The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by simar »

Its possible to master one of the guided systems quickly but I find them inadequate for the edges I want on japanese kitchen knives where I prefer freehand systems
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by ken123 »

Mastering guided systems is often underrated as opposed to being good using these systems. Of course if you prefer one approach, use that approach.

Ken
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by michael1778 »

ken123 wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:22 pm Mastering guided systems is often underrated as opposed to being good using these systems. Of course if you prefer one approach, use that aporoach.

Ken
If I catch the bug really bad, I could see myself trying to master both or do a fusion of them depending on the requirement. I never saw them as exclusive versus the other. But, one of them happens first. Freehand it will be.
We need to revisit my shopping list. 8-)

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by ken123 »

"We need to revisit my shopping list. "

Anytime

---
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by TheLegalRazor »

When I developed an interest in kitchen knives, I had already been a longtime straight razor user. I had a 1k to 20k progression of stones, and was proficient at sharpening my straight razors. When I decided to learn to sharpen kitchen knives, the thought of a guided system never entered my mind. I just assumed I would learn to sharpen on the stones. What I then realized is that sharpening kitchen knives is more difficult than sharpening straight razors. I'm still more proficient at sharpening straight razors than kitchen knives, but I know I'll eventually get to where I need to with my kitchen knives. However, the thought of also learning to use a guided system appeals to me. I see an Edge Pro Apex in my future.
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by Radar53 »

simar wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:18 am Its possible to master one of the guided systems quickly but I find them inadequate for the edges I want on japanese kitchen knives where I prefer freehand systems
ken123 wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:22 pm Mastering guided systems is often underrated as opposed to being good using these systems. Of course if you prefer one approach, use that aporoach.
Ken
Ken, I definitely agree with you here. I'm in the opposite position to simar. I'm pretty good at sharpening freehand, as opposed to mastering it, so my EdgePro edges on Japanese knives are significantly better. As Peter Nowlan says it all comes down to practice, practice, practice and patience, patience, patience. My freehand edges continue to improve :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Cheers Grant

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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by branwell »

Michael,

I have a forge, make knives, and I can tell you, one of the best parts is when my daughter joins me and we make stuff together.

Freehand sharpening is a life skill that can be used anywhere. In your kitchen, in your car, hiking up a trail, on a beach, underwater scuba diving, in a warehouse. Its also something that's fun to do and teach your kids. You can go looking for natural sharpening stones together, test them, scare their Mum etc. Lots of fun :)

A guided system can get you pretty amazing flat edges. That's nice, and if that is all you're interested in and don't mind dealing with the contraption, then it is a legitimately good way to go.

On the other hand, freehand sharpening can get you flat edges, convex edges, compound edges, works on pretty much anything you care to name, knives, lawnmower blades, axes, and if you are in a hurry, is way faster than a guided system. It also teaches you skills that let you sharpen on pretty much anything that will dull a knife. Got a book, you can sharpen a knife. Got a bit of cardboard, you can sharpen a knife. Got a bag of concrete, you are all set.

Which ever way you go, teach your kids, that's the best part :)
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by Radar53 »

branwell wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:47 pm A guided system can get you pretty amazing flat edges. That's nice, and if that is all you're interested in ........

On the other hand, freehand sharpening can get you flat edges, convex edges, compound edges, .........
Hi there branwell and welcome to the forum.

I have used guided systems for 20+ years and have been freehand sharpening for 3 or 4 years and IMO both methods each have their pro's & con's.

While I agree with much of what you posted, the two assumptions you have made, as quoted above, are not correct. Not trying to be argumentative here, just wanting to set the record straight.

On my EdgePro(s) I have successfully been doing compound edges (double & triple) since 1999 and some 5 years ago I designed modifications to also do convex edges. It does both of these types of edges very well and very precisely. The guys that make the Hapstone brand of guided system, sell a stone arm specifically for doing convex edges.

The downside I find is that it can be pretty fiddly and when you're getting into grinds with that level of detail, there ain't a lot of "zen".

For me, there is no right or wrong here & each person should obviously make their own choice. I find both methods to be complementary rather than a digital choice of "either / or". :) :) :)
Cheers Grant

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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by branwell »

Hi Radar,

Thanks for the welcome and thanks for correcting me. You are definitely right. Things like EdgePros can do Compound if you change the angle.

