Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review

(This post originally appeared at RuggedAmericanGear, author Jake Middleton’s personal blog)

As mentioned in the preview of the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener, I purchased mine at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $20 months ago. I have dozens of knives, and I’ve needed a proper sharpening system for years and just haven’t wanted to shell out big bucks for one. I used to bring my knives to a local knife sharpener, but that can add up rather quickly over time.

The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is a nice mix of quality, versatility and price that should be in every single knife owners tool kit.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review

The Field Sharpener is a small portable all in one sharpener designed for use in…you guessed it, the field!

Making full use of its limited real estate, the field sharpener fits in a course diamond plate, a medium diamond plate, 2 ceramic rods with multiple setting, a leather strop, and some storage space.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
top view of the medium diamond plate, 2 ceramic rods and angle guides.
Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
interior storage space and broadhead wrenches

To get started, you first decide what diamond plate you want to use. Most knives will only need the medium diamond plate, as the course is for resetting the edge, or getting a chip from the knife edge out.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
pull the knife towards you while sharpening, and then reverse for the other side.
Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
Make sure to do the same number of strokes per side

You hold the knife along the yellow sharpening guide, and pull the knife towards you while maintaining  the preset angle. I like to do 5 strokes on one side, then 5 from the other side at first. At this point I give it a quick slice test on a piece of paper, if it slices cleanly I move on to the next step, if not I repeat!

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
the knob to rotate the large ceramic rod between course, fine and the fish hook sharpener

After the medium diamond plate, you turn the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener onto it’s side and set up the ceramic rod. There is a small ceramic rod for serrated knives, and a larger one for straight edged knives. There are three settings controlled by a red knob on the end. The F is for fine, the C is for course, and the fish hook symbol is for…well fish hooks.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
the ceramic stone can be washed in warm water to remove the black build up.

If you’ve already sharpening the knife on the diamond plate, I would head right towards the fine ceramic rod and repeat the same stroke motion as above. I find the coarse rod works best on recurve style blades because it leaves them a little toothy and aids in their chopping capability.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
after your knife is properly sharpened, you can just use the strop if you want to maintain a keen edge.
Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
one sharp knife!

The last step is to strop the knife! This is the most underrated step in the knife sharpening process. the angle guides are set up at a perfect 25 degrees to remove the burr that was formed while sharpening the knife. While stropping, I don’t do 5 strokes per side, but instead alternate between strokes. I have no idea if that works better, but to me it seems to give it a more consistent final edge.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
working out a chip in the edge of my Estwing with the course diamond plate

I have used the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener for my Estwing hatchet, all of my pocket knives, and to put an edge on mySharkkeytool keychain tool.

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
just stropping my already sharpened Mudbug to keep the edge clean.
Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review
a sample of the American made knives I have used the field sharpener on

The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener works fantastic on simple carbon steels such as the 1095 High Carbon that my Smith & SonsMudbug and ESEE Izula are made from, as well as on my Benchmade Mini Griptilian 154 CM stainless steel. What it works not so well on is anything touching “Super Steel” category such as S30V, or 3PM-3V that the Big Chris Custom “Hiker” I’m reviewing is made out of.

While there are more expensive sharpeners out there, I think the price tag combined with the versatility make this a must have for just about everyone. It is assembled in the USA from domestic and imported parts, so while not completely “American”, the most important part is done here, and that’s the assembly.

Check out WorkSharptools.com to pick one up, or your local retailer.

comments

  1. stuartb says:

    Nice review, thanks. I’ll often bring a small Arkinsas stone camping and accept that a real fine edge will wait untill I get back, but this seems to cover way more options for minimal bulk

  2. Hoth says:

    I hate myself for doing this, but its coarse, not course.

  3. Stuart, it’s the best small package sharpener I’ve used so far, and I’ve used about a dozen of them.

    Hoth, thanks for the correction! Autocorrect gets everyone from time to time

  4. John F. MacMichael says:

    Good review. Looks like you got a great deal on yours at $20; both Dick’s and WorkSharptools.com list it at $34.95. I shall have to keep an eye out for a sale.

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Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener Review

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