Getting the very tip sharp in the sharpmaker

MyLegsAreOk

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This goes a lot in to my previous thread, the Ulize one. Well when I sharpen using the sharp maker I hardly ever get the last millimeter sharp. Any tips on this that isn't "tilt knife a bit so the curve meets the flats"? This messed up the bezel more often than not. Secondly even when I use the edge and not the flat of the triangle I don't get it. Yes I will get it in the wicked edge but when I want to be careful with recurves I don't use it.
 

MyLegsAreOk

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This video helped me a lot with your exact problem.

Thank you again Surfingringo Surfingringo !
Hey thanks for this vid man. Sal's DVD didn't cover any of these tips and I wish it would. Some people really do not like the sharp maker and even when I was a huge benchmade fanboy I found it the best. Even owning a wicked edge I find it the best for many many applications.
 

sgt1372

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I just bought a Sharpmaker w/a pair of diamond rods from Spyderco and a pair of ultra fine rods off of EB (because they were out of stock at Spyderco). Delivery pending.

I've sharpened all of my knives (mostly kitchen soft carbon steel) by hand on a flat rectangular combo carborundum sharpening stone, which was how I was taught to sharpen knives by my father who was a professional sous chef and was all that he ever used to get his knives razor sharp. Just takes discipline, time and patience; all of which are in short supply these days.

The only other things I have to sharpen knives is a Fallkniven combo diamond whetsone that I bought off of Massdrop that I've used to reprofile a couple carbon steel blades, a soft Arkansas pocket stone, couple of leather strop boards and a sharpening rod, which are usually all that I need to resharpening any of my knives.

In any event, I just thought I'd give the Sharpmaker a try. It'll be interesting to see if it's any easier to sharpen my knives using it or if I decide to rely on the "old fashioned" methods, that I've been using for well over 50 years, instead.
 
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Blues

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sgt1372 sgt1372

I think you'll find that they each have a place in your arsenal, Sarge. At least they do for me.

(And thanks for your service, from one retired LEO to another...and NRA Life member.)
 

sgt1372

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@blue Thanks for the thanks -- one retired LEO and life NRA member to another!

Just received the Sharpmaker and diamond rods; still waiting for the ultra fines. Played around w/it using a cheap & really dull Chinese folder (marked 440 Stainless) that I was using as a letter opener.

Used the diamond rods at 40 degrees to set the edge. Then ran it across the med/fine rods at 40 and 30 degrees and stropped it. Got a "decent" edge; sharp but not extremely so. Then I ran it across the fine side of my carborundum stone and stropped it again; felt much sharper. But then I ran it across the fine rods of the Sharpmaker at 30 degrees again and it felt even sharper after further stropping.

Looks like it'll take some time to get the hang of using the Sharpmaker "properly" but, based on this little experiment, I may just continue to use the flat diamond/carborundum stones for initial sharpening and just use the Sharpmaker to fine tune the edge.

Problem is that most of my knives are already really sharp and I don't have many that need sharpening to play with. Hate dulling the edges on some knives just to have something to play with but I may have to do that to get some more practice time in.
 
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@blue Thanks for the thanks -- one retired LEO and life NRA member to another!

Just received the Sharpmaker and diamond rods; still waiting for the ultra fines. Played around w/it using a cheap & really dull Chinese folder (marked 440 Stainless) that I was using as a letter opener.

Used the diamond rods at 40 degrees to set the edge. Then ran it across the med/fine rods at 40 and 30 degrees and stropped it. Got a "decent" edge; sharp but not extremely so. Then I ran it across the fine side of my carborundum stone and stropped it again; felt much sharper. But then I ran it across the fine rods of the Sharpmaker at 30 degrees again and it felt even sharper after further stropping.

Looks like it'll take some time to get the hang of using the Sharpmaker "properly" but, based on this little experiment, I may just continue to use the flat diamond/carborundum stones for initial sharpening and just use the Sharpmaker to fine tune the edge.

Problem is that most of my knives are already really sharp and I don't have many that need sharpening to play with. Hate dulling the edges on some knives just to have something to play with but I may have to do that to get some more practice time in.

