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Do you recommend free hand or Edge Pro?

Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:17 pm

Mark,

Do you recommend free hand vs Edge Pro? How much harder is free hand to learn? Which is more time consuming (I am more interested in quick, consistent results than a new hobby aiming for perfection)?

Re: Do you recommend free hand or Edge Pro?

Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:41 pm

Here's my take on it this:

The Edge Pro is easier to learn and to get consistantly good results.

Free hand sharpening is more fun (at least for me).

Usually you can get started more cheaply free handing.

Re: Do you recommend free hand or Edge Pro?

Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:43 pm

Freehand is easier but only when properly instructed. A guided system will get the edge sharp but you are tied down by a machine and will have a longer learning curve to the knowledge of sharpening.

Re: Do you recommend free hand or Edge Pro?

Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:56 pm

I'm new all around, but here's what I found- I started out with the Edge Pro and I liked the way it sculpted a drop point- but the system comes with a cautionary note about swarf marks. The thing is, since the stone is above the blade, the swarf lands on the platform that the blade sits on and scuffs the polish on the underside of the knife. This can be averted by taping the blade, but this takes time, especially with a curved blade. Plus, the tape gets wet and starts to lift, so you have to keep wiping the platform....all in all, for me, the time saving is largely eaten up with all the fussing (and worrying).

Now I'm doing freehand. Gary Carter says you can "master" freehand after 100 knives- so it isn't a quick fix. I'm using a two-handed style so guess what- the first thirty knives were all scuffed on the right side because my left hand was so infantile and clumsy and the side of the knife would drag. Now at thirty-nine knives I'm getting better- I think the left hand is constantly a month behind the right hand. The tips are the scariest. There's a link to some video by Mr. Edgy on this site which really helped me to "turn the corner" on the tip problem.

So-For me, the Edge Pro is quicker, at first, but freehand seems more gratifying- and after a few dozen knives, it'll be just as fast.

Re: Do you recommend free hand or Edge Pro?

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:20 pm

I realized my post above needs a footnote- cosmetics aside, both systems produce really sharp edges, fairly early in the learning curve. Compared to what I was getting with my Spyderco triangles, either system is way better- I'm edging into the lower end of "scary"- which was why I got started in the first place.
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