The new Work Sharp Angle Set Knife Sharpener

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by ssgwhite, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. CasePeanut

    CasePeanut Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2018
    Really interesting review. It looks like a few new improvements on a venerable design.
  2. cut it out

    cut it out Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Interesting. I really like the work sharp I have that’s small and fits in a pack. I bet this is as good if not better. Always wanted to try the sharp maker but I think I will try this first.
  3. bgentry


    Aug 3, 2009
    I read the part you referenced. I must agree that it looks fairly straight forward. The text makes the intention seem reasonable. As in, it seems like someone at the FTC would use common sense to evaluate the status of a "made in the USA" claim. If I had read only this, I don't think I would have written my post above.

    But Jason Stoddard of Schiit Audio tells a very different story. Maybe he's wrong. I know he's a smart businessman and one heck of an audio designer. If you'd like to read it for yourself, here's his chapter about this. It's a little long, but it's told in an entertaining way.

  4. Diemaker

    Diemaker KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 28, 2017
    Strange, most of our laws are not enforced so going overboard on this one beats me. I would guess someone was trying to climb a ladder at the FTC and picked Bob to do it.
  5. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Electronic components are far more complicated and difficult to verify sourcing with than in other industries like knives and sharpeners.
    annr likes this.


    Sep 24, 2019
    The Work Sharp Angle Set includes parts sourced from China, where we have full-time staff on the ground to oversee product and run daily quality tests. Those parts are then shipped to the US, where the Angle Set is built, tuned, given final QA inspection (hourly pulls), packaged, and shipped to retailers. We KNOW what is going out the door, and we happily employ over 140 Oregonians to make sure that happens. We have a testing-lab in Oregon running practically 24/7, testing every new batch of components we bring in and every run of the final product we build here in the US. Our employees (not factory employees) in China are always a phone-call away to discuss issues. Our tooling process goes through many iterations before a test build is approved (durability, wear, stress, movement).

    If you prefer to buy ONLY products that are 100% sourced from and built in the US for reasons of financial patriotism, that’s very respectable.

    If you come from a place of "China Bad, US Good", this is just not a universal truth.

    There is a legacy of poor quality coming out of China for many decades because A) the affordability of manufacturing there is attractive to people who don't care about the quality of their products and B) Chinese factories are notorious for taking on any work and focusing on process refinement, not product integrity.

    Sourcing parts from China isn't just about cost and convenience (although those are certainly BIG considerations), it is also a function of what's available domestically.

    Any part CAN be made in the US, but in addition to cost differences there are questions of quality control, materials availability, and how a manufacturer can turn things around. Efficiency often improves effectiveness, as something repeated often enough naturally improves (provided someone is paying attention and identifying opportunities as they arise).

    Stories like the earlier poster's sharpener vs their students are incredibly common, because many companies make the jump from MiA and MiC in such a way that they give up the hands-on experience that brings quality issues to light. Many even drop-ship entire runs in the US and never even take possession of them. This isn't an indication of poor Chinese quality, this is an indication of a brand that doesn't care enough about its products to make sure the new factory understands how and why the product is special and doesn't care enough to inspect the majority of what gets shipped out to their customers to ensure THEIR vision of quality is represented.

    Work Sharp isn’t that brand.
  7. annr


    Nov 15, 2006
    Thank you for clarifying. There are always 2 sides to every story. The disturbing thing about my experience was that they bothered to print "assembled in USA" on the packaging--implying they had a chance at QC in the US (as opposed to drop-shipping).. and that feeble facsimile of a sharpener is what they came up with...

    A pity when one considers the pains people take to learn and execute sharpening and the value of a sharp knife.


    Sep 24, 2019
    Speaking of which, I went to the production area just now (8:25am Pacific) and we have a crew assembling an order for Sportsman's Warehouse now!

  9. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    Welcome to the forum, it's great to see the product responsible participating in the discussion, defending! :thumbsup:
    Worksharp products are frequently mentioned on BF and I can't remember having seen negative comments or reviews; those who use your products, love them, congrats. Don't worry, no need to get defensive about OT topics like country of material origin, i am confident that your new product will be receiving fair treatment and evaluation in our community. It looks like a promising product .. in the sense that the sharpening angle tolerances should be tighter than on the 204MF: the Sharpmaker comes with its own set of plastic production tolerance issues which then continue to grow over time, in other words things become wobblier with the 204MF and I chose to take measures to reduce the wobbliness.

