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Recommendation? New Sharpening System

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Jsmalley9, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Jsmalley9


    Jun 14, 2016
    Hey everyone,

    Looking into purchasing a new sharpening system of some kind and was wondering what advice I could get from all of you. I have a KO Work Sharp but I do have a few chisel grind knives so it's not the best for what I need.

    A little about me, since I'm sure this question has been asked a thousand times - but I didn't want to dig up an old post with questions because I honestly didn't understand some of the answers. I understand principles of sharpening and what not - just have little to no understanding of stones themselves, aside from a general idea of how to use them.
    I'm a chef and a knife collector, everything from kitchen knives to outdoor fixed to EDC. I can't afford any safe queens, so all of my knives get used, they're all working knives. And until I can afford the good stuff, I will USE every knife that I own.

    I'm hoping to stay under $200 if possible but I'm open to just about anything, the only thing that doesn't really interest me is the Sharpmaker - I plan to get one for sure, but I'm looking for something to be able to do the full spectrum. I love the idea of an edge pro or a wicked edge but I understand that those are outside of my price range. I know that there's some clones out there, or if not "clones" then similar systems that are cheaper - but I'm not very familiar with them so this is where I was hoping to get some advice. By clones I do want to clarify that I don't mean the cheap Chinese knockoff garbage. Just systems that are similar to Wicked Edge.

    I am super intrigued by the paper sharpening wheels, as I do have the requisite grinder to be able to try that so I would be interested to hear people's experience.

    Lastly, I do have experience with free hand sharpening, although I'm admittedly not very good at it. I would be willing to move that route if that's what's best - I just am not sure where to begin.

    Any advice you guys have would be amazing!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2017
  2. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    1 option... Have you looked into the Blade Grinding Attachment for your Ken Onion WorkSharp?

    Also, if you're interested in the Wicked Edge, they have a new model called the "Wicked Edge Go"... they're currently selling at $150 intro price. Doesn't come with all the bells and whistles... but a good intro to the system, you can expand on as needed.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  3. Jsmalley9


    Jun 14, 2016
    I have actually. Considered purchasing it too. However, I'm in the process of building my knife making workbench and I figured that since I'm saving towards a belt grinder that it may be a little redundant at this point. I'm trying to pinch pennies out of my discretionary money to be able to build my mini garage shop. But then again that's me figuring - so I could be way off on that :D
  4. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    Ah... that might change things a bit. It would seem if you're saving for belt grinder... that it would also be your sharpener? Especially if you're limited in funds and or space.

    If you're interested in going the "freehand route"... a single decent stone in the 1K range will get you started... you can add to it as your experience/needs grow. Oil/water/diamond... your choice. If you want a nice "kit" to get started... i've gotten good results with Worksharp's Guided Sharpening setup (+upgrade kit)... nice "all in one package" (at a decent price if you shop around), that works well, and allows you to try out different finishes, etc. Can be used with the guides to get started... freehand as your experience grows.
  5. Jsmalley9


    Jun 14, 2016
    When I do get the belt grinder that would certainly become my primary sharpening system, at the very least for at home use.
    I'm gonna cheat my own budget a tiny bit for this because I want to have something that I can potentially take to work with me to maintain my knives there, as well as all the other guys' in the kitchen.
    I've seen the WS Guided system but I really didn't know too much about it, so it's good to hear a recommendation for that system. This is exactly why I ask! It seems like a great system for me to start learning free hand.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me the advice. Hell, you went above and beyond by giving me links even. I really appreciate the help!
  6. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004

    Don't be in a hurry... there are others on here that'll have different advice... one that might fit your situation better. For example, like I mentioned earlier... a single stone, or even a coarse & fine stone, can just as easily satisfy your sharpening needs. I like the WSGSS... because for the cost, you get a decent system with decent and a variety of grits of stones, a strop, and even a ceramic... to try different techniques.

    There are many paths to sharp. :)
  7. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
    get a basic oilstone and an inexpensive knife(think Old Hickory) and practice. most guided systems do not go below 20 degrees per side. almost all of my blades are less than 10 per side with 15 degree micro-bevel.
  8. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp Freedom for @Fullflat!!! Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    The KME system offers the same basic functionality as a Wicked Edge, but for much, much cheaper. A fantastic bargain. Their customer service is top notch as well.
    The Burgh likes this.
  9. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    That's actually not really true... especially compared to the new setup I referenced above.

    First, the "functionality" is totally different... working both sides of the knife at the same time vs. working one side at a time. I won't argue that both can get a knife equally sharp... but getting there is not the same. At all. (And yes, I've used both).

    Second price. Your post made me look. :) So, I compared the cheapest KME "kit" on their website... vs. the Wicked Edge "Go"... (using manufacturer's price for both)...

    KME $179.95
    W.E. Go $199 (Intro price of $150).

    Both provide a guided clamp system.
    W.E. comes with a base and clamp. KME the base is extra.
    Both come with 4 stones. BUT, the KME has 4 grit levels (140, 300, 600, 1500)... W.E. only 2 (200, 600).
    KME provides a hardshell case. W.E. a "Tool Roll".
    Advertised angles: KME 17-30 deg. W.E. 15-30 deg.

    So, at this point... the only advantage the KME has is additional grit levels. If you add another set of stones to the W.E. (800/1000) to equal that, it would be an additional $75.00. (If you then added 4 more stones to the KME to equal the # of stones you get with the W.E. at $11.95each that's an additional $47.80). Incidentally, the W.E. stones are slightly larger... 5.475"x.8" (4.38sq.in.) vs. 4"x1" (4sq.in.)... although probably not significant. If you add a base to the KME to equal the W.E. package... add $24.95.

