Posts Tagged ‘sharpening with an edge pro’

Diamond Films by Jende Industries

November 10, 2014

Abrasion resistant steels and ceramic knives are now an established part of the knife and tool world, and this requires diamonds in order sharpen them effectively. That’s why we are proud to introduce Diamond Sharpening Films by Jende Industries! We have 10 grits available, ranging from 80 microns to 0.5 microns (180 grit to 30,000 grit), and come in Wicked Edge Precision Sharpener (WEPS) size, Edge Pro size (1″x6″), 2″x6″, 3″x8″ and 3″x11″. They are also available with PSA and non-PSA backing.

2x6 jende standard set web

2″x6″ Diamond Films by Jende Industries

With a grit range that rivals that of some of the best sharpening stone series out there, our diamond films can handle profiling and repairs while bringing your edges to amazing heights of sharpness. Our films are also great for slip stone applications – they can be wrapped around dowels for sharpening serrated edges or the inside curvatures of turning tools, or used to polish the blade of old razors.

We’ve put together a few diamond film sets to choose from in order to get you started:

The Polishing Set includes one piece each of 15, 9, 6, 3, 1, and 0.5 micron films (1K to 30K grit), and is a comprehensive set that is geared toward general edge maintenance and regular repair work. Straight Razor honers will benefit greatly from this set, and those looking for shave ready knife edges will definitely impress!

The Standard Set includes one piece each of 45, 30, 15, 9, 6, and 3 micron films (320 to 6K grit), and is an “all around” set that can handle profiling and reasonable repairs. The 3 micron finish produces a mirror finish, and is “good enough” for most knife and tool applications.

The Coarse Set includes one piece each of 80, 60, 45, 30, 15, and 9 micron films (180 to 1,500 grit). This coarse set is meant for some more serious work, be it cleaning up scratches from belts or diamond plates, or for removing chips or reprofiling. The 9 micron film leaves a great “working sharp” edge that will hold up to abuse, and still do some serious cutting.

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The Edge Pro and Taiwan’s Coast Guard

November 24, 2012

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!

DMT vs. Atoma Diamond Plates For the Edge Pro – A Microscopic Comparison

September 25, 2011

Since we added the Atoma diamond plates for the Edge Pro to our website, people have been asking what the differences are between them and the DMT diamond plates.  I thought that these microscope pictures of each series may help you choose which is best for your needs.

I will say that the only major difference is that the Atoma is available in a standard EP size –  1″x6″ while the DMT is only available in the 2″x6″ size.  The standard 1″x6″ obviously makes things more consistent, but there are advantages to the 2″x6″ as well, especially with longer knives.

It is also quite obvious that the DMT diamonds are “sprinkled” into the matrix while the Atoma diamonds are precisely placed “clusters”. As with everything sharpening, arguments can be made for and against the merits of each, depending on specific situations. I will make my personal comments at the end of this post.

So on to the pictures 🙂

All photographs were taken with a Veho 400 USB microscope at 20x for macro and 400x for micro, and are approximately 13mm wide x 10mm high and 1mm x 1mm, respectively. The pictures have been re sized to fit the format on this blog, but no other alterations were made. Here are the links to the original photos for the Atoma and the DMT plates. All of the plates pictured are already broken in. Atoma does not have any official micron ratings as of this post, so all sizes are loosely compared to the JIS (Japanese) standard.

First up are the Atoma #140 and DMT Extra Coarse. These are not equivalent comparisons, as the the Extra Coarse is 60 microns or #220 grit, and the #140 Atoma is more closely related to the Extra-Extra Coarse (XXC) DMT, which is rated at 120 microns.  You can easily see the major size difference. Nonetheless, these two are the coarsest of the bunch available for the Edge Pro.

#140 Atoma Diamond Plate

#140 Atoma Diamond Plate – Macro

DMT Extra Coarse - Macro

Extra Coarse DMT Diamond Plate – Macro

#140 Atoma Diamond Plate - Micro

#140 Atoma Diamond Plate – Micro

Extra Coarse DMT Diamond Plate - Micro

Extra Coarse DMT Diamond Plate – Micro

The Extra Coarse diamonds at the micro level almost look like pebbles on a beach in comparison to the giant, almost 1mm wide cluster of diamonds in the Atoma (don’t forget – the Atoma is rated much coarser than the Extra Coarse DMT).

Next are the Atoma 400 and the DMT Coarse. These two plates are more closely matched in terms of micron sizes with the DMT Coarse being 45 microns (#320 grit), and the #400 Atoma falling into the JIS 400 range, which is 40 microns.

