Is the Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker Review 204 the best knife sharpener for the money? If you’ve spent some time looking at knife sharpening systems then you’ll find there’s some very strange looking knife sharpeners on the market. The Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker Review 204 is one of the strangest that you will see. This sharpener is the very first product ever made by Spyderco, in fact this product launched the Spyderco business. This sharpener has been around for a while.
Yes, it looks very strange, but that doesn’t make it a bad sharpener.
The Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker knife sharpener is a manual sharpener. In other words you need to hold the knife and draw it across an abrasive surface to take metal off the blade. This raises an issue which is common to many manual knife sharpeners. One of the most crucial issues when sharpening a knife is to get the angle at which the edge contact the abrasive material exactly correct. The problem faced by most inexperienced people trying to sharpen a knife manually is firstly to know exactly what angle they should be holding the knife at and secondly to achieve that angle and to hold it there constantly. This is overcome in some manual knife sharpening systems by having some form of rest which holds the blade at a predetermined angle, thereby overcoming the requirement that the user set the angle and maintain it.
The Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker has no such rest. That would suggest that it is very difficult to maintain the angle, which is true to some degree. But…..
What this system relies on is that the user can hold a knife exactly vertical, and as long as they hold the knife vertical the angle of the abrasive surfaces sets the angle of cut. This isn’t too hard, after some practice. And provided you hold the knife vertically you should be good, and the inability to do so would explain why some people have found the sharpener difficult to use. The principal of the sharpener is quite simple. You get 2 medium grit high-alumina triangle shaped stones for rough sharpening to begin and then 2 fine grit stones for finishing. These stones are long and triangular, and both the edges and flat sides are used for sharpening. When using the medium grit stones you begin with the triangular edge and move to the flat side and when using the second set of finer grit stones you do the same
The stones are inserted into slots in the base and can be set to a sharpening angle of 30 degrees, 40 degrees (both for knife sharpening) or 12.5 degrees for scissors.
There are even channels on the base to allow you to set the stones flat, side-by-side, to use as a bench stone.
And there are two brass rods which also insert into the base. The brass rods have nothing to do with sharpening your knife, they are there to protect your hand should you slip with the knife.
The principles are very basic, simple and effective. Select your angle, determined by the slots in the base, and then draw your knife alternately over the left stone followed by the right stone, covering the entire blade, holding the knife exactly vertically. (For full details watch the videos below).
Begin with the course stone, edge first then flat side, then follow with the finer grit.
It comes with its own instruction manual and DVD, which are both extremely useful and should be read before use. And you can even use the Spyderco Sharpmaker for serrated knives!
The Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker Review How to use
So, what do users think? One of the best ways to determine whether a knife sharpening system is any good is to look at the views of people who have already purchased it and used it and one of the best places to do that is Amazon.
At the time of writing there were 666 reviews of the Spyderco Sharpmaker . Whilst we know it is possible to fake reviews and buy them it’s pretty difficult to swing 666.
Of the 666 525 gave the Sharpmaker 5 out of 5. And it achieved an average 4.6 which is extremely high.
Large numbers of users rave about the sharpener, one even stating WOW – YOU NEED THIS (his emphasis!)
Some users have found that the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker hasn’t worked for them. We suspect that this is probably because they are sharpening an extremely blunt knife and have not yet reached the edge or that they are unable to maintain the correct angle. Issues such as these are dealt with in the manual and DVD.
Some other complaints are that the stones are loose in the base, and this is a different issue and may be a manufacturing issue. If this is the case with when you purchase then we would suggest you send it back.
However overall users are extremely happy with this knife sharpener and in many cases declare it to be the best they have ever used, including from users who have used other knife sharpening systems before purchasing the Spyderco system.
There is one other review we should point out. One of the best reviews of knives and knife sharpening that we have ever read is this one from Chad Ward. If you have a half hour to spare we strongly suggest you read it, he goes into every possible issue about knives, the steel they are made from, how to sharpen them, how to use them and more. It’s a fascinating read.
And he looks at various knife sharpeners in that article. His comments about the Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker 204?“Rather than review all of the crock stick setups out there, let me save you some time. Spend the $40 and get the Spyderco Sharpmaker 204″. (This article was written in 2003, they’re a little over $40 now, but not a lot more).
What more can we say? We can’t improve on a comment like that from an expert like Chad Ward. Go out and get one and learn how to use it, it might take a little practice, but that’s ok.
The Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker Review 204 might just be the best value knife sharpener available for the money, because it isn’t expensive.
For instructional videos we’ve included 4 sequential videos from Spyderco on using the Sharpmaker 204, below. You need to set aside a little time to watch them, but then you’re trying to do something very important, decide on what sharpener to use to sharpen that all-important implement in your life, your knife.
Put aside the time and watch them all, it’s worth the time