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Best WE setup for a beginner?

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  • #52765
    umeuph
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 4

    Hi everyone!  Apologies if this has been asked before, but I’m completely new to sharpening, though I do own decently nice knives.  I’ve been having them sharpened locally, but the owner of the shop has changed and the sharpening service has been discontinued.  I know there are threads on learning to sharpen, could you all suggest what WE setup would be best for someone who’s just getting into sharpening?  I want to be get something that I can grow into.  Budget is around 500, though I could go up to 700 if it gets me a setup that makes more sense long term…

    Thanks in advance!

    #52766
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2079

    Welcome to the W.E. Forum “umeuph”.  If you would share with us the kind of knives you’re wanting to sharpen it would help us to help you.  By this I mean: kitchen or chef’s knives, or pocket/folding knives, or craft knives like wood carving knives or leather tooling,  or chisels and plane blades.  Are you looking for an inclusive setup or to buy everything individually.  Is portability important or will you be sharpening only at home.

    Any of these particulars will help the decisionmaking process.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #52767
    umeuph
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 4

    Thanks for the welcome!  I’ll be doing pretty much kitchen/chef’s knives exclusively.  I would be comfortable buying a set or individual parts, and portability is not really a consideration – I’ll be sharpening at home!  🙂

    Your help is very much appreciated!

    #52768
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2079

    I suggest you read this thread: Wicked Edge Shopers and Buyers Guide.    I may help you with your decision.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #52772
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    I have another question. Do you want to take up sharpening as a hobby unto itself, or is this just a means to an end for you?

    You said you’d like a setup to grow into. In my mind that implies that you’re interested in going deep into sharpening as a hobby. If that is the case then I suggest getting the WE130. You can get additional stones and strops later on, but that rig is what an enthusiast is going to want at the end of the day.

    If sharpening is more about a means to an end (keeping knives sharp so that you can get great results while cooking for instance) then I would suggest the pro pack 1 as a once and done setup.

    The document that MarcH linked to goes into detail on all of the setups and explains the pros and cons of each setup and is a good resource.

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    #52774
    umeuph
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 4

    I think the initial draw is a means to an end, but I don’t tend to do things halfway!  So I kind of expect to get drawn into it.  The question I’m not sure of is how far down the rabbit hole I’ll go. I would definitely like to over-buy and have the option rather than the alternative, if that makes sense.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #52777
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    The WE130 is definitely the way to go then IMO. If you want to give yourself additional options out of the gate then consider adding the 800 / 1000 stones and the 4 /2 micron strop set.

     

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    #52780
    Gregg Houston
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 1

    New myself, but did considerable research before purchasing WE130. For 575.00 (no base, use a good cutting board) you will not regret your purchase!

    6 users thanked author for this post.
    #52790
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2079

    BJust to be clear, umeuph,  all W.E. models use the same stones and accessories.  (Except the stand alone portable WEGO model, that you’re not interested in).  That means any sharpening stones and accessories you buy with your beginning model will also work with another model if you choose to start inexpensive and upgrade later.

    The earlier models the WE100 and the WE120 with the original “Standard Vises” can sharpen just as well as the newer Gen 3 Vise included with the WE130 and the Gen3Pro.  The standard vise does have a more involved learning curve and is more difficult to master.  The attraction to these standard vice models is the economics of these entry level models.  In the end the price doesn’t overcome the more difficult steps needed to use these models.

    Most users that start with the standard vise models after some user experience look to upgrade their sharpeners to a model that is easier, simpler and quicker to use.  The results are the standard model they started with gets parts changed out with those parts to convert it into a WE130, at a considerable added expense.  For that reason, “bandaid” hit it right on the head.  Spend the money at the onset on the WE130 to save time and expense in the future.  W.E. user history proves that most users will look to upgrade if they enjoy sharpening with their W.E. sharpeners, and want to continue using it.

    Go for the WE130.  Add the 800/1000 grit stones and a set of 2μ/4μ leather strops.  This is a good starting place.  A usb microscope is a very helpful visual aid, too.  Many of us use these microscopes everytime we sharpen.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by MarcH.
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    #52801
    Brewbear
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 131

    I’ll have to echo the others, the WE 130 is a bit more versatile and a good place to start. Each model has its pros and very few cons but the WE 130 is the one I chose and am very happy with. Besides the stones and strops already suggested, you might consider a set of long arms, a low angle adapter and the stone stops/micro adjusters from @airscapes or was it @NotSharpEnuff

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    #52802
    umeuph
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 4

    This is great info, thanks to everyone who took the time to reply – it is much appreciated!  Does anyone have thoughts on the digital angle guide?  Also, any recommendations on the USB microscope?

    #52803
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2079

    Uh oh,  you’re already going over budget buying accessories before you even bought your sharpener, let alone tried it.  Wait… once you start using it and go down the rabbit hole, it only get’s worse.  On a positive note when you’ve spent about $1500 you should have most everything you’ll want.  LOL

    I like the DXL360S dual-axis digital angle cube, (there several makers of this same model) and the Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope.  Both accessories are available from Amazon.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #52807
    LV
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 14

    130 pro pack fwiw

    When I first started out with the WE I chose the WE100

    since thenI have upgraded and upgraded now the only thing original to my kit is the base and a whole lot more money spent than if I would have gotten the 130pp

    Whichever system u go with i would at the very least get the 10 inch guide rods

    Each system has it own shortcomings

    Really depends on what u will b sharpening

    If it just Like the Case pocket knife style I would recommend the 100 or the WE GO

    The 100 being the first choice

    If u Will b doing larger knives i would opt for the 130

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    #52808
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    Most people who purchase a Wicked Edge end up eventually going whole hog with lots of stones, strops, upgrades, and accessories. I think it has something to do with the psychology of those who are drawn to the Wicked Edge products to begin with. We are not a representative sample of sharpeners world wide but rather are a self selected group of sharpening enthusiasts. Anyone who just wants a sharp knife will be reasonably well served by any of the wide array of less expensive sharpening products offered by other companies. I have a $50 Lansky setup that will absolutely get a knife sharp. It takes ages, is fatiguing to use, the results can be ugly and are highly variable, but it will get a knife sharp.

    Wicked Edge products offer more than just sharp edges. Their products are unparalleled in their precision and this allows for exacting angle control and the ability to quickly reproduce previous sharpening results time and time again. I am unaware of any other fixed angle sharpener available that offers an integrated method for the recording of blade clamping position which is invaluable if you want to re-sharpen a knife without having to do any re-profiling. Wicked Edge is a small American company who manufactures all of their products in the USA and backs them with their first rate customer support. The quality first philosophy of the company results in products that are more expensive than much of the competition, but I think they are still a good value.

    7 users thanked author for this post.
    #52813
    umeuph
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 4

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me out on this, it is very much appreciated!  I’m in final negotiations with the boss (wife), I’ll let you all know where I landed!  🙂

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