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    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

1. Is tape over the blade necessary to prevent scratches? 2. Is the 100-grit stone necessary?

  1. Q1: Yes. Q2: Yes

  2. Q1:Yes. Q2: No.

  3. Q1:No. Q2: Yes.

  4. Q1:No. Q2: No.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    OP here. I spent a while yesterday on the KME because it was the first time I used it. For years, I've been using the Ken Onion Work Sharp with the blade grinding attachment. Anyway, for my first knife, I used a knife from the Dollar Store. To make the process idiot proof, I installed two collars on the guide rod to prevent the stones going too far in either the up direction or the down direction. (Thanks @Daniel and @CasePeanut . I picked up a pack of drill stops from Amazon; it's cheaper than going through KME, and you get 7 of them instead of one, so you can control both the up stop and the down stop.) The sharpening process was easy peesy.

    Well, I should say that the stone work (that is, through the included 1500-grit stone), was the easy part. The lapping films were trickier. They kept ripping, and it was hard for me to get them to stick with soap and water (which is what the directions said to use.) In the end, I used a spray adhesive. I also find the lapping films challenging because, since the grit is so fine, it's difficult to know when you're done say, with a 3-micron round of polishing. The changes are too minute for my eyes to see, and the burr is too fine for me to feel at that point. But all the stone work was very easy.

    After the Dollar Store knife, I did a Kizer T1, and that one was easy, too. I'm not sure why everyone says that you're going to ruin your first few knives on the KME. Maybe I didn't have a difficult time because I'd already cracked my teeth on the Worksharp blade grinder, which is more difficult to use. Because of my (intermediate-level) sharpening experience, I didn't start with the 140-grit on either knife, by the way.

    I used a 30-degree angle stop on the machine. We know that that doesn't equate to exactly 30 degrees, but it's a fairly wide angle, nonetheless. I was able to get both knives to slightly shave the hair on my hair, meaning that it wasn't exactly painless, and you had to go through several passes to get all the hair. Then again, I've never been able to do better than that on my WorkSharp, either. All in all, I'm happy with the result, and it was far easier than people seemed to indicate. And I didn't use tape, either, though I did sometimes spray the blade to remove the diamond dust and blade filings.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    BC42, 4mer_FMF, Daniel and 1 other person like this.
  2. Night Rider

    Night Rider Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2018
    Sounds like you have it all under controls Sharperthansticks :thumbsup:. As for the lapping films the KME kit I got had a very sticky adhesive on the backside and it is very hard to peal the backing off to stick them to the glass slides and they are even harder to peal off the slides so I use a hair dryer to warm it up first. With the lapping films your not going for a bur, that's only for sharpening. The films are for polishing your sharpened edge and should be done with downward strokes only and only run the first third of the film past the knife tip, that will keep you from tearing the films. When you get better at it you can use up and down strokes with a very light touch but I don't suggest it. I know it doesn't feel like your doing anything with the films but you will notice that the film will start to get dirty looking after a dozen strokes or so and that is the metal being removed from the blade so that's how you can tell. You will also notice that the edge will be a more reflective as you progress on the grits. You can also pick up a 10 X jewelers loop for $10 bucks online and use it to inspect the edge during the burring posses and also use it to inspect the edge in between lapping films to make sure that you have removed ALL the scratches from the last film. Hope that helps out and remember that this is not rocket surgery so have fun.
    Beastchopper and 4mer_FMF like this.
  3. CasePeanut

    CasePeanut Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2018
    Great to hear! Sounds like a 40x loupe and an angle cube are your next purchases!

    Some folks just use their phones for the angle. I prefer a dedicated angle cube. You’ll need to add a bit of metal to attach an angle cube. They usually have a magnetic side, so any magnetic metal will do. I taped a big flat washer on mine. It’s not permanent but works great.
  4. Ripcord 82

    Ripcord 82

    Feb 15, 2019
    Never found tape to be necessary but I use the 100 grit ,if needed.I have the Beast also but it is to rough for my tastes.
  5. BC42


    Apr 13, 2019
    After weeks of watching videos of different types of sharpening systems and reading reviews, I ordered a KME kit and it came last week. I ordered the standard kit with a base, an Arkansas translucent stone and a spare glass (to make a strop or finer grit sandpaper). I also ordered a long handle that looked better than the ball types most were recommending.

