U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I’ve said it numerous times but someday I really am going to do an article on the history of Spyderco Knives. I’ve dealt with them for years but didn’t realize until a year ago that they actually got their start by making ceramic knife sharpeners and then grew into a famous knife company from there. So with that said, I finally did get around to checking out the Spyderco Gauntlet premium which is a unique, preset angle set system. So that is what I’ll talk about today.
Let’s get started. To begin, lay the base on a flat surface at whatever is your comfortable working level. If your knife only needs touched up, insert the ceramic rods in the slots with the convex side sticking out towards where you will run the knife edge. If the edge is shot and needs sharpening, insert the Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) rods. I like that it is designed so you stick your steadying hand under the arch on the base which protects it from getting sliced. So the next step will be to insert your hand under the arch on the base and hold it down firmly.
Next, hold your knife with the blade straight down and starting at the top of the rod, slide it down towards the base making sure all of the edge rubs the insert. Make sure that the blade is straight up and down and not angled off to either side. Start at the top of the rod with the hilt of the blade against the top of the rod. As you slide down the rod, make sure that you are slightly pulling the knife towards you so that you end up with the tip against the bottom of the rod.
To test out this stone I used the ceramic rods on an 8-inch trimming knife and a 6-inch flexible boning knife. The ceramic rod brought the edge back on the 8-inch knife but the 6-inch required more attention. I removed the ceramic rods and inserted the CBN rods, again, convex side out. I worked the 6-inch boning knife on the CBN rods and then finished on the ceramic rods. It would now slice a newspaper in half lengthwise without effort.
Spyderco advertises that if you turn the rods sideways that you can then sharpen a serrated edge. I grabbed a cheap kitchen knife that had half plain edge and half serrated. It was past dull. I ran the plain edge on the convex side of the CBN. I then progressed to the ceramic rods and for the serrate portion I turned the ceramic rod so it’d hit the edge.
I have never given this knife any love before so I was surprised at how sharp that it was now. It was actually functional. A few side notes on sharpening a serrated edge.
- Spyderco says to only use the ceramic rod for serrated edges.
- The two edges of the ceramic rod are rounded specifically to work on serrations.
- The beveled edge (scallops) are only on one side of the blade so only run it down that one side.
- Just sharpening on one side creates a burr or wire edge on the off side. So, pull the ceramic rod out of the holder and run the off side lightly down the ceramic rod backwards a few licks. (Spyderco recommends rubbing the knife down alternating rods just like on a plain edge though).
CLEANING YOUR RODS
When cleaning your rods remove them from the base. Of course the CBN rods remove more steel than the ceramic rods since they are more aggressive. They will have metallic dust on them which is easy to remove. Just wipe with a clean rag.
To clean the ceramic rods, use warm soapy water and a cleanser like Ajax and a green pad. It is imperative to clean the ceramic rods when they get dark because the black is metal shavings which fill the surface of the abrasive edge thereby nullifying its usefulness.
The Spyderco Gauntlet has an MSRP of $165.00.
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”