    Using magnets to fix the rod position/to set the sharpening angle is a nifty idea! Looking forward to further reviews on the same product, maybe your marketing team could send review copies to a couple of youtubers.

    Maybe we both can agree that we don't regret the purchase. But i can't agree on the quality of the plastic parts. It's not up to my end consumer's standards.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  10. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    There's at least one review out...

    ... and the product video...

    Edit 9/26: Here’s another...

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    FortyTwoBlades and kreisler like this.
  11. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    :D i am not impressed ;)

    (by what? the video? the number of videos? the reviewer? the product? :D)

    So i am saying "@WorkSharp, good luck and bye!!" :cool: :D
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  12. Diemaker

    Diemaker KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 28, 2017
    The keyword here is "cheaper to be made in China". Plastic injection molding and brazing are quite available here. I am a little prickly about this as I do small scale manufacturing here in the US, it's been my livelihood for the last 30 years. From plastic injection molding, brazing diamond onto steel tools, resin bond diamond tools, cnc machining, to assembly, plus a few more. I am intimately aware of how much cheaper things are that are made in China, diamond powder alone is about 25% of what I pay here by the kilo, true the feedstock is foreign as domestic production has pretty much died. Everything with the Work Sharp can be made here, but it would cost a lot more, simple fact. China is like a giant Japan. First, they made super cheap stuff of low quality, then the quality improved as did design, which is where I see China well into the starting phase of now. In time they will compete on quality too, just like Japan, don't worry. Something I notice is the quality of the plastic parts on the Sharp Maker. It shows both very good mold making and molding, 15 years ago that quality was rare. I also really like the product design, first-rate and quite complete.

    Out of curiosity what parts are made in China and what parts are made here?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    mikey488 and FortyTwoBlades like this.
  13. scottc3

    scottc3 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2014
    Just spoke with Worksharp, who returned call from voicemail in less then 10 minutes. The KO ANGLE SET KNIFE SHARPENER stones will be sold by Worksharp as consumables meant to be replaced by end user, by loosening screw /s at bottom of each stone. Teardown, closeups and life cycle will tell the tale no doubt.
    Did not know US diamond production had changed...
    Timing is ... :rolleyes:I've got 240, 400, and 600 (60, 40, 30 micron) SIC Congress moldmaker stones on the way for our sharpmakers.
  14. CMLUFF


    Sep 24, 2019
    I'll let an engineer pop in to respond... :)
    mikey488 and FortyTwoBlades like this.
  15. ycastane


    Feb 22, 2012
    Most of the things we use today are built overseas, computers, phones, tvs, kitchen products, furniture, cars, etc etc. Everyone wants things built in the US but most don't want to pay the price tag.
  16. Diemaker

    Diemaker KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 28, 2017
    It's way, way, way more complicated than that.
    FortyTwoBlades and annr like this.
  17. FK

    FK Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    All three of the videos show how to ROUND THE TIP on your knife, including the one by Worksharp.
    Dragging the knife tip off the edge of the stone will quickly ruin the tip.

    With any very narrow stone, one should stop the blade on the stone flats and lift it off not drag it over the edge.

  18. mikey488

    mikey488 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    I'm also interested to know what parts were made in the USA.
  19. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    Looks like a novel idea. I've been using the original worksharp for several years now. I also use the Sharpmaker, and a homemade leather strop. I've had great luck with all 3 and have sharpened 100's of knives and even machetes, scissors, axes, hatchets, etc. I have some stones for axes and hatchets that work well also.

    I get a great "working edge" that stays sharp (depending on the steel in question) for a long time and is easy to touch up quickly.
    I'm a "knife knut" and a "steel junkie" but not an "edge junkie" since I use my knives daily and sometimes very hard, so refined, super fine edges are not necessary for me. I CAN get a knife sharp enough to shave the hair off a bullfrogs ass, but I never have any need for a knife to be that sharp (I carry a scalpel in my field first aid kit if I ever need something that is scalpel sharp - LOL).

    I may try one of these simply because I like the design that eliminates the flex of the stones in the plastic base.

    My only question is does it have a hand guard for the protection of the hand holding down the device while sharpening? The Sharpmaker has the two brass rods that instill confidence when the blade comes down the stone on the offhand side.
  20. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013

    I'm curious about the MADE IN USA as well but it's almost impossible to buy anything 100% sourced in the USA and the cost is usually prohibitive if you do.
    I'd prefer not to buy China made products but inevitably, sometimes I have to, either based on availability, manufacturers, or budget concerns. YMMV.

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