    There's definitely a learning curve and it helped sharpening 3 cheaper knives to start. I went back to 2 of them for touch-ups and more practice. I'm very happy with the results.
    Night Rider and 4mer_FMF like this.
  6. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    I've been meaning to revisit this thread. First of all, here's my KME setup:


    There are a few things to note:

    First, as seen in the picture, there are two adjustable stop collars. This prevents me from going past the edge of the stone and scratching up my blade -- in either the down stroke or the up stroke. I used drill stops, and I got them here. Next, I got cheap lapping films (a piece of which is shown) and the glass blanks to affix them to. You can get the lapping films here; the glass blanks are out of of stock. (Luckily I got three blanks before they sold out, though I could really use a fourth for the final, .3micron film, which I haven't used yet.) The lapping film does not have an adhesive backing, and it is not pre-cut. After some experimentation, I decided that the easiest way to use it is to lightly coat a glass blank with spray adhesive (again, shown in the picture), stick it (adhesive side down) on a large piece of lapping film, and cut around it; this is what works for me. The reason I put the adhesive on the glass blank first is so that it doesn't slide around when I'm trying to cut the lapping film around it.

    I'm not naturally a patient person, and I tend to get impatient and too aggressive with the lapping films, which means I wind up ripping them ALL. THE. TIME., leading me to think that maybe I should just get some high-grit stones, instead, and just be done with it. Another problem is that I can't tell when I'm done with one lapping film stage, but you guys suggested either a 10x loupe (@Night Rider ) or a 40x loupe (@CasePeanut ) , so that's probably the solution. (Do I need both?)

    I'm not the fastest with the stone work or lapping work, though I have a lot of experience sharpening with my Ken Onion + blade grinder, so sometimes, on cheaper knives, when I'm running out of patience, I just move over to the Ken Onion and power sharpen my blade. Another bonus with the KO blade grinder is that I don't have to worry about cutting the belts.

    One final thing: I noticed that my KME is quite wobbly. I've tried to firm it up with tape between the rod coming out of the base, and the top portion of the KME, but this only helps so much; there's quite a bit of wiggle in the setup. Then again, a large part of that is probably because the base itself is wobbling, since it's not that heavy. I may have to clamp it to my table and see if that makes the situation any better.

    Hope some of this information helps others. Remember that that lapping film can be very expensive but that there are much cheaper ways of buying it, if you're wiling to cut it yourself and use an adhesive.
    Daniel and BC42 like this.
  7. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Here . . . Edge Pro Apex :
    • has stops built in so you don't run off the stone in either direction. (small knife accessory takes some careful set up to prevent this)
    • when using the films only use edge trailing strokes or set up the angle precisely so you are EXACTLY on the facet face; a steeper angle will cause the edge to dig into the tape THE STONE THICKNESS COMPENSATOR STOP COLLAR on the Edge Pro will ensure this every time.
    • and finally . . . barely scrape hair sharp is good enough ? ? ? Is an improvement ? ? ? In the land of the Edge Pro that is a DULL knife.
    Follow the steps for and Edge Pro and it's hair whittling EVERY TIME from my first try (I was used to using sharpening jigs but this was my first use of a KNIFE sharpener) and that is finishing with a medium stone (4,000) no tapes or strops need apply. ;)
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  8. BC42


    Apr 13, 2019
    I bought a Worksharp Knife and Tool sharpener last month and wasn't completely satisfied with the results. It's fine for kitchen knives and beater knives but it leaves a lot of scratches on the blade. I do like having a convex edge so I've been using it w/o the guides on my beater knives and it's fast and easy.

    My biggest issue with the Edge Pro Apex is that you have to hold the blade while sharpening and it can move every time you move from one side to the other. I was down to the Wicked Edge and the KME. I didn't think the WE was worth over twice the cost (especially after adding more stones).

    I don't have an issue with going off the stone but I do try to stay in the middle of the stone while sharpening so that helps. I used the KME stock on the first blade and with the long handle the 2nd time and it makes a huge difference in control and comfort. I find I get a better edge when I let the weight of the stone and handle do the work and not add any additional pressure onto the blade. While I don't get a mirror finish on the edge with the arkansas translucent stone (~2500 grit), it's a pretty edge for a working knife. I've sharpened 8cr13mov, 440c and D2 so far and I get shaving sharp on all 3, not quite hair popping though.

    I do notice a slight wobble but not from the base, just the handle on the post. I hold the handle and put my index finger on top of the long screw that holds the blade to stabilize it and it's fine that way.

