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Apex EdgePro sharpening system

I would appreciate opinions on this sharpening system. It is very expensive so is it worth the money. According to some opinions which i have read from the following give it a high recommendation. Would this system give me the technolgy to sharpen like a pro. I do sue wet stones and get decent results but would this system push me t the next level.

http://users.ameritech.net/knives/kni...

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  1. Hi Wdames,

    I do not have hands-on experience on this system, but I have read much about it. It does really hold then angle, but it has some complaints.

    In case, you have not seen a demonstration. I thought a youtube video can give you a better sense of how it works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1izC_N...

    The common complaints are that it is slow and the selection of grit size is limited It also have some problem with very small or very large knives -- or so I raed.. It is ok if you just want to give your knives a touch-up, but if you want to really put a new edge at new angle or smooth out a chipped/cracked edge, then it is slow.

    In my opinion, the simple flat water stones are better. The only problem with flat stone sharpening is holding the angle. However, if you can hold your knife at a relatively consistent angle (you seem to able to do already), then I do not think there is any system can top that approach. Think about it. Almost all sharpening gadgets are about helping you to establish a consistent angle. If you already can hold you knife steady, then there is no point at all. The free hand sharpening approach provides you better selection of grit stones than other gadget systems. Therefore, it may not push you to the next level.

    I shall let the more experienced knife experts to comment on this.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I agree. I will never be a proffesional but I do keep my knives sharp and although I am not perfect I do a better job than mechanical sharpener Che'f Choice.

    2. Some information beyond what chem just listed.

      I have used an edgepro. It was what got me into sharpening (that and the utterly miserable results I had previously gotten with roller sharpeners, carbide shearing sharpeners, and a miserable electrical off-brand POS). The edgepro belonged to a friend. Since then I bought stones and learned free-handing because that appealed to me. But I can compare the two options for you.

      The results you can get on an edgepro in terms of a sharp, precise, and uniform edge, are fantastic. Better (or at least cleaner/prettier) than I can do free-hand, and I'm not bad at free-handing. This is even with the abrasives that come with it.

      Chem it right that you are initially limited in terms of abrasive selection. However, some people have taken initiative to make high quality abrasives for use with the edgepro system.
      http://www.chefknivestogo.com/edgepro...
      The chosera stones there are mostly out of stock. I believe someone over at knifeforums was making these for sale also. You might have to look around for a bit or wait for cktg to restock. These can certainly make it easier to either use the system for reprofiling or extremely fine polishing.

      In terms of quickness- I think that generally the edgepro is faster than free-handing if you're not well experienced at free-handing, and slower if you are. This is because if you are inconsistent at holding an angle or have to check your progress every few seconds, you will have a lot more wasted effort free-handing than you will with an edgepro. If you're experienced though, the wider stones for free handing are definitely quicker.

      I believe the edgepro cannot apply an edge angle below 10 degrees (20 degrees included). I could be off by a couple degrees. This is a limitation that you should consider. Definitely sub-optimal for some high end Japanese knives, for example.

      As I said, I free hand, but my reasons for not buying an edgepro myself are mainly financial and the fact that free-handing appeals to me. The edgepro works great, and I recommend it highly if you are interested and have the disposable income. If you are already good at free handing you will probably at least notice cleaner bevels. If not, everything about your sharpening results will improve, perhaps drastically.

      13 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        Cowboy,

        Thanks. I learnt much.

        Wdames,

        There we go. A experienced knife lover who has used both approaches. So are you going to get it? It is about $170, right? It is not that bad. About the same as a high end electrical knife sharpener.

        http://www.spitjack.com/Merchant2/mer...

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          No but I always appreciate your input on knifes. I am always looking for a edge :) What I would really like is to take a class with professional who could improve my technique.
          I do use my mechancial when a knife is really dull but finish with my wet stones. Would you consider the EdgePro a higher end knife sharpener?

          1. re: wdames

            Wdames,

            I should warn you. I recently went on a date with a gal and she asked me about my hobbits and I said I enjoy cooking and baking, then she commented and probably joked about me being a good housewife. Then, I tried to be more macho and said I am learning and enjoy knife sharpening. I think she freaked out and said this is really strange three times in a row. You know how sometime there is a precise moment when you know a date is going downhill. That was it. Now, do you still want to take a class to improve your technique?

