The Wicked Edge GO gives professional-level knife sharpening for those with amateur skills. And you can use it anywhere there’s a table-like surface.
Knife sharpening takes some skill. And as you shop the world of knife sharpeners, you’ll find that brands build products with the goal of reducing the human error that often results in mediocre knife sharpening.
The Wicked Edge GO ($250) is one of the best portable knife sharpeners I’ve used because it largely removes human error from knife sharpening. Sure, there are a few steps to learn to get good results. But by following the brand’s instructions, I was turning out legitimately razor-sharp knives, even on very hard steel.
In short: Wicked Edge knife sharpeners use a unique system of a vice, sharpening stones, and guided rods to maintain a consistent, adjustable angle. The results are replicable, and the system is easy to learn.
These sharpeners are the entry-level product of the Wicked Edge family but are still a significant investment at $250.
Wicked Edge GO Review: Sharpening My Way Through Quarantine
During the last 2 months, I’ve devoted myself to sharpening a lot of knives while passing time during Colorado’s stay-at-home orders. And the Wicked Edge GO has become one tool I trust for easily replicated results and razor edges.
The Wicked Edge GO is a well-built product. A 6061T6 anodized aluminum vice mounts on the machined aluminum base, as do two rods that guide the sharpening stones. You can align the guides between 15 and 30 degrees to sharpen a wide range of knives.
The entire package mounts to a tabletop with a C-clamp, resulting in a sturdy platform to work from.
It’s worth noting that Wicked Edge has a large range of sharpeners, from this very portable GO model all the way up to $1,299 Commercial Series sharpeners. This is the most portable, coming in a nice roll bag. It’s also the least expensive of the line.
If this system has a weakness, it’s on longer, flexible knives like fillet knives. On long knives with flexible steel, it’s harder to maintain the same edge when pressing the stones against them as they flex in the vice.
It works fine with light pressure, but it’s worth noting that as you press on the knife and it flexes, it changes the angle of the grind. So you have to be cautious.
Wicked Edge GO Knife Sharpener: Finding an Edge Angle
The GO comes with good instructions that I learned quickly. In short, you mount the device on a table, bench, or countertop. Next, install a knife into the vice and put a course or medium sharpening stone on the guide rods.
From here, you find the angle of the knife edge. You do this by coloring the edge with a sharpie, then doing a test scrape across the edge with the stone. This reveals if you need to adjust the angle, as you can see where the sharpener is removing material.
Is material grinding off right at the edge but not along the entire angle of the grind? Your angle is too big. Steel ground off inside the grind but not reaching the cutting edge? It’s too fine.
When you get it perfect, the hone will remove material along the entire grind surface. That’s your angle. Record it for future use and get sharpening.
Wicked Edge GO: Creating a Burr
For all knife sharpening, creating a burr is the key to getting a razor edge. And with the Wicked Edge, it’s pretty easy to do.
Starting with a coarse or medium stone (depending on the dullness of edge and knife material), simply work on one side of the knife for 10 to 20 strokes. Feel for a burr being created along the edge as you work. It’ll feel like a rough spot on the edge when you rub your finger across the opposing face of the blade, away from the edge.
Once the burr is formed, you switch to the other angle for a few strokes, then alternate strokes as you work up in the fineness of stones. Following the directions, it’s pretty easy and intuitive. Before you know it, you have a shaving-sharp blade.
Wicked Edge GO: Final Thoughts
This all sounds well and good, but the GO comes with one big caveat: cost. The sharpener, which includes just one set of medium-coarse 200-grit and fine 600-grit diamond stones, costs a hefty $250. That’s enough to do a good job of sharpening a knife.
But if you’ve read this far, you probably don’t want to do a “good job.” You want perfection, and for that, you’ll want a couple of sets of finer-grit stones.
Additional stones are not cheap, around $80 to $100 each depending on the grit. The Wicked Edge GO Deluxe Pack, which has two sets of stones and a strop set, will run you $400 and do everything most people will ever need to do.
But for the person who values a wicked-sharp knife, the Wicked Edge GO is one of the most effective, easy-to-use tools you can buy. It’s a significant investment but seems to be a well-built product that should last for many years of regular use.