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Sharpmaker on S30V

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by unit, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. unit


    Nov 22, 2009
    I have done some searches and I just keep getting more confused....

    It all started with a few claims I found regarding the Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker's inability to put a wonderful edge/sharpness on S90V...then I got to thinking, is it ideal for S30V?

    So for those of you that know, if you could answer a few questions for me...Thanks!

    1. Is the Sharpmaker the best (or as good as *most* other) systems/stones/methods for sharpening S30V?

    2. I assume it is since Spyderco uses this steel on so many knives and this system is so popular, so What rods are you guys using for best results to get a blade back to or possibly exceeding factory sharpness? I love how sharp my Para came, but I am always eager to improve if possible!

    I see these guys whittling hairs etc. on Youtube. Pretty neat! I can not think of a task I perform where this would be necessary, but if a sharper edge will provide more cuts before needing touch up, I'm in.

    I am hoping to get a system for Christmas to replace my old cheap stone and ceramic rods. I was thinking of the 203mf plus a set of UF rods and a leather strop and some paste. I am interested in what some of you guys use if you do not mind sharing some thoughts.

  2. Mr. Dull Edge

    Mr. Dull Edge

    Oct 20, 2009
    I put my spydy cat (S30V) through my sharpmaker. Used the regular stones that come with it.
    Came out beautiful. The sharpest knife that I own. The edge that the S30v will hold is crazy sharp.
    The blade wasn't all jacked up though, still had a nice edge when I sharpened it.
  3. din


    Feb 16, 2006
    I use a stock sharpmaker with all my s30v blades and it works fine. you really only need the diamond rods if you're sharpening some ridiculously hard steel or doing major reprofiling, or if the blade is really dull.
  4. cgmblade


    Jun 4, 2009
    IMO, the Sharpmaker is perfect for maintaining the edges on Spyderco knives. You're not trying to re-profile the edges, just touch them up. Your results may vary, but I don't allow my knives to get really dull. Regular maintenance on the sharpmaker will keep a very sharp edge on your s30v spydies. 5 or 10 very light strokes on the white stones is all mine usually seem to need.

    Of course if you let it get real dull or if you are trying to re-profile a bad edge on some other manufacturer's knife then it'll take a lot longer as I'm learning currently with a slipjoint w/ a D2 blade I'm trying to re-profile.

    Regular maintenance and you won't have any problems.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  5. unit


    Nov 22, 2009
    Thanks for the shared experiences. I am pretty sure that this is the system for me.

    If I may press a bit further...

    Is anyone using the ultra fine rods on S30V, and if so do they seem worth it to you?

    I love having a silly-sharp blade. This thing came hair-popping sharp, but if I could get hairs to jump off the arm at the mere *thought* of the edge it would be cool! LOL

    Seriously though, would you recommend the UF rods for an EDC knife (I carry 2 typically, one for hard use and one that I want to develop and maintain a very sharp edge on for special tasks). This may seem laughable to some perhaps (I realize) but hey, it seems like a good idea to me...
  6. cgmblade


    Jun 4, 2009
    I don't have the UF rods. I have the white (fine) and brown (coarse) rods that came w/ the sharpmaker and I just got the diamond rods to try to reprofile another knife. Unless money is no object then I would suggest getting the standard system and see if it meets your needs.

    Spyderco knives usually come so sharp that very little is required to maintain them. I use very, very light pressure. Sometimes even less pressure than the knife's own weight. For the final strokes I'll just kinda hold the blade against the white stone and let it fall under it's own weight very slowly.

    You might want to visit the 'Maintenance' sub forum and read up on stropping.
  7. D1omedes


    May 3, 2009
    I too have the Sharpmaker and am able to produce a very sharp edge on my CPM S30V blade. I only used the white stones but it took me a while. The reason for that is because I use a marker on the edge and try to work on keeping my strokes even so most of the marker is removed in sync. Again, I also let the blade get pretty dull and I'm sure if I went with the brown stones first, the process would have been faster.

    Anyway, I can get my knives to push shave hair off my arms with the standard white stones. I think once I have some extra cash, I'll pick up the UF stones. They pretty much polish the edge and simulate stropping. Thus, they can produce a crazy sharp edge on a knife that is already pretty sharp.

    From what I've read, there is no real substitute for stropping. I think the closest you'll get with the Sharpmaker are the UF stones. Since I'm still relatively new to sharpening, I'd like to stick with the Sharpmaker and would invest in the UF stones. I could hold off on a strop for later when I'm more confident in my technique.
  8. unit


    Nov 22, 2009
    Yes, thank you. I think I have read enough there to generate more confusion...Novices are prone to such things, ya know...

    I sort of gathered that Stropping is great for the ultimate in sharpness in a convex edge, but the Sharpmaker works on a bevel (not convex).

    I imagine that stropping will still help a beveled edge also, but was curious if the UF rods would accomplish similar, or should I skip the UF all together and go for a strop with the green compound.

    Sorry if these are stupid questions...I probably need to simply pick up the sharpmaker kit and play for a while and see how the results meet my whims.

    Thanks again!
  9. Josh K

    Josh K

    Sep 29, 2008
    I've used the UF rods and really the most difference is made when you don't put pressure on the knife to the rod, you just let it slide down on its own. I get scary sharp S90V (and S30V, VG-10, etc) using the UF rods.
  10. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker

    Aug 18, 2008
    This Military has been mantained on the SM it's whole life so far, and it's scary sharp!
  11. Vivi

    Vivi Banned BANNED

    Dec 4, 2005
    I just received UF rods thanks to a close friend. Whether they're worth it or not depends on how sharp you care to get your knives.

    My S30V test piece was my Swick with a reprofiled and polished edge bevel. Off the fine stones it would easily pop hair slightly above the skin. With the UF's I do notice an increase in sharpness, and it's easier IMO to not form a burr when using the UF stones. My swick will easily push cut thin receipt paper an inch or two from the hold and whittle an individual hair multiple times. The UF stones are worth it to me.

    I would advise anyone to get acquainted with the standard sharpmaker setup and be able to get edges that cleanly shave using the brown rods before considering the UF stones. Good technique is key.

    I think stropping is over-rated. The edge I get after heavy stropping is poopy to me, it can shave arm hair but when I try to slice things it's more prone to sliding around. These days I strop just once per side after I sharpen and any more than that I feel like I'm doing bad things to my edge. I use it to tighten up the edge and remove what little bur may be left (Too small to detect with naked eyes or fingers), but I feel strongly that it's not required and it can easily be overdone. Also, always make sure your strop is freshly loaded with compound if you use one, it makes it so much more effective. I rub it with a compound stick after every 2 or 3 uses. It works equally as well on convex and V edges though, as does the sharpmaker.

    Also I'm with you on the two knives setup. My EDC is usually a D2 Military and a serrated H1 Tasman Salt (Soon to be replaced with a Spyderhawk from Santa :) ). I keep the Millie as sharp as possible, if it doesn't cleanly shave it has to be re-sharpened. The Tasman salt I'm less picky about how sharp it is, but I make sure to maintain the edge. Millie is my go-to knife for most things, but the tasman salt does certain things better and handles any dirtier cutting jobs I come across or rougher cutting that may damage the cutting edge. H1 is super tough, and sometimes my Millie cuts food so I don't want to be cutting certain things with it.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009

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