Tag Archives: tools az

Gerber Dime Multi-Tool – TSP Item of the Day

dimeEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Gerber Dime Multi- Tool.  To me everyone should have a mini multi-tool on their key chain.

This is one of my absolute favorites due to how small and useful it is. There are so many times in our lives we could use a screw driver or a pair of pliers or even a good pair of tweezers.  I spent a lot of time checking into small key chain sized multi tools and the Gerber Dime was the one I settled on.

With this little gadget on my key chain I have the following tools everywhere I go, all the time.

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Fine edge blade
  • Retail package opener
  • Scissors
  • Flat Screw Driver
  • Crosshead Screw Driver
  • Bottle opener
  • Tweezers
  • File

For many years I carried a Leatherman Wave, in fact I often still do.  Frankly I think it is the best full sized multi-tool out there.   But it is a rather large item on your belt and just not practical for every day and all the time.  To much EDC makes one look like a pathetic version of Batman you know.

So at times I would need pliers, a driver, etc, and just not have it with me.  Well pretty much anywhere I go I have my keys.  To drive home how small this item is when folded here is mine on my key chain below.  As you can see it takes up less space than the key to my 4-Runner.

gerberdime

The Gerber Dime Multi- Tool is also a great deal at under 17 bucks with free shipping on Prime.  It absolutely will not do everything a full sized tool does but it is small enough to always be there when you need it.  To me that is the key with mini multi-tools, better a small set of pliers then none at all!

Remember you can always find all TSPAZ Items of the day by just going to TspAz.com along with a link to Amazon’s top deals of the day.

 

Felco F-2 Hand Pruner – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is the Felco F-2 Hand Pruners.  To me pruners are a tool that you absolutely go with the “buy once cry once”, model.  I have owned many different ones over the years, from cheap ass stuff, to mid priced stuff like Fiskars and say Corona.

Some were complete crap, some like Fiskars and Corona are damn decent but nothing compares to Felco.  I found Felco by asking a few different nurserymen what they used, including Bob Wells and most said Felco.  So I bit the bullet and ponied up 48 bucks for a pair.  This was hard to do as you can get a decent pruner for 20-30 bucks.  In the end though, there is the best and there is the rest.

My mantra is buy the best you can afford.  So when we are talking cars, I fall back to 2nd fiddle but when you are talking 50 bucks for an item you will use often and use for years I say step up to the best.

These cut like a razor and are easy to sharpen, see video below on sharpening options.  Personally I use a simple carbide sharpener like this.  Note that I linked to the two pack of sharpeners, because it is a dollar more than buying one, and well I can’t understand it but I sure as hell take advantage of it.

And after many seasons if you really wear out that blade, what then?  You just pick up a replacement blade and install it and rock on.  Winter is here and the next few months are ideal for pruning.  And many of us are doing back yard orchard culture and prune several times a season.  So if you want the best hand pruners you can get check out the Felco F-2 Hand Pruners today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Some folks with smaller hands find the F-2 to be a bit large, another option is the F-6 which is the scaled down version, it also has the ability to have the blade replaced and women and smaller handed people may find it more comfortable.  You do give up some leverage though, so it won’t cut larger limbs quite as well.

Also if you just can’t bring yourself to spend 50 bucks on this tool, my number two pick would be the Corona 6250 at 28 bucks and my number 3 pick would be the Corona 7100D at about 20.  If you want to go under that, just by generics from a box store, expect to be unhappy and expect replace them in one season or less.

P.S.S. –  This video shows how to sharpen and clean pruners.  I jumped ahead to 1 minute and 9 seconds in because I figure you can work out how to clean dirt off yourself.  What I like about this video is he shows how to use several different tools so you can find the one you think works best for you.

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Winchester 51 Piece Gunsmith Screwdriver Set – Item of the Day

smithkit

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Winchester 51 Piece Gunsmith Screwdriver Set.  Look strait out of the gate this is not really “the kit” for the big time gun enthusiast that tinkers often with many projects.  It won’t do everything  you will even need in drivers for guns, but it will do most, like 95%.

No what this kit is for is your range bag.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been at a range and a fellow shooter had some maintenance issue and no tools to fix the situation.  With this kit and a basic cleaning kit, a shell extractor and some lube if you can’t fix it at the range, you likely need a gun smith or to use your warranty if it is yet to expire.

driverkitbackThis is more than just a gun smith kit though.  Come on, 12 bucks for a good quality kit that has 48 different driver bits in it.  You know what I am going to say right.  Put one in the glove box of your vehicles.  Perhaps one in your Go Bag or BOB as well.

