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Interested…help narrowing it down please

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  • #42292
    jrk
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 6

    I’ve read a few posts about new users making decisions on what system to buy, so if I missed something out there that would answer my questions, I’d appreciate the heads up.

    I was close to buying a belt grinder, or maybe even a Ken Onion Work Sharp, but have been interested in this system for a while.

    I’m not a professional, nor do I have aspirations to make a living as a sharpener.  I do however want a system that I can confidently put an edge on my small collection of pocket and fixed blades that I and my family have.  I admit that I suck at stones, etc…so I don’t have much experience with sharpening.

    I want to know what system would best suit my needs to put a hair popping edge on my knives.  Knives I would be sharpening mostly would be several sebenzas, benchmades, spydercos…bark river and other smaller fixed blades, and last but not least would be a new set of nice kitchen knives.

    What would be the best model for the money that would allow me to do this without spending money on niceties that are needed by pros?  As the models become more expensive, are there any compelling reasons to move to these for the money based on what I want to do for the type of knives I want to sharpen?

    Thanks for the time and information/guidance.

     

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42293
    Pinkfloyd
    Participant
    • Topics: 22
    • Replies: 205

    JRK,
    Welcome to the forum!

    I started out with the same intentions, have upgraded 3 times now! I thought i would be satisfied with making just all my, my families knives sharp. But once i learned how to use the system i was looking for more and different knives to sharpen. Once you get very consistent scary sharp results you then think wow, how would a polished edge be? Then you purchase more stuff, then Clay goes and makes new adapters (Scissors, Chisel) to sharpen more things. Not saying this is how you will be, but be careful it could. I think quite a few on this forum will admit that once you get started it can be almost addictive searching for that Wicked Sharp edge.
    Others on here probably feel more comfortable than I suggesting which system to purchase.

    So my advice would be to purchase what you can afford, be prepared to purchase more when the bug bites you.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #42294
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2079

    JRK, Welcome to the forum! I started out with the same intentions, have upgraded 3 times now! So my advice would be to purchase what you can afford, be prepared to purchase more when the bug bites you.

    JRK this is so very true.  I’m included in this group.  I too started basic and have upgraded at least three times also.  I won’t fail to mention I’ve made many other purchases, (investments is a better term), in my hobby and have never regretted it a minute.  I’ve achieved everything you seek and more.

    The situation you face, to get the “hair-popping” edge, you seek, does require a progression of stones and good technique.  With the knives you suggested you want to sharpen I believe you want a WEPS Model that will allow you to match the factory angles or even improve on that.  This requires at least the WE120 with micro-adjustment capabilities.  But the WEPS WE130 with the new style vice and jaws, eliminates the shortcomings of the older WE120 model and has enhancements and improvements that improve it’s knife clamping capabilities and remove all the downsides of the older style clamping system making using the WEPS much easier and much quicker.

    So now like I quoted you, buy only what you want to spend now, go through the learning curve, deal with the limitations of older less refined models and learn how we learned, through using it and reading on the Forum how upgrades will simplify and enhance your experience.  If you like the WEPS and see it’s results and realize it’s improvable potential, be prepared to upgrade and make additional investments in the WEPS device.  Or…purchase a WEPS model to start that is the latest version, the most improved model, already with the upgrades included standard, that’s the easiest to use and most versatile model, now, and save yourself some time and effort.

    The stones you’ll need to get hair-popping sharpened knives, will cost you more, purchased individually, then purchasing them as a package.  You’ll find that to get the edges you described you want, and to make them polished so they’re both scary sharp and showing-off, mirror polished, will require even more then the basic set-up.  Now if I haven’t scared you or put you off and you’re still interested in hair popping sharp knives, skip the long drawn out process of starting small and upgrading over time, till you have everything you really need and purchase it right from the start.  I would suggest the Pro Pack III.  It contains everything you’ll need, ready to set-up and use immediately and contains all the necessities to achieve what you want.  But be warned and be prepared, if you get bit buy the bug, (like Pinkfloyd said, like I have and so many others of us), this search for the ever sharper, better looking edge, you’ll still be looking to make other purchases to enhance your abilities, in the future!

    I should qualify something…when I started with the first WEPS several years ago there weren’t the upgrades available, just the WE100 and the WE120.  I have used it and upgraded as WE designed and offered these upgrades, jumping on them as soon as they became available and waited with baited breath for the next one that was in-the-works.  I have acquired and use all the upgrades, that now, I have the equivalent of the Pro Pack III.  Only I acquired it in bits and pieces along the way.  If I had a chance to do it all over again, today, knowing what I know now, I’d pull the trigger on the 2017 Pro Pack III and would have saved myself the long hard lesson and added expense from buying everything separately.

