Spyderco Tri-angle Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener

Knife sharpener

General Information

Something I have always struggled with in the past is sharpening knives or sharpening anything for that matter.
Of course someone needs to take the blame so I put this solely on my parents for not teaching me as a youngster. (along with any other skill I currently struggle at):clip:

In the past I have tried a few different methods to sharpen my kitchen knives with varying amounts of success. When I do get it right I feel it is more an accident than good skills on my part.
In the past I bought some reasonably expensive diamond sharpeners (kit of 3) but as I said, never really mastered it. I think it all comes down to being able to keep that ideal consistent angle, whatever it may be. :dunno:

So through simple frustration I did a bit of research and came across a system made by Spyderco that has been around for a long time. Its called the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker. I didn't really read a bad thing about the system/tool so after a bit more thought I laid down the dollars (around $85 on eBay) and have now the be-all and end-all of sharpening systems.

It works by setting the stones at the right angle (40 or 30 deg) and you simply keep the knife blade vertical as you sharpen. That's the basic theory and seeing we are naturally akin to using a knife if a vertical plane it makes sense that our muscle memory is already programmed somewhat to jump straight in and use it.

After watching the accompanying DVD I have sharpened 3 knives so far, and they say it takes around 5 knives to get your mojo happening, so I don't have a lot of experience yet but what I can say is that it did exactly what it said it would and I now have 3 pretty sharp knives. They aren't perfect yet but I can tell I will get better with a bit of practice and the consistency I have now is so much better than where I have been in the past.

The other thing the manufacturer talks about, and demonstrates, is its versatility. It can sharpen scissors (special 12.5 deg angle stand) as well as just about anything with an edge. It has several nicely designed aspects which allow you to place the stones horizontal side by side to make a more traditional bed to sharpen on as well as a groove in each stone to do the more intricate sharps like fish hooks etc.:hook:

There are numerous videos online (Youtube etc) so it's easier if you just check it out there to get an idea of how it all works. It really is pretty simple but I think its a good system that should keep my knives sharp and the chef happy.

Specifications (if any)

Kit comes with:
  • DVD that explains and demonstrates how to sharpen just about anything
  • Handy case that everything fits into nicely
  • 2 x course stones (grey)
  • 2 x fine stones (white)
  • 2 x brass safety rods
  • Base that allows a multitude of variations of set ups
  • Lid that doubles up as an extension to assist with holding the base while sharpening
  • Instruction booklet that is well written and in colour


Small kit
Packs away nicely
Easy to set up
Easy to use
Pretty quick to use (around 10mins at the moment but this will get better as my skills and the knife edge improves)
Versatile (can sharpen anything from knives, serrated edges, scissors, nail cutters, fish hooks etc etc)
Safe (good safety system included)
Been around a long time and doesn't seem to have changed in design at all which leads me to think they might be on to something.

Cons (if any)

Maybe a little expensive for some


I have never heard of this kind of knife sharpener - it's an unusual name don't ya think? Spyderco... hmmm. Great showcase item Steve - well done mate and well written (bit harsh on your parents though lol).
Cheers Mark. Yeah the name has always sounded cheesy to me but they make some quality products. I think their most known for their hunting knives. I've had a Syderco knife for probably 15 years and its still going strong. It was my go-to knife in the army that was always in my pocket.
Steve the same knife in my belt has been there for 10 years. It's only a poxy Excalibur.(God and society forbid!) Sharp as ****, and rarely needs a touch-up, despite nutting steers, cutting poly-pipe, whittling wood and even being used as a screwdriver. In a pinch it will skin and dismember a beast. A bit of relativity please. I have a full compliment of high quality butchering knives, but even out here, I barely use them. Skinning a beast is the only warrant for these knives, when pre-warned,and they are always sharp thanks to the yellow sharpener.
The sharper a knife is, the sooner it will get blunt. An acute angle is rarely ever needed, even and especially on a high quality thin blade. The one exception would be skinning out multiple bullocks (Old cattle). With clean hides, and a thick knife.
Wow some strong words there Tim C.
Not coming from a background where butchering beasts is common place or had a father to teach me the ropes, I have always struggled to keep my average knives sharp. I wouldn't call myself rich hence why I don't have expensive knives. A few slides on this gadget and I've got a sharp knife again.
I don't have any regrets buying the sharpener as it's the only thing I've tried that works every time for me that wasn't a fluke.
I'm always happy to learn new tricks so if you or anyone can explain or even post a video of how you keep your knives sharp id be very interested.
I have been using this sharpener for about 10 years now and my thoughts are that it is a good sharpener but sometimes it can not take enough bulk of a very blunt knife to bring the shoulder down. If you use it regularly it tends to work well but if you have a blunt knife with a lot of shoulder that's were the Lansky system comes into play. I shave with a genuine cut throat razor (several in my collection) and I use the Spyderco to keep an edge on them as well as strops and pastes. Some of my razors are over 50 years old and still going strong no need for disposables.


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