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Knife Sharpening: Razor Edge Systems?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by jimmyhots, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. jimmyhots

    jimmyhots

    4
    Aug 31, 2010
  2. Bastid

    Bastid Goat herding fool and resident vermin breeder. Staff Member Super Mod

    Feb 27, 2001
    I have never tried it. They sure have been around for a long time, so that is one plus for them.
     
  3. Splat

    Splat

    890
    Nov 19, 2006
    Edgepro http://www.edgeproinc.com/ is the king for guided systems. I have one for the past year and love it. The only thing I do not like is the switching of the stones and the time. I recently got paper wheels http://www.sharpeningwheels.com/ for my grinder and am loving them. In 2-3 minutes I get hair-shaving sharpness.
     
  4. rayban

    rayban

    Apr 14, 2007
    And what has this got to do with Razor Edge System????????
     
  5. Splat

    Splat

    890
    Nov 19, 2006
    Nothing! :D My brain was going faster than my hands and thought everything out but the fingers couldn't remember it all. :( What I meant to include was I had looked into that sharpener and it did receive many good reviews, but there were some negatives. The main negatives were the clamps wearing down and their problem with thick spined knives. My own observation was that you might as well go freehand if you're thinking of the getting the Razor Edge System.
     
  6. stitchawl

    stitchawl

    Jul 26, 2008
    I bought the system when it first came out in the mid-'70s, used it for many years and loved the results. It's very fast and easy to use, the stones are used dry and give a very good edge, and you can use the clamps on any stones, not just the ones that come with the kit. It's most effective for sharpening smaller blades such as folders, but will work for longer knives too. Once you have the blade clamped into the guide, you really don't have to pay any attention to the sharpening process. It IS that foolproof! The system is compact and can fit into the back corner of a drawer, taking up no space when not in use.


    There are a couple of drawbacks to the system; As the clamp itself rubs on the stones, it eventually wears out. This will take several years of its intended usage, but it does happen. I've replaced my clamps and would do so again if needed, but these days I use other systems more often so probably won't have to. The system is excellent for straight blades but will work for moderately curved edges as well. Not good for recurves. These days the company is selling a smaller clamp made for smaller pen blades, which is very nice too. You can adjust the angle of the bevel but only within a small range of settings.

    Compared with other clamped and guided systems, the RazorEdge kit is effective and priced right, but having used ALL of the clamp guides it is no longer my preferred clamp system. The DMT Aligner with diamond stones takes that position. I do still use my RazorEdge clamp, but only for Wharncliff blades. It is great for those!

    Stitchawl
     
  7. cbwx34

    cbwx34 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 27, 2004
    The kit, along with the book, is probably one of the best ways of learning the ins and out of sharpening... particularly if you want to eventually sharpen freehand. The stones are good quality and will last a long time and the system puts a great edge on a knife. The guide allows you to see how a blade moves across a stone... which translates great to learning freehand. But, if you're planning on always using a guided method to sharpen, and/or don't necessarily want to learn freehand, there are better options available (Edge Pro, Wicked Edge, Lansky, etc.) depending on your needs. The Razor Edge guides will wear over time, and having a guide attached to the blade limits the amount of stone you can use (since the guide is also on the stone, or you need to put something the same height as the stone for the guide to slide on). The guide is also limited to the angle you put on a blade... you change angles by altering the position on the blade, and the angle can be a bit high, particularly on smaller knives. Repeatability... getting the guide back in the same place is also a bit inaccurate, unless you keep notes, or have a good memory. The clamps are bit of a PITA too... 4 screws requiring two different sized allen wrenches to set it. So, some things to think about... just depends on your needs.

    cbw
     
  8. AF

    AF Hobbyist Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 14, 2000
    I loved his book and I still use the stones but the clamps are not a good design, IMO. They rub on the stone as you sharpen. Mine wore down quickly.
     