Speaking of Edgepros, I have one that's not getting enough love. Would love to see your mods if you don't mind sharing. Would be good to get it out and dust it of.

Best.
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by Radar53 »

Hi there branwell.

Thanks for coming back.

You can check out a pic of the "rod mods" done some years back here <https://www.dropbox.com/s/kxtfoae5egmxxrr/EP.jpg?dl=0>. Can't take any of the credit for the design of the rod, but my Apex is 20+ years old and needed a few other mods to accommodate them and get to the finished outcome. There is a second longer rod that came with the kit, but not shown in the picture.

Also if you are after the Hapstone convexing stone arm you can find it here <https://www.gritomatic.com/collections/ ... r-hapstone>. Play the small video link to see it in more detail. I think this is pretty cool and way more elegant than anything that I developed as a proof-of-concept hack a few years back. The only thing to check is the actual diameter of the rod that connects into the jig itself and make sure that it matches the diameter of the EdgePro stone arm rod. If it doesn't, then just take the existing one out and get your local engineering shop to turn one up so that it fits the ball joint for the EP Apex.

Hope this helps
Cheers Grant

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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by branwell »

Hay Radar,

Saw your pic, watched the video. That is just so cleaver. So simple. Thank you.

Inspired me to pull out the Edgepro this AM and sharpen something before coffee, something of a gamble if I go at it freehand. Got a great edge lol.

Thanks so much for posting although I think we are hijacking the thread :)

Best
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpeni

Post by XexoX »

arthurfowler wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:39 am ....
If I knew what I know now, this is what I would have done. I would choose 3 splash and go stones, course, medium and fine. You can then sharpen whenever you like with no notice. If you go with Shapton Pro, you don’t need a stone holder. I would get a diamond flattening plate, a wine bottle cork and a leather strop. That’s it. ...
Best

Gareth
If you don't mind me asking Mr. Gareth, which three stones would you pick, preferable ones that CKTG carries and are in stock? Also, please forgive my ignorance, but what is the wine cork for?

Thank you ever so much,
Xexo
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpeni

Post by michael1778 »

XexoX wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:50 am
arthurfowler wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:39 am ....
If I knew what I know now, this is what I would have done. I would choose 3 splash and go stones, course, medium and fine. You can then sharpen whenever you like with no notice. If you go with Shapton Pro, you don’t need a stone holder. I would get a diamond flattening plate, a wine bottle cork and a leather strop. That’s it. ...
Best

Gareth
If you don't mind me asking Mr. Gareth, which three stones would you pick, preferable ones that CKTG carries and are in stock? Also, please forgive my ignorance, but what is the wine cork for?

Thank you ever so much,
Xexo
I want at least the usual stones in my rotation to be splash & go. It works well in my lifestyle, as he described. Easier to dry and put away afterward. The cork is a method of removing any residual burr. I happen to try to remove with soft edge-trailing strokes on each stone in my progression. Unfortunately, almost the entire Shapton Pro line is out of stock. I have a Shapton Glass 500 and a Shapton Pro 2000. Coarse stones like 320 and lower (220, 180, 150, 120, etc) are reported often as thirsty stones even in more splash and go lines. Maybe the Shapton Glass is not that way.

Shapton Pro, Shapton Glass, Suehiro Debado (as advertised as splash and go), and Naniwa Professional/Chosera are the splash & go stone sets that come to mind. I tried to mention them in increasing price order (not value). It seems that many higher grit level stones are splash & go or nearly so (like some of the 6k, 8k, and up in many product lines). As such, read the reviews or posts describing them.

I still need to add a lower grit stone "under" my SG500 and then something in the 4k or higher range for finishing after my SP2k

I hope this helps you.

-- Mike
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by jacko9 »

I'm not sure how long it will be before CKTG has the Shapton Pro in stock again but, I did find a source on Amazon that I used before.



I would get the Atoma 140 plate to flatten whatever stones you buy.

Jack
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpeni

Post by arthurfowler »

XexoX wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:50 am
arthurfowler wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:39 am ....
If I knew what I know now, this is what I would have done. I would choose 3 splash and go stones, course, medium and fine. You can then sharpen whenever you like with no notice. If you go with Shapton Pro, you don’t need a stone holder. I would get a diamond flattening plate, a wine bottle cork and a leather strop. That’s it. ...
Best

Gareth
If you don't mind me asking Mr. Gareth, which three stones would you pick, preferable ones that CKTG carries and are in stock? Also, please forgive my ignorance, but what is the wine cork for?

