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Adding a sharpening choil

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Anarchy84, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Anarchy84

    Anarchy84 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    Recently purchased a Wicked Edge sharpening system and bought a set of cheap steak knives to practice on. The heel of each blade had an annoying bulge at the bottom of the plunge grind, so I decided to add a small sharpening choil.

    See before and after pic below. This was done at 15,000 RPM on a variable speed Dremel using a 150 grit chainsaw sharpening bit.


    I have since added choils to a couple Spyderco knives in the same way. Makes sharpening these knives so much easier on a Wicked Edge.

    Just thought I'd share.
  2. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    There's a lot of knives out there that can use this mod.
    Anarchy84 likes this.
  3. me2


    Oct 11, 2003
    I prefer to use the corner of a Sharpmaker triangle stone. That puts the notch at an angle and reduces snagging. The notch tends to be shallower than yours, so it may not be enough on some knives.
    Anarchy84 likes this.
  4. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Is Wicked Edge or other fixed angle systems able to sharpen recurves?
  5. Anarchy84

    Anarchy84 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    Yes. I've sharpened a recurve with the standard (flat) stones and it worked well. For heavy recurves Wicked Edge also makes rounded stones.
  6. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Thank you for the info. I've been wondering that for quite a while.

    Not to hijack the thread but what's your thoughts on Wicked Edge vs EdgePro? What about the Worksharp? All I have is a Sharpmaker and I think it's time I finally upgrade.
  7. Anarchy84

    Anarchy84 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    You'll hear people swear one way or the other, but in my eyes the Wicked Edge is the best guided system available. There is very little room for human error, and you can do both sides of the blade at once.

    I used other systems for a couple years before upgrading, and after a couple weeks my results with the Wicked Edge were far better than anything I'd done before. Hair popping edges right off the clamp.

    It really comes down to how obsessed you are with results, and how much you're willing to spend to get them. There is a small learning curve, but if you want perfection (and you don't mind paying for it), the Wicked Edge is where it's at.

    Just my two cents.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  8. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Thank you for that advice. I might be getting a wicked edge. I feel like the worksharp would take off too much material.
  9. Anarchy84

    Anarchy84 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    I try to avoid power tools around my knife edges. It's way too easy to screw things up in the blink of an eye. I realize this sounds funny in a thread about taking power tools to my knife edges, but it's true.

    The Wicked Edge isn't the fastest, but it's the best in my opinion.
  10. RLDubbya

    RLDubbya HMFIC

    Dec 21, 2016
    I have and use both the Wicked Edge Gen 3 and the WorkSharp Ken Onion with blade grinding attachment. For working fast, or removing a lot of metal as with a chipped blade, the WSKO is great. I can produce an edge that is close to a mirror from a knife was abused in 5 minutes or so; the knife will have nice, even bevels, including a microbevel if I wish. The WEPS gives me more control, a potentially finer edge, including a mirror polish if I put in the time - but that will be measured in hours (or number of times I swear).

    They are different tools, largely for different purposes IMO. As far as doing both sides of the knife at once with the WEPS, you might find that doesn't work so well on all knives. If I have a thin blade, and I'm using a bit of pressure, that blade will deflect; the deflection changes the effective angle. So I'm really forced to sharpen one side at a time in this case. I've seen other cases mentioned as well.

    I also have a SharpMaker. I'm guessing that I won't be using that unless I break the other two systems.
  11. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    How steep is the learning curve on the Wicked Edge and the Work Sharp?
  12. RLDubbya

    RLDubbya HMFIC

    Dec 21, 2016
    A couple things to keep in mind: I've spent a lot of time with a grinder and a belt sander, both sharpening and I've made knives using stock removal. The only "guided" system I've used is the Sharpmaker.

    The WEPS gives me a lot more control over many aspects of sharpening; I can set the angle finely, and I can repeat the setup for sharpening that knife in the future. I have a lot of media to choose from: there are cow leather strops, 'roo strops, nano-cloth strops, and balsa strops. There are blanks I can put my own leather on for stropping, or blanks I can put on my own type of wood. There are aluminum and glass platens. There are diamond lapping films. There are emulsions and pastes. I can micro-adjust the angle and get to .2 degrees accuracy in my setting. I can control, I think, literally every aspect of sharpening from grit, media, and surface conformity to stone type (diamond, ceramic, waterstones...). I can use very light pressure, or a lot of pressure.

    I just don't have all these options with the WSKO with blade attachment - with this unit, I can to some degree pick my belts; but WS tries to restrict me by offering different grit sizes in only one media. I don't have 10 grits in 5 different media. I don't have any guides to setup; I basically eyeball how and where I hold the knife. I can finally get a cloth belt belt with no abrasive, which has opened up using diamond / CBN pastes a little more effectively than the older leather belt. I sacrifice all the control in order to pick up speed - one example is blade pressure. I can use light pressure, or I can ruin the knife. Those are the choices.

