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Why Wicked Edge?

Recent Forums Main Forum Getting Started Why Wicked Edge?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Organic 12/23/2017 at 2:47 pm.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
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  • #42504

    Jacob
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 23

    Okay guys and gals, I have been reading through forums, watching tons of videos and I am on the verge of buying a new sharpening system.

    I tend to go by the buy once cry once motto but I’m not wealthy so I don’t like to waste money either.

    If I’m honest im down to the KME and the wicked edge. So without talking bad about other sharpeners, why should I get a wicked edge and tell me why it’s worth the extra price?

     

    Also so I have a couple follow up questions. It seems there is a higher risk of cutting yourself with the way the wicked edge is set up. Is this a legit concern or is it just the angle on videos.

     

    Also, when I do get a wicked edge I can’t affor a pro pack. I’m looking at the 102 model. If I could only afford one additional set of stones what would you get? If I could get 2 what would you recommend?

     

    Thanks for the advice. I really just want confirmation these are awesome before I spend my hard earned money!

     

    -Jacob

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    #42505

    SalisburySam
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 15

    Hello Jacob, and welcome to the forum!

    Disclaimer: I’m one of the more inexperienced newbies out here having purchased my sharpening system March 2017.  So if you get responses from the many users with far more expertise, weigh their input much more heavily.

    Before going into details, I suggest you have some specific goals as to what you want from your knife sharpening system.  By that I mean how many knives sharpened and how often (friends and family program, open sharpening business, whatever), how sharp do you want to get them (just to return to factory-new, make YouTube videos/podcasts on sharpening, use for display where super polishing might be desired, knife show quality, and so on.  I believe the WE system can help you achieve any or all of these, but your goals will help you decide how many and which stones you want.  In your comparisons with KME and other systems, consider the system and attachments needed for each system to achieve your goals, how much work will be involved, how likely the accuracy will be achieved, and lastly, as you become more experienced is there a need for system enhancements and are they available.

    Some direct answers from my pursuits:

    1. I did not consider KME when I was reasearching, and know nothing good nor bad about it.
    2. You are working with a knife, trying to put a very sharp edge on it.  So yes, there is always a risk of hurting yourself.  That said, the Wicked Edge (WE) system is built to minimize the risk during the actual sharpening process.  You do have to exercise care is setting up the knife, avoid reaching over the knife (for example, keep the sharpening stones on both sides of the knife, not just one side), and be especially careful at the tip of the blade not to bring the stones back toward you without first moving away from the knife plane.  Also, WE sells gloves and safety shields which almost eliminate any cutting risk whatever.  In my months sharpening about 30 or so mostly kitchen knives, I have had the good fortune to not cut myself sharpening.  I have cut myself using the knives, but that’s a whole different thing.
    3. You said you’re looking at the Model 102.  I think you mean the Model 120 which has the mounts, arms, and four stones giving you abrasive grit progression from 100, to 200, to 400, to 600.  You can get one heck of a sharp knife with that set up, and you can keep it that way.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how previously dull kitchen knives are very, very much improved after the 600 grit.
    4. If you get more stones, I suggest the first addition be the next grit levels up, 800 and 1000.  After that, I’ve been impressed with the edges I’m able to get using the new 1500-grit/glass blank stones.   I use a 6-micron diamond lapping paper on the glass stones at the suggestion of several of the more experienced folks on the forum.
    5. Rather than buying two sets of additional stones, consider getting one set and the Field & Stream kit.  For the additional $24 over the Model 120, you get the Model 120, a clamp, and a carrying case.  Unless you have a place to dedicate to sharpening, a case can be very useful and it makes your system mobile.

    A huge advantage of the WE system for me is that it is a system.  You can expand it to achieve greater levels of sharpening, polish, do other things like scissors, chisels, short and long knives, and so on.  This expandability is there to a wide degree.  The concern here is to try to predict your near-future uses before your initial purchase.  By that I mean you may see yourself needing everything that a ProPak (1, 2, or 3) offers, and the ProPaks will be the least expensive ways to acquire all those items.

