New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

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DrEricFautstein
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New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby DrEricFautstein » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:44 am

Good morning and Happy Tuesday! Got a snow day here in Colorado and thought I would make my first post since I am a soon to be new owner of some Spydies. I am generally looking to see if anyone can direct me to a "sharpening guide for dummies" kind of thing. These are my first quality knives and I want to make sure I give them proper upkeep and such. Please keep in mind I am still new to knives :)

I recently bought the Lil Lionspy and Chapparal 2 to start my collection (couldn't decide between the two). I am curious about the differences (if any) of tools needed to keep them sharp. To begin with, what tools will I need and what is the easiest way to keep them in good shape? The chappy has a pretty thin blade at 2mm, and the Lil Lionspy has double the thickness at 4mm. Elmax steel on the Lion and CTS XHP on the Chappy. I'm sure there will be huge differences in each blade, and this is all new to me so I just want to make sure I keep them happy :)

Anything else I should know? I will be getting the knives in a few days (they're in the mail) and I am super excited to start giving them some pocket time. Maybe I'll throw some pictures up to show a comparison in size, I couldn't find too many reviews and such on the Lil Lionspy, but that was one in particular I kind of fell in love with the minute I laid eyes on it. Had to be purchased.

Thanks and have a great day!
Cheers,

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abbazaba
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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby abbazaba » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:45 am

Welcome to the forum. I was just posting the below picture and saw your question... I normally do not attempt to answer these, but I do think the below kit is all most people need to maintain the edge on their knives:
  • Youtube
    Spyderco Sharpmaker
    Knives Plus Strop Block
    Sharpie
    Youtube
The Sharpmaker is a wonderful device. I own a Lansky kit and an Edge Pro, both of which see almost no use compared to the Sharpmaker. Spyderco has additional sharpening rods available to expand your capability, but are not necessary. The Sharpmaker alone will handle both of those knives without issue (comes with instructional DVD), and the Strop Block is a great addition if you really want to get them scary sharp.

No matter what path you choose, lots of Youtube and patience are your friend. Good luck!

Image

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SpyderNut
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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby SpyderNut » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:23 pm

+ 1 on what Abbazaba said regarding the Sharpmaker. You honestly can't go wrong with the SM--it's a great tool for knives and can also be used on pretty much anything with an edge (such as scissors, axes, etc.). The SM comes with two grits in stones (fine and medium) that will help you get started. You can also separately purchase other stones according to need/preference. As Abbazaba mentioned, YouTube "Sal on the SM" and enjoy. :) I've had my SM for around fifteen years and it still works like new. Each new SM comes with an instructional DVD too. My 70-year-old father-in-law received a SM for Christmas and he's gotten pretty proficient with it in a very short amount of time.

Finally, congrats on your new knives and welcome aboard! :) Hope to see you around.
:spyder: Michael Reinhold

"...as I said before, 'the edge is a wondrous thing', [but] in all of it's qualities, it is still a ghost." - sal

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Sharp Guy
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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby Sharp Guy » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:30 pm

+1 on the Sharpmaker. I used my old single angle SM last night to touch up the edge on my Sage 2 and then finished with KP Strop Block. The Sage 2 is more than shaving sharp now. I sometimes consider buying a more expensive sharpening unit or going back to my old bench stones and then I come to my senses. The SM is all I'll ever need.
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

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Brock O Lee
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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby Brock O Lee » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:30 am

Welcome to the forum Dr Eric...

This video explains the basic principles of sharpening nicely:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPGGo3W15HQ

I really like Cliff's approach because it is so simple, and it shows that you do not need fancy guided systems etc.

I suspect few people actually follow this, because you will scratch your fancy new knife. The principles stay the same, whether you use a guided system or not. I started on a guided system (Lansky, Edge Pro, Sharpmarker), but these days prefer freehand (DMT Diafolds, so much quicker than setting up the EP) + Sharpmaker only for the final micro bevel.

If I had to buy sharpening equipment from scratch today, I would get a DMT Diafold (C/F), and Sharpmaker with diamond rods. That is really all I need.
Hans
Favourites at the moment: Military 204P, Spydiechef, Sage 2, Pits, Heinnie UKPK, Native Cruwear, Chaparral Ti

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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby akaAK » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:58 am

Welcome to the forum.

I have used a SharpMaker exclusively for years. It is an invaluable tool for maintaining edges but falls a little short when you need to re-profile or fix a heavily damaged blade. That is where the Diamond rods (or CBN though I have not used them). Even then it is more time consuming than I would prefer.

