Spyderco Sharpmaker Review

by Knife Expert on May 23, 2014

Your first knife sharpener – Spyderco Sharpmaker Review


“A sharp knife is a safe knife” — Everyone

Well a sharp knife is also a useful knife too.

I have already said that the original KA-Bar was my first substantial knife purchase.  Well at that time I was less of a student of blade care and maintenance too.  But I was smart enough to know that I would have to learn to sharpen the KA-Bar’s blade in order to get the most out of it.  This is when I came across the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker and I have been using it ever since.

Every single one of my knives has seen service from this piece of equipment.  My random Swiss Army knives are now sharp, all of my chef knives (even the $5 el cheepos), and of course my prized survival knives.

Sure there are other ways to sharpen a knife, but this by far the easiest way to start performing your own blade maintenance.

Spyderco Sharpmaker_02

Click Here for Reviews, Pricing, and more Information on the Spyderco Sharpmaker

Here is my Spyderco Sharpmaker review:


What you get with the Sharpmaker

The Spyderco Tri-Angle sharpmaker comes with a pair of medium-grit and a pair of fine-grit stones for sharpening.  Both are ceramic, but the aggressive brown medium stones remove a lot more material quickly, and the white synthetic sapphire stones let you put a very sharp edge on your blade.  You use the corners of the stones for faster sharpening (and for sharpening serrations) and you use the flat edges for finishing.

The order of use goes like this:

  • Brown edges
  • Brown flat sides
  • White edges
  • White flat sides

At trough or furrow runs the length on one side of each stone.  This is for sharpening points (i.e. awls, darts, etc.).

Also. there are brass rods that you insert into the base when you are sharpening.  These protect your hands from knives that slip off the stones.  When you are first starting and are going slowly, you may think that you don’t need them.  But you do and once you start going faster you will end up hitting the brass rods with your blade.


How the Sharpmaker works

One of the most difficult aspects of sharpening a knife when you are just getting started is getting the right edge angle.  Many a quality knife has been dulled from inexperienced people trying to sharpen them but getting the wrong angle.

As I said above, everything comes inside the ABS plastic base / lid.  There are only three different possible angles to insert the stones into the base, so once you select the right one, all you have to do is hold the knife vertical.

Use the 40°angle for putting an edge on your knife.  If you find that the angle is too steep for the blade thickness, you can back bevel the edge to 30° and then sharpen to 40°.  This all makes sense once you watch the video and get the product into your hand.  It really is that easy.

Also, there is a 12.5° for sharpening scissors, snips, and shears.  And you can lay the two stones side by side on the bottom of the base and use it like a bench stone.

No oils are needed since this is a completely dry sharpening system.


Click Here for Reviews, Pricing, and more Information on the Spyderco Sharpmaker


How to clean the triangle stones

On of the best aspects of this system is the ease of cleaning the stones as they fill up with steel particles.

You will see how much steel is in them when you run your fingers across the stones.  The white stone will start to look black when it is full of steel.

Also, the stones will cut a lot less material when they are full.  The knife will obviously slide down the stone without any resistance when this is the case.

Just use water and a scouring pad.  If you need a bit more help, use an abrasive cleaner like Comet.

Rise them after and dry them off.  It really is that easy.

That’s all there is to cleaning this


My YouTube Spyderco Sharpmaker Review


Available accessories

The unit is very capable as it comes right out of the box.  There are only two accessories that you should seriously consider; a diamond stone for more aggressive metal removal and edge shaping, and an ultra fine stone in case the standard fine synthetic sapphire stone doesn’t make your knife as scary sharp as you want.

I haven’t used either of them yet but I do have my eyes on both of them for a future order:

Spyderco Diamond Triangle


Spyderco Ultra Fine Triangle Stone


And of course you need the Sharpmaker itself:

Spyderco Tri-angle Sharpmaker


What else can I sharpen with the Sharpmaker?

Good Question.  Once you get proficient at sharpening knives you will find that you have sharpened every knife in your house.

At that point you are hooked and looking for more things to sharpen.

Here’s a list of items around your house that you can sharpen:

  • Scissors
  • Tin Snips
  • Chisels
  • Router bits
  • Pinking Shears
  • Thinning Shears
  • Straight razors (if you don’t have the traditional honing stones)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Fishhooks
  • Linoleum Knives
  • Nail Clippers
  • Wire cutters & Side Cutters
  • Potato Peeler
  • Darts
  • Awls
  • Needles
  • Dental tools

Spyderco Sharpmaker_01

Click Here for Reviews, Pricing, and more Information on the Spyderco Sharpmaker


Spyderco Factory YouTube Instructional Videos

These videos also come on a DVD with the Sharpmaker.  They are good but watching everything takes about 45min and it’s pretty much an infomercial.

I hope you found my Spyderco Sharpmaker review to be beneficial.  Do you have one of these useful tools?  How do you like it?

Click Here for Reviews, Pricing, and more Information on the Spyderco Sharpmaker




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