Pros: Durability, Ease of Use, Effectiveness, Overall Quality
Had this system for years. Pros: 1) Works every time to establish and maintain a sharp edge on any size knife, including serrated edges, with minimal skill on the part of the user. 2) Comes with instructional DVD for the inexperienced or reading impaired. You almost have to try to do it wrong. 3) Works dry, requiring no messy lubricating agents. 4)Comes in a compact protective carry case that is very easy to store and transport, so you can keep it in a kitchen drawer, or throw it in with your hunting or camping gear. 5) Easy to maintain. When the rods start to get clogged with steel, simply wash them with kitchen cleanser (Comet, Ajax, etc.), rinse them with water, and dry with a paper towel. Afterwards, they will work like new. 6) Replacement rods are readily available in the event that you are a clumsy oaf, and find a way to break or misplace one. 7) Ultra Fine (for scary sharp edges) and very coarse diamond rods (for VERY dull, damaged, and abused edges where a new bevel must be established) are avilable. 8) Price is very reasonable taking into account all of the above. Cons; Only one, and it's pretty picky. The storage case does not have a place to keep the ultra fine and diamond rods, should you elect to purchase them. You usually will only need the medium and fine rods, but it would have been nicer to have them all in one case. Just a side note; I read that someone didn't like this system because it dulled the points of his knives. If you use the angled edge of the rod, rather than the flat, the point of the knife will drag off the edge and scrape across the flat at an incorrect angle, causing it to be blunted. The same will happen if you drag the point off the edge of a bench stone and scape it down the side. Why would anyone do this? Common sense should tell you that the point should be sharpened on the flat edge of the rod, and not dragged off the edge, same as with a bench stone. The purpose of the angled rod system is to help you to maintain the proper sharpening angle, not to replace your brain. That all being said, this is a fine product with very little room for improvement.