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GO vs. 130 – Decisions, Decisions

Recent Forums Main Forum Getting Started GO vs. 130 – Decisions, Decisions

This topic contains 24 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  MarcH 05/21/2018 at 2:37 pm.

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  • #46249

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    A little back story,  I bought a WE GO a few months back on the used market and then quickly sold it to a friend who really need it.  I only used it a couple times but really liked it.   I free hand sharpen and have an assortment of DMT, Shapton Glass and Spyderco stones but want to start using a guided system to set bevels follow by maintenance on stones.

    I’ll mainly be sharpening folders ranging from cheaper $50 knives up to Chris Reeve small and large Sebenzas and everything in between.  I’ll also be sharpening my kitchen knives.  Probably the kitchen knives more than anything. They are Wusthof  knives with the typical full flat grind.

    My question is this.  Is it worth the extra $350 dollars or so to upgrade to the 130 with the Cam-Lock vise?  If I went with the GO,  I would add the 800/1000 stones right away and probably the 1500.   If I go with the 130,   I would start with the included stones and add the 800/1000 at a later date.  I would probably make my own base as well.

    I would prefer to “go” the much cheaper GO route but I’m worried about the FFG blades on the kitchen knives and a couple Spydercos I have. I can deal with the Spydercos but the kitchen knives worry me.  Does the Cam-Lock really make it that much easier?  I just don’t want to get the GO and continually struggle with getting the blade set correctly.  But, I really like the price and it leaves a budget for more stones right off the bat.

    Sorry for rambling.  Any advise would be appreciated.  Talk me into one over the other, PLEASE!

    #46250

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 45
    • Replies: 1063

    Jim, welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum.  I think the “Cam-Lock” vice is so much simpler, easier and quicker to use then the “screw wedge” vice used in the WE GO.  The WE130 also has the split jaws and tension adjustment enabling secure clamping of a wider variety of shaped knives, then the WE GO.  Besides that the WE GO also doesn’t have the micro-adjustable angle guide rods.  These really allow you to set bevel angles more precisely.  The “Cam-Lock” Vice also eliminates the need to measure and compensate for the blade lean associated with the “Screw Wedge” Vice on the WE GO.

    Another way you can go and spend in effect the same amount is to buy the Field and Sport Pro.  This is $80 more than the WE130 but it does come with the 800/1000 grit pair in the kit and it also comes with a carry case.  The F&S Pro can be drilled to mount on a mounting base with just about the same  effort it would take to mount the WE130.

    The bottom line is they are both fine sharpeners and you’ll get just what you pay for.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #46252

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 30
    • Replies: 1512

    I’d have to agree with Marc, but I want to add a few of my own comments.

    You need not be concerned about kitchen knives with full-flat grinds.  The included angle is very low on most kitchen knives and I never had a problem clamping them up in the old vise.

    The two Spydercos I have have FFG angles of less than 4 degrees inclusive.  There are a number of ways to deal with this.  One is to clamp the blade with the left side (fixed jaw) vertical and the right side jaw splayed out to match the right side of the blade.  Then set your angles to account for the difference.  Add half the angle to the right side and subtract half the angle from the left side.  The simplest solution (and used by almost everyone) is to pad the sides of the blade with tape or chamois and clamp it as close to vertical as you can.  No big deal.

    That said, I use my Gen 3 and Gen 3 Pro rigs (I have three rigs on three bases) almost exclusively now and only switch back to the old one for older attachments that don’t work on the new vises.  The Gen 3 vises are so effective, they turn the clamping issue into a no-brainer.  The price you pay is a little less flexibility -needing a second set of jaws for thicker blades.

    If I had to pick a feature in deciding between systems today, it would be to choose one with the micro-adjust feature.  The Gen 3 vise is just the cherry on top, but I’d have to decide if the vise upgrade and two-inch longer rods are worth the $174 extra cost over the WE120.

