While a gear review on a sharpener is not as enticing to the reader as a new knife (reviews in the works), a good sharpener may make the difference between a clean cut and a jagged accident.
I have a number of fixed blades and folders and use them on a daily basis employing many sharpening systems, including the old school Arkansas stone and Spyderco’s Tri-Angle system. Few sharpeners have performed up to their marketing copy; many fall flat.
|Redi-Edge Tactical Pro|
So I was skeptical, when I picked this up at the Waterfowl Festival last year. It is the Redi-Edge Tactical Pro (www.rediedge.com) and retails for $23 USD. It was highly recommended from custom knife maker Bill McCready, so I gave it a try. It is a simple pull through design with two carbide blades at an angle that results in a utility edge of 20°. As you pull through, that folded over dull edge is reshaped. After a half dozen strokes, the edge will easily cut paper; after a baker’s dozen with moderate pressure, it is shaving sharp.
Kitchen knives, which were dull as dishwater (channeling my Mom’s expression), were brought back to Ginsu-esque stature. I am very impressed by the performance of this sharpener. It has held up well and I consider the price to be fair for the quality of the edge I have established.
|Buck Woodsman Brought Back to Life!|
There are different designs and the Tactical Pro is also available in a 15° (for kitchen knives) and 30° (for machete type use of cutting/chopping).
As we all know, the sharper knife is safer than a dull one as you use less effort making the cut and there is less chance that a dull edge will “catch”. When pushing the blade forward, there is less control on a dull blade and a slip can result in a trip to the medicine cabinet …speaking of medicine cabinets, who remembers Mercurochrome? With three boys, my parents had a vat behind the house and they just dipped us in it periodically, holding us by the heel (no Greek mythological reference intended).