    OK, rant over.  Good luck, and let us all know what you’ve chosen and more interestingly how you made that decision!

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #42506

    Jacob
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 23

    Thanks for the reply! I realized I should’ve given more background after I posted.

    I own around ten edc knives, mostly folders and a few fixed blades. Most are s30v or better. In addition I have a bunch of kitchen knives.

    Currently I have a Spyderco sharpmaker with diamond stones and the uf stones. In addition I have a stropman strop with green and white compound on it. Up until recently I’ve been pretty happy with the setup. However I have a few knives with rough and uneven factory grinds and they are in need of reprofiling. The sharpmaker is fine for 30 or 40 degrees but that’s all I can do.

    So I want a system that I can use to sharpen my edc blades first and foremost. At this point having a mirror polish isn’t important. I know I will want to upgrade to those capabilities when I can afford to. For now I just want to have super sharp knives.

    I do plan on sharpening for friends and family a lot which is a big reason I’m looking at a wicked edge.

    The KME comes with a 1500 grit and the WE comes with a 600. So I’m curious if I need to get any more stones knowing that I will strop it with my current strop?

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    #42507

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    Hi Jacob, welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum.  Both KME and Wicked Edge are fixed angle sharpeners.  The KME only allows you to sharpen one side at a time while holding the knife in place as steadily as possible with your free hand.  The Wicked Edge Systems clamp the knife stationary and securely allowing you to sharpen either side alone then both sides simultaneously.  This allows a better opportunity to bring both sides together to a incredibly sharp and precise apex while keeping the bevels an even height.  Also the sharpening angles, from side to side can be set individually, for uneven bevel knives.  The WE allows you to match factory bevels with little effort.  Then by logging your sharpening setups, you can easily resharpen knives with the WE at exactly the same angle as you sharpened it previously.

    The blade when clamped in the Wicked Edge Vice is positioned with the exposed edge up so there is the opportunity to cut yourself if care is not exercised like Salisbury Sam mentioned.  That being said, all knife sharpening system have an inherent danger.  I use the plastic safety shields.

    Having started with the WE120 and knowing what I know now after years of using all the Systems and upgrades I would highly recommend you start with the WE130.  The self-centering vice and tension adjustable jaws make using the WE 130 so much simpler and easier to use than the WE120.  The WE130 removes the clamping difficulties associated with less sophisticated vice.  With the WE130 you start with the top of the line vice and jaws.  The same vice and jaws in all the higher level models and fully accessorized Pro Packs.  Then all you’ll need from that point on, is what ever stones you want to add to your sharpening arsenal.  Yes the WE130 is more costly than the WE120 but the ease of using it and the improved efficiency is well worth the added investment.  Plus it’ll save you spending on this upgrade down the road at twice the price then the difference between the WE120 and the WE130, (which most of us have done).

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    #42509

    cbwx34
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 57
    • Replies: 1505

    I did a bit of a cost comparison between the KME and the Wicked Edge HERE, mainly because a lot of people see the W.E. as “so much more expensive” than the KME.  It’s really not.  Although the comparison was with the W.E. Go, its similar with all models… you may pay more initially, but you get more.

    Both are good sharpeners.  I think a lot of it boils down to how much you plan on sharpening?  With the W.E., you pay more up front, but you get more that will last longer.  If all you have is a few EDCs and sharpening isn’t a priority, the KME is up to the task.  But when you start making statements like, “I do plan on sharpening for friends and family a lot….”, then the upfront investment in the W.E. will pay off, and makes the overall cost a non-factor, IMO.  (Not saying which one you should get… just a little more info you might find helpful in deciding).

