Sharpmaker: my first impressions and a few questions.

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kbrouwer
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Sharpmaker: my first impressions and a few questions.

Postby kbrouwer » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:57 pm

So far, I love the Sharpmaker. I got it today and learned/am learning very quickly. It's very easy to keep the blade straight once you get into a rhythm. I do have some questions though...

1. Which angle would you recommend sharpening on (for Spyderco knives mostly but knives in general?)
2. Choils: I tried touching up my Manix 2 (which as you know has a choil) and found some difficulty in starting at the very beginning of the blade. I did not hold it by the choil because when I tried,. I found I'd scrape my hand on the stone (it didn't heart, it just got annoying.) It was no help for consistency either. I still found I was not able to get back on the blade all the way. Any suggestions on how to ensure I'm sharpening the entire blade?
3. If I get the extra (ultra fine and diamond) is there really a point in investing in a strop?

Oh yeah, and the best part about the Sharpmaker is...

IT GIVES ME (AND ANYONE ELSE WHO GETS IT) AN EXCUSE TO BUY MORE KNIVES (BECAUSE IN YOU NEED A LOT OF KNIVES TO SHARPEN TO GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH FROM THE SHARPMAKER) :)
:spyder: :spyder: Kirk Brouwer :spyder: :spyder:

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ChaoticMayhem65
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Postby ChaoticMayhem65 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:29 am

Great question as I am currently waiting on my sharpmaker and ultra fine rods in the mail. I also purchased a strop and have plenty of buffing compounds to use as I love to polish metals on the high speed buffing wheel.
From my understanding about stropping is it gives you that extra final touch that no stone can give you. The compounds or rouges used in addition to the leather strop are way finer and can get into the smallest grains of the newly sharpened edge and penetrate deeper than any stone to provide the ultimate razor edge and not to mention an impressive shine and polish.
But I'm sure someone else can chime in here who knows a little more about sharpening than us. Me personally after paying for the sharpmaker I discovered a review on YouTube about the edge pro apex and it looks awesome. Especially for someone like me who sucks at freehand sharpening. It looks pretty foolproof.

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Mr Blonde
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Postby Mr Blonde » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:14 am

Did you get the instructional video too, with your Sharpmaker? As far as angles are concerned, my personal standards are to use 40 degrees on VG-10, S30V etc.... and for the more high performance steels (S90V, ZDP189) I prefer to use the 30 degree angle. By all means go slow and light, don't press down hard, the stones will do the work. I'm not sure what problems you are experiencing with the choil on your manix. The stones' angles are rounded so you can't get it precisely to the last mm of the blade's heel. I'm no stropping expert, but I find the diamond stones useful to 'clean' up and edge or set a proper angle on an edge that's seen damage or wasn't properly sharpened in the factory. The ultra fine stones add an extra level of sharpness to your knives. Probably similar to stropping, but I expect stropping to give an even better result.
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Postby dbcad » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:03 am

For me the SM has been a terrific investment. I routinely use it to get a better edge on cheaper kitchen knives as well as touching up and adding microbevesl to my Spydercos :) It was the tool that introduced me to sharpening :)

The angle you choose will depend on use. 40° is a good all around edge. For knives that are dedicated to lighter use ie. Pingo I choose 30° because I know the edge won't be pushed very hard. Over time you'll figure out what's best for you :) Each individual will develop their own preferences :)

As usual I will put in a plug for a loupe and sharpy to check what you doing to the edge and your consistency with the SM ;)

Happy sharps and Happy New Year :D

P.S. Watch the video many times. Sal outlines the philosophy and technique very well :) I'm always picking up something new.
Charlie

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ChaoticMayhem65
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Postby ChaoticMayhem65 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:48 am

Any idea what degree the factory edge is on the PM2?

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Postby anomad » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:08 pm

ChaoticMayhem65 wrote:Any idea what degree the factory edge is on the PM2?
The only way to be sure is to get out a black permanent marker and figure it out.

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Postby ChaoticMayhem65 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:15 pm

anomad wrote:The only way to be sure is to get out a black permanent marker and figure it out.
But i suck at math. I better use a pencil instead so i can erase my mistakes. :cool:

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Postby zunedog31 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:30 pm

kbrouwer wrote: 1. Which angle would you recommend sharpening on (for Spyderco knives mostly but knives in general?)
2. Choils: I tried touching up my Manix 2 (which as you know has a choil) and found some difficulty in starting at the very beginning of the blade. I did not hold it by the choil because when I tried,. I found I'd scrape my hand on the stone (it didn't heart, it just got annoying.) It was no help for consistency either. I still found I was not able to get back on the blade all the way. Any suggestions on how to ensure I'm sharpening the entire blade?
3. If I get the extra (ultra fine and diamond) is there really a point in investing in a strop?
1) Use the 40 for now and you can experiment with the 30 degree setting later. It is mostly used for reprofiling or when you have a thick bevel due to constant wear and sharpening and you need to push the bevel back.

2) Just takes practice. You should get used to it in time.

