Dull knives suck. They can’t cut anything, and they’re dangerous to work with. Plus, there are few things quite so pathetic as watching a guy take 4 or 5 passes at a piece of rope before finally cutting through it. But properly sharpening a knife takes skill. In this Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review, we’ll take a look at a tool designed to make sharpening more accessible, accurate, and faster.
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review: Quick Take
I get that you might not have a ton of time to read this whole article, so I’ll give you the verdict out of the gate: This sharpener is awesome. You’ll have razor-sharp, well-honed blades in minutes. It’s absolutely worth the money (which really isn’t a lot, in the grand scheme of sharpeners).
You won’t regret picking up a Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener (available on Amazon)
The Graying Area is an Amazon Associate, so if you buy your Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener through our link, we’ll make a little bit of cash.
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s go over a bit of background on the Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener.
What is it?
The Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener is a table-top sharpener designed to sharpen pocket knives, fixed blade knives, kitchen knives, and just about any other type of knife that comes to mind. It can accurately sharpen blades with grind profiles from 15 to degrees.
How does it work?
The way that the Work Sharp Precision Adjust works is actually pretty genius. It’s way easier to use than a whetstone.
When you remove it from the box, it comes in four main pieces: the base, the main body with the angle adjustments, the sharpening arm, and the blade clamp — by the way, none of those are technical terms or the official names.
Snapping everything together is pretty intuitive so you shouldn’t have much of an issue.
The sharpening arm is a polished rod with a plastic carrier that slides up and down the rod. In that carrier are three grinding stones: 320 grit, 600 grit, and a honing rod, and they rotate inside the carrier and snap into place.
With the Work Sharp set to the correct angle, you push and pull these stones across the edge of the blade. You’ll start with the 320-grit stone and then flip the knife over using the push-button release in the back of the main body and then do the same thing on the other side. Then twist the 600-grit stone into place and repeat. Then, again, repeat with the honing rod.
It’s really pretty easy, and the arm angle stays put throughout the sharpening process.
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review: What’s it work with?
The Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener works on most knives with grind angles between 15 and 30 degrees, which includes:
- Hunting Knives (20 to 25 degrees)
- Fishing/Fillet Knives (20 degrees)
- Camp Knives (30 degrees)
- Kitchen Knives (15 to 20 degrees)
- Pocket knives (20 to 25 degrees)
It won’t work on things like chisels or scissors, as far as I can tell. It’s also not helpful on serrated blade sections.
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review: Pros and Cons
You guys know I like my pros and cons. They’re a valuable tool in a review like this.
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review: Pros
- Easy to set up
- Stone angle remains dialed in
- Creates a very sharp edge
There are a few things that the Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener does very well.
This sharpener is very easy to set up. First, the base and the main body snap together securely, though you will have to find the right angle. Next, both the arm and the blade clamp snap into place with strong magnets. Then, adjust the angle of the arm according to the blade’s grind (it’s straightforward using the knob at the top of the body).
The Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener is as affordable of a precision sharpening system as you can buy. I purchased mine for $49.99 from Amazon. And I knew it would pay for itself relatively quickly.
This piece’s entire level of effectiveness relies on the body’s adjustment and the arm’s ability to stay put. Both the arm and the angle adjustment stay put after set up, meaning you won’t have to worry about maintaining the correct angle while sharpening (something amateur sharpeners are sure to mess up without a guide).
The edge profile left behind by this tool is pro-grade. As long as you’re aware of the blade angle on your knife, you’ll be able to touch it up and bring it back to better-than-factory sharpness. I sharpened my James Brand Carter and Civivi Elementum in just a matter of minutes before moving on to the kitchen knife set.
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review: Cons
- Plastic Construction
- No way to gauge blade angles
- Only useful for knives
- It gets a little squirrely at the tip of the blade
- It doesn’t come with a case.
While the Work Sharp does a few things well, it’s not a perfect product. Let’s take a look at where it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
One of the first things I noticed about the Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener is that it’s pretty much all plastic (the body, base, arm, and clamp except for the jaws). It appears to be a good-quality plastic — possibly ABS. But, it’s plastic nonetheless, and it bears mentioning.
There isn’t a gauge or anything helpful to use to verify your blade’s angle. You either have to know your blade edge angle or do the Sharpie trick to find your angle. It’s not the end of the work, but it is a bit clunky.
I would prefer this sharpener if you could use it on other tools. I have some leatherworking tools and some carpentry tools that this sharpener will not work on, and that’s a shame. If it could double as a scissor sharpener, it would be a much more attractive option.
Sharpening most of the blade is incredibly easy and intuitive. It really doesn’t take much effort or technique. It’s really pretty mindless. But, when you get to the tip of the blade, sharpening accurately takes some concentration. The stones are flat while the blade is curved, so the contact area is very small. It’s doable, but you won’t achieve the sharp point you’re looking for without concentration and taking your time.
One last complaint: It doesn’t come with a case. I supposed it’s meant to store in the original box, but a case would be better. Luckily, there are hard cases on the market that fit the bill (available on Amazon).
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review: My Thoughts
In my opinion, if you only have $50 to spend on a sharpening system, the Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener is the way to go. I do think there are better products on the market, some of which Work Sharp actually makes, but I don’t think anything for $50 or less can beat it. And, if you need a little more sharpening capability, check out the upgrade kit review by Toil and Recoil, one of the first online reviews to get his hands on one.
Do I wish it could sharpen scissors and chisels? Sure, but I really don’t know how Work Sharp could do that with this design. Would it be better if there was a way to check your grind angle with a gauge of some sort? Yes, and I think that’s probably the biggest oversight.
Overall, I think it’s 100 percent worth the money (and I’m not the only one who thinks so). Whether you’re an outdoorsman who needs a razor-sharp blade, a chef with some decent quality knives, or an EDC guy who enjoys maintenance as much as carrying, you’ll love it. It’s easy to use, creates a super sharp edge, and costs less than a tank of gas. It’s a worthy investment (available on Amazon).
Work Sharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener Review FAQs
Are Work Sharp sharpeners good?
Some of Work Sharp’s offerings are a little unconventional, but they’re generally good tools. They make knife and scissor sharpening easy, even if you don’t have any experience.
Where are Work Sharp knife sharpeners made?
I know that Work Sharp makes many of its tools in the USA, but I can’t confirm that with the Precision Adjust. I’ve checked the box and the tool itself, as well as searched the internet, but I can’t find any information on its origin.
What angle should a knife be sharpened at?
The most common knife grind angle is between 20 and 22 degrees. This range includes most common pocket knives and kitchen knives.
Can you sharpen ceramic knives on a Work Sharp?
You can sharpen a ceramic knife on a Work Sharp, but you won’t be able to create the telltale burr, so it’s essential to count your passes so you sharpen each side evenly. Also, the 320-grit stone might be too aggressive. It’s probably best to start with the honing stone and see if that does the trick.