I was fortunate enough to get to partner with Wicked Edge to demo and evaluate this sharpening system. I have been playing with it a good bit this week to learn how it works and get the diamond stones broken in and ready to get down to business...
This is the Wicked Edge WE-130 mounted on their aluminum base. This base is 8"x10"x1" and it weights about 8 pounds to give the sharpener good stability on whatever work surface you choose. They also have a 12"x10"x1.25" granite base option that weighs about 15lbs if you want something heavier. The sharpener also comes with a template for the mounting screw holes so you can make your own base out of whatever material you like if you want to. The bases are optional and do not come with the sharpener kit.
The sharpening angle adjustments on each side of the WE-130 go from 13° to 35° in 1° increments. The small set screw on the right edge of the arm base allows you to micro adjust between 1° settings if you are using the optional digital angle gauge. See later photos....
This cam arm is an update from previous versions of the wicked edge. When you position your blade in the holder, you just lower this arm to create the tension to hold it rather than using a hex key to tighten it in place.
The blade holder holds up to a 3/16" thick blade. There is an optional attachment for 1/4" thick blades if needed.
The WE-130 kit comes with 100/200 and 400/600 grit diamond stones for sharpening. For most applications that is completely sufficient. Wicked Edge provided me with the 800/1000 grit diamond stones and the 5/3.5 micron diamond paste leather strops also. Wicked Edge offers a vast array of additional stones and strops if you are more interested in being able to produce a super high polished mirror edge on your blade bevels. I don't mess with that level of detail on my kitchen knives but I enjoy having it on my pocket knives. I will likely be adding a couple of their ceramic stones to this collection in the near future.
You can also get a digital angle gauge if you are interested in absolute perfection of the angle and I would also consider this a requirement if you want to use the add-on low angle adapter to get angles below 13°. I have a collection of Dalstrong Shogun series knives that I intend to sharpen with this unit and they have bevels in the 10° range that I want to be able to maintain.
For todays' photo session and testing, I got out my Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) Lake Design Thunderbolt 2 knife. This is a tanto style blade that takes a little extra attention when sharpening, but the Wicked edge handled it perfectly. This knife lives in my Man Cave and it's primary function cutting open boxes and bags of charcoal. It takes a beating. This was a cheap knife (about $20 or so) and it has held up to several years of pretty hard abuse.
I used the digital angle gauge on this knife just to familiarize myself with the operation of the adjustments. I would not normally care for that much precision on a knife like this. I like 21-24° bevels on my pocket knifes normally. They hold their edge and stay sharp much longer with a wider angle bevel.
My next project with this is to make some video on the process of actually setting this up and sharpening some knives. I have two kitchen knives I have been saving to sharpen on video with this. The two knives are my Henckels Zwilling Pro 4" paring knife and 8" chef's knife. I haven't used those knives in a while but both of them are in bad need of a good sharpening.
I have the cast iron griddle for my KJ and have used it on the top position. I'd like to try steaks seared on the lower position, or pork chops like in John's new video. But with CI, especially at high searing temps, wouldn't not only the temp but proximity to the fire burn the seasoning off?
I just purchased an Akorn. As I am working to season the cast iron cooking grate, I am finding that it is very rough. Almost the consistency of 40 grit sandpaper. When I rubbed on the oil for the seasoning process it shredded both paper towels and a terry cloth rag. It almost seemed to tear apart the aluminum foil I used to clean up after the first cook.
Has anyone else experienced this problem and do you have tricks/tips to correct it?
Wanted to try something a bit different this weekend and utilize the new Lodge grill press I got. Decided to grill a pork tenderloin then thin slice it and make Cuban sandwiches on the ribbed side of the cast iron griddle. They turned out really well, and I think I might actually be starting to get the hang of getting the grill up to higher temps quickly--don't want to jinx it tho (past efforts have taken much longer than expected and often not reached desired temp).
Did a 4-5 hour marinade on the tenderloin in a mixture of sauteed onions/garlic, salt, pepper, orange juice and lime juice. Cooked at 375, flipped after eight minutes, again after another eight as it wasn't as done as I'd like it, took it off after about 20 mins and wrapped it to rest while I build the sandwiches and brought the press and a small CI pan up to temp on the grates. Sliced after a 10 minute or so rest, it was very tender and not at all dry which I'd read several accounts of that being a problem with tenderloins. Four mins per side with the sammies and they were good to go. Pretty easy and will definitely be doing this one again. I couldn't find Cuban bread so tried Portuguese rolls which I think worked out well but next time with more notice I'd track down the real thing.