I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

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ManyReason
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I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby ManyReason » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:32 am

Hello Spyderco community,

Soon, I am going to receive my first Spyderco knife and sharpener: the Para 3 Lightweight and the Sharpmaker. I am excited to start using the Para 3 daily and use the Sharpmaker to keep it sharp. Additionally, I ordered the ultra fine, diamond stones, and a strop to fulfill my sharpening system.

However, before starting to use the Sharpmaker for the first time, I need some clarification. I've been watching videos and reading guides so I think I got the general idea down, but I'm here to make verify if I have the right idea.

So the first thing I should do with my new Para 3 LW is check the bevel angle, right? I know Spyderco aims for 30 degree inclusive bevels out of the factory, so to verify if my bevel angle is in fact 30, I would use a sharpie and mark the whole bevel, then take a few passes on the fine stone for both sides at 30 degrees. If I see little to no sharpie marks on the whole bevel after taking a few passes at 30 degrees (15 DPS), that would mean I'm good to do for the back bevel part, right? Then I would move on to 40 and start to get a microbevel going from medium stones (edge first) then to medium stones (flat second) to fine stones (edge first) to fine stones (flat second) and in my case finish off with the ultra fine and strop, right? And if I just use my sense of feel to figure out if I'm good to move onto the next stones like if it feels smooth when sharpening.

If the initial factory bevel is not 30 degrees, I would then go to the diamond stones I have and at 30 degrees take several passes until the whole bevel from apex to shoulder is 30 (using sharpie to see if it has been removed), right? Then would I refine that 30 degree bevel by going down the stones to medium, fine, ultra fine? Then go to 40 degrees for microbevel using the same process but starting at maybe the medium stones then going down the list of stones and ultimately finishing with the strop?

If after setting the 30 degree back bevel and 40 degree microbevel, as I use the knife, I would just periodically "touch up" the knife by taking it to the ultra fine stones (or fine) at 40 degrees and sharpening that micro bevel, then finish off with stropping? Then after a very long time I would reprofile the whole bevel to 30 again and put a 40 microbevel and continue to touch the 40 degree microbevel up periodically?

If anyone can clarify if the method I have laid out is correct. Also in order to prevent a rounded off tip, I've heard not to fully swipe off the stones when sharpening, but rather stop just shy of the tip. If I do this, do I need to sharpen the tip separately after everything? If so, what would be the process to sharpen the tip?


I apologize for my ignorance, but I'm just getting started with sharpening and I'm bringing in a lot of information so I can learn and hopefully become very good at sharpening for my lifetime

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby sal » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:01 am

Hi ManyReason,

Welcome to our forum.

There are different points of view on your questions. I'm sure many will share theirs with you, It is a very information sharing group of people.

On the Knife, I would suggest just using it until it needs to be sharpened. You will get to experience the edge as we made it. I'm always surprised when people start changing the edge without using it. More often then not, they muck it up and have no basis for comparison. Just my opinion.

On the sharpening, again, many have different points of view. For Spyderco knives, I rarely us the 40 degrees. Just for certain situations. I just use the 30. I don't strop except for straight razors. But I sure you will find many will disagree with me and that's fine. We like people to think for themselves.

sal

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:09 am

What steel is your P3?
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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby kennethsime » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:24 am

Hey ManyReason,

Welcome the forum!

Like Sal said, you will get a lot of opinions here, but yes, you've watched the videos correctly and absorbed most of the information in the videos successfully. :cool:

I would also echo Sal's comment about using the knife until it needs to be sharpened; I find the factory edge very capable, and frankly rather impressive.

As you gain more experience, you'll modify your process a bit, and it takes practice to get it right the first time. I might suggest practicing on a a couple of cheaper knives first if you have them available. I have a set of cheap Japanese pairing/utility knives I use in the kitchen, and I love practicing on them because the steel is soft & malleable and sharpens up quickly. I don't care if I bugger the edge, because it's easy to fix!

One final bit of advice: be gentle. When you draw the knife across the stones, you don't really need to use any force at all. More experienced sharpeners here will chime in about this I bet, but basically too much force can fold the edge over on itself (I think). The lighter the pressure I use, and the more consistent my stroke, the better my results.
Last edited by kennethsime on Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby sal » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:28 am

Hi ManyReason,

I would also suggest that you get a magnifier loupe, maybe 10X so you can study the edge as you learn.

sal

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby ManyReason » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:36 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:09 am
What steel is your P3?
It is CTS-BD1N

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby araneae » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:55 am

I agree with Sal, use that knife, sharpen it when it needs it.

Lots of people use the sharpmaker for touch-ups at 40.
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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby ManyReason » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:04 am

So is it as simple as just going through the stones like normal at 40 degrees? What about the back bevel/micro bevel?

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Wartstein » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:39 am

ManyReason wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:04 am
So is it as simple as just going through the stones like normal at 40 degrees? What about the back bevel/micro bevel?

