I don’t typically have a lot of luck with raffles and jokingly lamented this as I made my annual donation to the Knife Rights Ultimate Steel Spectacular this year. David had won a couple of knives over the past few years, but I was 0-for-3 in my participation. I didn’t mind, as I believe in both the organization and cause that I was supporting.
Apparently, I spoke too soon, as this year I was notified that I was selected in the “Early Bird Drawing”. I was somewhat down the list, too late to win the Smith and Wesson 9mm Shield I had been coveting, and the remaining knives in the early pool were not ones I was enamored with. There was however a Wicked Edge Field and Sport sharpening system which was a piece of gear that had been on my wishlist, but as I already owned a Tormek, a Spyderco Sharpmaker, and a Work Sharp Guided Sharpening system , I was not really looking to plunk down the money for. I chose the Wicked Edge, and it arrived yesterday afternoon.
The kit comes in a nice clamshell case, the unit itself, and the coarse (100/200 grit) and medium (400/600 grit) diamond stones. It also comes with adjusting tools, a permanent marker (for checking angle and alignment) and a C-clamp to attach it to a workbench.
I couldn’t wait to take the unit for a test drive, and set it up last night to begin to test it out. Setting the angle is quite easy, just color the edge with a marker and adjust the guide rods in or out until they are properly set. The hardest part of using the Wicked Edge is getting the proper placement of the blade, which must be moved forward or backward until the the marker is removed from the tip evenly. There are pictures in the instruction which clearly outline the adjustments to me made according to the pattern one witnesses.
Before long I was sharpening. The working action of the rods is very intuitive, and while I know there is a learning curve, it is quite straightforward.
The coarse and medium stones do a good job of getting a knife functionally sharp. That said, I needed to strop the blade on an old belt to get it to newsprint-shaving quality. I am pretty sure I will be investing $75 on a set of fine stones. For now, stropping worked well, and I was able to put a solid edge on the Utica UTK B6 I am testing.
I know there is a learning curve to climb, but I am quite pleased with my initial experience with the Wicked Edge. While it isn’t going to knock the Spyderco Sharpmaker off the list as best dollar for dollar sharpener, it is a unit I see myself getting a lot of use from in the future. Especially if I get the finer stones.
I want to thank Wicked Edge for their donation to Knife Rights, and thank Knife Rights for putting on such a cool contest. It is not too late to get in on the “tail end” drawing, it runs through July 31st. Click here for more details.