Sharpening your blades?

Rancid Coolaid

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I've used almost everything listed above, still have 3 or 4 of them in a drawer somewhere, and always come back to good, old-fashioned whetstones - but have now added angle guides. For folders or good kitchen knives or hunters/skinners, they all come out razor sharp if I do my part.

For near idiot-proof sharpening that doesn't grind away too much blade, there is no better option in that price range.

Amazon link
 

Zeroit

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I'll second hermosabeach, the Ken onion version is much better, easier to use .
I've used both, similar but not the same.
I've sharpen knives with damn near every conceivable method, tool etc.
By far the ken onion Worksharp is the easiest to get professional results, rather quickly.
Know the preferred angles of the type of knife you want to sharpen, or just follow the instructions included.
Very easy to change belts (grits).
I've sharpened brand new knives right out of the box because I wasn't happy with the edge, without fucking up the finish on the blade.
Have fun!
 

tomcatmv

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I did not get the Ken Onion version. It showed up yesterday and I used it on three knives and am not impressed. Maybe the factory angle grind is different from what the machine guides provide? I did not use the course belt just the medium to get a bit of a burr then then fine honing belt. Maybe I just need more practice as it could be operator error.
 

Knoxblades

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As a professional knife maker I can easily say get a Tormek. Hard to justify getting one to sharpen a $40 knife though. If you have higher end kitchen knives or EDC knife then it makes since. From doing the initial secondary bevel to touch ups it is hands down the best system you can get for your knives. It does only do concave (Hollow) bevels but this tends to be the way I go on everything down to tomahawks. It is water cooled and safe for those high dollar blades that can be easily ruined by a 1x30" belt grinder that will put belt bump or heat on the edge. I know mostly everyone will gasp at the cost of a machine like this but it will give you a professional edge in minutes or touch ups in seconds. Just remember how much you spend on that glass to make you "shoot" better. Tormek is an easy kill on sharpener selection if you use a knife alot.
 
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dirthead1

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Well I just bought a Tormek T8. I’ve been using a Ken Onion Workshop for a few years. I’m on my second set of belts, so I’ve use it quite a bit. It does produce a good edge but there are a few things I don’t like. First, the angle guide sucks. The blade is not locked at a set angle. It’s a wide slot you pull the knife blade through. There’s lot of wiggle room there and the mechanism flexes if you put too much pressure on it. Second, depending on the shape of the blade and handle, you might not be able to get the heel of the blade against the belt very easily. And third, you have to be very careful with the blade tip. The blade is completely out of the guide when the tip is in contact with the belt, and the belt flexes. You can round off the tip very easily if you aren’t careful.

I’ve been searching for something a little more refined than the Workshop for a while. Reading this thread gave me a few options (Wicked Edge, Tormek). I decided on the Tormek and since there is a Rockler about a mile from my house, I stopped in to looked at them. Bought the T8 and will hopefully have time to get it setup this weekend. I’ll update with my initial thoughts and comparison vs the Ken Onion Workshop.

As a side note, the salesman at Rockler showed me the Workshop sharpeners as I was looking at the Tormek. When I told him that I have one, he asked what I didn’t like about it. Once I explained, he said he agreed and that’s why they use a Tormek to sharpen tools in the store. Again, I’ll update when I get some use one it.
 
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Remington_Steel

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I don’t use the guides at all. I’ve got the small one and the large. Grab a few junk knives and get a feel for it. It’s easy as shit and fast.
 

hermosabeach

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SHARPIE

Sharpie wipes off with a little alcohol on a paper towel...

So mark the cutting edge with a sharpie- 1/8' up from the edge to 1/4" from edge

make one pass with a medium stone... the stone will remove the sharpie... is your angle too shallow or too steep?

Did you remove the sharpie 3/16" up from the edge? Did you just hit the edge? or did the angle match the cutting edge?

Adjust the angle to the existing angle.

If you are re profiling the blade, cover with sharpie to see where you are cutting/ removing steel.


many production knives are not symmetrical... on side could be 18 degrees and the other 20-22 degrees.

If this is the case, pick the angle you want and reprofile so the cutting edge is centered and the left and right side are the same angle.


