I’m getting a little worried. There was a time, not so long ago, when even strangers came to me with dull blades. They needed my skill with a whetstone to make their hunting knives skinning-sharp, and there were few people who possessed the tactile ability to do it. Today, my sharpening skills are being rendered obsolete by some of the cleverest honing devices ever contrived by engineers. No ability is required to use these tools, no experience is needed for many of them. Just follow the directions, and you can’t fail to get a shaving edge on nearly any knife.
One of most surefire manual sharpeners I’ve had the pleasure of using is the new Wicked Edge from Wicked Edge Precision Knife Sharpeners of Santa Fe, New Mexico. To ensure that it could be used by anyone, the task of assembly and setup of this device was charged to a person who had no honing skills. Within 20 minutes of working with the instruction manual open in front of her, and no tools that weren’t included with the outfit, she was sharpening kitchen cutlery to paper-slicing keenness.