[SHOT Show 2020] Wicked Edge Precision Knife Sharpeners
Russ Chastain 02.03.20
During the end of a long day at the 2020 SHOT Show, I made a scheduled stop at the booth for Wicked Edge, a company which makes and sells thoughtfully-designed precision knife sharpeners. I visited with Kay Allison, who then handed me off to Kyle for a demonstration.
If you are anything like me, you use a knife often. Like my late father, if I am wearing pants I usually have a knife in my pocket. So when Kyle asked if I had a knife, I whipped out the ugly little Chinese liner-lock I showed you in an earlier post, and handed it over.
The demonstration was well-practiced; Kyle knows his way around this sharpener. It helps that the Wicked Edge system is so easy to use once you know what you’re doing. In short, you clamp your knife in place, determine the correct angle for each side of the edge, and get to work.
There’s a depth key, which makes you clamp your blade to the same depth every time. This allows you to maintain the same angle every time you sharpen.
To begin with, Kyle marked the edge of my knife with a Sharpie. He then estimated the correct angle and ran a hone along one edge, observing where the ink was removed. He adjusted the angle until he got it just right, then locked down the hone guide on that side of the edge.
He repeated the process on the other side, and determined that one side was at 22 degrees while the other was at 20. This variation from one side to the other is not uncommon.
This first step of angle-finding can be avoided in the future, by making a note of the correct angles for that knife and just setting the guide rods before sharpening.
After doing the angle thing, which took no more than one or two minutes as he described what he was doing and why, Kyle went to work sharpening the edge. It’s quite a thing to watch, with him whip-whipping the hones across the edge, alternating right to left.
The first thing I noticed was the movement of the hone (they call it a stone) was away from the knife’s edge, though Daddy taught me to sharpen the other way. Either way is doable with the Wicked Edge, but moving the hones away from the edge produces a good, sharp, useful edge while being a bit safer and allowing for a much faster process.
The important thing is that, if you prefer to sharpen the other way, Wicked Edge will let you do so.
He would typically do about 20 strokes per side per grit, then check. He could tell by sound and feel when he was done with each grit.
By the time he was done, my ugly-but-useful EDC knife was sharper than it had ever been. I don’t believe he spent more than about 5 minutes altogether — certainly less than 10 — but the results were outstanding.
Here’s a video showing the edge angle-finding process.
And the video below gives a good overview and description of the Wicked Edge system.
The company was founded by a hunting guide and outfitter who knows a thing or two about the need for sharp blades. You can read about that history by clicking here.
I don’t know of a better, easier-to-use, or faster way to produce precise sharp edges on a blade. Check out Wicked Edge when you get a chance; they have sharpeners priced from $250 and up (including a commercial model) and they have lots of instructional material on their website as well.