Should You Buy A Book About Knife Sharpening?
20-30 years ago this wouldn’t even be a question, but a lot has changed since then. Nowadays, all the information you desire is easily found on the internet with a quick google search. Concerning knife sharpening specifically, you can find tons of awesome resources all over the internet. Doing a quick search on YouTube for “knife sharpening” yields about 317,000 results alone, so there really is no shortage of information! However, it begs the question: how good is this information to begin with? Is it true and does it really work when put into practice? Unfortunately that’s not always the case.
Ever heard of the term garbage in garbage out? The meaning behind it is simple: If you start with garbage information, you’ll end with garbage results! Having said that, we should always look for good, reliable information so we get good, reliable results. Back to the question at hand, should you buy a knife sharpening book? Yes, and no. Keep reading!
Part 1: Yes, You Should!
Yes you should buy (or at least consider) a book on knife sharpening if and only if you’re 100% serious in learning and improving your skills.
If you’re someone who is passionate about knives and finds joy in sharpening them, yes you should!
If sharpening knives is your business and you’re looking to take it up a notch, yes you should!
If you’re an enthusiast who can’t get enough of knives and knife sharpening, yes you should!
If you’re any of the 3 above, the right book on knife sharpening (which i’ll talk about later) can help take your skills to the next level.
Part 2: No, You Shouldn’t Bother!
To some, sharpening a knife is more of a chore than it is an art. It’s something that needs to get done, rather than enjoyed being done. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this by the way.
If you’re someone who utterly dislikes sharpening, don’t bother!
If you’re happy with your current sharpening results, don’t bother!
If you just wanna get your darn knives sharp, don’t bother!
Interesting fact: you don’t need to know squat about sharpening a knife to actually get your knife sharp. Sounds blasphemous right? No it isn’t. There’s this thing called an electric knife sharpener, and it kinda does all the work for you. Here’s a complete review on my favorite electric sharpener. Check it out if you wish. If you don’t care for electric sharpeners, there’s another alternative: consider sending your knives out to reputable professional sharpening services.
A Glimpse Of The Best Knife Sharpening Book!
Did you fall under part 1 or 2 above? If you identify with part 1, keep reading. If you identify with part 2, the rest of this post may not be useful to you, so I encourage you to check out some of my other posts! Now for the moment truth. My favorite all time sharpening book is: The Complete Guide To Sharpening by Leonard Lee.
All The Reasons I Like This Book!
One Stop Shop For Sharpening
What I love most about this book is that it really is an all encompassing, comprehensive guide to sharpening. Leonard Lee does a fantastic job of going into the details of how to sharpen all sorts of tools from axes, hatchets, handsaws, chisels, drill bits and much more. In other words, he doesn’t just cover knife sharpening!
Everything Is Clear And Easy To Understand
If you know anything about knife sharpening, you know it can get pretty darn complicated. We’re talking angles, edges, abrasives etc. And this doesn’t even include metallurgy! That being said, the author does really well to dumb it all down so everyone, newbies included, can understand.
The Pictures & Schematics!
The pictures and schematics are well labeled and do a really good job at explaining technique and concept. I won’t deny that books do have their limitations, especially when you’re using one to learn a very specific skill. Video tutorials are nice because they show you exactly how everything should be done i.e. there is no guesswork.
Author Goes Over Metallurgy & Abrasives
I love how there are complete chapters on metallurgy, abrasives, and sharpening equipment. I think it’s important to at least have a basic understanding of these areas before one starts sharpening!
My Suggestion For Best Use!
You don’t have to read the entire book if you don’t want to. Instead, focus on the sections that apply to you specifically. For example, if you wanna learn all about sharpening a drill bit, focus on that chapter. Once you’ve got it all nailed down, put it into action. Try out what you’ve learnt and check your results. Are you satisfied? If not, see where you’ve gone wrong and try again. Sharpening is a skill, and the only way it can be mastered is by practice.
What’s Your Favorite Knife Sharpening Book?
You know what my best knife sharpening book is, what’s yours? Leave a comment below and tell me all about it. As always, questions of any kind are most welcome so please do not hesitate. And with that I wish you the best of luck and happy sharpening!