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Recommendation? Commercial Sharpener

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by GatorGold, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. GatorGold

    GatorGold

    12
    Jan 23, 2019
    Hello everyone. I am a new member and would appreciate suggestions on a high quality commercial knife sharpener that is easy to use.
    I have a selection of traditional and Japanese stones, wicked edge pro and worksharp. Each function very well and serve a purpose, however I need a sharpener that will allow me to sharpen kitchen knives more quickly without compromising the integrity of the metal. In addition, I am looking to produce a high quality edge that will last in the kitchen with normal maintenance.
    I anticipate sharpening 10-20 knives per day. I owned two Tru-Hone sharpeners, each set-up with different grit size wheels but I found it difficult to achieve repeatable results with these machines (the service at Tru-Hone was excellent and I'm sure it was user error). My budget is under 1K and I am open to purchasing used. Your suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. brando555

    brando555

    288
    Sep 26, 2018
    Have you looked into a Tormek?
     
  3. WhitleyStu

    WhitleyStu Keep'em scary sharp!!! Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    697
    Dec 8, 2006
    GatorGold,
    10-20 knives, as you stated, will take you about an hour or a little more on a Tormek depending on how bad the edge is. If all the knives are the same size the time will be a little less.
     
  4. Bill3152

    Bill3152

    243
    Nov 27, 2018
    Slow speed grinder and paper wheels works fine as well. There would be a slight learning curve. But if you mark the wheels and hold the blade parrallel to the floor you should be able to get your angles lined up on both wheels. You can also use a speed control on a regular speed grinder like a harbor freight. That's what I do to slow the wheel down. Practice first on something expendable at first although I didn't. There's a sticky in this forum on it. Loads of good advise there.
     
  5. bgentry

    bgentry

    Aug 3, 2009
    I am under the impression that almost all pro knife sharpeners use a 1x42 or 2x72 belt sander with a few different grades of belts. Those would be my first area of research if I was going to do this for money. The Kalamazoo and the Veil both get a LOT of praise around here. Some day when I have a dedicated shop for this kind of stuff, I will almost certainly own one of those two belt sanders.

    Brian.
     
    grizzled gizzard likes this.
  6. GatorGold

    GatorGold

    12
    Jan 23, 2019
    I have seen them advertised but do not know enough about them to form an opinion. What do you like about the Tormek? It looks like they make many jigs and accessories for the unit. Is it relatively simple to get a good edge on a blade? Thanks for your response.
     
  7. GatorGold

    GatorGold

    12
    Jan 23, 2019
    Thanks for your response. I would probably look into an angle jig if they make one so I could get more consistent results. I do have a regular speed grinder and it looks like they offer a speed controller on Amazon for $50.
     
    Bill3152 likes this.
  8. Bill3152

    Bill3152

    243
    Nov 27, 2018
  9. GatorGold

    GatorGold

    12
    Jan 23, 2019
    Thanks for your response. I would probably look into an angle jig if they make one so I could get more consistent results. I do have a regular speed grinder and it looks like they offer a speed controller on Amazon for $50.
     
  10. GatorGold

    GatorGold

    12
    Jan 23, 2019
    I forgot to mention that I have a Kalamazoo 1x42 with a 1/3hp baldor motor. The issue I have sharpening is I can't regulate the speed and I get a convex edge. Someone mentioned a speed controler which I may look into. Is there an adapter or jig that will allow me to generate a standard V edge? Thanks for your response.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  11. GatorGold

    GatorGold

    12
    Jan 23, 2019
    ez sharp
     
  12. Ocelot85

    Ocelot85

    407
    Feb 1, 2012
    There is a Tormek T2 set up specifically for kitchen knife sharpening with a diamond sharpening wheel. I own a Tormek T7 I've had it for 6 years and I enjoy using the system for general sharpening needs on different types of cutting tools, with the jigs and practice you can get good results.
     
  13. GatorGold

    GatorGold

    12
    Jan 23, 2019
    I found a T3 on Craigslist. Below is a copy of what's written in the ad. What are your thoughts on the T3? Does the price sound fair? I'm not sure what the pen press and blank are. He is open to offers. Thank you for your response.

    "Tormek T 3 barely used with original contents - $200 (Yes, the Tormek equipment must go together)
    - New Tormek svd-185 Gouge And Turning Cutter Jig - $50
    - New Tormek XB-100 Horizontal Base for Universal Support - $15
    Pen Blank centering device - $25
    Pen Press - $20"
     
  14. Ocelot85

    Ocelot85

    407
    Feb 1, 2012
    If you're only sharpening kitchen knives I would go with the T2 personally. https://www.tormek.com/usa/en/machine-models/tormek-t-2-pro-kitchen/

    It is a slow turning diamond wheel, it doesn't require water and will take less time to set-up and make less mess as well.

