How to sharpen a hook knife for spooncarving

I often get asked how to sharpen a hook knife for spooncarving so have had a video made. It uses cheap simple tools including something that may surprise you for the inside of the hook. Hope you find it useful.

9 Responses to How to sharpen a hook knife for spooncarving

  1. tony February 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

    I always finish the sharpening process on a strip of leather glued to a flat piece of wood. The leather with a smear of Autosol seems to refine the edge.

  2. EJ February 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    This is great Robin! It is hands down the best method and even though I’ve had to start using a Tormek, this is still my favourite way to sharpen crooks.

  3. sion March 8, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    Thank you for this video, much appreciated.

  4. Emma W April 15, 2015 at 2:03 am #

    Thank you so much for this in-depth easy to follow video! Really really helpful!!

  5. Mark Koons July 22, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    Thank you for a really helpful video. I liked it very much. Here in Wyoming, USA I’m unaware of anyone who knows what you teach. My only suggestion for improvement would be to show magnified views similar to what you see in examining each stage of sharpening.

    I seem to collect viewing devices. Their most valuable use is to see what is really occurring during sharpening. When I have occasion to advise less experienced woodworkers I recommend snagging the lens from a cast-aside movie projector to use as a loupe. My favorite, though it has a very short focal length, magnifies so greatly I believe I can see the granular structure of the steel.

    Keep up the good work and thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

  6. Adam flack January 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Hello Robin,
    From the video I see as you draw the cutting edge it is pointed towards you (away from the direction you draw it in – if that makes sense?). This is the opposite direction to how I was shown to sharpen my straight knife blade- is it just a different technique for the crook knife, or have I been sharpening my straight knife incorrectly?

    I hope that question makes some semblance of sense!?



    • Robin Wood January 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

      There is no right and wrong in sharpening Adam, many different ways work, this is the way that I do it most of the time but other ways work too.

  7. Peter Lygo April 24, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    Hi Robin.
    Thanks for your tutorials as they have started me off upon the right foot along with the fab tools which I have purchased from you.Three spoons in and I am hooked lol,would you please let me know where I can purchase the self adhesive Emery paper from as I cant seem to find it any where and when are you going to produce a adze to complement my tool kit ?

    Kind Regards


    • Robin Wood May 2, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

      I buy the paper from axminster power tools online, no plans to do an adze in the near future I am afraid. Each tool takes a long time in R&D and development and it’s more important to me to get each one really well sorted before offering them for sale than getting a wide range out quickly.