Is the Sharpmaker "cheating"?

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pa 1
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Is the Sharpmaker "cheating"?

Postby pa 1 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:13 pm

I would like to buy some kind of sharpening equipment, mainly to sharpen knives, but also because it seems like a good skill to have. I have heard good things about the sharpmaker, but wonder what the other opinions are out there. I'd like to be able to sharpen a variety of PE knives (I think I will just send the serrated one back for sharpening) and if possible, less money spent would be good (obviously). I wonder if the sharpmaker is "cheating"; I hear it's that easy once you get the hang of it, but on the other hand, my main goal is to get the knives sharp, not to impress anyone. I would appreciate some advice.

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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:30 pm

About sharpening, I believe that whatever gets my edges sharp is for me. In this I think the ends justify the means. :D

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bh49
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Postby bh49 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:38 pm

pa 1 wrote:I would like to buy some kind of sharpening equipment, mainly to sharpen knives, but also because it seems like a good skill to have. I have heard good things about the sharpmaker, but wonder what the other opinions are out there. I wonder if the sharpmaker is "cheating"; I hear it's that easy once you get the hang of it, but on the other hand, my main goal is to get the knives sharp, not to impress anyone. I would appreciate some advice.
I am using sharpmaker about five years and absolutely love it. The best 50 bucks I ever spent.
Regarding other option take a looks at this website
http://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/
also search youtube. It is very nice to see many different systems in action.
Any system has limitations, your choice should depend on your needs. Also with time, if you need you can expand. Like buy additional stones, making jigs and fixtures. I beleive that sharpmaker is great to start. Also will be very helpful to read about sharpening to understad what are you doing.
I am not sure what do you mean about "cheating"? Is riding motorcycle instead of bicycle "cheating"? Or just different kind of ride?
Good luck, learning to sharpen can be fun.
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dsmegst
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Postby dsmegst » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:42 pm

Well, despite your misgivings about serrated edges, the Sharpmaker is very suited for just such an edge.

In my opinion, the Sharpmaker is good at maintaining a good edge and provides a relatively straight forward way for even novices to get a very sharp edge. As it comes from the store, reprofiling (changing the secondary edge angle) or restoring a completely dull edge can take a LONG time, especially with today's super steels.

The medium and fine rods are not very aggressive and don't remove a lot of metal. So the alternatives are to buy the diamond rods or wrap sandpaper around the rods to create your own.

The Ultra Fine rods will help you attain an extremely sharp edge but it's not really necessary unless you want to impress someone. :)

My current sharpening system is paper wheels on my bench grinder. If you already have a grinder, then it's worth looking into.

As for if this is cheating, then I cheat all the time. I stink at freehand sharpening.
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pa 1
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Postby pa 1 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:50 pm

bh49 wrote:I am using sharpmaker about five years and absolutely love it. The best 50 bucks I ever spent.
Regarding other option take a looks at this website
http://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/
also search youtube. It is very nice to see many different systems in action.
Any system has limitations, your choice should depend on your needs. Also with time, if you need you can expand. Like buy additional stones, making jigs and fixtures. I beleive that sharpmaker is great to start. Also will be very helpful to read about sharpening to understad what are you doing.
I am not sure what do you mean about "cheating"? Is riding motorcycle instead of bicycle "cheating"? Or just different kind of ride?
Good luck, learning to sharpen can be fun.
I guess I just thought that that tool, the Sharpmaker, made it so easy that some would consider it not really a skill. Not that this really matters: I want sharp knives! I guess what I am wondering is if I should buy a stone, and do it that way? I also see guys sharpening them with those kitchen kinds of implements. I'm bad enough at that with my junk kitchen knives, that I was hoping there was a better way to get it done. It seems like a real art.

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FarmerSteve
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Postby FarmerSteve » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:48 pm

The sharpmaker is a versatile tool. You can use it with the V's that are displayed in every picture on the web, but it's also possible to double up the rods on the bottom of the unit to create a thin but workable bench stone. So, you can learn on the V's and graduate to the bench stone for a super fine edge. It's a great learning tool... just be careful on the V's to not drag the tip of your knife across the edge of the stone.

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anti-torsion
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Postby anti-torsion » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:03 pm

You can't go wrong with a sharpmaker. It's easy to use and if your goal is to maintain your knives, not let them get extremely dull and try to bring them back, it will work just fine with the brown and whites. If you abuse then fix you will want diamonds or a grinder. YMMV of course

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Postby rodloos » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:30 pm

I love my sharpmaker, enough that when I misplaced my first one (older generation that only had one angle setting) I bought a new one. And I also bought the diamond rods for it, so that I can "rescue" family members' knives that have never been sharpened in 10-30 years.

