Sharpening, if you combined all you now know, what would you tell yourself if...

tommytman

Basic Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
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193
I should have bought a wicked edge and been done. But I only invested in a sharpmaker to date so no big loss.
 
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I had this same thought about 5 or 6 years ago. I came up with 2 things... no 3! Very important things. Then I thought about it for another week and kept coming up with more things. Eventually I had 7 things that I thought were really important. I started calling them my 7 secrets of sharpening. Eventually I wrote them up and posted them here.

I'm always torn by this kind of thing. Because, on the one hand, I think the formal description of these things is really good and can be helpful. But reading my seven secrets article, it seems like sharpening is complicated and fiddly. But it's not. In a way I've overcomplicated it. I think someone already said this here but I'll paraphrase something that's been said many times:

Make full length burr on one side. Go to the other side and make a full length burr. Remove the burr completely from both sides.

That's sharpening in a nutshell. If you do that correctly, your blade will be sharp.

Brian.
 

kvaughn

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Messages
4,858
Been freehand sharpening for 60+ years.
Learn how to maintain an angle.
Understand the difference in a good using edge and a mirror polished hair popping edge and what you need on your knife for its intended purpose.
If you have to practically re-grind a knife to get the edge you want, you probably bought the wrong knife.--KV
 

afishhunter

Gold Member
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Oct 21, 2014
Messages
9,288
I'd tell myself: "Good Luck. You're going to be doing a lot of reprofiling by hand."

NOTE: 60 years ago, I was taught: "A knife should have a 20° inclusive angle. Axes and hatchets should be 30° to 40 degrees inclusive."
Those were the "standards" back then. I still sharpenìng my knives (excluding my Puukko's, They're between 25° to 35° inclusive, I think) to 20° inclusive.

Most knife companies from what I've read here, are providing an axe like/suitable 30° to 40° inclusive angle now ... or even greater inclusive angle to about 60° these days.
I think I saw a knife that was a "dull axe" 45° per side or 90 degrees inclusive. :( (Forever will I pass on that one.)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
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I DID buy a Wicked Edge - I'm done. :cool:
Are you glad you did it? Do you have any recommendations about buying a Wicked Edge?

I wonder if most people total up all they spent, if they've spent enough to get a Wicked Edge.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
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I bought a cheap stone, double sided and didn’t know enough to get a knife sharp. A couple of years later I revisited sharpening and found this forum.

After that my first stone was a DMT coarse. I practised and was actually able to get a knife sharp (£60). My next stone was a chosera 800(£65). I was able to to get my knives further refined and I love that stone to this day. I then got a couple of hand made strops and some 3/2 diamond paste (£35) and suddenly was able to deburr much more effectively than before. Add a coarse silicon carbide stone and a King 6000 (£65) and I am now getting extremely satisfactory edges for kitchen use. I leave my butchers knives off the chosera and my slicers off the king. There is still a lot to learn but at this moment in time I am satisfied and glad I have wasted no more money than that £20 piece of crap I picked up off Amazon
 

000Robert

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Mar 28, 2020
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Are you glad you did it? Do you have any recommendations about buying a Wicked Edge?

I wonder if most people total up all they spent, if they've spent enough to get a Wicked Edge.

Yes, I'm very happy with it. They have different models and everything. I guess it just depends on the needs of the person buying one. I have the WE130 because I don't like the idea of having the clamp high off of the table like the Gen3 Pro. Plus, I can grind asymmetrical angles with it.
I would imagine that most of even the hand sharpeners have more into their stones than a Pro Pack III costs. But to each their own. I hand sharpened my knives my whole life until I bought my WE130 recently.
I couldn't even find a photo online or anything about my Hall's Pro Edge Wet Hone system that I bought 30 or 40 years ago. It has a coarse, medium, and fine stones that I can rotate in the case. The stones are 2 3/8" X 11 1/8".
I also have a DuoSharp Diamond stone that I bought a long time ago. I don't remember what I paid for them.
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Apr 20, 2018
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Are you glad you did it? Do you have any recommendations about buying a Wicked Edge?

I wonder if most people total up all they spent, if they've spent enough to get a Wicked Edge.

I am absolutely not disparaging the WE. It is a fine system for sure.

But on the flip side, for maybe $200 you could open up an entire world of sharpening through the freehand avenue.
 

000Robert

Gold Member
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Mar 28, 2020
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3,689
I do believe that it's a good idea for newbies to learn how to freehand sharpen. It will teach you a lot. And I still freehand the tiny spey blades in my pocket knives. Then when you want perfect grinds at just about any angle on either side, you can move onto a mechanical system. And I wanted one that did not require electricity.
I watched many videos and read many threads and articles before I decided on the WE130. And after taking everything into consideration, I just don't see how the WE130 can be beat. The only thing that I can think of right now that would improve on it would be to get the stones already broken in. It takes some work breaking them in.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
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I am absolutely not disparaging the WE. It is a fine system for sure.

But on the flip side, for maybe $200 you could open up an entire world of sharpening through the freehand avenue.
Thank you for your reply! I'm curious, how would you spend that $200 and what would you do? Thanks again.
 

Tjstampa

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
372
I will repeat the sharpie and I use a loupe to see what I have done. My biggest regret is buying a flatting plate instead of loose silicon carbide for what little resurfacing I do. Also wish I found this forum long before I did.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
180
I started with few flat sharpening stones but I was never satisfied with the results I got. It was mostly a confidence thing and worry about consistent angles. I realize now that I was being too critical.
I have sharpened with the Wicked edge system and I also have the edge pro Apex. I like and use them both .
All are good for sharpening knives. Pick what you want and stick with it until you get good at it. Start with a cheap knife or two and when you get the hang of it you can move on to your better knives.
A guided system makes the learning curve easier but cost more money.
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
1,908
Coarse bench stones are fast and efficient for reprofiling and repairing damage. Also, don’t leave the coarser grit until you reach the apex. I used to move too soon to higher grits; I learned better.
 

DeadboxHero

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
4,650
I have been a knife sharpener for over 10 years, I'd sum it up like this.

It's user, not the tools, but the fancy stuff becomes more enjoyable the more experienced and discerning you become. Life is short, time is money.
Overtime, you'll want specific features enhanced and synergized so you'll seek out tools and products that accentuate ones desires.

If you combined all you now know and have experienced in sharpening in your life, all the systems/devices/things you've tried, all the money you've spent...

And you had to sum that knowledge/experience up to tell yourself now what to do to sharpen things...

What would you tell yourself now if you were just starting out, knowing what you now know and experiencing what you've experienced?
 

Lone_Wolfe

Dazed and Confused
Platinum Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
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13,408
"Just pony up for the TSProf now, instead of buying and losing money on every other system that you won't like!".
 
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