    A little background info:  I am a hobbyist who probably sharpens 100 to 200 knives per year.  Eighty to ninety percent are kitchen knives.  As an amateur, I accept no payment for sharpening and do so only for friends and relatives.  I’m retired, moderately disabled and live a sedentary, care-taker lifestyle.  Sharpening gives me satisfaction because it demands full-time focus and produces something none of my acquaintances can do.  I also do some knife repair/restoration and a little knifemaking – again, only for my own satisfaction.  If you can see knife sharpening as a hobby you’d like to take seriously, buy the best rig you can justify.  If you don’t, you’ll probably wish you had.

    I don’t see it mentioned much, but the fact that the GO comes with a pair of 200/600 stones is a little inconvenient.  If you want to upgrade your stone selection by adding 400 grit, you’d have to buy a pair of 400/600 stones.  Or wait until the 200/600 stones wear out (two to three years?) before replacing them with 100/200’s and 400/600’s.  Another argument for buying the WE120 or WE130.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  tcmeyer.
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    #46256

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    Jim, welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum. I think the “Cam-Lock” vice is so much simpler, easier and quicker to use then the “screw wedge” vice used in the WE GO. The WE130 also has the split jaws and tension adjustment enabling secure clamping of a wider variety of shaped knives, then the WE GO. Besides that the WE GO also doesn’t have the micro-adjustable angle guide rods. These really allow you to set bevel angles more precisely. The “Cam-Lock” Vice also eliminates the need to measure and compensate for the blade lean associated with the “Screw Wedge” Vice on the WE GO. Another way you can go and spend in effect the same amount is to buy the Field and Sport Pro. This is $80 more than the WE130 but it does come with the 800/1000 grit pair in the kit and it also comes with a carry case. The F&S Pro can be drilled to mount on a mounting base with just about the same effort it would take to mount the WE130. The bottom line is they are both fine sharpeners and you’ll get just what you pay for.

    Thanks Mark for the response.   You makes some great points.  Definitely leaning toward the 130 over the GO.  I had not thought about the F&S Pro.  You’re basically getting the 800/1000 at a slight discount but adding the carrying bag.   The bag is actually appealing to me.   I might need to wait a bit longer but this might be a great option.

    Thanks again for the advise.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #46257

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    I’d have to agree with Marc, but I want to add a few of my own comments. You need not be concerned about kitchen knives with full-flat grinds. The included angle is very low on most kitchen knives and I never had a problem clamping them up in the old vise. The two Spydercos I have have FFG angles of less than 4 degrees inclusive. There are a number of ways to deal with this. One is to clamp the blade with the left side (fixed jaw) vertical and the right side jaw splayed out to match the right side of the blade. Then set your angles to account for the difference. Add half the angle to the right side and subtract half the angle from the left side. The simplest solution (and used by almost everyone) is to pad the sides of the blade with tape or chamois and clamp it as close to vertical as you can. No big deal. That said, I use my Gen 3 and Gen 3 Pro rigs (I have three rigs on three bases) almost exclusively now and only switch back to the old one for older attachments that don’t work on the new vises. The Gen 3 vises are so effective, they turn the clamping issue into a no-brainer. The price you pay is a little less flexibility -needing a second set of jaws for thicker blades. If I had to pick a feature in deciding between systems today, it would be to choose one with the micro-adjust feature. The Gen 3 vise is just the cherry on top, but I’d have to decide if the vise upgrade and two-inch longer rods are worth the $174 extra cost over the WE120. A little background info: I am a hobbyist who probably sharpens 100 to 200 knives per year. Eighty to ninety percent are kitchen knives. As an amateur, I accept no payment for sharpening and do so only for friends and relatives. I’m retired, moderately disabled and live a sedentary, care-taker lifestyle. Sharpening gives me satisfaction because it demands full-time focus and produces something none of my acquaintances can do. I also do some knife repair/restoration and a little knifemaking – again, only for my own satisfaction. If you can see knife sharpening as a hobby you’d like to take seriously, buy the best rig you can justify. If you don’t, you’ll probably wish you had. I don’t see it mentioned much, but the fact that the GO comes with a pair of 200/600 stones is a little inconvenient. If you want to upgrade your stone selection by adding 400 grit, you’d have to buy a pair of 400/600 stones. Or wait until the 200/600 stones wear out (two to three years?) before replacing them with 100/200’s and 400/600’s. Another argument for buying the WE120 or WE130.

