Advantages of 2×72 Belt Grinders For Knife Making
2×72 size belt grinders are considered the industry standard for pro bladesmithing.
The majority of belt grinding machines manufactured specifically for knife making are of this size. These knife-making belt grinders are compatible with a variety of belt materials and are surprisingly small for the level of performance they offer. More accessories are also available for 2×72 machines, including:
- Wheel attachments, ranging from 1/4″ to 16″ in size for knife elements such as fullering, hollow grinds, and more.
- Surface grinding attachments for cleaning, smoothing, and flattening surfaces.
- Rotary platens are used for convex grinds and to prevent the dreaded “J weight belt bump.”
The 72″ belt length, being so much longer than, say, a 1×30 belt, reduces wear & heat build-up, allowing you to use it throughout all stages of blade creation, from initial knife development to finishing touches like sharpening and polishing.
Because the machine has a larger working surface and often a variable speed motor, a 2×72 can produce knives faster than smaller belt grinders.
Simply put, a 2×72 belt grinder allows you to metal faster, has a variety of belt types & coarseness available, as well as, often, lots of accessories. Together, this is what makes these grinders the machine of choice for knife makers & bladesmiths across the UK & USA.
What Are The Disadvantages of 2×72 Belt Grinders For Knife Making
The most significant disadvantage of 2×72 belt grinders is their high cost.
This size of Knife Grinder come at a much hight cost than smaller models, liek the 1×30 grinders. That said, the costs are worth the investment for professional knife makers.
If you’re a hobbyist or just starting out, a smaller grinder, such as a 2×42, may make more sense in the beginning… which is still a step-up from a 1×30.
Another disadvantage is availability of models in the UK…
2×72 Belt Grinders in The UK
Buying 2×72 belt grinders in the UK can be tricky… There are plans to build your own of course, but if you stop to consider the speed that the belts will be moving at, along with the fact you’ll likely be grinding sharp pieces of steel, safety is an issue.
Likewise, some of the cheap grinders available in the UK may (or may not) have safety issues.
Here’s a YouTube Video About 2×72 Belt Grinders For Knife Making
(Excuse the fact this is a USA video! What they discuss is still relevant for the UK market!)