Thank you ever so much,
Xexo
Hi Xexo

I have the Shapton Glass 500,2000,6000 and I really like them. I used to have the Shapton Pro 220,1000, 2000 and 5000 and I would equally recommend them and they benefit from the included stone holder. I would drop the 2k if you only want 3 stones albeit the 2k is a lovely stone to use and I think it really compliments the other 3. I sold my Pro’s and kept the glass range. I would honestly have been happy with either (I would have missed the SG500 though) but I chose the Glass range due to their smaller size and therefore their ability to travel especially when paired with the field holder. I use the cork for deburring after reducing the burr on the stone and before stropping on leather. I think the key point is that by having a trusted simple set up, you fully concentrate on your technique and the constant improvement of it rather than with me, my mind creating doubt on whether other stones and progressions would create a sharper edge.

I hope this helps.

Best

Gareth
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by michael1778 »

Not being a wine drinker, I got the deburring block from CKTG. Two of them actually. I might lose one.
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpeni

Post by XexoX »

michael1778 wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:36 pm I want at least the usual stones in my rotation to be splash & go. It works well in my lifestyle, as he described. Easier to dry and put away afterward. The cork is a method of removing any residual burr. I happen to try to remove with soft edge-trailing strokes on each stone in my progression. Unfortunately, almost the entire Shapton Pro line is out of stock. I have a Shapton Glass 500 and a Shapton Pro 2000. Coarse stones like 320 and lower (220, 180, 150, 120, etc) are reported often as thirsty stones even in more splash and go lines. Maybe the Shapton Glass is not that way.

Shapton Pro, Shapton Glass, Suehiro Debado (as advertised as splash and go), and Naniwa Professional/Chosera are the splash & go stone sets that come to mind. I tried to mention them in increasing price order (not value). It seems that many higher grit level stones are splash & go or nearly so (like some of the 6k, 8k, and up in many product lines). As such, read the reviews or posts describing them.

I still need to add a lower grit stone "under" my SG500 and then something in the 4k or higher range for finishing after my SP2k

I hope this helps you.

-- Mike
Thanks for the info Mike. I'll checkout the Shapton stones.
michael1778 wrote:Not being a wine drinker, I got the deburring block from CKTG. Two of them actually. I might lose one.
Well, I've got at least 15 cases of wine in the basement, so I think I'm good on wine corks! :mrgreen:
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by XexoX »

jacko9 wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:02 pm I'm not sure how long it will be before CKTG has the Shapton Pro in stock again but, I did find a source on Amazon that I used before.



I would get the Atoma 140 plate to flatten whatever stones you buy.

Jack
Thanks Jack. I've somehow got Firefox blocking iframes, so that shows up blank, but I'll look at the url that I see. I try not to order off Amazon if I can find the items anywhere else, but I'll keep that link just in case.
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpeni

Post by XexoX »

arthurfowler wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:56 pmHi Xexo

I have the Shapton Glass 500,2000,6000 and I really like them. I used to have the Shapton Pro 220,1000, 2000 and 5000 and I would equally recommend them and they benefit from the included stone holder. I would drop the 2k if you only want 3 stones albeit the 2k is a lovely stone to use and I think it really compliments the other 3. I sold my Pro’s and kept the glass range. I would honestly have been happy with either (I would have missed the SG500 though) but I chose the Glass range due to their smaller size and therefore their ability to travel especially when paired with the field holder. I use the cork for deburring after reducing the burr on the stone and before stropping on leather. I think the key point is that by having a trusted simple set up, you fully concentrate on your technique and the constant improvement of it rather than with me, my mind creating doubt on whether other stones and progressions would create a sharper edge.

I hope this helps.

Best

Gareth
Thanks Gareth, yes it helps.
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Re: The metaphorical fork in the road: Freehand vs Guided System Sharpening

Post by XexoX »

michael1778 wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:25 pm Not being a wine drinker, I got the deburring block from CKTG. Two of them actually. I might lose one.
Well, if you ever need any wine corks, PM me. I'm sure I can mail you a few.
You can blame Mr. Suburban for my being here. :lol:
The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
All steels are equal if you can't keep them sharp. -- Jeff B.
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