Sharp cams: What are their pros and cons?

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Replacing standard cams with sharp cams is one of the most common modifications that increase engine power and improve throttle response.

This article will briefly examine sharp cams, their purpose, and their advantages and disadvantages.

Table of Contents

What are sharp cams for?

Getting as much air and fuel into the cylinder as possible is necessary to achieve higher engine performance. However, the intake valves must be open as much as possible and for as long as possible.

Like the intake and exhaust valves, they must be opened as wide as possible and for as long as possible to get all the exhaust gases out of the combustion chamber.

When the cam reaches the valve tappet, its force acts against the pressure of the valve spring, and the valve begins to open. However, how quickly, how much, and for how long the valve opens depends on the shape of the cam.

The sharp cam is much rounder and wider than the standard one. The name sharp cams is a bit out of place, and the round cams would be more accurate.

Pros of sharp cams

Replacing stock cams with sharp cams will increase low-rpm torque and rev the engine more easily.

Cons of sharp cams

The disadvantage of sharp cams is an increase in the idling speed of the engine, but also higher fuel consumption.


Since with sharp cams, it is impossible to achieve both parameters at the same time (high torque at low revs and high power at high revs), the designers came up with a variable valve timing system that imitates the function of an optimally sized cam in different working conditions of the engine.