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Old June 10, 2002, 08:18 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Review: Spyderco Triangle Sharpener

First, let me state that despite owning a drawer full of various knives over the years, I have never actually sharpened a knife myself. I've taken a crack at it maybe five or six times but was never able to achieve results that were noticeable. I couldn't tell any difference either before or after my efforts and in some cases got the feeling I dulled the blade. Most of the time, I had them professionally sharpened.

Second - the knives:

1) Benchmade-Elisewhitz folder - good factory edge still, partially serrated
2) Kershaw Black Horse - owned since 1984, good edge still but hasn't been sharpened in 10 years.
3) Kitchen knife - so dull it won't cut tomatoes. It just squashes them. Back of blade is only marginally duller than edge. Notches in edge.
4) Kitchen knife - slightly sharper, will cut tomatoes but not cleanly, huge notches in edge.

From opening the package, reading the manual and watching the video, it took me about 90 minutes to sharpen all four knives with the majority of the time being spent on the two kitchen knives that were way far gone (about an hour of actual sharpening). The video was excellent and very informative. The manual was helpful as well - those two products alone were worth more than the sharpener in my view since it wasn't the tools that had frustrated me, it was the knowledge; but the Spyderco package includes some pretty effective tools as well.

Final results:

1) Sharp enough to shave hair from my forearm
2) Sharp enough to shave hair from my forearm
3) Sharp enough to cut paper,notches ground out
4) Sharp enough to cut paper

It would have been possible to make both the kitchen knives even sharper but I didn't really need razor sharp knives in the kitchen and didn't want to spend more time on these two. Besides, I was already pretty pleased with my progress at this point.

All in all, I liked this product a lot. It folds into a nice compact little portable kit and it does what it claims, which is basically sharpen anything that can take an edge - from knives to scissors to fish hooks. More importantly, the video and manual were handy in teaching basics about sharpening that expanded my own meager store of personal knowledge.
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Old June 10, 2002, 08:37 AM   #2
Hkmp5sd
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Excellent review. I'm an expert at turning virtually any type knife into a butter knife. If I want anything sharper, I have to get someone else to do it. Might have to get myself one of these.
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Old June 10, 2002, 11:36 AM   #3
krept
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I love the sharpmaker, but it does take quite a while to reprofile dull edges, as you have seen. My next purchase is going to be the diamond sleeves for the sharpmaker, have heard that while they are expensive, they cut down the time it takes to sharpen/reprofile dull knives. Then the fine and ultrafine stones are all you need to maintain the edges.

Awesome system.

Oh, and if the diamond stones are too expen$ive, people on bladeforums have found that taping fine grit sandpaper to the stones is a cheap alternative.
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Old June 11, 2002, 07:00 PM   #4
Schmit
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BR

I've had one of these since they first came out. (matter of fact I need to get another cause the stones are worn enough that they are almost now 6 sided instead of three )

They are by far the fastest and easiest way to sharpen knives that I've found. I keep my located right nest to where I keep my knives. When ever I take a knife out I run it down the stones a time or two.... now if only I can get my wife to do so they would stay sharp.

The only problem I have with this sharpener is that now other people (friends, family) always ask me to sharpen their knives.

> I didn't really need razor sharp knives in the kitchen

Disagree, I like to keep all my knives that sharp... be they carry or kitchen.
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Old June 12, 2002, 09:00 AM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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Yes, it was the posts I had seen on TFL and other forums that encouraged me to go with the Spyderco over the Lansky kit that holds the blade at a predetermined angle. Also, I liked the fact that the Spyderco kit sharpened everything where the Lansky kit required special stones for serrated blades.

I had been looking for a sharpener for awhile but it took me some time to commit $50 to one given my past lack of success.

Quote:
Disagree, I like to keep all my knives that sharp... be they carry or kitchen.
Don't get me wrong, I like all my knives sharp; but if I have to keep them sharp then a little less sharp satisfies me just fine
After an hour, most of which was spent on the two kitchen knives, I had all I wanted.
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Old June 13, 2002, 01:15 PM   #6
Schmit
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BR,

Do like I did (do!?), take a Saturday and spend allllll day sharpening the Kitchen knives. Then, keep the Sharpener by the knives. When ever you take a knife out to use, swipe it down the fine stick three or four times.

This way it will never get that dull again.
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Old June 15, 2002, 12:29 PM   #7
rennaissancemann
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Greetings All,

Excellent review and ditto comments of fellow sharpmaker users.

You're right about reprofileing edges, and I recommend getting the speed sleeves for that reason.

A couple of addition products I keep in the pouch with my sharpmaker are a Raz-R Steel Finishing Steel and an Edge Tester, both from Razor Edge Systems. I've found that this combination of sharpening tools complement each other very nicely.

One technique issue that I've discovered with the sharpmaker is when you're sharpening knives made from turbine steels, ATS-34, CM-154, etc. drop the number of alternating strokes from 20 to 10 or even 5 and check the edge frequently. These steels have a tendency to form feather edges from excessive sharpening. If the feather starts to form, you can remove it by stropping or by pulling the edge of the knife over the edge of a Formica countertop.

Warmest Regards
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Old June 17, 2002, 08:27 AM   #8
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quick question for those of you familiar with the system. The video mentioned that when the stone gets steel-laden you can rotate it and eventually you will need to clean the steel out with a scouring pad.

It mentioned that the stone will begin to feel slick when it is loaded down with steel. I hadn't noticed that with any of the stones during my first sharpening session. I'm curious as to how much steel the stones will hold before needing to be cleaned. Anyone here have some experience with that?
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Old June 17, 2002, 08:42 AM   #9
rennaissancemann
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When to clean

Greetings Bartholomew,

As the stones remove steel during sharpening, your stones will streak and darken. When to clean the stones is up you. As for what to use as a cleaning agent... I use a powdered cleaner like Comet or Bon Ami. Shake some in the palm of my hand, wet the stone and rub the stone through the powder until clean, and then rinse the stones off.


Regards
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"The most difficult thing about planning against the Americans, is that they do not read their own doctrine, and they would feel no particular obligtion to follow it if they did." - Admiral Sergei I. Gorshkov

"We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn in this life that we tend to meet any situation by reorganizing. And a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization." - Attributed to Petronius Arbiter, circa 60 A.D
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Old June 17, 2002, 01:22 PM   #10
krept
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I just use soap and warm water with the green side of a common sponge. I suppose all the other methods work as well as it's not too difficult to get the steel off.

I have actually found that the steel will feel slick and that the white superfine stones load up with steel much faster. Not going by how it looks but how it feels. You will feel good abrasion at first but after a while (unless you alter the stroke angle) you really don't feel the stone biting as much into the steel.
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