            You mean comparing the Apex EdgePro with an electric sharpener? My understanding is that the Apex Edge Pro is better in term of performance, but slower than an electric sharpener, so I do consider the Apex Edge Pro a high performance knife sharpener. However, I should really let people with real hands-on experience to comment on this, like cowboy.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Your first problem was saying you were a "hobbit." :D

              wdames, instead of a class, how about a DVD from Dave Martel japanese knife sharpening extrordinaire?
              http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningsto...
              I think Murray Carter and Korin have dvds as well. I think Carter has said he never sharpens past 1000 grit. He also hand held the knife and hand held the stone once while sharpening in front of a KF member at a show!

              1. re: deeznuts

                Deeznuts,

                :) That makes perfect sense. She freaked out because she thought I am a Hobbit. I should have said I am an orc. For the Horde! :P Nah, we dated in person (not online), so there was no typo. On top of that, I didn't say it is a hobby. I was much milder. I said I am learning about knife sharpening.

                I just want to give wdames a fair warning to not go around and tell everyone that he wants to take a knife sharpening class because many people discriminate our kind :)

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Oh I know, I was just fooling with you. Since you said she freaked out, and had the typo from hobby to hobbit, it was a perfect setup. I couldn't resist :D

                  I tell my friends and girlfriend I want to learn how to sharpen my knives, but never the class or dvd. If they ask, I'll say I saw a couple videos on youtube and practiced. They don't care, they say hurry up so I can sharpen their knives.

                  1. re: deeznuts

                    Deeznuts,

                    I know. I would have done exactly the same thing if I am in your place. That is funny stuff. I also help to sharpen my friends' knives for practice. I just tell them that I do not work their favorest knife. The last thing I want is to mess up someone's favorest knife.

                    I think if a person is into cooking, then he/she will soon understand the importance of cutlery and therefore knife sharpening. The person may not be into it, but he/she will understand that desire. I do not personally want a Le Creuset set, but I certainly understanding that desire. I also do not need an induction cooktop, but I understand that feeling. Now, this person who I went out was not into cooking and certainly not cutlery. As such, I must look rather odd and freaky from her angle. The only people she can related my knife sharpening desire are serial killers in the movies.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      "I must look rather odd and freaky from her angle. The only people she can related my knife sharpening desire are serial killers in the movies."
                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Yeah like Dexter. Love that show. I want a knife roll like his. Okay, rather freakish from any angle.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Well. turns out she's the freak then ChemK. Heh.

                        1. re: deeznuts

                          Deeznuts,

                          :) Wow, thanks for the support. Looks like I keep on going out with gals who do not cook. The first girl I had a real big crush on, she could not boil water. She had a bad experience when she was a kid, like starting a fire in kitchen, so she is forever scared of kitchen stovetop. She could use microwave though. :P

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I like sharp knives and have tried many different sharpening systems including the top of the line chef's choice, spyderco and now the edge pro. I was finally able to get a razor edge on my kitchen knives. I just bought some MAC knives and sharpened them right out of the box down to 12 degrees per side. they can slice tomatoes by just pulling the blade back without exerting any downward pressure... Same for carrots onions etc. The edgepro is by far superior to any sharpener I've used. It does require some labor and time, especially if your knives are really dull and need some reprofiling... touchups are pretty quick

              1. re: lloydl2

                I have been an EP Apex supporter from the first day I got mine. For someone who does not want to go freehand the EP is the best sharpening jig out there. Now with new after market stones you really have a vast array of stones to choose from.

            3. re: cowboyardee

              The new custom kit has a large variety of stones it comes with 220 Grit Edge Pro Stone 320 Grit Edge Pro Stone 400 Grit Chosera Stone (l. green) 1,000 Grit Chosera Stone (d.green) 3,000 Grit Chosera Stone (maroon) 5,000 Grit Chosera Stone (gray) 10,000 Grit Chosera Stone (l. blue) from what i understand the 10k is out of stock at the moment. I took me a while to splurge and buy one but now that I have it I don't regret it for a min, that being said if you do buy one order the 120 stone too you will need it for anything that is in rough shape

            4. I have the Edge Pro Apex and it is worth the money. Even though I have a full set of Shapton glass stones and can put a shaving sharp edge on freehand the EdgePro will do a better job in most cases. One thing for sure, the width of the edge will be very even coming off the EP and the ability of maintaining a constant angle is solved with the EP. No way can I be as precise freehand. I use both methods. I continue to do freehand to get more proficient but a few minutes on the EP is humbling. As far as cost I spent more on my whetstones than the EP. I had not one moment of buyers remorse once I started sharpening on the EP. It is totally worth it to me.

