Pros: Effectiveness, Ease of Use
Good First Sharpener for Learning
I used this mostly to touch up the edge of knives that have already been profiled with a DMT Aligner or on blades too thick or wide for the Aligner to work properly. The tolerances on the stick holes are a little uneven with one side tight and the other having just a little play. Same goes for the stick ends -- I have to swap them around to get the best fit.The carbide can remove some steel to take care of a damaged edge before moving on to the sticks for honing. The diamondstone works well, but has the longest and steepest learning curve of the three methods, leaving the sticks as my primary choice.Stickwise, I wish that they were a bit longer. They are great up to about a 4" blade, but any longer than that and I find myself having to work hard to cover the whole blade in one even stroke. I don't get as consistent results when I work a bit at a time. Also, there's only one grit of rod, so it may take a while if the blade is dull.I'm planning on getting a Sharpmaker to replace this sometime in the near future, but when I do, I'm passing this kit on to friends who have less sharpening experience so that they can maintain their own knives a little better. It's a good product and a good value that will give you an idea of what direction you will want to go when your sharpening skills improve. I do not regret getting it in any way.