Oregon-based Darex, a 40-year-old family-owned maker of industrial tool sharpeners, knows a thing or two about how to put a keen edge on steel. Through its Work Sharp brand, the company has partnered with knife designer Ken Onion to produce a powered tabletop knife and implement sharpener for outdoorsmen.
The U.S.-assembled device features a variable-speed 1.5–amp motor that drives flexible 3/4-inch-by-12-inch abrasive belts of the same type used by professional knife makers to create blades from scratch. Additionally, the motor’s variable control—6,112 to 14,261 rpm—allows optimal belt speeds for a particular task and steel. A contoured, non-slip handle and rubberized feet allow the user’s weak hand to anchor the 10-by-6-by-51/2-inch unit to a tabletop while the strong hand simply draws the knife blade across its blade guides, which are adjustable in 1-degree increments from 15-30 degrees.
The unit can sharpen hunting and kitchen knives, including gut hooks and serrated edges, hatchets and even lawn mower blades. The sharpener comes with a five-piece abrasive belt kit with P120 extra coarse, X65 coarse, X22 medium, X4 fine and 6000 extra fine grits along with an instructional DVD.
The Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener ships with an MSRP of $150.