Home Forums Bows and Equipment Sharpening single bevel heads ?

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    • horserod
      Member
      Post count: 78

      You guys have given me some great answers to my questions and I thank you much. Now, I need to know how one sharpens a single bevel broadhead. I can sharpen double bevel heads razor sharp….so they shave hair! Looking at my new single bevel heads….I see a flat(painted)edge under the bevel. I would think that this edge has to be hit on the stone to compliment the upper bevel edge….right?? (Help me again Steve) What is the correct way to sharpen my single bevel head??? Thanks again Bullseye

    • sharpster
      Post count: 91

      Bullseye,

      I’ll take a stab at it…Sharpening is as much about understanding the process as it is about technique. Sharpening single bevels can actually be easier than sharpening double bevels once you understand what needs to be done and, in what order to do it.

      Start by flattening the back (unbeveled) side of the blade. This is usually a pretty simple step. Just hit the back with a file or stone a couple times to remove any high spots or burrs. This is step one and we do it so that later in the process when we raise a burr, we know for certain it’s a direct result of our work on the bevel side and not something that may have been there all along.

      Now we need to raise a burr by working a very coarse stone or if need be, even a file on the bevel side of the BHD. As with sharpening any blade, consistent angle is fairly critical at this point but it’s easier to hold the angle with most single bevels because the bevel is big and wide. You can raise a burr by working the blade any direction you like; Into the edge, away from the edge, lengthwise along the edge, whatever is most comfortable for you. When free-handing, I like to use Ed’s “push-pull” technique. I’ll mount the BHD on a fairly long section of shaft, clamp the file or stone down to the edge of a bench or table and use my right hand to hold the BHD and maintain the angle while my left hand provides the push/pull motion. Actually the left hand just kind helps hold everything in place and the motion is more of a forwards/backwards “rocking” from the waist, moving the BHD and shaft lengthwise forwards/backwards along the edge of the stone or file.

      Keep this up with the coarsest stone you have until you have raised a burr that runs continuously along the edge from tip to heel. You don’t need to have a huge heavy burr, but you do need to have a burr. When you’ve gone far enough the edge will feel ragged when you lightly run your thumb or fingers along the edge. If it doesn’t have that ragged feel, then keep going with the coarse stone until it does.

      Once you’ve got the burr raised, don’t touch it…yet. Now repeat the process with as many finer grits as you like. You don’t need to spend a whole lot of time with each individual grit because at this point you’re only polishing and refining the edge created with the coarse stone, and each successive grit is only polishing out the scratches left by the previous grit.

      Now the last step is to remove the burr and reveal the blazing edge it’s hiding…

      As I said you can move the blade any direction you like to raise the burr and polish the bevel but when it comes time to remove the burr, that must be done using into the edge strokes to prevent chasing the burr back and forth from one side of the blade to the other all day. So now we slow down and are more deliberate. Place the BHD bevel side up near one end of the stone with both the cutting edge and the ferrule on the stone. This will stabilize the head and serve as an angle guide as you remove the burr from the blade. Now using a slicing motion, move the head across the stone straight into the cutting edge. This will capture and remove the burr and it’s a very critical step. It may take several passes to completely remove the burr depending on how heavy it is but it’s important to do just the bare minimum required to clear it. When the burr is gone you’ll have a very sharp blade. Check your sharpness level after every pass. Be careful here because if you go too far, you can end up creating another burr on the bevel side. So again, be careful and do only the bare minimum required to remove the burr. Then just strop the BHD using alternating passes, first bevel side then unbeveled side, back and forth with light pressure. You can do this on leather or my personal favorite, plain brown corrugated cardboard. (Stropping is always backward, “away from the edge” passes). After this you should have something similar to a straight razor in your hand…Keep it away from your bowstring! Hope this helps,

      Ron

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Thanks, Ron. For those who don’t already know, Ron Swartz is “Sharpster,” owner of KME Sharpeners. While Sharpster never flogs his own products in this forum, the KME knife sharpener is the finest, fastest, and most precision single-bevel sharpener I’ve discovered. For one thing it allows you to adjust the clamp that sets the edge angle to any angle you might want. Most single bevels today are 25 degrees. While the scale on the sharpening jig is accurate, I also eyeball for a pricise bevel match before clamping it down. For double-bevel heads the KME broadhead sharpener is the ticket. dp

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Ron’s advice is golden. Follow it and you will end up with single-bevel BH’s that are “truly sharp”. I second Dave’s comment on the KME knife sharpener. It’s the best there is for single-bevel broadheads.

