Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener Review: What Is Work Sharp?
The word “sharp” means to cut or cause to be cut. So when we say work sharp, it means the knife or tools are made with high quality materials and have been ground very well. They will definitely make your job easier but they won’t give you the edge you need for cutting through thick wood like a good chef’s knife would do.
What makes a knife or tool sharp?
There are many factors that go into making a knife or tool sharp. These include the type of steel used, how hard it is tempered, the shape of the handle and other features such as the angle at which it is held against your hand. A knife that has been honed properly will not only look sharper than one that hasn’t had its edges polished, but it will perform better too!
Sharpening knives or tools is something that most home cooks don’t want to deal with. You may think that if you have a kitchen knife, you could just sharpen it yourself. However, there are some things that you should consider before doing so.
First of all, if you use a dull knife regularly then it might eventually become dull enough to break easily (or worse) and lose its edge altogether. If you think this won’t happen to you then think again. If you cut yourself while trying to cut something that your dull knife is struggling to cut through then you will lose more than just the edge of your dull knife.
Obviously you need what is called a “sharp” knife and while some people may try to convince you that this sharpness comes from various metals, that notion is wrong. The “sharpness” comes from the edge of the knife, not from the material it is made out of.
If you have a high quality knife that has been sharpened properly then it will cut much easier than a cheap knife that has also been sharpened properly. In fact some “cheap” knives can cut better than some so called “premium” knives because of improper sharpening.
As a rule, if you always use the same motion when cutting then your knife will become sharp in the same way each time. If you drag it across the item you are cutting then that part of the knife will eventually become dull first. It is this part that needs to be sharpened each time it becomes dull or you run the risk of dragging your knife through the food item and potentially hurting yourself as a result.
So how does one sharpen a knife?
You can take it to someone who knows how and they can sharpen it for you. Or you can buy a manual or electric sharpener and do it yourself.
How to Choose the Best Manual Knife Sharpener?
When you are trying to pick out the best manual knife sharpener for your home, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind.
The size of the tools that you will typically be sharpening. If you plan on routinely sharpening hunting knives then you are going to need a much different sharpener than if you only need to sharpen kitchen knives.
The material that the sharpener is made out of is important for sanitary reasons. You don’t want to put a dirty metal piece into your food after all! So you will want to make sure that the sharpener is both easy to clean and actually can be cleaned.
When it comes to manual sharpeners you really have three different types:
For the purposes of this section we are going to assume that your goal is to find the best manual rod sharpener as they are typically the least expensive. We will cover the other types of sharpeners later on in this section.
Best Manual Knives Sharpener – What You Need To Know:
There are a few different types of sharpening rods and they all work in a pretty similar way. The rods use a series of different materials with different grits (coarseness) to either grind off the extra material or polish out scratches in your blade.
The rods have to be made out of a sturdy material as you will typically be putting some force into the sharpening process so they can’t be too bendy. The handle also needs to be secure so you don’t get a wobble while you are sharpening.
When you start looking for a manual knife sharpener that uses a rod, you will quickly find that there are three distinct styles of rods that all claim to be superior to the others. The three different types are the ceramic, tungsten carbide, and diamond rods. Let’s take a quick look at each of them:
Ceramic Rods: These sharpening rods are very popular due to their ease of use and ability to be cleaned relatively easily. The downside is that they wear down fairly quickly and you will need to constantly be replacing them.
Tungsten Carbide Rods: Tungsten carbide rods are extremely durable and will not wear down. The downside is that they are a bit more expensive than the ceramic rods and are not quite as easy to clean.
Diamond Rods: The diamond rods are the most expensive, but they do an extremely good job at sharpening even very dull knives and they are the easiest to clean since you can simply rinse them off after use.
Best Manual Knives Sharpener – Our Picks:
We have chosen our favorite manual knife sharpener of each type that we feel is the best value for your money. Let’s take a look:
Best Ceramic Rod Sharpener: Smith’s CPMS30C Pocket Pal Mult-Stone
Smith’s is a company with over 150 years of experience making some of the highest quality knife sharpeners there are. Their pocket pal mult-stone is no different. This little rod is extremely durable and can be used to sharpen just about any non-serrated blade out there. It will even sharpen serrated blades, but it will not give them a clean polished edge like a regular blade.
The rod itself is quite small at only 4.5″ long and 1/4″ in diameter so it really doesn’t take up any room in your knife kit. The handle is just as small yet quite comfortable.
The only thing that you might not like about this sharpener are the groves that are in the rod itself. Some people prefer a smooth rod so that they can have more control over the motion. This is fine if you have some experience, but if you are a beginner you may want to start with a different sharpener first and then move on to this one once you get the hang of it.
As far as the price goes, this is a very affordable option that will cost you less than $10. Considering all the work this little sharpener can do, that is a great value in our opinion.
Best Tungsten Carbide Rod Sharpener: Smith’s CSWS 4-Stone Deluxe
The Smith’s tungsten carbide rod sharpener is similar to the one listed above in many ways, but there are some differences as well. The main difference being the material used for the rods themselves. Instead of ceramic, this one uses tungsten carbide. This makes the rods much more durable than their ceramic counterparts and also makes them more efficient at sharpening your knife.
Much like the ceramic rod, this one also uses 4 different rods to give you a precise edge depending on the knife you are trying to sharpen. This gives you the versatility you need when working with all those different blade types.
The rods are also designed in a way that they won’t fray over time which is a common problem with most rods. This one will maintain its edge for the life of the sharpener.
Another thing that makes this rod stand out is its size. It is much longer than the other options we have listed here, measuring in at 8.
Sources & references used in this article:
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