have a harder time than most getting the hang of hand sharpening, and I wanted a system that was impossible to get wrong and would help me fix existing mistakes. Also, what's nice about these fixed angle sharpening systems is that they allow you to 'reprofile' a knife and set a different angle than it came from the factory with.
|EZE-LAP DMD Sharpening System Product Link|
My review sample was purchased from Amazon.com for about 36 bucks.
The guide comes with three fixed angles: 15, 20 and 25 degrees.
|Folds up for easy storage|
Official Specs (From Amazon)
- Fixed angle kit, includes super fine; 1200; fine; 600; and medium; 400; grit diamond stones
- Clamp on type sharpening kit complete with pouch for storage
- Longest lasting and most durable sharpening tools available
- Quick easy way to sharpen both cutlery and tools, the "professionals" choice
- Made in USA
Taking my EZE-LAP out of the packaging, it looks really nice. There are detailed instructions on the back which even include pictures. The folding nylon case looks well constructed and the sharpening stones look to be high quality. The metal clamp looks really sturdy.
However, the metal knife clamp is held together by what appear to be flimsy, plastic screws. Also, the angle guide piece is made entirely of the same cheap looking plastic. At least it comes with a spare, which makes me feel a little better.
|The clamp is sturdy and the screws are a little better than they look|
|Yeah, the angle guides do look a little cheap|
|You get three preset angles: 25, 20 and 15 degrees|
|Would've been nice to include a coarse stone, too|
I am a novice knife sharpener. I wanted to make that clear up front, because I know that just about every facet of my technique has a long way to go. One of the things I read about with this system, and systems like it, was its ability to re-profile an edge, changing the fixed angle set by the knife factory to a custom angle, easier to work with.
After a little digging in my kitchen, I found a few good candidates for sharpening and settled on a decent quality chef's knife that had been stuffed in a drawer years ago. I figured I could bring it back to life.
It was pretty obvious by looking at the knife that it came with a much higher angle than even 25 degrees, so I was curious about what it would take to choose an arbitrary angle of 20 and re-profile it to that angle.
Long story short, it worked well, but it took a really long time. The main problem, and again I'm a novice and could be wrong, is that it doesn't come with a coarse stone, and the medium stone just didn't take off enough metal to make the process go quickly.
|Mounted to a vise for best results|
|Finishing off the edge with the fine stone|
Using the system is easy. Again, I'm not a fan of the plastic screws on the clamp, but they are functional and seem to be more robust than they look. I read in one of the reviews that this system is hard to use without a vise, so I started with it in the vise and didn't try using it free-hand like the picture on the package shows.
The plastic angle guides also work well in practice, though you have to be careful not to bend the guide as you are sharpening, which will mess up the angle.
|Closeup of medium stone|
|Closeup of fine stone|
|Closeup of super-fine stone|
The stones are high quality and work well, and that's definitely the highlight of this system. I just wish the rest of it were a little higher quality. But the overall quality is better than at first glance, and I have a decently good feeling that this setup will last a while and that I'll get my 35 bucks worth from it. There are much more expensive and high quality systems out there such as Wicked Edge, but there doesn't seem to be too much middle ground for fixed angle sharpeners.
It's still a neat sharpening system, though. The only real limitation I see (other than having just the 3 preset angles) is that it seems to be missing a coarse stone, which I'm going to buy. I think that anyone serious about re-profiling their knives will definitely want that coarse stone. Other than that, I like having a precise method of sharpening my knives for the few cases where I just can't seem to get it right by hand.