Beginners Guide to the Wicked Edge
This page is a guide for the new user in setting up and using the Wicked Edge. It provides more detail as well as links to other pages of interest.
Make sure you have all the parts, and the Wicked Edge is correctly assembled.
A pdf page with a packing list, and setup instructions can be found here: Pro Pack II Assembly. (It also contains a part list for the Pro Pack I and II).
Additional Setup Tips
While not necessary, consider lightly sanding the bottom screw of the clamp. This screw pushes against the opposite clamp, and if it has any rough edges, can dig into the clamp. (Note: this does not cause any sharpening issues... more of a cosmetic issue).
Clamping the Knife
Most knives clamp without issue.
One knife that some users have trouble with, is the "Full Flat Grind" (FFG), which is a knife that tapers from spine to tip. If you pay attention, you can clamp the blade by insuring that it stays vertical as you tighten the screws. Additionally, you can use a small piece of foam tape on the clamps, or use a thin piece of leather or moleskin wrapped around the spine where it is clamped. Additional tips can be found here: Sharpening a Fully Flat Ground Blade.
You also need to set the knife so that the amount of metal removed as you approach the tip is consistent with the rest of the bevel. To do this, the knife is adjusted horizontally, (changing the distance from the clamp to the tip). This can be done by marking the edge with a Sharpie (see "Setting the Angle" section), and adjusting the knife so the marker is removed along the entire bevel, or center of the bevel, as you approach the tip. A description of this method can be found here: Positioning your Knife Front to Back.
Setting the Angle
Determining the angle to sharpen at, is one of the most asked questions. When starting, there are two methods. One method, is to follow the suggestions in the User's Guide. The 2nd method, and perhaps the one recommended for new users, is to match the angle that is currently on the knife. This is done by marking the edge with a Sharpie, or other marker, making a light pass with a fine stone and adjusting the angle until the stone removes the marker from the majority of the bevel. A description of this method can be found here: How to Find your Angle. By matching the angle that is on the knife, you can concentrate on the sharpening process, and achieve a sharp knife without spending a lot of time (and maybe becoming a little frustrated).
My knife isn't as sharp as I thought...
Some users, after sharpening a couple of knives, don't get the results they expect, especially after watching a few videos where other users are getting shaving or "hair whittling" edges. There are a few reasons for this.
- Break-in of the diamond stones. The diamond stones, when new, are a bit more aggressive than their actual rating. As they're used, they settle in, and perform closer to their rating.
- Not sharpening all the way to the edge, is another common mistake. There is a misconception in sharpening, that if X number of strokes are applied, the knife will be sharp. One way to tell if you've reached the edge is to create a burr. A burr is a small piece of metal that folds over when the edge is reached. You can see an example here: Creating a burr. The easiest way to know you've reached the edge, ties into marking the edge with a Sharpie marker... when you've removed the marker all the way to the edge, chances are you've reached it.
- Too much pressure. Another technique to pay attention to, is how much pressure is applied. Lighter is better, and its often lighter than you think. It doesn't take much for the diamond stones, ceramics or strops to do their work.
A page with Basic Instructions for using the Wicked Edge: Basic Instructions
The Wicked Edge FAQ page: [http://www.wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=31&Itemid=75 Wicked Edge FAQ
The Wicked Edge Forum Wicked Edge Forum]. Here you'll find many members, both new and experienced, ready to help with any problem you might have.