    I bought a piece of 6" x 12" leather to make a couple of strops and will probably use it with some Mother's mag and aluminum polish.
  9. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    To compare the two scientifically (and see if you're right about the Edge Pro Apex being better), I'd really like to see the same knife, with the same angle bevel, sharpened at the same final grit, on both systems -- and then compared for performance. For all I know, I may be able to reproduce your results but am not getting those results right now because the stock thickness, angle, or grit are different. If you're sharpening a Delica at 15 degrees, after all, I'm not going to get the same result with my ZT 0562Ti at a 20-25 degree angle.
  10. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    Thanks for the feedback on the Edge Pro Apex. Also, I'll probably pick up one of those handles you recommended, so thanks for that suggestion.

    My hands are not the steadiest, and I had a lot of trouble with my WorkSharp, so I bumped up to the Ken Onion. I was still having problems and wanted to use two hands instead of one, so I bought the angle grinder attachment, and that made all the difference. I was able to get good edges on my knives after that. The problem is that there are two rollers, and you must position your knife carefully between the two of them; if you go too low, the lower roller will give the face of your blade a "rash." Well, I did that too many times, and I don't like messing up the faces of my pretty knives, which is why I decided to go KME. In principle, though, the Worksharp Ken Onion with Blade Grinder is a good system (especially if you have the patience to tape up your blade to idiot-proof the process).

    As for the KME, I've used it to sharpen my dollar store knife, as well as knives in VG-10 (Kizer Begleiter), S35VN (Kizer T1), and M390 (ZT 0562Ti) so far, and the system works well, though I find it to be somewhat time consuming. (The WorkSharp is a lot faster.) Then again, like I said, I'm not the speediest sharpener. Also, I don't like to take off excess steel, so, so far, for every knife, I've started at the 1500-grit stone and then progressed to lapping film, instead of starting at earlier grits. I'd rather replace that 1500-grit stone more often than replace knives more often because I sharpened the hell out of them.
  11. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Waaaaannnnnaaaa Bet !
    From my Little Monster which is a super thin white paper steel kitchen knife at about 10° per side to a monster 6mm thick blade with 27° per side sharpening bevels BOTH will be literally and easily hair whittling sharp !
    Consistently, every single time. What it take is super consistent angle control and a very minimum or complete elimination of flex in the jig system.
    Clamping the knife at the spine with a thin flexy jawed clamp that is suspended off the end of a rig is a recipe for inconsistent results. A thick rigid jig that supports the blade right behind the edge is the way to go.
    A must is a system that compensates for ANY variation is stone thickness which the Edge Pro can do easily. One of my reservations with the Wicked Edge by the way. Anyone willing to explain how they do that with a Wicked Edge ?
  12. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    Thanks for your KME advice.
  13. Night Rider

    Night Rider Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2018
    Awesome find on the lapping film sheets Sharperthansticks! I will definitely be picking some up. You should get a 10x loupe or stronger for the Sharpening process but it is not needed after you finish up with the 1500 grit stone (No more need to check for burs). When using the lapping films (for polishing) just let the weight of the glass slide do the work using downward sweeping strokes only to eliminate the scratches from the previous grit, that's when the loupe really comes in handy. Even though it feels like no metal is being removed it is and you can tell by the way the honing oil will get dirty on the first couple of films, 9 through 3 micron but lower than that will not show very much material and that is when the loupe most important in checking the previous scratch pattern. I like to alternate my passes by sweeping at a 50 degree angle to the left for a dozen passes then 50 degrees to the right for a dozen keeping a rough total count so I can repeat it when I flip the blade to the other side. The blade tip takes a little bit of finnes to get perfect so try letting only a third of the slide travel beyond the tip while applying the slightest bit of finger pressure to the opposite side, that's where I had tearing issues at the beginning. As for the slight wobble in the base I rest my hand on the base and slowly twist the grip to rotate it while making passes and have not found it to be an issue at all. When going for that Supper mirror finish make sure you clean the grit and debris off the blade before advancing to the next stone or film by spraying it clean with water or canned air. Using a rag to wipe the blade will scratch the bevel and the edge. I hope that helps someone out :):thumbsup:. I used a couple of tiny O rings for my stops, [​IMG] And this is how I rest the weight of my hand on the base and lightly grip the handle of the clamp. [​IMG]
    BC42 and 4mer_FMF like this.
  14. Night Rider

    Night Rider Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2018
    Almost forgot to say that once you develop a light steady hand with the lapping films you CAN use an up and down motion. Just make sure you start the First pass with with downward strokes to eliminate any micro burr then you can LIGHTLY use alternating up and down strokes to speed up the polishing process but not on the very tip.
  15. BC42


    Apr 13, 2019
    You obviously haven't handled a KME. The support for the blade is very solid and probably more accurate than the Edge Pro, especially when switching from side to side. From my research from the last month or so, I would rank the Wicked Edge first, KME 2nd and the Edge Pro 3rd. The KME comes with 4 diamond stones that many have said will last the life of the sharpener. I just didn't think the WE was worth twice the cost of the KME. The Edge Pro has 2 major flaws (for me), the blade positioning and the stones that need to be leveled every once in a while. When I was in the boy scouts, they taught me how to sharpen a knife on a stone and they wear fairly quickly.

