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Good Gear: Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2.1

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November 28, 2012

Good Gear: Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2.1

By David E. Petzal

Some time ago, I called your attention to the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, an ingenious device that enables the veriest dullard to put a murderous edge on just about anything. However, the system is for home use only as it requires electricity. Enter the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2.1, which solves this problem neatly. It’s around 7 inches long, weighs a couple of ounces, and consists of two diamond sharpening plates (fine and coarse) that are held in place by magnets, a ceramic rod with coarse, fine and fishhook positions, a small ceramic rod for serrated edges, and an impregnated leather strop.

The key to the WSGFS is the 20-degree guides at either end of the tool. Unless you’re an expert at sharpening, you’ll find it’s almost impossible to hold a knife at the same angle for each sharpening stroke, and you end up removing steel from the blade instead of getting an edge. The guides solve this. You lay the blade flat on the guide and push it down the diamond plate, then lay it flat on the opposite guide and pull it toward you. Don’t pull too hard unless life has become unbearable. Work Sharp says it takes 5 to 10 strokes each way to get an edge, and this is what I found as well. You finish off by giving the knife a few strokes on the fine side of the ceramic rod, and you’re done. You can take any knife from “won’t cut” to “shave hair” in about the time it takes to read this far.

Despite the fact that the WSGFS has all the sharpening options except a green rouge wheel, you can get along quite nicely with nothing but the fine diamond plate and the fine ceramic rod. (In fact, don’t use the coarse diamond plate unless you have no edge at all. It’s too aggressive for normal sharpening.) I put vicious edges on six knives with it, ranging from soft kitchen-cutlery stainless to a very hard ATS-34 blade from a custom smith, in blade lengths from 2 inches to 8, and found that the device worked unfailingly. If you’re really anal about it, or have to perform eye surgery with what you’re sharpening, you can use the leather strop, but I don’t see a compelling need for it.

At $34.95 the WSGFS is affordable even by the lowliest of us, and if you’re smart, you’ll buy one instantly or sooner. When news of how good the electric Work Sharp was got around, you couldn’t find one to buy. This should be even more popular.

(And a note: After use, run your finger down the diamond plate to remove the steel dust. Do not lick your finger. To clean steel off the ceramic rod, put a little household cleanser on a wet cleaning patch and scrub it off.)

Comments (27)

Top Rated
All Comments
from PbHead wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Thanks for the tip Dave. It sounds like a great stocking stuffer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Looks great. Right on time too, I just field dressed my third deer of the year and my Buck Zipper is in pitiful shape and I am less than competent when it comes to sharpening. In fact I can ruin a knife faster than you can say "you got a grinding wheel?...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

They have it for $29.99 on Cabela's!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Hi...

Much better than the home made one I recently saw demonstrated. Stocking stuffer is right...MY stocking...!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This looks like a nice addition for touching up in the field. The original electric Work Sharp is really no joke. I have used stones for awhile and can put a razor edge on a knife but it takes time and a bit of concentration. With that Work Sharp I can get any of my knives sharp enough to shave in about a minute.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Yeah I was looking at the Work Sharp it is available at the Northern Tool right down the street, according to the website. For $34.99 it comes with one magnetic knife guide at 55 degree angle and three different grade sanding belts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

The electric one of course.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Solved all my sharpening problems when I purchased my Diamondblade Knife. Still a good gift idea for dull bladed friends.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Used this idea to successfully solve several gifts last year, and forgot about it for this year. Thanks for the reminder, it is an excellent gift.

