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Work Sharp (belt grinder) Knife Sharpener

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by UnknownVT, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Bishop2Queen's6


    Jun 8, 2011
    Sorry to do a thread revival, but how do you get a push cut newspaper sharp edge using a work sharp? As of now, I can really only push cut construction paper after honing several times with the 6000 grit belt.
  2. AFAustin

    AFAustin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    I often get my best results by setting the edge with a complete grit progression on the Work Sharp, and then finishing off with my Sharpmaker UF stones and then stropping a bit.

    That said, you can get excellent end results with just the Work Sharp. You can buy several aftermarket Micro Mesh belts so that you have a more complete and closer grit progression, filling in the huge gap between the stock 220 and 6000 belt.

    Also, as you wear down the 6000 belt, it will become a finer belt and give you a more polished edge. Some of the guys also will apply a little polish to their worn 6000 belt (Mother's Mag, Flitz, etc.).

    You can set a more acute bevel to begin with. Holding a knife straight up and down on the WS yields a 20 degree (40 inclusive) bevel, so by tilting the spine in a little towards the belt, you can approximate a 15 degree (30 inclusive) edge.

    I find I'm constantly fine tuning the angle, amount of pressure, and place on the belt where I place the edge (less "give" closer to the rollers) on each knife, to get the best edge for that particular knife. It can also help to do one or two final passes with very light pressure, just as you would with stones.

    Finally, I don't use the "standard" technique where you place the knife on the left side, causing the belt to goes upwards and against the right edge of the knife. I want a consistent angle and stroke, with the belt going away from the edge on both sides. So, I move the WS about 45-50 degrees clockwise to do the right edge. I then draw the knife from left to right across my body, so that the belt is moving downwards and away from the edge on the right side. Sometimes, with small knives, I will simply leave the WS in the normal position and hold the knife in a "hammerfist" grip, and pull it across the right side of the belt and away from me, which accomplishes the same thing. There are many other ways to position the WS, but these are the two which currently work best for me.

    Hope some of this helps.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  3. Pykrim


    Dec 10, 2012
    Dont mean to revive the thread either but I was wondering how well it would sharpen a recurve blade. And if it's possible to convex a recurve edge with this sharpener. Again, sorry for reviving it.
  4. UnknownVT


    Feb 15, 2003
    No problems -
    my apologies for missing this and for being so late in replying.

    I was no longer being notified on this thread - so missed your query.

    It really depends on how recurve the blade is -
    for a very gentle recurve then the sharpening is actually like any straight edged knife -
    if it is strongly recurved - then there are instructions specifically for guthooks and strongly recurved blades -
    from page 17 of the manual -

    The whole pdf manual can be downloaded from the WSKTS web site -
    Work Sharp Sportsmans Knife and Tool Sharpener User Guide

    Actually the narrower belt of this original WSKTS can be more flexible for different curved blades as the narrow belts would conform better to curves -
    over the wider belts of the newer Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener - Ken Onion Edition (link to review)

    Sorry to be so late -
    hope that was still of some use.


    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  5. Oblio13


    Jul 20, 2014
    Sorry to bring a thread back from the dead, but it's what convinced me to both join BF and to buy a WorkSharp. Great practical knowledge shared here that isn't in the owner's manual.

    The downside is that I'm going to have recurring nightmares about vintage straight razors on a belt sander.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  6. Jackie hunter

    Jackie hunter

    Nov 12, 2016
    Mine also started screeching, so I took it apart and cleaned it, that worked for a while, then it started so I shook it and dust was in it from the blades, that worked on and off but now it won't stop, not sure how to fix this.
  7. Work Sharp

    Work Sharp

    Aug 26, 2009
    Jackie Hunter and others...please contact us about your screeching units. We are happy to warranty the component for you.
    Call us at 800-597-6170 or email [email protected]

    You are on team Work Sharp, we will take good care of you.
  8. Glock Guy

    Glock Guy Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 28, 2012
    I can vouch for this, as you have taken great care of me over the years, too!

    I had been using a Work Sharp with the tool grinder attachment in my shop that stopped working just past the warranty expiration date. One quick phone call, and I had a replacement Work Sharp about a week later with a return tag for the other one. About a year later, the same thing happened. Again back on the phone, and an even better result as both the Work Sharp and Tool grinder attachment were replaced, and a return tag issued for the old ones. Please note that neither time I called was I asking for or expecting a new product - I knew it was past the warranty timeframe. I just wanted to see if there was anything I was doing wrong to cause these issues. Both times I was greeted by a friendly voice that simply said we will take care of you on this one, and they did!

    I can honestly say that the customer service I have received from Work Sharp over the years is second to none in the business, and has surpassed every single company I've ever dealt with. Their products are great, and the fact that they stand behind them MORE than 100% is why I will be a lifetime customer and have multiple versions (2x Work Sharps, 1 Blade Grinder Attachment, 1 Tool grinder attachment) of their fine products.

    Work Sharp doesn't just treat you like a customer, they treat you like family!!!

    Thanks again!
    Mike in Bismarck...
  9. AFAustin

    AFAustin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    I absolutely agree. The Work Sharp folks are second to none and always surprise on the upside when it comes to taking care of their customers.

  10. Mrgauth

    Mrgauth Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2016
    Ok, I have read thru a lot of this thread and still am unsure. Seems there is quite a learning curve with this system. I need something. I have a few knives that I love but despise the angle and want something that can help me fix that and get them to 20 degrees so they will work on my sharpmaker for touch ups. I tried re profiling one on my sharpmaker; forgettaboutit. Just made it worse. So, I need some system to fix or send it to someone to fix.

    How does this tool work on some of the newer exotic steels? S110, s35, m390, 204p, etc,

    And lastly, any advice who I can pay to fix my knife that I jacked up on the sharpmaker if I don't get this?
  11. Nomo4me


    Mar 22, 2014
    Mrgaugth if you are an intuitive sharpener the belt machines can serve you well. If not you can screw up a good knife in an instant - not so good for OCD types who tend to gravitate to precision sharpening.
    I own a couple belt machines Realsharp and AMK-75 and get very good results with them and enjoy using them.

    If you are somewhat inexperienced I'd go with that TPROF system and I'd get the full zute model and cry later about the price. It looks fantastic, and I own WE Gen 3
  12. Rey HRH

    Rey HRH

    Oct 6, 2014
    Get the Work Sharp Ken Onion edition with the Blade Grinder Attachment.

    Set the desired angle on the attachment. Hold the blade level and steady against the moving belt. Use the sharpie method on the blade to ensure you have profiled the blade correctly with the angle.

    Let the moving belt do the work for you by not pressing down the blade against the belt, just enough for the belt to do the work.

    I cannot imagine how badly you can jack up a knife against a sharpmaker. My bet is that the sharpmaker wasn't hitting the edge of the blade to sharpen it and was just hitting the shoulder of the bevel. In anycase, the worksharp can be used to fix the knife.

    The worksharp comes with simple but detailed enough directions. Good luck.
  13. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    I just purchased a WS Ken Onion along with blade grinding attachment. Figured it would be good for axes, machetes, and tools.
  14. RLDubbya

    RLDubbya HMFIC

    Dec 21, 2016

    I will also suggest the Ken Onion version with the blade grinding attachment. Once you have that, you basically have a hobbyist belt grinder. You can handle anything; the steel does not matter. Get a practice knife or two for learning.

    As far as bailing you out, I would suggest turning to Josh from Razors Edge. Reasonable prices, great explanations, and a solid man you can absolutely trust.
  15. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    It doesn't get any better than Josh from razors edge. He will definitely take great care of your needs.

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