Sharpening Made Easy - Knife Sharpening Information and Equipment


A PRIMER ON KNIFE SHARPENING - Chapter 5

by Steve Bottorff

CONTENTS

SHARPENING METHODS I HAVE USED
PROFESSIONAL KNIFE SHARPENERS
Miscellaneous Technical information 

front cover  

The secret of sharpening

If there is a "secret" in knife sharpening, this is it:  Woodworkers write and publish more about sharpening and have more sharpening toys than knife makers and collectors.   To learn more about sharpening, read Woodworking books and catalogs.

SHARPENING METHODS I HAVE USED: This section moved to systems.htm


PROFESSIONAL KNIFE SHARPENERS

Although I think the Chef'sChoice 120 is as far upscale as I think any household would need, here is a listing of the professional knife sharpeners and their features:

Hantover - really just a grinder with flap wheel sander on one end and felt honing on the other. Creates convex bevel, requires skill and safety glasses. $225

Ekland - stainless steel knife guides, slow running wheels to avoid overheating, single angle, looks like the Chef'sChoice but works differently. $241

Chef'sChoice 2000 Commercial - this machine produces a double bevel edge, unlike the triple bevel produced by their home machines.  $340

Hook-Eye Belt grinder - aluminum oxide belt similar to a knifemaker's belt grinder creates a flat bevel, requires skill and safety glasses. $429

Tru-Hone - 3" 220 grit counter-rotating wheels create a toothy hollow grind edge.  Adjustable angle allows a three angle bevel that offsets the fragility of the small wheel hollow grind.  $625  Heavy Duty   $810

I now have a Tru-Hone, and while I do not like it as a major sharpener because of the dry grind and the small wheels, it does a great job of giving a toothy slicing edge to knives that have been sharpened on my wet grinder.

Friedr. Dick SM-110 - special shaped water cooled wheels, one for each side, create flat bevel. Variable angles. Counter-rotating honing wheels to remove burr. $1493 SM-111 adds adjustable honing wheels and a buffing wheel for a more refined edge. $1624

I have a SM-111, and it is the closest I have ever seen to a complete sharpening system in one unit - wet grinding, honing and polishing.  It is only for knives - the scissor attachment has limited use - but can do 400 a day.  Great for a big shop or knife rental service.

Manabo - wet honing on the inside surface of specially shaped wheels creates a strong convex edge, variable angle, should provide the best edge holding and knife life. $1965

Let's see, $1965 would buy almost 20 $100 chef's knives.  If I could charge $5 per sharpening I would have to sharpen 393 knives to break even....  No, I don't think so.
 

Miscellaneous Technical information

Chef'sChoice

The angles and grits on the Chef'sChoice 110 and 301 machines are as follows:

Stage 1 20 degrees 100 grit
Stage 2 22.5 degrees 200-300 grit
Stage 3 25 degrees 500-700 grit

Thanks to Sam Weiner of EdgeCraft for information and support.
 

Some other sharpener angles

Normark 20 degrees
Hunter Honer 21 degrees
Byers #1 20 degrees

This is the end of Chapter 5
Click here to go to Appendix A 

Company and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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