Carving knives have to be razor sharp, otherwise carving makes no fun at all. Therefore all carving knives need to bee resharpened regularly.

For grinding of knives there are different approaches:

  • Many carvers – probably the most – prefer to sharpen their knives with a electric grinders, with different grinding and polishing wheels.

  • I personally prefer to grind my knives manually  with Japanese water stones in different grits (1000 to 8000). Sure- this method takes longer, but I prefer it anyway.

The most important thing concerning sharpening knives is the angle with which the knives are grinded. Ths angle is somewhere between 20 and 25° - depending on the one hand on which wood should be carved and on the other hand which personal preferences the carver has.

Quite often you can hear or read of various tips to find (and keep!) this supposed "ideal angle". I have tried the one or other tool, but in the end I found out that not a single tool is good for learning to sharpen knives manually. Either it does not work very properly or it is very awkward.

There are countless sources concerning this topic - especially the concerning this one (and only!) angle in the internet, which can help you, but please take care not to give too much to the opinion of these supposed specialists or experts and their amourousness in the in the bevel angle.

I think everyone will find "his angle" after a certain time of practice. If you feel comfortable with the angle you found and you have a really sharp blade you should rather rely on your own experience. I ahve already received some knives, which have been sharpened by a specialist, but I was not able to work with these knives.

Your knives have to sharp like a razor blade, this is totally clear - but always keep an eye on your own feeling and experience!