    7 users thanked author for this post.
    #42510

    Jacob
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 23

    Hi Jacob, welcome to the Wicked Edge Forum. Both KME and Wicked Edge are fixed angle sharpeners. The KME only allows you to sharpen one side at a time while holding the knife in place as steadily as possible with your free hand. The Wicked Edge Systems clamp the knife stationary and securely allowing you to sharpen either side alone then both sides simultaneously. This allows a better opportunity to bring both sides together to a incredibly sharp and precise apex while keeping the bevels an even height. Also the sharpening angles, from side to side can be set individually, for uneven bevel knives. The WE allows you to match factory bevels with little effort. Then by logging your sharpening setups, you can easily resharpen knives with the WE at exactly the same angle as you sharpened it previously. The blade when clamped in the Wicked Edge Vice is positioned with the exposed edge up so there is the opportunity to cut yourself if care is not exercised like Salisbury Sam mentioned. That being said, all knife sharpening system have an inherent danger. I use the plastic safety shields. Having started with the WE120 and knowing what I know now after years of using all the Systems and upgrades I would highly recommend you start with the WE130. The self-centering vice and tension adjustable jaws make using the WE 130 so much simpler and easier to use than the WE120. The WE130 removes the clamping difficulties associated with less sophisticated vice. With the WE130 you start with the top of the line vice and jaws. The same vice and jaws in all the higher level models and fully accessorized Pro Packs. Then all you’ll need from that point on, is what ever stones you want to add to your sharpening arsenal. Yes the WE130 is more costly than the WE120 but the ease of using it and the improved efficiency is well worth the added investment. Plus it’ll save you spending on this upgrade down the road at twice the price then the difference between the WE120 and the WE130, (which most of us have done).

    I have a few Spyderco’s with ffg blades. Will  the 130 be better for that?

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42511

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    The WE130 and the WE120 both will work for FFG blades.  Finding the best or correct clamping position to achieve exactly the angle and edge type you want is probably the most important part to sharpening your knife.  The WE130 is quicker, simpler and easier to use, all around.  Plus the tension adjustment and split jaws clamp a tapered knife just as well.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #42512

    graphite
    Participant
    • Topics: 10
    • Replies: 101

    Jacob, I don’t know how much of a hurry you’re in, but I just got my F&S Pro (this is essentially a WE130 with a different (portable) base plus a case plus 800/1000 stones, for $75 more) and I was planning to photo-document how the clamp works for profile and distal tapers. I had similar questions as you have. I’ll do my best to get the photos and description up this weekend.

    In the interim, I have a couple Spydercos with fairly steep profile tapers (what I would call FFG), and they also have distal tapering. I’ve messed with the clamp a bit, on those knives.

    The 2 most important factors for the clamping: is the knife clamped securely, and is the centerline of the blade straight up and down. The knives both clamped very securely. And visually, (since I don’t currently have an easy way to measure whether there is any sideways tilt) they both appear to be straight up and down.

    On my Spyderco Delica Wharncliffe, I even placed it in the clamp so that the finger hole was located at the top portion of the clamp (i.e. in order for the clamp to grab the blade securely, it would have to clamp the small ridge of metal at the spine of the blade (directly adjacent to the finger hole), which is lower down in the clamp jaw when the blade is clamped. It did, and it was a solid hold.

    I don’t think the pre-2017 clamp jaws would do this, since they only have a small square pad of metal at the top of the clamp (this is where I had the finger hole located, so it would have been clamping air), while the new 2017 jaws have a metal ridge the full height of the clamp jaws. Hard to explain in words, so here’s a video I found on Youtube showing the old and new clamp jaws: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPS8oec06a4
    (go to 16:45 thru 18:35) and maybe my description will make more sense after seeing that video.

    PS, I haven’t sharpened anything yet, since I’m waiting to get a USB microscope up and running first so I can take magnified photos of the diamond stones before they have been used. So I am clamping these knives in positions to see the limits of the clamp, and these positions are probably not how you’d want to clamp the knives for sharpening.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #42516

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    Graphite is 100% correct.  Both the WE130 and the Field & Sport Pro utilize the same Gen 3 Clamping System and Jaws.  The F&S Pro, (not the F&S), is certainly a viable alternative to the WE130.  It all depends on do you want to mount the system on a permanent base, WE130, or would you prefer a more portable system, F&S Pro, that you clamp down to a base such as a table when and where you intend on using it.

