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Edge Pro Apex | Meeting the Maker

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by DeadboxHero, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade Knives, Big Brown Bear

    Mar 22, 2014
    Well, it's no secret that I'm a freehand guy, never been really big into systems.

    The problem is I have lots of exotic steels to test now that I'm a custom maker and I need to reduce variables for testing.

    A few years ago I talked to Jim Ankerson about his rope cut testing. I was facinated and daunted at the details he goes through that seem almost trivial to a lay person. If the varibles aren't controlled then you can have a difficult time finding differencea between even basic steels versus super steels.

    Flash forward to 2018 and I traded one of my customers a custom sporting knife in Vanax Superclean for his edge pro system. I had been curious for a while and it was time to check one out.[​IMG]

    I've been using the system for a few months and have been using the Poltava CBN Metallic bonded stones with it to see how different the stones behave with the system versus freehand. (That's a separate subject)

    There are definitely a few tricks to the system and I'm not too proud to learn so I decided to go to the source.

    Hood River, Oregon.

    My Wife and me loaded up the car and drove over after talking to Cody on the phone and saying we we're going to stop by.



    Inside was a main area with work tables and shop counter on the right.

    I was immediately greeted by Cody, very friendly and laidback, also incredibly knowledgeable, yet humble.

    I showed him my Edge Pro, and watched as his eyes analysed every detail, like any true craftman does when a piece of there work returns to them.

    Cody very generously replaced my suction cups and the blade attachment stop on the top. He gave it a wipe down and shot me some pointers.

    Solid guy.

    I asked next if he could show me how he uses the device. Cody and the crew there are professional Sharpeners so they have a HUGE amount of knowledge on how to get the most out of the device.

    That's when Ben, the creator showed up and gave me a free lesson.


    It was a humbling experience, Ben has been sharpening longer then I've been alive so It was really cool to get a hands on lesson from Ben.

    What was also really cool was that we were using the the new Diamond Matrix Stones made by @Diemaker

    I've been obsessed with bonded diamonds/cbn to almost the point of madness for the past two years they are definitely the future of Sharpening technology, as a custom knife maker they allow me to find the true limit of edge performance in knives I make in some hardcore steels like 15v, Rex121 and Maxamet the the HRC jacked high.

    What was very striking was @Diemaker 's
    Fit and finish on the stones. They are breath taking. I've never seen work that precise on a stone.

    Had to buy one, almost too pretty to use, when I got home I just kinda sat there and gazed at it's beauty (ridiculous haha:D)


    The crowning on the edges of the stone, how well all the sharp corners are reduced.

    I'll have to test these some more to give my full review and opinion on there performance later. But @Diemaker is a very talented man with an eye for details and perfection.

    I'm impressed.

    I'll talk more about my Edge Pro trip in another post later,

    It was a blast guys.More to share when I get time.

  2. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    Great post, Shawn. Really looking forward to the continuing story and the results thereof. :cool:
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  3. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Pretty dead around here so I will chew on this thread to death.

    You're my hero ! Visited Ben !
    The King of "no clamps thank you" !
    That's cool.
    Have you owned and used other systems ?

    If not . . . strap in my friend you just dropped into a whole other world of PRACTICAL-sharp. That's from a geometry stand point. Meaning getting a free hand edge to cut soft flexible stuff with hair whittling sharpness is one thing. To keep all that metal immediately behind the edge out of the way for cutting firmer / harder stuff . . . sharpened free hand . . . well that's the trick. The Edge Pro does it blind folded with a sprained wrist. Meaning easily every time.

    After spending years with that chart / thread I find the variables still vary WILDLY (unless every knife is re ground the same it can't be any other way). I find the value of the thread is . . . in the end . . . to point out that yes alloys and heat treat makes huge differences but geometry near the edge THINNESS BEHIND THE EDGE is king.


    I mean it takes S30V, when it is thinned out behind the edge, from way down the list and puts it up above blades with S110V that have lesser edge geometry.

    Problems he says. :)
    Such problems.
    I wish I had problems like that.

    Thank you for posting this !

    I will get there before the haters :
    The "SLOW" sign in the photo with the Edge Pro sign is bound to bring out a comment and I would respond : so it is slower than free hand the quality of edge is higher. Great things take time. And if one adds in all the endless stropping of the free handers that just might put Edge Pro in the lead time wise.
  4. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    Wb, your posts always usually crack me up. This one no different. My only small issue is I just don't think Ben and Cody, (and by extension Diemaker), need anyone to apologize for, or defend them. The product and the results speak for themselves. There are many roads to Dublin as a friend from another venue likes to say.

    I will admit that I don't use mine enough as I enjoy trying to achieve edges via freehand first and usually only go to the Edge Pro when I either hit a snag or require more precision than I'm generally capable of off a bench stone.

    It's always reassuring knowing that it's waiting faithfully clamped alongside the shop sink, ready for duty at a moment's notice.
    willc, Gary W. Graley and DeadboxHero like this.
  5. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Now stop that.
    Enough with the sharpening stone porn.
    Just when I had convinced myself I could wait a while to buy his stones and that what I have are working (DMT aligner stones with some double back tape to hold them on o_O) . . . what do I see right in front of me first thing in the chat room.