              1 Reply
              1. re: scubadoo97

                I have an Edge Pro as well as some Glass Stones, and I keep coming back to the Edge Pro. Mainly it's a safer way for me to put a really good edge or maintain the edge on one of my kitchen knives. Lately, I've been really pushed for time, so I pick more-certain results over getting up the skill-curve on low-angle freehand.

              2. I've had the Apex for a bout a year and while it was expensive I've been satisfied. Although I enjoy maintaining my knives I got inconsistent results using stones and realized that I just wasn't willing to put the time in to learn stones so the Apex was a good compromise in my opinion. Given the cost of sending out 5-6 knives to be professionally sharpened a few times a year I feel it's already come close to paying for itself. It's easy to use and it only takes a long time the very first time you use it to get the motion down and find the right angles for what you want to do. After the first time I've found that doing touch ups has been very quick, only a few minutes per knife.

                1. I have an EP, about 4 months old. I'm pretty happy, I can get quite sharp.

                  an 8" german knife with belly gets kind of tedious, though. I prefer to sharpen a knife with less belly.

                  The only thing is that now I want to try hand sharpening, but I've just sunk so much money into the EP already.

                  I think you should upgrade to Apex Kit 3 instead of the basic Kit 1. You're going to want the ceramic hone and the 120 stone. Once you've established your edge with the 120/220 stones, you're hardly going to spend any time on the higher grits, but the payoff will be large.

                  1. For anyone asking themselves if the EdgePro is worth the money, think of how the EdgePro will increase the value of all of your knives by making them incredibly sharp. For those that are not really versed at freehand sharpening, you would be better off with one good knife and an EdgePro than two good knives and no way to keep them sharp.

                    1. I'm deciding right now between an edge pro apex ,which looks to be an excellent system, or sticking with my plan of learning to sharp free hand on stones. I found this video which is pretty cool.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_jcRt...

                      Keep in mind he goes through the stones pretty quickly, most will require more passes than his video.

                      The Apex EP is an excellent system. However, for those who don't want to spend that much money yet, I suggest going the route I am about to take. A single 1000/1200 grit stone (Bester 1200, Shapton Glassstone 1000 are popular, or even a budget king/norton system/combo stone).

                      Just go at it. Once you get that down it'll be sharper than a lot of knifes from the factory. Scared you cant' hold the right angle? Well get this then:

                      http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningsto...

                      The owner of that site estimates the angle on this guide to be anywhere from 13 degrees or so, give or take depending on the height of the blade. Ths is the stone I'll be buying: http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningsto...

                      I've sharpened before free hand but not yet on my japanese steel (practicing on crappy knives) so I'm going to try my hand with that stone and a guide. You'll also need a flattener but you can use sandpaper mounted on glass/granite to flatten the stones (cheap).

                      I'm out $50 if I don't like that route and go with an edge pro, but it's possilbe I can resell the stones. And I think I will like to sharpen it this way. The big stones last a long time.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: deeznuts

                        Recently I've kept my 1000 grit Glass Stone mounted on the stone holder and have used this to resharpen a few of my knifes. I deburr on rock hard felt and then a few passes on a charged leather strop. Touch ups are done on the strop and the knives are taken to the stone if any chips are formed during use or performance decreases that can't be brought back by the strop.

