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Can the WEPS sharpen ceramic Knives? Yes it can!

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Advanced Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Can the WEPS sharpen ceramic Knives? Yes it can!

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  • #7687
    Josh
    Participant
    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1671

    Hey guys, wanted to share as I have seen a few ask this question on the forums and it was one of my questions initially. Please understand that I was not spending tons of time on this thing to get it perfect (the way Tom at Jende Industries did to shave with it – this is the exact same knife), Ijust wanted to see if I could get it shaving sharp and able to push cut paper again. Thanks to Lee Valley’s diamond lapping films, you can now sharpen ceramic knives on the WE.

    I tried to reverse directions each time so we can see what’s going on at the edge…

    Damaged edge w/ black marker on it…(at 60x)

    Tried to fix w/ 1um lapping film, it was a no go (at 230x for rest of pics)

    Dropped back to the 15um lapping film

    Then hit it with the 3um lapping film

    3.5um diamond pasted strops (roughly 30-40 passes)

    Same strops again reversing direction back again

    In this final pic you can still see a few chips at the very edge of the edge, but I didn’t have time to continue to work on it and the aluminum blank that my lapping film was mounted to fell out (won’t be using hot glue again! lol). Anyway, it will shave arm hair easily again now and push cut through paper =)

    Hope this helps anyone who had the same question I did…

    And last but not least, here’s the video that Tom did of him shaving with the same Kyocera ceramic knife that he sharpened… =)

    #7689
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 123
    • Replies: 2936

    That’s awesome Josh, thank you for posting!

    -Clay

    #7691
    cbwx34
    Participant
    • Topics: 57
    • Replies: 1505

    Cool. I just got a couple of ceramic knives to play with… have to look at the Lee Valley stuff.

    It’s worth pointing out, (Josh already knows this obviously, but for those that don’t), when sharpening ceramics you use the finest grit you can (and work backwards if needed) to get the job done… too coarse can damage the edge.

    I wonder what a ceramic blade looks like at 2500x? :whistle:

    Thanks for sharing… this just might make it to the wiki. 🙂

    #7698
    Fred Hermann
    Participant
    • Topics: 30
    • Replies: 188

    Before I got my WEPS I tried this with a Landsky kit. To say I failed and ruined the knife is an understatement. What I learned…ceramic knives are incredibly fragile. I used one of the ultracheap 20.00 knife& peeler sets. I knew I’d be destroying it. At unboxing I was very unimpressed by the edge. Very….
    During the weeks of use, knowing these are fragile the tip chipped off. So I didn’t feel bad at all.
    I think these knives fail materially when they get a thin edge. So Imo steel wins. And knowing the average kitchen User they will never own the knife long enough to form an opinion. It will break.
    So from a marketing standpoint….you can sell a ton of replacements.
    But its great to know the WEPS has beaten another limitation.
    Damn I love mine… 🙂

    #7711
    Robert Nash
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 164

    Nice Josh – thanks for putting that up. I’ve done some ceramic folders, I found you really have to use some magnification during sharpening or you can’t tell what is happening – ie are you getting your scratches all the way to the edge (particularly hard to see on black ceramics) How was your experience with that? I’ve only worked them with the original arms, did you use the ball joint arms to match the angle more closely? If so, do you think the ball joint arms made a difference?

    What I learned…ceramic knives are incredibly fragile. I used one of the ultracheap 20.00 knife& peeler sets. I knew I’d be destroying it. At unboxing I was very unimpressed by the edge. Very….
    During the weeks of use, knowing these are fragile the tip chipped off.

    In my experience you really do get what you pay for with the ceramics – not just poor fit and finish but poor quality materials. Other than dropping them they shouldn’t break in use – and even then it should have to hit just right. I talked with Eugene at Zayka which we carry (they make nice ceramic kitchen knives, and laminated VG10 too) He said that they were moving away from making the ceramics as they can’t compete with the cheap ones in price and he feels the poor quality in the cheap ones is giving ceramics a bit of a bad name.

    #7713
    Fred Hermann
    Participant
    • Topics: 30
    • Replies: 188

    Now that’s interesting…I had heard they were all the same material. Knowing they exist in a far better material is great, maybe I’ll give one another go…and actually buy a good one rahter than a POS.
    When the tip broke off mine, I was watching, my son was doing dishes, and sat it a little hard in the sink. He picked it up and showed me before I could grab it. So that little *tink* in the bottom of the sink broke off about a 2mm triangle off the tip. Also, like you said, a better one would come out of the box shave sharp, this one didn’t, or if it was, it was just *barely* shave sharp.

    I know the basic logic behind the ceramic is to stay sharp for a very long time due to the blade hardness. And of course, many of you (pro sharpeners) make a living off folks with no time/skill to sharpen. So from that idea, they are a brilliant idea, I just want them to be lightsaber sharp, never dull and usable as a screw-chisel-crowbar…and maybe do laundry for me too.

    🙂

    But I will start lurking in my garage sale/auction time for a good one to play with now.

    #7725
    Josh
    Participant
    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1671

    Nice Josh – thanks for putting that up. I’ve done some ceramic folders, I found you really have to use some magnification during sharpening or you can’t tell what is happening – ie are you getting your scratches all the way to the edge (particularly hard to see on black ceramics) How was your experience with that? I’ve only worked them with the original arms, did you use the ball joint arms to match the angle more closely? If so, do you think the ball joint arms made a difference?

    What I learned…ceramic knives are incredibly fragile. I used one of the ultracheap 20.00 knife& peeler sets. I knew I’d be destroying it. At unboxing I was very unimpressed by the edge. Very….
    During the weeks of use, knowing these are fragile the tip chipped off.

    In my experience you really do get what you pay for with the ceramics – not just poor fit and finish but poor quality materials. Other than dropping them they shouldn’t break in use – and even then it should have to hit just right. I talked with Eugene at Zayka which we carry (they make nice ceramic kitchen knives, and laminated VG10 too) He said that they were moving away from making the ceramics as they can’t compete with the cheap ones in price and he feels the poor quality in the cheap ones is giving ceramics a bit of a bad name.[/quote]

    Yeah, I definitely found that the magnification helped immensely… I also used black marker =) I used the original arms that I modded w/ screws to get precise tolerances – they worked fine! I just adjusted angles w/ my angle cube and it worked fine…

    You definitely get what you pay for with ceramics… I have a boker ceramic pocket knife, and it doesn’t seem to be near the quality (although I haven’t used it much) as the kyocera… kyocera is pretty much one of THE names in ceramic knives… it should not have chipped with regular use. I have even heard that kyocera was working on a proprietary blend of ceramic that wouldn’t break when dropped – but i don’t know about this for sure.

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