Does it have every torx bit, no but it has 7 and the one you are looking at pissed off because you expected it to be a Phillips bit likely will be one of those.  This is also a great gift to a young person who has finally be trusted to maintain his/her own firearms and frankly a good gift for anyone you need to get something for, not something spectacular just something.  You know what I mean.

Pick up one or a few of these and the first time you need it, you will feel like it just paid for itself.  Again this isn’t top quality on the level of say Forester or Grace USA (which I keep in my smithing box) but for 12 dollars it is extremely versatile and I have never had one fail me yet.  So give the Winchester 51 Piece Gunsmith Screwdriver Set a look and determine if it might be the right product for your range bag or other needs.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – I am bringing this one around because man talk about a great Christmas gift.  Gun owner or not this dang kit is perfect for anyone.  I again have one in my range bag, but also in my truck, my 4Runner, my BOB and my boat.

Oregon Self Sharpening Electric Chain Saws – Item of the Day

Special Note – I am running this again today because the corded saw currently has an instant 20 dollar coupon on Amazon, just tick the box to apply it.  That brings the cost down to 107 dollars on the corded saw.  Only 18 are available at the time of this posting.  I think this is a great tool for any prepper and at 107 bucks it is stupid cheap.  Thanks to Derek C. for bringing this to my attention.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is a two fer.  They are the Oregon Cordless Self Sharpening Chain Saw and the Oregon Plug In Electric Self Sharpening Chainsaw.

cordedsawIn the video below I use both saws to cut seasoned live oak.  I can’t emphasize how hard this wood is, it will plumb smoke a drill bit.  I decided to do a seasoned hardwood log rather than a live piece of wood for the video to demonstrate a worst case scenario rather than a best case one.

You will note the plug in saw has a 18 inch vs. 16 inch bar compared to the cordless.  It also has considerably more power as you would expect.  The beauty of the plug in saw is cost, for only 135 dollars you get a self sharpening saw, that simple always works.  The down side is working with an extension cord attached to your saw.  I see this saw as best for bucking in one location or for the small property owner, say and acre or less that just needs a saw they can count on.

cordlesssawThe cordless saw has plenty of power, I really should have cut some green lumber with it to show the difference.  I have dropped, slashed and bucked quite large live oaks with it, say with trunk sizes of 10-12 inches.  It is very light weight compared to a gas saw and even if I am using my gas Husqvarna I still tend to have this with me for limbing and slashing.

The common attributes these saws have that make them wonderful are as follows.

  • Noise – they are much quieter than a gas saw, and they only run while cutting, no constant idle.
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  • Self Sharpening – pull a lever and run the saw a few seconds you are back to a seriously sharp chain.
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  • Self Breaking Chain – while the plug in is better at this (it is instant see the video) the cordless only lets the chain run for about 1-2 seconds after you let the throttle go.  This way reduces injuries.  Most not all but most chainsaw injuries happen after the throttle is released.
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  • No Tool Chain Adjustment – the number one reason your saw will start cutting poorly is the chain gets loose.  With most saws you loosen the cover with a wrench, tension the chain with a flat screw driver, then re-tighten the cover.  With these saws you have two dials, both can be turned by hand and proper chain tension can be restored in a few seconds.

Again while these saws have many advantages over a gas saw, they are not equal to one.  If I had to drop several trees I would reach for my gas saw.  However my little three acre homestead has been very well served by these saws.

They are ideal for small property owners, people that use a saw say a dozen times a year of less, etc.   Franky they are a pleasure to use, the self sharpening feature makes up for having less power then a gas saw.   Sure I can sharpen a chain, but that takes time, and like many time is one of my greatest assets, anything that saves time is valuable to me.

These saws do use special chains, which are sold with the sharpening stone.  I get a lot of use out of one chain though, I cut up a lot of dead stuff, prune a lot of trees and go though about one chain a year.  That isn’t much.

  • Here is the chain/stone set for the plug in 18 inch saw the cost is 36 bucks.  Get it Here.
  • Here it the chain/stone set for the 16 inch cordless saw the cost is 36 bucks.  Get it Here.
  • If you have the first generation of the cordless saw, it has a 14 inch bar.  Get it Here.