                        My daughter just came home from college with 3 knives for dad to sharpen. All were so sadly dulled from months of use and abuse. About 5 min on the 1000 grit glass stone and then on to the strop. In less than half and hour all the knives where push cutting down copy paper and shaving hair. So yes your basic system can work very well. Since I'm not a master of hand held sharpening the strop does wonders to refine the edge by smoothing out little flaws from the stones. I would highly recommend you make or buy a strop. They are easy to make if you want to save a few $. I bought Shapton glass stones because I wanted ease of use with no soaking needed. I hear they are not great for beginners, but I've learned with them. They are hard and don't give the user much feedback. I guess I don't know what that is since they are all I've ever used. The glass stones also were very slowly and it takes a lot of use to make them dish. I flatten after about every session with a DMT 8XC plate just to deglaze and keep flat. Even though you can not see any space between the stone and a glass plate, a grid pattern drawn on the stone wiith pencil will show that they are not pefectly flat after use after a few passes with the DMT plate.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          Subadoo,

                          Cool. I didn't know much about the glass stone. I have only used waterstones. I had considered getting ceramic stones. They supposed to last longer and also require no soaking, but then the question will be "Will I sharpen my knives enough to justify another purchase?".

                          I am glad and surprise that your daughter bought you 3 dull knives from months of heavy use. On one hand, this means she cooked a lot which is admirable for college kids these days -- seriously. On the other hands, how do you dull 3 knives in months of use? My guess is that you are a knife enthusiast and have a high standard for knife sharpness. Am I correct that you call any knife which cannot split hair as "dull"?

                          I usually sharpen my knives to the point which they can shave arm hair, except my meat cleaver. Yesterday, I started to shave my chin and lightly cut myself. I didn't even feel the cut until I looked into the mirror. So be careful.

                          By the way, I agree with the strop thing. I do not use a honing steel because I feel like I always mess up the edge instead of aligning it. So, I just strop my knives after each cooking session. Does it sound right to you? It seems to work fine for me.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            "My guess is that you are a knife enthusiast and have a high standard for knife sharpness. Am I correct that you call any knife which cannot split hair as "dull"?"
                            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Yes, yes and maybe

                            She came to me and said dad these are so dull. Sure they could cut a carrot but that doesn't mean they're sharp. Okay, sharper than a butter knife. When I can't dice a tomato the same way I dice an onion then the knife is not sharp enough for me. Guess that makes me an enthusiast. My frame of reference has changed over the last few years.

                            As for steels, I never use them. Toss the grooved ones out long time ago. A ceramic one is still used for sharpening my Y peeler. Strops are great but if you strop at too high and angle you can roll the edge so you still have to have good technique.

                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              Scubadoo,

                              Thanks for the advice on stropping. I strop on a leather belt and I read/hear a belt is more forgiving because if the angle is too acute/shallow, then it won't do anything and if the angle is too high/deep, then the belt will flex down a bit to accommodate it. Unlike a steel, you almost has to be exactly. Too shallow, you start to create a new angle and too deep, you start to roll/dull the knife.

                              Maybe she intentionally dull her knives by tossing them to the wall :) So she can come home and ask daddy to sharpen them for her and make daddy feels proud and resourceful. Ever thought about that possibility?

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I've been sharpening on an Edge Pro about 3 weeks. I love it. Its quick and consistent. It was definitely worth the money though I did save up and buy the #3 kit. I used a Sharpmaker for about a year but was frustrated by how slowly it cut. Its great for quick touch ups and I'll be keeping it. I am finishing on a charged leather strop that I got from Lee Valley tools.

                                1. re: jchulley

                                  Jculley,

                                  Man, you guys all make me feel like I should get a Edge Pro. :P Well, maybe, I will think about it. Meanwhile, I am still trying to get better at free hand sharpening. Thanks for your testimony.

                                  Scubadoo,

                                  Great to hear. Maybe you will give your Edge Pro to her one day?

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Oh she knew it would make me happy, no doubt about that. Along with the knives came empty containers that she hopes I will fill with her favorite foods to take back. Yeah it makes dad feel useful.

                        2. wdames

                          I know this reply is 9 months late but if anyone is having the same problem deciding whether the Edge Pro sharpening system is worth the money, I highly recommend buying one. I started a business using one and have not had one disatisfied customer yet. Most people who bring their knives to me are in love with them and demand a certain professionalism when it comes to sharpening them. I find this system allows me to accurately control the degree of bevel on the edge that free hand or a belt sander would never be able to do. There are now an even better choice of stones to use with the system now that Jende Industries has come out with a line of Shapton and Naniwa Chosera stones that fit the EP. If you want to sharpen like a pro, buy the Edge Pro.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: The Diamond Edge

                            Thought I'd post here rather than starting a new thread.