  9. jimmyhots

    jimmyhots

    4
    Aug 31, 2010
    I don't get how the clamps help achieve a consistent grind angle on the curved portion of a blade, e.g. the belly? It's easy to see that the geometry of the Razor-style configuration will give a consistent grind angle to the straight portion of a blade but how does it work when it comes to the belly? Am I missing something here?
     
  10. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    In order to facilitate the positioning of the clamp, I traced the fingers of the clamp on one side of the blade using a diamond glass cutter. This involved two sets of marks because I liked to move the clamp closer to the edge for the final polishing. It was a lot of screwing around. I have both size clamps, but they didn't work well on really large or small knives. Mine main beef was that the edge angle was decided by the geometry of the blade. A tall blade wound up with an acute angle, and a short blade wound up with an obtuse angle. I liked the discussion of sharpening theory in the book. I liked the edge tester. I liked the finishing steel, but I have since switched to ceramic blades for use as finishing steels. The book also understates the problem of stones being glazed over by constant use. An oil bath wash followed by a rubber spatula squeegee greatly enhances the agressiveness of the stones.
     
  11. stitchawl

    stitchawl

    Jul 26, 2008
    Not missing a thing. This is one of the drawbacks to using this system, and why I like it for Wharncliff blades! It does a great, and easy, job of straight edges, but you have to work like of son of a gun to do a blade with a lot of belly on it! It does work, but you have to work it, tilting your wrist, lifting your hand, etc. Not all that comfortable.

    Stitchawl
     
  12. Robert Ptacel

    Robert Ptacel

    314
    Feb 1, 2007
    I've used the Razor Edge stones for years and never had them glaze over.
     
  13. stitchawl

    stitchawl

    Jul 26, 2008
    Nor I, but the do dish out something awful!! I was a noob when I began using the system and didn't know enough to flatten the stones. No Internet back then to clue me in to simple maintenance either. But somehow they kept on sharpening! :)


    Stitchawl
     
  14. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    Buy a DMT clamp to use with the stones= clamp problems fixed.
     
  15. stitchawl

    stitchawl

    Jul 26, 2008
    The stones aren't anything to write home about. They work. They give a workable edge. But there are a lot of better stones around. They always seemed to me to be silicon carbide, but I never took the time to find out. The fine stone does give a sharp edge, but when using the system in later years always went on to finer stones to finish up.

    The thing that impressed me was Jurantich's insistence that the stones be used dry. I thought that was a really nice idea, and went with the system. Prior to that I had been using a Buck honing kit with a Washita stone, an Arkansas stone, and a can of oil. I haven't used oil now since the mid-'70's when I got the Razor Edge kit. I feel so 'green' not wasting oil... :D

    Stitchawl
     
  16. cbwx34

    cbwx34 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 27, 2004
    I found the opposite... that it worked pretty good for showing how the blade gets maneuvered around the belly to the tip.

    The clamp works by positioning it so the distance from the pivot to the edge stays the same. (See image). So as you go from the flat thru the belly to the tip, it pivots on the end corner of the clamp, and keeps approximately the same angle. It won't work for all blades... like I said before, more of a training tool toward freehand sharpening.

    [​IMG]

    cbw
     
  17. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    I think what he was saying is that, for him at least, the Razor Edge system just doesn't stack up to paper wheels.
     
  18. stitchawl

    stitchawl

    Jul 26, 2008
    Probably doesn't stack up to a TrueHone commercial system, F.Dick system, Tormek system, or even a belt grinder. But that would be like trying to compare apples with oranges, wouldn't it... :jerkit:

    Perhaps it would be more to the OP's benefit to compare it with other clamped systems, other guided systems, or any other hand powered system, instead of forcing paper wheels into every thread.


    Stitchawl
     
  19. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    I thought this was about Razor Sharp Paper Wheels. It sounds alot like Razor's edge system. My bad.
     
  20. rayban

    rayban

    Apr 14, 2007
    No, he answered my question himself, when he said "nothing".
     

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