Please note that if you have the first generation saw with the 14 inch bar and want to upgrade to the new saw with the tool free chain adjustment (like I did) you can buy the bare tool and use your existing battery and chargers.

In any event if you are in need of a chain saw that will just work, all the time, be easy to maintain and won’t beak the bank or your ear drums, check out either the Oregon Cordless Self Sharpening Chain Saw and the Oregon Plug In Electric Self Sharpening Chainsaw today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. –  Chainsaws are dangerous tools, even modern saws like these with great safety enhancements.  I think anyone using a saw for the first time should take a class or get an experienced person to teach them safe use. 

I have some personal rules I follow.  One is I don’t let anyone near me when I am cutting, if I can touch you with my saw without taking a step you are too close.  I also always make sure to clear two avenues of escape when felling a tree, in case it falls other than were planned.  There is a LOT more, again if you are not experienced do not use these or any such saw without getting some instruction.

I have seen several chain saw injuries and they are really awful injuries!

Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light.  I have to say this is one of  the most unique ways I have ever come to learn about a product.

I received an email from a guy that said he found one of these up in a drop ceiling doing some work at a customers building.  Given it was long abandoned with dead batteries he took it home.  Found that it took 3 AAA batteries and popped a set in, his first thought were “man this thing is bright”, his second thought was I wonder how much they cost.  A simple web search led him to find this amazing little light is only about 8 bucks.  He then emailed me about it.

I ordered two, and now I will be ordering more.  This little thing is just slick, super light weight and fits in a shirt pocket easily enough.  The base is flat so it will stand up on any flat surface and the clip has a magnet so it will both stick to metal or you can hang it on anything convenient in the area.

Many years ago (like in the mid 90s) I did a lot of cabling work in buildings for computer systems, I can tell you exactly why this thing was up in a ceiling, it would be GOLDEN for work like that!

How bright is this thing, try 170 lumens with only three measly AAA batteries.  To really get how bright that is see the video below.

One note, for some reason the description of this light says it is made with aluminum and that the base is magnetic.  There are definitely errors there.  The body is a good quality plastic and the magnet is in the clip not the base.  I checked and there are other colors of this light on Amazon, there are also like 4 packs of various colors.  None of those listings have these errors.

So why am I linking to the one with errors?  First because I do believe it is an error not a deception.  I have learned that this light is very well known in the electronics and computer world so I doubt they are trying to trick anyone.

The bigger reason is because this one is the BEST PRICE I can find, that is why.  The price on this is 8.53 with free shipping.  All the other single listings are over 9 bucks.  So this is simply the best deal.

Well unless you want 4?  Pretty close to the same price but you can get a 4 pack in 4 different colors 32.99 with free shipping, which is 8.24  piece.  So the 4 pack would save you $1.13 on four.  Not huge but a buck is a buck and likely you are going to want 4 of these things, I think they should be in every tool box, tackle box, range box and glove box personally.

So whether you just want to pick up 1 or 2 for 8.53 a piece, or you want to get a 4 Pack for 32.99 check out the Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light, it deserves a place in your kit and on your homestead.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

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JB Weld WaterWeld Underwater Epoxy Putty – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the JB Weld WaterWeld Underwater Epoxy Putty.  I personally think this is an item that everyone should have a few tubes of at all times.  Let’s start out with why to choose underwater epoxy paste?

Simple really, WaterWeld will work on wet surfaces, IF USED PROPERLY and it will also work on dry surfaces.  I am a person that likes to standardize, it makes everything easier.  So instead of go grab me a tube of X epoxy putty, it is just epoxy putty that does all jobs such a putty can do wet or dry.

And it usually ends up being that when something needs fixing it ends up being wet!  Even if it is something that isn’t usually wet.  Translation stuff tends to break when it rains and snows!  So by choosing an underwater product it always works, every time.

Let’s talk a bit about proper use, if you read the reviews you will see a lot of very happy people, they used it right and you will see a lot of “doesn’t work at all, doesn’t stick to anything, does not work in water” etc.  Those people used it wrong.

First this stuff comes in a tube, it is two parts and if you look at the end you will see it has a light color and a dark color with one on the outside and one on the inside.  You cut as much off the tube as you need and mix it.  And you have to mix it fully, it should all be one color when done and it should smell like stale pee.  Yep, stale urine smell is a good thing here, I am serious.

