Guided sharpening vs freehand sharpening and our Faceook group

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Guided sharpening systems and sharpening jigs have come a long way in the past few years. Once considered cheap training wheels, they are now some of the best sharpening methods available for knife users. The present knife sharpening systems on the market are much more intuitive to use, and offer a much greater level of accuracy, consistency, and repeatability. Simply stated, you can go zero to hero due to the very short learning curve associated with these systems.

Freehand sharpening is the "old school" or traditional method of sharpening and generally has a much longer learning curve before achieving the same results as guided systems or jigs. There is often the greater sense of achievement and manliness with mastering freehand sharpening.

So what's the difference between guided systems and freehand sharpening? The major benefit to guided sharpening is that it offers a superior level of accuracy and repetition with positive results from the very first use. Freehand sharpening - once mastered - offers speedy adjustment making on the fly.

Both guided and freehand sharpening require skill and technique building for achiveing the best results - they just differ because they are different methods. The satisfaction level is actually exactly the same because all sharpening is about overcoming the obstacles put forth by the tool or knife in hand, and not about arguing over the method.

Because of this, we started the Guided Sharpeners Facebook Group. All levels and types of sharpeners are welcome. For us, it's about the sharpening journey.

A huge guy with a little knife isn't nearly as scary as a little guy with a huge knife and a smile

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Some facts about knives and sharpening

1. The most common sharpness test slicing a piece of paper, but there are many tests depending on your intended use.

2. Knife steels prolongs a knife's edge, but it is not a forever solution. Ultimately the edge and bevel will need to be reset using some sort of stone, wheel, or guided system.

3. Electric sharpeners work, but if you're not careful, they can quickly heat up or blue the blade, eat a lot of material, and do more harm than good.

4. When purchasing anything, price is often an indicator of quality. Remember the old saying: "You have 3 choices: Good, Fast, and Cheap. You can only pick 2".

5. The unglazed ring on the bottom of a ceramic cup or plate does act as a sharpening steel, but according to the previous rule, be sure to use dishware that is equivalent in quality and price to your knife.

Guided Sharpening System Videos

The Jende JIGS for Knives is fast and easy: Clamp, Set your angle, and Go

Assembling your JIGS, with and without Acrylic Base - JIGS for Knives Tutorial

Attaching and adjusting the clamps on the Jende JIGS for Knives - Jende JIGS for Knives Tutorial

Clamping different knives - Jende JIGS for Knives Tutorial

Setting the angle for sharpening using an angle cube

Preparing and soaking your water stones for use

Sharpen a Ceramic Knife Japanese Nakiri with Diamond Films & JIGS.

Jende JIGS for Knives - Jende Industries Guided Knife Sharpener v2.0

The Jende Industries Guided Sharpener or Jende JIGS for short, is designed to be an ultra precise, user friendly guided sharpening system that is easy and intuitive to use.