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Sharpening Spyderco's s30v on Sharpmaker. Any help, please?

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Phil1987, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Phil1987


    Jun 5, 2017
    I'm fairly new to sharpening, and was hoping for some help/tips from you guys.

    I know Spyderco recommends a 30 degree back bevel and a 40 degree micro bevel. Under this method, you essentially just use the 40 degree setting until you eventually need to reprofile the back bevel back to 30 degrees.

    I don't have the diamond rods, so I'd like to avoid--if possible--having to reprofile the back bevel to 30 degree after a while.

    My question is whether I can use just one setting (i.e., no back bevel) exclusively so that I never have to reprofile the back bevel? If so, would you suggest the 30 degree or 40 degree setting exclusively?

    Beyond not having diamond rods to reprofile, I don't even know how to determine when I need to reprofile the back bevel. In other words, under the Spyderco method, how do you know when it's time to use the 30 degree setting to reprofile the back bevel?

    Thank you very much helping out a newb.
  2. ric75


    Jun 2, 2017
    Hi. If 40 degree settings does not work anymore.
    I would usethe sharpie a the edge to see where you are working.

    Diamonds are a GREAT addition to the sharpmaker. I recommend them.
  3. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Use a sharpie and then run it through the stones. If your not taking off the full length of the bevel you need to lock your wrist to the right angle of the blade. Or so that's how I do it. I don't even think. Spyderco sharpens the pm2 at either of those angles in the first place.

    Also diamonds are great for re profiling and finishing on strops when you have steel with Vanadium in them like s30v. But not necessary.
  4. Phil1987


    Jun 5, 2017
    Thank you. I have used the sharpie method, and I'm able to hit the edge, but I've been using the 30 degree setting exclusively. I was wondering whether it's necessary to even microbevel with the 40 degree setting. If so, when do you know it's time start using the 30 degree setting again to redo the 30 degree back-bevel.
  5. Sergeua

    Sergeua Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2016
    You examine the bevel and you are looking for different reflections. When you have a microbevel at certain angle, as you rock the blade a bit in your hands, the light hits it just right and it will reflect back so you can see.

    It starts out small and as it grows you then determine when its time to just put a 30 degree back and remove the wide microbevel.

    Its not necessary to have a microbevel. You get better performance without it.
    However, It makes edge stronger if you need it and it depends on your use. It makes it fastet to do touch ups. You can increase performance vs full 40 degree, but still keep the edge abit stronger with it.

    Picture a chisel. If you put a different angle at the edge there( let's say on both sides too) , it will be harder to work wood with it. All of a sudden its at a different angle, that's even hard to percieve visually. Same with knife. But if you don't work wood and just cutting meat, it doesn't really matter and again faster touch up on your SM and increased chance for you to hit the very edge when sharpening.

    Its recommended for beginners as its easier. Beginners usually don't spend enough time to apex the edge and it's easier for them to do get to the edge with the 40 setting. That's pretty much it without getting into burrs...
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  6. Phil1987


    Jun 5, 2017
    Thanks for the great info. Under your method of looking at the micro-bevel and comparing against the back-bevel, at what ratio do you raise the back bevel?

    Do you wait until the micro-bevel is half of the back bevel? 1/4 of the back bevel?
  7. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Lots of sharpener folks take off much more steel than they need to when sharpening. S30V will take dozens of 40 degree sharpenings before you have to use the 30 degree setting to reprofile.

    Here is a video about the Sharpmaker, cutting edges, sharpening angles etc. by the guy who invented it. It is Spyderco's first commercial knife related product.

    I suggest watching all four videos in the series.
    sgt1372 likes this.
  8. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    The back bevel is not really needed. The Sharpmaker was sold for many years and used by many satisfied customers with just one angle. What is needed are coarsers stones for when your in-laws brutalize your kitchen knives :)
  9. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    I don't. I just use the 30 deg setting and that's my final cutting edge angle. Spyderco tries to come close to that setting when they do their factory sharpening. So far, the ones I've bought new are pretty close to 15 dps so my SM works well on them at 15 dps. My blades are S30V and Cru-Wear and their edges hold up well in my uses at 15 dps.
  10. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012

    That is not true, see the video about how the two bevels relate to create a sharp cutting edge.
  11. kniferbro

    kniferbro Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    To answer you question, you can absolutely omit the "microbevel" (40 degree setting) and just use the 30 degree setting. I don't normally use the the sharpmaker, but I usually never add a microbevel to my edges.
  12. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    The original Sharpmaker only had one angle. Two bevels was one of the changes for the new and improved Sharpmaker. However, many of us used the single bevel model successfully for years.
  13. Riz!


    May 5, 2014
    When I run a micro bevel, it is MICRO. Probably no more than 1/8 of the rest of the edge bevel.

    One of the most common mistakes that people make when learning to sharpen is probably pushing way too hard against the stone. Basically the weight of the knife is all you need. Let the abrasives do the work.

    I do something diferent from most and just hold the sharpmaker stone in my hand. I dont use the base. I just freehand. I also almost exclusively use the apex of the stones and rarely use the flats
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  14. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    I just decided to buy the Sharpmaker along w/a pair of diamond and ultra fine rods (just in case I need them) but I also ran across info on a "new" sharpening system called the Gauntlet that has been in planning for quite some time that is currently listed on Spyderco's "Product Reveal" page.

    There are 2 versions -- Premium and Select, this link is to the "Select" version: https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details/603F/Gauntlet-Select/1203.

    It looks more limited in sharpening options than the Sharpmaker and intended mainly for "basic kitchen use by the general market" as stated by Sal in his post on Sept 24, 2017 in this Spyderco Forum thread, which is already over a year ago: https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=76008.

    From that comment, I'm assuming that Spyderco will not discontinue the SharpMaker because they are intended for different markets but, since Spyderco discontinues its knives so quickly, I'm not going to wait around to find out too late that the Sharpmaker has been discontinued in favor of the yet to be released Gauntlet.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019

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