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Thread: Sharpening with belt sander

  1. #1
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    Sharpening with belt sander


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    My local Knife shop I go to uses a belt sander to sharpen knives. I wanted to ask what everyones opinion is on using a belt sander for sharpening?I've only had him sharpen my knives once and it came out alright. He said my spyderco tenacious was hard to sharpen which has 8cr13mov steel. It came out being slightly less sharper than the factory sharpening. My benchamde adamas 275 was sharpened a lot better since it has D2 steel.

    Would you say the guy isn't very good at sharpening since he couldn't sharpen my tenacious very well, or is that a common problem with 8cr13mov? Im thinking of taking my spyderco stretch carbon fiber with ZDP 189 to him, but im afraid he'll ruin it and not be able to sharpen it well since ZDP 189 is pretty hard steel from what I've herd.

    Anyones input on this would be greatly appreciated!

    Best Regards,

    Zack

  2. #2
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    I kinda think you might want to stay away. Learn to use stones etc. Seems he isn't all that good. Could also over heat your blade.

  3. #3
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    You want them sharp ? Then send them to Richard J. http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...pening-service

  4. #4
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    If he can't get 8cr13 sharp on a belt sander, he's either a hack or clearly doesn't have the proper technique or belts. Using a Work Sharp, I've gotten far harder steels shaving sharp incredibly quickly.

    I wouldn't go back to him.

  5. #5
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    I figured he was a joke. He told me spyderco and Benchmade are overrated and that I should look at his non name china brand knives that cost $10 because they have better steel, even tho all they say on them is "stainless" and "china". Ill contact Richard J, thank for the link!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zookie View Post
    I figured he was a joke. He told me spyderco and Benchmade are overrated and that I should look at his non name china brand knives that cost $10 because they have better steel, even tho all they say on them is "stainless" and "china". Ill contact Richard J, thank for the link!
    Whoa there big fella! That's hilarious.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Misanthropia View Post
    If he can't get 8cr13 sharp on a belt sander, he's either a hack or clearly doesn't have the proper technique or belts. Using a Work Sharp, I've gotten far harder steels shaving sharp incredibly quickly.

    I wouldn't go back to him.
    ^Yup. This.


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  8. #8
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    Many Orlando/Tampa gunshows have a guy with a motorized gizmo that does any knife for $2.00. He does a pretty good job, but I wouldn't let him touch one of mine.
    It's really a wheel on a motor...rather than a belt-sander. Probably rouge or other polishing medium.
    Sonny

  9. #9
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    zookie, send me an email rje196021@gmail.com
    I offer professional knife sharpening 40 years of experience, 22 with the paper wheels. $1. per inch for a v edge, $2 for a convex. I sharpen all edges & "Ti" knives, serrations. plus i do regrinds. Check out my website.http://sites.google.com/site/richardjsknives/Home

  10. #10
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    sonny, i use paper wheels (which is what he probably used) to sharpen knives on and i have used them for 21 years. they do a great job. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q_eMwRaHYg here is a vid of a knife i made that is on a private passaround.
    check out this thread http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=651061
    I offer professional knife sharpening 40 years of experience, 22 with the paper wheels. $1. per inch for a v edge, $2 for a convex. I sharpen all edges & "Ti" knives, serrations. plus i do regrinds. Check out my website.http://sites.google.com/site/richardjsknives/Home

  11. #11
    I've seen videos of John Fitzen,Ray Ennis and other custom knife makers use a belt grinder to sharpen their knives.

  12. #12
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    Every joe-blow in every truck stop and gun show uses paper wheels. Some are good, some are not. I used paper wheels when I started 25 years ago. But now I know better.

  13. #13
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    OP- RUN RUN, and take your knives with you. You want an expert , send them to Richard.
    You want to learn to do it yourself, there are some Experts right here as well as a wealth of searchable threads

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongolguy View Post
    Every joe-blow in every truck stop and gun show uses paper wheels. Some are good, some are not. I used paper wheels when I started 25 years ago. But now I know better.
    Individual skill matters. A true master can make a beautiful and sharp edge on a brick. Sadly, I'm about 25 years too young to do that.

  15. #15
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    its like anything else, it takes alot of practice. but once your good at it you can get a razor edge in a very short time. the main issues i see is burning the steel. you need a light touch and a steady hand.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter r View Post
    its like anything else, it takes alot of practice. but once your good at it you can get a razor edge in a very short time. the main issues i see is burning the steel. you need a light touch and a steady hand.
    Yeah, pretty easy to burn the edge if you use too much pressure, especially near the tip as the blade gets especially thin at that point and heat builds up almost instantaneously. A light touch is definitely the way to go, as I found from regrinding blades that mashing the blade against the belt will not get the job done any faster, surprising as that may sound. I've also learned to avoid cheap aluminum oxide belts and go for ceramic or silicon carbide.

  17. #17
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    That guy just isn't much good at it. I use a belt for almost all of my sharpening, and I can EASILY exceed the factory edge on any production knife you care to hand me. Need the right belts and a bit of practice, but so far I haven't run across any steel I can't get a decent edge on. For my purposes, "decent" implies the ability to pop hair off your arm and cleanly push-cut telephone book paper. I typically use the telephone book paper to verify that I've removed the burr and that the blade is serviceable before I hand it back to the owner.

    My setup is a 1x42 Kalamazoo, with Blaze, Trizact and SurgiSharp / Hand American belts.

  18. #18
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    Some softer/less wear resistant steels can feel almost gummy on a belt sander and they develop a very large burr. I just sharpened a knife I believed to be D2 that is either a different alloy or the maker did not hit the 60-61 on the Rockwell C scale that they were shooting for in the heat treatment. It felt soft on the belt and developed a huge burr that was more challenging than usual to remove. It felt so strange that I reprofiled it to 40 degrees inclusive on the Spyderco Sharpmaker. Again, the steel felt very soft and not wear resistant enough to be properly HT'd D2. It did carve up a couple of cardboard boxes, but lost most of its edge to do so. Within the first 5 12" cuts the edge lost shaving sharpeness.

  19. #19
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    I've run into quite a few older kitchen knives like that, especially butcher knives. I've had my best luck there just trying to keep the burr as small as I can, and spend lots of time on the 1u leather. Sometimes a light pull through the end grain of a piece of pine I keep in the sharpening box really helps lose that burr. There's not much you can do about a poor heat treat except put as obtuse an angle on it as you can and still get it to perform.

  20. #20
    for other peoples knives and my kitchen knives I use a sander to reprofile, a stone to microbevel, and strop it. If the steel isnt crappy, they come out hair splitting. But I had a lot of experience up my sleeve before I moved to a belt sander. I found it took me too long to sharpen or reprofile a customers absolutely dull knife with stones. Make sure he is feeling the edge every stroke to see if it is getting warm. If he thinks 8cr is HARD, he obviously has no idea what he is doing

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