I've heard great things about the Work Sharp system, thought I have not used it personally. It will convex your blade, I don't know how ok you are with that.
There are three things I'm convinced I will never master before I die: Olympic dressage, differential calculus and knife sharpening. Of the three only knife sharpening keeps me up at night.
I'm about to admit defeat. After decades of pushing knife blades across stones and buying into just about every sharpening gimmick out there I freely admit that I simply can't get any better than a pedestrian working edge on a blade. I now realize the problem is me, and I'm no longer too proud to say I need help. Life is too short. I need a sharpening intervention, so to speak...
Yesterday Moose started a thread about the KME sharpening system, and it looks like a good setup. But I know it can't be the only good system out there.
So help out an old knife fool. What other good systems are out there that you can personally recommend? I'm not averse to spending money; I've got over 100 knives in my collection and a good number of them are or will end up being working knives, so I'm willing to invest in a high quality/high performance system.
Work sharp is awesome for newbies (like me). I use the guided system from 80 grit to 120 grit to 6000 grit while making sure I have burr formation on each side before switching. All my knives are razor sharp now.
I make my own sharpner and I have been useing for a very long time. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a picture of it. if I cant shave my arm with my leek then it is not good enough that is how sharp my knife sharpner get it.
My Sharpmaker puts a great edge on my knives. I would recomend the diamond and ultra fine stones with it.
Let's start at the beginning here. Is a "system" the only means you have tried? Have you utterly failed at freehand sharpening? What about the end result is it that tells you that you are failing at sharpening the knives?
Yes, the problem is more than likely you, but we need to know just how you are the problem. Impatience? (That is one that I get and then some.) Show us what you have used, what you feel you have had the best results with, and describe your results to us so we know where you are and where you need to be.
Personally, I am a big advocate of freehand sharpening simply because you can do it anywhere with almost anything. And depending on the type of edge you put on your knife, it can be hard or easy. I personally find convex to be more forgiving because you are naturally inclined to sharpen to a convex anyway when you sharpen freehand.
"If you can't handle the RPM's, don't get in the dryer..." - Tradewater
I don't know if it's still in print, but see if you can find a book titled "How To Sharpen Anything". Don't remember the author's name.
Knives, axes, scissors -- he covers it all. It was very helpful to me when I started getting serious about cutting stuff.
Machinist, sandblaster, Kydex-bender, Dura-Coater.
See my Custom Finishing thread at:
E-5, US Army (Ret.) Republic of Viet Nam '70-'71.Beckerhead #.223
When I started sharpening I had to resist buying a sharpening system when I wasnt seeing any progress with the stones. But I stuck with it, and told myself I would not buy a sharpening system until I was proficient with stones. It took awhile but over time I got better, and I finally got to a point where I feel like I am pretty good at free hand sharpening, and I havent felt the need to buy a sharpening system anymore.
This is just another one of those skills that every outdoorsman should know how to do. What if you need to sharpen your knife in the field? Are you gonna carry a box with with your fancy sharpening system, or are you take a small stone(or diamond card,ceramic rod,etc)?
So... how do you get good at something? With practice, practice, varying your technique, and more practice. Repetition is the mother of all skill. If something is not working, you need to vary your technique, and gauge the results.
I use some different grits of sandpaper (80 (if edge is chipped), 120, 180, 240, 320, 600, 1200 and 2000) with a bit of WD-40 sprayed on them and strops with a bunch of different compounds and polishing pastes (black, white, green and average polishing paste) on them since all of my blades are convexed. I’ve got a smaller version of this set up that I can easily bring out since it all fits in a small plastic box about 4” x 4.5”. I never really took an interest in factory sharpening systems and the work sharp was probably the closest I ever came to buying one (Lost interest as I dont think its compatible with the power plugs we've got here and couldnt be bothered getting a transformer or whatevers needed).
Utterly? No.Have you utterly failed at freehand sharpening?
Uneven (wavy) final edges, the inability to get to a true shaving sharp edge. An overall lack of consistency.What about the end result is it that tells you that you are failing at sharpening the knives?
AgreedYes, the problem is more than likely you
Nope. I've got all day.but we need to know just how you are the problem. Impatience?
No pictures, but here's a partial the list (remember, I've been at this on and off for 40+ years):Show us what you have used, what you feel you have had the best results with, and describe your results to us so we know where you are and where you need to be.
- Lansky (blech)
- DMT Duosharp (8")
- Spyderco Sharpmaker
- some pretty darned big Arkansas stones
- various makes and models of tri-hone systems
- electric grinder (THAT was a complete failure)
- belt sander (see electric grinder)
- two or three dozen carborundum stones
- sharpening steels
- a dozen or so pocket hones, stones, diamond sticks, pucks, etc.
In a perfect world that's my ideal, too. I've had the most recent success with the DMT 8" Duosharp but I'm just not getting the results I want.Personally, I am a big advocate of freehand sharpening simply because you can do it anywhere with almost anything.
For me, life is too short to be messing around like this. I'm looking for a quality system that delivers consistent results across a broad range of blade sizes and shapes - from a Buck 110 to a BK-9.
Have you tried paper wheels? From what I heard they work like magic. Mine should be here tomorrow so ill post an update to see how they work.
Just out of curiosity, did anybody else just Google "Olympic Dressage"?
i'm totally useless at freehand sharpening,i have had good results with the edgepro.
Nothingeasting, have you tried a convex grind with sandpaper/mousepad? It's very forgiving and after a good strope you should get shaving sharp. Only difficult part is the initial reprofile of the edge. The work sharp system works on the same principle and should be faster if you don't want to do it by hand.
I have the Spyderco Sharpmaker and it made me a much better sharpener. I also have the Work Sharp on order because I'd like to give that a try. I've found that, for me, the best edge that I have been able to do personally, it to give it a basic convex using a coarse and medium stone... then use sandpaper to smooth it off and finish the rounding... but I can never seem to get a real sharp edge on the convex... so after I have that part done, I'll run it through and give it a final edge with the sharpmaker. It gets good, but takes a while. I'm interested to see how the worksharp does.
+1 on the Work Sharp, it won't make your edges hair whittling sharp, but they will pop hairs off your arm no problem, I've been using mine for about 6 months and I am completely satisfied with it, the only down side is you can easily round your tip if you're not careful.
Very pleased with this system. Haven't tried the Wicked Edge yet, but I hear good things about it as well, I just didn't think it would be as versatile.
Also, I have gotten better at freehand sharpening as I've progressed with the EdgePro. I guess just by seeing what it takes to keep a consistent angle.
I use the WorkSharp sharpener. It will put a shaving edge on in no time. It seems to work better for thicker blades like the Beckers than thinner ones in my opinion. Be careful though, it is easy to round the tip of your knife. Practice with a few junkers before you move on to a more expensive knife.
I would still like to become proficient with stones/ strops, but I prefer to use what little free time I have right now on dirt time rather than shop time, and the WorkSharp lets me get a sharp, long lasting edge in a very short amount of time.
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