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Old 09-29-2008, 04:56 PM   #11
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buzzard767 has good points. Also, I find that one of the tricky things when starting to use an Apex is keeping the knife flat. This is easy for -say- a gyuto or chef's knife which is essentially flat on both sides, all the way to the spine. But when sharpening a big ol' thick Buck pocket knife, for example (where the bevel extends halfway to the spine) you need to decide which of those two surfaces will be "flat" fo0r the purposes of your sharpening. And understand that it'll get harder to hold as you move toward the knife's tip (depending on which "flat" you choose.) Also, choosing the technically-incorrect "flat" (which sometimes makes sharpening easier, depending on the knife) means that the degree measurements of your angles will be off, in reference to the EdgePro's angle measurements.

-Dawk
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:58 PM   #12
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Thanks Dawk. I have a feeling that will make more sense to me once I start using it. Luckily, almost all the knives I have are kitchen knives so I am guessing I will not have to deal with that issue much.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:46 PM   #13
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Thanks Dawk. I have a feeling that will make more sense to me once I start using it. Luckily, almost all the knives I have are kitchen knives so I am guessing I will not have to deal with that issue much.
You are correct, GB. Dr. A makes good points and very true ones at that. I find that hunting knives are usually easier to sharpen freehand, but you probably won't be doing Sarah Palin's moose knife so it won't be an issue. Most kitchen knives are a piece of cake with the EP.

Watch how Ben Dale does it on the DVD and then start at about one third that speed. You'll also find out immediately that we are all asymetrically untalented. When you switch the knife from one side to the other and start using your other hand to control the stone it will feel very unnatural. All it takes is practice, though, and you'll be an old hand in no time.

When you EP arrives ask questions on this forum. If the members here can't give you an adequate answer call Ben Dale directly. He is most generous with his time and knowledge.

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Old 09-29-2008, 09:26 PM   #14
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Thanks Buzz. The fact that Ben is willing to take phone calls tells me a lot about his product, without ever even having used it.

I can't wait to get it and start playing.

OK, here is my next question. How do you test for sharpness? I already keep my knives pretty sharp. I have tested by holding a piece of paper and slicing through it. My knives all cut through the paper easily without tearing it. Is there a better way to test degrees of sharpness?
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:44 PM   #15
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I can't wait for the answer on that one, GB.
Back in the day, one way told me was to do the lick and shave test on your forearm. After doing that, see if the blade woud "catch" on your thumbnail when being dragged across it. This of course was told to me by hunters and not professional knife sharpeners. Good topic.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:47 PM   #16
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I have used the thumbnail test too and all my knives currently pass that test too.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:41 PM   #17
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Thanks Buzz. The fact that Ben is willing to take phone calls tells me a lot about his product, without ever even having used it.

I can't wait to get it and start playing.

OK, here is my next question. How do you test for sharpness? I already keep my knives pretty sharp. I have tested by holding a piece of paper and slicing through it. My knives all cut through the paper easily without tearing it. Is there a better way to test degrees of sharpness?
How to test? This is a very good question and there is no one answer. The famous custom maker Murray Carter has his "three finger test". I find it interesting if confusing but I still use it with every knife I sharpen out of habit. I never figured out what it's telling me though. Sorry to bring up Chico once again, but the following quote (loosely) is from him.... "a thousand microscopic paranas nibbling at you fingerprints". I have felt this and it rings true. This is sharp, yet, how sharp?

Other's cut string at various tentions. Then there is cutting wet rope of a given diameter- mostly for larger tacticle knives, and several other "tests". Nobody really agrees which is best and individuals go their own way.

My method is what is commonly known as push cutting. Take a 8 x 11 piece of computer printing paper, hold it in the portrait position centered at the top by thumb and fore finger (the pinch). Place the blade outward from the pinch and push straight down with absolutely no slicing motion. A well sharpened knife will do this. The key to how sharp the edge is, is the distance from the pinch that the blade will cut cleanly. The above mentioned "well sharpened knife" will push cut about 1/4 inch from the pinch and will do everything and more ever required in a kitchen, home or professional.

On to insanity: True sharp comes ONLY through stropping. Picture the barber with his straight razor. Not to meander too much, but the barber can slash away on the strop the same way TV cooks do the same with their idiotic grooved steels. The difference is in the geometry of a straight razor. What the barber does actually works. Not so with knives. The technique of stropping a knife should be another thread as there is only one way to do it properly and it deserves its own space. I'm sure GB will be begging for answers later. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this. I will polish a blade with a 10k grit waterstone and the blade will pushcut cleanly about 1/2" from the pinch. By the time stropping is completed the same blade will pushcut 1 3/4" from the pinch. The difference, in real terms, is absolutely astounding.
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:33 PM   #18
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It arrived this morning. I can see now why people have said there is a learning curve. It is not a dummy proof system. There is room for error. I am glad I have some junky knives to practice on.

I do not yet have the magic marker trick down. I understand the concept, but it does not seem to be working for me. I put the marker on the edge, but no matter what angle I set it at the marker remained. I decided to just go ahead and sharpen a knife anyway.

I took one of my first kitchen knives out of the drawer. I bought it when I first moved out. It was one of those deals where you buy a block of knives and you get like 5 or 6 for about $20. The really were crappy knives. Before sharpening I would have had trouble cutting whipped cream with it.

Before getting this system I thought it would take 5 minutes or so to sharpen a knife. I was wrong. I spent a good half hour or so working on this blade. I gave up after that because I did feel a burr (I think) along most, if not all, of the edge. It was not super obvious though so maybe I could have gone further with it. My hands were getting tired though and I was having trouble keeping the knife flat on the table so I thought this was good enough.

I tested with a piece of paper. Before sharpening it would not even start to think about slicing the paper. After, it went though very easily. It certainly is not the sharpest knife I have ever handled, but it is at the point now that if I did really want to use it for real (I don't though) then it would work quite well.

I think after doing this about 10 times or so I will really have it down pat. This is by far the best sharpener I have ever used. The others I have used, for comparison, have been a Chefs Choice electric (I hated it), Lanksy sharpening system like the one Andy M. uses. I liked that system, but I found it a little difficult to use at times, and a Lansky Crock stick system which I also liked, but was never able to get my knives as sharp as I would have liked with it. I can see that the Edge Pro will absolutely get my knives to the point I want and even beyond if I am so inclined.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:19 AM   #19
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I just ordered my EdgePro Pro yesterday. I'm so excited and can't wait to get it. I've never had a real sharpening systrm before.

This is a good thread and I enjoy reading and learning from the posts here.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:21 AM   #20
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You are going to love it Nicahawk. It does take some getting used to. If you have a knife you can practice on that that will help. I have never had such sharp knives since I started using my EdgePro.
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