By the way, was warming my feet in front of a fire this afternoon and noticed a fabulous Rocky Moutain elk mount to the right of the fire place, closer examination a small plaque indicated it was taken by Dave Petzal in Utah, 1998. Congratulations on a wonderful trophy. Kindest Regards

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I bought one of the electric work sharp sharpeners after your post on it last year. Now, I have a steady stream of family, friends, etc., coming by saying "Think you could run this over that sharpener....?"
I wore out two sets of belts and need to order more. I think I'll order one of these non electric ones to keep hidden for myself.
Work Sharp is best of the best in my book.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Dave, the electric sharpener is everything you said it was. I wound up getting two more as gifts for my son and a friend. I have just ordered a couple of the WSGFS's, which I hope qualifies as "instantly".
Buckhunter: You apparently had a better experience ordering a Diamondblade knife than I did. The lady that I ordered from first lost my order entirely and then I could get no reply from them when I inquired about it. Anyway, it was not a good experience and I wound up being extremely unhappy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from curmudge1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Well, now I want one, thanks a lot! :-( Already have my Christmas list full!

I'll have to try that tip on cleaning the ceramic rod. I have an "eraser" for cleaning ceramic rods, that's by Lansky, iirc.

--
Dave

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sounds good. As most on here know I don't prefer a razor sharp knife when dressing big game. Sharp but not too sharp. A ceramic rod kit has always done well for me. I am more fussy about fine blades in the kitchen and for taking care of fish.

Some Comet cleanser works great for cleaning the ceramic rods. About once a year is sufficient.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Tom, Have had nothing but a good experience with Diamondblade. Thinking of buying a couple more for my boys.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 7.5x55 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sir Petzal,
I just placed my order. I look forward to trying it out. You've never steared me wrong on a sharpening product. Thank you for your fine product reviews.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

To Happy Myles: Welcome to the Camp Fire. I trust you had a good time.

To Tom Warner: Sorry your transaction didn't work out. I suggest you write to the president, Charles Allen, tell him what happened, and tell him you're writing at my suggestion. I'd be very surprised if you don't get results.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Looks like Dave found another good one for us. Handy dandy knife sharpener is just the thing I need. I have been using those little plastic gizmos with crossed sticks, it worked good enough but this new one seems like the Cat's meow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Dave, Amazon has that sharpener for 29.95. I bought the electric belt unit last year and love the thing. I have gutted many critters but so far have not had to resharpen in the field. Yesterday gutted, and skinned an 8 point Kansas whitetail with my Buck Ergonomic hunter. Even slit the pelvis and chest cavity and the knife would still shave hair. Be that as it may, guess I will have to get one of these too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Del in KS even sharpened a @#*&%$ machete to a razor's edge with that electric WS one evening on our elk hunt. Amazing little tool.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I am curious to know how it handles the edge on a curved blade.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I have a set of ceramic rods that I use currently to sharpen my knives, but this sounds even easier. Thanks also on the tip about cleaning the rods with household cleanser, I have just been running them under water and wiping them off with a paper towel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Guess I'm just a traditionalist, I still use Arkansas stones for sharpening, and a steel for touchups in between.

Guess it's a harkening back to my caveman ancestors, gotta use stone!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Alexander wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I just told my wife that this would look absolutely wonderful in my stocking.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I don't have a Work Sharp, but have diamond hones from DMT and Gerber, plus the diamond file on my Leatherman PST2.

I agree with DP about diamond hones. Coarse is rarely useful, even if you have no edge to speak of, if you have to remove a lot of steel, you're probably better off using a normal stone or carborundum.

The fine diamond hone puts tiny "teeth" on the edge, which really have an attraction to soft tissue. I'm not into the "shaving sharp" school myself, so I often skip the ceramic rod part.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tbark Knives wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Hello Folks , I watch Gun Nuts every time it comes on , I am a professional Knifemaker its mostly all i do , I like new sharpening systems but I sharpen on a dull 400 grit belt which leaves a hair popping sharp edge on the knives that glides thru skin,paper,leather ect , but my point is No one should try to make a perfectly flat edge on a knife . in my experience an several other folks whom are very good at knives period all agree a convex edge stays sharper longer an glides thru material much better ,this comes from the natural sharpening on a stone with human errors in tact because you cant hold it perfectly strait , another tip count your strokes equel amounts on both sides , if your sharpening Stainless steel Get a diamond ez lap in med an fine then strop on leather it will cut an shave ,when sharpening on a diamond cut toward the edge like your trying to cut the stone when stropping do it backwards , if the knife dont get sharp when you think it should be keep sharpening stainless is tough D-2 takes 2x longer to sharpen on diamond than stainless ,hope this helps someone learn to sharpen their knives ,God Bless ,t

