WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

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DCJ
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WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby DCJ » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:35 am

I have a Sharpmaker but am interested in getting a guided/clamp system, and it's down to Wicked Edge (130 model with the Gen 3 clamp) or KME (with the latest clamp, but it's been around for a while). It seems that for knives with no sharpening choil (my Spydercos, and I have way too many of them), I'd need to grind/cut down the plastic stone holders on the WE system to get the last bit of edge, which (aside from cost and size) seems to be the biggest issue, although I've read some mixed reports on the Gen 3 clamp. KME is certainly cheaper, but it seems to me that there will always be some inherent angle variation when flipping the knife over unless it is clamped perfectly. But probably a lot better than where I am freehand or using the Sharpmaker.

Clearly, both systems can be made to work extremely well, but given that the majority of my knives are Spydercos (with under-3.5" blades), can anyone with experience on both tell me which would be the better system for my purposes?

Many thanks in advance.

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elena86
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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby elena86 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:02 am

I have both ... WE is the better system no doubt.
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DCJ
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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby DCJ » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:37 am

elena86 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:02 am
I have both ... WE is the better system no doubt.
Thanks for the feedback. What do you do with the edge nearest to the ricasso on the WE? Any issues clamping the typical FFG Spyderco blade with the WE?

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby abbazaba » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:38 am

I've never had the KME, but did have a Lansky and Edge Pro before I bought the Wicked Edge.

The Gen3 2017 clamp for the WE was a massive improvement to the system, and fixed the only issues I had with it. The new clamp makes it dead simple to get a rock solid, perfectly perpendicular mounted blade every time, regardless of blade shape. Distal taper and FFG are no issue for it. It's expensive, but if you are a machinist/engineer type that wants every thing exact and doesn't trust your freehand, I'm not sure you can do better than the WE. With some experience and proper setup it is a reliable way to reprofile expensive knives without fear.

I did cut the extra plastic guards off of one side of each stone to make it easier to reach the full blade on knives like the PM2. Bandsaw made a mess, utility knife was the way to go.

Adding a few N52 magnets taped to the clamp really aided in dust collection

Some sort of rubber boots around the ball joints are probably unnecessary, but reduce the amount of debris that get in there.

I mounted it to a thick and heavy cutting board.

The angle cube is mandatory IMO because the markings on the rails are borderline useless.

The Sharpmaker is still my most used sharpener because most of what I do are touch ups. I haven't used my SM diamond stones since I got the WE as I use the WE for all reprofiling jobs.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby DCJ » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:09 am

Abbazaba - Thanks for this. Very helpful tips, and I guess if I go with a WE system, it would be the 130 model (which has the Gen 3 clamp). Of course, then the issue is how far down the rabbit hole you go before you get to the Pro Pack III....

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:27 pm

If you can afford it make sure and get the Wicked Edge Pro3. The latest version is very refined with vice tension and split jaws which are a must have for FFG clamping.

Tonight I plan to load the blade minus the handle of my CTS204P Military and re-profile it. I always remove the blade from the handle in order to ensure there is no chance of contaminates like diamond and steel dust getting into the pivot.

If you would like I will share some pictures. This is absolutely without a doubt the most accurate system when coupled with a digital angle cube. I owned the earlier versions and honestly this blows them completely away.

If for some reason you want to get down into the 10 degree per side you can forget the Wicked Edge and consider the Hapstone7 I own that as well and it is really good but no where near as fast or convenient and the Wicked Edge stones are far more aggressive.

Also with dust collection especially when using ceramics make sure and keep a small bowl of water with dish soap and a sponge nearby wet the stones this will ensure a slurry and keep the dust down. The lower micron dust is harmful to your health as the lungs can not filter out particles that small.

They say not to use water with the ceramics but I always have with no ill effect to the stones at all.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:35 pm

Also another recommendation Go this far and no further.

WE PRO 3
as I recall you get the 100 / 200 grit paddles, 400 / 600 Grit paddles and the 800/1000 grit paddles. If you want to make mirror edges you will need the 1200 /1600 Ceramic paddles and the 1.4 / 0.6 micron stones.

After this comes stropping with balsa wood and diamond paste of even lower Microns but that is likely going further than is actually needed, I have these strops but just never feel the need for them.

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sal
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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby sal » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:00 pm

Edge Pro is another system that's been around for a long time that offers consistency.

The original clamping system was created by Ray Longbrake. ( Loray sharpeners ). His history is an interesting study. Now, very few have even hear of him..... A good man that was really cheated out of his invention that is now being used by many.

sal

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby FullCircleHook » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:27 pm

That stinks that he never got his due. Props for repping him Sal!

