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Style: Tool sharpener|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 2,940 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,057 reviews
on October 15, 2010
The Work Sharp WSKTS Knife and Tool Sharpener is exactly the sharpener that I've been looking for! It quickly and easily makes a good convex edge on most blades, and it only took me a few minutes to get the hang of it. I profiled and sharpened three kitchen knives in five minutes, and a brush axe in ten minutes. The brush axe took more time both because the new edge profile was a lot different, and because it took me some practice to deal with the curving blade.

Pros
- It takes me an easy 35sec to change a belt.
- The belts are lasting well.
- It takes about 5 passes each side w/medium belt to put a convex edge on a typical blade.
- It takes 1-2 passes each side w/fine belt to sharpen a typical blade.
- Works for most any blade, even my Benchmade folding knife with thumbstud.
- Sharpens hard knives.

Cons
- The instructions are not great. You may round the tip or ruin a blade's temper if you follow them exactly.
- It would be easier to draw through true if the guide extended to either side 1/2", and was solid above the belt.
- Will only sharpen the flat side of a serrated blade. You'll need something like a tapering round sharpener to get the other side.
- The thumbstud on a folding knife may get in the way unless it is near the handle.
- The fine belt is generally good, but sometimes I want finer. I searched online, but couldn't find any.
- There is no 15deg knife guide.
- The WSKTS quickly gets hot; you're not supposed to use it for more than 20min.

Tips
- Practice drawing the blade through with the motor off.
- As you draw through, change the angle of the blade to keep the belt-to-edge contact uniform.
- The belt will conform to the knife tip as you draw it though, which will round the tip of the knife. I avoid this by drawing through the same, but turning off the motor just as the tip of the knife reaches the belt.
- During the initial edge re-profiling, be careful that the knife doesn't get too hot, which will ruin the temper. I worked with three knifes at a time to avoid this.
- I alternate sides every pass, both to help keep the edge symmetric, and to minimize the number of passes.
- I only use the downward side of the belt; this seems safer and perhaps the belt will last longer.
- For a curving blade like a brush axe, I work in sections, being careful to vary and feather the sections each pass.
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on January 4, 2016
I cannot see how anyone could give this a negative review if they use just some basic common sense and follow the instructions.

I think it's all about having correct expectations. If you're expecting this sharpener to give you the same edge that a professional can give you, or if you're expecting the same edge that you can get with 30 minutes on multiple stones, then you might not be super happy with this. With just a little bit of practice though, you can get a really nice edge on your knives in less than three minutes.

That's what this was about for me, time. I had five kitchen knives, and about a dozen pocket knives in a box that were virtually unusable. They had been sitting in a box (except the chef knife which I used regularly) that I'd toss them in with the "I'll sharpen them later" mentality. I started working my way through them all this weekend and by the time I made it to the end of them, I'd gotten pretty good with this tool. I can't get the 25 degree edge I'd like quite yet, but when using the 20 degree guide I can spend three minutes and get a usable, paper cutting edge pretty easily.
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on February 6, 2017
I spent a month working with a Spydy Sharpmaker using the ultra fine stones and a treated strop. I got good results, but not the consistent super sharp I was looking for. It taught me the value of patience and consistency. However, I was not happy with my results and came to conclude I was living in 2017, that all the premium knife manufacturers use belt sharpening and it's probably a good idea I use a modern methods too. I'm not saying the old stone methods are bad, there's just more modern ways (since the invention of electricity and electric motors.) Within 20" of receiving the Work Sharp, I had 3 knives sharper (easily cutting phone book paper) than any of my results with the Spydy Sharpmaker. The Sharpmaker was EXTREMELY important in teaching me the value of a consistent and very light 90 degree hold against the moving belt (I tried the guides, but found them cumbersome after the Sharpmaker experience.) Essentially, this machine puts the speed and accuracy of a belt grinder set up in an economical package for the average guy to use in his garage. I'll order some middle grit belts and be all set.
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on May 4, 2017
I am the guy that cannot sharpen a knife, no patience. This is the best sharpener I have ever used. Watch a few videos online, try it with a 'junk' knife to practice, that 'junk' knife will be better than brand new very quickly. Once you get how to use it,, its fastest, easiest sharpener you will ever own. 10 times better than those boxed electric grinders they call sharpeners. I live in Michigan and hunt and fish.
Starter pack of belts has done over 80 knifes of all types, fish knife is a bone slicer now, 4 axes, 3 hatchets, 9 lawnmower blades, and a few scissors. Hooked my brothers up and sharpened their stuff, they are buying me new belts. and the old ones are still doing the job.

