Bark River Knives: CBN Sharpening Kit
These days, more and more fine blades are made of increasingly abrasion-resistant "super steels." Sure, the edges can be made sharper and last longer, but at the expense of ease-of-sharpening.
If you've tried using your go-to abrasives (like aluminum oxide and silicon carbide) to sharpen a super steel, you know this already. They're just not hard enough to get the job done.
The solution is Cubic Boron Nitride, or CBN. It's harder and cuts well on all steels, taking a back seat only to diamond for hardness. CBN will produce a high-performance edge on tool steels and powdered-metallurgy steels as well.
CBN is available in a number of grades, identified by "microns" or "grit."
|Micron Size||Grit Size||Uses|
|16 micron||1000 grit||For restoring an edge that's worn|
|8 micron||2000 grit||For restoring an edge that's worn|
|4 micron||4000 grit||To bring your knife to another level of "sharp," even finer than the original Bark River edge|
|2 micron||8000 grit||To bring your edge to an extraordinarily fine finish; perfect for outdoor blades, kitchen knives & anything requiring a sharp edge|
|1 micron||16,000 grit||To bring your edge to an extraordinarily fine finish; perfect for outdoor blades, kitchen knives & anything requiring a sharp edge|
|.5 micron||32,000 grit||For the ultimate level of "sharp"|
What it is: Think of these compounds like hand lotion -- CBN particles are carried in a water-soluble emulsion, ideal for application to a leather strop.
How to apply it: The best way to apply CBN emulsion is with a disposable glove, although a clean hand will work. Put one drop -- just one drop -- on the strop and spread it around. (It'll cover about six square inches if you apply it with a gloved hand.) Repeat the process until the strop is covered with a thin coat of CBN emulsion.
How long it lasts: You'll notice that leather absorbs the CBN emulsion pretty fast, but don't be fooled -- all you need is a thin coat, and it lasts quite a while (about 30 knives). Simply apply a recoat as needed.