Recommendation? I need a sharpening system

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by PirateSeulb, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    I can't hold and angle at all really so I need some type of guided sharpening system. One of the issues I have is I want to be able to do both flat grinds and convex. I know the KME is capable of both I don't know about some of its more direct alternatives. I also like the idea and simplicity of a belt system ie the Ken Onion Worksharp but it from my understanding will convex most any edge I don't know if the blade grinding attachment changes that. I also have some concerns about a belt system heating up the blade and/or wearing off more metal than desired which seems less likely with a guided stone on a rod system like the KME. I am not locked into those 2 options but those are the two I have looked into the most.
  2. South paw draw

    South paw draw Yep.....I'm a idiot. Platinum Member

    Sep 23, 2019
    I have both the kme and the edge pro4
    There are pros and cons to both. For what I need the kme works for 90% if the time. I have only needed to bring the edge pro4 out 10% time since getting the kme. I had the Ken onion worksharp and the only thing I can say is it worked, it was fast and it did the job. But I didn't like how fast the belts wore out, how expensive they cost, how limited I was on range of sharpness ,aka toothy edge to mirror edge. You can only go so far with the worksharp. With that siad it's all about your budget. What do you want to spend. Front side back side. Spend more up front and less in the end or less up front and more in the end. You can get the basic kme kit from kme for about $200 perfectly good to start and add on stuff as you feel you need it. Same with the edge pro. The stones will last you a very long time. As for the tarmac and the wicked edge. Cant speak on them never owned either of them. Long term. Had a wicked edge feild sharping set up and sold it because you have to set up both sides and the blade sits straight up and down. I have some nerve damage in my left shoulder. Didn't like that. And you have to buy all the stones in twos. Also didn't like that. Feel free to PM I would be happy to go into more detail on what I'm sharpening now versus what I was sharpening a few years back.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
    mycough likes this.
  3. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    For budget I guess I feel the top end is say the KME Deluxe or about there but if something covers me for less I am certainly interested. I think about the basic KME but I feel I will want to add a fair few pieces from the start it will just make more sense to go with the deluxe. I think your remarks on the Ken Onion Worksharp are much of what concerns me with it along with the concerns previously mentioned.
  4. South paw draw

    South paw draw Yep.....I'm a idiot. Platinum Member

    Sep 23, 2019
    If your up for a used edge pro4 I would make you a sweet deal on mine. Like I siad I'm not using it as much since I picked up he kme. I don't have knives over 4"-1/2 anymore so the edge pro 4 is hardly needed. That's one of the down sides for the kme. I find the larger blades tend to be a bit of a challenge on it. Where the edge pro once you get you angle set you can do any size no problem. There are other things the egse pro has it's own "issues" with. They all have there pros and cons. I have just about everything you could want for the edge pro4 all the polishing tapes. The glass blanks for the polishing tapes. That round refinishing glass . Just about everything they sold for it. Hit me up if your interested. It a great system. So is the kme. I just don't use the edge pro4 as much anymore. Sure put it up for sale. Just haven't.
  5. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    I'd like to know what down sides you see for the Edge Pro4?
  6. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    Gents, please take the discussion of selling / buying to Private Message. Thank you.
  7. South paw draw

    South paw draw Yep.....I'm a idiot. Platinum Member

    Sep 23, 2019
    Well I picked up the kme because I have some nerve damage in my left shoulder so I can't hold the knife solid with my left hand like I use to. And with the edge pro that's a thing. With the kme you have a clamping system. so once its clamped in its pretty much set. That's one of the flaws of the kme. If you have a false edge on the top of the blade the kme doesn't really like to clamp down straight and solid every time. I'm working on it. I know to take a sharpie and mark on the blade where the clamp is so if you need to you can put it back in the same place. That's another down side with the kme. If you don't know right where it was clamping down are when you sharpened it you could change the edge a little. With the edge pro. As long as you keep a log of the angle (I bought an angle cube) you can touch up the edge with no real worries. PM me I'll go into more details. Everyone has there own experiences. Some others will chime in soon hopefully. And I'm in no hurry or rush. Either system will do you well. The edge pro 4 I have is Ceramic stones. And will sharpen whatever you want but with super steels is gonna take a little time the more super the steel. They do make diamond stones you can buy later as an upgrade and I like the diamond stones. They cut faster and save time. But they also cost 3-4 times as much and you don't really get 3-4 times as long of use out of them. So your paying for the time savings.
    mycough likes this.
  8. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    My issue with holding an edge is I have hand tremors that make holding anything steady nearly impossible so I am thinking that may make the Edge Pro models an issue for me as well. The clamp is one of the big things that I like in the KME and a concern I have with a belt system depending on how the guide is setup and it is possible that the method of the Edge Proc might also be acceptable.
  9. South paw draw

    South paw draw Yep.....I'm a idiot. Platinum Member

    Sep 23, 2019
    I would buy a kme. I have shakes as well. That's why I bought the kme. It really does help when sharpening. I did like the edge pro4. Great system but I just couldn't get as much use out of it. My advice Is get the deluxe if you can. They are worth the little extra. And the deluxe comes with the diamond stones I believe. You really can't go wrong with either system but if you have the shakes or tremors the kme and helped me out 10 fold over my edge pro4
    mycough likes this.
  10. razor-edge-knives

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

    Apr 3, 2011
    Shoulda gotten the wicked edge Go, I think they are having some good black Friday sales this week
    marchone and South paw draw like this.
  11. OogieBoogie


    Mar 29, 2014
    I have the Ken Onion WS. I don't think that the belts were out too quickly. I have about 6 knives that I'm always tinkering with on the WS and my belts are still good. I'm not a seasoned sharpener like a lot the guys on there, but if you want something that will quickly restore an edge the WS is a good option.
  12. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I have had the KME for about six years now. I have never gotten it to make even edge bevels. It’s always off a bit on every knife I’ve used it on, especially the tip.