Amazon has replacement belts that can fine fine hone blade to razor. Even a diamond belt for ceramic knifes. I have razor sharp axe and hatchets now, had them for 20yrs and wish i did this a long time ago. Lawnmower blades can be sharpened w/out taking off lawnmower. Grass cuts clean and yard is amazing,, really never thought a sharp lawnmower blade would make such a difference. Old butcher block kitchen knife set is better than new now. Steak slices like butter. Yes I am a big fan, and don't think you need the variable speed unit,, this base model works fast, and does the job. did i mention scissors, hunting knife going thru deer skin like a scalpel, .... get it.. stop lookin'.
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on May 27, 2017
I bought this originally so I could tear it apart and review that it was nothing but a fanboy product. I got so tired of hearing how great it was from all the tacti-morons. Well, I'm eating those words, because it actually IS great. Learning curve is very small, and when you use the right belts for the right blade, and realize to let it do the work without forcing it to, it works very, very well. It puts an edge on a dull knife from 420C to D2, S30V and CPM154. It polishes that edge. It hones it. I strop it anyway, and it makes short work of sharpening. I love using stones, but I do that for a hobby mostly. If I want a fast and sharp edge, I have this thing ready to go now. You don't need the more expensive Ken Onion edition unless you have knives that fall out of the general category, the regular workshop will do fine. I've done outdoor knives up to and including a BK2 and small as a pocket folder. If you get the diamond belts, you can do ceramic knives as well and remove chips or hone the edges perfectly. Takes no skill to operate, but that's assuming general intelligence and the ability to read instructions.
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on November 28, 2016
The idea is pretty decent and it worked good for a little bit. I have had mine a few years but used it very little (forgot I had it for a year or so....). I've only gone through one of the sanding belts, so probably 15-20 sharpenings. I recently went to use it and the cheap plastic drive mechanism coming off the power base shattered. Now it's junk. Called the company (Darex) and they said the part isn't replaceable, and that I would have to order the power base for $25, which seemed fairly reasonable. Customer service was very good, but I don't see what is to prevent the new power base from breaking either? Luck of the draw I suppose since there seem to be a lot of people happy with it. My advice would be to purchase an extended warranty from a seller on amazon if you can find one for a reasonable price.....or just buy a chef's choice.

***Update*** Originally I gave it one star, but after dealing with Darex's customer service I bumped up my rating. The customer service rep sent me a new power base free of charge even though it was well outside the 1 year warranty. Also, the plastic drive mechanism on the new power base is made of a black plastic - the old one was clear plastic. I'm assuming they changed to a more durable plastic material after realizing the original version wasn't very reliable. Hopefully this one lasts much longer.
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on November 13, 2012
EDIT (12/26/12) - Finally got to use this on an axe. Holy smokes this thing is worth it for that alone. EXCELLENT!

This is a day one review will update over time.

Why I bought it: I'm avid cook and outdoors-man. Despite owning at least a dozen sharpening stones from diamonds, pocket diamonds, ceramics, and steels I'm just not good at putting an edge on a knife(not for lack of trying). I was just about to purchase a belt sander, because my kitchen knives were driving me nuts when I came across this item. After lots of investigation I figured it was worth a try and I'm glad I did.

First go:
I literally had 3 minutes to open the box and get this thing set up. I dug out the worst 10" butcher knife in the drawer that hadn't been sharpened in at least 15 years and the blade was dinged from tip to hilt. With the coarse belt I was able to remove all the dings from the blade with about 6 passes on each side. The coarse grit is really coarse and I'd be wary about using it on a blade in better condition.
After 3 passes on each on the medium grit and about 4 or 5 passes on the fine a total of 5 minutes had passed from opening the box and I thought no way this thing could be sharp. One pass down the arm removed a 1.5" swath of hair about 3 inches long. I mean literally wiped the hair right off. I was stunned!! I am sure there are many people who can get a better edge on a blade, I am not one of those people, but I'm fairly certain no one can make a knife this sharp in this amount of time.