Next if fully cures in about 20-30 minutes but it begins to set in about 7-10.  So if you are fixing an active leak or applying it under water, you have to hold it in place with pressure for about 10 minutes until it starts to cure.  Then it will hold and fully cure.  If you just stick it on something wet and leave it alone it will likely fail, may be even fall off.

Also the surface needs to be cleaned, no oil, no grease.  And if it is a smooth surface, a bit of roughing up isn’t always needed but it is always helpful.  In the end though this stuff can save your bacon in so many ways.  My most recent use was a conversion of my aquatic system.  My top tank was plumbed to my bottom tank with 3/4 inch pipe, it was a constant point of failure for many reasons but mostly because the return pipe at 3/4th of an inch was too small.

The solution was to install a 2 inch bulkhead in to the tank and plumb in a 2 inch return line.  Problem was this left a 3/4 inch line that could end up draining the tank and over flowing the lower one.  To fix that both tanks would need to be dug up as the factory bulkheads were on the bottom, the pipe fittings removed and then plugs installed.  This meant a lot of work and draining the tanks, not good.

Solution was simple, I mixed up some WaterWeld, formed a plug and plugged the hole with it in the top tank.  I then made a flat disc with the rest of the putty and capped it on top of the plug that was pushed into the pipe.  I held this in place for about 10 minutes, done.  Problem solved and the new system is running.  So about 5 dollars in epoxy saved me about 6 hours of work and draining tanks that were full of fish!  Just one example of how great this stuff is.

There are a few options when buying it on Amazon, first you can get a single tube for 5.07 or you can choose various muti packs as you see fit.  I think this is a good prep so having a few tubes around is not a bad idea.  I keep one in each vehicle kit and some around the house and shop at all times.

It will last damn near forever if you don’t mix it and keep it sealed up.   If you don’t want six just wait  until you have other stuff to buy and pick up a tube or two at the 4.55 price.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Porter-Cable 9-Inch Pruning Reciprocating Saw Blades – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Porter-Cable 9-Inch Pruning Reciprocating Saw Blade.  I have always been a fan of using Reciprocating Saws (IE Sawzalls) as a tool for pruning trees or removing small trees where a chain saw would be over kill.  It is especially nice for small trees that you want to cut off flush to the ground.  They also make a less damaging cut when pruning large branches on fruit trees.

The big thing though is safety.  I have used chain saws since I was 12 years old and thank God I have never hurt myself with one.  I have seen quite a few injuries though and they are pretty awful.  One thing I realized is that these injuries almost never happen when felling large trees, or bucking trees.  Then tend to happen when people are doing work on small trees and small slash.

The rule is simple, TWO HANDS ON THE SAW AT ALL TIME THE CHAIN IS MOVING, the end, infinity.  But when working with bushy stuff sooner or later the temptation becomes too great, a hand comes off the saw and in time sooner or later flesh and bone meet moving chain.  My grandfathers words ring true,

Moving machines and tools have no sympathy, no conscious and no respect for human beings.  They don’t care if they are cutting wood and metal or flesh and bone.  You are the one with the brain so act like it!

In that spirit many years ago I thought, wow all this little bushy crap doesn’t really need a chain saw.  Took out my sawzall and instantly was a convert.  If it can be easily cut with a reciprocating saw that is what I use.  It is lighter, quieter and safer so why not.

Over the years I tried a lot of different blades, the blade in the video below is just a stock “wood blade”.  Most left something to be desired when cutting trees.  I found a few good “specialty blades”.  They were however expensive and the best one I ever found was the T-Rex Extreme but they went out of business.  Trying to make a company on one product is pretty tough!

So one day I decided to give these a whirl and to this day they are the best, highly available and affordable pruning blade I have found.  They end up costing about $3.70 a piece and you get a LOT of cutting out of a blade before you need to switch it out.  If you look at the tooth pattern it is clear why they work so well, it is very similar to a scaled down bow saw blade.

One of the best uses for this set up is one you don’t really think about until you need to do it.  You are digging a trench for say some irrigation pipe and you come across a root, a big root, one that is really hard to cut out with a shovel or a mattock.  Are you going to shove your chainsaw down into that dirt and rock mess?  Nope but two swift cuts from a sawzall and you just pop it out and move on.