    If you total the KME setup at this point... $252.70. W.E. is $225 (after the Intro price it'll be $274). Since realistically, you probably wouldn't add the 4 additional stones to the KME just to equal the number of stones of the W.E. setup... you could price the KME at $204.90. Either way... I wouldn't say "much much cheaper"... (and keeping "what you get" the same... the W.E. may be the better value overall)?

    I think customer service for both has been exemplary for both (based on general forum feedback).

    (Not saying the KME isn't a good sharpener... just giving a breakdown based on your post). (I do know that some of the W.E. setups are priced much higher... but I don't think that would be an "apples to apples" comparison... although it might be interesting... :rolleyes:).

    (Sharpeners compared)...

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  10. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    I'll suggest freehand, just for the fact that it's cheap(mostly), and while it takes time to learn you'll be able to put scary sharp edges on all of your knives using your own two hands. You can buy a cheap double sided diamond stone(for the tough steels), and a 1,000 grit water/Arkansas stone for the softer steels(as well to clean up the edge on the harder steels).

    That's basically all I use and it just works. I do have a Lansky system that I tried and I did not like it at all, I mean it worked, but I like having control over my edges. I do use the ceramic stones(fine and ultra fine), out of that kit to put a somewhat decent polish onto my edges freehand, though.
    cbwx34 likes this.
  11. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp Freedom for @Fullflat!!! Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Let me dispel the myth that the Wicked Edge allows you to sharpen both sides at once. It just doesn't.

    Unless you're far more coordinated than I am and can actually stroke both sides at the same time, you're still just using one stone on one side at a time. So really, you're only eliminating the time it takes to flip the knife over, which over the course of a sharpening session only amounts to a few seconds. I've also found that the horizontal position on the KME gives you a better view of what you're doing.

    Until your post I wasn't familiar with the Go system from WE. It is definitely a much better value than the previous systems and certainly puts it much closer to the KME in value, but I'd probably still go with the KME. It will also be cheaper to add accessories like strops or lapping plates to the KME in the future.

    Thanks for going through the trouble of putting together the apples to apples breakdown. Looks like WE has at least been doing their homework.
    Beansandcarrots likes this.
  12. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    While technically you're correct, that you can't "stroke both sides at the same time"... if you've used a W.E. for any length of time, you'd see the difference. It's a bit more than just eliminating the "flip" time. (Think of having a KME where, as you moved one stone off the edge in a stroke... the next one was already headed down the edge... if that makes sense). And, especially in finishing a blade... where you alternate strokes to clean up the edge... the W.E. just does it better. You'll really see the difference if a blade needs some serious work. Not saying that any of this can't be done on the KME... but it is different. (In addition, sort of related, is the way stones are changed on the W.E. vs. the KME... a quick swap vs. stopping, unscrewing one and screwing in another). Like you, I think horizontal does give a bit better view... but it's easy enough to adapt.

    Again, the "cheaper to add accessories" is a bit of a misnomer. It is cheaper because you add a "smaller amount" to the KME (one vs. two stones)... although overall it's a cheaper route, it's not as big a difference as it appears. I do think, in the case of some "hobby sharpeners". this may be the better way though, because it is a cheaper way to try stuff without having to buy 2 (or 4) of everything.... if that makes sense. (IOW, I can buy one 600g Chosera if I want to try it on the KME... really can't do that on the W.E. without some effort anyway). But if you plan on using stones/strops more than just a trial... the cost difference isn't as great in the long run.

    Like I said, both will get a knife sharp... just a bit different way of getting there. The choice depends on what's important to the user in the differences.
  13. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    Keep that thought about the Paper Wheels :)
    cbwx34 likes this.
  14. Jsmalley9


    Jun 14, 2016
    Wicked Edge Go does seem incredibly interesting. Minus the fact that it's made out of different materials and does not come with as many stones, am I correct in assuming that it is essentially a much cheaper version of their base? I know that it isn't going to work as well as the better versions, but how far off is it going to be? And does anyone have any experience with it. I see that they showed it off at BLADE so I'm not sure if anyone here got a chance to play around with it.

    The KME being available now, rather than waiting until September gives it some bonus points in my book. But one thing I absolutely love about the WSKO is how easy it is to setup and use. Changing belts is a cake walk and it seems like the WE takes the prize in that department. Also seems like it would be easier to repeat sharpening jobs to an exacting standard (I can get a little anal about stuff like that) with the WE. Not that I'm trying to move the discussion onto the exact fractions of a degree more accurate one is over the other, but from what I have seen it seems like the WE has an advantage. If I'm wrong I would love to be told, because this is becoming a tough choice.

    Then again, I really should buy some stones and learn to free hand sharpen well. Then I don't have nearly as difficult a choice to make :D
  15. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp Freedom for @Fullflat!!! Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    I used it professionally for some time and I'll stand by my statement. You're just saving the time spent flippi g the knife over.
  16. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    Haven't used the Go model... it's the same principle though... so the results should be pretty much the same.

    Edit: BTW, not trying to sell you on the W.E.... just pointing out the differences with the KME... since it was brought up.

    If that's all you noticed... scary. :eek:
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  17. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Note that "sticky" at the "front" of this particular forum, by Richard J. He has lots of experience using paper wheels in sharpening as well as in making his own blades. He would be able to advise you as well as anyone, using this method.
  18. Brusiedmeat

    Brusiedmeat Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2015
    I just placed pre order for the WE Go. Looks like it even comes with the updated pivot.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  19. Jsmalley9


    Jun 14, 2016
    I read through that and that's what was very interesting. I have a bit of experience grinding my own blade (I mean a bit as in 2 knives under supervision of a professional knife maker) at a friends shop and found that to be something I could learn and wanted to hear about others' experience with it.
  20. Jsmalley9


    Jun 14, 2016
    When you say you used it professionally do you mean the KME or the WE GO?

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