Hi All, Thought I'd post up my experience with my new sharpening system. I guess the first thing to say is WOW! I never thought it would be fun to sharpen blades but this setup makes it effortless and enjoyable. Let me start by my first impressions of the setup upon delivery. The first thing I realized is this thing is HEAVY. I think the base alone weighs somewhere around 60 lbs. That added to the 40+ lbs of sharpener and another 20 or so with the arm and balancer and you literally have a tank sitting in the garage. It took me about a half hour to assemble everything. Gerd and company spared no expense in packaging everything up individually making the setup a snap. My only gripe was I was shorted 4 bolts which was no big deal at all. Simple oversight. I've had several email correspondences with Gerd and he has been extremely helpful. Once setup I started off with an old blade to test it out in case there was a learning curve. Well, after the second pass I had it down and it came off the stone razor sharp. The only thing I would have liked to see was a longer work table. That remedy was quite simple as I found the extended table option on their site. I immediately ordered it up and it makes it even easier to keep the blade flat. I made the recommendation to Gerd to offer this as standard equipment but apparently many don't like the longer table. For me it works perfectly. I should also mention I'm using this to only sharpen my blades (total overkill, I know) Maybe a couple neighbors but for the most part they are straight high-lift blades. For these the longer table works great. The balancer is a dream to use. I no longer need to fuss with that stupid plastic cone thing that never seemed to work properly. The blades pop on and off easily and it's quite simple to see where the heavy spots are. All in all this was a great purchase. Definitely expensive but this will easily last a lifetime so to me it was well worth the money. I looked at all the units currently available and I have to say the overall setup they offer trumps them all. It sits compactly next to my fridge in the garage and can be pulled out and used instantly. Having everything together is the way to go. I have about 5 additional sets of blades that I'm going to work on this weekend and I can't wait to use it!! If anyone is considering one of these just BUY IT. You will not regret it!