There aren’t too many Edge Pro users here in Taiwan, and I was quite surprised when I received an inquiry from Mr. Randy Chen asking about some of the Ken Schwartz Diamond Films for the Edge Pro. I immediately called him up to discuss his questions, and found out that he is a career officer serving in the Taiwan Coast Guard, and while he is stationed in Taipei, he is originally from Kaohsiung city. I extended an invitation for him to come over to my workshop the next time he visited Kaohsiung. As luck would have it, he was coming down to Kaohsiung for a ceremony, and our schedules worked out where we were could meet up and play with some of the Edge Pro stones!
Randy likes and collects folding knives as a hobby, and has gotten into sharpening and maintaining them as a way to reduce stress and relax. He doesn’t use them “on the job” since he is on the administration side of things with the coast guard. He purchased an Edge Pro, and since the steels in his knife collection are varied, he was looking for something more versatile than the stock EP stones.
Randy made it to the workshop, set up his Edge Pro, and we profiled a new knife (sorry, I forgot the name and the steel type). We started off with the Atoma 140 plate, which made quick work of establishing the bevel on both sides of the knife. I chose the Atoma 140 over the 125 or 165 micron diamond papers because while both products are diamond abrasives, the Atoma plates are more aggressive due to the raised clusters of diamonds in a very controlled grid pattern which scratch deeper. Conversely, the more “matted” texture of the films will prevent chipping on more brittle steels, and do an excellent job of cleaning up the deeper scratches from the diamond plates.
From the Atoma 140, we jumped to the 74 micron diamond film. Randy was completely impressed with just how fast the Atoma 140 scratches were removed and the 74 micron scratches established. They are also quite uniform, and even though the edge is still rather unrefined (74 micron = approx #200 JIS), it was almost work sharp. That’s the major advantage to using guided sharpening – you get very sharp knives very early in the game because the shape of the edge is established so consistently and because the texture of the films won’t scratch as deep.
After the 74 micron film, we jumped to the 30 micron film (approx #500 JIS). We could’ve jumped to an even finer grit from the 74 micron, but Randy wanted more perfection in his progression. Once again, the 30 micron scratches were quickly established and I would call this knife work sharp, even though work sharp is generally considered 1K-2K JIS. Then on to the 20 micron ( approx. #800 JIS). Honestly, the knife could’ve stopped here, but we took it to the 9 micron (approx. #1,500 JIS). Randy was more and more impressed at each level of refinement, and his edge looked fantastic, and was easily shaving arm hair. For fun, and since our time was limited, we did a quick 5 strokes on the 0.5 micron CBN to give the edge of the edge just a little more “umpfh”.
Randy’s knife was never sharper!
Unfortunately our time ran out, and Randy had to leave – but it’s good to know that Randy is now proudly serving his country with sharp knives at the ready!