    I got my WEPS 3 weeks ago, and I'm just getting really comfortable with it. I started sharpening good knives on it about 1 week into the learning. The WSKO was much easier for me to learn; it just brought back memories of using belt grinders so much. IIRC, I sharpened one practice knife on the WSKO, and then I tossed a Spyderco Nirvana on it that needed touched up. Oh, one other thing: the WSKO is worth the cash because of the variable speed motor.
  13. cbwx34

    cbwx34 Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 27, 2004
    Nice job. :thumbsup:

    This knife “flared out” so bad (essentially started at the ‘T’ in CRKT), that I basically added a “finger choil”...


    ... much easier to sharpen (and actually like it a little more, although not my fav.). (Forgot to take a before picture, so the bottom knife “before” is a web pic).

    Used the wheel on the Blade Grinding Attachment of the Ken Onion WorkSharp to do it (which is appropriate since it’s a “Ken Onion Design” knife). :)
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
    Anarchy84 likes this.
  14. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    @Anarchy84 , "The image you are requesting does not exist or is no longer available."

    I never liked the original "complicated" geometry of the heel area on my brand-new pm2 camo, out of the box. The tolerances of the heel geometry milling didn't look right. Apart from that, the grinding of the bevel was not carried out to the very corner of the heel ... this is common/typical with all similar blades i've seen so far which do not come with a sharpening choil (endura, firebird, pm2, delica, tis). On my tis and firebird i already corrected the heel corner such that no further mod (like adding a sharpening choil notch) would be needed.

    So after sharpening my pm2 on my Triangle Sharpmaker a couple of times i did notice the formation of a growing tiny recurved millimeter. And I recognize very well from experience the growing of recurved sections when there is no sharpening notch available!

    If one uses the Sharpmaker only and wants to preserve a 100% convex blade shape (i don't mean a 'convex apex'), i.e. a blade with 100% no recurved sections, not even a millimeter, from tip to the very heel corner, and the knife is the pm2, then there is no way around a DIY sharpening choil. (And that's why my liner lock ganzo does come with a sharpening choil, out of the box.)

    I know that pm2's can cost hundreds of bucks and, as collectibles, are kept in mint condition with unused factory edges. Or other pm2 owners simply use the knife and don't care about the aforementioned 100% complete grind. But i felt bothered by the original geometry and by the incomplete grind, so i fixed both issues by filing the heel and the heel corner with a Spyderco 204M hone.

    Now the entire(!) blade length is 100% convex and there is a sharpening choil, perfectly matching the 204 profile. With this diy mod the blade is, finally!, prepared optimally for long-term sharpening on the 204MF; no recurved section, no concave section can form!

    However, as i told in my last post, I am drifiting away from guided-rod sharpeners (Exduct, Ruixin) or other guided sharpeners (V-sharpeners like Sharpmaker) towards freehanding on tiny stones, which i call "Ruixin-freehanding". There, too, a completed grind of the bevel is needed (as now my firebird and tis have) or a sharpening choil instead (as now my modded pm2 has).

    Today i successfully ruixin-freehanded the pm2 S30V on the tiny Ruby3000 and the experience was so satisfactory and convincing that in future i will make less and less use of the Sharpmaker (which i bought not too long ago and have been trying to use heavily ever since because i believed that it could become my goto sharpening solution ... oh boy was i wrong!).

    I am excited about my personal transition to freehanding .. but i also don't intend to go any further than ruixin-freehanding, i.e. i don't intend to buy more stuff in future (like bench stones or whatnot) than i already have. Some folks own 1 or 2 Shapton or Norton or Chosera stones. I own 16 stones; they are all small and mostly inexpensive but they are sufficient for freehanding. The best sharpening experts on youtube (Michael Christy, Outdoors55, a.o.) do their sharpenings on surprisingly small stones. Such small stones also have the advantage that they don't need frequent dressing, and when they do need it, it's done super fast and easy.

    Anyhow, this post is about my success report of modding my pm2 S30V solely with the 204M. Took hours and sweat. But the filing did get the job done.

    Finally i am satisfied with the everything about my pm2 (ti screws, ti back spine, youtube paracord lanyard, deployment smoothness, nice looking heel geometry, existence of sharpening choil, perfect sharpening experience now).

    Btw i also own a Dremel-like tool, but i was in no hurry and prefered work control over work speed. I also need more practice with the rotary tool. My endura has been in the closet for months, i bought it, put it away, never used it, unused factory edge. Upon magnification of its VG10 heel area one would see imperfections in the milling, tolerances and the grinding, too! But maybe i shouldn't bother as most owners, and simply leave the knife unused in the closet. Then i won't need to resharpen it, and then the question of fixing the heel area issues (with a 204M or a rotary tool) will never arise. Avoiding. That's the most pragmatic way of handling a (potential) situation/problem. lol

    No doubt though, in some future i am going to make a sharpening notch on the endura, too.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    willc likes this.
  15. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    May 29, 2006
    If your willing to spend that much on a sharpening system. Purchase the TSPROF KO2. Incredible quality and the choice of stones is almost unlimited and a fraction of the cost of wicked edge stones.

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