Review request: Sharpmaker vs EdgePro Apex?

Oct 14, 2000
I am a beginner when it comes to sharpening and am looking for the best sharpening system. Which one of these two sharpening systems do you think are best?

A review on the Sharpmaker 204 vs EdgePro Apex would be great

This is a good question, since most people can't go down and check out the systems. I have an old Spyderco Sharpmaker 203, and I have been considering replacing it. Some information concerning how well either system
works on recurve blades would be helpful. Thanks
I happen to own and use one of each. I think they are both terrific sharpeners, but use them for slightly different purposes. In short, I like the Sharpmaker for quick touch-ups of my straight blades with edge bevels close to the 30 or 40 degree mark (the two angles that the Sharpmaker is designed to accomodate), and for any of my recurved blades. Setting up the Sharpmaker takes no time at all, and it provides fast results on these touch-up jobs. I especially like to use it to put a couple of quick swipes on the edges of my Talonite blades.

However, when it comes time to do a full blown resharpening, or better yet, a reprofiling of a pre-existing edge bevel, I go straight for the Edge Pro Apex. IMHO, with the exception of sharpening recurved edges, anything the Sharpmaker can do, the Apex can do better. Granted it does take a bit longer to set everything up, but the quality of construction is first rate. The Apex accomodates a wide range of bevel angles from acute to obtuse, and has infinite adjustability inbetween. There is likewise a wide range of stones available from very coarse grits right down to a 3000 grit polishing tape. The mirror finished blades that result are phenomenal. The table that supports the blade as you sharpen also helps to promote extremely even grinds along the entire length of the blade. And as I hinted at above, the advantage of the Apex over the Sharpmaker is most pronounced when it is time to reprofile a blade, and I'm a Benchmade fan, so I've had some practice.
Because of the availability of the coarser grit stones the whole process happens much more quickly with the Apex. In all fairness, there's no reason why you couldn't reprofile with the Sharpmaker, but you'd better pack a lunch.

I really do think that each of these sharpeners is great and each has it's own place in the knifenut's arsenal, but if you can only justify purchasing one, let me just say that I can't even imagine trying to reprofile a CPM-3V or S90V blade with a Sharpmaker.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of recurved blades, then the Sharpmaker may be perfect for you.

Semper Fi


[This message has been edited by Bronco (edited 10-27-2000).]
I own both sharpeners & not to annoy you, I'd just say - I agree with Bronco 100%

Have Fun,
Me too!
Though I have Sharpmaker only of these two...

Certainly the Sharpmaker is not the best tool for hard blade reprofiling although I did some job in this matter simply to collect experience.
Taking into consideration very different price I could put these sharpening systems side by side instead of one against another.
You can sharpen recurves with the Edge Pro. It won't be mirror finish, but it will look real nice and slice real well. I posted the same on another thread, but here goes again:

I haven't messed with recurves too much, but here is what I would do with my Edge Pro system:
I would first take the polishing tape blank, and stick a 6" piece of pencil in the middle of the blank and tape it down, then tape a piece of coarse sandpaper over it. That way I will have a round and coarse piece to work with. I grind the edge down to 15-degrees rather quickly (coarse sandpaper cuts quickly).

Then I would remove the sandpaper and just use masking tape, and cover the masking tape in polishing compounds starting with a somewhat fine white rouge down. Then switch to another piece of masking tape, covered in finer red rouge.

After that, I would take the blue sharpening ceramic steel included with the kit and put about 5 light strokes on each side, and then one more on the original side to remove the burr. I've found that these polished, yet toothy edges, with the ends finished on a blue ceramic stick will look factory almost, but slice so much better.

You probably won't ever get mirror finish on a recurve, unless you use your stones and rounds the corners off before using them. If you want it to cut real smooth though, you could probably strop after the process I mentioned above.

Chang and the Rebels of the East
(Southern Taiwan Shall Rise Again!)

[This message has been edited by Comrade Chang (edited 10-29-2000).]