YOU ARE HERE >> Home » Ratings & Reviews » Ratings Reviews And Buying Guides » BBQ Tools Toys And Accessory Reviews » Platinum Medal Winning BBQ Tools, Toys, And Accessories » Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener Is a Workhorse
The Ken Onion Sharpener is probably the single best knife sharpener out there for consumers and chefs. This smartly designed electric sharpener can handle an amazing array of knives and blades. It comes with angle guide that’s easily adjustable from 15° to 30° using a simple turn of the dial. Or you can remove the angle guide to sharpen scissors at 65° angle. And without the angle guide, you can point the sharpener at any blade, allowing you to sharpen things like hatches, axes, and mower blades, too. It can even do pizza wheels.
It uses belts that make a slightly curved convex edge rather that a flat edge produced by rigid wheels and other sharpeners.
For most blades, you sit the unit on a countertop, dial in the angle, select a belt, and start by pulling the trigger on the handle, just like on a chainsaw. Then you run each side of your blade through a series of coarse to fine sandbelts. Changing belts takes only seconds. The sharpener comes with 5 durable sandbelts: P120 extra coarse, X65 coarse, X22 medium, X4 fine, and micro mesh 6000 extra fine. When the belts wear out, a replacement set costs only about $14.
To help you determine blade angles, sandbelt fineness, and the number of strokes to use, the product packaging comes with a user-friendly quick start guide. You can also scan a QR code to watch a short video online, which I recommend doing the first time to familiarize yourself with the sharpener and how slowly you should run your blades through it, which is pretty slow (1 inch of blade per second). The motor speed is adjustable from 1,200 to 2,000 SFM (surface feet per minute, a measurement of both diameter and velocity) so you can use an appropriate speed for the blade you are sharpening. Low speed is recommended for kitchen knives and high speed for tools. A toggle button on the handle makes it a cinch to hold a steady speed.
Before working on my kitchen knives, I sharpened my trusty old Kershaw Vapor 1640 pocket knife, which was dull and neglected. The quick start pictures recommended a 25° angle, but you can adjust the angles anywhere between 15 and 30° on the angle guide, so I tweaked it to a slightly sharper 22.5°. I ran the 3-inch blade through 3 sanding belts, and it got razor sharp in a few minutes with minimal scratches on the side of the blade. From there, I sharpened all my kitchen knives from 12-inch long French chef’s knives and 6-inch Japanese santokus to paring knives, utility knives, slicers, and Chinese cleavers. Yes, it took a while, but they all cut cleanly now. I am very happy. See the test results below.
What I like most about this sharpener is the bang for the buck. It costs less than most other electric sharpeners (I own several) and is even more versatile. For a little over $100, you can use it to sharpen almost every blade you own. And you can dial in your angles with ultimate precision. You will notice that the unit is made with some cheap plastic parts here and there, but those are replaceable, and the motor is rock solid. The sharpener ships in a simple cardboard box smaller than a shoebox, where you can keep it stored along with the instructions and sanding belts. The whole thing is fairly lightweight, so I brought the box to my friend Mike’s house and sharpened his kitchen knives as a favor for doing some electrical work for me. He was pretty impressed. With shop tool styling, this sharpener is a reliable workhorse in both the workshop or the kitchen. Warranty: 1 year household warranty on defects due to workmanship and design, excluding abrasives.
Tomato and onion: Easily cut thin slices
Carrot tops: Easily removed with one stroke
Foam peanut: Easily cut a thin slice
Paper: Easily cut several clean slices with no grabbing
We strongly recommend you view a few videos on the devices proper use and read the manual before getting started. The concepts are pretty simple, but if you just dive in you can destroy a blade. Here is an intro video. Here is a video with more detail. Here is how to do pizza wheels, rotary cutters and even razor blades.
Published On: 11/3/2018 Last Modified: 2/23/2021
These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
Napoleon’s NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.
The Slow ‘N’ Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.
Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool
Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.
We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker
Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.