Sharpie sticks on steel very well... a dab of alcohol- rubbing - vodka- run- etc, will remove the sharpie that is left over.




as to the work sharp, the Ken Onion is the only work sharp to get for knives. If you picked up the base model, see if you can exchange it and buy the $130 or so Ken Onion edition.
 
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timelinex

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Just wanted to give an update.

I used the DMT stones to reprofile my Wusthof chef's knife to 15 degrees and sharpen it through all the stages. WOW. It took me about 3 hours to do as it was a bit of a learning curve at first. But after I got the hang of it and finished, it was scary sharp. I thought my knives were "sharp enough" before, but now they feel like cutting with a butter knife . After the chef's knife, I was like a fiend sharpening everything I could find haha

Anyways, I also just bought a spyderco sharpmaker. I have a curvy knife I wouldn't be able to do on the bench stone. It will also be interesting to see the difference in ease and result of using a system.

Thanks for all the advice guys.
 
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Rancid Coolaid

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For those using sand belt sharpeners, be aware they do clog. From time to time, run the sole of an old running shoe over the belt, it will clear the clogs and keep the belt sharpening better/longer. It does take material off the shoe sole, but well worth it.
 

timelinex

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OK guys, so I tried using the sharpmaker and I am glad I bought my DMT bench stones. I used it on my Chris Reeves that had a few dinges in the edge itself. I spent 20 minutes trying to take enough material off to get the dinges out and barely made any progress. So I moved over to my x-coarse and coarse DMT stones and had a clean edge within a minute. I suspect I could have solved this issue with the sharpmaker by getting a coarse diamond stone they offer though. So I can't fully blame the system.

Anyways, I ended up finishing the sharpening on the sharpmaker and I'm pretty sure I will be returning it. I thought the primary advantage would be how easy it makes holding the angle to be. But I found that far from the truth. Using a black sharpie made it clear that holding the angle up and down was only marginally easier (through the entire length of knife) than just finding the angle on a bench stone and holding that. And if the angle isnt 15 or 20, forget about using the sharpmaker. I think it is an easy to use system that is ultra portable. But I found it didn't make my life any easier.
 

The D

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I’ve had a Lansky set forever but recently got a Hapstone sharpener that is pretty awesome


I didn’t pay that much for it though, snoop around and you should be able to find it for less. Unless they’ve raised their prices to meet an increased demand... Anyway, it’s awesome and pretty foolproof
 

ofelas

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I like my thicker blades convexed; I use jeans or a belt to strop them as needed.IMG_6466.jpeg
 
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Pathkiller

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I've had good luck with the spyderco tri-angle so long as I'm working D2. The super steels I've learned to just stay away from... I don't have the skills to make those blades sharp.
 

ken226

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I made my own custom sharpener, similar to the higher end wicked edge system. It uses edge-pro stones epoxied to 3d printed plastic blocks. It gets my knifes really sharp, fast.

I bought the clamp from WE, I made everything else.














 
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hermosabeach

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I thought the edge pro was pricey... this this is close to 1K with the attachments and such... more toys for down the road
 

hermosabeach

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I made my own custom sharpener, similar to the higher end wicked edge system. It uses edge-pro stones epoxied to 3d printed plastic blocks. It gets my knifes really sharp, fast.

I bought the clamp from WE, I made everything else.














Would you be willing to make a second one? Any idea of the cost?
 

ken226

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Would you be willing to make a second one? Any idea of the cost?
In design and manufacturing, Prototyping is rarely, if ever, economically viable. I did this for the challenge and fun of it.

I spent about 600$ in materials, including the gen3 clamp, which I bought from Wicked Edge, accounted for 250$ of my cost..

After 2 days of labor and half a day of CAD/CAM work, designing and tolerancing parts, buying a Wicked Edge would be more economical.

Though they are expensive, the WE machines are a pretty good value considering the material quality and design.



I decided to change the 3d printed stone holders though. The double sided version made it too easy to get a fingertip out past the stone face. Saves money on manicures, but made up for in Band-Aids.

I'm going with single sided holders, with fingertip protection.

 
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