Help me choose a sharpener

Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
32
I have gifted and recommended the Work Sharp grinder to people. But these are almost always non-knife people whose kitchen knives are about as sharp as clay. They will run one through there every six months or so when they remember.

If you have the desire to regularly maintain your edges then I personally wouldn't go this route. I just don't think it is necessary and I think the trade-offs make it not worth it. It's not a bad system by any means, but if you are the type to put in a little effort around this then I think you can do better.

I do not like fixed crock-stick style systems like the Work Sharp. Very limited. Yes some have more angle options but your still limited to those.

Guided systems are excellent and I would only advise getting a quality one. They all have pluses and minuses. I have a KME and it is excellent. One thing a guided system can really do, is build your confidence. But again, they have limitations.

If you want to get into this cheap, given the types of knives you mentioned then this is what I recommend:

1. Norton JB8 combination stone. $30USD
2. Sharpening oil. $5-10USD
3. Red permanent marker. $3

You can make-shift a strop to start. And old belt works well or some denim wrapped around your stone. But if you want to buy one, by all means do.

Getting working edges is not voodoo. The marker will guide you on angle and we can all help you with that. Just pressure to keep things steady on the stone. No biggy. Raise a burr, switch sides, raise a burr, de-burr. That's the basics and those are the basics of all the systems. The only thing that changes is how you get there.

Learning to freehand opens up vast opportunities and you will always be able to adapt and build upon that skill. You won't care if a knife has a funky grind on the spine or what the edge angle is and with the addition of some diamond plates, you'll open to a huge range of steels.

If you want to delve into highly refined edges later on, then so be it. But just to get working edges and understand the fundamentals the above will get you there. And you have a vast resource of some of the most helpful and knowledgeable sharpening folks in the world right here.

Gotta acknowledge a good answer when I see one...
 

MTHall720

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
2,600
I have used a variety of ceramic rod guided systems including Sharpmaker, and similar kits. My personal favorite rod setup is Idahone. I got the Diamond rods for the Sharpmaker but for my blades it felt like I could spend a lot more time than expected for really dull knives. I agree with what others have said about trying a strop if you feel like you want a bit more refined edge after sharpening. You may want to look at the reviews on Amazon and compare the Sharpmaker and Idahone rod systems.

Please keep us updated on whatever system you choose.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
32
I decided that there’s no point in contemplating the kitchen knives, as any system I would buy would be more expensive than the knives. As I wanted something easy and proven, I bought the sharpmaker. If I need to do any maintenance beyond the regular upkeep, I’ll get myself a diamond stone further down the line. I can also always get the CBN or diamond rods to expand the Sharpmaker’s capability. As it turns out, the sharpmaker actually does a decent job on the kitchen knives. So wins all around.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5
I decided that there’s no point in contemplating the kitchen knives, as any system I would buy would be more expensive than the knives. As I wanted something easy and proven, I bought the sharpmaker. If I need to do any maintenance beyond the regular upkeep, I’ll get myself a diamond stone further down the line. I can also always get the CBN or diamond rods to expand the Sharpmaker’s capability. As it turns out, the sharpmaker actually does a decent job on the kitchen knives. So wins all around.
A araziza - I'm considering similar thoughts as yourself - and after reading this thread - I was thinking the WSKO would be the choice for this particular situation (mainly kitchen knives to sharpen every now and then). Did you get the sharpmaker already and start using it - if so, report back how it's working for you. Thanks!
 

000Robert

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
2,777
A araziza - I'm considering similar thoughts as yourself - and after reading this thread - I was thinking the WSKO would be the choice for this particular situation (mainly kitchen knives to sharpen every now and then). Did you get the sharpmaker already and start using it - if so, report back how it's working for you. Thanks!

I use the WSKOBGA to put a convex edge on our kitchen knives, and my WE130 on my other knives. Be sure not to overheat the steel when using a belt grinder.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
96
What's wrong with a Norton Coarse/Fine india combo stone backed up by a Spyderco Fine or Ultrafine ceramic stone and finally a leather strop? Cheaper than those magic systems and it works for any knife, hatchet, axe, leather working wood working tool.
 
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