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Warthog V-Sharp review

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by RokJok, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. RokJok


    Oct 6, 2000
    Motivated by some comments re: the Warthog V-Sharp diamond rod sharpener in a recent thread, I figured I would write up my initial impressions of the unit.

    I got a Warthog V-sharp on a whim at Blade West for $80 IIRC. It came with a pair of 325 grit diamond rods mounted in the unit. I also ordered the 600 and 1000 grit rods, which the vendor didn't have on hand at the show, for around $35 per pair. They haven't arrived yet.

    I left it at the widest angle (25 degrees per side??) that it was set at when I got it. I used it on a thick knife (Busse Game Warden at 0.170" spine) and thin knife (kitchen knife whose spine is less than 1/16" thick). On both of these knives the V-sharp left a toothy edge that would typically not cut newsprint but works well in the kitchen. (edit to add) The edge actually does slice newprint okay ONCE THE CUT IS STARTED, but the toothy edge does not start the cut very well.

    Note that the Warthog company goes very, VERY strong on hyperbole in their marketing. They may be the Cold Steel of the knife sharpener world. :D The company may be driven to do this as compensation for the fact that the sharpener itself is so simple in design, construction, and operation (all of which are very good things IMHO).

    Good points:

    - the V-sharp works

    - easy to use, pretty idiot-proof since the blade is trapped between the frame uprights as you stroke the edge downward through the slot

    - the rods works both sides of the edge on each stroke, i.e. no moving blade back and forth as on Spyderco Sharpmaker

    - toothy edge left by 325 grit rods works well on meat, tomatos, and other soft food

    Bad points:

    - pretty expensive. The $80 price tag of the Warthog prices it well above the Spyderco Sharpmaker, Norton combo waterstone, scary sharp method, oil stones, etc. If you get the extra grits (which I did) you are at the price of an Edge-Pro Apex with stone upgrade, which offers vastly more flexibility due to the E-P's wider range of analog angle adjustment.

    - somewhat mediocre fit 'n finish. Some manufacture flash on plastic, rough edges, and uneven quality of finish. It's not terribly bad (as in cheap Chinese/Pakistani POS quality), but it's enough to notice.

    - diamond grit on only one side of the V-sharp rods. They could have done two sides and doubled the life of the rods. Had they used a very slightly longer screw to attach the rods, they could have covered all four sides of the rods. Coming from South Africa (source of much of the world's diamonds) I suspect getting industrial quality diamonds to coat the rods is cheaper there than here in the USA or Europe.

    - no adjustability for spring tension. You could find/buy stronger springs to achieve this, but that puts the load on the consumer to achieve this function. :rolleyes:

    - if you miss the slot when setting up for a stroke, the plastic film covering the metal frame gets dinged and leaves rough chewy little teeth. I seem to do this a lot. :( Note that this is more "operator error" than design flaw.

    - while I haven't yet adjusted the angle or changed rods, the small screws look like they will make the process "fussy" as noted by another post

    - price of extra or replacement rods is a high percentage of the price for a new unit. By ordering the two extra grit rods, I pretty much doubled the price of the unit.

    - no instruction sheet with the unit. I did get two different advertising flyers from the company with the V-sharp unit:
    *-- a black-and-white 8.5"x11" sheet for the V-sharp itself that is an *EXTREMELY* poor photocopy that includes a magazine review of the V-sharp and non-informative advertising blurbs on the V-sharp and other products from the company. This sheet may be their idea of an instruction sheet, which it most certainly is not IMO.
    *-- a large four-color offset full-color sheet advertising other products from the company, none of which look compelling. This large sheet mostly simply duplicates the non-info on the smaller sheet.

    Vendor contact info: (this is the guy I got mine from)
    Buster Ross
    (503) 245-4744
    email: [email protected]

    Bottom line:
    While the unit works okay with extreme ease of operation and has a bit of novelty gadget factor, there are cheaper and/or better ways to get the job done. I see the Warthog V-Sharp as a decent sharpener for beginning sharpeners who don't/won't learn to sharpen with other systems or for non-knife-knuts (spouses, roommates, relatives, etc) who just want a semi-sharp knife in a hurry without much fuss.
  2. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    Interesting comment about the slicing ability of the diamond finish. Properly sharpened these edges can push cut newsprint smoothly, even much more coarse. It doesn't surprise me that the edge from the Warthog doesn't as it is very likely to induce signifiacnt burr formation. It would be interesting to see an edge retention comparison vs a hand honed edge of similar grit to a much higher sharpness.

  3. MBWirenut


    Mar 21, 2006
    I have had one for abour 6 months, it works well on a blade with flats on the side, not on full grinds like the game warden, it will sharpen unevenly. It is a good quick maitinance sharpener, and okay for general use. It works really well on my BM 630 skirmish, and the edge holding is as good as anything, you really need the higher grit and the polish steels that go in it, and yes it is a PAIN IN THE ASS to change the rods and the angles.

    Sharpmaker, is about the same price after you buy the diamond rods for it, they will at least double the price of it too. I still dont like my sharpmaker, not enough user adjustment and very slow for sharpning.

    All on all the Vsharp is okay for what it is, touch up and blade challenged folks. I like my edgepro by far the best.

    On kitchen knives it is not good as they are usually full height grinds, and dont use any knife you want the finish to remain in tact, it will destroy the high polish stuff and scratch the crap out of any coating quick.

    I would give it a 3.75 stars out of 5, but I give the edgepro 4.2 stars out of 5 too. I haven't found the holy grail of sharpeners yet....
  4. N.D.


    Nov 24, 2008
    Great info thanks!

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