Guided Sharpening Systems?

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SuperLougat

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Hi folks
I've been looking into doing more of my own sharpening, I own some naniwa pro stones but i've never actually been able to properly sharpen by hand on them, so i'm looking for a guided system to help me get the hang of things.
Anyone got any reccomendations? I've heard of the sharpworx system but i'm just wondering what options are available besides that, just to get a lay of the land so to speak.

Thanks
 
I used to use a spyderco sharpmaker until I was good at freehand sharpening. It's great for refining and maintaining a keen edge, but frustrating if you need to remove a lot of material to restore a dull edge

the three guided systems I've seen recommended are Edge Pro, Jende, and Hapstone, but I have not used any of these.
 
I'll give my advice as someone who was lackluster at bench stones, went to a KME for a good while and back to bench stones.

Skip the system and learn the bench stones.

Yes, systems can provide confidence. They can help you not screw up and also feel like that if you do screw up, the system will help you correct it. And yes, you can still screw up with a system and yes there is still a learning curve. Systems can also help you understand the fundamentals of sharpening but this is actually pretty negligeable.

People often think systems are faster than bench stones. They aren't. Even if left set up the stones are small and have less surface contact. Stone change out also takes longer. And they can be messy (gravity causing drips). They are also limited in the height of the angle and most won't allow for proper thinning angles and many will not adjust for the curved tip.

Bench stones are superior in every way except finite repeatability, which even on a system, you have to clamp your knife in the same place every time to take advantage of. Further, that type of hyper control isn't necessary for functional kitchen edges.

So long as you don't have a physical issue we can help you with sharpening.

Other's may have different opinions.
 
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I went this way, a while back. I had been sharpening for decades, but was not consistent about it, and felt that my edges were kinda sharp, but not as sharp as they could be.

What I wanted most was the ability to create a reference edge at will. I certainly got that. What I did not get was anything in the way of technique (other than "use a Sharpie") that helped me with my hand-sharpening. What I mostly got was insurance against self-deception. I couldn't say "yes, this is properly sharp" if I could throw it on the Hapstone R1 and show that I still had a ways to go.

Having finally achieved a sufficient level of proficiency with hand-sharpening, I wouldn't change a thing about my journey. Who ever says they would, at the end of a long and successful quest? And anyway, I still use the Hapstone from time to time, to establish a known angle, or for serious changes in angle, or for scissors (which requires a special attachment) that need more than just a touch-up.

FWIW, the final step in my journey, the one that made me achieve happiness with my hand sharpening, was "put your thumb right behind the bevel." Human engineering.
 
I’ll echo what others have said about benchstones being superior but will add that before I got into stones I used spyderco sharpmaker and then KME to good effect. I think what matters more is that you’re caring for your tools and trust your system. I’ll still use the KME on occasion for pocket knives, but stones get most of the work.
 
It may be helpful to cut a few pieces of wood or cork with common angles, for reference. It will help you in keeping a steady angle. In the beginning you may check with every stroke. Later on you will hardly use them anymore. Together with a sharpie and a loupe — say 10x, 12x — it allows to make sure you're reaching the very edge.
 
The only thing I have to add here is Wicked Edge is overpriced. It works well, though. I never use mine because I enjoy sharpening freehand a lot more. TSPROF used to be the best budget option, but I’ve heard prices have gone up due to import taxes in most Western countries
 
The only thing I have to add here is Wicked Edge is overpriced. It works well, though. I never use mine because I enjoy sharpening freehand a lot more. TSPROF used to be the best budget option, but I’ve heard prices have gone up due to import taxes in most Western countries
Actually, on second thought, I have a complaint. I just forgot about it because I never use my Wicked Edge.

When I set my sharpening angle on each side, I never get an equal 50/50 bevel from setting them at the same number. I always have to use two different angles on each side and fine tune it to be equal. Even on knives where I have two parallel flats to clamp onto on the blade, it still happens.

My best guess is that it has to do with the clamping system - I’m using the cheaper plastic one.

There exists a more expensive aluminum one (I believe), and it might work better, but I cannot testify to that.
 
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