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Sharpening Elmax on a sharpmaker

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by stebolicious, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. stebolicious


    Apr 16, 2012
    Hey all, i have scoured the forums in search of some answers, but came up with very little.. (maybe i wasnt looking in the right places)...

    I have been faithful to my Spyderco Sharpmaker... and it has put incredible edges on all my knives... except for my ZT 0560. I have read that Elmax is indeed harder to sharpen, but this is getting ridiculous. No matter how hard I try, i cant get even a decent edge on it. It ALWAYS turns out terrible.

    Are there any tips you can give me regarding sharpening it with a sharpmaker... or should i just give up hope?
    Thanks :)
  2. ArchAngel

    ArchAngel Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 13, 2000
    I sharpen my 560 with my sharpmaker, but I start with the diamond sleeves and then the standard
    brown and white rods. My 560 is a laser cutter with this setup.
    Good luck.
  3. sticktodrum

    sticktodrum Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    I'm assuming you're using a
    Sharpie to see where the stones are contacting the blade, but if not you should. My 0560 had an edge bevel wider than the 40* of the Sharpmaker, so I reprofiled it to under that, and touch ups on the Sharpmaker are easy with great results.
  4. stebolicious


    Apr 16, 2012
    Are the diamond stones necessary, or do they just make taking down the back bevel easier? I have considered getting some diamonds, just havent seen the need yet.
  5. Leethal Cutlery

    Leethal Cutlery Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2011
    With a lot of these super steels diamonds or ceramic like the shapton glass stones have always worked best for me. You can't really put the pressure needed with the sharp maker. Free hand is the way to go imo
  6. kreole


    Jul 23, 2009
    Same here, an edge over 40* that needed to get reprofiled down lower first

    Once reprofiled, the elmax blade seemed easier to sharpen than s30v for instance
  7. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket Moderator

    Apr 15, 2010
    If you need to reprofile to the edge angle you want, it's going to take some time even with diamonds. Blame that on the vanadium carbides.

    However once you get to that angle and get it nice and sharp, the edge will wear very slowly, making light touch-up work easier and not required very often. Credit that to the vanadium carbides.
  8. salmonkiller

    salmonkiller Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    My wife is not as nice as I am on the kitchen knives, so the diamond stones work to help removes all the chips and to re-profile damaged edges.They will make quick work getting OP edge to the correct geometry.
  9. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007
    Norton Sic stone grinds it like butter, Nubatama waterstones grind it like the devil, and diamond hones tend to "choke" when grind Elmax. It's not about the hardness or wear resistance (which is not really that high) but about the stones ability to work with a steel.

    To grind Elmax use one of the first two options and to finish it use your SM. Personally I stop with a 1k waterstone.

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