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Thread: What angle do you sharpen at?

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Question What angle do you sharpen at?

    i was wondering today while tinkering with my sharpmaker, what angle do you use to sharpen and what system/method do you use to get your knives sharp

  2. #2
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    40 degrees to sharpen and 30 for the bevel. I do what Sal said to do in the video. I do find getting a knew spyderco scary sharp takes a little while because Spyderco's come with a 30 deg grind, so it takes some reprofiling to get that 40 degree edge. I'm gonna have to get some diamond stones cause I can't stop ordering these knives

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User SQSAR's Avatar
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    I always use the 40 degree inclusive on the SM as a good 'baseline.' Although 90% of my sharpening is done on the Edge-Pro, I still feel that 40 degrees is a good starting point for most steels. However, when I deviate from the 40 degree base I tend to go gravitate towards a less acute angle. For instance, with my ZDP stretch, I've gone to 30 degrees and it seems to be a great balance for me, but I've heard of some guys going to 26 degrees with it. Conversely, on my recently acquired EK Bowie made from HCS1415 (their version of 440c) I've gone to 42 degrees to avoid/mitigate excessive rolling of the edge. Ultimately, I think edge angles lie between the quantifiable and the subjective preferences of the user. I've got angles that work for me, but those same angles may not be preferred by others using the same knife.

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Evil D's Avatar
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    ~30 or so inclusive on a Lansky. I say "~" because it's a best estimate.

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  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User dbcad's Avatar
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    A 30 deg. edge, slightly smaller back bevel on most of mine. It depends on the type of use the edge will get If I were thrown into a situation where I'd be cutting cardboard or rope a lot I'd go for 40 deg with a coarser finish. It all depends on what you want
    Charlie

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  6. #6
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    depends on the knife and what I'm trying to do with it. too much variation from one to another. because all knives aren't created equally.

  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User dcmartin2001's Avatar
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    Been using an edge pro apex, really like it. I use the Sharpmaker for the 40 deg touch ups.... Can't beat it. As far as angles go, usually (but not always) the thin blades and harder steels can take a pretty crazy (steep) angle, like ZDP-189. I have my CF Walker down to a 22 deg back bevel with a 30 deg polished micro bevel. The more utilitarian they are the more they should be closer to the 40 deg mark (IMHO). Also the thicker blades, like my Chinook 1 work great at a 40 deg angle. Bear in mind your steel, blade thickness and purpose.

    For good ALL purpose ALL around angles, you just can't beat the 30 deg back bevel with a 40 deg micro bevel.

    I think sharpening & tuning a knife is half the fun....

    Here's a pick of the edge pro


    And here's a pic of my 22 deg angle... Straight across no micro bevel on this one

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User David Lowry's Avatar
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    I freehand all my knives with DMT stones and finish up with Spyderco Profile 701 Alumina Ceramics.

    Most, if not all, of my edges are about 10 to 12 per side. I am proud to say that I have gotten so good freehand that I gave away my Lansky and Sharpmaker year or so ago.
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  9. #9
    Spyderco Forum Registered User dj moonbat's Avatar
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    Forty degrees is good for a knife that's going to be used to hack at things. I put a 40 degree edge on a chef's knife, e.g. But for pretty much anything else, I go with 30, or maybe even 25.

    I use a diamond stone, aligned on an adjustable wedge (based on a design by forumite Ken) to get the edge I want, and maintain a 30 degree or 40 degree microbevel on the Sharpmaker.
    "If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing." Kingsley Amis

  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jackknifeh's Avatar
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    With the better steels available these days lower angles are possible and the steel won't bend, chip, flatten, basically get dull as much as in the past. That's the way I understand it anyway. I know my Spyderco knifes have held a sharp edge far longer than the other knives I've used most of my life. I will almost always put a 30 degree inclusive edge on my EDC knives. I touch up the edge with a Spyderco UF ceramic stone which just about eliminates the need for a strop. But the touch ups are always at an angle higher than 15 deg. per side. Sometimes I will go as low as 12 deg. per side on some steels like M4. I don't have a large selection of steels. Any steel Spyderco uses will handle lower angles much lower than 40 degrees inclusive. I've been told by an old time sharpener that 40 deg. has been pretty much the standard for many years. Now with the better steels lower steels can be used and lower always cuts better so the lower you can sharpen a steel for the cutting it will do the better.

