Fast, convenient, adequate sharpening. If you don't want to sharpen 50/50, not a great choice.
CCs -- various models:
Fast, convenient, adequate sharpening. CC sharpeners eventually load up just like the Minosharp Plus3 and are equally difficult to clean.
- The model 15XV has a sufficiently aggressive first stage to reprofile 20* knives to 15*. Some 20* knives handle the change to 15* very well, others not so much. The "trizor" edge it establishes is extremely long wearing, but acts (and is) somewhat thicker than a true 15* edge.
- The models 315S and 316 are two stage flat-bevel 15* only sharpeners, each of which which runs around $80.
- The model 1520 sharpens at both 15* and 20*. You use of it's two coarse stages, one 15* and the other 20*, then follow with a flexible wheel which polishes but doesn't take enough metal to change the angles much.
A rod-guided tool and jig which sharpens extremely well. It's not quite as versatile as bench stones, but it's a lot easier to learn. I don't know the Shapton kits at all but have owned a bunch of Shapton Pros and tried the Shapton GS in their bench stone incarnations. Shaptons have issues, but I'm told they work very well in the EP by people I trust. I have and recommend the Chosera kit. In your case, the "Essentials" kit is probably as good a fit as either the Choseras or the Shaptons.
The water stones included with the EP kts are water stones like any other. You'll need something to flatten and dress them before getting started. I strongly urge that you get a full size flattener. Either use the inexpensive, 8" long, diamond plate CKtG sells (for around $25), or use drywall screen (about $12 a pack, which should last forever, pretty much); the plate is faster and easier. After your stones start to wear, you'll to add an angle finder (like the angle cube CKtG offers) and the "drill bit "collar (aka collet).
Yes You Absolutely Can Thin with an EP:
Use the Magic Marker trick on both sides of the knife. Set the EP's sharpening angle to whatever angle you desire for "behind the edge," load a fast, coarse stone, and just sharpen away until the ink is removed from the edge, and the bevel shoulder is an even straight line. Turn the knife over and repeat the process. Then, mark the knife again, and use a medium stone to polish out the coarse scratches one side after the other until the ink is removed. If the bevel isn't an even width along the knife's entire length (or at least up to the belly), go back to your coarse stone and fix it.
During the thinning/profiling process you're not actually creating an edge so you don't need to create a burr. But you do need to "sharpen" all the way to the edge in order get an even bevel -- which is critical.
You can polish the thinned section with a fine and even follow that with an ultra-fine stone if you like -- be aware though that you're doing more to improve shine than sharp.
Then create a new edge by setting the EP angle to your desired edge angle, and sharpen with a medium stone each until you've created an even burr along the entire length of the knife, with the desired asymmetry. Then, chase the burr until it flips easily and deburr. Repeat the burr-deburr process with a fine stone. If you like, you can polish the edge out with an ultra-fine.
The Magic Marker trick is helpful, but not necessary during the sharpening (as opposed to thinning/profiling) process, IF you know how to feel for a burr AND can see the bevel shoulder well enough to make sure there aren't any egregious high or low spots. People new to the EP should ALWAYS use the Magic Marker Trick and practice feeling for the burr as well. EP burrs tend to be more difficult to spot than those created on bench stones.
Even though you're moving a fair amount of metal, the tricks to thinning the blade and then establishing a fresh edge with the EP are, AS ALWAYS, (a) Very light pressure and (b) Frequent tactile and visual inspections.
Hope this helps,