Füritechnics - knife sharpener

I’m no knife junkie. But I know a sharp blade from a dull one. And I know how to work a blade on a whetstone, but like many neglectful knife owners I often don’t do it.

The Ozitech knife sharpener, a $35 product from Füritechnics (www.furitechnics.com) of Brisbane, Australia, was made for people like me.

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Eight stainless steel fingers bonded with crushed industrial diamonds flank this fold-open sharpener. A few swipes of the blade through the fingers puts a 20-degree edge back on, making “the toughest knives as sharp as a razor,” according to the company.

In my tests the sharpener was easy to use: Simply unfold the case to expose the fingers and commence raking the blade through the middle of the eight springy appendages.

I took an old knife that had been neglected for more than five years. In 20 swipes through the Ozitech sharpener it was not quite razor sharp, but it was visibly honed with a clean edge. It cut loose leaf paper with just a gentle pull and a bit of pressure on the blade.

It did a similarly admirable job with two dull knives in my kitchen, shining the edge up on a paring knife and a big chopper. (The Ozitech does not work for serrated blades.)

For some outside perspective on this product, I contacted Steve Bottorff, author of “Sharpening Made Easy: A Primer on Sharpening Knives and Other Edged Tools” (2002, Knife World Publications). Bottorff had a mixed impression of the Ozitech; his overall opinion of the product, he said, was “mediocre.”

“The theory is good, the execution is poor,” he said. He noted convenience and ease of use as strong points. The edge it put on his blade was not as sharp as he likes, however.

In addition, a detent in the plastic handle on Bottorff’s test model broke, making the sharpener harder to hold steady while in use.

I had no problems with the handle, though I’d agree with Bottorff that the edge could be finer.

But in light of the alternative — which is likely not sharpening my blade at all — a product like the Ozitech is $35 well spent.

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