    After all that said and done, I can’t wait to see what’s next to come down the pike!

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #42312
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2079

    Let me add, JRK, you may be able to order a Pro Pack III, delete the case and substitute a paper wood base for the granite base, or delete the base and make one yourself, saving maybe a couple hundred $$.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #42314
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    I’ll add my $0.02 to this thread. If you’re looking to sharpen Sabenzas, I’m guessing that you’re probably going to be concerned with how the finished edge looks as much as you are with how the knife cuts. For that reason, I would suggest that you avoid the belt sharpening systems. They will definitely get your blades sharp and they require very little time, but that’s a double edged sword. It only takes a second or two of carelessness to round off the tip on your $400 dollar knife or add an undesired recurve to the blade profile when using a powered tool. Because the WEPS is a manual sharpening solution, it gives you much more control and it takes a lot more carelessness to ruin a knife.

    Like MarcH said, if you want to match the factory bevels exactly, then you’re going to want at leas the WE120 because it comes with the micro adjustable arms. The new self-centering vice is really nice and makes the clamping process much easier especially on knives like Spyderco were the bade is nearly a fully flat ground design. The WE120 will also work on these knives, it just takes more attention to detail to get the best results.

    As far as stones, I think you’re going to want at minimum the 100 through the 1000 grit diamonds and a set of strops to get hair popping edges. You can get by with 100-600 with strops, but the 1000 will pop hairs a lot easier.

    It is a better value to go with a pro pack, but I fully understand it’s hard to part with that much cash in one go.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    #42326
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 36
    • Replies: 1925

    I’ve been sharpening knives for a whole lot of years and only for the last six or so have I been using the WEPS.  I’ve learned so much about sharpening on this forum, it’s unbelievable.  Every one of us is dealing with our own progression in learning how to reach the pinnacle of sharpness.  I’ve only recently come to the conclusion that there are three major factors that are key to the problem:

    • How sharp an edge is, is not a function of the polish on the bevel – it’s the polish on the apex.  Every stone grit leaves its own set of defects in the edge at the apex.  You need to polish them out entirely with the next grit stone and the same for the stone after that, and the stone after that, etc.
    • Before you can judge accurately whether you are actually working that apex and have eliminated the defects from the previous stone, you need to be able to see those defects.  A magnifying device, whether loupe, USB micro-scope or other magnifier is crucial to meeting this need.  Personally, I think the USB ‘scope is far superior to a loupe.
    • Lower bevel angles will cut more easily than higher angles.  I recently sharpened a Japanese knife I believe was factory-sharpened to 6 dps (12 degrees inclusive)  I could only get down to 8 dps with my WEPS, but the result was really scary sharp.  I have scalpels which are not as sharp.

    How your sharp edge performs is often greatly effected by the thickness of the blade at the shoulders of the bevels.  A knife ground so as to be only 0.010″ thick at the shoulders will perform hugely better (in terms of sharpness) than one which is ground to 0.030″

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #42327
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 36
    • Replies: 1925

    Attempt to enter comment number 3:

     

    I’ve been sharpening knives for a whole lot of years and only for the last six or so have I been using the WEPS.  I’ve learned so much about sharpening on this forum, it’s unbelievable.  Every one of us is dealing with our own progression in learning how to reach the pinnacle of sharpness.  I’ve only recently come to the conclusion that there are three major factors that are key to the problem:

    • How sharp an edge is, is not a function of the polish on the bevel – it’s the polish on the apex.  Every stone grit leaves its own set of defects in the edge at the apex.  You need to polish them out entirely with the next grit stone and the same for the stone after that, and the stone after that, etc.
    • Before you can judge accurately whether you are actually working that apex and have eliminated the defects from the previous stone, you need to be able to see those defects.  A magnifying device, whether loupe, USB micro-scope or other magnifier is crucial to meeting this need.  Personally, I think the USB ‘scope is far superior to a loupe.
    • Lower bevel angles will cut more easily than higher angles.  I recently sharpened a Japanese knife I believe was factory-sharpened to 6 dps (12 degrees inclusive)  I could only get down to 8 dps with my WEPS, but the result was really scary sharp.  I have scalpels which are not as sharp.

    How your sharp edge performs is often greatly effected by the thickness of the blade at the shoulders of the bevels.  A knife ground so as to be only 0.010″ thick at the shoulders will perform hugely better (in terms of sharpness) than one which is ground to 0.030″

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #42329
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Welcome to the forum, JRK!

    More than once I seem to agree with Organic and Marc.

