Your Questions Answered - Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener

Your Questions Answered - Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener

The Work Sharp Team hosted a live broadcast on October 16th, 2018 here at our headquarters in Ashland, Oregon. It was a great success and we thank everyone who logged in and participated. Below is a highlight of the most frequently asked questions from the event.

If you missed the broadcast, it is still available to view. Check it out at HERE

Do I need to create a burr on each grit belt or just on the first coarse belt ?

Create the burr when starting the sharpening process on the coarser grit belt, then alternate strokes as you move up the grit scale to remove the burr and create a keen edge.

How do I not round off the tip of the knife?

The key is stopping the tip of the knife on the middle of the belt and powering down the machine. This technique will also restore a tip if you have a rounded one.

A full pass through on the machine should go like this: Place the knife in the guide with the power off as this will stop the over grinding at the choil. Then power up the machine and pull the knife through the guide and stop the tip of the knife in the middle of the belt and power off. Check out this video to learn best practices when sharpening on our belt powered sharpeners.

Since you can round the tip of your knife off if you pull it all the way through, under what circumstances should you lock the belt in the "on" position so the belt is constantly moving?

We recommend that you use the lock out switch for tool sharpening, grinding or when using other Work Sharp attachments, like the Blade Grinding Attachment. Otherwise, always use the momentary switch so you can "place power and pull".

If I wanted to figure out what angle a knife is before dialing up my angle on the Ken Onion sharpener, how would I go about doing it without trial and error?

Visit Catra's website or learn more by clicking here.

I have used this Sharpening System with nothing but excellent results! I have some tracking issues as it keeps going out of alignment? Any tips?

An excessively worn belt or using too much pressure can impact tracking. Try those first, if it persists please contact our customer service , we're happy to help!

What is the best way to keep low quality metal knives sharp after being used for camping or daily use?

Try sharpening to a wider / larger sharpening angle Victor. This will strengthen the edge and provide better edge retention. Also consider using a ceramic rod more frequently to touch up in the field. Our new pocket knife sharpener is perfect for that. Learn more here.

When do I need to replace the belts?

If the belts look grey, feel 'soft' and are starting to take more strokes to sharpen, then it's time to replace them. Expect +/- 100 sharpenings per set.

I have never been able to get a shaving sharp blade on my kitchen knives. What am I doing wrong?

Be sure to get a burr on the coarse grit before moving up to the finer grits. When you get a burr, you know you're going to get sharp!

The rollers on my sharpener have worn grooves in them. Can those be replaced?

Yes! We have replacement parts on our website, or you can call customer service for help.

Did you not see the answer you are looking for or still have more questions? Contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-597-6170 or email

Our team is ready to help with any technical issues or answer questions.