So if you own a reciprocating saw, consider picking up a set of these.  Again I have tried a lot of different blades but bang for the buck I see Porter-Cable 9-Inch Pruning Reciprocating Saw Blades as the best you can get right now.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – If you are in the market for a reciprocating saw I truly do bleed yellow and black Dewalt blood.  This is the saw I would recommend, The Dewalt 20V MAX.  However it is a bare tool only at 107 meaning you need chargers and batteries so I only recommend it if like me you want to standardize on Dewalt.

I have to admit that the maker of these blades Porter-Cable makes damn decent tools and they have great pricing as well.  This set of a Porter-Cable Drill and Sawzall will give you a 20V Saw, a 20V Drill, a Battery and a Charger for about the same cost as the bare Dewalt saw.  Is the Dewalt a better tool?  Yes.  If I didn’t already own Dewalts and needed something for home owner level use, would I say it is that much better?  No.  Brand loyalty only goes so far.

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Note this video is old, really old, I have lost a lot of weight
and gained a lot of gray hairs since then.

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Vastar Titanium Step Drill Bit Set – Item of the Day

drillbits

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Vastar Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 3-Piece Set & Automatic Center Punch.  Step bits are a great tool, they don’t do everything but they do a lot of things that nothing else does better.  This set will let you drill holes up to 3/4ths of an inch which is large enough for most things you would use a step bit for.

Some folks call these unibits because one bit does what many bits would be needed for.  While that is true they do have a weakness.  They are generally for drilling holes in thinner stock, mostly metal and plastic.

The reason is obvious when you think about it.  Drill though a 2×4 with a step bit, it will do it NO PROBLEM, but you end up with the largest hole size, or a cone shaped hole.  Each step is just about a quarter of an inch so that is the thickness you can step up to and stop going further with.  I hope that makes sense.

One thing I use these all the time for is drilling out lids for fermenters.   When I convert say a apple juice bottle into a mead fermenter this is what I use.  I also use them when making ball jars into vegetable fermenters.

If you are drilling thin metal to a lager hole size and want to avoid a lot of tearing, sharp edges, etc, just put the metal on a scrap piece of 2×4 or something like that and you will get great clean edges.

I also use these extensively in my aquaponics projects, as I generally use 3/4″ bulkheads for most of my ebb and flow beds and my wicking bed overflows, they larger one is perfect for drilling out tanks and what have you.

What I love about this set is it comes with a damn good spring loaded center punch.  You use this to make a dent in stock so you get the drill started at the exact right spot.  This isn’t really necessary when drilling out a plastic jar lid but when say drilling a piece of PVC pipe or heavy metal stock it is VERY helpful.

So if you don’t already have step bits in your tool collection consider getting the Vastar Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 3-Piece Set & Automatic Center Punch to fill the void.  At about 13 bucks a set it is a hell of a value and frankly a set of step bits belongs in every preppers tool kit.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Magnet Tool Holding Arm Band – TSP Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day my favorite Magnetic Arm Band.  Hold on this isn’t one of those wear this and it will cure your arthritis, it is instead wear this and you will keep track of screws, bolts, nails, drill bits, driver bits, etc. when doing a project.

Ever been on top of a ladder, you just took out three screws and want to bring down what ever you just disconnected and not loose the screws on the floor or say in the grass?

How about you drilled a hole and need to swap to a T25 Torx bit?  Great that bit is in the cool little holder on your DeWalt drill, yea I love that thing too, but it doesn’t hold drill bits.  Ever put a drill bit in your pocket only to have it manage to somehow drill itself to escape and never find it again.

Ever put sharp nails or screws in your pocket only to wish you hadn’t for one reason or another later?  Have you ever been on your back under a car and had to remove some nuts only to have one fall and well, you are just not able to get it, so you have to slide out and try to find it?

If only there were a technology that caused metal things to stick to something, gee wouldn’t that be great?  Okay I am being a little terse but you get the point, we call that technology a magnet.

With one or two of these bands your life when doing projects can be so much better.  It isn’t just that you don’t have to use a pocket, it is, you don’t have to reach into your pocket while holding up something heavy in one hand and a drill driver in the other and many similar situations.   That nail, screw, washer, drill bit, allen key, etc, is right there.

