Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Product Review: Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener

Honing a knife by feel is a skill I have yet to perfect. To me it is an art form. I know many who use whet stones very well and others who just utilize a one-stroke sharpener. There is a delicate balance in the angle of your blade to the stone to get a finely sharpened blade. I have used many different types of sharpeners and have had mediocre luck with them. Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener which came at a perfect time. I had some dull knives from my hunting season that needed an edge. How would I do with a new sharpener? Turns out not too bad when you follow the instructions.

The first thought that came to my mind when I opened the package was 'Where are the instructions?' The box said they were inside. I thought maybe my package was missing them until I saw a flash of white inside the unit. Low and behold, inside the sharpener, under the diamond plate were the rolled up instructions. Took me a minute, but I found them!

From the Work Sharp Tools website:
The sharpening guides are purpose built for your hunting knives, pocket knives and filet knives. Strong rare earth magnets secure the easily interchangeable diamond plates and also provide coverage for the Broadhead Wrench and small storage compartment. Compact design and Lanyard Hole make it easy to pack carry on your next outdoor adventure so you can sharpen anytime, anywhere with speed and ease. Also sharpens serrated knives, fish hooks, broadheads and many common camp tools.

Includes: (1) Coarse Diamond Plate, (1) Fine Diamond Plate, (1) Large Ceramic Rod with 3 Positions (coarse, fine and fish hook grooves), (1) Small Ceramic Rod, (1) Leather Strop conditioned with Micro-Abrasive, Broadhead Wrench and User's Guide.

The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is not like any sharpener I have used before. First off it gives you a 20° sharpening guide (in yellow) and a 25° honing guide (in black) to make certain you have the correct angle for your blade. Time to get to work! The guides were great for a guy like me and I can see where they would come in very useful in the backcountry.

I was able to sharpen my knives to a fine edge with the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener.  By utilizing the coarse side with a few strokes and more strokes using the fine diamond plate I was able to get it back to where I felt it was before skinning an elk. To even it out and take off the burrs I used the ceramic rod and then the leather strop. Having a leather strop built in is great. It allows you to get a very sharp blade whereas many of the single stroke sharpeners get you close, but can't seal the deal.

The ceramic rod feature is an added bonus. Not only can you use it to get a knife edge back, but it has a fishhook sharpener built in. Taking out some old fishhooks was a good test and they sharpened to a point very nicely in no time!

The broadhead wrench is nice to have built in because then you know exactly where it is at all times. It worked very well and while I may not feel I would need to use it in the woods, there may come a time when I need it. Knowing it is inside the WSGFS is peace of mind.

The different settings on the ceramic rod were great. Coarse -Fine-Fishhook.
I will say that the one feature that drove me a bit crazy on this review is the handle or grip. If you are using the sharpener on a bench and don't need to hold it down you are fine. I like to hold my sharpener and when I was trying to get an even stroke when sharpening I found it very difficult to the point where I almost cut into my finger. The grip only allows your thumb and forefinger and it was a pain! In photos it looks as if you would have no problem holding onto it, but I found it difficult and irritating.

Disclaimer: The reviews on The SoCal Bowhunter are solely my honest opinions.  I receive no monetary compensation in exchange for these reviews. I received the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener free of charge in a giveaway on the Outdoor Blogger Network and agreed to provide a review in exchange.  The SoCal Bowhunter is not sponsored by or associated with Work Sharp and is accepting no other compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.


  1. A good sharpener is hard to find and that looks like a good one!

  2. Good review, always looking for a good sharpener for the pack.