Help me choose a sharpener

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by araziza, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. wade7575

    wade7575

    Apr 3, 2013
    @araziza The work get your blades sharp from what I understand and people really like them but they also remove a lot more metal then a guided system,if it were me and I had the knowledge that I have now about sharpening and system's would go with the best guided system I could afford that use's edge pro format stones and I would buy just the sharpener and the save up for stones if I had to.

    If you have knives worth 200 or 300 a peace you need to ask yourself how long do you blade to last if you want to use a work sharp.
     
  2. araziza

    araziza

    32
    Aug 7, 2018
    Sadly or thankfully my most expensive knife is about $150 CAD, but I'd still like it to last. Is the work sharp likely to remove so much metal if you use it correctly?
     
  3. sickpuppy1

    sickpuppy1 Gold Member Gold Member

    848
    Sep 27, 2018
    It will always remove more than a guided system. It's just the nature of the beast. Its designed to work fast. And the reality is, that most of us dont need to remove a lot of metal, just the refined the edge. That's where the guided system shines.
     
  4. CanadaKnifeGuy

    CanadaKnifeGuy

    564
    Jan 27, 2019
    Get the work sharp and a strop.

    You'll never need the coarse diamond unless you baton a staple or something to chip it.

    It will be mostly ceramic plus stropping.

    And it can even be 80%+ stropping by itself and only occasional ceramic.
     
  5. wade7575

    wade7575

    Apr 3, 2013
    It's like sickpuppy1 said it the nature of the beast when it comes to a work sharp,it's not going to blast the metal off at an insane rate either but your just not going to get the same life out of your blade as you would a guided system,another thing to consider is you will also be buying new belt's at a much faster rate then what you would if you got Venev diamond stones and even water stones such as boride.
     
  6. MtnHawk1

    MtnHawk1 Basic Member Basic Member

    321
    May 22, 2019
    I use the 60 grit Baryonyx Manticore for reprofiling, and often as my first sharpening stone. I'm surprised and happy with how fast it hogs off metal. Before I found out about it I used ~120 grit diamond plates and SiC stones. I read that these were supposed to remove metal quickly but they were way too slow for me. I have better things to do than spend more time than I have to grinding away metal.

    I agree with Alberta Ed that it would be good to consider freehand sharpening. When I finally understood sharpening theory and how to do it, thanks to The Razor Edge Book of Sharpening, I was surprised how easy and quick it actually is to get knives sharp. I like good, toothy, working edges so don't bother with stropping or steeling.

    I think freehand sharpening meets most or all of araziza's criteria and would be a lot less expensive, without the set-up time and equipment to take up space. Personally, I get a sense of satisfaction from freehand sharpening that I don't with guided or motorized systems, which aren't always available. A small abrasive can be carried just about anywhere to always keep the blade sharp .
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
    Mr.Wizard likes this.
  7. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    No. A lot of that depends on what grit belt that you start with. You would not want to use a 100 grit belt to touch-up an edge. The coarser belts are for removing more metal like reprofiling or repairing a blade. It's the same with a guided system - you wouldn't use your coarsest stone to touch-up an edge.
    Personally, I bought the WS for convex edges and to use as a belt sander for small parts. Two birds with one stone kind of thing. But I am nearly 60 years old and disabled. I need to do things as fast and painless as possible. After watching many videos and looking at every sharpening system that I could find, I decided that the WE130 would be the best all around sharpening system for me. So I saved up and bought one.
    My advice is to check out every sharpening system that you can find and watch a bunch of videos of them being used. Then decide which one, or two, are best for you and your situation. But be careful - some reviewers are so lazy and irresponsible that they don't even read the instructions of a system before they video their, "review", of it. And at least one of them is very well known. Which makes me believe that they have an ulterior motive for their feigned ignorance.
    So, don't base your opinion on just one review, or one opinion. And practice with blades that won't break your heart if you mess them up until you get a good feel for the system that you purchase.
     
  8. araziza

    araziza

    32
    Aug 7, 2018
    I'm about 1/5 of the way through that book, started yesteday after seeing it mentioned across the forum. I'm going to see what I think after I'm done. I have to say, based on the responses I'm seeing, I'm surprised i haven't seen more support for the Work Sharp Guided sharpening system.

    whichever system I use I'll practise with my old CRKT and a couple of cheap chinese SAK knockoffs I have lying around, as well as some of our dull, chipped paring knives. I won't start with my EDC.
     