    Wow, thanks for all the thoughts and advise.  I really want to b able to make the GO work but I think I’ll likely be frustrated with making adjustments on the kitchen knives.   I just know myself and it might drive me nuts knowing I could have gone with the 130 or F&S Pro and eliminated the issue.  I’m not really concerned as much with my Spydercos.  I have a Delica, Stretch and PM3 that have the full flat grinds but the rest of my Spydercos have flats.

    I’m hoping the WE will become like Freehand Sharpening for me.  I do it mainly for my own knives but I get a real sense of enjoyment and relaxation from the process.   I’ll never give up freehand sharpening but want it use freehand as more for quick maintenance and touch ups.

     

    Thanks again,

     

    Jim

    #46258

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 45
    • Replies: 1063

    Jim, If I understand you correctly, you may run into issues if you precisely profile a knife’s bevel angle with any of the WEPS then do touch ups on free-hand stones.  I don’t care how good a “free-hand sharpener” you may be, you’ll never not change the sharpening angle some from the precision of the “fixed-angle” sharpening device.  You’ll find your self removing and wasting steel as you move back and forth between the two different sharpening methods.  Even those people who do kitchen touch ups with a knife steel or ceramic rod see some bevel angle change when inspected under magnification. Even though it may be more of the nature of a “Micro-bevel” addition.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    Jim
    #46259

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 45
    • Replies: 1063

      I don’t see it mentioned much, but the fact that the GO comes with a pair of 200/600 stones is a little inconvenient. If you want to upgrade your stone selection by adding 400 grit, you’d have to buy a pair of 400/600 stones. Or wait until the 200/600 stones wear out (two to three years?) before replacing them with 100/200’s and 400/600’s. Another argument for buying the WE120 or WE130.

    I overlooked that aspect Tom, your so right on about the included stones and grit progression.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    Jim
    #46260

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 498

    I think Tom has it right; If you just want a sharp knife to use then the WE50 (GO) is a great rig and will accomplish that job. It will take a bit of extra work to clamp knives, especially the flat ground varieties, and making small angle adjustments will be comparably more difficult, but this is still a very versatile sharpening tool that can achieve very good results with additional stones and strops.

    If you’re they type of person who is sharpening for the enjoyment of it all or someone who is chasing that ever elusive sharpest edge yet, then you should invest in the WE130 or similar setup. Based on what you’ve stated, I think you’d be happier with the higher end system. That said, if you plan to touch up all of your blades freehand anyway, the WE GO may be the more practical choice. The extra ease of clamping the knife and the ability to make fine adjustments in the angles really come in most handy when you’re re-sharpening / touching up a knife that has already been sharpened on the WE. If you’re not going to be doing that very often, then it would be hard to justify the extra expense of the higher end setup.

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    #46261

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    Jim, If I understand you correctly, you may run into issues if you precisely profile a knife’s bevel angle with any of the WEPS then do touch ups on free-hand stones. I don’t care how good a “free-hand sharpener” you may be, you’ll never not change the sharpening angle some from the precision of the “fixed-angle” sharpening device. You’ll find your self removing and wasting steel as you move back and forth between the two different sharpening methods. Even those people who do kitchen touch ups with a knife steel or ceramic rod see some bevel angle change when inspected under magnification. Even though it may be more of the nature of a “Micro-bevel” addition.

    Correct,  I understand I will never be able keep the exact angle set by the WE when free handing but I can hit it pretty close. At least close enough the keep the knife sharp as it’s gets used.  My plan would be to go back to the WE from time to time.   But, the removing and wasting steel is a good point.  It might end up that I just stick with the WE for my kitchen knives once I get accustomed to it and getting good results.  For my fixed blades,  I will stick with free hand sharpening.  There is just something about running a big fixed blade across a stone.

    I just like sharpening.  In my response to Tom above,  it’s relaxing to me.  Kinda of “Zen-Like”.  Not to sound too cheesy.   I just like trying different stones and I think trying and learning a “quality” guided system like the WE will just add to my enjoyment.  It’s another skill to learn.

