Last edited by Per-Sev; 05-12-2010 at 08:41 AM.
The problem comes in with user error. I consider myself a very eye/hand coordinated person (play instruments, do card tricks, build mechanical devices with tolerances down to .1mm and small and fast moving parts, etc.) but I'll be damned if I can keep the same angle every stroke as I draw a knife across a simple sharpening stone.
Likewise, I can't hold a knife at a perfect perpendicular angle as I draw it across something like the Sharpmaker system. This user error is going to make the edge varied across the entire length of the blade, and take away more material than is needed to get a sharp edge.
I'm sure both the Sharpmaker and the Gatco will make a knife exceptionally sharp, but you can't argue that the user error is taken out of a system like the Gatco since the angle is kept the exact same, every sharpening stroke. This is why I believe the Gatco is a better system for most people.
Last edited by TriChrome; 05-12-2010 at 12:03 PM.
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The Lansky system works , just messy , clunky and too time consuming to use .
I go back as far as the Loray ( Grandpa of the Lansky and Gatco - muchg better built ) , I wasn't impressd then , and I'm not impressed now . I would no call it a POS , I feel there are better options out there .
I have the Lansky and the Spyderco Sharpmaker.
Both are EXCELLENT for different applications.
The Lansky is head and shoulders above the Spyderco for totally re-profiling an edge (heavily damaged, unacceptable relief angle, etc). Drawbacks for the Lansky are it's cumbersome handling, and the difficulty of using it on long or narrow (from edge to spine) blades, and it's tendency to chew up the spine of your blade without some jerry rigged clamping pads.
The Spyderco on the other hand is IDEAL for quickly touching up blades that already have a decent edge and relief grind. I use my spyderco for less than 5 minutes on my heavily used EDC Scallion once every couple weeks, and it keeps a razor edge. It's also great for kitchen knives in the same way.
As far as "perfect angle control" I don't think the Lansky is any better than the Spyderco. Holding a knife perpendicular by hand is pretty precise, and the Lansky has enough flex in the guide rods (and knife blade for thin knives like filet or kitchen knives), and the angle guide holes are big enough that you're kidding yourself if you think it's "perfect every stroke".
Anyway, 2 different systems that both work superbly for different needs. If you can afford it, having both is the way to go. The Lansky hardly ever gets used around here, but when I do need it for re-profiling or damaged edges, it's invaluable.
Basically , if I can't solve the problem on the Sharpmaker , I breakout the Japanese waterstones and do it freehand . For field sharpening I use a DMT double sided hone ( Butterfly handled variety ) or a Spyderco doublestuff , I have a couple of doubled sided Strops in a ziplog baggie . I use the strops on my stuff , and the Doublestuff/DMT Diamond are for the benifit of my bumbling friends .
If something is truly punched , belt grinder time !
I use fine sanding foam blocks from Harbour Freight and a two sided diamond nail file from a drug store. No ceramic rods for me thanks. Freehand sharpening.
Which of the DMT Diafolds would be more practical - the red/blue (coarse and fine - 600/325 mesh) or the green/red ( extra fine and extra extra fine - 8000/1200 mesh). Are both needed?
Red/blue is all you need. The white/green is to fine
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NOTICE: I'm a guy. Im to poor to buy cheap.
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I used to use the sharpmaker (until I dropped my medium stone and broke it into two) but, recently discovered that wet/dry sand paper works WONDERS! Cheap, reusable. I can get a shaving edge with 1000 grit. Knives: Spyderco Delica VG10. Ka-Bar dozier (Aus8) and Buck bantam (420HC) Of course, I've reprofiled all these knives to have thinner secondary edges.
Of course, I still have the fine spyderco stones and use these for polishing the edges after 1000 grit paper.
When was the last time you washed your feet?
I've mostly been using my EdgePro Apex to sharpen my knives.
I have a set of DMT diamond stones, but haven't used them much due to my lack of skill in keeping a set angle.
The EdgePro lets you make steady, consistent angles on a knife, plus the edge looks really pretty and even.
However, even considering I only started using the system not even a week ago, I have to say that my Paper Wheels are going to be what I'm using for the foreseeable future.
It's essentially a paper laminate wheel with abrasives applied to the outer layer, making it very low cost and light. It's attached to a Bench grinder, so it's essentially a power tool sharpener.
The grit wheel is especially aggressive, putting new edge angles on a blade in mere seconds where it would've taken a good 20 minutes of grinding on the EdgePro. The downside is that the edge looks almost...sloppy on the blade(might just be due to my lack of skill).
The slotted wheel is of course, where the magic happens. That wheel will take any blade with an edge that has a burr raised, and slap a shaving razor edge on the blade. I find that the slotted wheel is the only one I really "need". It's good for touchups and the one I use 99% of the time. The time it takes to put the razor edge on the blade is about 15 seconds total.
