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Thread: Thoughts/Opinions on Tru-Hone system

  1. #1
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    Thoughts/Opinions on Tru-Hone system

    There aren't many sharpening shops in my area. The couple of shops that I'm aware of use the Tru Hone system. https://www.truhone.com

    I've been thinking for some time about starting my own regional sharpening business (not only knives, general sharpening too .. garden implements, etc). I know I have a ways to go with my sharpening skills, but I'm sure I can do better than the TruHone system.

    I wonder what everyone's thoughts are on this system.

    I have a full set of japanese stones that Dave recommends and I'm getting pretty good at it, all the while practising Dave's instructions. I've recently added a Kalamazoo 1SM 1x42 belt grinder to my line-up to speed things along and I plan on adding a 8" slow rpm bench grinder to the mix with buffing wheel for polishing the face of knives after I thin. I recognize I could use more instruction and supervision from Dave, but I'm sure I could overcome the quality of the Tru-Hone based sharpening shops at this point in my skill level.

    Here are my shallow/humble observations from watching the videos on the webpage:

    Other than flat-out ignoring asymetric knives and trad. J-knives all together with this thing....

    * Wouldn't the tru-hone pretty much overgrind the flat part of a full bolster knife .. without thinning/shunting (?) the bolster (this is possibly worded strangely forgive me, I hope you can guess what I mean)?
    * No deburring what so ever
    * Hollow grinding with such small wheels?! instead of a beautiful convex edge.....
    * Looks like it takes forever to move to a different grit, so why bother?
    * It just sharpens the tippity tips of a serrated knife, not the full serration

    It seems like an over-complicated and expensive system

    I don't want to run a negative add campaign, but I would like to have a decent comparison of what I offer and what the other shops in my area offer.

    I wonder what thoughts of mine are maligned and what your thoughts are on this system in addition to mine.

    Thanks,
    Andy

  2. #2
    Hi Andy,
    A lot of pro scissor/shear sharpeners have a Tru-Hone mounted in their van to pick up any extra business that comes their way from knives. Very few pro knife sharpening services use Tru-Hones because they're impractical for a full time knife sharpener. One thing that will become clear to you very quickly is that the knife sharpening business is more about the repairs than the final edge....yes the final edge quality is extremely important but the repair work done before you get to that is what takes all the time to do. As a pro sharpener I would advise looking for a solution that can offer quick repairs and quick/quality sharpening from the same system.

    Tru-Hones, and similar pull through machines, can only only re-edge and this causes lots of issues that require repairs. This is another good reason to consider your repair solution because if you plan on going behind a knife sharpener who's using one of those things you're going to need to be able to fix his mess....and quickly!

    BTW, a small belt sander (like you have) isn't a bad thing to have (I used a 1x30 for years) but trust me it won't work for reprofiling and you'll need to be able to handle this work because the Tru-Hone screws up bolstered knives real bad. You need a long unobstructed platen for this task so I'd suggest a larger belt grinder (2x48 minimum) that you can run the knife down the belly tip to heal/bolster on before sharpening. I reprofile 99% of all bolstered German knives I see and the percentage of others is pretty high as well.

    Again, I can't stress enough how important the issue of being able to tackle repair work is to the pro sharpener.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    BTW, a small belt sander (like you have) isn't a bad thing to have (I used a 1x30 for years) but trust me it won't work for reprofiling and you'll need to be able to handle this work because the Tru-Hone screws up bolstered knives real bad. You need a long unobstructed platen for this task so I'd suggest a larger belt grinder (2x48 minimum) that you can run the knife down the belly tip to heal/bolster on before sharpening. I reprofile 99% of all bolstered German knives I see and the percentage of others is pretty high as well.
    Thank you for the kind words. I wonder, the technique your talking about is literally putting the edge with the full length of the knife onto the belt, with a platen that is at least the length of the knife for support? aka like the same motion you would have on a cutting board if you were using the full length of the knife? And this is only to get back that flat area that was lost because the bolster was in the way of the TruHone (or other pull through system) correct?

    I imagine cringing the whole time if I would do this! ... but I understand it is the first step of the process for repairing but holy crap still, what a spiritual experience!

    I don't have enough money to buy another belt sander any time soon ... and I ask this lightly I suppose because you already answered and I should follow what you answered, but do you think I could get away with rigging a longer platen in replacement of the standard one that came with the 1SM? I think I could at least get a metal worker friend to help me accomplish this. Or is there more to it that I'm not understanding in my naivety.

    A side note: Bro, I need to come out and learn these tricks from you at this next level with a bunch of **** knives. I got a box somewhere but I can't afford to do anything... I quit my job at the restaurant and now I need to come up with something. I'm working at a farm to help pay the bills. I'm hoping to consult with a business start-up type place here locally and get moving with something like this.

    Thanks again for the advice.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by andygraybeal View Post
    Thank you for the kind words. I wonder, the technique your talking about is literally putting the edge with the full length of the knife onto the belt, with a platen that is at least the length of the knife for support? aka like the same motion you would have on a cutting board if you were using the full length of the knife? And this is only to get back that flat area that was lost because the bolster was in the way of the TruHone (or other pull through system) correct?
    Yup, you've got it correct except that I don't go 90deg to the platen, I go at 45 deg from both sides. This allows a quick drop to 20 deg when grinding in the edge. Less chance of screwing up the bolster/profile again also.


    Quote Originally Posted by andygraybeal View Post
    I imagine cringing the whole time if I would do this! ... but I understand it is the first step of the process for repairing but holy crap still, what a spiritual experience!
    You got that right too. LOL

    This is the thing that I harp on when I teach a new pro how to sharpen. I want them to really understand how to do this before they leave because this is the single largest thing that separates a hack from a seasoned knife sharpener.




    Quote Originally Posted by andygraybeal View Post
    I don't have enough money to buy another belt sander any time soon ... and I ask this lightly I suppose because you already answered and I should follow what you answered, but do you think I could get away with rigging a longer platen in replacement of the standard one that came with the 1SM? I think I could at least get a metal worker friend to help me accomplish this. Or is there more to it that I'm not understanding in my naivety.
    I think that it's possible to do this.



    Quote Originally Posted by andygraybeal View Post
    A side note: Bro, I need to come out and learn these tricks from you at this next level with a bunch of **** knives. I got a box somewhere but I can't afford to do anything... I quit my job at the restaurant and now I need to come up with something. I'm working at a farm to help pay the bills. I'm hoping to consult with a business start-up type place here locally and get moving with something like this.

    Thanks again for the advice.
    You're always welcome here but you should also feel free to ask questions if you have any, you've got my email.

    Good luck to you!

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