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Talk me into a 130

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  • #54940
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    Hi guys first post here. After much research I have decided that the WE is the right platform for me. I will be sharpening only a handful of knives a year. I assume once I get good I will do this for my friends too. I am an engineer and have the skillset to properly setup a device if it has the capability to be set properly. I am not in too much of a hurry.

    Can someone talk me into buying the 130 if I think the 120 will suit me just fine? There is a steep price increase between the two kits. I plan to buy the basic kit at first and add on the 800 / 1000 and the 4 / 2 micron strop set immediately. I will have a dedicated spot to sharpen on my reloading bench. I do not have much experience sharpening. I have a Worksharp Ken Onion and the Spyderco set in my SHTF kit. I want to have the ability to sharpen a perfect edge and with practice and I feel the WE will give me the best opportunity to do so.


    Knives include western kitchen knives but I want to eventually get Eastern knives. I have a bunch of folders and a few fixed blades under 10″.


    Can someone recommend some “cheap” knives where I can gain experience and break my stones in? I don’t have any junkers laying around, and by sharpening thus far with the Workshop, I am sure I have my work cut out for me getting rid of that convex edge. Luckily I haven’t sharpened any of my good knives yet like my Chris Reeves.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by MIKE.
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    I did that same thing.. by the time I was done, spent more than the 130 and still needed the upgraded vice.. got one from a friend that was an original gen 3.  If you think you can do the 120 and plan to add to it, go for the 130 and be done.


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    The main advantage of the WE130 is the upgraded Gen 3 split clamp. After struggling with a Lansky system its advantages are plain to see on a distal tapered blade geometry.

    I deliberated for quite a while before committing to a WEPS system. After scrutinizing all of the accessories available after buying a WE130 kit, I thought it prudent to go for broke for a Pro-Pack III. I’m glad I did.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Wayne.
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    I also decided to just buy the Pro Pack III and get it over with because I knew I would eventually end up with one anyway. May as well save a little money up front, and cry once as they say.

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    Welcome to the W.E. Forum MIKE.  The quality and the precision of the WE systems are what you’d expect to see, as an engineer, for a mechanical tooling device of this price point.  They are a well thought out, well engineered and well built, quality tools.

    You are correct the WE120 will sharpen a knife just as well as the WE130 will, once you learn how to use it.  The micro-angle guide rod adjusters are exactly the same on both models.  The difference is the ease in ability to clamp a knife self centered and true in the WE130’s Gen 3 Vise system, vs the manual standard vise system in the WE120 model.  It would seem that the two vises are not that much difference whereas in reality it makes a vast difference in the ease of user’s ability to clamp and sharpen a knife well, quickly, and repeatedly.

    With the WE120 much of your time and effort is spent adjusting and positioning the knife in the vise.  Then corrections need to be determined and made to offset the normal left-ward blade lean associated with the standard vise setup of the WE120.  It isn’t hard to do this once you get it down.  It’s just one more aspect to workaround and to keep track of.  It’s tedious.  The WE130, though more expensive, eliminates the blade lean of the standard vise WE120 setup.   With it’s single lever, cam action, floating, self centering jaws, with their tension adjuster, repeated precise positioning and clamping of your knife is quick and simple without any corrections or workarounds.  The price difference is worth every penny.  (Especially when you write you’re seeking the “perfect” edge).

    To be clear, there are circumstances when the WE120 with the standard vise setup is needed.  This is when sharpening a very thick bladed knife.  One thicker than 1/4″, or something like a hatchet.  These are the exceptions and not the norm for most users.  If you are an outdoorsman and you’ll need to sharpen these types of implements, the WE120 along with the Gen 3 upgrade vise is the best way for you to go.  Then you’ll own both clamping system vises and have the best of both worlds.  You can easily swap the vise out to fit your needs at the time.

    Normally what we see here on this forum is a guy has the same original thoughts and opinion position as you do.  Then shortly after buying the less expensive, limited set-up, they find they’re desiring to become more involved in this knife sharpening hobby.  Like “airscapes”, myself and many many others of us before you, you’ll find yourself buying more and more accessories and upgrading.  Eventually you’ll end up in the same place where you should have just bought it in the first place, like “airscapes” writes above.

    Your local thrift stores often sell old used kitchen knives for just a few bucks.  I offered to sharpen my neighbor’s knives once I got the basics down.  Realize it’ll take about 10 knives worth of sharpening to get your sharpening stones just broken in and to figure out the basics of sharpening and to begin to see decent results.  The sharpening stones and your results will both improve with more use.  For inexpensive knives to practice with:  here’s a Forum post on that subject.  The downside of practicing on a sharp knife is you don’t get the opportunity to learn while repairing and correcting damage to knife edge steel.


    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    Thank you for your thoughts. I guess I will be holding off a month and going straight to the 130. I do have some Gransfors Bruks hatchets but I don’t need to shave with them so I think the 130 should meet all my needs. Thanks for talking me into it. I figured I would go this route. I just needed a little incentive.

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    WE 130 is a bit steep in the beginning but the updated vise makes it worth while (IMHO). I was on the fence for a good, long time but reading different threads here I decided to go for broke and bought the WE 130. In addition, I bought the longer (12 inch) rods and a USB microscope. There will probably be other “needs” later on but for now, it will do. Good luck and have fun with it.

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