    I'm no expert but this is how I understand it. I do know this. I can sharpen a knife to 40 deg. and do some whittling cutting big chunks. Then I go down to 30 deg. and can tell a difference in performance. 30 deg. is cuts quite a bit easier. I usually put as low of a back bevel as I want then put an edge bevel high enough to maintain the sharpness. The low back bevel makes cutting easier and and the higher edge bevel maintains the sharpness longer. That is my goal.

    Jack
    PS edit: You mentioned the SM. The 15/20 angles on the SM are the perfect all around angles that will work for just about any EDC knife with any steel. I believe lots of experience went into that decision.

    My EDC for a while. Stretch with carbon fiber handle, Chaparral 2, Dragonfly 2 with kirinite MOP handle, Manbug with bolster/red bone handle. Super blue/420J1 blades on all three (except Chaparral).

  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User razorsharp's Avatar
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    I sharpen 12/15 for very stable steels, for steels like s30v, I do 15/20 cause its not too tough, for fairly stable and tough steels, I do about 13/18

    (back/edge)
    ( back bevel varies)
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Taonari's Avatar
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    I usually reprofile my knives to 40 degrees inclusive for use on my Sharpmaker. Sometimes, though, I will sharpen to 36 degrees inclusive on my Edge Pro.

  13. #13
    Spyderco Forum Registered User unit's Avatar
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    I like sharpening free hand...and I use a wide variety of angles depending on the steel and desired use of the knife.

    Taking the edge angle down really low and thinning out the blade can yield some very exciting (but delicate) results.
    Thanks,
    Ken (my real name)

    ...learning something new all the time.

  14. #14
    Spyderco Forum Registered User chuck_roxas45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unit View Post
    I like sharpening free hand...and I use a wide variety of angles depending on the steel and desired use of the knife.

    Taking the edge angle down really low and thinning out the blade can yield some very exciting (but delicate) results.
    Words of wisdom and experience here. ^^^
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  15. #15
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    Depends on the knife and how it will be used.

    Most of the time I use 30 degrees inclusive, sometimes 36 Degrees inclusive, 40 degrees inclusive or 24 degrees inclusive.

  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Minibear453's Avatar
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    30 degrees, with a 10 degrees kind of backbevel. (It hasn't been brought down all the way yet. I'm working on it)
    Carry a sharp knife, and life will never be dull

  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User MadRookie's Avatar
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    Smile My Setup

    I do most folders at 15* (per side) relief with 20* (per side) micro bevel.

    This one however sees lighter work and is M390 with 15* relief & 17* micro bevel.....













    My sharpening setup.....


















  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User INFRNL's Avatar
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    Nice setup Madrookie and nice Shoki but in the wrong forum I have the original and its one of my favorite little gents folders. I thought about the Cf w/ m390..maybe one day.

    M390 is a great steel IMO

    Oops, back on topic. This is a great thread and a good place to learn some things about sharpening. I will follow this thread.
    CF Balance, CF Caly3 ZDP, Caly 3.5 SB, CAT 440C, Chaparral, Orange Jigged Damascus Delica, Blue Jigged Damascus Delica, BRG Delica ZDP(SOON TO BE G-10!), FG G-10 DragonFly, Gayle Bradley, 2012 Jester, H1 Ladybug Salt Hawkbill w/G-10 scales, Tan Manix 2 M4, MoonGlow Manix 2, C22CF Michael Walker, BRN Millie XHP, Native 5, PM2, All Black PM2, Gray PM2 20CP, Blue PM2 M390, Sage 1, Sage 2, Sage 4, Terzuola, CF Stretch ZDP, UKPK Drop Point

  19. #19
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Mr Blonde's Avatar
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    Usually 30 degrees with a 40 degree microbevel. I only use and have the Sharpmaker, so that explains it. I've been very happy with the results and performance.

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  20. #20
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    Hey Rookie! Fancy meeting you here?! LOL!

    I've been a bit disappointed with my military (s30v) edge retention lately so I'm busy trying something new:

    About 11 or 12 deg per side relief(as low as edge pro apex can go)
    With a micro bevel of between 15 and 18 degrees(I havnt decided yet, still busy with relief)
    Mmm, maybe 2 reliefs: 11 and 15 deg per side and a microbevel at 20? Maybe?!

    Will give feedback when done.
    Last edited by rjowen0984; 01-09-2012 at 07:36 AM.

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