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Knife Sharpening Systems - EdgePro, Apex


A Patric
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Hi all,

I have read a few posts at eGullet about the Edge Pro system and I've been to their web site to watch the video and read up on it a little. What does everyone think about it? Does it make it much easier to sharpen your knives to a screamingly sharp edge? What are the good points and bad points? Is it easy to round the tip of the knife if you aren't careful? Which version do you have, the "professional" (expensive), or the "apex" (less expensive)?

On a related note, Octaveman mentioned that he had heard that they might scuff up the sides of some Japanese knives, due to the extremely acute angles of the blade. Has anyone experienced this, and is there a workaround?

Best,

Alan

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I have the Apex model. I am thrilled with my EdgePro. I don't have knives that are show pieces so I don't care if they get scratched up a little. The one great thing with this system is that you don't have to worry too much about maintaining the perfect angle since you will get consistant cuts with each pass. I can easily do multi bevels and my knives stay very sharp. It was expensive but not a moments buyers remorse. You can get good results on your first try. Highly recommended.

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I have Apex for 3 or 4 years, and this is by far the best system I ever seen. Only one negative point - it does scratch the sides, so you'd better put some masking tape if you're worried. The only better alternative is whet stone, but only if you have already mastered it. I don't have time for that, so Apex works marvelously for me.

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I just got my Apex this week and have already sharpened 3 or 4 of my knives to an extremely sharp edge. I was able to use a whetstone pretty well, but this takes it a step further in the right direction!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Yes, this is what I was expecting to see. The Apex is a good system and you can get good results and is pretty much fool proof. I would actually like to see it in action some day. Working with stones is definately a skill that needs to be learned but it doesn't take long to get it if you learn and stick to the basic's. Practice on crappy knives first then move on. Go slow and stay consistant with your angles. Korin has a sharpening video that is very good at showing you how to properly sharpen knives on stones. Great visual instruction as just reading about it can get confusing.

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i did a piece not so long ago talking about sharpening systems and the edge pro really was great. there is some scuffage--i've got some great laguiole steak knives (one of the good brands) with a mirror edge that i'm really dreading having to sharpen one day. but with kitchen knives it's not a problem. especially if you use the trick they talk about--marking the very edge with a magic marker and taking a few test strokes to make sure the stone is lined up exactly right.

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If you're worried about getting scratches on the blade (they come from particles of metal that get on to the knife "deck" and scratch the blade as you move it across, not from the stones themselves) you can just put a strip of clear packing tape on each side of the blade when you sharpen.

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Working with stones is definately a skill that needs to be learned but it doesn't take long to get it if you learn and stick to the basic's.  Practice on crappy knives first then move on. 

That's right if you happen to sharpen often. But with modern Japanese knives, used at home... I do it just once in a 6-8 month, and with that little practice the chance to ruin a great knife are too high. So here's where Apex comes to the picture...

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If you're worried about getting scratches on the blade (they come from particles of metal that get on to the knife "deck" and scratch the blade as you move it across, not from the stones themselves) you can just put a strip of clear packing tape on each side of the blade when you sharpen.

If the tolerance between the stone and the knife is that small to cause scratches from the metal particles by themselves wouldn't a piece of tape get in the way of trying to sharpen at that acute angle? I used to use blue painters tape on my knives when learning on stones and I kept scuffing the tape rather than the knife (which is a good thing) but I could never get the angle I wanted as a result. I always had to raise the angle ever so slightly to keep from hitting the tape. Definately a good training tool. Does this happen with the Apex?

Alan, thanks. Don't have time to read it now but will later.

Doronin, that is very true that for light home use you won't "need" to sharpen often. I actually find sharpening with stones fun and when I first got started, I sharpened everything I had every week whether it needed it or not. My edges got progressively sharper the more proficient I got doing all this practicing. I'm to the point now that the skill is 2nd nature so I sharpen every 3-4 weeks or as needed. The idea of doing something by hand appeals to me more that hooking up a machine and going through the motions then moving on. I know I'm in the minority here when it comes to knives and sharpening but that's okay. Maybe I really am nuts, who knows. :unsure:

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Maybe I really am nuts, who knows.  :unsure:

Then I'm nuts to. Learning to sharpen on a stone was a milestone (no pun intended) in my journey through life.

I don't expect to ever own a high-end knife so scuffing is not an issue for me.