Welcome to the forum! :)

Great choices, I always say the "second Spyderco" one should get is a sharpmaker! You did so, and the Para 3 is a model many, many love.

/ - Microbevel: If your bevel generally is let's say 30 incl., you can achieve a microbevel of let's say 40 incl with just very few passes on the 40 degree setting and so get a knife sharp again very quickly.

- Backbevel: I think you are referring to the term printed on the sharpmaker,right?
In short: If you sharpen your knife a lot to let's say 40 incl, there will come the time whem you also have removed a lot of steel, the blade will get a bit less tall and thicker behind the edge.
That's why you should basically somehow reprofile with let's say 30 incl from time to time
Last edited by Wartstein on Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:44 am

ManyReason wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:36 am
Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:09 am
What steel is your P3?
It is CTS-BD1N
No issues sharpening that steel. I just follow Sal’s recommendations on the video. Unless you are reprofiling you will not need the diamonds.
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Wartstein » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:49 am

Another advice, that helped at least me in the beginning:

For me it was easier to keep the blade perpendicular to the surface (and by that the 30 or 40 degree angle) by looking from above on the spine of the blade while sharpening: So if the Sharpmaker was placed on a table, I did not SIT in FRONT of it but stood up and looked DOWN on it while sharpening

These days I don´t bother any more if I sit in front of or look down on the SM, but as said it helped in the beginning.

That being said: Imho it is not important to meet the angle absolutely perfect... some deviation sometimes is not a problem at all (at least for my needs)
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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby z4vdBt » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:13 am

sal wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:01 am
Hi ManyReason,

Welcome to our forum.

There are different points of view on your questions. I'm sure many will share theirs with you, It is a very information sharing group of people.

On the Knife, I would suggest just using it until it needs to be sharpened. You will get to experience the edge as we made it. I'm always surprised when people start changing the edge without using it. More often then not, they muck it up and have no basis for comparison. Just my opinion.

On the sharpening, again, many have different points of view. For Spyderco knives, I rarely us the 40 degrees. Just for certain situations. I just use the 30. I don't strop except for straight razors. But I sure you will find many will disagree with me and that's fine. We like people to think for themselves.

sal
Sal,

Greetings. I watched the first three of your youtube video series on the Sharpmaker before I purchased, and I could've sworn you start off with the 40 degrees, and later say the 30 degrees if for the back bevel. Now I'm confused lol.

at around 8:56 - sharpening at 40 degrees and 30 degrees:

https://youtu.be/fP9Uc3ZM24Y

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Wartstein » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:46 am

z4vdBt wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:13 am
sal wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:01 am
Sal,

Greetings. I watched the first three of your youtube video series on the Sharpmaker before I purchased, and I could've sworn you start off with the 40 degrees, and later say the 30 degrees if for the back bevel. Now I'm confused lol.

at around 8:56 - sharpening at 40 degrees and 30 degrees:

Just a guess, but maybe at the time the vid was made, the intention was more to explain the most likely best use of the sharpmaker on just an average knife of any brand and not on a Spyderco folder which is sharpenend to a more acute angle from the factory?

So a guidance for people who "just" buy the sharpmaker as a tool, but not necessarely Spyderco-KNIVES?

And probably at that time there were a lot less Spydies out there anyway than nowadays?
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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Surfingringo » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:01 am

Hi manyreasons, congrats on your Sharpmaker, it is a great tool! The first thing you need to do is decide if you want to use a microbevel or not. Opinions vary but I almost always use a microbevel because it makes it ridiculously quick and easy to resharpen a knife...especially with the sharpmaker. Regarding the primary edge bevel, Golden tends to be very consistent with their sharpening so you are almost assuredly going to be close to 15 degrees per side. This means that you can start microbeveling at 40 degrees without having to do anything else to the knife.

If you choose to use a microbevel you want to be aware of how little it takes to affect the edge. If you use the knife lightly for a few days and want to bring it back to peak sharpness you can do that with just 8 or 10 passes on the medium stones, or maybe twice that many on the fines. Don’t think that you have to go through tons of passes and progress through various stones and corners and flats. That is not necessary on a fresh microbevel and you will only be needlessly removing metal and making your microbevel less “micro”. Once you see how quick and easy it is to add a microbevel it will change the way you look at sharpening. You can choose to strop at the end if you want but it is completely unnecessary. Light pressure on any of the SM stones can create EXTREMELY high levels of sharpness.

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Woodpuppy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:12 am

There are a handful of really excellent sharpening threads here, including discussion of the sharpmaker. You can keyword search for them; also some really capable sharpeners (people).

I use a factory edge until it needs attention; and I use the sharpmaker and Doublestuff 1 & 2 stones almost exclusively. With rare exceptions, I only use the 30* setting (my Moras like the 20* setting). I typically only use the cbn rods to reprofile or repair a battered edge. To protect the tip, I stop short on the triangle points, Use full strokes on the flats, and never drag the tip off a stone. Except by accident :rolleyes: If need be take extra strokes on the flats with the tip.

