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ZT 0450 vs. Sharpmaker with CBN rods

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by wvdavidr, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. wvdavidr


    Mar 21, 2007
    No picts., but not much to show anyway. I am dissatisfied with the angle of the Zero Tolerance 0450 and want to reprofile. I put the CBN rods in the Sharpmaker and used a rubber band on the top, pinching them inwards in the 40 slots. I measured 15.7 degrees per side. I have spent over 3 hrs. grinding up and down and have not reached a burr. The CBN rods were barely used and are not defective. Also, I have used light pressure. What a terrible showing for the SM.- like watching a basketball team lose 92-3! I'm just about convinced the SM is worthless for anything beyond touch-ups. :grumpy:
  2. jbarsquat

    jbarsquat Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 22, 2017
    I went through a similar situation with my SM. I spent about 90 minutes to reach a burr with the diamond rods which I'm sure took a lot of life out of those rods! I now reprofile on the EP or by hand on a large diamond plate for larger knives.
  3. Nomo4me


    Mar 22, 2014
    Those brown rods are the suck unless you collect knives of 1095.
  4. vilePossum


    Jan 14, 2015
    ?!? Why are you complaining? You are using a tool for something it was not intended for. Don't blame the tool, blame the user.

    Gesendet von meinem SM-T813 mit Tapatalk
  5. Small hones.

    Not so much about the abrasive used, of which CBN is appropriate to the steel type; but the hones are just too small & narrow to work efficiently for thinning or rebevelling a thick-edged blade in highly wear-resistant steel. I went through the same aggravation with my Lansky, in trying to thin/rebevel a ZT-0350 in S30V. I had started the job with the standard Lansky hones (AlOx), which dished & glazed the two coarsest of them to ruin. I finished the job, barely, to not-quite-a-burr and 'acceptable' sharpness, using a supplementary Lansky medium diamond hone, about 6 hours after starting it. Lesson learned, and a valuable one at that. :eek:

    In more recent, similar situations with S30V blades, I've since done this type of job on something like a Coarse 8" x 2" diamond hone, in maybe ~ 45 minutes' time.

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  6. Securis


    Jan 9, 2013
    Yep, did that once, Sharpmaker, Diamond rods, and the benchmade Mini Pocket Rocket (M390) 2 hours wasted, still no burr, i gave up and let it be sharpened by EP.

    Fast forward to last year. i had a friend who wanted a slight increase in angle for his ZT560 elmax. took me 45 minutes to pull up the shoulder, and another 30 minutes shining the thing. I dare say i did a pretty decent job for what it was worth. EP is still my go to where re-profiling is needed.

    I don't know if you will have the same problem i did, but i lost a lot of bite using aluminium stones on 450's S35VN. I was whining about it on another thread on here.
  7. RLDubbya

    RLDubbya Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    I use a Worksharp with blade attachment for reprofiling. Set to a sharpmaker angle, and 5 minutes to complete. Then I can move to SM. If you add things up, the worksharp is not that expensive. If you are not replacing abrasives you keep cost down.
  8. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    The Sharpmaker is a "Sharp" Maker, not a "Re-Profiling" Maker. It's a great tool to keep knives sharp. It was never intended for re-profiling blades.
  9. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo

    Nov 20, 2004
    Let me start out by saying that I love the 204 Sharpmaker. I have two of them and use them both a lot. But you need to understand that every sharpening tool has it's limits. The 204 Sharpmaker in my humble opinion was never intended to do extensive stock removal of a knife that's really needing a serious reprofiling job done on it. The Sharpmaker should actually be called the Sharp-Maintainer.

    To me the 204 Sharpmaker is a sharpening tool designed for maintaining already reasonably sharp edges. It will wear you out to try to do a major reprofiling job with it. I basically use one of my coarse or extra-coarse diamond benchstones for major stock removal and for a serious reprofiling job.

    But to get an already reprofiled edge back to being razor sharp I don't think there is a tool out there that can beat it.
  10. TravisH

    TravisH Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 22, 2014
    I last used my SM with CBN to do a reprofile on a Delica ZDP to even up the bevels. It worked but took longer than I expected.