When I need to hone an edge I can have the job done in minutes with my stone. If I were to look at something like the Apex in the future I'd want to know how much setup and put-away time the tool requires. Is it convenient to use for just one knife?

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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If you're worried about getting scratches on the blade (they come from particles of metal that get on to the knife "deck" and scratch the blade as you move it across, not from the stones themselves) you can just put a strip of clear packing tape on each side of the blade when you sharpen.

If the tolerance between the stone and the knife is that small to cause scratches from the metal particles by themselves wouldn't a piece of tape get in the way of trying to sharpen at that acute angle? I used to use blue painters tape on my knives when learning on stones and I kept scuffing the tape rather than the knife (which is a good thing) but I could never get the angle I wanted as a result. I always had to raise the angle ever so slightly to keep from hitting the tape. Definately a good training tool. Does this happen with the Apex?

If you look at the large picture on this page you get a good idea of the EdgePro setup (there's a pretty good video there as well). The flat part of the blade sits on the black "deck" with a good bit of the knife sticking out over the edge. What ends up happening is that water, including metal particles from sharpening, drips off of the stone and on to the deck. This can scratch the part of the blade that rests on the deck. You can protect your knife from this scratching by putting tape on the blade. I trim the tape so that it ends right around a centimeter before the edge. I'm not sure how acute the angle would have to be before the tape began to interfere, but I've never come close to having that problem.

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I very nearly bought one of these things since my years worth of utter failure had always made me assume that I simply lacked the skill necessary to sharpen knives by hand. Then I spent about half an hour with some Japanese knives and the feel of the metal was astounding enough to convince me to invest in a good water stone instead. I can't do any fancy double bevels or anything like that, but my knives are all scary sharp and I do find the manual process helps clear and focus the mind.

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Another Edge Pro Apex fan here. I have yet to figure out a few things with it (bird's beak paring knife and proper angle for a cleaver), but for my workhorse kitchen knives it's fantastic and has easily paid for itself several times over.

My only expertise going in was knowing that my good knives were being ruined by "professional" knife sharpeners, and I still follow the directions step-by-step to get the proper double bevel for fear of screwing up, so if I can get these edges, anyone can. I think that you probably could round the tips if you're not careful, but it's easier to be careful with this than it may appear from watching experts zip through a blade. Set-up and break-down takes a few minutes, but I can't compare it to anything else, and I'd think that a water stone would be as much or more of a mess.

Chris Amirault

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Chad Ward wrote an article for eG on knife sharpening. He has a tutorial section where he talks about using the sharpening systems. I don't know if this will shed any light for you or not but I thought I would bring it up.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I love my Edge Pro. It has a learning curve but it's really pretty intuitive once you start doing it on a regular basis. I use the tape method for my 'pretty' knives.

Anyone sharpened a serrated knife with the Edge Pro? I know it says that you can, but I haven't worked up the courage.

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You can't really sharpen a serrated knife unless you go in to each scallop with a sharpening rod (perhaps the only good use for diamond sharpening rods!). The serrated edge sharpening you can do with the EdgePro more or less consists of sharpening the points a little bit. Effective in the short term, but ultimately repeated treatment will sharpen the serrations right off.

This is why it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on a serrated bread knife. First of all, there is no reason a serrated knife needs to be made of fancy forged steel. Second of all it's impossible-to-dificult to resharpen effectively. Third, you can get good-to-great serrated bread knives for under 20 bucks bucks (I like the curved ones and the offset ones) -- when your knife gets dull, toss it out and get another one.

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Sam,

Northwestern Cutlery in Chicago will sharpen any serrated knife while you wait, or even better, while you watch. If you watch the sharpening process, you can specify the depth and angle of the serrations. The cost is under $10.

They do a really nice job and yes, they do remove some steel.

This is one case where an expensive knife does not pay off.

Tim

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Yea, I know there are places that can do it. They're professionals, and I'm sure they have the equipment to do a good job. It's just that a) it' impractical and hardly possible to effectively sharpen serrations at home, and b) it's hardly worth it, since serrated knifes are so inexpensive (a professional resharpening costs not much less than a replacement knife).

Edited by slkinsey (log)

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I'd think that a water stone would be as much or more of a mess.

If by "mess" you mean "small puddle of slurry that needs to be wiped up with a rag," sure. If by "mess" you mean "complex assembly process that makes you feel more like you're playing with a Transformers toy than cooking food," then no.

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