#400 Atoma Diamond Plate - Macro

#400 Atoma Diamond Plate – Macro

Coarse DMT Diamond Plate - Macro

Coarse DMT Diamond Plate – Macro

#400 Atoma Diamond Plate - Micro

#400 Atoma Diamond Plate – Micro

Coarse DMT Diamond Plate - Micro

Coarse DMT Diamond Plate – Micro

The DMT coarse clearly has a more even coating than the Extra Coarse DMT, and the Atoma #400 cluster is roughly half the size and height of the #140.

Onto the Atoma #600 and DMT Fine. The DMT Fine is 25 microns while the JIS 600 puts the Atoma #600 at around 29 microns.

#600 Atoma Diamond Plate - Macro

#600 Atoma Diamond Plate – Macro

Fine DMT Diamond Plate - Macro

Fine DMT Diamond Plate – Macro

#600 Atoma Diamond Plate - Micro

#600 Atoma Diamond Plate – Micro

Fine DMT Diamond Plate - Micro

Fine DMT Diamond Plate – Micro

At this level, the Atoma #600 ‘s cluster seems to have reached it’s smallest width, and the DMT Fine has a dense, even coating of diamonds.

Lastly, is the Atoma #1200 and the DMT Extra Fine. The DMT is rated at 9 microns, while the JIS standard loosely puts the #1200 Atoma at 13 microns.

#1200 Atoma Diamond Plate - Macro

#1200 Atoma Diamond Plate – Macro

Extra Fine DMT Diamond Plate - Macro

Extra Fine DMT Diamond Plate – Macro

#1200 Atoma Diamond Plate - Micro

#1200 Atoma Diamond Plate – Micro

Extra Fine DMT Diamond Plate - Micro

Extra Fine DMT Diamond Plate – Micro

Personal Thoughts

As with all things sharpening, the answer to which is better is “it depends”. There is no doubt with my experiences that the DMT and Atoma diamond plates both deliver, they just do it differently.

The Atoma plates have a lot of positive things going for them: the #140 is certainly more aggressive than the Extra Coarse DMT, making it a better low end plate for profiling and chip removal. The systematic grid pattern of the Atoma plates make the diamonds less likely to “rip out” – for example, the knife may get between the spaces between diamonds on the DMT Extra Coarse. The Atoma plates also leave a very predictable scratch pattern at each level, which really appeals to my OCD and completely compliments the way my Shapton stones work. The clusters seem to ensure a longer lasting life of the plate, too.

But the Atoma plates come at a cost – literally. The labor in making the Atoma, while worth the cost IMO, may be a little over budget when compared to the price of the DMT plates.

Aside from the price factor, the DMT plates also have a larger surface area, which makes them better suited for working on longer knives, and even arguably faster since there are 2 inches worth of abrasives vs. 1 inch on the Atoma plates.  The sheer density of the diamond coating on the Fine and Extra Fine DMT plates leave a very even finish and “smooth” scratch pattern, as well, which makes progressing to the next stone level easy.

So once again, I recommend getting them all and trying them for yourself 🙂 One thing is for certain in all this – I don’t see either series getting much rest between performances 🙂

2011 BLADE Show in Atlanta, Part 1 – The Sharpening Party

June 23, 2011

So much happened at the 2011 BLADE show in Atalanta, that I don’t know where to begin without sounding like a schoolgirl at a sleepover party! 😀

I should probably start with what happened leading up to the Blade show. Ken Schwartz from Precise Sharpening flew in a couple of days earlier and we had a little sharpening get-together with John F (aka the Hone Ranger), Greg D, a well respected Japanese sword polisher, and his very good friend and sword enthusiast, Ron C.

John immediately earned a life-long invite to our cocktail parties by bringing his own microscope, complete with a portable computer screen! He said it tends to scare a lot of the local business away, though… It definitely had the opposite effect on us. John broke out his Edge Pro Pro model and we started sharpening stuff. I was playing with Ken’s Japanese Natural stones, and John wasted no time putting the nicest edge Ron’s  EDC has ever seen  on it with some Shaptons Pro stones for the Edge Pro (sorry, I forgot what kind of knife it was). I should probably mention that John does a great deal  of his sharpening business on the Edge Pro, and his whole approach is super-professional and friendly. (The 2 gallons of Arizona Iced Tea he brought didn’t hurt either!) 😀

John “Hone Ranger” using the Edge Pro Pro model

With the 1K Shapton Pro stone

With the 1K Shapton Pro stone

Greg brought 3 Japanese Katanas, each in a different stage in the polishing process. This was an extremely cool moment for me. I had always wanted to see a Katana up close. Pictures in books are too small to see the details, and the detailed pictures, often in black and white, don’t show enough of the larger picture. We’ll get to that later.

3 Katana

Greg’s 3 Katana

We also had a Skype video call from a very good friend of ours from the knife forums, Michiel in Belgium. My computer was the virtual Michiel, with the camera pointed so to get a nice long shot of the kitchen where we were working. It was like he was really there, interacting with all of us, and even having his own side conversations!

