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TOPIC: New to sharpening

New to sharpening 2 years 4 months ago #3464

  • GeneConnor
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I am not only new to this forum but also new to sharpening. I am trying to learn all I can about sharpening before I purchase a machine. I will use it mostly for standard size folding pocket knives (Case XX, Hen and Rooster, Buck etc) along with small kitchen knives. At what angle do you sharpen a pocket knife? I believe it to be about 23 degrees. If that is correct, do you set the angle at 11.5 degrees on each side to make it a total of 23 degrees? Does the WS set to that low of an angle? Is there a big learning curve with the WS for someone that has never sharpened before and would you recommend it for a beginner? Please help...
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Re: New to sharpening 2 years 4 months ago #3466

  • StevenPinson
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Welcome aboard! Pocket knives can be a challenge depending on the blade size (i.e. small vnox). Read through the posts, check out some of the YouTube stuff, and I would get a practice knife from a yard sale (or wali wurld) in preparartion for the system. After you work on the practice knife you may have better directed questions for the forum.
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Re: New to sharpening 2 years 4 months ago #3467

  • cbwx34
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Welcome Gene…

(I'm not really new to the forum, or sharpening… just never posted in it before… so excuse my low post count).

There's not a big learning curve on the Wicked Edge, and I'd absolutely recommend it for a beginner. It's the type of device that will grow with you… it's easy to get started on, but as your knowledge grows, you can put that knowledge to good use.

I believe the 23 degrees you've learned is per side. Most knives come from the factory around 20-25 degrees per side (if you're lucky…. many companies claim that, but in reality you'll find them much higher.) The lowest set angle on the WE is 15 degrees… you can squeeze a bit more out of it as you learn the system.

If you haven't already, check some of the videos on YouTube. There's a lot of examples, not only from the inventor, but a variety of users and knives. It's easy to learn and get started on.

Hope this helps.

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Re: New to sharpening 2 years 4 months ago #3468

  • jendeindustries
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Welcome Gene!

+1 on getting a couple of beater knives to get over the rather short learning curve. My main issue was getting my left hand up to speed (being right-handed) which only took about 5 knives.

But as you're also learning the rules of sharpening, there will be a slightly longer curve. The instruction manual that comes with the WEPS is top notch, walking you through the entire process and hitting on every aspect of what you'll need to know.

After that, the learning is even more fun! I still learn something new every time I use my WEPS.

BTW, Good to see you cbw! It's been a long time since we've seen you over on knife forums!
Tom Blodgett
Jende Industries, LLC

My Blog: jendeindustries.wordpress.com
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Re: New to sharpening 2 years 4 months ago #3476

  • mark76
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Welcome to the forums, Gene!

As the others have said, the 23 degrees is per side. However, with most good modern steels 15 degrees shouldn't be a problem for a pocket knife.

About half a year ago I was in the same situation as you. I am a lousy free-hand sharpener, but wanted to get my knives sharp. I already had a Spyderco Sharpmaker and I looked at various guided angle systems. I selected the WEPS because it left the least degrees of freedom to the user. That means more (consistent) precision and less freedom to make errors. I haven't doubted my decision since.

Here is the first post I wrote back then about my first knife on the WEPS.

There is somewhat of a learning curve to the WEPS. So, as the others write, do start with some cheap knives. However, to be honest, the learning curve is very flat. I had exactly the same experience as Tom: the coordination in my left hand was less than in my right hand, since I am right-handed. That's an added advantage of the WEPS :D .
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Re: New to sharpening 2 years 4 months ago #3496

  • BobNash
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Hi Gene - welcome to the forums - you should find a lot of information here that can help you decide if the WE is the right sharpening system for you - and as you are seeing, everyone here is happy to help out and answer questions/share information. +1 on Steven and cbw suggestion of checking you tube too - lots of stuff out there. +1 also on the cheap beater knives to learn on!

I concur with Mark on the lower angles for your pocket carries if you have the WE since one of the great advantages of the WE is the touch ups go really fast. So you might find yourself putting your knives at a lower angle than you'd use on other systems. I keep my EDCs in the mid teens now that I have the WE, use to have them in the low 20s.

On the Case XX and other jack knives or whittlers, those inside angles can sometimes be tough to hit depending upon the width of the blade and how much metal you have to get a hold of with the vise. Although, in my experience, metal on a lot of those is comparatively soft, so some won't hold the angle long enough to make it worthwhile to come in under 23 per side. Steven is right about difficulty grabbing smallest blades, but, you can get a hold of them. My tip is not to let go of the handle until you have finished clamping - I have had some squirt out of the clamp while tightening the lower screw as you can exert a lot of clamping force with the WE.

The learning curve is pretty flat as everyone has indicated. In my experience that is true for most guided angle systems - particularly the ones with clamps. On all of them there are little tricks that you learn over time as you work with more blades and/or read more. Like Tom and Mark if have found that learning the motion with your non-dominant hand can be a challenge on WE - it found me with my tongue hanging out as I concentrated on my left hand :P . IMO MUCH easier though than the 2 handed motion for Edge Pro, and smaller blades are also, IMO, MUCH easier on WE.

Keep us updated on your search and what you decide!
Some of the edges I've sharpened on the WE
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