Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener
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on March 30, 2009
Are there "better" sharpeners on the market? Probubly. But as an all around sharpener (I have several styles by several different manufacturers) this little gem is hands down THE BEST! Otherwise I would not have spent a week tracking this one down on the internet after all my local suppliers were "out of stock" or had moved on to more expensive less useful models. The thing folds up and goes in my pocket, it also has a handy hole for a lanyard which my new one is on. It does a great job on my chefs knives, my hunting knife and my serrated kives as well. It's easy for my big fingers to hold on to and steady on the edge of the counter when I am sharpening. I bought an extra one to put away in case this one gets "lost" or I give mine away to a friend. (In case you can't tell I really like it and would buy another one in a minute flat!)
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on June 16, 2009
I have been sharpening my own knives for years using the Gatco system. Normally I wouldn't trust my knives to anything but me and my Gatco. However, I do tend to spend a lot of time out in the woods and having a portable knife sharpener is an important part of my gear.

I was initially very hesitant to try this style of sharpener since the sharpening angle is fixed and not determined by me. Having now used the Smith's sharpener on several of my hunting and camping knives, I am recommending it to all my friends and have even purchased one for my hunting partner.

Great product, and I would buy it even at twice the price.
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on December 30, 2008
This is a great sharpener it makes knives super sharp but not quite razor sharp it is much better than Smith's Abrasives 2 Step Knife Sharpener, that sharpener gets knives just as sharp as it has the same angles to the ceramic part of the sharpener; but that uses rods which get loose and end up rolling as you draw your knife through it and don't sharpen your knife. Also this is easier to get a blade into the ceramic sharpening part. This also includes a serrated knife sharpener, and this works well but i can't say much for it as it is the first serrated knife sharpener i have ever used.

i recommend pulling the blade through the carbide part 10 times using semi heavy to medium force, the using the ceramic part about 10 times using medium force then lighting up to about as light as you can get by the 10th stroke
skip the carbide part if your knife is already adequately sharp, only use the carbide part if your knife i dull or damaged as it takes off a lot of steel
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on May 7, 2011
This sharpener is a wonderful tool if used properly. There is surperb feedback from the edge as you sharpen it. I avoid the carbide unless the edge is damaged and I can't get to my sharpening stones. The carbide blades are aggressive I really only use them with a light touch to remove a nick or burr if I did something stupid and damaged the edge. Remember, unless YOU make a mistake and damage the edge, you should never get a burr or nick in your blade. Still it's good to have the carbide if it's needed. The ceramic I use in the morning, before I use the knife, to touch up the edge. Several passes with a light touch is all that's needed. Occasionally I touch it up during the day if I feel the blade dragging a bit.

It is possible to damage a blade with this (or any other) sharpener. Operator error, not the tool, would be the issue there. Uneven pressure, too heavy a pressure or too much haste are the main culprits causing trouble. This is a lightweight, small tool, it is best used with finesse. it is far better suited to several light, controlled strokes rather than a heavy handed mauling of your edge.

Also note that the grind angle is fixed at a fairly shallow angle that is not the best for fine edges. This is a utility grind angle. An angle best suited to field knives, kitchen choppers and general kitchen utility blades. With gentle use the ceramic can be use on fine edges, but a steeper angled tool would do a better job. Still, I do use the ceramic sharpening notch to touch up my kitchen knives and it does a decent job.

I've carried one of these ever since I first found them. I own several and have had a few "begged away" by friends. I've used it extensively. I've never damaged an edge or created a wavy, uneven edge. If you do manage that, you're not using the sharpener correctly. Light passes, even pressure and PAY ATTENTION. Avoid using the carbide unless you have a damaged or severely blunted/rounded edge. Even then, those problems are better fixed with a good quality stone. You can completely restore an edge with this tool, but it's takes more time and far more concentration that using a large stone.
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on May 21, 2010
Good sharpener but with caveats.

Positives: small size, carbide cutters are very effective at removing metal, ease of use (no special techniques)

Negatives: small contact point on the blade (see below, not very stable if much pressure is applied

Due to the small contact point with the blade, pressure is directed onto a very small portion of the blade. This pressure will vary as you slide the blade through the sharpener (either as a result of nicks in the blade or human error/ inability to maintain perfect pressure). As a result you will end up with a slightly wavy edge to knife. Over time this waviness will likely be exaggerated.

I would say this sharpener is okay for a "quick and dirty" field sharpening of a camping or pocket knife, but I would not use it on fine blade steel or good kitchen knives.

Cheers.
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on November 14, 2012
This product keeps my knife as sharp as it could be. The only problems I have with it is the size, which is too small for my big hands as well as the diamond encrusted sharpening rod which could've been a bit thicker and longer in my opinion. Also, whenever I received it, it looked like the package had been sitting on a shelf for about five years. The carbide blades looked tarnished as well. Other than these small inconveniences, this sharpener does what it says it does. Sharpens knives.

