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Inquiry: WE130 Pro-Pack III Version 17 vs 18?

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  • #57021
    -Kiku-
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Hi.  Not sure if this is the appropriate thread to post this question, but it appears there are different versions of Pro-Pack III for WE130 on Ebay.

    SKU/MPN: WE130PR3-17 vs. WE130PR3-18

    What exactly is the difference(s) between the two versions other than the obvious price difference?  Were there any design changes or improvements going from version 17 to 18?

    I’m in the market for WE130 Pro-Pack III and I’d like to know more about the product before I make the purchase.   Thanks.

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by -Kiku-.
    #57023
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2469

    this question, but it appears there are different versions of Pro-Pack III for WE130 on Ebay. SKU/MPN: WE130PR3-17 vs. WE130PR3-18 What exactly is the difference(s) between the two versions other than the obvious price difference? Were there any design changes or improvements going from version 17 to 18? I’m in the market for WE130 Pro-Pack III and I’d like to know more about the product before I make the purchase. Thanks.

    -Kiku-

    Based on my experiences with W.E. brand products, W.E. does not delineate “versions” for their various models.  There are indeed differences that may been seen by experienced users.  Some of these difference may be with internal parts though and not determined without disassembling.

    I’m suspecting your issue is an eBay sellers nomenclature.  I believeI located the eBay item and I cannot determine from the photo if the micro-adjuster locking mechanism is the most recent or if the internal cam mechanism is the most recent.

    it appears to have a price savings compared with the W.E. site by including the hard case at this price asked

    I’m all for saving a buck but if ever your in doubt W.E. only sells the most recent models with their most recent parts and/or internal upgrades.  Even their licensed dealers may possibly still have older stock.  Although some higher volume selling dealers turn them quickly.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by MarcH.
    #57025
    -Kiku-
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Hi, Marc.  Thanks for the response.

    I learned about the different versions from the websites of several authorized dealers.  Digging further, I found out that the numbers (i.e. 17 vs 18) refer to the year of the model.  So “WE130PR3-17” was made in 2017, and “WE130PR3-18” in 2018.  As to what those changes were, that’s a complete mystery to me.  The official Wicked Edge website has no mention of recent updates to the upgrades.

    Unless somebody here who knows the difference can educate me on the difference between the two models, the only way for me to get more info is to contact the Wicked Edge themselves next week.  But based on what you mentioned, it appears locking/cam mechanisms underwent a change in 2018, and there’s hasn’t been an update since.

    #57026
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2469

    Hi, Marc. Thanks for the response. I learned about the different versions from the websites of several authorized dealers. Digging further, I found out that the numbers (i.e. 17 vs 18) refer to the year of the model. So “WE130PR3-17” was made in 2017, and “WE130PR3-18” in 2018. As to what those changes were, that’s a complete mystery to me. The official Wicked Edge website has no mention of recent updates to the upgrades. Unless somebody here who knows the difference can educate me on the difference between the two models, the only way for me to get more info is to contact the Wicked Edge themselves next week. But based on what you mentioned, it appears locking/cam mechanisms underwent a change in 2018, and there’s hasn’t been an update since.

    I don’t know where you believe I said this: “But based on what you mentioned, it appears locking/cam mechanisms underwent a change in 2018, and there’s hasn’t been an update since.” 

    Wicked Edge is constantly working to maintain and improve product function and efficiency.  Some is based on user feedback: suggestions as well as complaints.  This is in no way to say they’re always making changes and upgrades because of issues.  Just that they are looking and working towards future products, improvements and innovations.  (This I discussed and confirmed with Clay, via email, not to long ago).

    Like I wrote in my response above: “Based on my experiences with W.E. brand products, W.E. does not delineate “versions” for their various models.  There are indeed differences that may been seen by experienced users.  Some of these difference may be with internal parts though and not determined without disassembling.”  

    That said I can say there have been subtle changes/upgrades to improve functionality in both the micro-angle adjusters and locking mechanisms and internal cam assembly parts for the WE130 model.  I cannot state or remember exactly when these more recent upgrades I’m thinking of took place.  But I can say I believe it was well after 2017 and 2018. Those version dates seem a lifetime ago.  There were the clearly recognizable design changes right about 2017-2018.   I can’t say I’d count on the photo being the exact model you’re looking to buy.  It may simple be a photo representation?  The descriptions the seller uses looks like a copy and paste for all PP3’s.

