We Review the Apex 1 Knife Sharpening System

apex sharpening kitOur Overall #1 Sharpener

The Apex System from Edge Pro Inc offers one of the most important features a knife sharpener can have, the ability to adjust the angle based on the knife you’re sharpening. The speed and accuracy of this unit is second to none. You can literally restore a factory edge or better to your knives in minutes.

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At a Glance:

The Apex system from Edge Pro is hands down the best knife sharpener we’ve tested to date. From kitchen knives to pocket knives there is nothing this unit can’t handle. It’s flexible design allows for the matching of just about any factory blade angle. The manual operation ensures that the temper of your blades won’t be damaged during the sharpening process.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, you’ve found it.

Pros of the Apex System:

  • Extremely flexible design allows exact matching of bevel angle
  • Manual Operation ensures no damage to steel temper.
  • Sharpen knives of almost any length and up to 3 1/2″ in width.
  • Great safety features and great price.
  • Works on Western, Japanese and serrated knives

Cons:

  • A bit of a learning curve
  • Slower operation than most consumers might want to deal with.

Here’s a quick video showing how the Apex operates.

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Who is the Apex System Designed For?

Originally the Apex system was designed for professional knife sharpening services.  But the ease of use and the capabilities of this product allow it to be used by anyone.  Even though it has a bit of a learning curve, with little practice you can sharpen your knives more accurately and just as quickly as with an electric model.

And you won’t destroy the temper of the blade!

It works on Western knives, Japanese knives, and can even sharpen serrated blades as well.

So whether you’re a professional chef, a knife enthusiast or a home cook, it’s worth taking a closer look at this product.

The Apex 1 Kit

Edge pro apex1 sharpening system

Before we go any further, the Apex 1 is the first of 4 kits available from Edge Pro. All four of the kits include the same base unit. They differ only in the amount of stones and other accessories included in the kit. Here’s a quick rundown of what is included in the Apex 1 kit.

  • Apex Model Edge Pro Sharpening System
  • 220 Grit Medium Fine water stone
  • 400 Grit Fine water stone
  • Micro-fiber Towel
  • Water Bottle
  • Instructional Manual
  • Black Cordura Carrying Case

For those that are new to sharpening or perhaps a bit apprehensive about getting started, the Apex 2 kit includes an instructional DVD. The price difference is only $25 and it also includes an 8″ ceramic hone.

The kit will allow you to sharpen almost any length of knife with blades up to 3 1/2″ wide. The angle can be set anywhere between 10 and 24 degrees, offering the flexibility to sharpen a wide variety of knives.

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Setup and Use

edge pro apexThe simplicity of setup and elegant design of this piece are a big part of why we rated it as the best knife sharpening system in our recent comparison. It can be used on just about any flat surface. The base has two suction cups on the bottom that allow you to lock it into place. If you have a textured countertop, there is also a glass kit you can purchase from Edge Pro’s website that will allow you to use the piece on practically any surface.

If you’re planning on using it in a shop or on a workbench the suction cups can be removed and 2 #8 sheet metal screws can be used to secure it to the work surface.

Unpacking and assembling the system can be accomplished in mere moments. Rather than attempting to describe the process here, I’ve included a video at the end in which Mr. Dale details the units setup and use.

Once assembled you’re ready to sharpen your first knife. To begin, the table must be set for the size of the blade with which you’ll be working. Then insert the stone with which you’ll start. The Apex 1 ships with both a 220 and a 400 grit stone.

For most dull knives you’ll want to start with the 220. The stones are easily inserted and locked into the rod by turning the lock nut that doubles as the handle.

Next you set your angle with the color coded notches on the rod assembly. Once that’s set, you’re ready to start. Once again I’ll refer you to the video for the best description of the sharpening process.

The rod assembly allows for very smooth travel along the length of the blade. Unlike most other sharpeners in this category, the Apex does not lock your blade into the sharpening assembly. Instead, you hold the blade against the blade guide with a small amount of pressure. This allows you to quickly move back and forth between both sides of the blade as your sharpening.

It’s also an important safety feature of the Apex. If you were to be bumped from behind while sharpening a knife, the only thing holding the blade in place is the pressure from your hand. As soon as you remove the pressure, the blade will slip out of the guide.

Another important safety feature are the stops built into the rod assembly. The first is built into the handle of the rod and is designed to catch on the blade itself. The second is at the end of the rod and is designed so that even if the first stop is lifted above the blade of the knife, your hand can’t travel far enough to come into contact with the sharp edge.

Final Verdict

The Apex 1 kit offers a whole host of advantages over other products in it’s category. It’s design makes it easy to setup permanently, or pack up and store for use only when needed. The capability to sharpen knives of almost any length and with blades up to 3 1/2″ wide at angles from anywhere between 10 and 24 degrees is tough to match.

The built-in safety features makes it a great tool for professionals and beginners alike. And with a whole host of additional accessories available, it offers room to grow as your skills increase. All-in-all the Apex system is a phenomenal product.

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Background Information

After showcasing a great many electric and guided manual sharpeners on our site, we thought it was times to take a closer look at some of the tools that knife enthusiasts and professionals use to sharpen and maintain their blades.

We recently reviewed the KME knife sharpening system and even did a comparison between three of the three best professional knife sharpening systems on the market. In that comparison there was one clear winner. And that was the Apex 1 from Edge Pro Inc.

A little background of Edge Pro. The company was started by Ben Dale. Ben was a professional knife sharpener with a large customer base. Frustrated by the amount of time it took to sharpen knives the manual way, he started developing a system that allowed him to move more quickly with the same quality and consistency of sharpening stones.

After building 100 prototypes and sharpening over 100,000 knives over the course of a decade, he developed a tool that is simple to learn and perfect in execution. It combines the ability to use a wide ange of sharpening stones, honing steels, and polish tapes to sharpen any blade imaginable. The unit also incorporates several important safety features that insure that everyone from sharpening pros to beginners can get a professional edge quickly and safely.

 

Resources:

http://www.edgeproinc.com