I hope it’s typo, but you seem to have it reversed. You need to use the 30° setting on diamond to thin it down, and refining on 40° as microbevel. Doing 30° after apexing at 40° will only reduce a bit of the edge shoulder and will not help in burr removal, adding that final crisp sharpness, etc.
 

sgt1372

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I hope it’s typo, but you seem to have it reversed. You need to use the 30° setting on diamond to thin it down, and refining on 40° as microbevel. Doing 30° after apexing at 40° will only reduce a bit of the edge shoulder and will not help in burr removal, adding that final crisp sharpness, etc.

You're right. I messed up.

Just looked at the instructions again and it looks like I not only used the wrong degree settings but also the wrong portions of the rods. Resharpening on the carborundum stone probably "fixed" the problem I caused using the Sharpmaker wrong.

No big deal since I was using a cheap Chinese folder to experiment with. Guess I'll just have to try again. Oh well . . . :rolleyes:
 
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Why use a sharp maker when you have a wicked edge. Ive used all types even electric, which I will never use again unless I dont care about the knife. Electric can heat the bevel and make it weak. But it all just takes time and practice. If you have a cheap blade to practice with it helps alot even recurve. I've got my sage 3 s30v so sharp on my WE120 brought it all the way up to a polished finish(my last step was the highest grit sand paper I had) so you dont always need to buy expensive stuff to get good results. The knife is stupid sharp now but it takes time and patience. Just run a few passes and check your work. Rule of thumb just because you can lower the bevel angle doesnt mean you should. I've got hair popping sharp off of 40deg inclusive. So I had a 20deg on each bevel. It all depends on the knife and steel. Just practice i started with a edge pro apex after learning wet stone. All you are doing is trying to make a completely even bevel on both sides. Biggest thing is to take your time....
 

JD Spydo

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I haven't watched that particular video yet but I will in the next day or so. I got my very first 204 Sharpmaker all the way back to 1999 when it was first released. And I had the 203 unit for about a couple of years before the 204 finally was available. Getting the very tip of the blade on many designs was a gripe I had for a while with the 204 Sharpmaker but after I got the diamond rods when they were first released back around 2002 I think it was really helped a lot. It wasn't long after that I got my first set of Ultra Fine stones for the Sharpmaker and again that seemed to help a little more yet.

The main method I found that helped to refine the tip and get it really sharp was to slow down and not let the tip come completely off of the stone. And to follow the last 1/4 inch of the tip all the way to the base. Now I'm not going to lie about it>> because it still didn't get the tip as super sharp as I could get them on good benchstones. And there were times I would use my Spyderco 302 Benchstones just for that reason alone at times. Even though I'm a huge fan of the 204 Sharpmaker it's most certainly not the only sharpening tool I use. I still like sharpening stuff on Spyderco 302 Benchstones and a wide variety of stones I've accumulated over the years. Sharpening the tip I've found is a skill all of it's own. I'm looking forward to watching this video the one Brother just put up.
 

sgt1372

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Why use a sharp maker when you have a wicked edge. . . . Biggest thing is to take your time....

Who has a Wicked Edge system? I don't.

Anyway, I realized that you don't even have to do the 40/30 degree thing, if you are already getting good results just using the 40 degree angle, which I was.

Re-did the cheap Chinese folder using the diamond, medium and fine rods at at 40 degrees and it turned out fine; very sharp w/o any re-do on my carborundum stone as b4. Already had good edges on the 12 main kitchen knives that I use (carbon and stainless); some 12-15 inches long. So, I just used the fine rods to touch them up (Steps 3 & 4) in the guide and, while they were all sharp already, they came out "scary sharp" after touching them up on the Sharpmaker and w/just a few final strokes on a leather strop. All of the the knives that I sharpened w/the Sharpmaker cut through sh*t like butter now!

I'm very impressed. :)

The only things I did that weren't mentioned (or that I didn't see) in the guidebook, that made sense for me to do, were: 1) pull the blade up (instead of guide it down) the rod, which provides me w/more control, 2) look straight down on the blade while pulling it up the rod, which made it easier to keep the blade at vertical and maintain contact w/the rod through the entire length of the blade and 3) sharpening the blade in sections, when the curvature (or other features of the blade) made maintaining contact w/the rod through its entire length difficult. The last idea was what was mentioned in the video about how to sharpen tips.

Well worth the $ spent IMO.
 
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Who has a Wicked Edge system? I don't.

Anyway, I realized that you don't even have to do the 40/30 degree thing, if you are already getting good results just using the 40 degree angle, which I was.

