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Spyderco Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener 204MF
List Price: $84.95

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Product Description

The 204MF includes one pair medium-grit (brown) triangle stones for aggressive sharpening and one pair of fine-grit (white) triangle stones for professional-grade finishing. Their patented triangular shape sharpens plain edges on the flat sides and spyderedges (serrations) on the corners. A groove running the stone's length sharpens pointed items such as fishhooks, darts, awls, and punches. Keyed slots/holes in the abs plastic base precisely preset the stone's sharpening angle to a 30กใ (15กใ each side) or 40กใ (20กใ each side) for thick and thin profiled knife blades. On the end of the base is a 12.5กใ scissor setting. When turned over, the base's underside accommodates two side-by-side stones (flat side up) for benchstone sharpening. Plastic lid snaps halfway over the base creates a stable hand-hold and a pair of brass safety rods protect the user's hands during sharpening. All of the components fit into the base and the lid snaps on as a cover for portability, or the base can be bolted to a table or counter-top for permanent use. Instructional 204MF DVD and booklet is included.

Features:
  • Specifications: One medium-grit stone; One pair of fine-grit triangle stones
  • Sharpens plain edges and serrated edges. Furrow along the stone's length for awls, darts, fishhooks and punches
  • 12.5 degree setting on the end of each base for sharpening scissors.
  • Autoclave safe
  • How-to-Use DVD Included

Customer Reviews:

  • spyderco sharpner instructional DVD
    I had to contact Spyderco in order to get a replacement instructional DVD for their product. The response from them was excellent. I hope to receive my replacement DVD shortly....more info
  • Best Sharpener I Have Ever Used
    Spyderco sharpener and hone is a wonderful tool. I own several stones and a couple of other sharpening gadgets but nothing has put an edge on my knives like the Spyderco. Like many I am sure, I was a skeptic, but after following the instructional video my fishing and kitchen knives are now razor sharp, much sharper than new. Thanks so much. ...more info
  • BEST SHARPENING KIT!
    I got this for my husband for our anniversary (it's what he wanted!) and he was very impressed! That's not normally the case with a lot of the gifts I choose for him! Great design and easy to use. Works fantastic! It's a VERY versatile set!...more info
  • A great investment for a razor sharp knife!
    This is the best knife sharpening system I have ever owned. The kit has 2 medium sharpening rods, 2 fine sharpening rods, a booklet, a VCR instruction tape,& the plastic storage case which doubles as the base.
    I can easily keep my Spyderco Delica knife razor sharp; also my Wusthof kitchen knives. (Even the serrated knives!) This kit takes all the guesswork out of keeping the right angle to sharpen your knives!...more info
  • Simply works
    You need two things to succeed with this product. The ability to hold a knife vertically, and some patience. I'm puzzled by some of the negative reviews, but I think they may be due to blades that had a different bevel, so that the stones aren't actually working the edge.

    Knives I've sharpened with this include an old Kamp-King folder that I salvaged and de-rusted. A cheap Chinese knockoff of a French Sabatier paring knife. My Henkel santoku, and a generic high-carbon asian cleaver, among others.

    All got great edges - some took more work than others. The cleaver was a nine-dollar impulse buy at an asian market, and had clearly been hand-ground as the edge angle varied along the length of the blade. The Chinese Sabatier was also a bit of a pain - I worked and worked and worked and it wasn't getting any sharper. Again, the edge angle was the problem. I used magic marker on the edge, took a couple of passes on the Spyderco and looked with a magnifying glass - I wasn't even touching the edge - just the top of the bevel. In both cases, I borrowed a friends diamond stone that he uses for his wood tools and re-beveled the edges, then finished with the Spyderco.

    Once you've got your bevels right, the Spyderco does a great job of sharpening. My wife specializes in knife abuse, and I was pretty sad about the state of some of my knives. Not any more. This tool really puts an edge back on, and I'm back to slicing instead of mashing in my kitchen. Yeah!

    The only thing I might recommend is the set of diamond hones, but at the price (forty bucks or so) they're only worth it if you work with a lot of blades that need to be re-beveled - and there are cheaper diamond stones out there if you can hold the angle true. In general though, the diamond hones are kind of a once-per-blade investment - again, once the bevel is correct, the stones that come with this sharpener are all you need.

    The hones require some care in handling - they're ceramic, so if you drop them on tile or concrete, you'll find that ceramic can be brittle.

    This is a well-made product that should last a long time for the average home user, and compared to having the nice lady with her van full of sharpening tools come around, it's paid for itself already.

