Top Shelf 4-Sided Diamond Sharpener
THERE are many sharpeners on the market that offer guide angles, extra-fine hones and some electric models will whip up a great edge quickly on your filleting, boning or skinning knife but, for those of us out there who want to work from basics, this tool will appeal.
Realistically-sized for use right up to large blades, it has a working surface of 195 mm by 60 mm and, as the name says, it has four working surfaces of differing grades of diamond abrasive grit. Ranging from a very coarse 200 grit through 400, 600 and finally to a fine 1000 grit, you can very quickly reset a damaged or well worn/blunt blade primary bevel angle. With thin blades, like the Swiss Army knife pictured, you could start at 400 grit, so you do not remove too much metal, but on larger, thicker blades, go coarser to start with.
Once your desired angle is set, you can keep it in shape with regular licks on the 1000 grit side and then move on to finely finish an edge with a ceramic rod, steel or similar.
Now I am used to using a guided sharpening system, like a Nirey electric model or other manual sharpeners out there, so with this Top Shelf model, I set a compromise, do-all 20 degree angle to the blades I tested with a small wooden guide I whipped up in 10 minutes using a protractor, tenon saw and a piece of square quad I had laying around – just lay it on the rear edge of the working surface and lay the blade’s side on it to set your angel and sharpen away, keeping the set angle through each stroke.
One great feature of this sharpener is the sturdy red rubber bands at each end, which anchor it firmly to your bench or table so the system works as intended.
Distributed in Australia by Total Knife Care, the Top Shelf is a worthy addition to any work bench for quickly getting an edge on most edged tools or knives. You can get more information HERE.