Oregon-based Darex, a 40-year-old family-owned maker of industrial tool sharpeners, knows a thing or two about how to put a keen edge on steel—so much so that NRA's American Hunter magazine editors awarded the company an NRA Golden Bullseye Award for Best Gear for 2014. Through its Work Sharp brand, the company has partnered with knife designer Ken Onion to produce a powered tabletop knife and implement sharpener for outdoorsmen. The U.S.-assembled device features a variable speed 1.5–amp motor that drives flexible 3/4-inch x 12-inch abrasive belts of the same type used by professional knife makers.
The motor’s variable control—6,112 to 14,261 r.p.m.—allows optimal belt speeds for a particular task and steel. A contoured, non-slip handle and rubberized feet allow the user to anchor the 10-inch x 6-inch x 5½-inch unit to a tabletop while drawing the knife blade past its blade guides, which are adjustable from 15 to 30 degrees. The unit can sharpen hunting and kitchen knives, including gut hooks and serrated edges, hatchets and even lawn mower blades.
The sharpener comes with a five-piece abrasive belt kit with P120 extra coarse, X65 coarse, X22 medium, X4 fine and 6000 extra fine grits along with an instructional DVD. Price: $150. Contact: Darex Corp., 210 E. Hersey St., Ashland, OR 97520; (800) 547-0222.