Top critical review
140 people found this helpful
Sharp knives BUT Expensive to buy and expensive to own
on January 26, 2015
I have mixed feelings about this tool.
For function I give it 3 stars. It really does a good job of putting a very sharp edge on you knife in very little time. My kitchen and hunting knives have never been this sharp all at the same time. With this tool, any knife in the house is going to be sharp any time I grab it. So why not 5 stars? The guide system gets in the way making it difficult to sharpen most knives clear back to the heel/plunge line of the blade. Small blades like pocket knives are a real pain.
It loses another star for the cost/availability of abrasive belts. On the third blade I went to sharpen, I cut the extra fine belt that comes with the sharpener nearly in half. So, I went to Cabela's to get a pack of the extra fine belts and a pack of the fine belts as those will be the belts you use the most once the initial sharpening is done and the edge is set on all your blades. Nothing doing! You can only get the belts for the KO Edition in the five belt variety pack in stores. So if you only go through two grits, too bad you have to buy all five! And they are $18 a pack compared to $10 a pack for the original Work Sharp. It seems that Work Sharp is trying to make their money on consumables rather than tools!
After I looked at Cabela's I checked the WS web site where I found that I could order individual belts. But the fine belts are $4 each and the extra fine are $2 each and shipping costs $6. So if I get 5 of each, that's 36$... back to $18 for five belts.
I emailed back and forth with Brian at Work Sharp to find out if they planned on making packs of individual grits available at stores and he said they are planning on it, but the Ken onion has been in production for over a year now and they're still not on the market.
So if you are looking for a sharpening tool that works quickly and provides a very sharp edge, the Ken Onion Edition does that very well. But Work Sharp should consider a complete redesign of the blade guide because that thing sucks. And the cost of ownership of this thing is out of sight compared to other knife sharpening systems. To put the belt cost into perspective, at $18 for for the 5 belt assortment, that means that each belt costs $3.60 and they are nothing but a loops of cloth backed sandpaper - they don't last for years. To replace a hone in my Lanskey set, it costs me about $8 and they DO last for years.
And finally, for my $36 in belt costs, I'll be getting 23 belts from Micro-Surface rather than 10 from Works Sharp.