The main benefit about using the sharpmaker is that it gave me a great understanding of what I was trying to accomplish when sharpening (this forum helped a lot as well). I recently moved to freehand sharpening and have found the transition much easier than I thought, which I have to give credit to the SM in no small part. I am still using it for maintenance and the final edge bevel along with using the flat setting for grit progression.

If I had to do it all over I am not sure that another system would have ultimately worked out better for me.

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anagarika
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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby anagarika » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:00 am

Welcome!

Sharpmaker is a good choice as long as you start slow & carefully follow the instructions. Perhaps get some cheap but good kitchen knives such as Victorinox paring for practice.

There's a whole subforum that has good stickies for beginners to learn over at Bladeforums: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/forum ... ellishment" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I'd suggest read & watch a lot to understand what is sharpening about, practice with the cheap but good knife, before starting with your new knives.
Chris :spyder:

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HarleyXJGuy
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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby HarleyXJGuy » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:12 am

Like the other folks here I am a big SM fan. It is what I started with.

Also like was already mentioned but bears repeating learn the "sharpie trick". You will not get any kind of sharpnif you are not hitting the apex or you are way off your bevel.

Unlike the others here I have to say while the SM is awesome easy and not to expensive keep an open mind to other systems. While I still use my SM for micro bevel and serrated knives all my back bevel and re profiling is done on a different system.

Could be I was just not using the SM as well as I could but there you go.
On my radar: 110V Military, Police 4 and some sweet Rex 45 Military action.

Newest Spydies: S90v Ti Military, Pacific Salt and a special Kiwi.

can't freehand
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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby can't freehand » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:04 pm

DrEricFautstein wrote:Good morning and Happy Tuesday! Got a snow day here in Colorado and thought I would make my first post since I am a soon to be new owner of some Spydies. I am generally looking to see if anyone can direct me to a "sharpening guide for dummies" kind of thing. These are my first quality knives and I want to make sure I give them proper upkeep and such. Please keep in mind I am still new to knives :)

I recently bought the Lil Lionspy and Chapparal 2 to start my collection (couldn't decide between the two). I am curious about the differences (if any) of tools needed to keep them sharp. To begin with, what tools will I need and what is the easiest way to keep them in good shape? The chappy has a pretty thin blade at 2mm, and the Lil Lionspy has double the thickness at 4mm. Elmax steel on the Lion and CTS XHP on the Chappy. I'm sure there will be huge differences in each blade, and this is all new to me so I just want to make sure I keep them happy :)

Anything else I should know? I will be getting the knives in a few days (they're in the mail) and I am super excited to start giving them some pocket time. Maybe I'll throw some pictures up to show a comparison in size, I couldn't find too many reviews and such on the Lil Lionspy, but that was one in particular I kind of fell in love with the minute I laid eyes on it. Had to be purchased.

Thanks and have a great day!
Cheers,
Depends on what kind of edge you want.

Sharpmaker medium ceramic: removes metal slowly, is relatively fine grit despite the "medium" description. Leaves a barely toothy edge and is instead very acute/fine at the edge.

Sharpmaker fine ceramic: hardly removes any metal, just polishes an already sharpened edge and shores up the "toothy" left over by the medium ceramic so that the edge becomes truly uniform/regular, i.e., non-toothy. As such it is great for push cutting, not as much on a slice, though this depends on what you're cutting.

DMT 600 grit diamond: far coarser than the above ceramics, extremely toothy edge. Highly aggressive slice/draw cutting.

DMT 1200 grit: same as the above except finer grit rating.

I've been in the knife thing for about 3 years so far, so for what it's worth my favorite option so far is to sharpen on the DMT 1200 grit stone and then switch over to the medium cermic for about 5 passes per side. I find that following up with the ceramic refines but doesn't remove the irregular edge left over by the diamond, so the "teeth" themselves become sharp, but maybe that's just my imagination, I only have a weak pocket microscope to judge by.

I kinda hate the fine ceramics because they don't really remove metal and so you have to be pretty careful to get the appropriate sharpness level on them, at least with the advanced steels.

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Re: New Spyderco owner, help with sharpening, upkeep

Postby PaloArt » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:26 am

Hi,

I can only recomend spyderco SM as I was very proficient in use of benchstones but SM is easier to use and very helpful to keep good even edge for everyone regardless on their skills. For good instructional videos I recomend jdavis882 on youtube as I learned sharpening from this guys youtube channel - he is plain awesome. He has hints on SM and freehand sharpening. In case you are more interested in benchstones, go for best quality ones - great value/performance are spyderco ones again or DMT (where you have to be very proficient in using diamond stones as you might easily damage them!).

Otherwise I would really once more recomend spyderco sharpmaker, it is also very nice looking tool in practical "case".


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