The Official Blog of House of Knives

Why We’ve Switched to Belt Sharpening Systems

House of Knives is one of the oldest and most trusted cutlery retailers in Canada. We earned our reputation by carrying only quality tools, and providing the education to maintain them over a lifetime. With our professional knife sharpening services, we help you keep your edge and stay satisfied with your tools.

We Never Stop Improving

In our sharpening service, we always look to improve the consistency and quality of the edge. While our stone wheel sharpening system is one of the best in the industry, the quality of the edge can depend on the experience of the team member. Because we want our customers to be satisfied and have tools that last a lifetime, we’ve looked into different technologies that provide a phenomenal edge, increase time between sharpenings, and don’t remove too much material.

Some of our customers have noticed we’ve switched from a stone wheel sharpening system to a belt sharpening system. As with any change, there’s been some debate about the benefits. But the process of belt sharpening began many years ago. And now, it has been refined to blend a quality and longer-lasting edge with a more consistent sharpening experience.

Inspired by a Legend

Many years ago, Ken Onion (the youngest knifemaker ever inducted into the Knifemakers Hall of Fame, and a crucial player in the growth of CRKT, Shun, and Kershaw) came up for salmon fishing with House of Knives President, André Eng. The two share a passion for knives, and Ken was interested in the equipment we used in our sharpening service. As the two conversed, Ken mentioned he would one day build a belt sharpening system. When asked why belt sharpening, Ken said it provided better edge retention and finish. It’s also how many other custom knife makers sharpen their finished products.

It took nearly a decade for Ken Onion to realize his vision of a custom-designed belt sharpening system. That vision yielded the Work Sharp Ken Onion Sharpener. This machine offers incredible versatility and produces a quality sharpening with a more durable convex edge.

Belt Sharpening is Finally Here

It took some time before House of Knives found a belt sharpening solution tested well enough to be used in our stores. One of the deciding factors was Benchmade’s use of the Work Sharp Ken Onion Sharpener at the annual 2018 Shot Show.

Benchmade is legendary for creating some of the most sought after sport knives in the business. Reputation is everything to them. At the annual Shot Show Convention in Las Vegas, which attracts over 60,000 people, Benchmade sharpened knives for attendees, non-stop, for 4 days straight. They used Ken Onion’s very own Work Sharp belt sharpening system, which performed flawlessly without a single breakdown.

The majority of all knife factories around the world, from kitchen to sport knives, use belt sharpening technology. So when you say you want a “factory edge,” you’re saying you want a belt-sharpened blade. And proudly, House of Knives now offers belt sharpening in all our stores, using the Work Sharp Ken Onion Sharpener.

Are There Downsides to Belt Sharpening?

Belt sharpening systems can cost more in supplies as belts wear out, but in return, it extends the interval between sharpenings. There are other sharpening methods that give you better initial sharpness, including our previous stone sharpening system. But the edge retention of a convex edge, achieved only with a belt sharpening system, will ultimately extend the life of your tools because you’re sharpening less often.

If you’ve had your knife sharpened in the past with our stone wheel sharpening system, we welcome you to see what can be achieved with our new belt sharpening service. We think you’ll be more than pleased with the results. To find a store near you please click here.




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