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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...

 

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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.

 

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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....

 

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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.  

 

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The blade holder holds up to a 3/16" thick blade.  There is an optional attachment for 1/4" thick blades if needed.

 

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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.  

 

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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.  

 

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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.  

 

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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.  

 

#WickedEdge

 

 

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39 minutes ago, BBQ Bob said:

Nice sharpening system, but a little out of my price range.  I'll be interested to see if you feel it is worth the money?  

 

"Worth the Money" is in the eyes of the beholder on about anything.  All I can do is tell and try to show you why I like this system.  It is expensive.  

 

There are plenty of people out there who are comfortable with the results they get from $40 whetstones.  I prefer systems like this that take my human error out of the equation and give me repeatable results.  Especially when the knives are several hundred dollars each in some cases.

 

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+1, could not agree more, that is why I drive a Chevy and cook on a Vision.  But, I'm a happy camper and that is all that is really important.  Thanks for all of the evauls you've done over the years.  You are the main reason I tried an Akorn, and when it rusted out went to a ceramic.  Keep up the good work.

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I hope the CDN dollar improves without shipping and taxes I would be looking at $1762 plus the cost of digital gauge because I would want that one as well.   With shipping and taxes I am likely looking at $2,000.    I wouldn’t make mind getting one in the future as it looks like you could get very good edges with system.   

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2 hours ago, SmallBBQr said:

It's an amazing looking system, but I could not justify the cost.  I ended up getting the Ken Onion edition Work Sharp a while back and totally pleased.  Best $200 (CDN) I have spent in a long time.

That system is more within my price range.   Looked at some YouTube videos on how to use it.    

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13 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

"Worth the Money" is in the eyes of the beholder on about anything.  All I can do is tell and try to show you why I like this system.  It is expensive.  

 

There are plenty of people out there who are comfortable with the results they get from $40 whetstones.  I prefer systems like this that take my human error out of the equation and give me repeatable results.  Especially when the knives are several hundred dollars each in some cases.

 

 

If a $40 stone isn't worthy of your pricier blades you can always buy a natural Japanese stone. Here's a link to a dealer for natural stones. Most of them are over $1000 but there might be something for a bit less. :)  - http://www.thejapanstone.com/A_New_Hoard_Bench.html

 

For Japanese knives fixed angle systems such as the Wicked Edge really aren't ideal. Most quality Japanese knives are originally hand sharpened and thus they don't really have an exact bevel angle. The blade makers might say that their edge bevel may be 10° or 15° or whatever but because they are sharpened by humans they can/will vary by a degree or two on the same blade and between blades. And there are actually advantages to that. One advantage is that being hand sharpened the edge bevel will have a rounded or slightly tapered shoulder. Sharpening with a fixed angle system does not allow one to do that. A system such as the Wicked Edge will also not allow one to thin a blade - to do that you'll need to freehand on a stone. Of course for thinning you don't need a $1000 dollar natural stone. :)

 

All systems have their pros and cons and the Wicked Edge is pretty slick. For folks that insist on setting an exact angle for primary and secondary bevels for at least some of their knives then a system like the Wicked Edge may be the ticket.

 

Looking forward to your experiences with it.

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