In regards to KME vs WE, I will cast my vote for the WE as well if money is not a concern. I love it, but it took a while to figure it out. I definitely recommend to follow their instructions to break in the stones on older/cheaper knives. I scratched my very first PM2 to hell reprofiling with new stones. It was a blessing and a curse because now I have no concerns to use that knife for any cutting task.

I’ll also say that it is completely possible to get the same results with the KME. It just takes a bit more work doing one side at a time.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Zatx » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:29 pm

FullCircleHook wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:27 pm

I’ll also say that it is completely possible to get the same results with the KME. It just takes a bit more work doing one side at a time.

I now use the KME after trying every other sharpening system under the sun. However, I still use my Sharpmaker with UF stones to touch-up blades that were profiled on the KME. When I get a new knife, I don't carry it until I've had the chance to sit down and put a mirrored bevel on it using the KME diamond stones and diamond lapping films.

The KME doesn't take twice the work of the WE; it's the same amount of work, it just takes longer because you're doing one side at a time.

One misconception I see about the KME that I see mentioned in this thread is that it is hard to clamp Spyderco's FFG blades and get consistent angles from side to side. This isn't entirely true. I check my angles with a digital angle cube and nine times out of 10 I'm dead on with my first clamping attempt, and it just takes a few seconds to correct any misalignment.

Oh, and I also have had the Spyderco bench stones cut down to fit my KME sharpener (medium, fine, ultra-fine) and I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival!

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby cycleguy » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:17 pm

When I was surfing the net for opinions on the various wicked edge models... about a year ago; the recommendation was to get the gen 3 vice - blade is supposed to be locked in place on center versus slightly to one side which will throw your bevel angle off slightly between the sides. The 130 being the least expensive option. You are likely going to add stones 800/1000 diamond stones... then you can go 1200/1600 ceramic or 1500 diamond with glass on one side that you can get various levels of lapping film to use on it... then there is also the leather strop(s) with stropping compound. I would start out with what is included and add the next level of finer sharpening to see where you want to go with it. The level/angle cube is also important if you want a higher level of precision... and be certain your base is level before checking angle on the sharpening stone. I never did research the KME so can't comment about it. Also realize no one knife sharpening system does all types of sharpening well ... so you will likely have others on hand for various tasks.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:22 pm

Zatx wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:29 pm
FullCircleHook wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:27 pm

I’ll also say that it is completely possible to get the same results with the KME. It just takes a bit more work doing one side at a time.

I now use the KME after trying every other sharpening system under the sun. However, I still use my Sharpmaker with UF stones to touch-up blades that were profiled on the KME. When I get a new knife, I don't carry it until I've had the chance to sit down and put a mirrored bevel on it using the KME diamond stones and diamond lapping films.

The KME doesn't take twice the work of the WE; it's the same amount of work, it just takes longer because you're doing one side at a time.

One misconception I see about the KME that I see mentioned in this thread is that it is hard to clamp Spyderco's FFG blades and get consistent angles from side to side. This isn't entirely true. I check my angles with a digital angle cube and nine times out of 10 I'm dead on with my first clamping attempt, and it just takes a few seconds to correct any misalignment.

Oh, and I also have had the Spyderco bench stones cut down to fit my KME sharpener (medium, fine, ultra-fine) and I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival!
That is not an accurate statement. Does trying everything under sun include the Wicked Edge Pro3?

When using the Wicked Edge pro you are most certainly saving time. Think about it there is no flipping of the knife and you are honing each side within a second of each other once you set your angle you are locked in.

Each side can also be set correctly to compensate for whatever bit of difference there is from taping the blade or using a piece of chamois clothe to prevent scratching where the clamp makes contact.

One thing I will also advise is if you are trying for ultimate precision (and I can not understand why anyone would accept less with an investment in expensive knives) as you move from grit to grit is that you would be wise to reset the angle with the cube, in order to be certain you are still at the degree you want. There are minor differences in width between grits that are become even bigger when going from Diamond to Ceramics.

When stropping you will need to adjust for that as well to prevent rolling the edge. With the WE you also have far better control than with a pistol grip handle even when there is a rod connected to a board. There is also the fatigue factor when re-profiling something that can be time consuming like S110V.

Not trying to sell one sharpening system over the other but the WE is clearly a far easier system to use and with the split jaws now is perfect for FFG blades. Another factor is the repeat-ability of being to mount the knife and maintain it afterwards The WE Pro makes this very easy just record your settings. I also use the plastic guide card and find that really helpful.

Is the KME a system capable of sharpening a knife beyond most peoples imagination? Yes it is but you are going to work harder for it and there is no way you can achieve the same degree of accuracy if that matters to you.

As I mentioned before I really like the Hapstone7 and it's ability to really get down into the low angles but it is more work than the Wicked Edge Pro and no where near as accurate.