I look at it this way, these are like having that helper who can’t do much but can hold stuff and hand stuff to you while you work, except it is only 13 bucks and you don’t have to provide it free beer to help you on a Saturday project.

They are simple to use, very effective and will make your life easier on project days, so why not pick up a Magnetic Arm Band soon, your pockets along with the tender areas near them will thank you for it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition – Item of the Day

worksharp

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition.  Recently I was asked my opinion of electric knife sharpeners on the air.  My opinion in short was NOT GOOD, having examined many, they all have one thing in common, well two, first they don’t really work, second they damage knives.  I also said if anyone finds a good one, let me know and I will evaluate it.

Then someone called in who had just bought Work Sharp he was quite satisfied with it and asked me to evaluate it.  The Work Sharp comes in two models

The chief difference between the two being that the Ken Onion edition handles knife angles from 15-30 degrees and is 100% integrated.  It also has some added features like a blade guide and I prefer the way the belts are removed.  So while the caller bought the base model I opted to buy the upgraded model.

The unit arrived Saturday, considering Patrick Roherman’s comments on the Work Sharp that you can read here, I decided to start our with a “junk knife”, a discolored old plastic handled Mora in the back of the drawer seemed to suffice.  It did have a faint remainder of an edge but had been well abused.  I started with the coarsest (sharpening belt), chose a 20 degree angle and went to work, 5 minutes including two belt switches to finer grain belts and my knife was arm hair shaving sharp.

From there I touched up a few of my everyday kitchen knives using the fine belt, very quick a pass or two and nice and sharp.  Time for a real test I thought.  We have a small cheap Santoku Knife that was not just dull, the edge was gone.  My wife kept abusing it and I just never fixed it.  So I dropped down the the coarsest belt they give you, one for “sharpening tools and fixing knives”.  There was literally no edge at all, and lots of dings and nicks in the steel.  Figured a 18 degree angle would work, dialed it in, and went to work.

Total job took me about 15 minutes (going really slow to learn the tool) but in the end, once again I had a bare patch of skin on my forearm as proof the tool works and works well.

Again I invite you to read Patrick’s comments on this tool both pro and con.  I will point out one of his cons that the belts are “proprietary and expensive”, should be taken with a lump of salt.  Patrick is a pro who sharpens thousands upon thousands of knives, the belts are 10 bucks a set on prime and would sharpen a LOT of knives for the homesteader before needing replacement.  And I think Patrick’s final comment sums it up perfectly, “If I didn’t have the equipment I have I would probably consider purchasing one myself.”

I do want to point out that my fast results may be partly because I both do know how to manually sharpen and do have some machining experience.  You may want to pick up some true crappy junk to practice on.  One thing Patrick said about it is that the short belts can over heat faster.  I agree but you get the hang of it pretty fast and it is variable speed so that helps you learn slowly as well.

My advice is if you want sharp knives and don’t want to rely on a pro to sharpen them for you, get one of these and learn to use it.   I know a guy that sharpens knives at a Farmers Market for 5 bucks a knife for small knives and 10 for larger ones.  When you do the math it doesn’t take long for a tool like this to pay for itself.

And personally I see the extra money for the Ken Onion Edition (Ken is an award winning custom knife maker by the way), well worth the extra cost.  No extra parts to loose, easier belt changes, more flexibility, and sharpens more tools than the base model.  That said if you just want something for your kitchen and carry knives, the Basic One will likely make you happy too and not stretch your budget.

Again though, I do want to caution PLEASE if you get one, spend some time using cheapo practice knives with it before putting your expensive blades into it.   And I would go ahead and pick up a second set of belts right away too.  The cheapest practice knives I can recommend to practice with are something I think everyone should have a bunch of anyway, and you should not get these on Amazon, get them from a dirt cheap company called BudK.

The knife is a mora clone called the wahoo killer, these are used by every fishing guide I know in South Florida.  To these guys time is money so when one gets to dull to cut bait they toss it out and buy a new one.  At 3 bucks a piece they are a good value and frankly you won’t care if you screw one up.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Since I ran this item the first time in 2016 over 60 members of this audience purchased one.  I have heard back from ONE and only ONE who had a problem, where a part broke.  They contacted Work Sharp who promptly apologized about the part, said just throw it away and immediately sent them a brand new one.  I am now absolutely sold on this product and more so the company that stands behind it.