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Newbie Sharpening Questions

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by DC Kestrel, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. DC Kestrel

    DC Kestrel

    Jun 3, 2017
    I've searched and read about all of the CR sharpening threads I could, and have decided to go with the Spyderco Sharpmaker to sharpen my very small collection of CR knifes. (I've sharpened freehand before, using oil stones for what essentially is a straight razor, but it was a long time ago and I don't have time to re-master it. The Apex and Wicked Edge systems are just too much for me at this time.) I picked up the Sharpmaker and a set of Ultra Fine rods, and they should be in soon. I'm not trying to preserve the convex factory edge, so I need to establish the 40% edge. I'll be sharpening an Unfaam, small Inkosi and a Mnandi. I had a few questions:

    If the knives are still reasonably sharp, I can I just use the fine or ultra fine rods to touch up the factory edge? Corner or flats? I know I need to avoid "rounding" the tip.

    If I want to establish a 40% edge, should I start with the brown stones? I'm assuming that the diamond stones would be overkill, but would be interested in anyone's thoughts about that. From what I've read, it may take time to "flatten" the convex edge to a "v".

    Any recommendations for a cheap (but decent) practice knife that with a blade shape/grind that will provide a good substitute for the blade on a small Inkosi?

    Many thanks in advance. This forum has been a fantastic source of information.
  2. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    You cannot "touch up the factory edge" unless your factory edge is less than or matches one of the fixed angles of the Sharpmaker. If you don't get the "touch up" you want you can always move to edge or a different hone.

    The Sharpmaker doesn't remove much metal unless you get the diamond hones or the cubic boron nitride hones. Even the coarse hones are not really coarse. For my small sebenza, I used the diamonds to establish a 30 degree edge and took that all the way through to the flat fine hones finishing with a few swipes on the flat fine hones at 40 degrees for a microbevel. It took some time with the diamond hones to establish the angle, particularly on the tip, so with the standard set-up, you'll be "strokin" for awhile if your knife edge is like mine.

    I don't own the ultrafine hones, because the fine ones are fine enough for me.

    From what I understand, Sebenzas are final sharpened on a belt, so the edge has some convex character, but it's not a true convex grind, that's why CRK recommends the fixed angle Sharpmaker.
  3. Mick_1KRR


    May 1, 2016
    The easiest method for those who are not experienced at sharpening a slight convex edge is to re-profile it to a 18-20 degree V edge and then use the sharpmaker to effortlessly touch it up and maintain it for years and years with a 40 degree microbevel. Even if you are experienced it's still probably one of the most hassle free sharpening setups you can use for any folder, plus it minimizes steel loss. I hand sharpened for about 12 years but i still prefer to just maintain a microbevel on a 18 degree V grind. User preference at the end of the day.
  4. adamlau


    Oct 13, 2002
    I di what brownshoe does when using a Sharpmaker: Diamond to set 15dps before a couple of light passes on the fine rods to set a 20dps micro. And yes, prepare to um...yeah...stroke for a while o_O . The Zaan and the Inkosi both took three sessions across three days with the diamond rods to reprofile the entirety of their respective edges.
  5. blanco112

    blanco112 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    I exclusively use the Sharpmarker but two of my knives (my two largest) weren't getting particularly sharp just using medium and white stones and stropping lost its effectiveness after a while. I have the CBN rods so last week I spent some time working on those two to get a nice clean 20 degree V edge.

    So I sharpied my edge and started with the CBN corners on one side, then the flats until I could feel a burr (and the sharpie was gone), then worked the other for the same amount of strokes. Took a while, and I was concerned the whole time that I might just be destroying my edge, but after a while the sharpie was completely gone. From there I moved my way up through the medium (most of the time working on one side, but finishing with alternating strokes), fine (alternating strokes) and ultrafine stones (alternating). I finished with a Knives Plus Strop block with green compound then a non-compounded smooth strop. My edge end up great on both knives, but also feel semi-convex.

    I have not done this entire process to many of my knives as my smalls have always been able to be touched up with the white and ultra fine stones. This worked for me and there is probably some room for improvement or some steps I should add and others I should skip (any gurus have any advice, I'd love to hear it). Each knife took maybe hour to hour and a half to complete which was worth it and the satisfaction I got from doing all this was worth it.
  6. JB in SC

    JB in SC Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2001
    It takes quite a bit of time to get that 20 degree edge with the medium stones. Other than exercising caution to avoid rounding the tip, the Sharpmaker works well for most of us.
  7. Corytr


    Sep 10, 2013
    Microbevel is where it's at, especially if it's already reasonably sharp. Why reprofile if you don't have to?
  8. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    A micro bevel depends on a more acute main bevel.
  9. Corytr


    Sep 10, 2013
    Yeah, if you stick to the default sharpmaker angles. Tilt the blade away a bit if you have to.
  10. DC Kestrel

    DC Kestrel

    Jun 3, 2017
    OP here: Thanks, all, for your comments. I'm going to try to get a plain 40 degree V first before I try anything more involved. Will be interesting...
  11. Regaj


    Mar 27, 2010
    New forum member here. Not new to knives, or sharpening... but I am new to Chris Reeve Knives (I have a new CRK Sebenza 21 inbound). Rather than start a new thread, I figured I'd tag on to DC's...

