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One of the biggest advances in sharpening equipment since the invention of the steel knife has to be the industrial diamond-coated surface. There is simply no steel alloy too hard to be honed by a diamond. While there is more than one method of applying diamonds to a sharpening surface, recent advances in the technology have finally brought prices down to the same level as a quality bench stone.

Sal Glessor of Spyderco Knives tells me he first came up with the concept of his Byrd “Duckfoot” sometime in the mid-1970’s. Unfortunately, no one was capable of manufacturing it at that time. Not taking chances, he patented the design in the mid-1990’s, but it was late 2006 before he was actually able to put the sharpener into production.

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One of the biggest advances in sharpening equipment since the invention of the steel knife…