Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:34 am
Spyderco-the good and the bad...
I have used a Spyderco sharpening system for over 30 years now. I picked one up with one of their fine knives at a boat show that many years back. It has served me faithfully ever since.
It is very compact and portable. I packed it with me when I lived on a sailboat and it's sturdy, small case came in handy.
It has done yeoman's service sharpening everything from fishhooks to awls and of course knives.
If your knife is reasonably in good shape and not too dull, this kit works wonderfully. If your knife is very dull or beat up, it becomes more than a chore. It just isn't practical for that kind of work. I know you can get their diamond stones for about $40 extra but no thanks. Likewise, should you want to get that extra, super, fine edge, you need to get their ultra fine stones for another $30+. Again, no thanks.
I keep my kit out on the kitchen counter for quick touch ups. All in all, it is a good little, very portable system to keep your knives, scissors, serrated knives, etc., in sharp condition. Should you have very dull knives, or should you want to reshape your knife, look elsewhere.
One last thought and a question. Thanks to Mark, I have a Tojiro Petty and a CCK 1303 cleaver that are just superb tools. (By the way, cleavers rule!) I am doing almost all my home food prep with both of those knives. They are very sharp folks! My other knives are just languishing on their magnetic bar.
My question is that I have a collection of Victorinox (Forschner) knives that I cannot bring up an edge on them like my carbon steel knives. Again, this is using the Spyderco. Is it the steel?
Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:33 pm
I'm just guessing that your forschners may need thinning and as you suggest the spyderco is overmatched for that job. I use a forschner for slicing open boxes at work and it's pretty easy to sharpen freehand so I don't think it's the steel.
Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:41 pm
I totally agree with mark you will have to hit the stones to revive your forschners, the spyderco system all though good is too much to ask of it abilities. Either learn how to sharpen freehand or buy an edge pro or wicked edge which both seem to be popular on this site. Or send the forschner off to one of marks sharpeners if their not beat up to bad it should be a minimal investment and that way you know your getting a professional job by people who have sharpened hundreds of them. That my friend is the only options I believe you have and I hope I helped. If you decide to use one of marks sharpeners I can attest that they are of good character and very professional and speedy depending on backlog you can check on marks website and the list of sharpeners is their just email or call for time and rough estimate. Peace jmbullman
Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:37 pm
The Forschners very likely do need thinning, but I think the trouble you are describing is due to a burr. Are you deburring? Just cut into a cork when you are done and and then got back and lightly do some edge-trailing strokes for a little while. Forschner stainless is never going to perform like any carbon steel--CCK1303s(which I love, I have and use one) are made from very low-quality carbon steel, and prove this principle well. I've made a knife out of mild(wasn't heat treated at all) carbon steel, and it takes the same edge as a CCK1303--you can knock of rust and take it up to shaving your arm with a 1200 grit rod. Carbon steel does not have all that Chromium to contend with.
There's no difference to me between a Sharpmaker and any other ceramic honing rod, so it's not an outlandish idea to use it on kitchen knives--it's just outlandish to me that Spyderco proposes that is all you need to maintain a knife. It's like saying there's no need for regular maintenance on your car because you bought your own air compressor.
There is a local knife shop in a mall that, when you bring in kitchen knives for them to sharpen, they rub them on a Sharpmaker.
Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:58 pm
It should be called the sharpkeeper. It's much better keeping a semi sharp blade razor sharp than making a dull blade sharp again. The ceramics that come with the SM are rated @ 15 and 6 Micron respectively but because of the type of abrasive they are more of a polisher than a sharpening or grinding stone.
To me these type of devices are a ok starting point but not a tool one should rely on for all sharpening needs. For the knives you have it wouldn't hurt to get 3 nice waterstones and learn to sharpen by hand. You will find they are not that difficult to use and provide a better edge to the knives you are trying to sharpen.
Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:54 pm
Thanks guys for your suggestions and knowledge. I was indeed frustrated with the Spyderco results. For a quick touch up it is ok.
I managed to pick up (very cheaply!) a used Edge Pro in a yard sale. I am not impressed with the stones that were with it. The stones were beat up and marked made in China? I don't understand that. Anyway, I will be saving my pennies for new stones. Should I go to Edge Pro for a new set or what do you all recommend?
Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:56 pm
Thanks guys for your suggestions and knowledge. I was indeed frustrated with the Spyderco results. For a quick touch up it is ok. But that is all.
I managed to pick up (very cheaply!) a used Edge Pro in a yard sale. I am not impressed with the stones that were with it. The stones were beat up and marked made in China? I don't understand that. I thought they were all USA. Anyway, I will be saving my pennies for new stones. Should I go to Edge Pro for a new set or what do you all recommend?
Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:23 pm
whoa, you found an EP in a yard sale?? Where the heck do you live???
Mark has a billion choices for EP stones. If I was buying some, I'd probably get an Atoma plate, a few Shapton Pros and a strop.
Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:58 pm
There was a company in Canada that was selling a knock-off of the Edge Pro. I wonder if you have an authentic EP or the knock-off? I remember Ben Dale having a note about this on the EP web site. You might contact Ben on the subject as I am sure he can answer any question you might have. Ben is wonderful to deal with.
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