    Thanks for the thoughts and advise.    It’s much appreciated.

     

    #46262

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    I don’t see it mentioned much, but the fact that the GO comes with a pair of 200/600 stones is a little inconvenient. If you want to upgrade your stone selection by adding 400 grit, you’d have to buy a pair of 400/600 stones. Or wait until the 200/600 stones wear out (two to three years?) before replacing them with 100/200’s and 400/600’s. Another argument for buying the WE120 or WE130.

    I overlooked that aspect Tom, your so right on about the included stones and grit progression.

    I don’t think it would be an issue for me on the GO.   I would use the 200/600 and then move onto the 800/1000 and up.

    Right now on my Shapton Glass Stones,  I typically start at 500 on maintained knives followed by a 2000 and then 6000.   I don’t think I would ever really need the 400 on the GO if I already had the 200/600.   The jump from 200 to 600 is not that big, IMO.

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    #46263

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    I think Tom has it right; If you just want a sharp knife to use then the WE50 (GO) is a great rig and will accomplish that job. It will take a bit of extra work to clamp knives, especially the flat ground varieties, and making small angle adjustments will be comparably more difficult, but this is still a very versatile sharpening tool that can achieve very good results with additional stones and strops. If you’re they type of person who is sharpening for the enjoyment of it all or someone who is chasing that ever elusive sharpest edge yet, then you should invest in the WE130 or similar setup. Based on what you’ve stated, I think you’d be happier with the higher end system. That said, if you plan to touch up all of your blades freehand anyway, the WE GO may be the more practical choice. The extra ease of clamping the knife and the ability to make fine adjustments in the angles really come in most handy when you’re re-sharpening / touching up a knife that has already been sharpened on the WE. If you’re not going to be doing that very often, then it would be hard to justify the extra expense of the higher end setup.

    Hey Organic,

    Thanks for the response and thoughts.    I am a person who just enjoys the process of sharpening while at the same time it’s being a necessity.   I have never chased the ultimate sharp edge and have never really wanted of needed a polished bevel.  Although it could be fund to achieve?    I mainly just want a good sharp working edge.  I don’t have to be able to whittle hair but I can get a blade to that point by free hand.   In terms of justifying the expense of the WE 130,  I don’t mind spending a little more to get some better usability, convenience and precision.  Although I will need to probably sell a couple knives to fund the 130.  That’s easy though.  I have plenty.  I made a deal with myself early this year that I would not spend any “new” money on knives and sharpening. If I want something new, something needs be sold or traded to acquire it.   So far,  I’m sticking to it.  My wife thanks me!  🙂

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    #46264

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    One more question.  My folders are mainly 3 to 3.25 inch blades.  I like smaller knives for EDC.   They consists of all type of knives.  Benchmade, Spyderco, ZT, Chris Reeve,  Jarosz,  WE, Southern Grind, etc.

    Any issues with the GO of 130 clamps?   Wondering if a 3″‘ish blade would be an issue for either of these systems?

    And, thanks again for all the help thus far.  I’m very appreciative and hope to one day be able to contribute advise about the WE sharpeners here on this forum.

     

    #46265

    Mikedoh
    Moderator
    • Topics: 38
    • Replies: 548

    You may have issues depending on how accute an angle you like/want to sharpen at. There is a low angle adapter, but I don’t think it works with the newest vise.

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    Jim
    #46266

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 11

    You may have issues depending on how accute an angle you like/want to sharpen at. There is a low angle adapter, but I don’t think it works with the newest vise.

    Thanks for the info.   I generally don’t use super acute angles.  Usually 18 to 20 degrees per side.   Maybe 15 degrees on some thin blades.  Per the WE site,  looks like the low angle adapter works with all systems.   I guess I would potentially run into a problem whether it’s the 130 of the GO?   If it was a problem, either way, I’d need the adapter.   Hopefully, I won’t though.

    #46267

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 498

    3 inch folders are typically no problem as long as the blades aren’t narrow like on traditional slip joint folders. Take a look back through the forum and you will find hundreds of photos of EDC style folders that have been sharpened on the WE with great success.

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    Jim
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