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- Made using the highest quality materials
- Tested for quality and durability
- The most trusted name in your cutlery needs
- Simply keep the plane of your knife’s blade vertical and draw the edge along each stone to sharpen. It’s that simple.
- For keeping sharp blades, tools, and toys in optimal working condition, Spyderco sharpener set is top notch
- Includes 2 sets of high alumina ceramic stones; sharpens plain and flat edges, awls, darts, fishhooks, and punches
- All components snap into the self-contained ABS plastic base and lid, and are ready to travel
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Includes: One Pair Medium Grit Triangle Stones - One Pair Fine Grit Triangle Stones - Abs Plastic Base - Pair Of Brass Safety Rods - Special Features: Instructional DVD
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After the first 10 knifes I wanted to write a review and respond to the one-star people, "What are you idiots talking about? This thing is so simple even a caveman can do it." But I read a little closer and it appears there are two schools of complaints. The first complains about the "tolerances" and the possible slop. These tend to be people who have been sharpening on stones for years and are rather accomplished already. The second are folks who have been using various gadgets over the years and consider this another ina long line of failures. This is my takeaway:
If you are accomplished with a stone, or consider yourself already able to accomplish a sharp knife, you might be disappointed because there is not a lot of innate skill necessary here. Your talents will seem wasted. The trick is to not over think this. You hold the knife vertical and pull it down and across (or out) of the rods. The rods are at 30 or 40 degrees so as long as the knife is straight up and down, you're good. That's it. No oil, no real set up, just draw the blade while holding it vertical (and not quite vertical is ok - more later).
The person using a stone for years has developed a soft touch, and the ability to maintain the same angle in both direction when pulling the blade across the stone. That is a very, very difficult skill to master. With this unit that skill is generally unnecessary. The rods are at 30/40 degrees, the knife is vertical. The consistent angle you hold the knife is the key.
Trying to determine if you are holding a blade horizontally on a stone at a 30 degree angle is hard. Quick, draw a 30 degree angle right now - bet you're off by at least 7 degrees. Now draw another - bet that ones off by a lot, too! Now draw a vertical line. Damn near perfect I bet. See, that's how this works. It is much easier for us humans to distinguish between up and down verses flat. Much easier than the difference between 221/2 degrees and 34 degrees. Your vertical line was off by no more than a degree or two.
But even if you hold the knife just a bit off vertical, but you do that every time, you're fine. Left side of the blade is 2 degrees off vertical, right side is 1 degree off - no problem. The idea is that the same bevel is on each side. Where you run into problems is when stroke 1 is 3 degrees off to the left of vertical, stroke 2 is 1 degree off to the right of vertical, stroke 3 is 4 off perfect vertical to the right and the next is 4 degrees off to the right, ad infinitum. Being off a bit is fine, as long as you are consistently off.
This is where relaxing and just letting muscle memory take over. Get comfortable, drag the knife through, and repeat. Don't "try" to guide the knife to vertical, just draw it through and continue. Like when you drew the straight line. You didn't have to think about that at all. It's kind of like golf, knitting, bowling or measuring for cooking. The more you "think" about what you are doing, the more you "concentrate" on the specific task, the more you will be frustrated. Just draw the knife through the rods. They don't have to be precisely 40 degrees. They don't have to fit in the slots so perfectly that they do not wobble at all ( a very minor amount of play must exist to get the rods inserted) and you don't have to make sure each and every stroke is dead solid perfect. Just consistent.
The thing is, I don't hold out much hope for pleasing the diehard Arkansas or Japanese stone sharpener because the required level of skill they already have accumulated is devalued. They may just have to dumb down their technique. Really precise sharpening with a stone is an art and a skill gained over time. I don't think a professional golfer has fun playing with what appears to be rookie equipment. That may be the stone sharpener's problem. They don't need this system, thus they devalue it. Nothing wrong with that.
For the person who sees this as another gadget, you're right (and you're wrong because it really does work). Treat it as a gadget. Have fun with it. It is not hard to master if you approach it as an easy to learn task. Here is your tip:
Start with the brown rods, and use the pointy edge. Make about twenty strokes per side. Now use the pointy edge of the white stones and do another 20 strokes. That was easy, now do it again. After the second time around check the blade (don't do so after the first time because you haven't quite relaxed yet). Is the blade significantly sharper than when you started? Then it worked. Do not try the sharpening steps using the flat side of the rods until you are comfortable with the pointy edges.
