The Ceramic Edge Pro’s 0.200” wide power slot accommodates most outdoor knives, but extra-thick blades, like the TOPS Travelin’ Man 2 (top) must be sharpened in the unit’s carbide and ceramic manual draw sharpeners.

The newest addition to Smith’s growing line of power hones, the Ceramic Edge Pro, only looks like another of the electric knife sharpeners that have been around for decades. But don’t let its all-business appearance entice you into comparing it with other motor-operated sharpening tools, because the honemasters at Smith’s have broken new ground with this model.

Innovations begin with a pair of interlocking ceramic honing wheels with four toroidal ridges on one side meshing between five ridges on the other. These counter-rotating ridges form a longer and flatter honing surface, helping beginners to hold a blade steady and level as it is drawn smoothly through the guide, heel to point. Chatter, which can mar or damage a blade, is almost nonexistent.

Russ Cowen of Smith’s told TK that the reasons for using ceramic wheels, as opposed to more common diamond-plated or aluminum-oxide types, are reliability, longevity and the fine polish for which ceramic is legendary. Aluminum oxide typically has a fast rate of wear and is less than gentle against steel, while diamond abrasives plated onto steel surfaces have been known to flake off. The Edge Pro’s ceramic wheels have been rated to 3,000 strokes before becoming built-up with enough steel dust to lose their abrasiveness. At that point, a quick cleaning with Smith’s optional felt brush restores them.

V-notch carbide and ceramic draw sharpeners (right) set a knife’s edge bevels, then the intermeshing counter-rotating ceramic honing wheels (left) apply an ultra-fine edge that Smith’s president described as “scary.”

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