Now get this though out of the current systems I have settled on including the Ken Onion Bench Grinder and several hand held worksharp devices I use the Spyderco Sharpmaker more than any of them.

Why?

Because these systems are great for re-profiling or going ultra mirror shine and insane sharp but at the end of the day I use the sharp-maker to maintain a great honed level of sharpness.

The only time I return to those systems is to re-profile which is almost never needed unless I decide I want to try creating a convex edge withe the WE or re-shine a mirrored bevel or perhaps put a scandi grind on a blade.

So many options out there have fun discovering them I know I did and am still enjoying the learning process as I go.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Evil D » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:33 pm

I just refuse to trust anything based around a clamp, regardless of how improved the clamp is, it's still a clamp and there are unavoidable problems with clamps vs. a system where you can move the knife around in relation to the stone. It may be the best clamp system but it's still a clamp system and I'll pass. I would recommend to anyone wanting the cheapest/most effective setup (for reprofiling) to just get the cheapest Edge Pro (or Hapstone) they offer and order the whole set of Congress Moldmaster stones and you'll be sharpening practically any steel that exists for about $200.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:42 pm

Evil D wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:33 pm
I just refuse to trust anything based around a clamp, regardless of how improved the clamp is, it's still a clamp and there are unavoidable problems with clamps vs. a system where you can move the knife around in relation to the stone. It may be the best clamp system but it's still a clamp system and I'll pass. I would recommend to anyone wanting the cheapest/most effective setup (for reprofiling) to just get the cheapest Edge Pro (or Hapstone) they offer and order the whole set of Congress Moldmaster stones and you'll be sharpening practically any steel that exists for about $200.
Chances are you are right clamps do have limitations. That is why is purchased the Hapstone7 The clamp systems really are for convenience and OCD accuracy.

The Hapstone7 truly is a remarkable system so OP don't forget to look at that also. Do not let the Russian origin bother you the sellers are awesome and very good to communicate with all orders are fulfilled by Amazon. The device is rock solid.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Zatx » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:49 pm

Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:22 pm


That is not an accurate statement. Does trying everything under sun include the Wicked Edge Pro3?

Yes, my "everything under the sun" included the WE.

When using the Wicked Edge pro you are most certainly saving time. Think about it there is no flipping of the knife and you are honing each side within a second of each other once you set your angle you are locked in.

Re-read what I wrote. I acknowledge that it takes more time to use the KME than the WE. My point of disagreement is the "twice the work" statement. It is the exact same amount of work to use the KME or the WE; given the same grits, it takes the same amount of passes (work) per side. As we both said, the WE is faster because you're doing both sides at once, but the number of passes remains relatively similar.

Each side can also be set correctly to compensate for whatever bit of difference there is from taping the blade or using a piece of chamois clothe to prevent scratching where the clamp makes contact.

One thing I will also advise is if you are trying for ultimate precision (and I can not understand why anyone would accept less with an investment in expensive knives) as you move from grit to grit is that you would be wise to reset the angle with the cube, in order to be certain you are still at the degree you want. There are minor differences in width between grits that are become even bigger when going from Diamond to Ceramics.

When stropping you will need to adjust for that as well to prevent rolling the edge. With the WE you also have far better control than with a pistol grip handle even when there is a rod connected to a board. There is also the fatigue factor when re-profiling something that can be time consuming like S110V.

My KME maintains the same angle through all of the grits that I use (I don't use their ceramics as it's unnecessary). My grit progression is 140, 300, 600, 1500, then I move to lapping films in 9, 6, 3, 1, .05, .01 micron. I've confirmed using systematic measuring with an angle cube that the angle never varies more than .1-.3 degrees. That level of variance is inconsequential to the final sharpening results.

Not trying to sell one sharpening system over the other but the WE is clearly a far easier system to use and with the split jaws now is perfect for FFG blades. Another factor is the repeat-ability of being to mount the knife and maintain it afterwards The WE Pro makes this very easy just record your settings. I also use the plastic guide card and find that really helpful.

Ease of use is highly subjective and your use isn't necessarily an indication that another user will have the same experience. I concede that the WE has easier repeatability, but as you yourself point out, you don't repeat your use of the WE on your knives, instead using the Sharpmaker for touch-ups.

Is the KME a system capable of sharpening a knife beyond most peoples imagination? Yes it is but you are going to work harder for it and there is no way you can achieve the same degree of accuracy if that matters to you.

I'll not beat the "work" dead horse again, but I will disagree that you can't achieve the same degree of accuracy with the KME. As noted, I can easily be within the degree of accuracy found with consumer angle cubes. My blades are exactly (or as near as I can measure) to 15 degrees as measured using an industrial goniometer.

The only time I return to those systems is to re-profile which is almost never needed unless I decide I want to try creating a convex edge with the WE or re-shine a mirrored bevel or perhaps put a scandi grind on a blade.

