In our family, my husband has always been the knife sharpener. I’ve watched him sharpen knife after knife by hand over the 23 years that we’ve been married and recently I started thinking that there has to be a better way. He would spend hours working to get a razor sharp edge on his knives and I just couldn’t see the point. My thoughts were, why should something that seems so simple take so long?
When I asked him why it takes so long to get a really good edge on a knife he said, “The hardest part is keeping the angle of the knife the same with each stroke across the stone.” I tried it and I must say that I’m not really a fan of sharpening by hand with a wet stone.
This prompted me to do some research to find someone who had invented a better mouse trap. I looked at several products that claimed to be able to put a sharp edge on a knife quickly and easily but my husband said he had already tried some of them and wasn’t happy with the results.
Then, while watching YouTube videos on knife sharpening, I heard someone talking about the Wicked Edge knife sharpening system. To tell you the truth, after simply hearing the name, I was intrigued. Just the name alone sounds sharp (pun intended)!
I watched a few videos on this product and then showed them to my husband and he was really impressed. No, let me restate that. He was actually salivating. His first words after watching the video were, “Now that’s a product that would eliminate the problem that so many people have in terms of keeping the knife at the same angle on each pass across the stone.”
I immediately sent an email to Wicked Edge USA and asked if they would consider sending me their system to review. I was very pleased when they replied and said that they would be happy to. Now with that in mind, please understand that even though they sent me a free demo of the product, what I’m about to say is based on my honest opinion of this knife sharpening system.
I’m not going to bore you with every little detail and spec about this product. There are plenty of websites that already do that. Instead, I’ll tell you what our experience was like during actual use.
The model they sent me was the Wicked Edge Field and Sport. They also sent me a set of their 800 and 1,000 grit sharpening stones as well as their 5/3.5 micron leather strops.
My Initial Impressions
When the package arrived, I was immediately impressed with the way it was packaged. It came in a hard plastic carrying case with foam cutouts to keep all of the individual components neatly organized. I thought this was a really nice touch as I don’t see many products that come with such a nice packaging and carrying case these days.
As my husband and I unboxed the components of this system, we were really impressed by the feel and obvious build quality of all of the parts. To quote my husband again, he said, “If this thing works as well as it looks, it’s going to be amazing!”
How it Works
It’s much easier to show you than tell you how this system works and Wicked Edge already has a great video that I’ve inserted below.
Our Real-World Experience Using This System
We REALLY love this knife sharpening system but I think it’s important for you to know that, like most things, there is a bit of a learning curve, particularly in the set up process. Because of the way this system works, the diamond sharpening stones travel in an “arc” along the length of the blade.
You’ll need to learn how to properly position the knife in the blade vise so that the stones take the same amount of metal off the rear of the blade as they do from the tip. If you have the knife clamped too far back or forward, you’ll notice that the angle isn’t consistent along the entire edge of the blade.
It’s not difficult to get this setting right, and fortunately, Wicked Edge has good instructions and videos on how to do this. Although it’s not too difficult, it does take a bit of practice.
I really like that Wicked Edge has a log included in the back of their instruction manual that you can use to record the exact position and angle of the bevel for each knife that you sharpen. If you actually keep a record of these two pieces of information, the next time you sharpen a particular knife, the setup will be a breeze.
Another thing to know is that you don’t want to put your best knife in the vise the first time you use this system. The instructions advise against doing this and after we sharpened our first knife with it, we learned why.
When diamond stones are new, there will be tiny diamond particles that become loose as the stones are still breaking in. These loose diamonds will create irregular scratches in the edge of your blade. After you have sharpened a few knives with the new stones, all of the diamond particles that were loose will break off and this problem will go away.
What Kind of Results Did We Get?
I have to admit that the first couple of knives we sharpened didn’t get as sharp as we expected them too but after the stones went through their initial break-in period, we were able to get shaving sharp edges. Well, it was actually my husband who did this but I was there so I’ll say “we”.
Here’s an example of how we used this product to reprofile an edge. About 15 years ago my husband bought a beautiful bushcrafting knife that was handcraftetd from an old file. While it was quite pleasing to the eye, he has always been disappointed with the way it performed.
Because the blade is fairly thick and the angle of the edge wasn’t shallow enough, he wasn’t able to put an edge on it that he was happy with. After reprofiling the angle with the 100 and 200 grit stones, my husband was finally able to put a very sharp edge on the knife.
It’s always been his favorite knife in terms of appearance and now it’s his favorite in terms of performance as well! Without this system, the knife would have sat in my husband’s drawer going unused for another 15 years.
For a “working edge” that you might use for every day utilitarian purposes, we were happy stopping at the 600 grit stones. Because my husband always likes to have a few really sharp blades, he continued with the 800 and 1,000 grit stones and then polished the edge with the leather strops to get a much sharper edge on some of our knives.
He said that he usually struggles to produce an edge that has the same level of sharpness along the full edge. The thing we both really liked about the finished edge this system produced was that it was actually sharp all the way along the length of the blade.
The Bottom Line
I’ll admit that at first, we were a little frustrated as we were trying to figure out how to get the knife correctly positioned so that the bevel remained the same all the way along the length of the blade.
Having said that, after we figured it out, we were blown away at how easy it is to get precise and consistent bevels on a knife using this tool. Like my husband said, this is the most difficult part of really getting a nice edge on a knife. After trying hand sharpening and then trying this system, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to sharpen their knives by hand with an old fashioned wet stone.
I’m also really impressed by how many accessories Wicked Edge has in their lineup. Besides the fact that, in my opinion, this is a really well designed product, I love that there are so many instructional videos on YouTube to help with the learning process.
The BOTTOM BOTTOM Line
Okay, in case it wasn’t clear, both my husband and I REALLY like this product.
- It’s packaged great for in-the-field use as well as home use.
- It’s built really well with high quality materials and attention to detail.
- It just works!
Where to Buy It
You can pick this up model, as well as all of their other models at www.wickededgeusa.com. The Field and Sport version that I tested will cost you $299 and, in my opinion, it’s well worth the price.