Why? Because it is harder due to surface area on the rod you must contact with the blade and you WILL start concentrating trying to combine that vertical holding pattern with contacting the knife blade on the entire flat surface and then things will get out of had, and you will over-concentrate, and everything will go to crap, the blade will not sharpen, this thing is a piece of crap, AGGGGGGHHHHH!
Deep Breath! Relax. You don't even need the flat side. The pointy side will make your knife so sharp you'll slice your thumb off as is.
Over the past years, I've been becoming more intelligent on all (some) things knives. One thing I always stressed on was sharpening them though. I stressed so much that I could not bring myself to buy a sharpener! I didn't want to waste what money I have and there are so many options and different price ranges and... I didn't want to make a wrong decision. So, I didn't make one at all for a while, I just kinda collected a new knife every time one would get a little duller...
That was fine, for a while, but 3 or 4 knives later you kinda have to stop and figure things out. So, I did. I'm sure someone else will be where I was in the future so I'll just go through my thoughts on each one. The sharpeners I thought about and ultimately decided against were the work sharp, edge pro apex, lansky stone system, wicked edge system, and DMT diamond stones (and other normal flat-stone type sharpeners).
1) Work sharp. This one was easy for me to say no to. I like the idea of it, and maybe when I have a lot of expendable income I will get one, but my primary sharpener needs to be one I don't have to constantly replace things like belts on. Also, I don't want to have to rely on electricity to sharpen a knife.
2) Wicked edge. I like this one, too expensive though. The end. Pro: it lets you do both sides of the blade at once. Something the spyderco sharpmaker does as well.
3) Edge pro apex. Also too expensive. I am aware of "knock-off" stands you can buy, and then replace the cheap stones with actual stones from edge pro, but even then it was a bit costly. I didn't like the idea of having to piece together an expensive system. I did like that it made it very easy to get a consistent edge, but it only sharpens one side at a time. It was ultimately too much money for its value.
4)Lansky stones. Similar to edge pro apex, just extremely cheaper. I can't speak on quality of it, but I did read reviews of people having to do a bit of work to get their system in good condition. 40 bucks vs. 60 with spyderco, it was hard to justify NOT spending the extra 20-30 dollars.
5) DMT Diamond stones (and other flat stones). These were pricey too, it turns out. I didn't want to get cheap stones. I wanted quality tools. A set of 2 or 3 stones would run me about the same as this, and I'd also have to acquire the skill of sharpening on a flat stone. I have tried, it is doable, but it requires practice and patience. Plus, the cost is similar to the sharpmaker.
These are the reasons I ended up picking the sharpmaker. I heard it was quick to pick up, it did provide me with a way to keep a consistent angle fairly easily. I could adjust the angle, maybe not as much as I first thought I would like to though. Bonus nachos: it stores in a wonderfully sized kit. Probably as big as the box a new phone comes in, a little longer though. Extra stones were available if I wanted a finer edge. So, how did it stack up?
-------- SHARPMAKER REVIEW------------
I could not be happier with this. As soon as I found it in the mail I opened it up and began sharpening with one of my cheaper knives (just in case...). I was able to get that knife pretty sharp, so, onto the nicer one I really didnt want to screw up, my endura 4 wave. After my 5-10 minute session with the first knife, I was able to get my endura even sharper than the first in less time. Onto the third knife. Similar results. Onto the 4th knife. Similar results. This is just to illustrate how easy it is and how quick it is to pick up. You do not need any past experience do master this system.
How sharp does it get your knives? There are some ultra fine stones available that people claim you "need" to get what they call "the ultimate edge"... screw em'! Let them be tacticool. I bought the ultra fine stones, do they sharpen my knife a little more? Yes. Were they worth 20 bucks? No. The edge you get from the fine stone in this system is super sharp, sharp enough to slice paper with ease. The ultra fines just give them a bit more ease. Not a very noticeable amount I'll add. If you don't buy the ultra fine stones, and I meet you on the street and ask if you did, you can show me your knife and lie, and say you did, and I would believe you. You're the only person who is going to know the difference. Literally, the thickness of the knife is more important than the ultrafine stones. But, your money, do with it as you wish.