    ...more info
  • Not perfect, but a very fine product
    I purchased this Spyderco sharpener some months ago, and so far it has been very useful. I own a number of knives and use most of them on an infrequent basis.

    That said, I decided I shouldn't neglect any of them; a safe knife is a sharp knife. I never really used a sharpener before and a whetting stone seemed a bit more than my clumsy mitts could handle. So this seemed an obvious choice. I was at first off-put by the seemingly high price, but I figured it would be a good investment since my roommates' and I own a number of blades--some of the pocket knife variety, other of the kitchen and cooking type.

    I've had the good fortune to sharpen many blades, most of them being my roommates'. I can say definitively that this sharpener works well for the purpose of single- or double-edged knives. The only issue you'll have for most of these is if you are trying to sharpen a tanto-edge. I've found this difficult, but it is not impossible. Serrated edges are no problem at all. They will continue to cut and function normally--that is, you can still "saw" with them when necessary--though you may find that because they are sharper, they will slice much better than before.

    I do have one knife that -is- apparently impossible (in my hands) to sharpen. It's a Smith & Wesson HRT model SWHRT9B boot knife. It's got a rubberized coating but even after grinding that off, I found the metal underneath to be very resistant to holding an edge. I'm not sure I can fault the sharpener on this, but I'm having a hard time justifying it on myself or on the blade as it came with an incredible edge from the factory.

    I haven't attempted to sharpen anything other than simple knives, but if that's all you need to sharpen, I can attest that this will work beautifully--unless you own a Smith & Wesson knife, it seems. I highly recommend it to the novice and to anyone else who is need of a good sharpener for multiple knives. If you need to sharpen one or two knives, the price and relative complexity of this sharpener may be a bit excessive....more info
  • More than I expected
    I have a basic idea of how to sharpen my knives on a stone and am fairly successful most times (Fairly Successful). I thought that this was going to be another product that was more or less a gimmeck attesting to make me better at something quicker than putting in a lot of time and experience. However, the Spyderco name is why I decided that this just may work. Lo and Behold, it is better than expected. The included video is a very helpful beginning and my first try was more than just a good attempt. After only a few but successful attempts I'm confident enough to sharpen my best knives. Thanks Spyderco for not letting me down.

    ...more info
  • easy to get a sharp accurate edge
    The CD shows how to easily sharpen just about everything with an edge. I've just begun with my very dull knives and found they will need a bit of work with the medium sharpening stone. I thought about getting a coarse stone to make things go quicker, but after I get them sharp I'm never going to let them get this dull again! For a moderately dull knife, this simple device will make it razor-sharp with just a little effort. I'm excited to get my scissors in shape and never thought i'd be able to put an new edge on my potato peeler....more info
  • Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
    I recently purchased the Spyderco Sharpmaker and without a doubt it is one of the easiest sharpening systems to use. Previously, I used a flat stone coated with oil. However, with the recent purchase of some serrated knives I needed a system to sharpen them. The Sharpmaker does it all: plain blades, serrated blades, and more. With the video and instructions it is easy to use. One last testimonial concerning the Sharpmaker, is a old Buck knife that I had buried in the drawer. I never liked the edge on the knife; never could get it sharp. The knife is now on my dresser, sharp as a razor and ready to go! ...more info
  • Great For Making Good Edges Better
    I've had one for two months and have mixed feelings.

    I've never been able to manage the accuracy required to sharpen anything freehand so I needed an aid to help me out. The Sharpmaker is really good at assisting with maintaining the two knife angles. It does take a little attention to make sure that you hold a blade vertical through the entire stroke, but it takes a lot less that holding a blade elevated off a flat stone. In that respect this product works really well.

    However, it turns out I have a house full of neglected knives, scissors, etc. Not only are they not sharp, many are actually damaged with nicks out of the blade edge. In order to sharpen these edges, you need to remove quite a bit of material. The medium stones supplied with the Sharpmaker are fine for touching up a mildly dull blade, but they just aren't up to the task of removing lots of material, at least not quickly.

    Further, it seems that most of the edges I have to sharpen aren't anywhere near preset angles that the Sharpmaker is designed to sharpen. I have some knives at just over 40 degrees. I have some kitchen knives that are chisel ground to around 12 degrees on one side (a little steeper than the 15-degree angle that the 30-degree edge is designed for). Of my 5 pairs of scissors (different brands), none of them is angle to match the 12.5 degree slot in the base of the shapener. For scissors, it isn't too hard to hold the cutting face flat to a stone since most are pretty broad. But for knives, if they don't match the 30 or 40 degree angles, you have two choices if you don't want to revert to free hand sharpening.