3) I have all of the stones for the sharpmaker plus a homemade strop. The diamonds are good for reprofiling and fixing severely dull knives faster and more efficiently than the medium stones. I use these on kitchen knives that have been in use for years and years without sharpening. The ultrafine stones are by far my favorites. Gets knives extremely sharp and once your knives are that sharp the UF stones are the only stones you really need. A strop can get your knives even sharper by aligning the burr and polishing the edge. You can make one yourself for cheap with just a block of wood, scrap of leather and some kind of compound. I like having a strop but it is not completely necessary to have a crazy sharp knife.
Own or have owned: Manix2, Dragonfly G10, Sage 1, Tasman Salt, Delica 4 waved, Kiwi, SS Police, Orange PM2, Pacific Salt, Gayle Bradley, Tenacious, Harpy, Military, Salsa, ZDP-189 Ladybug

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Postby jackknifeh » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:50 pm

kbrouwer wrote:So far, I love the Sharpmaker. I got it today and learned/am learning very quickly. It's very easy to keep the blade straight once you get into a rhythm. I do have some questions though...

1. Which angle would you recommend sharpening on (for Spyderco knives mostly but knives in general?)
2. Choils: I tried touching up my Manix 2 (which as you know has a choil) and found some difficulty in starting at the very beginning of the blade. I did not hold it by the choil because when I tried,. I found I'd scrape my hand on the stone (it didn't heart, it just got annoying.) It was no help for consistency either. I still found I was not able to get back on the blade all the way. Any suggestions on how to ensure I'm sharpening the entire blade?
3. If I get the extra (ultra fine and diamond) is there really a point in investing in a strop?

Oh yeah, and the best part about the Sharpmaker is...

IT GIVES ME (AND ANYONE ELSE WHO GETS IT) AN EXCUSE TO BUY MORE KNIVES (BECAUSE IN YOU NEED A LOT OF KNIVES TO SHARPEN TO GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH FROM THE SHARPMAKER) :)
Item 1: I don't own a Sharpmaker but understand how it is used. Everyone who has one seems to love it more as time rolls on. Here is my thinking on the Shaprmaker. The Sharpmaker is designed and is masterful at profiling the edge of any knife at 30 degrees inclusive. Then when you need to re-sharpen or touch up the edge you set the Sharpmaker to 40 degrees. This way you are easily hitting the very edge with the stones needing very little practice. Great system. It's not so much of which angle is better. It's more like there is a different purpose for each setting. Of course, with time and use of differnt blade steels and what you use a particular knife for you may decide one or the other is "better". Until then the Sharpmaker is designed for easily maintaining any knife edge. Don't worry about anything else at first. My opinion only.

Item 2: Can't imagine any problem with choils without seeing it.

Etem 3: I think the $20 strop on knivesplus.com would be a wise investment. I owned one and gave it to my son who still uses it. It works great and doesn't require any compound to restore it's abrasive surface. Rub in a few drops of olive oil to revive it. Very good and easy to use strop and probably all you will NEED. But after time, learning and experience you may want something else. Stones can (and will ) get knives razor sharp but it takes practice. I can get a knife edge VERY sharp on stones. Plenty sharp enough for any EDC task. But, after a few strokes on a strop the edge is sharper. Stropping is a different skill and there are different things to consider compared to stones. Everything revolves around edge angle though. BUT, until a knife is very sharp a strop won't help. In reality, the knife needs to be sharp enough for anyone to call it sharp before stropping will be beneficial. Don't worry about a strop until your knives are sharp on stones and you can't get them sharper. Keep working on stones and the knives will get sharper with practice without strops. Strops are a great tool when used properly though in my opinion.

I'm rambling. Get an inexpensive strop (as long as it WORKS) to see how you like them. The one on knivesplus.com is perfect IMO.

I'd recommend the diamond rods first, before the UF rods. The fine grit rods will get your knives VERY VERY sharp. Sharp enough that IMO the UF rods are really not needed. BTW, I love the UF stone. :) Get one later. :) But the diamond rods are needed sooner for edges that need the extra aggressive work.

You are right about getting more knives. :D Don't want that Sharpmaker to sit unused and start feeling neglected. :D Once all your knives are sharp, it's time to buy another one. :D

Jack

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Postby JD Spydo » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:40 am

Like I've told everyone who gets a Spyderco 204 Sharpmaker the first thing you want to do is to study the booklet that comes with it and view the video/DVD. I recommend to view the video/DVD that comes with it at least to 2 to 3 times before even attempting to use it.

There are a lot of tricks to using that unit that Sal carefully shows you in that video that are really important. I review mine every six months or so just to see if there is anything I overlooked. There are also several really decent videos on YOUTUBE about the Sharpmaker that are very helpful as well.

If you use the 204 Sharpmaker properly it will be one of the most valuable sharpening tools you'll ever own. It's more of a touch up and maintenance tool than it is for major sharpening jobs. I generally use Benchstones for really tough sharpening jobs now a days. I do recommend you to get some high quality diamond benchstones for blades that really get beat up.

The Sharpmaker is truly an excellent traveling sharpening tool for hunting and fishing trips
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Mahmer09
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Postby Mahmer09 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:29 am

I am really happy and just wanted to add to the latest sharpmaker thread. I folded some 150 grit sand paper around the rods and brought three kitchen knives back from the dead. To say they couldn't cut paper is an understatement. I then moved through the rods and wow. Cutting paper, sharp, safer, I'm stoked. Thanks sharpmaker! ����

me2
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Postby me2 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:21 am

I find the 204 is excellent for applying the final edge on a blade. I basically use it in place of a very fine bench stone for finishing. The medium rods will give an arm shaving edge and the whites will go beyond that. I use a coarse and medium waterstone to set 12 or 17 degree angles on my blades, then put the final edge on at 15 or 20 degrees. I'm wrking on my benchstone sharpening for now, but my 4000 grit waterstone still cant get edges as sharp as the white standard fine stones.


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