Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener Review

With the release of their new Combo Knife Sharpener, Work Sharp is going after those folks who need to sharpen knives quickly, efficiently and without fuss. Sometimes taking the time to break out the old Arkansas stones and oil is great, but other times you need a dull blade to become sharp quickly and the new Combo Knife Sharpener from Work Sharp does just that.

This unit was sent to us courtesy of Work Sharp for the purpose of this review, and I’ve had it to play around with for about a month now. I’ve spent that month sharpening many many different knives on it as well as a full sized machete and a hatchet. I’ve found the unit to be quick, efficient, easy to use and easy to learn.

Make the jump to dive in deeper to the Combo Knife Sharpener.

Designed to be plugged right in and used, there is no assembly required for the Combo Knife Sharpener. Just unbox it, find an electrical outlet and plug her in!


The sharpener is an electricity driven abrasive belt sharpener with a “combo” ceramic honing rod on the right hand side. This system is definitely set up with right handed folks in mine as the handhold to grip the unit is on the left hand side only(more on the handhold later).

You line your knife up with the respective yellow guided slot(depending on which side of the knife you are sharpening) and pull it towards yourself at a rate of about 1 inch per second.



After alternating strokes a few times until a burr has developed you switch over to the ceramic rod and again use the provided guide angles to alternate sides. The ceramic rod is tapered from thick to thin which also allows you to sharpen a variety of serrated knives, a nice bonus.

The end result is a knife that is sharp enough to shave the hair off your forearm in about 5 minutes flat.


One area I found the Combo Knife Sharpener to really excel though was in sharpening loong blades. I’ve had this Ontario Knife Company 18” machete for years and have never wanted to deal with the hassle of sharpening it before. The edge of this machete was GNARLY as it’s put to bed several snakes and other critters as well as chopping wood, batoning, clearing brush and any other task I set it to. This sharpener made cleaning up that edge a breeze.


As well, the abrasive belt driven system is tops at getting out chips and fixing damaged edges. I have an ESEE Izula I that I purchased after reading David’s review on the Izula II, and I had lightly chipped the edge months ago. No matter what I did I couldn’t work it all the way out. A few minutes with the Combo Knife Sharpener fixed it right up. Below are the before and after photos. The difference is drastic in my opinion.



Even more impressively, I picked up an old 1940’s(i think) Plumb Boy Scouts hatchet at a customer’s house last year. It will be a present for my son when he turns 5 in a few months, and the edge needed major maintenance. It was chipped, rolled and warped. After about 20 minutes on the belt and a quick honing on the rod it looked fit for duty again.





All in all I could not be happier and more pleased with the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener… although I do have two issues with it. The spot to hold on the left side of the sharpener is relatively thin, and I found myself constantly holding onto the side and front of the unit which puts your hand in direct line with the edge of what your sharpening when you pull it through. The first picture is where you are supposed to hold onto the unit, and the second picture is where I constantly found myself holding on. I understand that Work Sharp was probably trying to keep the footprint of the unit smaller, but I for one would have liked a bigger handhold.



My second gripe is not really a gripe about this unit, I really really like this unit. It’s just that as a knife and edged enthusiast it makes me also want to purchase the full sized Ken Onion Edition knife and tool sharpener! However, at less than half the price of that unit the Combo Knife Sharpener is a bargain in my opinion. With a MSRP of $59.95 and a street price online of about $50, you can’t go wrong if you are looking for a super fast, super easy to use sharpener.



  1. Gordon Tillman says:

    Jake thank you for the review. I recently picked up the Ken Onion edition of the Work Sharp tool that you had mentioned. Reason was is that I wanted a way to sharpen knives with convex edges. I went ahead and got the tool grinding and blade grinding attachments as well.

    I’m pretty impressed with the setup. I hesitated to mention all this at first in light of your second “issue,” but I’ve not ashamed to admit that I tend to be a bit of an “enabler” when it comes to all things knives. 🙂

  2. Overload in CO says:

    If the spot to hold it on the left side is too small, couldn’t you turn the unit around?

  3. I suppose you could, however the other side is not much bigger. Will try it and let you know though.

  4. I love my Ken Onion Work Sharp with the Blade Grinding Attachment, and I love the price point of this new unit.

    One thing I was wondering Jake… Eventually the belt will need replacing. How easy is swapping the belt on this unit?

  5. cmeat says:

    “The end result is a knife that is sharp enough to shave the hair off your forearm in about 5 minutes flat.”

    how sharp can the knife be if it still takes five minutes to shave my forearm?

  6. cmeat, thanks for pointinternational that out, I’ll fix that wording.

    David, I haven’t swapped the belts out yet, will attempt to do it tomorrow!

    1. Sean says:

      I think anyone that reads the part where you said “sharp enough to shave your arm hair’s in 5 min flat” can read through and easily understand that you meant the blade would be sharp enough in 5 min; not that it would take 5 min to shave your arm. Only takes a small amount of common sense. Great review. Thank you!

  7. Jason Bridges says:

    Id improbably pick one up at that price, if pnly to do my machetes. But, saddly this is more like 90 bucks this side of the pond and I feel that’s a tad much for such a basic sharpener. Plus I run a 15 degree bevel on my knives and this unit only does 25 degrees. Add in wont do my Scandi knives and its a bit limiting. 50 bucks, for sure bargain, 90 bucks? Shame but no.

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Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener Review

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