    1) For edges that are a tiny bit steeper than 30 or 40 degrees
    a) put a micro-bevel primary edge on them.
    b) if you want to retain a nice chisel ground edge, the microbevel is not an option and you'll have to reprofile the blade by removing a lot of material at the blades edge.
    2) For edges with an angle just over 30 degrees:
    a) put a 40 degree microbevel on the edge
    b) reprofile the blade by removing a lot of material at the shoulder of the edge.
    3) For edges that are just over 40 degrees your only option is to reprofile the blade removing a lot of material at the shoulder of the edge.

    Of course, reverting to free hand is always an option, but that sort of negates the system that this product offers.

    If you do decide you want to reprofile or remove a lot of material to eliminate nicks, you are not going to be able to do it easily with the medium stones. I've tried, it's a time consuming affair. I have ordered a set of these to hopefully address this problem. I hear that they make re-profiling blades much easier.

    I know this review sounded fairly negative. But it's not a bad product. It just works well only if you have edges that are already in good condition and are at the right angles. If your edges are, then you're golden. Use this sharpener regularly to keep them in good condition. If you have edges that aren't, then you are almost necessarily looking at spending another $45-50 on Diamond SharpMaker Stones or using a different product to do the rough reprofiling required to get an edge to exactly 30 or 40 degrees.

    Update (2009-Jan-23):
    I've received the Diamond SharpMaker Stones and used them for a little while. These really help a lot to remove material when steepening an angle or removing chips in the edge. Unless you have edges at the right angle and in good condition, I think you really need to pick up the diamond stones along with the Sharpmaker to have a versatile enough system....more info
  • Best sharpener for a true edge
    Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker

    I use this for my everyday carry knives. As they say, the best way to keep a knife sharp is to never let it get dull. It takes a little time to learn how to properly use it, but the edge it produces is definitely one of quality....more info
  • Throw away every other sharpener you own!!!
    I have been using this sharpener style from Spyderco for over 20 years. Used my dad when I was a kid, borrowed it off an on for the next 10, decided last week I should own my own.

    As others have stated if you do not follow the directions on the DVD or in the manual it does not work as well. Even though I have used one for years I learned lots watching the DVD, gonna lend it to my dad, we had been doing a few things wrong.

    If you have been using other sharpeners on your knives you will need to use this a few times to get the proper angles set. Until that proper angle is set the knives will still feel dull.

    PROS on this version: I love the case holding everything. The new base is wider then what I was used to and thus feels sturdier. Also when attached the cap/handle gives more to hold on to. The DVD is great for information, never knew I could sharpen potato peelers and nail clippers. The double angle 30 vs 40 is great I have a few wide blade knives and this made a huge difference.

    CONS: I am sharpening everything and driving the family nuts. The acting on the DVD, just show me how it works I do not need the chat around the table "acting" and obvious cue card action. Also as previously mentioned it is a little difficult to get the stones in the first few times. Also Minor gripe I wish a latch held the kit together thus more sturdy, not that it has happened but I am afraid it will open up unexpectedly sending the stones across the tile floor and possibly breaking....more info
  • A Cheap Sharp Knife is better than a dull High Quality Knife
    I am a knife collector, even bought several sharpening systems. This is the best. Drawing the blade at the proper angle across the sharpening surface is the first important thing. Spyderco makes that easy because the holder sets the stones at the proper angle and all you do is hold the blade vertical and draw it down across the two sides.

    Once you realize how easy getting the edge you learn to feel the edge with your finger to tell which side the edge has a minute burre overhang. Then one gentle draw down that side to straighten the burre and you have a blade that is really sharp.

    Cheaper steel knives will not hold their edge as long as better ones. With this sharpener it is so easy that even your cheaper knives will be almost as useful, say in the kitchen because it is so easy to resharpen. This sharpener will make you an expert if you give it a little practice. I even under sharpen some knives because they hold their edge better when it is a little thicker rather than "razor sharp" which has a thinner edge.

    Thorough instructions explain how to sharpen many different edges too like bread knives (serrated), scissors, Japanese blades (one sided), fish hooks, etc. ...more info
  • Finally a great knife sharpener
    For 40 years I have been looking for the perfect knife sharpener and this comes pretty close. Sharpens conventional blades plus serrated baldes, sissors, chisels....just about anything that needs a sharp edge. Comes with an excellent 20-25 minute video and a very good full color instruction book. ...more info
  • Makes a great edge easy!
    This sharpener is what the local knife shop uses to sharpen customer knives, and they charge 5 dollars per knife. I bought this sharpener because it does give an incredible edge. If you buy the optional rods for it, the Diamond rods (which remove metal quickly, and give you a nice angle to polish) and the ultra fine rods (these give you an edge that split hairs and shave paper)you can get superior results. The key to using this sharpener is to hold the knife perpendicular to the table, and running it down the rods, just like you would with a crock stick. The sharpmaker can sharpen just about anything you want, from re edging an old straight razor, to sharpening scissors, and of course, for sharpening straight and serrated edge knives. A little practice, and you will see professional results in no time....more info
  • Quality product, does what it represents
    The Sharpmaker is extremely easy to use, durable, well designed, and works as promised. The included DVD is also helpful (my family thought I was nuts to watch a video about sharpening, but it will get you started quickly).

