Work Sharp - Ken Onion knife sharpener

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by cbhunter, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. cbhunter

    cbhunter Active Member

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    I finally made the purchase, around $140. This is a nice sharpener. The directions are a must read. It also takes some practice to get used to. The directions tell you use a "practice knife" and I would also recommend this. There are several different belts to choose from but they made it easy to change them out. They are supposed to last through many knives. Don't know if that's true yet. Previously I used a Lansky Sharpening system and that was good but it takes a while. I believe if you need a knife sharpener and use knives quite often, this may be your ticket. Not worth it for most who only use knives once in a while.
     
  2. NDPronghorn

    NDPronghorn Member

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    Glad you like it. Thinking about one myself!
     
  3. thirdhandman

    thirdhandman Senior Member

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  4. cbhunter

    cbhunter Active Member

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    That is BASICALLY the same thing minus some bells and whistles. I not a big fan of excessive trinkets but the upgrades and additions in the Ken Onion model seemed worth it to me. As usual, get the one that you think meets your needs and budget. Stay Sharp!
     
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  5. thirdhandman

    thirdhandman Senior Member

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    I got mine at one of the hunting shows. Did a little horse trading for some bow holders etc. Didn't know about the extras. I will say this. I now have a dozen of the sharpest fillet and boning knives that I've ever owned. My wife loves the sharp kitchen knives. Good deal all the way around.
     
  6. two tines

    two tines Active Member

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    I have been considering these sharpeners. I imagine it depends on which belt you use and how efficient you get. But I was wondering how much metal they remove, which reduces the life of the knife.
     
  7. Uziel Gal

    Uziel Gal Active Member

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    As stated, the Ken Onion model is similar in many respects to the Standard Worksharp knife and tool sharpener, but includes some very worthwhile additional features.

    The standard model basically gives you three grades of abrasive belt, and the belts are pretty narrow. There are also a number of different grade belts available as accessories. You then have the option of either using the tool freehand, and setting your own sharpening angle or using one of the two provided sharpening guides. One of these provides a high angle setting for scissors, hunting/utility knife slots, and a flat area for sharpening serrated knives (you polish the back of the serrations rather than getting in amongst the teeth or scallops). The second guide features slots at a narrower angle for kitchen knives. With the guides removed, the sharpening belt can be swivelled to various angles to use as a grinding tool. Beyond that, you have 'on' and 'off'! I've seen videos of sharpener being switched on and running constantly, but can only really comment on my own example, where the on switch is momentary, so you have to keep a finger on the switch for the tool to run.

    Now, in so much as bringing an affordable, portable belt sander in to the home, with the abilty to grind as well, this is quite a useful tool, but not particularly comprehensive.

    In contrast, the Ken Onion edition is considerably more versatile. You have an adjustable angle guide, from 15 to 30* in 1* increments. The tool speed is adjustable, with the power switch offering both constant and momentary settings. The abrasive bands are wider, so should take less passes to get the same result. There is a wider selection of belts included with the tool, and a huge selection of aftermarket ones. As an accessory there is a 'finger' grinding attachment, with a narrower, parallel track, rather than the triagular belt pattern you get by just removing the guides. There is also a 'blade grinding' attachment that allows for an even wider choice of blade angle, and can be adjusted to achieve a flatter or more convex edge.

    The belts do actually last a good long while when sharpening knives. Obviously, when using the tool for grinding, belt life can deteriorate more rapidly if you are grinding something with rough edges.

    Not surprisingly, as with any power sharpener, it can remove metal very fast when using one of the coarse bands. The roughest bands are really only for grinding or very aggressive sharpening of garden tools - I would never use them on a knife, no matter how blunt. Stick to the finer bands and it isn't an issue. One thing to watch out for is to keep the blade horizontal, and just let it follow the blade guides as you pull it through - you need to keep the tip at the same angle as you reach the end of the stroke, so just let your wrist lower as you get to the point. If you turn the tip of the blade in to the belt, you'll a) cut through band, and b) the tip of the blade will get ground off in an instant!

    These tools are very expensive in the UK, and having bought the original, it's really hard to justify buying the Ken Onion edition. If I was buying one now, and deciding between the two, I think the KOE more than justifies it's additional cost, and would buy it without a second thought.
     
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  8. danyac

    danyac New Member

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    I love my worksharp sharpener.wish i'd got one years ago.really makes a difference.
     
  9. NativeHunter

    NativeHunter Member

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    Guess I'm old school still use the old stone got from Gramps when I was a kid . It's bout wore out , surprised it ain't broke in half yet .
     
  10. Downeaster

    Downeaster Active Member

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    I always used the stones to sharpen my knives and never got a real sharp knife unless I
    spent a lot of time. I finally got tired of having all my kitchen knives dull, so for I spent
    my birthday money on the "Work Sharp" knife sharpener through Cabelas. About $75.
    In one hour I went through my home, and sharpened everything. My kitchen knives
    cut fantastic now, and my hunting knife that I always had trouble getting sharp is like
    a razor. A very good product, and easy to use.
     
  11. boone nc

    boone nc Member

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    I to recently got a work sharp system, took some getting used to but I now can make most knives shaving sharp in short order. It does create an snout of dust that you can't see till you wipe it with a towel. Also beware that if you don't pull the knife through as the directions say, you will shave off the tip. I also learned that until you use the honing belt, your knife will not reach its true potential. Hope this helps.

    I know I wouldn't trade mine for nothing.
     

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