    If indeed the models they’re offering are V2017/V2018 these will not have the most recent upgraded parts to the micro-angle adjusters and locking mechanism or the internal cam assembly parts.  The models I own and use are actually from those date ranges V17/V18.

    I will say every model/version I ever purchased from W.E. worked well and functioned as claimed and expected. I have customized, modified, accessorized and personalized all my five sharpeners.  Most of the V17/V18 parts you’re questioning I have upgraded, and/or long ago replaced.

    W.E. is always selling through their inventory and waiting for model replenishments.  Based on this observation it’s safe to say the model(s)  they have available are the most recent or current version(s) being made.

    I’m sorry I can’t help you with the unknowns you face here and the financial decision you need to weigh.

    Caveat emptor (always… without any intended or specific implications towards this seller).

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    #57027
    -Kiku-
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Based on my experiences with W.E. brand products, W.E. does not delineate “versions” for their various models. There are indeed differences that may been seen by experienced users. Some of these difference may be with internal parts though and not determined without disassembling.” That said I can say there have been subtle changes/upgrades to improve functionality in both the micro-angle adjusters and locking mechanisms and internal cam assembly parts for the WE130 model. I cannot state or remember exactly when, these more recent upgrades I’m thinking of took place. But I can say it was well after 2017 and 2018. Those version dates seem a lifetime ago. There were the clearly recognizable design changes right about 2017-2018.

    …If indeed the models they’re offering are V2017/V2018 these will not have the most recent upgraded parts to the micro-angle adjusters and locking mechanism or the internal cam assembly parts.

    Thank you for the info, Marc.  That answers most of my questions.

    Contrary to what numerous YouTubers and various knife enthusiasts will have one believe, I think knife-sharpening requires considerable investment in time and commitment to be truly good at it.  I believe that’s true of any art in general.  And I’m one of those people who enjoys sharp knives without wanting to invest in the time and energy necessary to be an expert in sharpening knives.

    Mostly as a culinary enthusiast, the knives I own vary in price, from $80 Tojiro to custom-made $800 ZDP189 Kiritsuke.  I also own some hobby knives made of Bohler M390.  Because most of the knives in my collection are made of high-end exotic materials, I really want to take the guesswork out of sharpening them (maintaining a constant bevel angle, for instance) if and when I choose to sharpen them myself.  Until now, I’ve been sending out my knives to a professional sharpener to have them serviced on traditional whetstones.  But that comes with the usual inconvenience of shipping them out and a turnaround time of about 3 weeks until I get my knives back.  I want that to change, and that’s why I am currently in the market for a nice sharpening system.

    In my opinion, I don’t think owning a sharpening system such as WE130 will automatically enable a person to churn out sharpened knives like a ‘pro’.  I suspect some knowledge and skills are still required, especially when dealing with materials such as M390 and ZDP189.  And it is in this regard that I would like to learn which of the three Pro-Packs would be best suited for me.

    #57028
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2469

    IMO based on sharpening many different style chef’s knives made of many different steel types including ZDP189, the WE130 model will do the job. It takes some time, maybe a long time, and lots of practice to get the hang of the WE130, or any of the other models, for that matter.

    I like my WE setups and they work well for me.  I do have a lot of time and effort invested in learning to use these well to excell in my knife sharpening pastime using the W.E.

    I do think though, there are many sharpening methods when in the right experienced hands can yield equally well applied “pro” edges like you seek.  The W.E. is the method I was able to learn to use well to achieve the results I am happy with. That I believe are on par with a professionally sharpened knife. The W.E. can be used to apply highly precise and accurately measured knife edges that are extremely sharp with well polished beveled.  That is, once you learn and develop your methodology utilizing the time and effort, attention to detail, and consistent repetitive technique necesary to operate it at this level.  I also know, the W.E. can produce an equally sharp knife edge with maybe less precision and less shine with less perfect angles and polish by those who are not quite interested to commit to your needs and demands.

