I am always looking at faster ways to sharpen my knives. Bench stones are great, but I am not accurate enough to get the angles correct and hold the blade perfectly while sliding across the stone's surface.
The next level of jiggy-ness is a system like a Lansky Deluxe, Gatco Edgemate or a high-end Edge Pro Apex system.
The Lansky and Gatco's offerings of these systems are similar. A guide that clamps on the blade and honing stones that run on rods through the guide. A Lansky Deluxe runs in the $40 to $50 range at popular outfitter shops such as Cabela's or Pro Bass Shops in Canada. A few reported issues with the system are the rods sometimes become bent and need to be straightened perfectly straight. The other issue is that the slots on the guide do not allow for micro angle adjustments. Lansky Deluxe has angles of 17, 20, 25 and 30 degrees which is okay for most people. But, if I wanted to do a 22.5° angle it's not that easy. Another issue I have with this system is the finest hone I could find is 1000 grit. Probably ok for most, but I'd like the choice for finer ceramic hones.
Edge Pro Apex hails from the USA for a hefty price tag of around $300 landed. A bit more than I can chew right now, but I was reading a knife forum from the UK one member there mentioned the Ruixin Pro is a knock-off of the American model, and for $51 with free shipping I thought I would give it a try. In the event the Ruixin stones wear out, the Edge Pro uses compatible stones of similar dimension.
I ordered the Ruixin Pro Knife Sharpening System from a vendor on Amazon.ca. It was shipped via DHL and arrived in hands in four days, air-freight from China.
The box was a bit beat up and was opened by customs and then re-sealed. I was concerned about the contents and shipping damage.
Everything appears to be in good order. Nothing broken and all the items we're secured in the box with fairly decent packaging.
Note the instruction manual is included. I was expecting this to be poorly translated, but I have to give them 4 stars for a fairly well done manual with sketches and clear explanations.
After checking the dimensions of the stone, I determined that these stoned are interchangeable with the Edge Pro Apex type stones at 6" long. That would expand the range of grits and abrasive materials dramatically.
I wasn't expecting much from the suction base, but this works quite well. I am pleasantly surprised! A good yank on it and I could not pull it off the table without releasing the vacuum.
The blade table (where the blade rests) is adjustable. Loosen the thumbscrew and adjust the stainless steel plate, then tighten again. This seems to adjust okay. There is a piece of protective nylon to prevent the blade from being scuffed by the plate.
Markings on the pivot rod are at 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30°, but can be adjusted to any angle simply by unlocking and sliding the rod up or down.
The Sharpening Process
In the case of a new blade, I will simply set the the pivot rod to a suitable angle and start making the cutting edge. With a blade that has an existing bevel, we want to match the angle of that bevel.
Conclusion:TWO (UNSEVERED) THUMBS UP!
Although I have never used the Lansky Deluxe kit or Edge Pro Apex system, I can compare this Ruixin Pro unit to my Gatco Edgemate of similar price. The Ruixin Pro is miles ahead.
As a knifemaker, I would recommend this product to other knifemakers who are getting started or working in a limited budget. At under $50 the Ruixin Pro Knife Sharpening System is a bargain.
US visitors I have found this product on Amazon.com: Professional Kitchen Knife Sharpener System. Even at twice the price I feel this kit would be worth the money. Prices certainly vary, so if you are interested shop around. I have also found that replacement stones can be bought on Amazon.com.
IMAGE® Set 6pc Sharpening Stones for Kitchen Knife Sharpener Professional Sharpening System-stone grit: #180 #400 #800 #1500 #2000 #3000
But wait, there's more!
A friend has recently bought the all steel version and likes it very much.