Handsanding improvements!

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Ok, our favorite subject, hand sanding, a necessary evil. I've noticed I always have a hard time not blurring the lines between the flats and bevel. I see guys with these razor sharp transitions and wonder how the heck they do it.

I've been using a flat ground piece of blade stock and holding the paper tightly around it since I started. I saw where Todd Begg used stones for his hand work and he said the slack in paper is the issue.

My new method, see pic. PSA sandpaper rolls! These are awesome, made a huge difference for me in keeping crisp lines. And another thing, they sped up handsanding a lot too, no fiddling with loose paper. They're about $25 a roll, but are lasting a long time.

I'm using them for the initial sanding stages, like 150, 220, and 400. After that I go back to regular paper. It's working great for me, just thought I'd share. Anybody have any better techniques?


John Wilson

Well-Known Member
That is a really good idea. I have also struggled with keeping sharp transitions. When I'm being very aware of that demarcation line, I use paper on my metal sanding stick with no leather backer. But you're right, it still blurs the line.

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
I never understood the whole 'wrapping paper around a block' thing. It was so readily apparent to me it wouldn't produce the result I was after that I never even tried it.


"The Montana Bladesmith"
Although I'm not a fan of using anything metallic for a "block", personally, I believe there are far more advantages to wrapping multiple layers of sandpaper for hand finishing than there are disadvantages. That being said, there is no "one size fits all" in any aspect of what we do, and there are many different paths to the same destination.

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
I just grabbed a handful of mold/die polishing stones in various grits. The medium hardness stones don't seem to hold shape long enough, but the hard stones might do it. I certainly think they have a place in the hand finishing process, though I'm still getting used to them.

PSA paper seems like a good idea. I've also wondered about using the feathering adhesive for regular paper, on a sanding block.

Chris Railey

I can keep the lines nice and sharp if I only use my grinder to finish. I have recently made a commitment to hand sanding blades but every time I hand sand a bevel I lose definition. My work around was to get higher grit belts. If I hand sand to 600 on the flats then I finish sand the bevels on my grinder to the same. Nothing makes a sharper contrast than perpendicular lines. I thought about using stones but have not gone there yet.

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
I do some belt finished knives, but more often than not, I do hand sanding. I like the hard backer for the initial sanding, since I'm not perfect off the grinder this allows to me make little corrections. Once I'm happy with the hand "shaping" or leveling I do use either a rubber or leather backer for the high grit polishing. I'm sold on the PSA paper and hard backer for hand finishing, it's working really good for me.
Psa paper is great. I tried using the 3m feathering adhesive with regular sand paper. That works too but it is no where near as convenient as the Psa. I’ve been using a 1” wide aluminum bar and a 1” wide aluminum bar with a layer of rubber for finishing.