceramic Stones, Hard Arkansas Pocket Oil Stone, and the Lansky Puck.
Many stones sport both a fine side and a coarse side. You may need to use more than one stone to finish to a finer cutting edge. Start with coarse stones for duller knives. Work your way to fine stones to finish them.
Guided Sharpening Methods
Guided methods are great for those that want to take some of the guesswork out of free hand sharpening.
Spyderco Sharpmaker - The Spyderco Sharpmaker is an amazing guided sharpening system that can be used with countless blade styles. It features base slots for a 30 degree angle and a 40 degree angle.
The Sharpmaker takes some practice to use with tanto blades, but it is a very powerful sharpener when used correctly.
Wicked Edge - The Wicked Edge is extremely easy to use when set up and allows easy forming of hair shaving edges.
Things to keep in mind: Do not roll over the secondary point or it will round it off. Treat each cutting edge separately and work the stones so that they go straight up and down on the edges.
Powered Sharpening Methods
Welcome to the big leagues of sharpening. Use care when using powered sharpeners as you do not want to get the blade too hot. This can mess with the heat treat of the steel and make blades more brittle.
Darex Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener - The Work Sharp comes with different grits of belts ranging from coarse to fine.
This instructional video doesnít show a tanto blade in particular, but it will help set up your knife and give you an idea of how it works.