    1. Easy to use: With very little practice, any fool can use this sharpener and get a good edge; with a little more practice, you can get a really fine edge. The color-coded instruction manual lays it all out with big pictures and large type.
    2. Durable: The case is plastic, but sturdy plastic, and the stones and guard rods are well made.
    3. Well designed: The unit is very compact and versatile. Two pairs of triangular stones provide 4 levels of sharpening (coarse to very fine) and a total of 12 sharpening surfaces; the base can hold the stones at 2 different angles for sharpening different types of tools; the stones are easy to clean (when necessary); and all the parts can be stored neatly within the plastic case. Bonus: electricity not required.
    4. Works as promised: I have put new fine edges on our kitchen knives, nail clippers(!), scissors, and pocket knives, quickly and painlessly.

    If you are waffling between buying an electric sharpener or the Sharpmaker, I think you will be more pleased with the more versatile Sharpmaker....more info
  • Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker
    The product is great. It is very easy for anyone to use with a great teaching video. It sharpens so many things, that I am getting two more, one for my daughter and one for the workplace....more info
  • Best sharpening set available.
    I have been sharpening knives on flat stones by hand for many years. I just got a Spyderco Sharpmaker, and it's the best contraption I have ever used.

    The stones are good quality. Similar cheaper brands have lumps on otherwise perfect stones, making them almost useless. Both the coarse and fine stones leave a relatively fine edge considering how well they remove metal.

    The triangular shape of the stones makes them work very well for regular knives and serrated knives as well.

    It comes with an instruction book that tells you exactly what to do. If you follow the instructions, you will get a very sharp edge. The only skill involved is holding the blade up and down, and that isn't hard at all.

    The price looks high, but you get a total of 4 long stones (two fine, two medium) of good quality. It is well worth the price to be able to keep your knives sharp on your own instead of paying someone to do it, which adds up fast.

    I don't recommend sharpening systems that involve clamping a guide system to the blade because they tend to slip and/or scratch the blade, are annoying to use for quick touch-ups, and don't actually maintain a good angle along the whole blade due to the mechanics involved....more info
  • gerat
    had it 1 day sharpened almost every knife in the house. use to pay $5 per knife @ gun shows. so far not quiet as good but very close. dvd is also very good. stop reading & order...more info
  • Extremely Easy Knife Sharpener
    This is an extremely well designed sharpener. If you have a really bad nick you will most likely need a coarser stone, but if you are looking to put a better than factory edge on your kitchen knives then this is a great tool.

    This model has extra slots to put a double bevel on your knife edge. This is probably the best all around edge that you can put on a knife as it is extremely sharp but still durable.

    [...]...more info
  • Amazing Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker.
    The Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker is absolutely amazing! For years I have used stones for sharpening and always got a decent edge. Last year I bought my mother the Chefs Choice 130 Pro sharpener for Christmas, its much quicker and for kitchen knives it's probably the preferred sharpener. The Spyderco is a little more time consuming, but you are able to create an unbelievable edge with no skill.

    For Christmas this year, my girlfriend gave me the Spyderco, claiming it was better than the Chefs Choice 130; I was apprehensive. The sharpener itself is surprisingly austere, while the included DVD is mindbogglingly boring. While boring and amateurish in quality, the DVD is comprehensive and quickly teaches you everything you could possibly want to know about sharpening with the Spyderco. On a side note: I believe the owner of Spyderco and his wife introduce the product in the DVD. During the whole video the owner looks horribly constipated and upset about his situation... it's mildly disturbing.

    To test the product I pulled out several completely dull and slightly chipped knives. Following the directions exactly, I was able to sharpen the worst knife to a clean razor edge in less than 10 minutes. Left me wondering why anyone would buy the Ultra Fine Triangle or the Diamond rods, you really don't need them, you can turn rough junk into a hairsplitter with everything in the box. Wonderful product! I'm so pleased, I'm buying one for each of my employees next year for Christmas.
    ...more info