Contributors to this thread:
I’m working on putting a scary edge on some 125 grain non vented 3 blade VPAs I bought around 2012 or so. I’ve watched all the videos and read the advice, but can’t put an edge on them that I’m scared of. I’m sure it’s possible; what am I missing?
I use a flat diamond stone, then an Arkansas stone and then a leather strop. They'll shave hairs off my arm after the last step. I make one pass over the stone, turn, make another pass, turn, make another pass and count the turns to insure all sides are done evenly. I don't shoot VPA's anymore but this process always worked for me to get them very sharp.
the leather strop is important if you want it to feel sharp
I had some Montecs. Sold them for that very reason. I could barely to get them sharp enough to shave hair.
Check out the sharpening system Valkyrie sells. Then let me know if it works;-) I've gone to mechanized sharpening with my two blades and it's the cat's meow. I have two 1”x30" belt sanders, one turn 400 grit belt and one with a leather strop belt and I can sharpen broadheads and knives lickety split. Vast majority is done with leather belt, only use the other one on new heads and really jacked up heads to see the initial grind.
What’s a VPA? Don’t you know the NEW broadheads are Iron Wills. Those VPAs are so 2016. Ha kidding.
I start with a big mill bastard file and run them flat on that till all the machining marks are gone on the VPA’s and my old Snuffers. Then I follow Brotsky’s steps making sure to use some polishing compound on my leather strop.
Killed boat loads of critters with 3-blade heads sharpened that way and never had any issues with them bleeding good.
The best sharpening system is a paper wheel on a grinder. It makes 3-blade heads super sharp. I will be upgrading soon for all my traditional heads. Have several buddies that have gone that way and their 3-blade heads are amazingly sharp.
These are the car’s meow!
First mark all edges with a sharpie, 600 grit diamond stone, lay broadhead flat, 50 strokes only count going 1 direction, make sure you are keeping broadhead flat , look at blades you marked with sharpie. next take a jewel stick , have broadhead in arrow shaft, lay jewel stick flat 1 stroke turn ,1 stroke turn,1 stroke turn, 2 strokes turn, do all 3 blades 21 times , if you do it right it will be hair popping sharp. Forrest
Mark all edges with a sharpie!!! This made a Huge difference for me
Treeline, I have a paper wheel, it is amazing for knives but I have never tried it on my 3 blades, got any tips?
Wow nothing needed but a 3 sided jewel stik!! Buy one with grits from 600 to 1000 or 1200. If you get the 6,8 1000 than you can strop with leather or cardboard but not really needed. A few strokes front to back on each side than to the next finer grit and so sharp your eyes will bleed just looking at them. Shawn
I haven’t used that system yet, but my buddy was getting his done by someone on a wheel and then decided to buy his own setup. He was having hell trying to get Razor Caps (stainless) sharp enough on the old file and hard stone method.
His 3-blades are amazingly sharp now. Scary sharp! And much faster than re-cutting/shaping the edges followed by stones and stropping!
Convinced me to get a setup like his after seeing the results. Just have to get a few other projects done befor I buy the grinder and wheels.
I have never been able to sharpen a three blade non replaceable blade BHs. Just can’t get a good enough angle. One of my criteria for BHs is they have to be sharpenable on a Lansky system. That’s worked real well for me for 35 plus years.
I have them flying so nicely; I really want to use them on an upcoming moose hunt. I’ll keep trying, but I’m losing hope. The edges are like mirrors they are so polished. I’ve been careful ensuring the same number of strokes are used on each side- but I’d have to try really hard to cut myself on them.
Fine flat diamond stone... then while on the end of my arrow held loosely I lightly run a triangle chock stick over them- popping sharp. Round stick works too.
The head needs to be able to rotate enough to keep the chock stick flush on each side.
I guess that I'm a little simpler than most guys here. It's a simple system but I'll break it all the way out to try to make it clear for those that haven't gotten it to work right.
I use a Cabela's diamond stone that is about 2x9", although I'm sure that any reasonably large fine diamond stone will work. It will need to sit flat on a non skid surface. Use a Sharpie to color up all of the metal edges on the head. Apply oil to the diamond stone and then drag the head toward you by holding the edge that is facing up. It will feel funny because you might think that you could cut yourself but you can't. You only want to pull the tip first toward you. Do this with moderate pressure 20 times or so and look at the edges. If you still see Sharpie marks and the two edges aren't all bare metal then give it another 20 pulls. It is important to pull the head flat on the stone. When you see all bare metal on the two edges then spin/rotate the head 1/3 of the way to get the next two edges. Same as before. When you see bare clean metal on all six edges you are most of the way there.
