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Question on knife sharpening

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by GJJGrappler, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. GJJGrappler


    May 19, 2006
    Hey folks, I'm looking to purchase a Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition. This will be my first power sharpener and it falls right in my price range. Thoughts from anyone who has experience with this sharpener would be appreciated.
  2. T. Erdelyi

    T. Erdelyi Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    To paraphrase a friend of mine on usin' powered sharpening systems...

    "It's a lot harder and takes a lot more time to destroy a knife by hand, it only takes seconds to do it with a belt grinder.
    Lapedog, unklfranco, NJBillK and 2 others like this.
  3. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Be prepared to round down and burn off a few points.
    Riz! likes this.
  4. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I've played with them in Cabela's a few times. They work, but God help your knife if you use it drunk :)
    Gunther85 and mt666tm like this.
  5. gzb


    Jan 24, 2003
    Never had that problem and have been using one for over 2 years on a variety of knives/blades/steels. How long have you been using one...?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  6. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I have one but only use it to thin or reprofile a blade if needed ...as long as you go slow dont run it full out and take breaks so you dont over heat and ruin the temper of your blade it can be useful ... and I've found it works well for quick touch ups on kitchen knives ... but I prefer to hand sharpen most all my knives.

    I use it more to sharpen tools such as axes or lawn mower blades ... clippers etc ...
  7. tech25


    Dec 20, 2012
    At first practice on cheap knives. They provide a sharpening chart, follow it and don't skip steps.

    Don't pick the tip of the blade off of the belt until you stop the belt- it will stop most of the tip rounding issues.

    I use it for almost all of my knives and never had an issue.
  8. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I think that a Work-Sharp is fine if you just want to "get 'er done."
    However, sharpening a blade can be much more personal when you do it by hand...then you are inserting
    something of yourself into the effort, and may well have a certain pride in a job well done.
    dalefuller likes this.
  9. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    The heat from power tools DOES ruin the temper !! If you look at a fine katana made in the traditional Japanese way has very beautiful and delicate crystal structures .ALL the polishing is by hand !. Those fine structures would disappear if you used a power tool ! Hardness would also drop.
    David Martin likes this.
  10. Vicarious Reality

    Vicarious Reality

    Apr 9, 2008
    I bought a WSKOE, handle broke for no reason but it works and works well
    No more dickin around with stones for hours and hours for me
  11. G. Scott H.

    G. Scott H.

    Jan 9, 2006
    I do much of my sharpening these days on a WSKO with the blade grinding attachment: http://www.worksharptools.com/parts-accessories/ken-onion-edition-kts/blade-grinding-attachment.html. I like this better because holding the knife horizontally and running it across the belt feels more natural and controllable to me. It's easier this way to adhere to the primary rule: NEVER allow the tip of the blade to go beyond the halfway point on the belt. I try to stop when the tip is about 1/3 of the way across. Using this setup and running the machine really slow makes it pretty hard to go wrong. :thumbsup:
    4mer_FMF and GJJGrappler like this.
  12. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Yes power tools CAN cause excessive heat and ruin the temper in your blade ... but if you use it correctly ... slower speeds and taking breaks the Ken Onion Work Sharp can be a very useful tool.

    I do recommend practicing maybe on some cheaper kitchen knives to get the feel of the machine ... but it isn't too difficult to pick up.

    And as I said before I prefer to and I enjoy sharpening my knives by hand ...it's kind of a zen thing some music or sittin on the porch listenin to the wind in the trees ... just relaxing sharpening my knives.

    But not everyone likes sharpening by hand and thats ok ... just practice a bit ... take it slow and it will be a good tool for you. So don't buy it or avoid it from what we all tell you are our preferences ... do what works for you.

    All that said the Ken Onion Work Sharp can be a very useful sharpening tool and for a resonable price. Good luck with your sharpening.
    G. Scott H. and BBuser like this.
  13. BBuser


    Sep 4, 2016
    It works fine. It comes with an instructional dvd and booklet. There are also vids on the tube. It has a low power motor and adjustable speed. It won't heat up the blade near enough to effect temper.

    It's nice having a guide for angle. Some folks like the "blade grinder attachment" better than the one it comes with.

    The sound of the motor isn't as therapeutic as working a stone but other than that go for it, especially if you sharpen multi knives or want to change bevel on tough steel.
    G. Scott H. likes this.
  14. Sergeua

    Sergeua Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2016
    Could be a fine tool in the hands of an experienced sharpener.
  15. SunnyRidge


    Mar 4, 2016
    Try Angle Guidea. You may not need the WSKO right now.
    Blue guides are for main bevel. Orange guides are for maintaining micro-bevel with honing rod. WSKO is great when you need to shave off a lot of metal, repair damaged chipped knives or re-profile the edge. If your knife is not damaged, you will sharpen much better on a stone with Angleguide. Stones are wider than 1" belt, so it is better to finish on a stone. Anyway you can have both for almost the same price.
    Another reason to buy AngleGuide first is to learn the sharpening magic first. If you can't sharpen knife on a stone, you will quickly ruin your knives on WSKO. Only if you are confident with stones, then WSKO can definitely speed up the process, again if only you need to take off a lot of metal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2017
  16. DJC72

    DJC72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    I added the optional attachment to mine and a leather belt loaded with green compound. I get knives scary sharp with this combo. Generally I use it for my larger knives or when re-profiling is needed. I have a lot to compare the Ken Onion to, I also own the worksharp guided system, Wicked Edge, Sharpmaker and numerous Dmt stones. Overall, I really like it and would recommend it.

    No need to worry about losing your temper. You can adjust the speed on the unit. I've never had any issues with over heating blades or rounded tips.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  17. palmerdl

    palmerdl Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    If your destroying blade temper or rounding off tips on any power sharpening system... YOU'RE NOT DOING IT CORRECTLY. The negative comments on power sharpening seem to be from people who just don't want to sharpen any other way than traditional, or haven't taken the time to learn correctly. It's not that hard to learn.

    I use a Kalamazoo 1x42" belt sander, and I've done everything from keychain size knives to 24" machetes. Even Stanley knife utility blades... just because. The Kalamazoo is not the top of the line, but works just fine at the price point. Been using it for about 6 or 7 years. Good selection of belts for 1x42. I use abrasive belts, linen belts with CBN, and leather belts with compound.

    I have a Work Sharp, not the Ken Onion model. I've used it for scissors and ceramic blades with diamond belts. Works fine, just not as good as the bigger 1x42, for my uses. As others have stated, if you follow the instructions and pay attention, it will do the job. Having said that, I have fixed a couple of blade tips for a buddy who didn't pay attention.

    You are NOT going to ruin the temper on a blade unless you're not using you head. If you go slow enough across any belt that you blue the steel, you're not doing it right. You're certainly not going to change crystal structures or lower blade hardness, by using a power system correctly. That's just plain BS.
  18. 4mer_FMF

    4mer_FMF Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    I hate being one of "those guys," but run a search narrowed to the Maintenance & Tinkering section. There's lots of good info on the system spread out over several threads--stuff that's important but not in the user's guide.

    I like mine and haven't destroyed any knives with it. If I had it to do over, I *might* just pony up for a KME though....then again if I had a KME, I'd probably want a WSKO anyway--LOL!
  19. Bang*Bang**


    Mar 26, 2017
    A tangential question for those with experience.

    Is this great or a gimmick?


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