knife sharpeners-please help!

Jan 2, 1999
Howdy all,
I have been veiwing the forum for about a month now in search of a mistakeless knife sharpener for my spyderco military 440v. After reading previous posts, I gathered that the "EDGEPRO-APEX" would be a good choice. But now, I read that the "RAZOR EDGE" is also good, and now Spyderco is coming out with another one called the "GAUNTLET". I am totally confused and would rather not buy a pricey knife sharpener to collect dust, I want to buy the right one the first time. I would greatly appreciate any help.
No knife sharpener will do a great job if you don't understand the principles. All the knife sharpeners your mentioned will do an incredible job (well, I haven't seen the new Spyderco yet, but the old one worked great) if you understand the principles.

Start with any of the sharpeners you mentioned. Pick the least expensive one, if you want. Then read the Sharpening FAQ, and be sure to get the Razor Edge sharpening video (even if you don't get the Razor Edge sharpening system) -- these two things will teach you all the good fundamentals.

Whichever system you get, you can ask for tips here if you run into trouble.

I felt the same way about sharpeners when I first started getting into knives. Joe is right, pick a system and work with it. Just in case, here's the URL for the sharpening FAQ:
I use the Lansky system (oh no, I'm telling you another system!) and I have gotten better using it just by practicing it. I picked up a cheap knife with halfway decent steel and I started sharpening. You'll be surprise how well you will do.
Good luck




Joe's FAQs are outstanding. Read and re-read them. I have the EDGE PRO APEX-1 and many of the other systems. Most folks I know that are just learning to put an edge of their blades go one of 3 ways:
- the old fashioned by hand on stones approach (with or without a guide clamp like the Razor Edge)
- the "V" systems epitomized by Spyderco's TriAngle SharpMaker
- or the Lanskey/Gatco clamp 'n hone setups.

If you follow Joe's guidance and use a marker to obtain visual feedback on your angles, the bench stones and even the Spyderco system will work great. Because of the lack of full variation in angles, the cheaper systems like the Gatco and Lansky as well as the clamps like the Razor Edge (although their video shows you how to beat this problem but requires dexterity in execution) may force you to cut a new bevel that differs from the factory's. The Apex-1 is fully variable but quite pricey.

My recommendation is to go with the Spyderco Sharpmaker. Even with all the bench stones of various composition and my Apex-1, the Spydie still sees a lot of duty. Also keep in mind that the CPM440V steel you have has an inherent trade off for that great edge holding it's noted for. Sharpening requires more effort and more time. So don't let it get dull first. Steel it and then hone it when needed and your Military (and I have one...they're great!) will stay hair popping sharp!


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[This message has been edited by bald1 (edited 05 February 1999).]

Is your Military serrated or plain edged? If it's serrated, this could affect a person's decision as to the best system.

The Spyderco Sharpmaker can sharpen both plain and serrated edges.

David Rock
Howdy all,

I thanks everyone for the input. And David Rock, I have a Plain Edge, but am planning on getting some serrated edge knives as well. I'd prefer a sharpener that would sharpen both, if possible.
Has anyone heard of a "CHEF'S CHOICE" manual diamond sharpener?