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

When you say "diamond" sharpening plates I am down on the tool, and the mention of "Ceramic" What happens is those plates, and the Ceramic turn dark grey. And that is metal from the steel you have sharpened, and it happens early on. It becomes metal to metal then, and doesn't work well. If anything it becomes a blade "straightener" not an apparatus that takes steel off of the blade. Much of the time a blade only needs straightening, but there comes the time when it has to have steel removed from the blade. I am old fashion, and have learned to use a stone, along with a steel, or ceramic straightner/deburrer you can call it as well. If you have a way of cleaning up, and removing the grey off the plates, and ceramic tool then OK..otherwise I don't care for it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I couldn't help myself and actually purchased one of these sharpeners. It is AWESOME!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Used this idea to successfully solve several gifts last year, and forgot about it for this year. Thanks for the reminder, it is an excellent gift.

By the way, was warming my feet in front of a fire this afternoon and noticed a fabulous Rocky Moutain elk mount to the right of the fire place, closer examination a small plaque indicated it was taken by Dave Petzal in Utah, 1998. Congratulations on a wonderful trophy. Kindest Regards

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Thanks for the tip Dave. It sounds like a great stocking stuffer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Looks great. Right on time too, I just field dressed my third deer of the year and my Buck Zipper is in pitiful shape and I am less than competent when it comes to sharpening. In fact I can ruin a knife faster than you can say "you got a grinding wheel?...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

They have it for $29.99 on Cabela's!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Hi...

Much better than the home made one I recently saw demonstrated. Stocking stuffer is right...MY stocking...!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This looks like a nice addition for touching up in the field. The original electric Work Sharp is really no joke. I have used stones for awhile and can put a razor edge on a knife but it takes time and a bit of concentration. With that Work Sharp I can get any of my knives sharp enough to shave in about a minute.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Yeah I was looking at the Work Sharp it is available at the Northern Tool right down the street, according to the website. For $34.99 it comes with one magnetic knife guide at 55 degree angle and three different grade sanding belts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

The electric one of course.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Solved all my sharpening problems when I purchased my Diamondblade Knife. Still a good gift idea for dull bladed friends.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I bought one of the electric work sharp sharpeners after your post on it last year. Now, I have a steady stream of family, friends, etc., coming by saying "Think you could run this over that sharpener....?"
I wore out two sets of belts and need to order more. I think I'll order one of these non electric ones to keep hidden for myself.
Work Sharp is best of the best in my book.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Dave, the electric sharpener is everything you said it was. I wound up getting two more as gifts for my son and a friend. I have just ordered a couple of the WSGFS's, which I hope qualifies as "instantly".
Buckhunter: You apparently had a better experience ordering a Diamondblade knife than I did. The lady that I ordered from first lost my order entirely and then I could get no reply from them when I inquired about it. Anyway, it was not a good experience and I wound up being extremely unhappy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from curmudge1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Well, now I want one, thanks a lot! :-( Already have my Christmas list full!

I'll have to try that tip on cleaning the ceramic rod. I have an "eraser" for cleaning ceramic rods, that's by Lansky, iirc.

--
Dave

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sounds good. As most on here know I don't prefer a razor sharp knife when dressing big game. Sharp but not too sharp. A ceramic rod kit has always done well for me. I am more fussy about fine blades in the kitchen and for taking care of fish.

