Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Excellent sharpener for quality knives
on 13 December 2015
It was with some skepticism that I bought this item, as there are many considerably cheaper knife sharpeners available - what could be so much better about this one? Further reading informed me that this was the only one recommended for use with Global knives, and several reviewers of cheaper options commented that they had damaged their expensive knives.
So I took the view that with some of my knives costing £100+ to replace, it wasn't worth taking the chance with a cheaper sharpener to save £20.
First things first: make sure you fill up the water reservoir before use - it's an essential part of the system - do not try to 'dry sharpen', you'll simply wreck both the knife and the sharpening wheels. Secondly, you do not need to use any pressure at all - simply run the knife through the wheels back and forth with gravity doing the work for you. I suspect many of those who've complained about broken sharpening wheels haven't followed this advice.
Naturally, I tried it on a cheap knife first - in this case an old Sainsbury's own-brand 20cm cook's knife I bought to take to University in the '90s. It'd been used on and off for 10 years without ever having seen a sharpener and has so many nicks in the blade it's embarrassing. So I ran it through all three sets of wheels, a dozen times forward and back in each. I washed it off, then had a look at the blade: the nicks had mostly been removed, and using it to cut a carrot I was able to use considerably less force than before.
(cutting carrot is a good test - a blunt knife will need a fair amount of force to cut it, a sharp knife should be able to do it almost with gravity alone)
So after that initial success it was with some trepidation I moved onto my 20cm Global cook's knife. This is an expensive knife, and I wasn't going to be pleased if I wrecked it. As with the other knife, this one hasn't ever seen a sharpener, but I've only owned it ~3 years, and have kept it in considerably better condition than the Sainsbury's knife. With this in mind, I ran it through the medium and fine wheels, leaving the coarse wheel out of the equation.
As with the cheap knife, performance was noticably improved, and the knife doesn't appear to have suffered any damage from the experience.
All in all, a very worthwhile purchase, and safe to use (carefully!) with expensive knives.