> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Spyderco Sharpmaker & Sharpening in General



Spyderco Sharpmaker & Sharpening in General

Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener 204MFI've been a knife owner since the age of about eight, when I was gifted a Swiss Army knife by my grandpa. Since that time, I've owned a variety of knives, from cheap Pakistani butterfly knives to some pretty nice Benchmades, Spydercos and the like. Though all that time, I've never invested in a decent sharpening set for my knives--just a variety of cheap little $5-$10 sharpeners, with lackluster success. If I dulled up a knife edge, I couldn't restore a particularly good edge to it. Sad but true.

I made sure that Santa brought me a decent sharpening set, and one that was fairly easy to use. From what I'd read, the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker was the one to get. It's a pretty simple little device--it comes with two coarse ceramic rods, two fine ceramic rods and a plastic base that holds the rods at either 30 or 40 degrees. The rods are triangular shaped, and you can use the edge or the flats to sharpen on. It also comes with an instructional DVD, which, while a little cheesy (almost info-mercial like), it pretty helpful for a completely moron like myself.

The basic use is fairly straightforward. You hold the blade straight up/down and then sharpen it along the rods. The base holds them at the correct angle for you. You start off with the edge of the coarse stone, then to the coarse flat, then to the fine edge, then to the fine flat.

Now the DVD shows that the knife gets razor/shaving sharp by the end of the process, but with my initial use, this hasn't been the case. I sharpened various knives for an hour or two the other day, and while I could get a pretty good edge, it was certainly not an impressively sharp one - nothing to rival a really good factory edge from Spyderco, for example. The edge was, however, a much better one than I'd been able to achieve with any of the crappy sharpeners that I'd used before. The knives are now respectably sharp, just not impressively sharp.

So, the Sharpmaker is not a magic box where you can follow the directions and have a lightsaber like edge in a few minutes. It DOES certainly do much better than any of the cheap sharpeners that I have used, and I'm sure that as I figure out the nuances of using the sharpener, my edges will get better and better.

I will probably invest in the Ultra Fine stones too, and probably also a good leather strop. With those, I'd be pretty ticked off if I couldn't get a knife up to razor's edge.

What are your thoughts about the Sharpmaker? Do you have any tips for using it, or any alternate sharpening systems or methods you'd like to recommend?