Sharpening Made Easy

Knife Sharpening Information and Equipment

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Guides are available for knives, chisels and plane irons. The drawback of most guides is that they waste about 3 inches of stone, so you would need a longer stone. If you mount your stone flush with your work surface, you can utilize the full stone length.

razor edge
The Razor Edge Guide

The Razor Edge guide clamps on the blade with four Allen screws and I find it inconvenient to use. Also I managed to grind away some of this guide when I tried it on diamond hones.  

NEW: MeisserMaster has a new guide.

Messermeister Knife Angle Guide
While this simple type of guide will not give the same angle with different knives it will give consistency and greatly improve you sharpening.  Ceramic inserts help control wear against the stone.  Under $10 on eBay..

The Buck HoneMaster is a good guide but no longer made.  I have seen several of then on eBay recently selling in the $25 to $30 range.


The Lansky rod-guided sharpening system has been the
industry standard for years, with good reasons.


Rod-guided systems have a rod on each stone that slides through a hole in the guide. This controls the angle and also prevents scratching the blade with the stone. Since the guide slides on the rod and not on the stone, a smaller stone is needed. Rod-guided systems sell in the $30 to $50 range, depending on the number and type of stones. A variety of stones are available, including ones for serrated blades. They will sharpen up to a 4 inch blade before you have to move the guide to a new position.

rod systems

Rod-guided systems are available from Lansky, Gatco, DMT and others. The Lansky has an aluminum guide that goes from 13 to 25 degrees in 4 steps; each angle is 3 to 5 degrees lower than indicated.  The GATCO guide is aluminum and reinforced plastic and goes from 17 to 34 degrees in 6 steps, each step is about 6 degrees greater than indicated.  I prefer the GATCO to the Lansky because of the GATCO's larger stones and selection of angles.  The DMT Aligner guide is all plastic, and goes from 12 to 35 degrees in 7 steps, which are not marked.  With DMT hones, which I do not have, the Aligner would be a good choice for this size of system, although some users have observed that the plastic guide is not rugged enough.

The EdgePro Apex Sharpening System

The class act in rod-guided systems are the EdgePro Sharpening Systems. Ben Dale, the owner of EdgePro, has spared no expense in his pursuit of excellence in hand sharpening. The smaller Apex is rugged and uses relatively large 1 x 6 inch aluminum oxide waterstones. The angle guide is continuously adjustable for any angle from 10 degrees to 35 degrees, with marks at 10, 15, 18, 21 and 25 degrees.   My measurements confirmed that the marks were accurate. The larger Professional model uses the same stones and angles, but is more stable and also has a scissor sharpening attachment.  Both units come with  good instruction books.


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Updated August 30, 2013

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