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Work Sharp, flawed?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Aldebaran, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Aldebaran


    Sep 18, 2004
    I do not have a Work Sharp of any type. I have sharpened knives free hand and with a Normark sharpener. So please take my opinion as just that, an opinion.

    What seems to be important to many people is the actual angle of the cutting edge. Most seem to agree that around 20° per side seems to be good as an average. This means a 40° overall angle. Some people prefer 15°/30°. These are absolute angles.

    The primary grind of knives have a bearing on what is the best angle IMHO, as does steel type and heat treatment.

    There are many knife sharpener designs on the market. Some are very crude and some very sophisticated. Many choices and many claims.

    The one that interested me to investigate a bit more is the Work Sharp brand. This is used by
    Cedric & Ada Gear and Outdoors youtube channel to sharpen his knives for knife steel composition cut durability testing. I initially thought he should be commended for using something that was repeatable and not subject to personal skill. I think now the opposite.

    The way the Work Sharp works seems flawed. The sharpening on one side the grinding belt is moving in one direction against the edge. On the other side it is moving the other way. I am not sure this is a great idea.

    The other problem is that the angle guides hold the knife at a constant angle, but at the angle of the primary grind. This can be almost anything! This means that a low sabre grind will have a very obtuse edge if sharpened on the Work Sharp. A wide bladed full flat grind knife will have a more acute edge. Different styles of blind grinds will have very different absolute sharpened edges!

    This basically invalidates the steel composition tests that Cedric & Ada Gear and Outdoors has done on his youtube channel. There might be some correlation, but not much. It also means, to me, that the Work Sharp machines are not worth considering.

    What do you think?
  2. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    I don't think your right about his testing, but do wish he switches over to v grind. Heck it would probably be cheaper than having to buy belts all the time. And are those belts are idea for cutting high carbide steel? He's shown that s110v, m4, vanadis 4 all get much longer edge retention with his tormek or v grind in some cases.

    In any case, you can ask Peter at Cedric ada the very questions on his fb or Instagram. He's great to talk with on these types of questions.
  3. RLDubbya

    RLDubbya HMFIC Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 21, 2016
    Go ahead and take this the wrong way, but I think that you have committed a fatal flaw in your thought process: you are making claims about a thing which exists in physical reality when you have no firsthand experience of that thing in reality. That is not a comment about you as a person; that is a comment about a thought process which happens to be put forward by you. You should not take the comment personally.

    I own a WSKO + Blade Grinding Attachment. The belt runs in one direction. There are two shelves: one on the back of the machine for general grinding of objects, and an alignment shelf on the front of the machine that you set the blade on to get a feel for a reference level, before moving the knife up between two idlers that provide some tension to the belt, but nothing is directly backing the belt at that location. Perhaps your YouTube hero does not use the BGA; I don't know, as I have not watched his videos, so I won't make any claim about his methodology, hypothetical or actual. However, I have used the methodology I outlined here, and it in fact works fine. When I first got my WSKO setup, I sharpened one practice knife, and the second knife I sharpened was my Spyderco Nirvana, and within 15 minutes it went from dull to shaving+ sharp, with a mirror edge.

    As I've written quite a number of times, get the BGA for the WSKO - you basically have a small belt grinder then.

    I do like the WSKO; however, I am saving up to get a 2x72" belt grinder instead. I want to have more horsepower, and greater durability.
  4. Aldebaran


    Sep 18, 2004
    Ummmmm, I see the images, I see the angles, I see how the guides hold the angle of the knife. The guides hold the angle according to the primary grind, no? Please show me how I am wrong.

    My youtube hero? WTF are you smoking? I have no heroes, wow, idiotic statement. So you accuse me of not understanding something because I did not experience it, but you state an opinion based on not watching any videos from the person I referenced? Yeah right...........

    Thank you for your completely useless and baseless opinion on something you own. You provided insults and nothing worth reading.
  5. Rat Finkenstein

    Rat Finkenstein Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2005
    Get the blade grinder attachment and your hypothetical worry will not apply
  6. RLDubbya

    RLDubbya HMFIC Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 21, 2016
    Ah, yes, somebody else from the land of Reading Comprehension. I'd wager you also know the difference between YouTube and reality. Well done, sir. Indeed, well done. It really is that simple; get the bga add-on and enjoy a good book when you have completed sharpening.

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