I very seldom travel farther than the end of my driveway without some kind of knife sharpener in my kit. All knives get dull, and you can generally count on that happening at the moment when you most need a razor sharp one. Add to that the eternal truth that whoever you work with can be guaranteed to have a far duller knife than you carry and consider it some kind of magically art to hone a blade. It naturally follows they would be very happy if you would sharpen theirs for them. Any kind of stone is better than none, but, in general, I feel diamond surfaced hones are the most versatile under a wide variety of field conditions. Diamond abrasives will handle the hardest steel alloy in the shortest amount of time of any type of sharpener currently available.

Work Sharp recently sent their latest model that takes the diamond surfaced field sharpener to an entirely new level. Called the “Guided Field Sharpener 2.2.1,” the tool offers both coarse and fine grit diamond pads, a three-position ceramic rod arrangement with coarse and fine grit surfaces, a smaller diameter rod for serrated edges, plus a fish hook hone. If that isn’t enough, there is also a small leather pad for stropping any remaining burr off the finished edge.

Angles

The 2.2.1’s clam pack stated the diamond pad angle guides were set at 20 and 25 degrees. Frankly, 25 degrees seemed a little steep to me for most outdoor knives and something around 20 to 22 is usually recommended by most knife manufacturers. The steeper angle would be okay for machetes, axes, and heavy-duty survival type chopping blades. An interesting feature of the Work Sharp tool is that the diamond pads are held on by strong magnets and can be easily removed. This both exposes a small storage area under the pads and allows the diamond hones to be used as stand-alone sharpeners at whatever angle the user prefers.

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