Greg D, left and John (Hone Ranger) in the back

Ken Schwartz, left, Ron in back, and Michiel’s avatar, right 

After a pizza break, Greg took center stage, setting up his sword polishing station on the back deck. Like I said earlier, this was a big thrill for me. Greg gave an amazing demonstration covering the majority of the polishing process. I must admit that most of the terminology being thrown around made my head spin, but the process had me totally captivated and on the edge of my chair the entire time. The biggest question posed in the end was “How do we incorporate sword polishing techniques into knife sharpening and visa-versa?” This is definitely something I will be thinking about from now on.

Greg showing the different techniques

Greg showing the different techniques

Foundation polishing with a 1K Shapton Glass Stone

Foundation polishing with a 1K Shapton Glass Stone

Polishing at the later stages

bringing out the grain of the steel

Finished polish (different sword)

Finished sword 2

Finished Sword

Finsished Sword

Finsished Sword with better lighting

Of course, we couldn’t help ourselves with the swords, and had to have a little play time with them…. 😀

Ken Killing himself

Ken Killing himself

whooooaaaaaa!

whooooaaaaaa!

Part 2:  What happens in Atlanta…

15mm Wide 30K Shapton Pro for the Edge Pro

July 26, 2010

I recently received an inquiry from a customer who was thinking of purchasing the 15mm wide 30K Shapton Pro Edge Pro stone, and I thought that sharing my answer would be helpful to others.

In order to experience the full potential of the Shapton stones, the 30K is a must, in my opinion. The 15mm wide 30K Shapton Pro EP Stone is certainly a luxury, though – I won’t try to say it isn’t. In my experience it leaves an incredibly consistent and very smooth, yet gripping edge that is not duplicated by any other method I have tried.

Can other things arguably do as good as or better than the 30K pro? Yes. However, different products yield different results. 0.5 micron Chromium oxide makes the bevel very shiny, but the edge becomes less gripping, while 0.5 micron diamonds make the edge more aggressive and leaves more scratches on the bevel. Furthermore, there will be varying results based on the quality of the Chromium Oxide and carat concentration and shape of the crystals in diamond sprays and compounds. These variations are by no means negative if a particular product or combination of products produces the results you desire. I wholeheartedly recommend you experiment with the different products to find which suits you best.

I do recommend the 30K if you are serious about sharpening and your budget permits it. The 30K completes the Shapton lineup, which is the original intention behind using Shaptons. They are designed to be used all the way up to 30K instead of switching to another medium like pasted strops or felt pads at the end. As mentioned above, switching to different products at the very end produces different results. I happen to really like the results of the 30K specifically for sushi knives and straight razors.

The Philosophical Debate about Shapton and Chosera Stones for the Edge Pro

January 30, 2010

In the cosmic order of things, there is a balance made up of equal opposites. Newton said, “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The Asian Yin and Yang are basically two sides of the same coin, so to speak.  Even though I have been very vocal about the fact that no one should dismiss the quality of the stock Edge Pro stones, I can’t help but feel that there is or are some factions of the Edge Pro user world that feel or may feel threatened by the arrival of the Shapton and Chosera stones for the EP.   The following is basically a short stream of consciousness that reveals both sides of the coin from my point of view.  (Just in case you don’t need the philosophy, I’ll conclude  that the Shapton and Chosera EP stones are nothing but good for the Edge Pro.)

The Edge Pro is a great sharpening device, and the EP stock stones have long been the sole choice for it.The arrival of Shapton and Chosera stones creates 2 thoughts – the first is that now EP users will have even more flexibility and options for obtaining great results. The second is that it creates confusion in an otherwise very simple and straight forward (yet very effective) method of sharpening.

It is this second thought that keeps me up at night asking “What if EP users don’t want more options?” After all, as a freehand sharpening stone user, it can be very expensive and time consuming to play around with all of the stones on the market. There is always another possible combo that might work better or faster for a specific knife or tool (that thought keeps me awake, too!) For so long, the Edge Pro has “kept it simple,” offering a single choice of reliable stones and tapes. The idea of opening up the options (or simply having more than 1 option) might cause a loss of stability to long-term users, and confuse or even worse, repel prospective newcomers.

Another issue is the possibility of dividing EP users, since there will inevitably be a “contest” where epic battles will be fought between those with preferences for the different stones. This could also lead to a loss of stability to long-term users, and confuse or even worse, repel prospective newcomers.

However, against these negatives, there are positive possibilities for the arrival of what seems to be direct competition for the stock stones. It hit me that, just like Harley Davidson motorcycles, there is a whole industry of accessories that revolves around the motorcycle itself. You can get custom engines, lights, alarms, luggage, wheels, rims, apparel, etc., that are all for Harleys, but not necessarily made by Harley (I’ve used this argument before). This accessorizing by other companies has not taken away from the appeal of the motorcycle, but has, in fact, added to it. No other motorcycle company has such a large and dedicated “culture” around it.