    Can someone please confirm the factory angle that Sebenza 21's ship with? I presume from the messages up-thread that it's 20 degrees per side; 40 degrees inclusive? I'll verify with a few strokes on the Edge Pro Apex, of course. But if there's a given measure to start with that would be helpful.

  12. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I believe mine was at about 18DPS.
    If you are using Edge Pro, you will have to find the angle anyway, as Sebenza is hollow ground. How you place the blade on Edge Pro would greatly affect the set angle.
  13. blanco112

    blanco112 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    CRK quotes the angle at 20-22 dps but they are done by hand and it varies. They are also convex so I'm not sure where they measure that angle. I use the 20 degree setting on a Sharpmaker and it usually takes some work to hit the apex.
  14. Regaj


    Mar 27, 2010
    Thank you, gentlemen...
  15. ti lock

    ti lock

    Jul 20, 2013
    keep an eye out for a used WE... once you get a WE you will never use your sharpmaker again... IMHO the sharpmaker is very time consuming and really difficult to put on a good edge with... You could not give me a sharpmaker now since I now own a WE
  16. nyefmaker


    Sep 29, 2008
    I have used this type of sharpening system for over 30 years. Wether it be the old vintage crock sticks ( I still have several....lol ) or the sharpmaker, the system is virtually the same, save for the flats vs round rods. For me personally, its the best available if you know how to use it. There is also not much of a learning curve. It will also not ruin your knives like some of the other systems will. I cringe seeing the rods/springs/sanding blocks, whistles ....eeeek...!!! Looks like they are sanding wood and here its a $400 knife blade. As for the systems I have mentioned, the sharpmaker is by far the best. With the older round rods, many tips would end up being rounded. With the sharpmaker, you can keep the tips factory fresh at all times.

    I so need to do a video on this as its much easier to show than explain probably. Keep in mind that I am probably 90-10% CRK. I only have another brand because CRK doesnt make it.

    A swipe or two on the sharpmaker will not ruin an edge. If your still in the learning stages, use the sharpie trick until you get the hang of it. Sharpie the edge and then twice each side and see where the rods are hitting. I ONLY use the 40 degree setting on my sharpmaker. I am not into all the micro bevel crap.

    When you do the sharpie trick, you will see that near the belly, it will ride higher than the edge most time, so you have to slightly tilt your hand towards the right on the left rod stroke and towards the left on the right rod stroke. This will keep the rods on the blade edge where you want it to be. Just do super light strokes until you get the feel of it. left stroke slightly tilting right when close to the belly, right stroke slightly tilting left when close to the belly. One of the best things about the sharpmaker is the flats. When you finish your stroke, make sure to stop with the tip on the middle of the flats of the stones ( rods ). This will preserve the sharp point. If you keep pulling it off the rods, you will round the tip.

    Since your good with freehand, you will understand the tilting of the blade in relation to the blade edge. Once your all said and done, you will be a master at this. On all my CRK that I carry, once the blade is sharp, resharpening sometimes only takes a few strokes and then its back to hair popping sharpness. You dont have to sit there and do 50 strokes per side, sometimes as little as 2 each side will do.

    As for stones, I have the brown and fine stones it comes with. I also have the ultra fine stones. I 99% of the time just use the brown for very dull or damaged edge knives or the white fine stones. The ultra fine will put a mirror edge on it, which does nothing for me. Thats just for show....lol. You can reprofile with the brown stones, but it takes forever. For those jobs, I hear the diamond rods are the ticket. For detailed sharpening I mainly use the flats, for just a quick touchup, I will use the corners.

    Any questions at all, just ask away. Good Luck and Enjoy....!!!
    Torrid, DRLyman and 4mer_FMF like this.
  17. Torrid

    Torrid Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    I am also new to sharpening- Definitely want to see that video if you ever get time to do one nyefmaker.
  18. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    This was done with a sharpmaker. Thin curls and slices on phone book paper, and even a few pages cut vertically with the page standing on a tabletop. (Yes, an actual phone book... remember those?!). All the sharp I need... :D

    miso2 likes this.
  19. fan of fanboys

    fan of fanboys

    Feb 14, 2014
    seems like everyone is using the 40 degree

    I have been using the 30

    is that too much?

    for those who use the 40 are you holding the knife vertically or putting any lean on it?
  20. Mike Large

    Mike Large Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    My best advice is be patient and use your 40 degree sharpmaker... I sharpened it every night with medium, fine, then ultra for about two weeks and FINALLY.... perfect. Is this a wrong way of going about It? Maybe. But I can tell you it WILL get there eventually. My large 21 came to me new and very close to dull and took a good while but after patience and hope(haha) it's finally there. Hope this helps friend.

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