Work Sharp follows a time-tested formula for creating exceptionally sharp knives with its Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener. We used it to sharpen a bunch of pocket and kitchen knives for this review.
The goal of many modern knife sharpeners is to hold a repeatable edge angle between hone and knife steel. By doing this, the knife-sharpening tool removes a lot of human error and dramatically reduces the amount of time it takes to learn to sharpen a blade well.
Good knife-sharpening systems take the guesswork out of sharpening and allow a relative novice to get razor-sharp edges repeatably with just a little practice.
In fall 2020, Work Sharp jumped into the precision sharpening game with a system that will look somewhat familiar to anyone that’s watched the knife market for a while. Meet the Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener.
In short: The Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener ($60) offers a reliable system that will produce great results at a very reasonable price. It competes with similar systems, such as the Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone System. It can also compete in results with more expensive products, such as the Wicked Edge GO.
However, the Work Sharp system keeps the price down by using lighter materials and plastics, compared with more expensive, professional alternatives.
Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener: How It Works
The Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener has a smart, practical design. It starts with a plastic platform you can set on a workbench, table, or desk. On that sits an 8-inch-tall tower that houses a screw system to raise and lower the point at which the sharpening rod attaches to the tower.
So by turning the screw, you ultimately change the angle of the sharpening hones (affixed to the rod) against the blade of your knife — from 15 to 30 degrees. While the brand says “in one-degree increments,” the reality is it’s infinitely adjustable between its endpoints.
Numbers and dashes along the tower clearly denote the current sharpening angle.
The hone itself has three sides: a 320-grit, 600-grit, and a fine ceramic stone. Simply use a little force and turn the stone to the appropriate sharpening grit.
The knife attaches to a vise that sticks out sideways from the tower. You don’t need any tools to tighten it, just hand pressure on a small knob. To switch sides, you press the back of the knob and the entire vise rotates 180 degrees.
Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review
I used the sharpener on kitchen knives and outdoor knives for the last couple of months. While I think it’s an effective tool, it does have some downfalls.
First, the good. This sharpener works very well. Once you know the angle of your knife (which you can find by coloring the edge with a Sharpie and honing until you remove all the color evenly along the cutting edge), it’s very quick and easy to set the angle for sharpening.
As with all knife-sharpening tools, I recommend keeping a list of your knives and the angle at which you sharpen them to save time when stropping or re-sharpening in the future.
The three hones work well to take a knife from very dull to very sharp. But for most knives, the finest two are sufficient. I find myself using the ceramic hone most of the time, as I try to not let my knives get very dull.
The hone slides along the guide rod easily, and you can set the range of motion with a couple of small rubber stoppers included on the rod.
Locking a knife into the vise is simple; just turn a knob to tighten or loosen the vise. A definite positive of this system is you need no additional tools, and there’s nothing to lose. It all stays together as a package.
Now, for the bad. While everything works as promised, I don’t love the way the vise flips to switch sharpening sides. You have to press in the back of the tool to release the vise and make it able to spin 180 degrees. It’s not hard, but it takes a little force, and I see the potential to cut oneself while fiddling around with it.
This process also requires you to lift the entire tool off the table for almost any knife that’s longer than a tiny pocket knife. Otherwise, it just won’t clear the table while rotating. It’s not a big deal, but a minor inconvenience in an otherwise dialed system.
Finally, I don’t love how much plastic Work Sharp used in the product. I understand that this hits a great price, which should appeal to many consumers. But compared with some of the more expensive competition, this one feels a little cheap. It still works great though, and at $200 less than some models, it’s certainly worth considering.
A Great Knife Sharpener at a Good Price
My overall thoughts on this knife sharpener are that it’s a wonderful value. Those who want to maintain knives themselves will find this a useful tool that should work on a broad variety of blades.
I would imagine that it will work for a long time and seems solid enough. It provides a good alternative to some at a similar price point, such as the Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone System. And compared with the Lansky, the Work Sharp offers an easier platform and more precise edge-setting.
However, those who plan to use a knife sharpener for many years may want to consider spending a little more for other models such as the Wicked Edge GO, which uses all-metal construction, more robust vises, and more variety in sharpening stones.
You can also mount the Wicked Edge GO on a workbench with vises, making it a more rugged system overall. But you’ll have to spend an extra $200, so these products are a little apples-to-oranges.
If you’re in the market for a good sharpener to make kitchen knives and outdoor knives super-sharp, check out the Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener. It will definitely do the job and requires very little practice to do it well.