Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

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mpgtsm
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Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby mpgtsm » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:49 pm

People say a stone, including the Sharpmaker will round the tip of your knife if you let the blade leave the end of a stroke. The sharpmaker instruction video seems not to address it. Makes it look ok. The sharpening process time about triples for me if I have to stop on each stroke to protect the tip. Help me understand this please. Thanks!!

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aquaman67
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby aquaman67 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:35 pm

You can start by placing the tip at the bottom of the stone and moving upwards while pushing the blade forward. This would be edge trailing as opposed to edge leading.

What I did to get better control was to mount the Sharpmaker down to a heavy piece of countertop. This way I can use both hands on the knife.

I guess it really is how much pressure you are using. If you are using a super light pressure it’s less like to round the tip. With heavy pressure and fast speed I’m sure it’s possible.

FK
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby FK » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:41 pm

Rounding the tip is the one negative aspect of most Sharpmaker users.
Easy to avoid if you understand the problem and slow down to control the tip from sliding off the stone edge.

I consider it invaluable for serrated edges however, rarely use it for straight edges, much prefer the flat Spyderco bench stones.

Regards,
FK

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Bloke
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Bloke » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:49 pm

Welcome to the forum mpgtsm. :)

It’s been a while since I watched the SharpMaker DVD but yes, if you let the blade fall off the stone even with absolutely minimal pressure you’ll loose your tip.

For that reason I only use the flats of the SharpMaker stones and not the corners. ;)
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mpgtsm
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby mpgtsm » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:18 pm

Sounds like a good plan. Thank you. It is much easier to do that on the flat sides

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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Joey » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:31 am

One thing I thought of: are you using this to touch up your edges, or to make an entirely new bevel altogether? I’ve done the latter and it takes hours for a decent edge, assuming you have a rough edge to start with.
The sharpmaker is best suited for touching up a working edge, giving it a razor edge.
My apologies if I’m assuming too much of course!

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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby James Y » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:12 am

I only use a Sharpmaker and have never rounded a tip on any of my knives. The key is to not move the tip off the rod on a stroke. I never use the corners of the rods on the tips, but use the flats. And I end the stroke with the tip in the middle of the flat, as opposed to going off of it. It's easy to do, but difficult to put into words. You also don't want to use a lot of pressure. You do NOT need to sharpen a blade vigorously on the SM.

Jim

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Vivi
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Vivi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:29 am

There is zero benefit to using heavy pressure when sharpening. It creates a drastically larger burr, a weaker edge, gives you a duller apex and risks damaging your stones. There is absolutely no reason to ever do that.

OP, you have it right. Sharpening time increases the higher your standards are. If you're ok with a big burr, low edge retention and a rounded tip, use lots of pressure and drag the tip off the stone. If you want a good edge, use light pressure and never drag the tip off the stone.

With practice, familiarity breeds efficiency.
Last edited by Vivi on Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Vivi
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Vivi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:30 am

FK wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:41 pm
Rounding the tip is the one negative aspect of most Sharpmaker users.
Easy to avoid if you understand the problem and slow down to control the tip from sliding off the stone edge.

I consider it invaluable for serrated edges however, rarely use it for straight edges, much prefer the flat Spyderco bench stones.

Regards,
FK
I agree. I much prefer the wider bench stones for PE work. The SM is perfect for SE and recurves, but there are better options for typical PE blades.
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Vivi
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Vivi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:35 am

Regarding the right amount of pressure, I'd like to repeat a tip I've shared before.

If you can't do your finishing strokes on the sharpmaker with one hand (assuming the base is not mounted), you are using too much pressure.

You should be using less than the weight of the knife for your finishing strokes. You basically want to use the lightest amount of pressure you can while maintaining consistent contact with the stones.

Don't support the sharpmaker with your off hand or any mounts while you finish up your edge. If the base moves, you're pressing too hard.