    They're all good systems and can sharpen knives but they all still need some skill to get good (great?) results.

    The biggest problem with both KO and Knife and Tool sharpeners is that you have to drag the blade across the guide and that's where you get scratches on the blade face. Taping the guides seems to be the trick over taping the blade face. I do like the convex edge so I kept the Worksharp but wanted something better for my hobby knives.

    From all the videos I've seen, the minimum you should start with is the 300 grit if you're keeping the same angle. The material taken off is very minimal and you'll get a sharper edge when working your way up the grits. Plan on spending at least 30-60 mins for each knife. It's not like the Worksharp where you get a good edge in 5 mins (another reason I decided to keep it). The Worksharp can/will take more material off the blade easier and faster than a 140g stone on the KME.

    Another tip is getting some pink erasers to clean the diamond stones. 48¢ for a 2pk at Walmart :)
  16. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    Remember that I'm using the Ken Onion version with the blade grinder attachment. It's very different from the basic WorkSharp or even the Ken Onion Worksharp by itself. With the blade grinder attachment, there is no guide, and so there's no guide to scratch the face of the blade. Maybe I'm the only one that has had this problem, but when I slightly miscalculated where the rollers were, or when I would accidentally tilt my knife so it was too far past parallel, I would get a rash on my blade face from it touching the roller/sandpaper. This was my main motivation to go to the KME; even though the rash only happened occasionally, I didn't want to risk it anymore with my nice knives.

    By far the most important thing that you need to do at any grit is raise a burr. If you successfully raise a burr at a given grit, you're good to go. There may be more efficient ways of raising that burr -- like using coarser stones initially -- but whether you start with a butter knife and spend 2 hours with 1500-grit to raise a burr, or you progress through the grits and finally raise a burr with 1500-grit material in the total span of 40 minutes, when you finally raise a burr, it's exactly the same. I know when I've raised a burr, and that's what I am constantly checking for, so I know when I am good to go to flip the knife over, raise another burr, and then finish off with some light strokes and move to the next grit. Remember that the burr is everything. Since I'm comfortable taking my time raising a burr starting with the 1500-grit stone, it's all the same, except for the time that it takes to raise that burr.

    Yeah, the instructions that come with the KME suggest that.
  17. CasePeanut

    CasePeanut Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2018
    Yes, at the level of detail you are talking about for the sub-micron lapping films you will want a minimum of 20x magnification. Make sure to get an illuminated one so you don’t have to deal with additional lights. Right now I have a 10x, 40x and a small handheld microscope that goes up to 120x. They all have their place.
  18. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    That's a total non issue. Flattening stones is about the easiest thing I have ever done other than catching a cold. I'm still on my original very thin Shapton Glass Edge Pro stones. There is NOTHING to it.

    The advantage of a guided system over hand sharpening is that there is much, much, much less gouging of the stones to start with.

    Yes I agree hand sharpening sucks and is a wasteful endeavor with inferior results.

    Your welcome.:)
    I have a good deal of experience making machines and jigs.
    I still stand by what I said.
  19. TightLines


    Sep 20, 2015
    The concept of not apexing with the 100 grit is new to me. If you don't apex with it (no burr), how do you know when you're close if reprofiling?
  20. bucketstove


    Sep 23, 2014
    Watch the paint :)
    Paint the edge
    Then grind at a lower angle than the edge,
    and always keep paint marker visible at the front.

    For example, imagine blade where
    the edge bevel is 2mm wide at 20 degrees per side (40 deg)
    this makes it 1.36808 mm (1368.08 micron) thick at the shoulder

    So you want to regrind to 15 degrees per side, so you paint the edge, then grind until
    you have abouts .2mm of original painted bevel remaining
    (its not too hard to eyeball a third of a mm with a little practice)
    At this new shoulder where the new 15dps meets the old 20dps,
    the blade is 0.13681mm(136.81 micron) thick

    Why .2mm? Or .3mm , 0.20521 thick shoulder ?

    Because 100 grit is around 125.00 micron ( .125mm )


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