    I want to know what system would best suit my needs to put a hair popping edge on my knives.  Knives I would be sharpening mostly would be several sebenzas, benchmades, spydercos…bark river and other smaller fixed blades, and last but not least would be a new set of nice kitchen knives.

    If you want the system that best suits these needs, particularly for such knives, undoubtedly that’s the WEPS. It gives you much more control than, e.g., a belt grinder, and the quality of your edges will be better with some practice. And if you want them to look great (even, but maybe also mirror-like) they will with the WEPS. It may take you a little more time than with a belt grinder, but then again, sharpening with the WEPS is usually faster than with other guided angle systems.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42333
    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 122
    • Replies: 2926

    Attempt to enter comment number 3:

    Tom – are you having trouble w/ the forum?

    -Clay

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42335
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 36
    • Replies: 1925

    Attempt to enter comment number 3:

    Tom – are you having trouble w/ the forum?

    Yup:  I submitted a comment and as soon as it posted, I saw a spelling error and selected “edit.”  I made the change, but when I re-submitted it, it was rejected as a duplicate of a previous comment – which was gone.

    I tried to reopen the thread in a new tab and when I submitted it, I was again rejected for the same reason, although the original comment was gone.

    Finally (attempt number 3) I added the opening sentence to make the comment appear to be new.  Voila! It worked.

    This was not not the first time I’ve had this happen – it was probably the third or fourth.  It seems only to happen if you do an edit immediately after the first posting.  It has caused me to copy each post to a blank Word document before submitting so as to not lose the text – or more correctly – the train of thought.  If you’ve composed a really long comment (as some of us are wont to do), only to have it waft off into the ether, never to be seen again, it can be frustrating.

    Thanks for noting the frustration, Clay.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42340
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2079

    I have  experienced similar disappearances.  I too employ a “word” document to write the post for exactly Tom’s stated reasons; doesn’t get lost and don’t lose train of thought.  Also it’s easier to edit, cut and paste, etc. in “word”.  Like Tom, when I have it how I want it I copy and paste to Form Post.

    Thanks, Tom

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #42359
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    This is weird…

    I’ve never experienced the problems Tom and Marc wrote about. So I tried to replicate what Tom wrote. I posted a message (which I deleted later, so you cannot see it anymore) which I then re-posted without changing it. (I.e., I posted a message, pressed “Edit”, didn’t change anything and pressed “Submit” again.) This went fine; I didn’t get an error message.

    But… when I scrolled through the entire topic again, I suddenly saw a message by Tom just before his “3rd attempt” message, which I hadn’t seen before. This message was almost identical to his “3rd attempt” message. And I am pretty sure other people hadn’t seen it either, because nobody had said “Thanks” to it, whereas 4 people had said “Thanks” to the messages just before and after the new message. And another weird thing… the new message has a pink background. I made a screenshot to record what it looks like on my screen, just in case it changes again.

    Tom

    You can click on the picture to enlarge it.

    I have a technical background and know a bit about IT, but this is beyond my understanding… I’ll send a PM to Chris to see whether he has a clue what’s going on.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    Attachments:
    #42361
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Added: things get weirder. I didn’t send a PM to Chris, because more odd things happen when I try to do so. When I click on the private messages link, I get a message I am logged out and I have to log in again (even though I am logged in). So I log in again, but then my browser goes to the forum start page and not the private messages page. And when I click the private messages link again, the site says I am logged out… again.

    The end result is I cannot send (or read) any private messages right now. Luckily I have Chris’ email address, so I sent him an email.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #42362
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    My final say on this for now. I am glad I made a screenshot, because the message by Tom I could suddenly see (with the pink background) seems to be gone again (after I posted my previous message).

    Sorry JRK we’re hijacking your topic. This is not the strictest forum there is, in the sense that we’re pretty relaxed with rules about staying on-topic. But this is not our normal behavior… If you have anything to add to your original post or any more questions, please don’t hesitate to post them.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #42363
    jrk
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 6

    Thank you for all of the input. Hope the issues with the forum get worked out.

    Wanted to ask a few more questions.

    I’ve heard complaints about angle readings differing from one side of the mounted blade to the other. And due to this, the bevels not coming out symmetrical.  This may be due to vice limitations, etc.

    I’ve also heard that the angle, and thus the produced bevel, changes as the sharpening takes place.  Angle produces in center of arm rotation is as initially set, but as the arm travels for and aft, the angles become shallower, or stealer, thus producing a different edge.

     

    Wanted to throw this out there to see If above has merit. I don’t want to spend money for the Field And Sport Pro without feeling good about it.

     

    Thanks again,

    Randy

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