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Thread: Rookie knife sharpener; sharpmaker tips

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Kylems11's Avatar
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    Rookie knife sharpener; sharpmaker tips

    Im a rookie to knife sharpening and just looking for some tips. I have the sharpmaker and dont know much about the stones. As far as what you want to use for touching your blade up, if a knife is super dull can you use the medium grit stones that come with it or should i buy the diamond stones? And also how many different types of stones are available for the sharpmaker. I see white ones online listed as ultra fine, would those be the same as the ones that come with the sharpmaker? I tried sharpening a persistence that i use for work that is pretty dull the blade has a few little spots that are rolled or chipped off. I went at it for like a half hour trying the 30 and 40 degree angle starting with the medium and finishing with the fine stones and couldnt get the blade profiled back to normal. Does it sound like im doing something wrong or do i need diamond stones for this sharpening? Appreciate the help, like i said im a super rookie to knife sharpening.
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    Pm2(1), manix2 LW, salt 1, dragonfly 2 salt(2), dragonfly 2(1), delica 4(2), tenacious(2), persistence(2), kiwi 3(2), grasshopper, honeybee, bug, native 5 g10(3), manbug, ladybug, sage 3(2), citadel 83mm, embassy, domino


    Kyle

  2. #2
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    In general switching angles/rods if the knife isn't getting sharp isn't going to achieve anything, the sharpening has to be done in a consistent manner.

    As a basic procedure :

    -cut the knife directly lightly into the stone as if you were trying to saw the stone in half
    -use less than the weight of the knife and this will put a light flat on the edge so it reflects light
    -sharpen on the higher angle setting on the medium rods until the edge no longer reflects light

    At this point the edge should be sharp, it can then be polished on the fine rods.

    There are many steps above this, ways to refine the method, but this is the basic starting point.

    You do not need diamond stones, but they can make the first sharpening much faster.

    The ultra fine ones are even finer than the normal white stones, but you need to be fairly experienced with the Sharpmaker before you will notice the difference they will make.

  3. #3
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    To add on to what Cliff said, you need to develop an understanding of what you are doing and why to get the most out of the sharpmaker.

    The first thing you should do after you cut off the edge by lightly cutting into the medium stone (and then checking that the edge reflects light to the naked eye) is use a sharpie (or dry erase marker) and colour in the bevel. Now when you make a pass on the flats of the medium rods at the 40 degree setting, you will be able to see what parts of the bevel you are hitting. If marker is not being removed all the way to the edge, then the primary bevel on the knife is wider than 40 degrees inclusive and you will have a lot of trouble sharpening the knife using only the medium and fine stones because it will take a *long* time to remove enough metal from the "shoulders" of the bevel and reach the edge.

    If the marker is being removed all the way to the edge, then follow Cliff's advice, but keep in mind the biggest mistake most novices make is using too much pressure when they sharpen. The lighter a touch you can use (while keeping the angle and motion smooth and consistent) the better results you will get.

    If the marker is *not* being removed all the way to the edge, then you should consider getting the diamond rods because they will make reprofiling the bevel a much faster (though still slow) process.

    If you are going to re-profile the bevel on a knife using the diamond rods, I would strongly recommend re-profiling to 30 degrees inclusive, then polish the edge using Cliff's advice above until it no longer reflects light, and then you can put on a micro-bevel using the 40 degree setting by making no more than 5 alternating passes per side using the lightest pressure you can while remaining consistent on the medium, and then fine stones.

    This will create a tiny second bevel on the apex at 40 degrees inclusive which will be fast to create, and will increase the strength of the edge.

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Holland's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Steel Drake! I think you two pretty well covered it.
    Phil Wilson Smoke Creek s110v, SouthFork, Gayle Bradley, Chaparral 1, Chaparral 2, Native 5, Para2, Para1 SE, Caly 3, Dragonfly 2, Dragonfly 2, Delica 4, Ladybug 3


    -Spencer

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Kylems11's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. Yea i was putting way to much pressure on the blade when making passes like you said not to do. So in the instructions it says to use the pointed side of the stones first then go to the flats but i know everyone has different ways of sharpening, but do you find that works best? Or is using just the flat side best?
    My 's
    Pm2(1), manix2 LW, salt 1, dragonfly 2 salt(2), dragonfly 2(1), delica 4(2), tenacious(2), persistence(2), kiwi 3(2), grasshopper, honeybee, bug, native 5 g10(3), manbug, ladybug, sage 3(2), citadel 83mm, embassy, domino


    Kyle

  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Holland's Avatar
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    For me I only use the flat of the brown rods at 40 degrees when doing touchups. But for reprofiling I would definitely use the pointed sides
    Phil Wilson Smoke Creek s110v, SouthFork, Gayle Bradley, Chaparral 1, Chaparral 2, Native 5, Para2, Para1 SE, Caly 3, Dragonfly 2, Dragonfly 2, Delica 4, Ladybug 3


    -Spencer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylems11 View Post
    Thanks for the tips. Yea i was putting way to much pressure on the blade when making passes like you said not to do. So in the instructions it says to use the pointed side of the stones first then go to the flats but i know everyone has different ways of sharpening, but do you find that works best? Or is using just the flat side best?
    There are two main reasons one should always use the flats on sharpmaker rods. First is using the flats reduces the pressure on the edge, and using lighter pressure is better for minimizing the stress placed on the edge and minimizing the amount of burr formed. Second is that the corners will "load up" with metal much faster than the flats will and thus will have to be cleaned very often to retain good performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holland View Post
    Welcome to the forum Steel Drake! I think you two pretty well covered it.
    Thanks! I was planning to post a thread, but I saw a question pop up that I might be able to help with, so i jumped in.

  9. #9
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    The pointed sides are best used on hawkbills and recurves.

  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    If you trust the product why not trust the man who designed it and look at the DVD or on Youtube.
    You can actually learn how to get your knife sharp again and while there are other ways why not start at the beginning.

  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User aquaman67's Avatar
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    There are two videos on YouTube. If you search "spyderco sharpmaker improvements" you'll find them.

    Watch them.

    The thing that helped me the most was mounting the SharpMaker down and using two hands.

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