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How to Sharpen a Spyderco Knife: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated: June 15th, 2022

The Spyderco knife is the ‘in’ thing with its ergonomic design and lightweight nature that gives you all the comfort while using.

However, just like any other knife, it will get blunt at some point. That leaves you with no other option than to find out how to sharpen a Spyderco knife.

Well, there are several methods you can use to do it, but we feel that using the Spyderco Sharpmaker would be the best way as the tool is specifically designed for knives from the brand. 

Read on to find out how you can get the most out of the said tool.

How to Sharpen a Spyderco Knife?

Before we get into the sharpening process, why don’t we look at what you get in the box when you buy this knife?

The first thing you will notice is that the knife sharpener comes in a sleek package. They say don’t judge a book by its cover but most people do and rightfully so.

Anyway, everything inside is packed inside a plastic case that will function as the base when you begin using it. You are supposed to remove the lid to expose the contents inside.

Once you do that, you will find two white stones and two brown ones. There are also two brass rods that function as handguards during sharpening.

Now, let us get into the process. Shall we?

Set the Right Angle

Now, the knife sharpener arrives to set up for two different angles; 30 and 40-degrees. These are highlighted at the base of the tool.

If you are unsure about the precise edge angle on your knife, you can use a trick that is not only exclusive to the Sharpmarker but other sharpening systems as well.

Get a marker pen and mark your edge. Then, stroke your knife’s blade on the sharpening stone. If the marker completely disappears along the apex, know that you hit the edge.

However, if the marker has been removed along the edge shoulders instead, you will need to adjust your angle until it hits the edge again.

Installing the Sharpmaker

To set the tool up, you want to place the medium rods in the 40-degree slot of the Spyderco knife with triangular points facing inward.

By doing this, you are going to get the most aggressive sharpening. Anyway, once they are in place, put the brass rods into the openings behind the stones.

The rods act as guide rods to prevent your hands from being cut in case your knife slips.

Note that the Spyderco Sharpmaker is a user-friendly tool simply because it comes with a V-shaped stone setup.

The Sharpening Process

Here are the steps you need to follow while sharpening your Spyderco knife.

Step 1: Stroking with Mild Pressure

To begin the sharpening process, place the blade on top of the stone, and in a slow and smooth stroke with mild pressure, drive the knife down to the bottom of the stone. Move towards the tip of the knife as you do that.

Repeat that for the other side and after about 20 strokes on each side, turn the stone such that the flat sides face each other.

Step 2: Getting the Edge Right

Once you get to this point, you have more work to do on the edge but the blade should cut through paper effortlessly. If it doesn’t, repeat the process.

Next, you want to switch to the flat sides and do another 20 strokes for each side of your knife’s blade. This is the point you need to get for your edge with the brownstones.

Step 3: Sharpening to Perfection

This is where you take your edge further (if you want to) because the edge you will have achieved at this point is sharper than what you get with most knives. 

Of course, you can test the sharpness but not on a sheet of paper this time. Use the knife to shave a bit of your arm hair to see how fast and how effectively it can cut.

There it is; that is how to sharpen a Spyderco knife using the Sharpmaker.

What if I Have a Serrated or Recurved Blade?

In case you have a re-curved blade, you may want to use a slightly different process. You can use the same movements as the ones we have covered only that you will use the triangle corners.

A re-curve profile does not make complete contact with the side of the stones that is flat.

As for serrated blades, you will also only need to use the triangle corners. Nevertheless, you will sharpen only the rough side of the serrations occasionally hitting the opposite side just to remove the burrs that form.

If you need more…

Other than stropping, there are several upgrade options available for the Spyderco Sharpmaker. If you find the fine rods insufficient, Spyderco does offer an additional fine rod.

Moreover, if you don’t get your knife’s edge to where it should be with the brown rods, there are several heavier grit options for you. You can choose a cubic boron nitride or diamond-coated rod from Spyderco to remove more metal from your blade.

Some people have found that those more aggressive rods work a little bit better on some of the modern, highly wear-resistant particle steels, at least when setting the bevel before you move onto the finer grits.

Most of the time, however, the medium rods will be just fine and the fact that it doesn’t remove a whole lot of metal when you are using the system is one of its strengths.

Whereas it’s easy to sharpen too much on a freehand stone and remove too much metal, you’ll get a lot more life out of your blades using a system like this.

That’s not all though…

The Sharpmaker does come with several more tricks that will not fit as easily into the V-shaped arrangement. The first is at the base end and is a scissors-sharpening opening. Put any of the compatible stones in the slot to secure it at the right angle for sharpening.

The other trick lies at the base. It has two openings cut molded onto the base and are designed to hold two rods next to each other, to form a bench stone.

Now this will be useful if the angles you require do not match with the default angles or if you have a bigger knife that is too long to seamlessly pull through the V-shaped prearrangement.

One last thing you may notice about all the rods is that they come with a milled opening on one side that enables you to work on pointed things such as ice picks, fish hooks, and darts while maintaining an accurate point.

Final Thoughts

There are many knife sharpeners in the market but the Spyderco Sharmaker stands out from the rest because it is a versatile and simple tool as you have figured out by now.

The tool is user-friendly as well so you can use it to get your Spyderco knife functioning like new within a matter of minutes.

If you fancy collecting knives or if your work entails a lot of knife use, a good knife-sharpener makes a great companion.

We are not forcing the Spyderco Sharpmaker down your throat but if you want to know how to sharpen a Spyderco knife, that would probably be the best tool to use.

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Steve Thampson

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