Some Comet cleanser works great for cleaning the ceramic rods. About once a year is sufficient.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Tom, Have had nothing but a good experience with Diamondblade. Thinking of buying a couple more for my boys.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 7.5x55 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sir Petzal,
I just placed my order. I look forward to trying it out. You've never steared me wrong on a sharpening product. Thank you for your fine product reviews.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

To Happy Myles: Welcome to the Camp Fire. I trust you had a good time.

To Tom Warner: Sorry your transaction didn't work out. I suggest you write to the president, Charles Allen, tell him what happened, and tell him you're writing at my suggestion. I'd be very surprised if you don't get results.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Looks like Dave found another good one for us. Handy dandy knife sharpener is just the thing I need. I have been using those little plastic gizmos with crossed sticks, it worked good enough but this new one seems like the Cat's meow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Dave, Amazon has that sharpener for 29.95. I bought the electric belt unit last year and love the thing. I have gutted many critters but so far have not had to resharpen in the field. Yesterday gutted, and skinned an 8 point Kansas whitetail with my Buck Ergonomic hunter. Even slit the pelvis and chest cavity and the knife would still shave hair. Be that as it may, guess I will have to get one of these too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Del in KS even sharpened a @#*&%$ machete to a razor's edge with that electric WS one evening on our elk hunt. Amazing little tool.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I am curious to know how it handles the edge on a curved blade.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I have a set of ceramic rods that I use currently to sharpen my knives, but this sounds even easier. Thanks also on the tip about cleaning the rods with household cleanser, I have just been running them under water and wiping them off with a paper towel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Guess I'm just a traditionalist, I still use Arkansas stones for sharpening, and a steel for touchups in between.

Guess it's a harkening back to my caveman ancestors, gotta use stone!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Alexander wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I just told my wife that this would look absolutely wonderful in my stocking.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I don't have a Work Sharp, but have diamond hones from DMT and Gerber, plus the diamond file on my Leatherman PST2.

I agree with DP about diamond hones. Coarse is rarely useful, even if you have no edge to speak of, if you have to remove a lot of steel, you're probably better off using a normal stone or carborundum.

The fine diamond hone puts tiny "teeth" on the edge, which really have an attraction to soft tissue. I'm not into the "shaving sharp" school myself, so I often skip the ceramic rod part.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tbark Knives wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Hello Folks , I watch Gun Nuts every time it comes on , I am a professional Knifemaker its mostly all i do , I like new sharpening systems but I sharpen on a dull 400 grit belt which leaves a hair popping sharp edge on the knives that glides thru skin,paper,leather ect , but my point is No one should try to make a perfectly flat edge on a knife . in my experience an several other folks whom are very good at knives period all agree a convex edge stays sharper longer an glides thru material much better ,this comes from the natural sharpening on a stone with human errors in tact because you cant hold it perfectly strait , another tip count your strokes equel amounts on both sides , if your sharpening Stainless steel Get a diamond ez lap in med an fine then strop on leather it will cut an shave ,when sharpening on a diamond cut toward the edge like your trying to cut the stone when stropping do it backwards , if the knife dont get sharp when you think it should be keep sharpening stainless is tough D-2 takes 2x longer to sharpen on diamond than stainless ,hope this helps someone learn to sharpen their knives ,God Bless ,t

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

When you say "diamond" sharpening plates I am down on the tool, and the mention of "Ceramic" What happens is those plates, and the Ceramic turn dark grey. And that is metal from the steel you have sharpened, and it happens early on. It becomes metal to metal then, and doesn't work well. If anything it becomes a blade "straightener" not an apparatus that takes steel off of the blade. Much of the time a blade only needs straightening, but there comes the time when it has to have steel removed from the blade. I am old fashion, and have learned to use a stone, along with a steel, or ceramic straightner/deburrer you can call it as well. If you have a way of cleaning up, and removing the grey off the plates, and ceramic tool then OK..otherwise I don't care for it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I couldn't help myself and actually purchased one of these sharpeners. It is AWESOME!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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