I’ll admit it: I suck at sharpening knives. So when a buddy suggested I try the Work Sharp Field Sharpener on my overly-dull fillet knife, I gave it a whirl…reluctantly.
You see, I have tried a bunch of sharpeners in the past: old school stone and diamond models, the cheesy pull-though style and several others. I’m sure it’s more trouble with my technique than the actual device but still I wondered if I’d struggle with the Field Sharpener too.
Well, I’ve been using one for a good year now and here’s my review:
The first thing I noticed when I originally pulled the Work Sharp Field Sharpener out of the package is its sturdy construction. It also is small and compact and very portable. You can throw this thing in a backpack to tackle box…but I use it on my guide boat.
Real World Test
Well, let’s just…um…”cut” to the chase here. The Work Sharp has been with me through last fall’s king salmon run and all this spring, in what was one of the most prolific striper seasons we have seen in years. In other words, I abused the heck outta my knife.
Stripers are especially tough on fillet knives — what with that thick skin, armored scales and thick rib bones. In years past, I have burned up so many knives — including an electric one — on stripers so I didn’t hold out much hope that this year’s blade would make it through alive.
But, thanks to the super easy to follow built-in angle guides in the Field Sharpener, even a monkey with two left hands like me was able to easily sharpen my knife each day (sometimes twice a day when going through a big batch of fish). In fact, my knife is still with me and in great shape!
When you combine the ease of use with excellent results, I was stoked that I actually had a sharpener that worked. And at around $35, it seems like a good value to me, considering I can’t imagine it wearing out anytime soon.
I have yet to do anything to the sharpener as far as maintenance or care goes and it just keep on making blades sharp. After rolling around in the tray of my boat for a full year, it looks a bit dirty but is otherwise totally functional.
Use and Features
The best part of the tool is it is almost foolproof to used. Simply run the edge down the yellow guide and draw the blade across the sharpening surface…How many times depends on what condition your edge is in. During striper season, about 5 strokes a side on the fine side was all it took. For salmon, I usually hit the sharpener every couple of days.
The Field Sharpener features two diamond plates for sharpening — a course side for fixing really damaged edges and a finer one for honing.
When your blade is about where you want it, you can use the built in leather strop to put the extra little touch on it.
For curved knives like my mini fillet knife I found that the on board 3-position ceramic rod worked better. Its has a course and fine setting too.
Additionally, the ceramic rod has a fish hook setting so you can touch up dull points.
Sharpens Other Stuff Too
In addition, you can easily sharpen scissors, axes and even broad head arrows with the Field Sharpener. Serrated edges are no problem for the smaller ceramic honer. Take the magnetic side plates off and you have a built in broad head arrow wrench. Pretty cool!
Made in USA
Obviously, I really like the Work Sharp Field Sharpener as a tool — but I also appreciate the fact that they are an American company, making these babies right in Ashland, Oregon.
Works Sharp’s website is full of how-to videos and other useful stuff too.
Where to Buy
Click here to buy a Work Sharp Field Sharpener