So many options out there have fun discovering them I know I did and am still enjoying the learning process as I go.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:03 pm

Ah ok yep apologies I misread that. We do agree more than disagree. You know now that I think about it the KME stones may be produced to closer tolerances in thickness from grit to grit, one thing is for certain I have tested this with the WE Pro2 and 3 and the differences are most certainly present with the angle cube from grit to grit.

As far as my use of repeat-ability goes I do not use that feature often because A. it is truly rarely needed and B. Nothing beats a Spyderco sharp-maker for keeping EDC honed, just put it on the table and go to town.

The sharp-maker in my experience has been a disappointment re-profiling or taking a knife that has been left to go Butter knife dull especially a SE blade to anything resembling sharp my Goodness talk about a slow row boat to china with harder steels.

Then again I have never used the Diamond or CBN Stones so maybe I am wrong. Please make sure to hit me up when you get your new stones and have used them a bit eagerly awaiting your review.

I am eyeing up the Gauntlet after seeing Eric demo it. He, He, He, looks pretty capable! At first was not impressed but now well What the heck we Know Sal knows about sharpening it has got to be good!

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Zatx
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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Zatx » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:52 am

Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:03 pm
Ah ok yep apologies I misread that. We do agree more than disagree. You know now that I think about it the KME stones may be produced to closer tolerances in thickness from grit to grit, one thing is for certain I have tested this with the WE Pro2 and 3 and the differences are most certainly present with the angle cube from grit to grit.

As far as my use of repeat-ability goes I do not use that feature often because A. it is truly rarely needed and B. Nothing beats a Spyderco sharp-maker for keeping EDC honed, just put it on the table and go to town.

The sharp-maker in my experience has been a disappointment re-profiling or taking a knife that has been left to go Butter knife dull especially a SE blade to anything resembling sharp my Goodness talk about a slow row boat to china with harder steels.

Then again I have never used the Diamond or CBN Stones so maybe I am wrong. Please make sure to hit me up when you get your new stones and have used them a bit eagerly awaiting your review.

I am eyeing up the Gauntlet after seeing Eric demo it. He, He, He, looks pretty capable! At first was not impressed but now well What the heck we Know Sal knows about sharpening it has got to be good!

Yep, I think most would agree that the Sharpmaker is a bit weak in the reprofiling department; it can be done, but it is a slow process. I have both the CBN and Diamond stones, and I would equate them to the 600 grit KME hone; they aren't very aggressive.

Having to check and adjust the angle with every stone change is terribly annoying, that is why I don't use my Hapstone any longer and why I've embraced the KME. While the thickness of the stones is consistent from the 140 to .01 grits, I will say that The Beast (50 grit) and the Extra Extra Coarse (100 grit) are thicker and require an adjustment. Because of that (and because they are just too aggressive for my expensive knives) I don't end up using either. I'd rather start and spend more time with the 300 grit stone to apex my edge because the end result is much more refined. Plus, this also eliminates the problem of a few really deep scratches showing up in the final mirrored bevel that coarse stones can leave behind.

I don't really have any enthusiasm for the Gauntlet; I eagerly anticipated its arrival, but the final product leaves me scratching my head. The profile of the stones seem best suited for sharpening aficionados, but the product is geared towards the novice. Plus, the choice of 40 degrees inclusive for kitchen knives seems out of touch with the target market. Kitchen knives are meant to be slicers, not axe blades.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Zatx » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:53 am

Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:03 pm

I am eyeing up the Gauntlet after seeing Eric demo it. He, He, He, looks pretty capable! At first was not impressed but now well What the heck we Know Sal knows about sharpening it has got to be good!

Do you have a link to a video of the demonstration? I have yet to see one.

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:30 am

Here you go courtesy of Spyderco and Blade HQ at SHOT Show 2019 Very neat all the ways the rods can be positioned in the holders the cats eye design is brilliant especially for serrations I am betting. Serrations are the main reason for my purchasing one at this point and this video shows why it is called the Gauntlet because of the way it protects the hand and you stabelize it during sharpening pretty neat!

https://youtu.be/_9jYzYE2JOU

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Re: WE or KME for Spyderco FFG Blades

Postby N. Brian Huegel » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:34 pm

sal wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:00 pm
Edge Pro is another system that's been around for a long time that offers consistency.

The original clamping system was created by Ray Longbrake. ( Loray sharpeners ). His history is an interesting study. Now, very few have even hear of him..... A good man that was really cheated out of his invention that is now being used by many.

sal
Here is some further information about Ray Longbrake and his LoRay Sharpeners:

https://loraysharpeners.com

https://patents.google.com/?inventor=Ho ... +Longbrake

brian


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