You can get a knife plenty sharp with just a bench stone also, the key is consistency of angle. The sharpmaker just makes it easier to be consistent with the angle you are using. I also wound up buying several of Spyderco's other sharpening accessories such as the 302F bench stone, 303MF double-stuff (medium grit on one side, fine on the other), etc so I can keep one in the center console of my truck, one with my gear bag, etc. - so that I always have one handy to touch-up my edges. But even though I think I can usually get a pretty good edge with a bench stone, I like the sharpmaker for its consistent results, especially if I am going over to a family member's house and want to sharpen a bunch of their knives for them.

cr123
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+1 sharpmaker

Postby cr123 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:28 pm

even with the edgepro apex i have, i use the sharpmaker regularly. i normally use the apex for mainly reprofiling then the sharpmaker for maintenance.

the sharpmaker is really easy to use, especially when the angles are 15 or 20 degrees. if i need to sharpen stuff not at those angles, i would do the sharpie pen on the edge trick and free hand with diamond rods. freehand sharpening with the rods is the only way i can sharpen karambits and recurves.

i will order a single rod each of the medium, fine, and ultrafine and carry them in my bag so i can sharpen stuff in the field.

i really don't consider it cheating when i use the sharpmaker, i consider it learning how to sharpen stuff.

man, spyderco is the soup to nuts of a knife company, they sell u knives and the tools to sharpen them. even my wife knows the knife brand i have the most of. :0)

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Postby phaust » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:47 pm

I definitely wouldn't consider the Sharpmaker cheating. However, given that you're aim is to hone a skill, I'll add that in my eyes it's more skillful to do it freehand. There are advantages to it, also--being able to choose from an infinite selection of angles.

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Postby jlamb » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:57 am

I think that the sharpmaker will help you learn all about sharpening, and no it is not cheating. I first learned to sharpen with a flat stone freehand just cause it was cheap and I didnt know about the sharpmaker. I use the sharpmaker about 97% of the time. I will use my course stone once in a while if I chipped an edge, but I always finish up on the sharpmaker anyway. The sharpmaker just gives you a leg up on setting the angle consistently. It actually can help improve freehand technique cause it gets your muscle memory used to that angle.

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Postby The Deacon » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:29 am

I wouldn't call using a Sharpmaker cheating, any more than I'd call using a pencil sharpener rather than a knife and sandpaper to sharpen pencils cheating. I don't consider them necessities either, but then none of my user knives are serrated or have hawkbill, reverse S, or recurve blades. If any were, I might very well think differently.
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unit
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Postby unit » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:53 am

I prefer freehand sharpening, but my reasons have little to do with how a knife should become sharp, or how it performs after being "sharpened".

My reasons are for myself and my enjoyment. If we were talking about washing dishes most people would be correct in wondering why I prefer to do something by hand when there are devices that simplify the process.

There may be some snobbish free-handers or Edge-pro-ers that poo on the Sharpmaker...it is silly though. If your goal is a sharp knife, why look beyond that? The Sharpmaker works very well for many people.

I will shun it for re-beveling a knife though. Perhaps the addition of the diamond rods will help?, but the brown (stock) rods will take a lot of your time to re-bevel modern blade steels like S30V and better.
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dj moonbat
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Postby dj moonbat » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:08 am

The Sharpmaker is basically just an angle-setting jig. Its purpose is to obviate the users' need to develop a sophisticated sense of blade angle. So, you will not learn that skill if you are using the Sharpmaker. You will still need to learn other skills.

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Postby Donut » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:13 am

The sharpmaker IS cheating, if you are very loyal to other knife brands who make crappy sharpening products.

(Someone had to say it is cheating. :) )
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Postby 2cha » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:16 am

Alternatively, use of the sharpmaker teaches your eye to see correct angle, and your arm to move at the correct angle--it prepares you to freehand (if you so desire). And, if it works for you, and you get consistently good results, just do it.

And unless you want to sit down with a little stone for hours, you better get a sharpmaker to take care of you SE blades.

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Postby Scottie3000 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:47 am

In a word: no.
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Postby araneae » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:24 am

The sharpmaker is the easiest way to maintain a sharp knife. Period.

It has limitations and most of them were already mentioned, but if you want a sharp knife it is a great choice.
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Postby ChapmanPreferred » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:40 am

I am a huge fan of the Spyderco Sharpmaker and have multiples to use in different places. One at the house, one in each vehicle, one in my pack or brief case depending which one I am sporting on a given day.

I presented the Sharpmaker to my wife's uncle who is a retired machinist from GE, a retired gunsmith, and avid hunter. He said "This takes all the skill out of sharpening" in an almost offended voice. I tried to explain to him that his perception demonstrates the ingenious design of the tool and its marketability.

I have said before that the information provided in the video is critical for a user who is new to sharpening. The base knowledge that is instilled through that video can be transitioned into other sharpening media.

I am very thankful to Sal and Spyderco for creating such a versatile sharpening system.
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Postby jeep45238 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:18 pm

Always cheat, always win....


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