    I never used the T2, but my experience with my T-7 has been good. Tormek makes good products, they're expensive but worth it. They stand behind their warranty as well.
     
  15. cbwx34

    cbwx34

    Dec 27, 2004
    Unfortunately, the T2 is not designed for commercial sharpening. (That's a quote direct from Tormek - Stig was their representative). Also, I did some testing with one... it's pretty limited on the type/style of knives it will do ( you can find more info in the thread I linked to).


    Unless it's a really good deal, I'd avoid the T-3. It's rated to be used only 1/2 hour at a time (can get too hot), and had some other issues, which is why it was replaced with the T-4. (I think the pen stuff is actually for making pens... has nothing to do with the Tormek).

    For commercial sharpening, the larger models... T-8 or even the older T-7 or Supergrind 2000 if in good condition, would be my recommendation. (And consider keeping at least 1 Tru-Hone... it can be great for finishing the edge). If you're only doing 10-12 knives a day... should be OK. Also, if you're buying used... make sure it comes with the jigs you'll need and use... if you have to buy them separately, that would add up fast. At a minimum... I'd get the Stone Grader, Truing Tool, and of course the 2 knife jigs. And of course it should still have a decent grinding wheel, USB bar, etc. You can find good used ones, just pay attention to the details when comparing.

    But I also wouldn't dismiss bgentry's idea of a decent belt sander. ;) (Oh, and p.s. a Speed Controller used on a motor not designed for it will burn it out... just search "speed control" in this forum, and read some of the threads).
     
    grizzled gizzard likes this.
  16. razor-edge-knives

    razor-edge-knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2011
    Check Curry Custom Cutlery's youtube channel.... You should find the belt sander, speed control, and jig to do the job quick and right. I imagine the Tormek would take quite a while per knife based upon what I've read - most commercial sharpeners use a belt grinder for a reason :)

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp16WaVffmeglWvW-fDQ4dQ
     
    grizzled gizzard likes this.
  17. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    B7C6C7EE-D12E-4F2B-8608-6A6EA61264B9.jpeg I mounted my Rockwell 1X42 on a tilt table. It’s set at 10 degrees off vertical. I point the edge at the center of the earth and sharpen on the platen. To sharpen the other side of the edge, I walk to the other side of the contraption. Convex edges can be done on the slack belt between the top of the platen and the spring loaded upper pulley arm. Stropping can be done on the insides of the cloth belts. Fresh belts and a pail of water keep the edges from burning. I use a contact wheel for the drive (lower) pulley. It is handy for reshaping contours and blending adjacent surfaces. I notched out the base plate to get better access to the contact wheel.
    We like to call the powered sharpener “the handle maker”.
     
    bucketstove likes this.
  18. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    A8A5A41A-3C52-4727-B00D-8A219E0EB634.jpeg Here is a picture of the non-powered version.
     
    bucketstove likes this.
  19. Ocelot85

    Ocelot85

    407
    Feb 1, 2012
    He said his budget is 1k. Most grinders with speed control are well above that price range. Not everyone has a shop space dedicated to a grinder that'll create dust.

    I personally own many different sharpening systems, 2x72 with VFD, Tormek T-7, and Edge Pro Professional. I also have 26 years of experience sharpening knives by hand as well, I think every system I listed has advantages and disadvantages for different situations.

    Also I would only say the Tormek T-7 is slow if you're comparing it to sharpening it with a 2x72 with ceramic belts, and if you have knives that are extremely abused. Otherwise, it's just fine for normal everyday sharpening tasks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  20. cbwx34

    cbwx34

    Dec 27, 2004
    The channel REK referred to, are mostly the smaller 1x30 belt sanders being modified with variable speed motors, for probably under $300. There’s also a Viel 1x42 belt sander with a similar mod, for under $500. Not sure why you’re thinking 2x72? (I also don’t see where the OP said he’s using it in the kitchen... just on kitchen knives?)

    I missed the post where the OP said he already owned a 1x42” sander... all he wants is a variable speed motor for it. That’s the route I’d research... and REK’s YT link may help in that area. (I suspect if the OP is running a commercial sharpening business... it’ll involve more than “normal everyday sharpening tasks”)... ;). I’ve found most who use a Tormek for commercial sharpening usually end up combining it with either paper wheels or a belt sander to get the job done.
     

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