      Ed

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Nothing to add, except it’s good to have you on here, Ron. Great, easy to follow advice.

    • kingwouldbe
      Member
      Post count: 244

      Ron, sharpened these, and I only have one complaint……

      They made a mess…….:shock: lol

      Ron, weren’t you going to call me…….:?

      attached file
    • kingwouldbe
      Member
      Post count: 244

      As far as getting a single bevel sharp, I would recommend you have Ron sharpen some for you (vary reasonable price )and he will personally help you to learn how, and you will also KNOW what sharp is.

      Most guys don’t know what sharp is, not all, just most, once you have a truly sharp broadhead go through an animal, you will know what the difference is, some times the laceration is so profuse they don’t go any where, just drop right there ( not a spine shot ).

      If you can slide your finger lightly down the edge of the blade more that 1/2″ it ant sharp.

      KME Double

      Just my 2 cents

      attached file
    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Wait – you meant to tell me you’ve hunted successfully, on multiple occasions, with single-bevel heads and fletching of less than 5.5″?!?

      Impossible.

    • Bernie Clancey
      Member
      Post count: 82

      sharpster wrote: Bullseye,

      I’ll take a stab at it…Sharpening is as much about understanding the process as it is about technique. Sharpening single bevels can actually be easier than sharpening double bevels once you understand what needs to be done and, in what order to do it.

      Start by flattening the back (unbeveled) side of the blade. This is usually a pretty simple step. Just hit the back with a file or stone a couple times to remove any high spots or burrs. This is step one and we do it so that later in the process when we raise a burr, we know for certain it’s a direct result of our work on the bevel side and not something that may have been there all along.

      Now we need to raise a burr by working a very coarse stone or if need be, even a file on the bevel side of the BHD. As with sharpening any blade, consistent angle is fairly critical at this point but it’s easier to hold the angle with most single bevels because the bevel is big and wide. You can raise a burr by working the blade any direction you like; Into the edge, away from the edge, lengthwise along the edge, whatever is most comfortable for you. When free-handing, I like to use Ed’s “push-pull” technique. I’ll mount the BHD on a fairly long section of shaft, clamp the file or stone down to the edge of a bench or table and use my right hand to hold the BHD and maintain the angle while my left hand provides the push/pull motion. Actually the left hand just kind helps hold everything in place and the motion is more of a forwards/backwards “rocking” from the waist, moving the BHD and shaft lengthwise forwards/backwards along the edge of the stone or file.

      Keep this up with the coarsest stone you have until you have raised a burr that runs continuously along the edge from tip to heel. You don’t need to have a huge heavy burr, but you do need to have a burr. When you’ve gone far enough the edge will feel ragged when you lightly run your thumb or fingers along the edge. If it doesn’t have that ragged feel, then keep going with the coarse stone until it does.

      Once you’ve got the burr raised, don’t touch it…yet. Now repeat the process with as many finer grits as you like. You don’t need to spend a whole lot of time with each individual grit because at this point you’re only polishing and refining the edge created with the coarse stone, and each successive grit is only polishing out the scratches left by the previous grit.

      Now the last step is to remove the burr and reveal the blazing edge it’s hiding…

      As I said you can move the blade any direction you like to raise the burr and polish the bevel but when it comes time to remove the burr, that must be done using into the edge strokes to prevent chasing the burr back and forth from one side of the blade to the other all day. So now we slow down and are more deliberate. Place the BHD bevel side up near one end of the stone with both the cutting edge and the ferrule on the stone. This will stabilize the head and serve as an angle guide as you remove the burr from the blade. Now using a slicing motion, move the head across the stone straight into the cutting edge. This will capture and remove the burr and it’s a very critical step. It may take several passes to completely remove the burr depending on how heavy it is but it’s important to do just the bare minimum required to clear it. When the burr is gone you’ll have a very sharp blade. Check your sharpness level after every pass. Be careful here because if you go too far, you can end up creating another burr on the bevel side. So again, be careful and do only the bare minimum required to remove the burr. Then just strop the BHD using alternating passes, first bevel side then unbeveled side, back and forth with light pressure. You can do this on leather or my personal favorite, plain brown corrugated cardboard. (Stropping is always backward, “away from the edge” passes). After this you should have something similar to a straight razor in your hand…Keep it away from your bowstring! Hope this helps,

      Ron

      This is the best info I found on sharpening single bevels. I used a file to put a bevel on some old Journeyman broad heads that I had. I had no troubled raising a burr with the file, so I moved to a coarse diamond stone. The burr remained, so I went to a fine diamond stone, and the burr remained. I couldn’t remove the burr and you could easily see it on the edge of the broad head and you could bend it over with your finger.

