There are several high quality products in the knife sharpening system category. Our vote for the top choice is Edge Pro Inc's Apex 1 system.
It offers several important advantages over electric knife sharpeners and other competitive products in this category.
The first and most important feature is the ability to sharpen at a wide range of angles. The unit allows for selecting an angle of anywhere between 10 and 24 degrees. This means you can precisely match the manufacturers angle on each of your blades.
The second and lesser known reason is that it IS a manual system.
While electric models dominate the market of knife sharpening products, the method that they use to "sharpen" your knives inevitably removes too much material, only allows you to choose from one or two angles, and can actually damage your blades by destroying the temper of the steel.
This translates to poor cutting performance, more frequent sharpening, and a shortened life for your blades.
All of these plus more features that we discuss below earned the Apex system the title of the best knife sharpener in our competition.
Other Apex Knife Sharpener Review
In terms of flexibility and speed the Apex system is tough to beat. Let's take a look at why this unit beats out other products in it's category.
Most people go with an electric sharpener because of the speed with which they work. But the Apex system is highly competitive in terms of speed.
The unique operation of the system doesn't require clamping the blade into place. This means faster transitions from one side of the blade to another.
This also means that you don't have to re-clamp larger blades to sharpen them along their entire length.
The KME and Wicked Edge sharpening systems both rely on a clamp to hold the blade in place. This often means re-clamping larger blades multiple times to sharpen it along their entire length.
One of the biggest reasons this unit received the top spot in our competition was it's flexibility. The ability to sharpen knives of almost any length and up to 3 1/2" in blade height means it can handle just about anything you can throw at it.
This includes kitchen knives, pocket knives, hunting knives, and even swords. With the serrated blade attachment you can also take care of all your serrated knives.
Who is the Apex System Designed For?
This system is for anyone who wants a fast and effective method of putting a durable and razor sharp edge on their blades. If you can't be bothered with anything other than an electric sharpener, this is NOT the unit for you. It will require some practice. But the results are worth the effort.
Your knives will be sharper AND more durable than when you first bought them.
When Ben Dale of Edge Pro Inc was originally designing the Apex sharpening system he envisioned it being used primarily by professional knife sharpeners that were looking for a faster method of servicing their client's needs.
But the finished product was so easy to use and effective that it only made sense to offer it to consumers as well.
While the unit does require a bit of practice to master, the results you can achieve with this system are well worth the small investment in time.
This makes it perfect for anyone from home chefs, hunters, fishermen, knife enthusiasts, and of course professional knife sharpeners.
Among all the units we've tested we found nothing out there that offered both the speed and consistency of results as the Apex system. It will allow you to put a sharper edge on your blades than when they came from the manufacturer.
Using the Apex
The efficient design and simple setup of the Apex make it very user friendly, even for those that are completely unfamiliar with knife sharpening.
The system can be used on just about any flat surface. The base of the unit includes 2 suction cups that allow the unit to be locked into place. For those that don't have a flat surface on which to work, you can also purchase a glass kit that allows you to lock it down.
Additionally the suction cups can be removed and the unit can be bolted to a shop table or other surface. This requires only 2 #8 sheet metal screws.
Rather than describing the entire process of sharpening a knife, the video below shows the entire process.
What's Included in the Apex System?
There are four different variations of the Apex knife sharpening system. The entry level model, the Apex 1, includes the following:
- 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
Apex 2 Kit
For those that are looking for a bit more functionality the Apex 2 system includes a 600 grit water stone and an 8" ceramic honing rod. These allow you to put a finer finish on your blades. The Apex 2 also includes a training DVD that covers all of the operations of the system.
Apex 3 Kit
The Apex 3 kit includes a 120 grit water stone which can be used on blades with significant damage. It also includes a 1000 grit water stone for finer finishing of the blade as well as the 8" ceramic honing rod and DVD.
Apex 4 Kit
The Apex 4 kit is the ultimate knife sharpening package. In addition to everything included in the Apex 3, the 4 includes 2000 and 3000 grit polishing tapes, and 2 polish tape mounting blocks. This unit is ideal for those that want a mirror finish on their blades.
Whether you're looking for a fast and effective way to restore the edge to your kitchen knives or looking for the best equipment for your knife sharpening business, the Apex system offers the speed, flexibility, and ease of use to make sharpening a breeze.