While a large and growing collection of knives is definitely not a complaint, sharpening them is. I used to not have this problem since I didn’t own many knives at all, but that has recently changed. Now that I have a hefty and proud collection, I find that it can be a real chore to keep a fine edge on them all, especially after heavy use.

Work Sharp has just the solution to keep your blades in great shape without cutting into your wallet (pun fully intended). The Combo Knife Sharpener is an affordable, high-quality, and portable means of sharpening just about any blade type you throw at it. It’s perfect for pocket, hunting, serrated, and kitchen knives.

To test this, I put it up against a variety of blade types and steels to see if it could live up to its promise. After stealing one of my wife’s kitchen knives and rummaging through my collection, I settled on a diverse set of test subjects and headed for the workshop.

The knives range from an unknown steel type that may or may not have been picked up from the tribal regions of Pakistan all the way to a good-quality Japanese stainless steel. They also include 1075 High Carbon Steel, 8Cr13MoV, 420HC and 440C serrated. Some blade types were very battered (typical of Waziristan), and others were in decent condition. One of them was an out-of-the-box Kershaw, which I wanted to put a much finer edge on, if at all possible.

I want to talk a little bit about the product before I show the results of my testing, so don’t cut out on me yet (sorry, it’s a pun kind of day). The Combo Knife Sharpener features a flexible belt technology that allows you to easily change out the belt, which is done by simply pulling up the front cover and pushing down on the tension knob.

Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener: A cut above the rest
Tension knob to replace belt

A sharpening guide is built-in to the product and shows you exactly which angle you need to rest your blade in order to put a fine edge on it. Following the instructions, it calls for 10 strokes on the belt, 5 per side alternating from right to left with light pressure.

A ceramic rod that tapers in size from top to bottom is perfect for re-sharpening and sharpening serrated edges. You simply choose the size of the rod that correlates with the serration on the beveled side and slide back and forth using short strokes. The back side of the serrated blade is held against the ceramic rod and is slid across the entire length. The ceramic rod can easily be cleaned by using a pencil eraser to remove the material that is left behind.

Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener: A cut above the rest
Easy cleanup with pencil eraser
Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener: A cut above the rest
Yellow guide sets the angle for sharpening and honing
Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener: A cut above the rest
Ceramic rod nests into serrations on blade

Now, back to the results. My “tribal” knife has several deep burrs and dips that were put there over time and very heavy use. I had always kept the knife stored away, since it was of great value to me personally. Amazingly, 10 strokes on the ceramic rod and 10 through the sharpener completely removed the damage and made it near-razor sharp. This was very impressive to me.

Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener: A cut above the rest
Yellow guide sets the best angle each time

The Japanese paring knife was already fairly sharp, but it too was given an even finer edge. Even my Smith and Wesson HRT serrated blade was honed to perfection using the ceramic rod. Regardless of steel type, I was able to bring each and every knife blade back to brand new, much to my delight.

The Combo Knife Sharpener is very easy to use as the instruction manual is perfectly detailed and easy to read. A simple on/off button takes all the guesswork out of the process and it even includes a replacement belt, but these are still only 8 bucks on the website. Pick up yours today for $59.95!


Author – Rodney Pointer is a former Army Infantryman. After graduating from Airborne School, he was ruthlessly assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana to live out his days as a dirty leg. He served with the 2nd BN, 30th Infantry of the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. Following his deployment to Afghanistan, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Operations. He currently works as a nuclear security contractor.