This is the secret. This is why I can whittle individual hairs with any steel right off the brown stones.
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mpgtsm
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby mpgtsm » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:13 am

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the help. I have a new Benchmade that has a very sharp 30 deg edge (s30v) from the factory. I think the sharpmaker and I can make it even sharper, and polish the edge. I’m not in a rush. Just want to do it right. I broke the sharpener in with a few cheap knives. The first one had an uneven grind and I had to reprofile it on another stone. All the rest were easy work on the sharpmaker. Thanks again. I hope I learn enough to be an asset here. It looks like a great site.

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Zatx
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Zatx » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:46 am

mpgtsm wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:49 pm
People say a stone, including the Sharpmaker will round the tip of your knife if you let the blade leave the end of a stroke. The sharpmaker instruction video seems not to address it. Makes it look ok. The sharpening process time about triples for me if I have to stop on each stroke to protect the tip. Help me understand this please. Thanks!!
I watched the video the other day and you are correct, Sal never mentions tip control and is pulling the knife right off of the stones in a way that would round the tip for you and me. When they made that video Sal had probably already sharpened a million knives so his technique was flawless.

My technique is to use the flats and have my downward stroke stop against the plastic base with the tip in the middle of the stone. The plastic is softer than the steel, so as long as your not slamming the tip against it, you'll not dull the edge. Besides, live Vivi I use extremely light strokes (and can whittle hair off of the brown stones). ;)

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Pelagic
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Pelagic » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:21 am

Vivi wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:29 am
There is zero benefit to using heavy pressure when sharpening. It creates a drastically larger burr, a weaker edge, gives you a duller apex and risks damaging your stones. There is absolutely no reason to ever do that.
Quoted for emphasis/truth.
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby TkoK83Spy » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:59 am

Our very own Lance shared this video before. Some good pointers on sharpening tips.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI8lTj-F8gA
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Evil D » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:13 am

I've really only used the corners on recurves and SE, otherwise I use the flats and that alone greatly reduces tip rounding. If that isn't enough you can start at the tip or slow down when you reach the top. This can still be an issue with SE if you're not careful. I usually do SE on the corner and then flip over to the flats and work on just the PE portion at the top by itself.
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mpgtsm
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby mpgtsm » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:23 am

Evil D wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:13 am
I've really only used the corners on recurves and SE, otherwise I use the flats and that alone greatly reduces tip rounding. If that isn't enough you can start at the tip or slow down when you reach the top. This can still be an issue with SE if you're not careful. I usually do SE on the corner and then flip over to the flats and work on just the PE portion at the top by itself.
What does SE and PE mean?

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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby TazKristi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:41 am

mpgtsm wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:23 am
Evil D wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:13 am
I've really only used the corners on recurves and SE, otherwise I use the flats and that alone greatly reduces tip rounding. If that isn't enough you can start at the tip or slow down when you reach the top. This can still be an issue with SE if you're not careful. I usually do SE on the corner and then flip over to the flats and work on just the PE portion at the top by itself.
What does SE and PE mean?
Hi, mpgtsm:
Welcome to our forum. SE - SpyderEdge (Serrated) and PE - PlainEdge. There's also PS which means CombinationEdge (Plain/Serrated).

We hope you enjoy your time with us.

Kristi
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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby awa54 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:50 am

My fix for this potential issue is to start at least half of the sharpening strokes with the tip on the stone, then pushing down and forward to follow the edge, this gives excellent control in that critical tip area. If that technique doesn't work for you to get all the way to the heel of the blade, then alternate the starting point from tip to heel, just make certain that you never drag the tip off of the stones and you'll have crisp tip geometry.
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby The Meat man » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:39 am

Bloke wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:49 pm

For that reason I only use the flats of the SharpMaker stones and not the corners. ;)
This is what I do too.
- Connor

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Re: Sharpmaker advice. Tip control

Postby Woodpuppy » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:30 pm

I just stop ~1/4” from the tip when using the points. All tip work is done on the flats, and I aim to end my stroke with the tip at the hole in the plastic base.
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