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Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review

November 17, 2020


I was excited to evaluate and review the brand new Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener. As the long name implies, there is a lot going on with this sharpener. Let's get right into the details.

What’s Included

Blade Clamp: Holds the knife and inserts into the chassis.

Sharpening Chassis: Includes all the mechanisms to adjust the angle, supports the Blade Clamp, and secures the Sharpening Rod.

Sharpening Rod: Attaches to the chassis on one end and holds the Tri-Brasive Stones. The stones are coarse diamond (320), fine diamond (600 grit), and a fine ceramic honing stone (grit not stated, but likely around 1000).

Sharpening Base: The substantial base holds the whole system on your work surface.

The 4 components of the Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener.

Getting Started

To set up the Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener, you attach the chassis to the base. This step is only done when you first get your sharpener. Next, you place your knife into the Blade Clamp and use the wheel to tighten the knife. You then insert the clamp into the chassis. The clamp is held in place by a slot with magnets securing the final fit. Next, you select your angle by rotating the knob on the top of the system. There are 1-degree marks from 15 to 30 degrees. The last step before sharpening is to place the sharpening rod into the chassis. That too is held in by a strong magnet which keeps it very secure.

This close-up shows the ball-joint at the end of the Sharpening Rod. It is held to the chassis by a strong magnet.

Instructions

As always, the Work Sharp instructions are very good and feature many illustrations that help you get started. The sharpening system is rather intuitive, so if you’re the kind of person that won’t read instructions, you may do alright anyway. I read through the instructions as part of my evaluation, and I found it helpful and well worth the 2 minutes of effort.

The instructions are short and comprehensive.

Price and Competition

Within the guided sharpening category of sharpeners, the prices range from roughly $40 to over $1000. The more expensive systems are usually much larger overall so they’re really not a true comparison. At roughly $50 this system is on the lower end of the price scale. It is sized similarly to the systems in the $40 to $100 range. The main competitors in this price range are Lansky, DMT, and Gatco. All offer systems that include diamond abrasives, but all other systems with diamond abrasives are more expensive than the Work Sharp Precision Adjust.

Sharpening a Knife

Alright, the most important part of how this new tool performs really comes down to sharpening. For the test, I selected a Shun Santoku. This one was sharped about a year ago and has seen use in my kitchen since then. I like to use my kitchen to evaluate products and I let this knife get dull through use. While dull to my standards, it may be considered somewhat sharp to those accustomed to really dull knives.

Testing the sharpness on the Edge On Up.

To get a baseline reading on the knife sharpness, I used our Edge On Up Sharpness Tester. The knife was actually more dull than I expected. It took on average 722 grams of pressure to cut the test media. The thin knife must have tricked my calibrated thumb tester into thinking it was somewhat sharp. I’m happy that I used the Edge On Up to give me a real baseline.

Close-up of the Knife Clamp.

I clamped the knife in the middle of the blade and gently tightened the clamp. Because the knife was so dull, I decided to start with the coarse stone. I started on one side and could really hear the diamond abrasive working. Once I could feel a burr I flipped the knife over and sharpened the other side with the same amount of strokes. This process was relatively quick, only lasting a few minutes. On a thicker knife, I would expect it to take a bit longer.

Sharpening the Shun Santoku.

Next I turned the Sharpening Rod to the Fine 600 grit diamond abrasive. While sharpening, this abrasive sounded much smoother to my ear than the coarse. At this point, I could tell the edge was looking a lot better. I repeated the same process used with the coarse stone. Once I was done, I gave it a few extra alternating passes with lighter pressure.

Finally, I progressed to the Fine Ceramic grit. This stone feels very smooth. At this point, it didn’t really feel like you’re removing metal, it felt more like polishing. I did 10 strokes on each side. For good measure, I alternated a few more strokes on each side with even lighter pressure.

I completed my sharpening and had spent about 10 minutes in total. I then needed to evaluate the sharpness. My thumb told me that the knife was sharp, but again I need some actual data to prove it. Bringing it to my sharpness tester, I tested the edge again. This time I came up with an average of 208 grams to cut the test media. That was a good result. Most high-end kitchen cutlery is not even that sharp when brand new so the results were what I expected to see.

Suggested Improvement

I would like to see more grits available. At the time of writing this, there are only 3 grits available. While this will be enough for most situations, more grit options would give this system even more versatility. There are situations, such as sharpening a dull knife with a thick blade, where you may want a coarser grit than the 320. The sharpening enthusiast in us can always appreciate a finer stone than the fine ceramic. The competition has finer stones or even strops. I would at least like to see a few more grit options to bookend the current grits.

Conclusion

If you want to sharpen your knives and want to spend around $50, this is one of the easiest methods I’ve found to sharpen a knife. The design was obviously well thought out and offers features without complexity. The "customizer" in me would like to see a few more grit options, but I have a feeling those options may come later. A very solid effort by Work Sharp.

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