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Review: New Work Sharp Honing Rod

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November 15, 2011

Review: New Work Sharp Honing Rod

By David E. Petzal

Some time ago I introduced you to the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, a small belt sharpener that has had roughly the same impact on Western civilization as the printing press, penicillin, and the Hula Hoop, and all because it is the first device that will let even the most fumble-fingered put a razor edge on nearly anything that cuts. (I have put a paper-slicing edge on a Cold Steel Spetsnaz shovel with it.)

The one disadvantage to the machine is, you can’t take it into the woods with you, and even if you could, there would be no place to plug it in. Enter the Work Sharp Retractable Honing Rod, which is eminently portable (5 inches long, maybe 2 ounces) and requires no power whatsoever. Its plastic handle houses a 4-inch ceramic rod that pops out for use, and will restore a working edge to your knife with blinding speed.

It is, as near as I can see, foolproof. The front end of the handle incorporates two sloped guides that will give you a 25-degree cutting edge. You place the blade flat on the guide and sweep it across the rod. Work Sharp says the rod is fine grit; I think it’s closer to medium. I couldn’t get the finely honed edge that enables you to shave hair, but I could get a very sharp, fairly coarse edge that will cut damned near anything else with about 3 strokes on either side of a dull blade.

This is the best way to keep slicing and dicing with a genuinely sharp knife. It works, period, and it costs $19.96.

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from MJC wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

The fact that no one has thought to build an angle guide into a sharpening rod before is a bit of an indictment on the cleverness of the human race. I'll definitely try this out.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

My friend bought a Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener while I was mulling the purchase over, ahem. It does work very well.
I see no reason why this won't either.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

MJC
agreed! the best ideas are so simple, we slap our foreheads wondering why we never thought of them first.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

"it is the first device that will let even the most fumble-fingered put a razor edge on nearly anything that cuts"

Nobody seems to know how to do anything anymore. Just sayin'.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Dang it, DP, I think you are going to cost me $20 with this report. I am a diamond sharpener man myself, but I may just need to make a serious comparison of diamond vs ceramic. Price is right, for sure, and the portability is excellent. That is only the price of a one time use 12 pack of decent beer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Carney,

I am a pretty fair hand with a stone. I bought one of the Worksharp Sharpeners last year and I have not touched any of my sharpening stones since. You can even get gut hooks sharp. I even use it to sharpen my garden hoes and axes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

The Work Sharp tip was another great idea, Dave, and I'm telling and showing everyone about them. Will give several for Christmas gifts this year. Now comes this little pocket charmer that will go to another half dozen or so. My taxidermist has asked for a demonstration as he couldn't believe such a thing exists. What will they come up with next?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I will definitely pick on of those things up and add it to every other sharpener I've tried. I've been working on it for 40 years and still have never been able to get any knife as scary sharp as my dad could sharpen one with an old Arkansas stone.
Bit of a different subject,but I guess it comes under the heading of keeping a sharp eye out on Washington. Don't know if anyone has seen this yet, but it seems like the Obama administration wants to protect everyone on public land from those scary hunters with the frightening guns. Might be time to raise Hell with your reps and senators. Link below:

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/11/16/obama-pu...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigbass09 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I've used many manuel sharpeners and none have worked well, they work but you have to work also to get that sharp edge. I do plan on buying the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener next year and if it doesn't work like it says it will, I'll will be returning it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I tried the honing tool but I still don't look like that guy on the bottom right shaving his face with a twelve inch fillet knife!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

"I couldn’t get the finely honed edge that enables you to shave hair"

So 'work sharp' is something of a misnomer?
Just sayin'

SBW

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock32 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I couldn't find it on their website???

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

Dave is absolutely correct about the knife and tool sharpener. Like Beekeeper I have not used any of my other stones or tools since the day mine arrived. Just ordered one for my son a Christmas gift yesterday.

Dave, your advice on the Bushnell Elite 6500 scopes and Talley rings was also spot on. I now have 2 of the scopes and see no reason to buy anything else in the future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

The Work Sharp electic sharpener is a great tool!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from weiqiuli wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

frrtgrgyr

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

My wife got me the Work Sharp Sharpener or me for a birthday present this past April. Completely awesome tool for the sportsman and home owner etc. etc. etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks to all the power Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener commenters - I have been putting off ordering one thinking that it would not be as good as billed but I think you have now convinced me to get one. I just might order one of the work sharp retractables while I am at it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from MJC wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

The fact that no one has thought to build an angle guide into a sharpening rod before is a bit of an indictment on the cleverness of the human race. I'll definitely try this out.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

MJC
agreed! the best ideas are so simple, we slap our foreheads wondering why we never thought of them first.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

The Work Sharp tip was another great idea, Dave, and I'm telling and showing everyone about them. Will give several for Christmas gifts this year. Now comes this little pocket charmer that will go to another half dozen or so. My taxidermist has asked for a demonstration as he couldn't believe such a thing exists. What will they come up with next?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

My friend bought a Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener while I was mulling the purchase over, ahem. It does work very well.
I see no reason why this won't either.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

"it is the first device that will let even the most fumble-fingered put a razor edge on nearly anything that cuts"

Nobody seems to know how to do anything anymore. Just sayin'.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Dang it, DP, I think you are going to cost me $20 with this report. I am a diamond sharpener man myself, but I may just need to make a serious comparison of diamond vs ceramic. Price is right, for sure, and the portability is excellent. That is only the price of a one time use 12 pack of decent beer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Carney,

I am a pretty fair hand with a stone. I bought one of the Worksharp Sharpeners last year and I have not touched any of my sharpening stones since. You can even get gut hooks sharp. I even use it to sharpen my garden hoes and axes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigbass09 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I've used many manuel sharpeners and none have worked well, they work but you have to work also to get that sharp edge. I do plan on buying the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener next year and if it doesn't work like it says it will, I'll will be returning it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I will definitely pick on of those things up and add it to every other sharpener I've tried. I've been working on it for 40 years and still have never been able to get any knife as scary sharp as my dad could sharpen one with an old Arkansas stone.
Bit of a different subject,but I guess it comes under the heading of keeping a sharp eye out on Washington. Don't know if anyone has seen this yet, but it seems like the Obama administration wants to protect everyone on public land from those scary hunters with the frightening guns. Might be time to raise Hell with your reps and senators. Link below:

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/11/16/obama-pu...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I tried the honing tool but I still don't look like that guy on the bottom right shaving his face with a twelve inch fillet knife!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

"I couldn’t get the finely honed edge that enables you to shave hair"

So 'work sharp' is something of a misnomer?
Just sayin'

SBW

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock32 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I couldn't find it on their website???

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

Dave is absolutely correct about the knife and tool sharpener. Like Beekeeper I have not used any of my other stones or tools since the day mine arrived. Just ordered one for my son a Christmas gift yesterday.

Dave, your advice on the Bushnell Elite 6500 scopes and Talley rings was also spot on. I now have 2 of the scopes and see no reason to buy anything else in the future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

The Work Sharp electic sharpener is a great tool!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from weiqiuli wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

frrtgrgyr

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

My wife got me the Work Sharp Sharpener or me for a birthday present this past April. Completely awesome tool for the sportsman and home owner etc. etc. etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks to all the power Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener commenters - I have been putting off ordering one thinking that it would not be as good as billed but I think you have now convinced me to get one. I just might order one of the work sharp retractables while I am at it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment