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Sharpening with belt sander

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Zookie, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Zookie

    Zookie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    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,

  2. camoninja


    Feb 11, 2007
    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. TwinStick


    Jan 21, 2011
  4. Misanthropia

    Misanthropia Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    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. Zookie

    Zookie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    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. rustyshackelford


    Jun 15, 2009
    Whoa there big fella! That's hilarious.
  7. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    ^Yup. This.
  8. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    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.
  9. richard j

    richard j

    Apr 1, 2007
  10. Nternal

    Nternal Banned BANNED

    Dec 24, 2010
    I've seen videos of John Fitzen,Ray Ennis and other custom knife makers use a belt grinder to sharpen their knives.
  11. mongolguy


    May 26, 2001
    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.
  12. RubiconSS


    Jan 12, 2011
    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
  13. Noctis3880

    Noctis3880 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    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:D.
  14. peter r

    peter r

    Jun 8, 2009
    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.
  15. Noctis3880

    Noctis3880 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    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:thumbup:.
  16. Komitadjie


    May 31, 2011
    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.
  17. ChapmanPreferred


    Oct 7, 2006
    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.
  18. Komitadjie


    May 31, 2011
    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.
  19. Razorsharp-Travis

    Razorsharp-Travis Banned BANNED

    Aug 16, 2011
    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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