Second go:
I decided to run through the 6 knives in my butcher block skipping the coarse grit since these knives are not that damaged. All 6 knives took about 5 minutes to sharpen and at the end 4 were absolute razors. 2 of the knives I had trouble with, one being a very thin blade carver that looks really looks like a fillet knife and a large thick 10" butcher knife. These two I had to go back over and really take my time controlling the blade position, but after being more careful with these two I was shaving sharp in about 2 minutes per blade.

Pros:
QUICK!
easy - anyone with enough manual dexterity and mechanical know how to operate a pencil and write their name can handle this machine.
affordable
I've never produced a sharper knife with any other technique
very even sharpening - with the naked eye, the bevel appeared very uniform (only slight variation occurred at the tips, see cons)

Cons:
I did have some rounding at the end of all my knives despite my effort to stop the belt before swiping the blade all the way through
my thinner tapered knives are hard to use on the guide when near the tip

Overall:
Tickled pink by this little sharpener and my family was doubly impressed.I've never sharpened a knife better, definitely never sharpened one easier, and lastly never sharpened a knife quicker than with this. I plan on trying it out on my garden tools next; I can't wait!

Update: December 1, 2012 about 3 weeks on the sharpener now -

1.I'm still having a little trouble with the transition to the point. If I save the point I tend to get a transition in the bevel. I'm sure it's user error, but it's frustrating. Flatter knives like a santoku get ridiculously good results. I had 2 fresh slices to my fingers during Thanksgiving, because I had forgotten what it's like using a super sharp knife.

2. I've dug out some more knives that I thought were unsalvageable and had them shaving within minutes. Still can't get over how easy it is.

3. I tried to sharpen an old machete and it (or I) failed miserably. It just didn't do a good job. On other smaller tools like axes and shovels it works very well, but for a machete not so much. If someone has had good results with a machete I'd appreciate a comment left with how you did it.

4. I sharpened 3 gift knives, you know the kind that your not even sure if it's a metal blade and I had them all cutting paper cleanly in about 45 seconds. Given the softness of the blades the sharpness wasn't as even and shaving was a little more grabby than a good blade, but proof positive this thing can make even a butter knife dangerous.
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on April 18, 2017
Great sharpener, BUT...

I just put a shaving edge on a dozen kitchen knives in less than 30 minutes. BUT, just as I was finishing, a plastic wheel over the lower right bearing broke. Costs $22 to fix it (including shipping). A number of reviewers had the same problem, so it seems like a design flaw that should have been fixed by now. I've had this for 15 months, so the warranty has expired.

Otherwise, this thing is great. Puts a keen edge on incredibly fast. There is a learning curve to avoid rounding tips and S-shaped grinds, but the instructions clearly tell you how to avoid this. I practiced with a junky knife and figured it out in just a few minutes. It does take off a lot of metal, so the life of your knives will be reduced, but I still expect all of my knives to last my lifetime!
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on June 5, 2016
Just bought this, along with a small 60x microscope (http://www.amazon.com/Carson-MicroBrite-60x-120x-Microscope-MM-300/dp/B00LAX52IQ). With the microscope, I can confirm that this works better than I can achieve freehand sharpening with 1000 and 6000 grit Japanese waterstones, which I've been doing for more than 15 years and on hundreds of knives. It also outperforms the spyderco sharpmaker, the apex system, and the wicked edge system, at least in my hands. With the just the base kit plus the leather strop, I can get most any knife to hair-popping sharp, and I've only put maybe a half dozen knives through this thing so far. Very easy to use, and impressively sharp, every time.

The ken onion version adds adjustable angle settings, but for $50 more on a $70 item, it doesn't seem worth it.
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on March 25, 2011
I'll bet I tried 7 different "sharpening systems" until I stumbled on the Work Sharp. This is a great tool that works. I've never been able to master the skill of putting a consistant sharp edge on steel. The WSKTS does the work for you.

The tool comes complete with color coded belts of three different grits. The green belt (6000 grit) will finish an edge to "scary sharp". I was careful to warn others in the household when I used it on the kitchen cutlery!

It's not at all difficult to use the Work Sharp, but practice on some old, unloved cutlery first, just to get the feel. If you're not paying attention, it is possible to round the tip of your knife.

Lastly, it does seem like the belts will last a very long time. Still, if you send in your warranty card, Work Sharp will send you a fresh package of spares.
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