Tonight I sharpened two blades with my new Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker. It’s a set of two ceramic stones (one medium, one fine) set into a plastic base, with two brass hand guards. The base sets the stones at a 40° angle (there’s also an option for 30°), allowing the user to hold the knife parallel to the base, which eliminates the fudge factor that comes with normal stones. So far, I’m enjoying it. It’s certainly sharpened both knives I’ve tried on it (Leatherman Wave and BK10), though they’re neither razor sharp. Both were pretty dull to start with, so I think it’s just going to take a few more cycles through the Tri-Angle before I can get them up to speed.
The Wave had a small cink in the blade that the medium stone was able to take care of. The BK10 has a significantly larger cink that the medium stone shaved down a bit, but it’s still there. Again, I think I’ll be able to take care of it with a bit more work. If not it may be worth it just to take it in to a professional sharpener so I can start with a clean slate.
My only complaint about the Tri-Angle is the cheap plastic base. There’s a variety of different slots, all made to hold the stones and guards in a variety of different configurations, but each require a little fiddling with to insert the stones and guards into. I think a metal or wood base would have been more appropriate.
The sharpener also comes with a DVD demonstrating proper use. It’s amazing how versatile the system is — or, at least, how versatile the DVD claims it is. It seems anything can be sharpened with the Tri-Angle. From plain edge to serrated knifes, hair clippers to toe clippers, potato peelers to screwdrivers. I may try a serrated blade on it tomorrow.
The average price on the net seems to be about $45. I picked it up for $42.95 (those guys have amazingly fast shipping, too). At that price, I’d say it’s a very worthy investment.