    The Pro Pack is a bundled purchase including an array of sharpening accessories you may or may not need or use.  All of these accessories have their place and their purpose.  The sharpening mediums included, provided and available from Wicked Edge are excellent when used appropriately.  But they may not be compatible with all different types of steels you may want or need to sharpen.  The bundle does provide some cost savings advantage over buying all the accessories individually.

    There are many accessories included in this PP3 that I do have but find I seldom use. I have used everything at one time or another but really mostly to gain the user’s experience with each of these.  To figure out how, why and when they’re used best.  Everything included in the PP3 does not necessarily need to be used all together, everytime to achieve your desired perfect results.  For many of my knives I prefer to use whetstones over the included diamond stone medium.  I’d say for my knife collection whetstones are a necessity. With Whetstones I’m able to sharpen my harder, more brittle, special or exotic steels, including ZDP189 with results I seek and the ability to accomplish it when this sharpening experience is gained.  I found I was not able to use my diamond stones for sharpening these knives and steels.

    Consider your buying options…your necessities and less necessary item’s included.   It may be better to pick and choose those extra item you want or need right now beyond what’s included with the less well accessorized standard WE130 setup.  I prefer the larger heavier Granite base but the smaller, lighter, less expensive aluminum base may truthfully fit your needs and work space area better for just the same function or purpose. I never made use of my hardcase.  I work from home and don’t need to pack it all up to put it away or for travel.  I sold my case to gain back the closet space. Items included with the PP3 really may be seldom used. Especially in the beginning during the break-in and learning stages. Think it through.

    Of the three choices you present, the Pro Pack 3 with the WE130 is my choice.  Though,  the WE130 setup is my preference.  It has the level of variability, adjustability and user control I prefer to work with.  The WE130 allows the aspects of knife sharpening I do most, to be done more easily, with less difficulty and done well. Now that I believe I have mastered it’s operation. I enjoy sharpening knives with the WE systems.

    Bottom line is, wants and needs…you’ll also probably want a better angle cube, a USB Microscope, and, and….it goes on and on…

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    #57029
    -Kiku-
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Thank you for the advice and great suggestion.  I forgot about the USB microscope…

    I did a cost analysis to help me sort through what I need/want, and also to give me a reference for comparison to WE130 Pro-Pack III.  Here’s what I found.

    WE130 Basic Sharpener + aluminum base ($734) comes with:

    • 100/200 Grit Diamond Stones Pack ($80 value)
    • 400/600 Grit Diamond Stones Pack ($80 value)

    In addition, I –NEED– the following (subtotal $255.50):

    • Low Angle Adapter ($75)
    • Generation-3 Jaws for 1/4″ Thick Blades ($82.50)
    • Depth Key ($3)
    • 800/1000 Grit Diamond Stones Pack ($95) – To help me transition to the lowest grit ceramic stones

    And I –WANT– the following accessories (subtotal $586):

    • Super Fine 1200/1600 Grit Ceramic Stones Pack ($99)
    • 4/2 Micron Diamond Emulsion and Leather Strops Pack ($66)
    • 1/0.5 Micron Diamond Emulsion and Leather Strops Pack ($66)
    • Hard Carrying Case ($355) – Geez…pricey much?

    And two items I haven’t figured out yet (subtotal $11.50):

    • Advanced Alignment Guide ($9) – Does this thing even work well?  What’s the material?  Plexiglass?  Polycarbonate?  Borosilicate?
    • Vise Key ($2.50) – What does this thing do?  A mystery …

    Total Cost (w/o AAG, VK):  $734 + $255.50 + $586 = $1575.50

    The projected cost of a precision digital angle measure + high-quality USB microscope:  $150 (approx)

    Big investment.  I wonder if Wicked Edge offers any seasonal discounts?

     

    P.S.  I noticed that Wicked Edge doesn’t have 400/600 grit ceramic stones (the flat ones) included in the basic WE130 system.  Is it too much of a jump to go from 400/600 Grit Diamond Stones to directly Super Fine 1200/1600 Grit Ceramic Stones?  If I can, that’s $95 less I need to spend.

