Thursday, November 1, 2018

Work Sharp Culinary E5 Sharpener

Folks who sharpen knives professionally will sometimes use a belt sander sort of setup. My dad actually used that type of thing for sharpening drill bits and other machine tools. That method of sharpening requires a whole lot of experience, lest you grind off more blade than you mean to.

Until I saw the Work Sharp Culinary E5 Sharpener, I had no idea there was a belt system for sharpening knives at home. Unlike my dad's machine that was about the size of a human, this is a little machine, no larger than other styles of home electric sharpeners. Easy to tuck into the pantry when it's not in use.

When you're using it, this feels a lot like other electric sharpeners, possibly a little softer because the belts have a little flexibility, but the action against the knife is different. More like sanding/polishing than grinding.

Guides on both sides of the machine make sure you're holding the knife at the right angle, which is the hard part about sharpening knives at home. It's just plain difficult to eyeball a precise angle. Here, you just snuggle the knife against the guide, and slide it against the belt.

Lights on the front of the sharpener let you know whether you're in shape, sharpen, or refine mode, so you can sharpen you knife aggressively if it requires it, or you can just give it a gentle touch to maintain it.

For basic maintenance, the sharpener also includes a steel. Which is actually ceramic. But anyway, it's the thing that you use between actual sharpenings.

Along with the sharpener kit, the company sent me some dull knives along with a knife roll, so I could practice sharpening, and then have a place to store my knives.

I also touched up some of my own knives that were due for a little care.

I have to say that the whole process was easy, and the machine is much quieter than those that use grinding stones.

The really cool thing about this cutting system is that while the basic model is designed for the most common knife styles with a 17-degree angle, you can buy an upgrade kit that includes both east and west guides (15 and 20 degrees) as well as a selection of different belts. It's all pretty easy to set up, too, so you can swap from one angle to another without a lot of grumbling.

Extra belts are also available for purchase, so you won't need to replace the whole machine if the belts are worn.

I received this at no cost to me.

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