    Thanks for your suggestion Graphite.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #42528

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 851

    I haven’t owned a KME, but it looks like a great system and I know that there are many happy KME users. The KME system does have some advantages over the Wicked Edge. It is less expensive, more compact, more portable, and you only need one of each grit so the upgrades are less expensive as well.

    I chose to go with the Wicked Edge for a number of reasons. For one, it allows you to work both sides of the blade at the same time. In my opinion, this is a superior design because it makes it a lot easier to keep the bevels symmetrical. The clamping position makes it easy to inspect both sides of the blade as well. This also makes it very fast to sharpen. The main advantage of the Wicked Edge design over the KME (or any other system) is the ability to record your clamping position and easily repeat it. As far as I know, the KME does not have a system for recording how the knife was clamped. That may not seem like a big deal, but it really saves a time and allows you to easily bring a knife back to peak sharpness without having to go through a full progression of grits.

    I think you’ll be happy with either sharpener, but the Wicked Edge is the superior product in my opinion.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #42534

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    I have never used the KME, I only know it from knife shows and videos. (It didn’t even exist when I got my WE 🙂 .) So take my opition with a grain of salt. But if I were to summarize the differences between the KME and the WE, it would be:

    • Angle precision. The WE allows you to set your angles much more precisely (up to tens of mm’s) than the KME. Angle precision translates to knife sharpness and was for me the main reason to get a guided angle system.
    • Ease and speed of use. The WE is easier to use, since you clamp a knife, set the angle and don’t have to hold anything in your hands except for the stones (or strops). Also no fiddling around with other things. The WE also allows you to sharpen both sides of a knife at the same time, making it quicker.
    • Clamping. Graphite and Organic described this very accurately, I think.
    • Build quality. The build quality of the WE is superb, although I must say the KME definitely looks better than for example a Lansky.
    • Expandability. This has been treated before in this topic already, and as you can see on the main WE page, the WE can be expanded in many ways if you have more money available in the future. And practice shows many people do upgrade their WEs.

    That said, it remains a trade-off between quality and money. If you have quite a limited amount of money available for a sharpener and only want to use it for a couple of EDC’s and don’t need the ultimate sharpness, the KME could definitely be an option.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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    #42544

    Jacob
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 23

    Thank you everyone for the input!

    I pulled the proverbial trigger today and purchased the we120, 800/1000 and a 5/3.5 strop.

    Im sure I’ll have a million questions once I get it but I’m super excited. There is definitely a sticker shock that comes with the intial purchase. I’m sure it’ll go away as soon as I receive it!

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    #42557

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    Gongratulation! I’m sure you’ll be very happy with it. And please don’t hesitate to ask additional questions.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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    #43160

    Jacob
    Participant
    • Topics: 4
    • Replies: 23

    So I got my sharpener in and got it set up this weekend. So far I’ve been able to sharpen two knives.

    The results have been underwhelming at this point. I know it’s me and not the sharpener. I think I need to go slower and do more strokes with each stone. They are getting sharp but even after the 1000 grit diamonds and the 5/3.5 strops it still won’t shave.

    Any tips for a beginner? I am definitely getting a burr on the First stones.

    #43161

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1855

    Hello again, Jacob.  It takes time and practice.  There is a learning curve and the stones improve greatly once broken in.  You’re experiencing exactly what I did with the same underwhelming feeling I had when I first got started.

    Take your time concentrated on consistency and repeatability in your hand position, pressure and strokes.  Yes, more stroke count is better than less strokes.  If you’re drawing a burr heel to tip along each side independently, then following up with alternating strokes, left-right-left -right to bring the burrs to a centered apex, it’ll come together for you.  Time, patience and practice.

    Which setup did purchase?

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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