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Electric knife sharpening belts wear out. When should you replace them?
While Work Sharp has done some amazing things to improve and simplify knife sharpening, the process still requires grinding metal. Of course grinding requires abrasives, which overtime, wear down. So how do you know when it’s time to replace your knife sharpening abrasive belts? While we estimate that our knife sharpener abrasives will last around 75 knife sharpenings, we don’t expect you to keep count. Here are a few tips to indicate when your belt is wearing down and may ready to replace.
- Is the belt fairly new but feels worn down already? It’s hard to get a perfectly flat belt surface from the factory so brand new belts will arrive with some grit inconsistency on the surface. After a few sharpening passes, those inconsistencies are removed and it may not feel as coarse as before, but that does not mean your sharpening belt is worn out. Far from it! You’ve simply leveled the raised grit on the surface. From here your belt should wear evenly and last for many more sharpenings.
- How does the belt look? Has it changed color? Are the edges frayed? You’ll notice our higher grit sharpening belts come in a lighter color. This color will darken with use and can be a good sign when the belt has been well used and may be ready to replace. The belt material will also begin to fray along the edges. Neither the color change nor the frayed edges are a sign your belt has completely worn out, but it’s a good indicator that it’s being used and may need replacing soon.
- Is sharpening taking longer than is used to? Having trouble creating a burr? Smoothed grit and worn belts means less material removal, which means sharpening takes more time. Creating a burr is crucial to a sharp knife. If you’ve confirmed you are sharpening at the correct angle but you’re still struggling to create a burr then your belt is likely ready to replace.
While none of these ways are 100% at determining the exact right time to replace your abrasive belt, a worn belt will cause no damage to your blade but may result in extra wear on your motor. The longer it takes to achieve a burr and a sharp edge, the longer the runtime on your machine. If you notice any of the symptoms above, your best bet is to replace your belt. Below are links to abrasives for our most popular electric belt sharpeners.
Ken Onion Knife and Tool Sharpener Replacement Abrasives
Ken Onion Belt Grinding Attachment Replacement Abrasives
Knife and Tool Sharpener Mk 2 Replacement Abrasives
Combo Knife Sharpener Abrasives
One response to “Electric knife sharpening belts wear out. When should you replace them?”
How Timely this advise. It is point on, and helps me to determine when I should order more and when to replace.