A good idea for absolute minimum metal removal would probably be to use the EdgePro 120-220 grit stone to raise a burr, then finish up with the slotted wheel. I find myself spending nearly 30 minutes per knife going from the 320 grit on the EdgePro to finishing up with the 1000 grit stone.
Paper wheels shave off a good 90% of that time and are perfect if either your job calls for you to sharpen hundreds of knives, or if you're like me and would rather spend the next 6 hours stropping that edge even finer with submicron abrasive leather strops.
A problem with these super fast grinding methods is the heat production. At the thin, primary edge of a blade, heat can mess things up.
When was the last time you washed your feet?
I have tried the sharpmaker, lansky, böker vulcanus and quite a few others. but trust me, nothing - and i mean nothing - can compare to a good waterstone. once you have a little practice (doesn't surprisingly take very long) you get wicked sharp edges, all those sharpening systems only can dream of. for me there is no way going back, couldn't be happier with my decision to try the "old ancient" method
I use a Lansky or Gatco for profiling a blade and for very dull blades, etc.
Smith's also makes one, but with only 2 angles, I have one, but do not like it as well.
I also have the DMT Aligner. The diamond hones are great, but I do not really care for the plastic blade holder, although it has more angle settings than most.
Another one I have is the KME sharpener. I like it a Lot!! If you buy one, you can get the hones elsewhere or do like I did and modify it to use other hone sizes. I have it set to use between 4" and 5" long and 1/4" - 1" wide, depending on what I am sharpening.
I have regular, Arkansas and diamond stones, so just depends on what I am working on.
I also have a Sharpmaker for quick touch up's, maintaining, etc.
Lansky and others also make "V" angle boxes much cheaper than the Sharpmaker and work just as well, at least for me.
I do not know why the Sharpmaker costs so much, other than "Brand Name" as there are other "V" box systems that work as well.
There are also the hand held "V" grinds, I only use for quick touch up's and they also do fine for maintaining, but do NOT use the carbide side on my good knives, only for junk knives.
Either way you go, use what works for YOU.
Everyone has their favorites based on their experiences (or lack thereof), so, try out several and if you are like me, you will wind up with many different sharpeners for many different reasons (just like flashlights, knives, pens and guns, LOL!
Last edited by waynejitsu; 09-26-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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+1 edge pro
I've been using a 1x30 belt sander for a while. With varying belt grits. What I have found is that some 600grit, 20micron, and 9micron belts are about all you need. Get a leather one for that really polished edge.
I've done multiple knives for myself and friends and it takes about 10 or so minutes to re-profile to a convex and get an absolutely wicked polished hair splitting edge.
You can get into this for 60-70 bucks if you get the sander on sale at Harbor Freight and have a really versatile tool. It doesn't just sharpen knives, I've made a couple with it. Not to mention you can also sand things with it.
Other than that I used some strops I made out of old belts or leather stock from the hobby store and some green compound. Just sand them down to a suede finish with some 80-grit. Then get all the grit/residue off the leather. Rub in some compound. Good to go. That's enough to keep your edge razor sharp with normal use. If it gets abused just go back to the 9micron belt.
I carry one of those Gerber retractable diamond rods with I'm hunting/hiking. It has a tapered end which is good for serrations. I also just made a very small strop to take hiking as well but haven't carried it yet. The diamond hone would certainly be more abrasive that what I would do at home, but in the field it would only be used in an emergency.
Last edited by oronocova; 07-25-2010 at 06:25 PM.
I use three Arkansas stones, coares, medium and fine. Patience and technique will give you a razor sharp edge ( i.e. shave the hairs off your arm) every time. I'm not knocking different sharpeners, if it works for you, use it. I just like using the stones.
edge pro to start, spydy sharpmaker to end. please insure ur fingers
After reading this thread I am clueless as to what I want to buy.
What is inexpensive, fast, and works well?
Or is this one of those questions that end up with the answer that you can't have all three and be cheap.
For reprofiling, the sharpmaker would be a PITA. Get a man made sharpening stone if you intend to do lots of work and finish up with the sharpmaker.
When was the last time you washed your feet?
I vote for the Spyderco Sharpmaker plus the optional diamond stones.
I have only had it a few months but I am able to get a very dull knife shaving sharp.
There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions
Have a Buck Alpha Dorado with 154cm blade. Can't get a good edge on this thing with my stones. Is there anybody who has been able to get this knife or 154cm steel razor sharp. If so. What did you use?
I use a DMT aligner for setting or repairing an edge - I have 6 stones from XX Course down to EE Fine + curved hone for recurve blades and the tapered diamond rod for serrations.
For day to day maintenance I use a piece of old belt glued to a piece of wood with green polishing compound on it - if a blade is already in good condition and just needs a little sharpening then a couple of minutes of stropping should be all it needs.
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