    . . . those lushes, well made, accurate, all sharpening, super high tech, easy to use, available, diamond, sharpening stones.
    . . . :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  6. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Doh . . . sorry.

    Oh I touch up free hand all the time.
    I totally agree about not busssing it out for every little thing.
    What I do find is the Edge Pro formed / reprofiled edge SETS ME UP for easier and better free hand touch ups.

    As far as Dublin I know an Irish family that lives here in Colorado. The Rust brothers. One year they packed up their hand made high wheel bicycles (many of them), shipped them to Ireland (their mother went along too) and they all rode in the Saint Paddy's Day Parade in Dublin.

    What that has to do with . . . anything . . . well you reminded me of it.
    For those who aren't quite sure what a high wheeler is : (burns the inside of your leg when you turn sharp) (I don't have to tell you not to hit anything lying in the road . . . it's a long way to the pavement).
  7. ahoward2k


    Sep 20, 2017
    I will argue with the idea that the edgepro or other guided systems are slower. For me it's a wash, if not slightly the other way around. Yes you have set up time, and time to clamp and adjust for me, but once I have everything locked in, I fly through the rest because I don't have to spend as much time checking and making sure that I'm hitting the apex, because I know I am.
    That said I do enjoy the zen of freehand, and that might be partly why it's slower for me.
    jll346 likes this.
  8. Dangerously

    Dangerously Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks for the tour.

    Why does every thread about sharpening systems have to disparage freehand? And vice versa?

    Can’t we all just get along? Even though half of you are wrong?
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  9. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    I don't think that's the case. Seems to me that a great number of us that have a variety of systems often enjoy freehand sharpening...sometimes as their primary method. At least I do.
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  10. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade Knives, Big Brown Bear

    Mar 22, 2014
    Ben is no stranger to freehand, we even played with a benchstone I brought over just for giggles.

    Before Starting edge pro he was a professional free hand sharpener.
    He never set out to build the system from the beginning, it was just a natural progression of his experience Sharpening. He told me his biggest revelation was when he figured out how to sharpen with the stone in his hand rather then the knife in hand.
    His first prototype was a device that held a benchstone and it evolved from there, he had a box filled with prototypes showing the evolution of the system to what we see today. Very cool, I'll have to take a photo next time I'm there.
    jll346 likes this.
  11. wvdavidr


    Mar 21, 2007
    We often don't get along because of this: People will ask for info. about sharpening systems. The people in the discussion are discussing drill stop collars and such, to reduce the error to a fraction of a degree. Inevitably, somebody will jump in stating "...I get better results freehand." The freehander doesn't know what he doesn't know.
  12. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    Very cool you were able to go there.
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  13. Bladegunner

    Bladegunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 28, 2016
    Very cool tour, although I don't use that system I respect all the time and effort it took to get it where it is today. I am not a big museum guy but I do love a good factory tour!!.
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  14. bgentry


    Aug 3, 2009
    I'm very jealous. I would love to see Edge Pro headquarters and meet the man himself. Super duper cool!

    jll346 and DeadboxHero like this.
  15. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    It's kind of good natured ribbing and funning.
    Like when I get on a jag about not needing strops to get sharp knives and say : "I Hate Strops".
    I've done a lot of stropping. It's Fords and Chevys.
    Some body is a Chevy man so you start in saying how much better Fords are or make fun of Chevys.
    . . . you know.
    (I do hate strops though)

    When do we get to hear about how the actual Shawn Edge Pro sharpening progress is going ?
  16. Diemaker


    Apr 28, 2017
    A bit late to the party, it has been a busy week, and it won't slow down till at least next weekend. Nice to meet someone from this forum. Quite a coincidence since I only get to EP once every week or two. A big thanks to Shawn for all the open, detailed discusion about superabrasive stones. Also a big thanks for letting me have your CBN stones and that Maxamet knife to play with. Wow, wow, wowwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do love that Maxamet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not a single complaint, it is a very fine grained steel, beautiful polish, absolutely no microchipping once past the coarsest stone, and takes a keen EDGE, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am reviewing both the blade and CBN stones and will add them to my EP Matrix stones thread when I can get it finished.
    When I shipped Shawns stuff back to him I added my Matrix stones so he could try out the full set. The 1100 is not very useful by itself, it really needs to be the next stone after the 650, which works best after the 300.
    DeadboxHero, willc and Blues like this.
  17. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  18. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    You can contact them by email: [email protected] or phone: 541-387-2222

    I've had several pleasant email conversations with Ben, and one phone conversation with Cody in the recent past.
    DeadboxHero likes this.
  19. Diemaker


    Apr 28, 2017
    I will be seeing him on Thursday and will let him know, thanks.
    cbwx34 likes this.
  20. sodak


    Mar 26, 2004
    When I bought my EP about a dozen years ago, it showed me what truly sharp was. Until that time, it was pretty much guesswork for me. I still break it out when I feel like either resetting a bevel or really getting that last bit of sharpness out of an edge. Most of the time these days I freehand, still love doing it both ways.

    The EP really improved my freehanding skills.

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