If you liken the Edge Pro to a Harley, the introduction of the Shapton and Chosera EP stones compliments and raises the status of the Edge Pro. With all due respect to the other sharpening devices out there, no one has deemed it necessary (or more accurately, on one has deemed it cost effective) to actually enhance the functionality of the basic design without changing the device itself (for example, you see lots of usually inferior or altered copies of the original, or DIY projects that boast their inexpensive material costs). In other words, adding or using the Shapton and Chosera EP stones does not change the Edge Pro anymore than adding a chrome kit to your Harley changes it. Much to your satisfaction, you are still purchasing and using the Edge Pro.

To conclude, The Edge Pro has just started it’s own culture, making the negative notions of this endeavor seem petty.

Watch out Harley-Davidson!!! : )

Which Edge Pro Stones – Stock, Chosera, or Shapton?

January 10, 2010

Since the introduction of the Shapton and Chosera stones for the Edge Pro, people have been asking which ones to get – the Stock, the Choseras, or the Shaptons?

As I’ve stated before, the stock stones are certainly very capable of creating an ultra sharp edge. Since it’s conception, the reputation of the EP and the stock stones has been nothing but stellar and I expect that it will always be that way. For those brand new to sharpening or sharpening with the Edge Pro, I suggest starting with the stock stones until your results consistently meet your expectations if for no other reason than the stock EP stones are cheaper to replace – like all things, there is a learning curve and you will probably mess up a stone or two along the way.

Once you are comfortable and confident using the Edge Pro or are ready for more stone options, you have 2 choices when expanding your EP stone collection. The first is to continue from where the stock EP stones leave off onto the Chosera or Shapton stones, and the second is to change out the stock EP stones for equivalent Chosera or Shapton stones. The best part is that no matter which you choose – EP, Shapton or Chosera, you will be happy – having different stones in your arsenal only makes you and your Edge Pro more versatile.

Before making any recommendations for specific stones, I think it best to first put these stones on a more even playing field since they use different, and often confusing grit measurement standards.  The chart below breaks each stone down into its abrasive particle size in microns. It is based on an existing comprehensive breakdown by others, but is by no means an exact comparison. I based the EP stones on the US ANSI standard, the Shaptons off the glass stone micron markings (probably the most exact), and the Chosera off the New JIS (Japanese) standard. To be thorough, I added the EP polishing tapes, but there seems to be a inconsistency in the math between the EP stones and the polishing tapes on the ANSI chart. (If anyone has more specific numbers for the EP stones and tapes, please let me know).

As you can see, the most common denominator is the EP stock 1k, the Shapton 2K and the Chosera 2K. If you choose to continue for more refinement after the stock 1K, the 2K Shapton or Chosera will pretty much duplicate the stock 1K as far as abrasive size is concerned.

If you choose to go with Shaptons, it is highly recommended to start with the Shapton 2K to really prepare the edge for the 5K Shapton pro. The 5K Shapton will only polish. You can skip from 2K to 8K in the Shaptons, but I personally prefer to use the 5K as the first polishing stone, then go to the 8K or even skip to the 15K.

If you start changing out the coarser EP stock stones for Shapton Professional stones, the #220 is formulated for stainless steel, and the #320 is formulated for carbon. The #120 is a hungry stone, but wears the fastest of the coarse Shaptons. The #220 is the “hardest” of the coarse stones, but any one of these stones will make quick work of profiling and removing chips. The 1K is probably the most mathematically correct intermediate Shapton stone. From there, you can go to 2K or skip to the 5K. the #1,500 stone is a little better at skipping to the 5K than the 1K. If you are going for a more cosmetic finish, 1K to 2K to 5K is best.

If you choose to go with Chosera, the 2K or 3K Chosera will set up the edge for the 5K and 10K Choseras. Since the 3K is not a polishing stone, going from the 1K stock EP to the Chosera 3K is reasonable. Skipping from 2K to 5K and 3K to 10K is also acceptable, although still using the 5K  before the 10K is probably best in the long run. Because of the close proximity of the 2K and 3K, the best option for you will depend on which stone is used before and after.

If you start changing out the coarser EP stones for Chosera stones, the #400 is not as slow as it’s grit number sounds. It can hold its own when changing the profile or removing chips. The #400, #600 and #800 Choseras are probably best for simple maintenance sharpening – the #600 is also very nice for removing coarser scratch marks before the 1K.  Like the Shaptons, the 1K Chosera is a mathematically sound stone before either the 2K or 3K Chosera.

So – What do I recommend? Get them all and find out for yourself which is best for you and your knives!  : )