    000Robert likes this.
  9. pnsxyr

    pnsxyr Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 29, 2013
    I had only a Spyderco SharpMaker for many years (maybe a decade) along with the UltraFine stones later on, and two strops (one bare, one with that green brick compound.) This was good for the decade where I didn't do any sort of super major blade repairs or reprofiling, and was maintaining a factory edge or a good edge set with some other sharpening system. The medium stones were plenty capable of fixing more minor damage with some patience. However, this was when 154CM and VG-10 were much more common than some of the more wear resistant steels we see today. The SharpMaker will make prompt work of the 8Cr14MoV knife you currently have, without a need for the diamond stones IMHO. I would guess that your older kitchen knives are potentially softer steels...the SharpMaker can make prompt work of these and with a little patience the included medium stones can repair them without issue.

    I eventually got an EdgePro Apex, as there were things I started wanting to do that the SharpMaker just wasn't the best tool for. That said, that SharpMaker is now like two decades old and to this day I still sometimes use it. The SharpMaker is an excellent, easy-to-use, versatile, and durable product capable of handling most sharpening needs.
     
  10. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    All sharpening requires patience. And it takes a long time to exhaust the Sharpmaker's potential before moving onto more advanced systems. Sal Glesser's videos are required viewing for it.
     
  11. araziza

    araziza

    32
    Aug 7, 2018
    Are you talking that 4 part sypderco video where he demonstrates the sharpmaker?
     
    marchone likes this.
  12. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    And the entire 47 minute DVD.
     
  13. CanadaKnifeGuy

    CanadaKnifeGuy

    564
    Jan 27, 2019
    Worksharp benchtop angle set sharpener, Ken Onion is down to $73.81 on amazon.ca right now.

    No brainer.

    Get that and the BeaverCraft paddle strop.

    You're done.

    $110. No brainer.
     
  14. araziza

    araziza

    32
    Aug 7, 2018
    Well, if I’m tallying replies, I count (roughly) 6 in favour it the sharpmaker, 4 for the WSKO, 1 for the angle sharpener, and a whole bunch for guided systems of all types (and price points). Plus a few for freehand. In two pages. Still not certain.
     
  15. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    It just depends on what you need/want, how much time do you want to spend doing it, and what your budget is.
     
    MtnHawk1 likes this.
  16. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    Feb 28, 2015
    You said you wanted to make "(not insignificant) repairs/ refurbishments" and the SharpMaker will not do that, so strike it from your list unless you're planning to supplement it with something more powerful, or you've changed your requirements.
     
    MtnHawk1 likes this.
  17. pnsxyr

    pnsxyr Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 29, 2013
    Are you near a speciality knife shop? There are not a ton of them these days with physical stores, and the pandemic has certainly made this more complicated, but some will have sharpeners on display or have dealers units they would be glad to show you first-hand.
     
  18. araziza

    araziza

    32
    Aug 7, 2018
    I am. I'll see what they have next time I can.
     
  19. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Maybe talk to someone at sharpeningsupplies.com

    They stock everything imaginable.
     
  20. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I have gifted and recommended the Work Sharp grinder to people. But these are almost always non-knife people whose kitchen knives are about as sharp as clay. They will run one through there every six months or so when they remember.

    If you have the desire to regularly maintain your edges then I personally wouldn't go this route. I just don't think it is unnecessary and I think the trade-offs make it not worth it. It's not a bad system by any means, but if you are the type to put in a little effort around this then I think you can do better.

    I do not like fixed crock-stick style systems like the Sharp Maker. Very limited. Yes some have more angle options but your still limited to those.

    Guided systems are excellent and I would only advise getting a quality one. They all have pluses and minuses. I have a KME and it is excellent. One thing a guided system can really do, is build your confidence. But again, they have limitations.

    If you want to get into this cheap, given the types of knives you mentioned then this is what I recommend:

    1. Norton JB8 combination stone. $30USD
    2. Sharpening oil. $5-10USD
    3. Red permanent marker. $3

    You can make-shift a strop to start. And old belt works well or some denim wrapped around your stone. But if you want to buy one, by all means do.

    Getting working edges is not voodoo. The marker will guide you on angle and we can all help you with that. Just enough pressure to keep things steady on the stone. No biggy. Raise a burr, switch sides, raise a burr, de-burr. That's the basics and those are the basics of all the systems. The only thing that changes is how you get there.

    Learning to freehand opens up vast opportunities and you will always be able to adapt and build upon that skill. You won't care if a knife has a funky grind on the spine or what the edge angle is and with the addition of some diamond plates, you'll be open to a huge range of steels.

    If you want to delve into highly refined edges later on, then so be it. But just to get working edges and understand the fundamentals, the above will get you there. And you have a vast resource of some of the most helpful and knowledgeable sharpening folks in the world right here.

    EDIT: Typos
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
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