Edge Pro Apex- First Use


Gold Member
Oct 15, 1998
Well, I received my Edge Pro yesterday and was dying to use it. I completely read the instruction manual before attempting a sharpening. I chose a long kitchen knife as my first victim. Setup of the Apex was a no brainer. The suction cups really stick to Formica, and don't slide. I picked a slightly low angle for the kitchen knife, 18 degrees I think. Started with a 220 grit stone. At first, the sharpening motion felt awkward, with everything being free to float. You see, I was used to my Lansky where the knife is clamped rigid. Anyway, I kinda got the hang of it and slowly learned to avoid the death grip on the knife handle. Actually, this worked well as it lets the knife and stone find each other (if you know what I mean). The other thing that took getting used to was sliding the knife back and forth on the sharpening table to present the whole edge to the stone. This is not as hard as it sounds as you can stop the sharpening motion and then slide the knife to a new position, then start sharpening again. Well, I finished up with the 320 grit stone and checked the edge. It was definitely sharper than before, but I think I can get it sharper. I kinda rushed the angle choice and don't think I formed a burr on either side consistently. At least I know I can get it better.
Well, I was feeling somewhat confident, so I took out my large Sebenza. I used the magic marker on the edge trick to determine the proper angle. It fell somewhere above the yellow mark, 21 degrees. Well, I decided to go with the yellow mark anyway because it was close and I wanted a slightly heavier duty use edge on it anyway. Plus, it makes an easy reference point for resharpenings. The one thing I learned with the Sebenza, as with all hollow ground blades is that secure placement on the sharpening table is somewhat trickier than on flat ground blades such as kitchen knives. The instruction manual states that you want the max blade width on the table for support with just the edge hanging over for sharpening. Adjustment of the sliding bladeguide is critical when sharpening hollow ground knives. Once I got this dialed in, sharpening went smoothly. Not as easy as the flat grind kitchen knife though. Anyway, the secret is to avoid the death grip on the knife hanadle and sharpening stone knob. This lets the stone find the edge. Light pressure is all that's needed, and keep the stones rinsed and wet with water. It was easy to get a burr on the Sebenza and I finished off with the 600 grit stone. No reason to use the 3000 grit tapes as I don't plan to do too much shaving with the Sebenza. Well, I got a "scary sharp" "hair popping" edge on the blade. My one mistake was that I didn't rinse the masking tape off that covered the blade table, so I got marks on the sides of the Sebenza blade from the grit slurry. Oh well, it is a user. I'll be more careful next time.
Overall, the Apex is built extremely well. No bendy aluminum pieces like the Lansky clamp and rods. Everything is thick steel rods and heavy duty thick plastic. Changing the stones is a breeze. It just takes some practice to get the hang of it using both hands to alternately hold the blade handle and perform the back and forth sharpening motion. All in all, I think this thing, along with the Spyderco Sharpmaker for touchups is the ultimate in sharpening systems. I'll probably post a follow up after I've used it some more. If anyone has additional hints for me, feel free to chime in.
Thanks for the review.
I am kicking around the idea of buying one.
I heard that sharpening recurves is tricky.
What do you think?
Do you have to sharpen at a predetermined angle, or can you sharpen the edge at the angle it's already at?
I think the Pro version says you can sharpen at any angle.
Was it a very messy process?
Do you think it will be easy to keep from scratching the blade?
My last question: I have a MT Combat Talon 2 that is a little bit of pain to sharpen with my Sharpmaker because of the extreme grind, the grind will almost rub on the stone. Is clearance like that a big problem with the Apex?
Thanks again for the review.

Jeff, you can adjust the angle to match the edge of your knife. There is plenty of travel for even the most extreme edge angles. There are no notches, you just slide the stone assembly on the post where you want it and then tighten the wingnut.Recurves really aren't that hard to do. The key is to take your time. Don't rush it. As far as scratching the blade, I haven't had a big problem. My scratches came from me lifting the knife from the sharpener and hitting the the stone. I just held the stone up over the blade and slid the knife out. OOPS, I won't do that again.

Get the and APEX. If you think you might sharpene scissors, get the PRO, it has a scissor attachment.

Read the instructions, take your time. It helps if you really are relaxed when you do this. It makes it easier to get a good rythem.

Great review LENNY. It only gets easier. Try the polishing tape sometime.....incredible!

If ignorance is bliss,
why aren't more people happy?
I've got both the Apex and Pro and they are without a doubt the best sharpening systems I have ever seen.

As for the scratches, don't just tape the knife bed, tape the knife.
I've learned my lesson and will now start taping my blades before sharpening.
What do y'all use to clean the stones? I've been using Ajax cleanser on them. Seems to work great, but I was wondering if there was something better.
These stones cut phenomenally. I was surprised how well the 600 grit works. One last question I have though is why would anyone want to use the 3000 grit tape? I really want to know.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Lenny:
One last question I have though is why would anyone want to use the 3000 grit tape? I really want to know.

If you use the 3000 grit tape, you have to see and use the edge to believe it. It puts a "mirror" polish on the edge, and also put the finishing touches of "sharpness" on it. It's hard to describe how good it works and makes the knife look. I always use it!

If you think that the 600 stone makes your knife sharp, the tape will astound you! Go for it!
Swede79 is right, the polished edge is incredible. However, because the edge is so polished the microserrations on the edge are very small. Which means it will push cut like nothing you've ever seen, but slicing cuts on some materials are less than desirable (rope for example). It all depends on what you're using your knives for. Example: My camping knives are between 220 and 320 (very aggresive), kitchen knives at 320, a select few at 600. SAKs and the like at 600 and my daily carry at 3000. Over the years I've come to realize what I will and won't be cutting with my knives and adjust my grit and angle to match. You'll find that as you play around with your EdgePro you learn some really need stuff. Have fun Lenny.
One thing I have noticed about using the 3000 grit tape, it gives you a very deceiving edge. You put a hair shaving edge on your knife with anything up to the 600grit, you can thumb the edge and "feel" how fine the edge is. It feels like it is catching in the grooves of your fingerprints. When I use the tape, that feeling goes away. The first time this happed, I thought I dulled the knife. Not even close, that edge became scary sharp. I can only figure that it smoothed the edge to such a degree that the "teeth" were so small, they just didn't grab.

Johan is very correct, a highly polished edge isn't for every knife. They are fun to cut with though.

If ignorance is bliss,
why aren't more people happy?
Here is the big question:
Is the pro really worth the extra money? I am really trying to decide if I should get the Apex and stone upgrade kit, or just get the pro. Johan, can you post a picture of the two models side by side? I know that the edgepro has pictures, but they are not that great.
I was wondering does it sharpen serrations?

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to muder him he calls it ferocity.-George Bernard Shaw
Sesoku, I'll post some pictures later this afternoon of both models side by side as well as a quick comparrison.

Krazykat, you can sharpen serrations by sharpening only the back side of the blade, however I have never been really satisfied with that method so I still use my 204 for serrations.