As mentioned above, light pressure. This was a revelation to me after over 15 years using the sharpmaker; my results jumped dramatically.

Using a sharpie on the edge let’s you see where you’re removing steel, so you can choose an angle you prefer, or when reprofiling you know when you’ve completed the whole edge. Using a hand lens lets you see the scratch pattern, which helps you know when to move to the next finer stones. You want uniform scratch pattern obliterating the previous coarser pattern before moving on, and you want to see that pattern all the way to the apex. A nice consistent apex is the goal!

Have fun!
:spyder: My other blade is a Kelly Perfect :spyder:

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Woodpuppy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:11 am

:spyder: My other blade is a Kelly Perfect :spyder:

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby ManyReason » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm

Surfingringo wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:01 am
Hi manyreasons, congrats on your Sharpmaker, it is a great tool! The first thing you need to do is decide if you want to use a microbevel or not. Opinions vary but I almost always use a microbevel because it makes it ridiculously quick and easy to resharpen a knife...especially with the sharpmaker. Regarding the primary edge bevel, Golden tends to be very consistent with their sharpening so you are almost assuredly going to be close to 15 degrees per side. This means that you can start microbeveling at 40 degrees without having to do anything else to the knife.

If you choose to use a microbevel you want to be aware of how little it takes to affect the edge. If you use the knife lightly for a few days and want to bring it back to peak sharpness you can do that with just 8 or 10 passes on the medium stones, or maybe twice that many on the fines. Don’t think that you have to go through tons of passes and progress through various stones and corners and flats. That is not necessary on a fresh microbevel and you will only be needlessly removing metal and making your microbevel less “micro”. Once you see how quick and easy it is to add a microbevel it will change the way you look at sharpening. You can choose to strop at the end if you want but it is completely unnecessary. Light pressure on any of the SM stones can create EXTREMELY high levels of sharpness.
Hi, so are you recommending I use the knife out of the box lightly without any pre sharpening and then sharpen at 40 after a bit with light passes to make a microbevel? Does it make a difference if I make a microbevel out of the box right away at 40

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Woodpuppy » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:14 pm

Something you should know about surfingringo, he really uses his knives more than the average fan ;)
:spyder: My other blade is a Kelly Perfect :spyder:

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby Surfingringo » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:35 pm

ManyReason wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:28 pm
Surfingringo wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:01 am
Hi manyreasons, congrats on your Sharpmaker, it is a great tool! The first thing you need to do is decide if you want to use a microbevel or not. Opinions vary but I almost always use a microbevel because it makes it ridiculously quick and easy to resharpen a knife...especially with the sharpmaker. Regarding the primary edge bevel, Golden tends to be very consistent with their sharpening so you are almost assuredly going to be close to 15 degrees per side. This means that you can start microbeveling at 40 degrees without having to do anything else to the knife.

If you choose to use a microbevel you want to be aware of how little it takes to affect the edge. If you use the knife lightly for a few days and want to bring it back to peak sharpness you can do that with just 8 or 10 passes on the medium stones, or maybe twice that many on the fines. Don’t think that you have to go through tons of passes and progress through various stones and corners and flats. That is not necessary on a fresh microbevel and you will only be needlessly removing metal and making your microbevel less “micro”. Once you see how quick and easy it is to add a microbevel it will change the way you look at sharpening. You can choose to strop at the end if you want but it is completely unnecessary. Light pressure on any of the SM stones can create EXTREMELY high levels of sharpness.
Hi, so are you recommending I use the knife out of the box lightly without any pre sharpening and then sharpen at 40 after a bit with light passes to make a microbevel? Does it make a difference if I make a microbevel out of the box right away at 40
Hi manyreasons, sorry, just saw this. I would recommend using the knife with the factory edge at first simply because Spyderco does a good job with sharpening and there’s no reason to remove metal if the knife is already sharp. Once it needs a touch up go straight to the 40 degree if you want to microbevel. If you want to sharpen before using that’s fine but it’s usually not necessary with the Golden knives. I will sometimes sharpen one right out of the box if it’s something that I’ll be using for fish cleaning but that’s mainly to put a coarser, more aggressive edge on it.

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Re: I need some clarification before using the Sharpmaker for the first time...

Postby MichaelScott » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:44 pm

My suggestion is to use it like you need to. No need to baby it at all. When you notice it isn’t cutting the way it was, the Sharpmaker, used lightly, will bring that edge back. To micro bevel or not, that is the question. It’s one you will answer for yourself after experience with the steel and the Sharpmaker, and, most importantly, how and on what you use your knife. No one is right or wrong here. Congratulations on your Para 3. Looking forward to your comments.
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