Guided Sharpening Systems
Guided sharpening systems have come a long way from their very minimal beginnings. We now have very precise, high quality sharpeners that are intuitive to use with a very short learning curve. The main advantages to guided sharpening vs freehand sharpening is the amount of precision and repeatability they offer over non-guided methods. You may have heard arguments that sharpening jigs are crutches for those who lacked the skills to "sharpen like a real man", but there has since been a guided sharpening system revolution, and now guided or assisted sharpening methods are taken much more seriously by sharpeners of all levels. While the prerequisite skill and coordination for getting your knife or tool successfully sharp that first time on a guided system are substantially less than those required for freehand, it is by no means a no brainer. While it is easy and quick to get a sharp knife the first time, there is a great deal of technique that can be learned and applied through experience. While all sharpening rules are the same, the methods are different in certain aspects from freehand sharpening techniques.
Another great innovation to guided sharpeners is the huge variety of stones, strops, and accessories that allow you to personalize your sharpening progressions for thetype of sharpening you do. There are diamond plates, resin stones, water stones, ceramic stones, and all kinds of strops, emulsions, sprays, and pastes in all grits, and adaptable to all steel types.
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