Spyderco Sharpmaker Review

Overview

Since the dawn of mankind humans have been struggling with an eternal task – keeping their edged tools sharp. These days we have it much easier with the Spyderco Sharpmaker – a system that allows you to quickly and easily sharpen all your knives and tools.

First off, there are three reasons why I recommend the Sharpmaker – especially to people who don’t have any experience sharpening knives:

  • It’s Incredibly easy to use
  • It’s Very effective offering consistent and reliable results; and
  • The system won’t damage your knives

What impressed me so much about the Sharpmaker is that 10 minutes after opening the box I put razor sharp edge on my blade. I’m talking about an edge that easily slices through paper and can shave hairs off my arm. The Sharpmaker is very simple and VERY effective. If the idea of sharpening your own tools is a daunting task, or you simply want more consistent results, this system will work for you.

There are a lot of great sharpeners out there that require a lot of skill. There are also a lot of gimicky sharpeners out there that don’t work (or worse, ruin your edge – if you do anything, please avoid the “pull” style sharpeners). The Sharpmaker is neither. It’s a system of getting a real nice edge on your blade quickly and easily; so you can go on and do other things.

High Quality Components

Spyderco is well known for making some of the highest quality production knives on the planet. These blades are coveted by collectors and casual users alike. It should come as no surprise that the Sharpmaker is built on that same level of excellence and contains exceptionally high quality components designed to work together and last a lifetime.

The sharpening surface (or “media”) is at the heart of any knife sharpening system. The Tri-Angle Sharpmaker includes two sets of high alumina ceramic stones. Unlike diamond stones, these will never wear out.

First up you have a pair of medium-grit (brown) stones for aggressive sharpening. These are great for restoring a dull knife. I have found that the medium grit stones alone will give you a very keen working edge. For those looking to take their blades a step further, Spyderco also includes a set of fine (white) stones for professional grade finishing. This stone will polish your edge and give you the hair popping sharpness that you have always wanted from your knives.

An advantage to these stones is that the do not require any water or messy oils. Just occasionally wash them with soapy water and they will work like new.

Included with the sharpener is a set of brass safety rods to protect your hands while sharpening. This is a simple but highly effective safety mechanism. If the blade slips off the stone, it hits the soft brass, not your hand. The rods are soft enough to save your edge, but will easily catch the blade. The Sharpmaker is very safe to use and after years of sharpening I have yet to cut myself once while working with the system.

All the components snap into the self-contained ABS plastic base and lid. This is really nice because everything stays in one place and you won’t lose any parts. As the above pictures show, this stores in a small kit that you can take with you anywhere. I keep my Sharpmaker in the kitchen, but this is the kind of package that will easily slip into a jacket pocket or backpack. Perfect for the trail, truck or tucked away in the garage or utility closet.

Accurate and Consistent Sharpening

Anyone who knows anything about sharpening knives will tell you that the key to a keen edge is consistency. Free hand sharpening requires the user to maintain the appropriate angle throughout the sharpening process. This can take years to master and in many ways is considered an art form. While free hand sharpening is a worthy skill to learn, sometimes you just want to get your knife sharp and move on to the next task.

What makes the Sharpmaker so great is it automatically sets the angles for you. You don’t need to know how to free hand sharpen at all to master the Sharpmaker. If you can hold a knife perpendicular to the ground, you can get a razor edge with the Sharpmaker.

Die-cut into the base of the Sharpmaker are keyed slots and holes fitted for the stones. They accurately set the stone’s sharpening angle. All you need to do is hold the knife straight up and down and run the edge along the stones. There is no guesswork and this guarantees you will get great results every time. And it shouldn’t take long either. I got my first knife sharp in 10 minutes. Depending on how dull the knife is and the steel used, I can get an edge back in well under 5 minutes.

Extra Stuff

I just went over the basics, but the Sharpmaker is actually a very versatile tool. For example, there is a 12.5 degree angle setting for sharpening scissors. You can also use the knife to sharpen serrated edges, fish hooks, axes – almost anything with an edge. Plus, the system includes both full color written instructions and a DVD, so you can easily learn all of these advanced features.

The Sharpmaker: Final Thoughts

I’ve owned my Sharpmaker for years, but it only took 10 minutes to realize this thing worked. Since then I have learned how to free hand sharpen, but I still come back to the Sharpmaker for quick touch ups. I’ve recommended this system a lot of friends and family, but people always ask me to sharpen their knives (you have been warned – thankfully this thing is portable ;) ). Seriously though, when people ask me for a knife sharpener that is easy to use, affordable, and high quality the Spyderco is always at the top of my list.

Where Can I Buy the Spyderco Sharpmaker?

You can buy the Sharpmaker on Amazon. Right now they are offering free shipping with the Sharpmaker. I’ve done some comparison shopping, and Amazon does seem to have the best deal on the sharpener, especially with the free shipping. Click here to Buy the Spyderco Sharpmaker on Amazon.

Where Can I Read More Spyderco Sharpmaker Reviews?

The best place for more reviews from people who own the system is Amazon. The Spyderco Sharpmaker currently has over a 131 reviews on Amazon and the average reviewer rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Click here to read more reviews on the Spyderco Sharpmaker on Amazon.

Specifications:

  • Made in the USA
  • 5 x 4 x 2 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Contains one pair of medium-grit tri-angle stones; One pair of fine-grit triangle stones
  • Sharpens plain edges and serrated edges. Furrow along the stone’s length for awls, darts, fishhooks and punches
  • 12.5 degree setting on the end of each base for sharpening scissors.
  • Autoclave safe
  • How-to-Use DVD Included