Owning and using knives is one thing. Maintaining and sharpening them is quite another, and for many folks (myself included up till recently) the sharpening process can be mysterious, difficult, and aggravating. However, in recent years some amazing products have come into the market place that make getting razor sharp edges so easy that even I can do it.
One of the newest products that will be available for purchase soon is the Combo Knife Sharpener by Work Sharp. My first Work Sharp product was the previously reviewed Guided Field Sharpener (check it out here) which is the best portable on the go sharpener in the marketplace(IMO). David has previously reviewed the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool sharpener and loved it, and Clay is currently testing the Work Sharp Guided Sharpening system.
The Combo Sharpener that was given to me for the purposes of the preview and review is a mix between the full fledged Knife & Tool sharpener, and the standard Guided Sharpening system. It combines the electric abrasive belts from the Knife & Tool unit with the guide system and ceramic honing rod of the Guided Sharpening system.
Now, all of that was a mouthful…but how the heck does it work!?
I just received my unit on Friday, and it has sharpened exactly one knife so far. Obviously it will eventually touch dozens of different knives, and several different types of steel over the next month or so. The Combo knife sharpener comes in a small to medium sized box and is the easiest thing to set up…you just plug it in.
Once the Combo Knife Sharpener is hooked up you are literally ready to sharpen a knife. I chose a small fixed blade from Ml-knives.com, the owner lives about 40 minutes from me and his traditional forged fixed blades feature 1095 carbon steel. A great little knife to start with. This little twisted steel handle knife was almost completely dull as I hadn’t sharpened it in ages.
The knife is inserted into the guided slots on both the left and right side of the sharpening unit. Each side sharpens the respective side of the knife that corresponds with the left and right.
You then start by sharpening at the base of the blade and pulling the knife towards you while maintaining contact with the abrasive belt. The recommended pull time is 1 second per inch.
After about 5 pulls through each side of the Combo sharpening system I felt that the knife was ready to hone on the ceramic rod on the right hand side of the unit.
About 20 alternating strokes later this little knife was hair shaving sharp. I honestly think it was sharper even that when I got it, which is saying something as Matt, the owner and bladesmith at Ml-knives takes great pride in making super sharp edges.
My initial impression of the Work Sharp combo knife sharpener is very, very good. I’m curious to see how long the belts last and what the limits of the unit are. Will it handle multiple different steel types and multiple different knife styles? Stay tuned for the full review coming soon!
Thanks to Work Sharp for allowing us the chance to review this new unit!