      I couldn’t get rid of the burr so I started searching posts on here and found this one. Great advice and a great method if you are using flat Arkansas or diamond stones. The stropping with cardboard also worked great. Missing a lot of hair off of my left arm now.

      Put a little 3 in 1 oil on the edges, loaded them in the Cat Quiver and I am ready to go. Thanks to Sharpster for providing this info. Tuffheads will be the broadhead of choice for next year.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      Ron et al.,

      When you’re ready to remove the burr, from the back side, which grade stone should I use?

      Great thread.

      Preston

    • Bernie Clancey
      Member
      Post count: 82

      Ptaylor wrote: Ron et al.,

      When you’re ready to remove the burr, from the back side, which grade stone should I use?

      Great thread.

      Preston

      I used the fine stone. Single bevel side facing up and just use light pressure.

    • TSCHMED
      Member
      Post count: 24

      Question:

      Single bevel heads like Eclipse brand are basically 3 ply at the front end of the head. How do you guys deal with sharpening that part of the head? On double bevel heads, the 3 ply section, being sharpened on both bevels, is easy to get sharp. But on single bevel heads that are 3 ply on the tip, it seems you either make a choice to leave it as a single bevel with a less sharp tip or sharpen that tip-section as a double bevel and lose the single bevel advantage on the leading tip of the head.

      Heads that are entirely single ply like Ashby heads, Abowyer, Samurai, Maasai, etc are all single ply from tip to tail-end and are easily sharpened, but 3 ply heads are a little more complicated to sharpen. How do you guys sharpen them?

    • Bernie Clancey
      Member
      Post count: 82

      “This will stabilize the head and serve as an angle guide as you remove the burr from the blade. Now using a slicing motion, move the head across the stone straight into the cutting edge. This will capture and remove the burr and it’s a very critical step.”

      Read the above part of the post again. It indicates that you have to put a very slight bevel on the opposite side of the broad head, or the side opposite the single bevel.

      The triple ply heads I have were impossible to sharpen at the front of the head without this very slight portion of a double bevel. I tried laying this side of the edge dead flat on the stone to remove the burr but I could not get the burr off of the triple thickness area of the head.

      I can’t back it up with any kind of science or experimenting, but Don’t worry that slight double bevel will not hurt penetration.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      I just talked with Ron at KME sharpeners. Like some of you, I was having trouble getting my single bevel broadheads razor sharp. I wonder now if that is the reason I had some poor penetration shots. Ron walked me through the process (literally waited on the phone as I did each step), and now my arm is missing a patch of hair! Thank you Ron, I was almost ready to give up on single bevels and go back to double. I hope soon I’ll be able to test the new edge out.

      Preston

    • Stephen Smiley
      Post count: 46

      I just printed this thread so I can keep it with my sharpening stuff on the bench and do it right!

    • Donald Hoffman
      Member
      Post count: 10

      I use a 3 sided jewel stick and start on the course side from back edge to front until I have a good burr. After knocking off the burr with a flat stone do some more on the course side then move to the medium and then the fine side. After this I work the blade on the edge of my truck window and finish it off on a leather strop with jewelers rouge.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      I was looking through a couple older threads and thought this is one to bring back to the top. One thing I’ll add is I started putting my stone in a vise with rubber padding. This keeps the stone from moving and helps concentration on the edge. Dwc

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      DWC

      Great idea. Thanks for bringing this back up. Always good to review.

      I was just thinking about starting to sort out all my broadheads for the fall- early this season (older I get the longer it takes me to get ready it seems -). I use a vise also. Especially for reforming a badly beat up broadhead. I normally use a new head for big game. Due to the nature of small game hunting and broadhead practice, the older heads get refurbished and used in descending order.

      I always enjoy ” king would be” posts. I Started pig hunting in CA. Would love to go where he does. He hunts up some large hogs! —Love hunting pigs —-  always fun.

      Thanks again

      Scout

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