                            I've been having my knives professionally sharpened, but I'm read to do it myself. Done my research and watched a lot of YouTube videos. I think for me Iprefer a "system" to get the angles right.

                            Like the Wicked Edge, but more than I need. So Edge Pro it is. Easy enough, huh? The decision yes, buying it not so easy. Edge Pro has two varieties, Apex and Pro, at different price points, the Edge Pro Pro being the more expensive one. Then you need to select a "kit", 3 Pro kits and 3 Apex kits, including the Edge Pro Apex Pro kit. Which one of the 6 kits to choose. God, I'm exhausted already and haven't even started.

                            So, I think, I'll visit a local distributor (in Northern Virginia), ask some questions and then decide.

                            None around here, not even close.

                            I'll check Amazon. Yes, a hit, offering 3-4 different things for Edge Pro, but none of them Edge Pro! Lansky and other stuff I've never heard of.

                            I was determined to move forward, but getting discouraged. I think I need a nap.

                            Any happy Edge Pro owners or advocates around any longer. Was my experience to date your experience?

                            1. re: DPGood

                              Still love my EP, I would buy from chefsKnives to go and get the custom kit with the chosera stones, I haven't regreted it one bit.

                              1. re: DPGood

                                Still love my EP Pro, as well. I bought it mail order from them and had a great experience. I've ordered new stones and accessories since, always a good experience. Once, they sent me an unmounted stone when I was pretty sure I had ordered the mounted. The guy on the phone never hesitated - just sent me the one I wanted right away, no fee - to be honest, I could have been the one at fault.

                                I'm sure that other people get great, consistent edges on a flat stone - they don't twist their wrist as they stroke a long yanagiba, and they hold their angle so steady that a few strokes (on a given grit) is all they need. I did alright - my blades were always sharper when I was done - sometimes better than others. But the EP pro has totally changed my experience. I can turn out a knife much quicker and with less effort, and super sharp every single time. If you never make even the slightest off-angle stroke, you're bound to be able to get through a blade quicker. Long knives are not especially challenging any more - certainly, they take longer than short knives, but you know that the edge is absolutely consistent all the way from tip to hilt. Using the 6000 grit tape puts such a shine on the ground edge, it's just a pleasure to look at - never mind how well it performs.

                                Like others have mentioned, I've been turning semi-pro. I've found the marketplace for local hand-sharpening to be quite significant - lots of people have bought Globals and Shuns and know they don't want them on some local skate-sharpener's grinder. I would never have had the confidence to do this without the EP Pro. I can't say that I've paid for the EP Pro yet, but sooner or later...

                                1. re: applehome

                                  I've been using the Edge Pro for a couple of months and have been very happy. I have one question for the more experienced users---what do you do about flattening stones? I'm beginning to see a little dishing and I don't feel like spending a ton of money on a large flattening plate.

                                  1. re: strangemd

                                    The economical solution is drywall screen on a flat plate (whatever you want to use - metal, glass, granite, etc).

                                    You can also do wet/dry sandpaper on a flat plate, but that tends to wear out quicker.

                                    Edgepro stones probably tend to wear pretty evenly and don't need lapping quite as much as waterstones for freehanding. But the occasional check to make sure they're still flat (draw a grid with a pencil, give it a few swipes, see if the entire grid is gone) is a good idea.

                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      Thanks cowboy. It may be that there's more dishing than there should be 'cause my initial technique was suboptimal. I'll try that drywall screen trick.
                                      EdgePro now even has a cute little strop that you can lock into the device.

                                      1. re: strangemd

                                        I picked up a diamond plate at lowes for 30$ can't get the job done much cheaper than that

                                    2. re: strangemd

                                      I use their silicon carbide powder on a concrete block that sits outside - easy to hose off.

                                      http://www.edgeproinc.com/Sharpening-...

                                      1. re: applehome

                                        I tried the concrete block, not very flat and removed more of my stone than I was willing to part with.
                                        Am I looking at the kit for 40$, That's 10$ more and I can use my plate to sharpen with

                                      2. re: strangemd

                                        The higher grits don't dish quickly but the lower ones do. EP advices flattening on a cinder block with sand. You can do it on sandpaper mounted an a flat surface or purchase an inexpensive flattening stone. I use coarse diamond plate.