EDIT: Not really digging the product now. It seems that the sharpening blades dull over a matter of DAYS so it really doesn't get my knife that sharp.
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This Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener is probably not the absolute best or most precision method to sharpen a high quality knife blade, but it is certainly among the handiest, especially when one has a specialized task to perform.

Knife purists will tell you that you need an "oil stone" or a "water stone" to put the best edge on high-quality kitchen knives, and I can personally agree with my J.A. Henckels or Victorinox kitchen knives. For those I use a Woodstock SteeleX D1130 1000 Grit and 6000 Grit Japanese Waterstone that I luckily found brand new at a garage sale. But we're talking about speed and convenience here, and that's where the Smith's PP1 sharpener works well.

Likes:

* Very small footprint; easy to carry in a pocket, briefcase or camera bag
* Carbide blades and ceramic finishing stones are reversible and replaceable
* Tapered diamond rod; very convenient for sharpening serrated blade edges
* Package has easy to follow sharpening directions on the back
* Nicely constructed; ergonomic, lightweight and durable

Dislikes:

- Preset sharpening angles on V-shaped sharpening slots may or may not be good for certain blades.

Quick Note on Sharpening Angles:

There are plenty of discussions on the `Net regarding which sharpening angle is best for a given knife. Some say that you should choose an angle of 10° to 30° on each side. Shallower angles make a sharper edge that doesn't last as long, while steeper angles are more durable; I compromise between 17° and 22.5° with my better knives, but the choice is yours. Don't know what angle the Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Sharpener uses, as I haven't see it posted in their description. In any case, if you have an exceptionally good knife, check with the manufacturer's suggestions and specs.

In Use:

In my particular case, I needed to sharpen the serrated blade of my Victorinox Swiss Army One Hand Trekker, an excellent knife that I purchased here in 2008 and finally reviewed in early 2010. This particular knife made me put my other Swiss Army knives away as far as day-to-day functionality goes, yet the serrated blade was losing its effectiveness, probably from too much use over time. It was also gummed up a bit from cutting through packaging tape (and Amazon boxes, etc.) over time.

First cleaned the serrated blade with WD-40, wiped it with a paper towel, then washed, rinsed and dried it. Following the directions on the package, I extended the tapered diamond rod and drew it through each serration, rotating it as the instructions noted. Within minutes the serrated blade was restored. Did the same with the serrated blade on my Gerber Suspension Butterfly Opening Multi-Plier, and the sharpness on that blade was easily refurbished as well.

As noted earlier, it's always better to use a water stone on high-quality kitchen knives, but when you need speed and expedience, and the Smith's PP1 sharpener does its job. For a quick touch up with good cutlery, just remember to use the V-shaped slot with the ceramic finishing stones, and do it gently.

I have also used the Smith's Edgeware V-Slot 10-Second Knife and Scissors Sharpener for years as a household handy item for sharpening scissors. Have also used it reshaping a few worn out kitchen knives, and it did the job quite well.

Summary:

For quick and dirty sharpening, the Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener does the job and does it well. For this user, it has worked very well, especially when sharpening a serrated blade by hand, and with that it's a 5-star product. For sharpening straight blades, you may wish learn to use a stone, but as admitted above, I do use this PP1 Pocket Pal when taking the time to use a wet stone is not convenient. If your need is for convenience and speed, then this one is highly recommended.

9/22/2012
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on January 26, 2011
To preface this review, please note that I do know how to sharpen...and sharpen WELL. Even my kitchen knives will not only shave but SCARE the hair from your arms. I have another pocket sharpener by Gerber that works reasonably well (for emergency field use), but this one had the rod for serrated edges so I purchased this item for a small survival kit.

Mistake...

The rod broke off during my first use. It's screwed into a plastic holder only 3/16" deep. No way the tiny steel threads (1/16" diameter) will hold in that soft plastic. The other 2 sharpening grooves are next to useless. Only if your existing bevel matches the angles of the guides PERFECTLY and the knife is very THIN will you even get an edge...and I use that term loosely.

So, for all practical intents and purposes, I bought a tapered diamond sharpening stick which I have to mount in my own handle.
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on January 31, 2013
It sharpened everything with a wide cutting angle . . .

And then I tried sharpening one Chinese knife with no success and thought it was bad. But after I sharpened the same knife with a stone I realized it's not the products fault, the knife just can't be sharpened . . .
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on November 3, 2009
Bought this sharpener on a whim while at a local sporting goods store. I badly dulled one of my favorite pocket knives from over use. Impatiently, I tore open the package in my car and went to work. I figured that if the sharpener was bogus, I could just walk right back into the store and return it.

WOW!!! Was I surprised. This thing is amazing! A few passes through the carbide blades followed by a few through the ceramic and I was sold. Brand new, my knife was NEVER this sharp - and it only took a few seconds.

It's compact, light weight, amazingly effective and idiot proof. If you're thinking about getting one of these, don't even hesitate - just buy it.

Still can't believe that this thing is only $10. Best money I've ever spent.
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