Re-did the cheap Chinese folder using the diamond, medium and fine rods and it turned out fine; very sharp w/o any re-do on my carborundum stone as b4. Already had good edges on the 12 main kitchen knives that I use (carbon and stainless); some 12-15 inches long. So, I just used the fine rods to touch them up (Steps 3 & 4) in the guide and, while they were all sharp already, they came out "scary sharp" after touching them up on the Sharpmaker and w/just a few final strokes on a leather strop. All of the the knives that I sharpened w/the Sharpmaker cut through sh*t like butter now!

I'm very impressed. :)

The only things I did that weren't mentioned (or that I didn't see) in the guidebook, that made sense for me to do, were: 1) pull the blade up (instead of guide it down) the rod, which provides me w/more control, 2) look straight down on the blade while pulling it up the rod, which made it easier to keep the blade at vertical and maintain contact w/the rod through the entire length of the blade and 3) sharpening the blade in sections, when the curvature (or other features of the blade) made maintaining contact w/the rod through its entire length difficult. The last idea was what was mentioned in the video about how to sharpen tips.

Well worth the $ spent IMO.

Glad to know ;)

Using 40° throughout is fine as also mentioned by Sal. Only when it (the bevel) gets too wide (pocket knife can have this, especially FFG or Scandi Flat primary) then thinning behind it with 30° setting will help to reduce wedging effect. On Kitchen knife where the primary grind is 0°, i.e fully vertical with spine = behind the edge thickness, this is not an issue.

About pulling up motion, it becomes edge trailing like stropping motion. If it works then you set. However, depending on steel, pressure and the stone material, trailing motion can result in stubborn burr. To remove stubborn burr, usually edge leading motion (slicing the stone) at slightly higher angle is recommended. This is where the 30° can be useful, sharpening at this angle and deburring at 40° is easy to do.

Good luck in experimenting further! :thumbsup:
 
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MyLegsAreOk

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Aug 31, 2017
Messages
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Why use a sharp maker when you have a wicked edge. Ive used all types even electric, which I will never use again unless I dont care about the knife. Electric can heat the bevel and make it weak. But it all just takes time and practice. If you have a cheap blade to practice with it helps alot even recurve. I've got my sage 3 s30v so sharp on my WE120 brought it all the way up to a polished finish(my last step was the highest grit sand paper I had) so you dont always need to buy expensive stuff to get good results. The knife is stupid sharp now but it takes time and patience. Just run a few passes and check your work. Rule of thumb just because you can lower the bevel angle doesnt mean you should. I've got hair popping sharp off of 40deg inclusive. So I had a 20deg on each bevel. It all depends on the knife and steel. Just practice i started with a edge pro apex after learning wet stone. All you are doing is trying to make a completely even bevel on both sides. Biggest thing is to take your time....

My issue with the wicked edge is how it only does like an inch and a half of sharpening then I have to move the blade to get a bur all the way down. When I get to strops the finish comes up comes up uneven since I took X amount of metal off one inch and Y amount off another and so on and so on. Then it's the fact I have to use three feet of tape per knife to save from scratches. On a recruve that's 3 inches long and I don't want to mess up it saves 45 minutes to take it to the sharpmaker.
 

sgt1372

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Good luck in experimenting further! :thumbsup:

Just received the "ultra fine" rods and "touched up" all of the other knives w/these rods that I sharpened w/the Sharpmaker last night, which now feel even sharper than before, if that's even possible.

Since most of the blades are made of soft carbon steel and dull easily, it looks like my Sharpmaker will be getting a lot of use. ;)
 
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Why use a sharp maker when you have a wicked edge...
Hey subbie, the reason I use the sharpmaker for touch ups is speed and ease of use. I set my bevels freehand or with a KME and then add a tiny microbevel with the SM. I keep the sharpmaker set up in my kitchen and I can touch up a dull knife and have it back to hair popping sharp in 10-15 seconds.
 
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If you setup sharpmaker like this
BQCNkTU.jpg

You will be able to hold the handle with one hand and place fingers of your other hand on the blade for more control. It will be much harder to slide off when you have your fingers on the tip, can apply controlled pressure and go faster up and down.
Make sure your base is leveled.
I used to reprofile my blades like that in the past.
You do the main bevel setting like that and then can chill and put your microbevel they way SM was intended to be used and your golden.
rtqlCGf.jpg
 
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