    Now, I just use the SM for maintenance of my EDC and kitchen knives at which it excels.

    But, for reprofile or repair work, I get out my DMT Aligner or EP clone.
  11. F308gt4


    Mar 20, 2017
    Newbie here, just registered to ask a few questions.

    I have a sharpmaker that I've been using for about a month and really like it. I've read a lot about it and understand it's not really meant for profiling, but I've also read that you can use some coarse sandpaper wrapped around the rods, or obtain a coarse diamond stone and clamp to the rods for reprofiling.

    My current knives consist of VG10 steel at the hardest, so the sandpaper trick has worked fine for me for reprofiling. Why wouldn't either sandpaper or clamping a diamond stone to the rods work with the harder steel? Basically you are using a coarse stone, but using the sharpmaker to provide an angle guide. Should take as long as any other method, no?

    Question #2- why is the OP using rubber bands on the rods to effectively make a 30 degree angle (15.x on each side)? Why not just use the 30 degree slots on the sharpmaker? Am I missing something here?

    Thanks! I've learned a lot on this forum just by lurking and reading, and hope to continue to learn even more.
  12. wvdavidr


    Mar 21, 2007
    I used a rubber band for two reasons. The CBN rods were moving around in the 15 degree slots. When I put the rubber band as described, the rods were very stable. Secondly, the angle was almost 16, which is really closer to what I wanted.

    The steel on the knife was really hard and I doubt that sandpaper would do much. I'd probably die of old age before finishing reprofiling. The CBN rods were supposed to be better than the Spyderco diamond rods for this. I can't imagine that!
  13. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    You're best off switching to a sharpening system that is better suited for reprofiling, whether it be a motorized grinder, freehand stones or a guided system, such as the Wicked Edge or Edge Pro. Those latter systems can get expensive.

    But the easiest and cheapest solution is to send your knife off to one of our talented sharpeners on the forum. Have them put a 30-degree edge on it. Then keep it sharp with the 40-degree stone setting on your Sharpmaker, which basically gives you a microbevel. Microbevels are far faster and easier to maintain than full edges. You'll soon be singing praise for the lowly Sharpmaker.
  14. F308gt4


    Mar 20, 2017
    Thanks for the explanation.

    Did you try a coarse diamond stone clamped to the rods? I've seen pics of people attaching DMT stones to the rods with a large binder clip and using that to reprofile. I imagine a coarse stone (or extra coarse) would work faster than the CBN rods.

    See post #11 on this thread:

    Or post #4 on this thread:
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  15. TravisH

    TravisH Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 22, 2014
    There's no discernible difference in their performance.

    The CBN rods are only 'better' than the diamond rods in that the CBN particles are supposedly held more securely by the substrate.

    The main problem is that both the CBN and diamond SM rods are only about 400 grit. You need much lower grits to effectively reprofile/repair, like 100~220.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  16. flphotog


    Jul 10, 2014
    Sold my sharpmaker and use the KME or KO with Blade Grinder attachment, depending on what I'm sharpening.
  17. Securis


    Jan 9, 2013
    Is that VG10 knife a Street Bowie by any chance? :D
  18. F308gt4


    Mar 20, 2017
    Thanks, that's what I was getting at. It sounds like the OP needs something coarser than the CBN sharpmaker rods. If he already has a coarse or extra-coarse stone, he may be able to clamp to the sharpmaker rods to get the reprofiling done.

    No, 2 Delica's and an Endura.
  19. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    I just picked up a brand new ZT 0566 in S35VN and took a few passes with a sharpie-markered blade. I could see the stones were only hitting the very shoulders of the edge bevel. I didn't even bother putting in the diamond rods - I just packaged up the knife and sent it off to a professional to get an 18-degrees per side edge bevel put on it that I can MAINTAIN on the sharpmaker going forward. I knew I'd have been in for a long, unproductive night, so off it went.

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