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Electric knife sharpening belts wear out. When to replace them?

Date: 17-12-2023

Despite the remarkable advancements made by Work Sharp in enhancing and streamlining the knife sharpening process, it remains a procedure involving metal grinding. Naturally, this grinding action necessitates abrasives, which inevitably wear down over time. How can you determine when it's necessary to replace your knife sharpening abrasive belts? Although we estimate that our knife sharpener abrasives can endure approximately 75 knife sharpenings, we don't expect you to keep track. Here are a few indicators to help you recognize when your belt is wearing down and may be due for replacement.

  1. Is the belt fairly new but feels worn down already? It's important to note that factory-made belts may initially exhibit grit inconsistencies on the surface. After a few sharpening sessions, these irregularities are typically smoothed out, giving the belt a less coarse feel. This doesn't indicate wear and tear but rather the leveling of raised grit. Subsequently, the belt should wear evenly, extending its lifespan for numerous additional sharpenings.
  2. Assess the visual cues of your belt. Has the color changed? Are the edges frayed? Notably, our higher grit sharpening belts arrive in a lighter color, which darkens with use. This change in color, along with frayed edges, serves as an indication that the belt has been well-utilized and might be approaching the time for replacement. While neither the color shift nor the fraying necessarily means the belt is completely worn out, they signal usage and suggest potential replacement soon.
  3. Is sharpening taking longer than is used to? Having trouble creating a burr? It could be attributed to smoothed grit and worn belts. This results in reduced material removal, leading to an extended sharpening duration. Creating a burr is pivotal for achieving a sharp knife. If, despite ensuring the correct sharpening angle, you face difficulties in creating a burr, it's likely a sign that your belt is ready for replacement.

While none of these indicators can precisely determine the exact moment to replace your abrasive belt, it's important to note that a worn belt won't damage your blade but may contribute to additional motor wear. Prolonged sharpening duration indicates a longer runtime for your machine. If you observe any of the mentioned symptoms, the optimal course of action is to replace your belt. Find links below to abrasives compatible with our most popular electric belt sharpeners.

Click here for Replacement Belts & Abrasives