Now wipe the stone off with a paper towel to remove the tiny metal filings. Reapply oil. In order to get them popping sharp you have to use clean oil. Do the same thing as before but now you're just touching it up gently. Using lighter pressure take 10 pulls, rotate all of the edges. Then you will gradually use less pressure and fewer pulls. So lighten up the pressure and pull it 8 times and then rotate it. Next time pull it 6 times with lighter pressure. Toward the end you'll want to use the lightest pressure and fewest pulls. Take your time toward the end and you might pull it one time, rotate it, one more time, rotate it, etc for a couple of rotations.
This should have given you an edge that is very sharp and it shouldn't have any burrs because you always pulled the tip toward you. Then, to make it really scary sharp you can use the wheel that Treeline posted above. You'll want to hone with the wheel spinning away from the edges and you won't need to do much. This polishes the edges and they will be scary sharp. I've heard that you don't need the wheel but can drag the edges backwards across some cardboard (the kind of cardboard that is unprinted on the inside of a case of beer) also, but I haven't tried this.
I use elkstabber's method except for the paper wheel finish, I use a leather strop, and have never been able to get my VPAs really sharp, let alone "scary" sharp. His explanation about removing all of the sharpie marks to bare metal is spot on, and it can take more work than you might think to reach that point.
Elkstabber, I agree with your message.
Thank you elkstabber for one more reason to purchase a case of beer.
Not sure what I can add that hasn't already been said, other than there is no ONE way to do it. Gotta find what sharpening method works for you. I use Jewellsticks mostly. And I use a file first if I really need to bring back the bevel.
But I think the biggest issue here is that you are probably used to a thin, higher degree angle, edge that will always feel sharper (albeit less durable) initially. And bear in mind that a broadhead cuts by slicing, not with a 90 degree opposing blunt touch like most people feel when testing the sharpness. Pass the sharpened head through a stretched rubberband. It should pop easily. And if you want to do a shave hair test, make sure you sweep the head in a slicing motion, not just push it against the hair. My bet is your heads are a lot sharper than you think they are.
Lastly, everyone geeks out on how sharp a blade is before impact. That matters little IMO as the head has to get through hide, hair and perhaps bone first before it reaches vitals. What really matters is the sharpness of that edge AFTER impact and I'll bet you that VPA edge, while it may have felt less sharp initially with a blunt touch, will be sharper when it actually passes through vitals than any other thin replaceable blade head that was scalpel sharp out of the package. That's what matters. Think beyond the out of the package feel.
I use a 14 mil bastard file. Follow this guys advice and it will be ridiculously sharp. He uses a 12 mil in the video but I had the 14 mil from my old Rothaar Snuffer days. I think a 12 would be a bit narrow.
Again 3 sided jewel stik!!! I have shot their 3 blades for around 10 years now and in all weights. Never needed anything but what they recommended. I am on my 3rd jewel stick but still shooting a head or two from 10 years ago!! Call VPA themselves and they will tell you. It may be too late as you may of changed the angle to much already!! Shawn
What Greg said “ light pressure “ in last two stages for me was key to getting scary sharp .
I use BB’s “Snuffer Sharpening Made Easy” method which is similar to what elkstabber posted above. BB’s thread is probably still available with a quick search of Bowsite.
Here’s a link to the thread. Same head design as far as sharpening goes.
The problem with the sharpening system is you change the angle of the head. VPAs were designed so the angle is already correct. If you have not already changed the angle a jewel stick again is all you need. I have been making mine scary sharp for a long time. Shawn
"But I think the biggest issue here is that you are probably used to a thin, higher degree angle, edge that will always feel sharper (albeit less durable) initially. And bear in mind that a broadhead cuts by slicing, not with a 90 degree opposing blunt touch like most people feel when testing the sharpness. Pass the sharpened head through a stretched rubberband. It should pop easily. And if you want to do a shave hair test, make sure you sweep the head in a slicing motion, not just push it against the hair. My bet is your heads are a lot sharper than you think they are. "
This is a major point. A 3 blade VPA , sharpened on a flat surface doesn't have the angle that a 2 or 4 blade head have. " Feels" less sharp, they will most likely work just fine.
Tilzbow….I`m afraid to ask where those hairs came from?
Shawn's right, 3 sided jewel stick works perfect.
I start with a diamond edge stone, then go to a jewel stick and finish with a few swipes on a leather block. Make sure you use honing compound on the leather. They end up scary sharp. I just sharpened 6, 150 grain heads today for my upcoming moose hunt. Took about 45 minutes. Good luck!