    P.P.S.  What kind of leather do these strops use?  Want to know if I can strop on these without using any stropping compounds.  Some type of leather are supposedly naturally high in silicates…

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by -Kiku-.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by -Kiku-.
    #57032
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2469

    -Kiku-

    Did you compare the prices of this individual breakdown vs the better equipped pretty much all inclusive PP3, item by item (and with anything extra, you still want?)

    Questions to consider: do you need the case right now?  Anything else you maybe don’t really need right now?

    I read above, “I want, I want, I want”   How do you really know what you want?  I realize the opportune words are “I want”.   Want and need may be very different.   I was like at the start, with my own big want lists.  Now with a few more years of pratical W.E. sharpening experiences under my belt I can look at it differently.   Honestly, there’s things on your list that I have, because just like you I wanted them.   I almost never have used some of them.  And often when I did it was to force myself to try it once again because I bought it, I own it and I really felt quilty because I never use it.

    Repeating, I’m wondering now, based on knowing what I’ve learned, from my personal practical W.E. user’s experiences how can you really know what you want?  No disrespect, now I know, for me, and a lot of the “I wants” just sit there.

    My budget allowed me to just buy the PP and the additional “I want” sharpening items.  Some of them I do regret.  Used sharpening stones are not really desirable on the W.E. WTS market.

    Please understand I’m not trying to bust your chops or to keep you from buying a WE and WE products.  It’s really rhetorical questions I’m presenting to cause you to think it all thtough.  Exactly what I wish now, I had known to do back then.

    “I wants” and what you actually need now, to get started with on your journey, to learn what your doing, and how to do it may be far different then you realize.  If your thinking to buy items separately,  all these extras individually, as this thread’s conversation and line of discussion suggests it leads me to believe you are budget conscious.  Do you need all the “I wants” right now?  Can’t you just start with the “I really need  these now”? Then later add in the “now, I need these” things.  Then further down the toad after you’ve gained some user’s practical experiences you may add from the ” I now probably need this” list.  By that point, you’ll have freshly edited your “I want these” list.

    When you discuss things on your “I want this list” that W.E. doesn’t sell and never stocked, I have to wonder?? What leads you to think “I want that”?  I’m sorry to be so direct it might feel hurtful.

    Take your time before you pull the trigger. Think about the things you want and the reasons you need these vs the reasons you want these things and the purpose you actually know for certain that you need and will use them for.

    I’ve become more practical in “my wants”.  Now “my wants” that I do get, I actually know that I’ll make use of these for. How to use them and what I’ll need to use them for, also.  These wants won’t go unused.

    I’ll try to bow out of this discussion now to give you a break so others may share their practical user’s experiences.  I just can’t help trying to help prospective new users choose more effectively. To save them making my mistakes.

    Good luck -Kiku-

     

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #57033
    -Kiku-
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    @ MarcH,

    You’ve expressed your interest in my rationales behind the choices on my NEED/WANT list.  So here they are:

    From the –NEED– list:

    • Low Angle Adapter ($75) – All of my Japanese kitchen knives have secondary bevel angles of below 13°, beyond what the basic adapter can allow.
    • Generation-3 Jaws for 1/4″ Thick Blades ($82.50) – Some of my blades are 5mm thick, too thick for the standard mount.
    • Depth Key ($3) – Some of my blades, such as the cleaver, are quite tall.  So being able to mount them at a lower height will help.
    • 800/1000 Grit Diamond Stones Pack ($95) – To help me transition to the lowest grit ceramic stones.  Also a good stopping point for grinding M390.

