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Black fox knife works grinder

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Posts: 16
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter
 

Hey all, this is my first post ever so please bear with me. 
I’m looking for some advice on my first 2x72 grinder purchase. I have the opportunity to buy a used grinder made by Black Fox Knife Works with VFD and currently wired for 110V. The price seems good and it comes with a surface grinder attachment also made by Black Fox. 
Based on my research it looks like a good machine but I can’t find many reviews from people who have experience with it. 
Basically I’m trying to decide if I should grab the deal or keep saving and spend twice as much on a KMG-TX and then sell my left arm to buy a surface grinder attachment also haha. 
Does anybody out there have first hand experience with a Black Fox Knife Works grinder??

 
Posted : 09/02/2024 12:57 pm
Posts: 44
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
 

I haven't ever seen one so I can't provide any feedback on the Black Fox Grinder.  Not knowing what you're tooled up with now, financial situation, etc. I suppose it would depend on the price of the used one.

It appears their brand new pro package is priced up there with some of the best known guys in the business that are making grinders, knives, and have been around for a long time.

Why is the original owner selling it?

 

 
Posted : 10/02/2024 12:02 pm
Posts: 44
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
 

You asked for advice and I didn't provide any in my "soft" reply above.  My advice is to buy the best that you can afford if you're in it for the long haul.  Attend a class, go to hammer-ins, etc.  It's worth the price of admission to just to observe/work with the tooling in their shops so that you can invest your time and money wisely.

Note....I have a way of forgetting what tools actually cost after I use them the first time.  🙂

 
Posted : 10/02/2024 12:37 pm
Posts: 16
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter
 

My current setup is a 2x42 Jet belt/disk combo. I had to make my own “flat platen” for it…..it’s almost flat haha. 

The seller of the black fox says he’s getting rid of it because he’s moving to a shop that has a bunch of grinders so he won’t need it anymore. 

He also said he just paid the manufacturer to ‘redo’ all the electrical. I’m not sure why or what exactly had to be done though. I also don’t know how much use the grinder has seen.

He’s asking 3k for the grinder, a water cooled glass flat platen, adjustable work rest, small wheel (made by 84engineering), and a surface grinder attachment that black fox no longer sells. Don’t know why they don’t offer it anymore… 

Basically if it’s a good grinder that I can use for years to come I think it’s a great deal!

 

 
Posted : 10/02/2024 12:43 pm
Posts: 5
Active Member Apprentice Bladesmith
 

David-

I use a black fox knife works "one" grinder. I've been extremely pleased with it. Not many of us, it seems, are using them. The owner, Thaddeus, is a solid dude who can be reached by phone or through his site. It's my understanding that he is now running the company with some other family members.

In my research when I was looking to buy a 2x72, Black Fox stood out to me as being exceptionally well designed and thought out. Thaddeus has published on his site a page talking about the actual engineering he put into the design. Not just "it works". I liked that. I also really like the VFD integrated into the base. It uses a KB Electronics "KBVF" VFD- which is the same guts as the KBAC that all the other grinder makers use. 

I've made some small improvements to my grinder - heavier light mount bracket, improved the tracking mechanism, replaced plastic bushings with bronze, added a lock pin to the tilt mechanism. None of which I find to be deal breakers.

$3000 for the grinder with all that stuff is a very good deal.

You'll need to rewire for 220v if you want the full 2hp out of it. A straightforward modification.

He stopped selling the surface grinder attachment due to being in the process of designing a new version.

Go for it.

-Zach

 
Posted : 10/02/2024 6:15 pm
Posts: 16
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter
 

Thanks Zach! This is super helpful! It seems like a good design and I like the idea of having the controls integrated into the frame like you pointed out. I just was getting nervous about how little info I could find from real users. How long have you been running it?

 
Posted : 10/02/2024 8:47 pm
Posts: 5
Active Member Apprentice Bladesmith
 

About 2.5 years. It's my only grinder so it gets used for everything.

 
Posted : 11/02/2024 7:00 pm
Ed Caffrey
Posts: 746
Prominent Member Master Bladesmith
 

Aside from the fact that this grinder looks like a knockoff of a well-known brand/model, I'd think about what happens if/when you need parts or service.  Will it be there?  In our modern era of knifemaking, it's all too common for entities to pop into the market, and then when the profits flatten out, they're gone, leaving customers high and dry.  

  Although it might be "cool" to have a VFD integrated, its a minus to me...it means there are likely specialized parts and pieces made to fit into that space on the grinder's frame.  Again, are you going to be able to get parts if/when you need them?

  Don't mean to be the "negative nellie" of replies, I just think that often times we get so excited about a new machine that we overlook those things that we should be looking at/thinking of.  I've been there, and done that...which is why I'm making the warning here. 😉 

      

Ed Caffrey, ABS MS
"The Montana Bladesmith"
www.CaffreyKnives.net

 
Posted : 13/02/2024 9:30 am
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