    It will make a nice sharp apex however, and the DMT stones are fantastic.

    I don’t use it much anymore. I just use Duofold DMT sharpeners, wet-stones, and strops.

    Good luck on your search!
  13. South paw draw

    South paw draw Yep.....I'm a idiot. Platinum Member

    Sep 23, 2019
    Pros and cons with every system. And hopefully more will share there views.
  14. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I've owned a KME for years and it is an excellent system. As has been said, all of the systems have pros and cons and a lot of it comes down to personal preference.

    If your goal is a sharp knife, the KME will absolutely get you there. @South paw draw touched on some blade grinds being challenging and that can be true. It's not nearly the issue some folks will make it out to be, but you do need some area along the spine to get a grip on. No matter what anyone says, I strongly believe the best way to clamp any knife in the KME is at the center along it's length. So when looking at a knife, picture the surface area there and imagine of the clamp would have enough purchase. People will say that full flat grinds don't work on the KME because they slip. They are wrong. Proper clamping technique will take care of 90% of the issues and some fabric-type tape like hockey tape will take care of the rest.

    I've sharpened tiny little knives up to 8" chef's knives and it has performed great in all cases. I've sharpened a bunch of FFG Spydercos and it works extremely well. All this uneven bevel talk escapes me. I couldn't care less. I want a sharp knife. I don't care how it looks I care how it performs. I see people often say that clamped systems leave this "big wide" bevel a the tip. I guess. Maybe...??? I've only noticed this on longer knives and I doubt I would have ever even noticed if the internet didn't tell me I should notice it. Center the knife in the clamp and sharpen. That's my own take and for others who see it different, that's cool.

    The KME is pretty easy to use too. Don't feel like sitting down using the base (which you should absolutely get) no problem. Just grab the pistol grip, pop on the TV and sharpen in your chair. :)

    In my opinion, the primary con of the KME is stone size. The four inch stones can mean more time. But, that is largely only an issue with re-profiling or major edge repair. Meaning, if you have to hog off a lot of metal. But even then, once you have your bevel set and move into maintenance this is no longer an issue. And this will be an issue with any system using 4" stones.

    You have a ton of versatility and excellent precision.

    Some will say that the KME can only go down to 17dps. And it is true that is how the scale is marked but the actual angle on the bevel will generally be lower. As I said, I've never encountered a Spydero model or others that claim ~15dps bevels that have been a problem. And, if you really had to, you can flip the guide rail and get much lower.

    I bought my KME back when it came standard with ceramic and Arkansas stones so I don't know what's in the deluxe kit but I strongly recommend the base, the 100 grit diamond stone, a kangaroo strop with 1um emulsion and the pen jaws if you have smaller/thinner knives. From there you can adjust to your needs.

    I also strongly recommend finding Dean O on YouTube and watching his KME videos. He's pretty anal about his technique but his videos are excellent and if you follow what he lays out it's an awesome start. I don't do the number of strokes and such that he does but it's great info. In my opinion, the best KME stuff out there.

    If you clamp your knife in the center of the spine every time, you won't have issues with irregular angles. You don't have to be super precise. Just eye ball it in and sharpen. As long as you always strive to have it centered you'll be good to go.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
    willc and South paw draw like this.
  15. Shmackey

    Shmackey Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2000
    The Hapstone R1 (clamp) and V7 (Edge Pro style) both accept a convexing arm as well as the standard arm.

    Having used many of the systems out there, including an Edge Pro for 10 years and a few clamp varieties, I find the Hapstone to be my favorite.
  16. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    I don't have anything constructive to add. I've had the best luck with the Edge Pro and use it for anything but an occasional extremely light touch up to take an edge from quite sharp back to whittling in which case I hand hold a Spyderco Ultra Fine triangle rod or a 8,000 diamond plate from the Aligner guided system. I don't use the Aligner but I find the little stones useful.

    The Edge Pro, for my use, produces edges that make my mouth fall open and chills run up my spine . . . and if you ever want to make little hairs into microscopic sculptures you'll be all set with the edges you get from the Edge Pro.

    I sharpen a medium range of edge lengths from a box knife blade or tiny slip joint up to a kitchen knife about ten inches. Do get the small knife attachment; doesn't' cost much and is worth the price.

    As far as convex, it would seem to me that would be the easiest thing in the world to do by hand just flail the knife up and down all the stones to your heart's content to make it look sharpened / polished, what ever, to get it all roundy then put it in the jig and then sharpen the apex.

    The former sounds like my old forays into "sharpening" (except the sharp edge).
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  17. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    @Shmackey I have looked at the Hapstones but for the clamp options I am liking the K1 which seems better for small to medium knives vs the R1 however it doesn't support the convexing rod.
    South paw draw likes this.
  18. Shmackey

    Shmackey Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2000
    For small knives I use the R1 with just the middle clamp, which makes it into a K1 more or less.
  19. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    After reading peoples inputs and comparing options and pricing I landed on the KME it won over some others on pricing in the end as I did like the Hapstones but the cost difference to get a good start on one of them was looking like it would be about another $100 and I wasn't seeing enough added value to make that jump plus my wallet was screaming at the price tag of the KME Deluxe kit already
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  20. vic2367


    Sep 15, 2006
    Work sharp . It's all I use

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