    From the –WANT– list:

    • Even with the Generation-3 Powder Metallurgy technology, the typical size of vanadium carbides in Bohler M390 makes it difficult to give these blades a mirror-like finish.  So for M390 knives, something like 600/800 grit stones should be adequate for good sharp performance.  On the other hand, ZDP189 steel can attain mirror-finish much easier than M390 due to finer grain structures.
    • I intend to mirror-polish some of my high-end knives.  And doing so would require sub-micron stropping compound.  This is the reason behind 1/0.5 µm strops and the prerequisites for it (4/2 µm strops, Super Fine 1200/1600 Ceramic Stones Pack).  This also means I have no need for higher grit diamond plates that comes with Pro-Pack III.
    • My other knives are made of R2 stainless steel and such.  For these, I expect 1200/1600 grit ceramic stones should be more than enough.
    • I prefer to strop than to use lapping films.  So I have no need for the 3 µm lapping film + compounds that comes with the Pro-Pack III.
    • As for the Hard Carrying Case, my kitchen is really cluttered.  While I can temporarily make room to set up the WE130 sharpener, once I am done, I need to pack and stow them away.  Unless the basic WE130 unit comes with a bag or an encasing shell, I’ll need a proper storage container for the sharpener and all its accessories.

    Believe it or not, my configuration comes out to be at least a hundred dollars cheaper than the WE130PR3 option.  It has just about everything that I seemingly could need/want, and nothing that I don’t (higher grit diamond plates and lapping films).

    If any of the accessories on my need/want list are what you perceive to be based on misconceptions, please feel free to correct me.  I always welcome criticisms and advice, especially if they end up saving me some $$$.

    I was also hoping others could provide me with some valuable feedback with their user experience of Wicked Edge leather strops and Adv. Alignment Guide, but nobody has done that yet.

    #57034
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    Yes, the AAG works pretty good but I’m not sure what it’s made of. I take photos of my knives locations on the AAG so I don’t have to try to write them down.

    I bought my PP3 with rolling carry case and aluminum base last year, and if I remember right, I saved about $75 from not buying everything separately. But that was last year. Since then I have added longer guide rods, more stones, Chisel Attachment and Scissors attachment, and other stuff. I don’t regret anything that I have bought from WE, everything is top quality! Even if I don’t use something very often, it sure is nice to have when I need it. And I reprofiled/sharpened a big old cold chisel and a pair of scissors yesterday. And I love the lapping films.

    I don’t travel much so I bought the big rolling case to mainly keep everything stored together in one place also like you plan to use yours. But if I ever do travel, it is ready to roll. In the meantime, I can keep my WE stuff safe and secure in one place inside the case when I’m not using them, except for the stones and lapping/strop handles. They stay in the beautiful Rack-It that Marc made for me.

     

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    #57038
    -Kiku-
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 9

    Yes, the AAG works pretty good but I’m not sure what it’s made of.

    In your photo, it looks like a sheet of plexiglass.

     

    I bought my PP3 with rolling carry case and aluminum base last year, and if I remember right, I saved about $75 from not buying everything separately.

    I considered the savings from buying the Pro-Pack III but decided against it for a couple of reasons:

    • I don’t need/want about half of the stuff that comes in Pro-Pack III,
    • I can save more $$$ by paying a little more and then take the 15% discount on every individual item (I know a military vet who owes me several favors).  Besides, the 15% savings doesn’t apply towards Pro-Pack III (Wicked Edge policy).

    Robert, did you get the Vise Key?  I am wondering what it’s for exactly…

    #57039
    000Robert
    Participant
    • Topics: 6
    • Replies: 280

    Yes, the AAG works pretty good but I’m not sure what it’s made of.

    In your photo, it looks like a sheet of plexiglass.

    I bought my PP3 with rolling carry case and aluminum base last year, and if I remember right, I saved about $75 from not buying everything separately.

    I considered the savings from buying the Pro-Pack III but decided against it for a couple of reasons:

    • I don’t need/want about half of the stuff that comes in Pro-Pack III,
    • I can save more $$$ by paying a little more and then take the 15% discount on every individual item (I know a military vet who owes me several favors). Besides, the 15% savings doesn’t apply towards Pro-Pack III (Wicked Edge policy).

    Robert, did you get the Vise Key? I am wondering what it’s for exactly…

    Oh yeah, the vise key is for the WE100, 120, and 130 vises, adjusting the guide rods on the factory angle guides, and screws in the attachments. It has a 5/32″ and 1/8″ Allen head end. It’s just a handy key that fits in its slot in the WE130. I like it, plus it helps to prevent overtightening the screws. Most of the screws, especially for the attachments, don’t need to be real tight.

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