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The makers of the CarBee-Sharp, a small multi-surfaced sharpening tool, claim that it’ll sharpen, finish, and polish without any lubricants or cutting fluids.  It looks like a tool that’ll either work very well, or be found at the big box checkout line right next to the gum and flashlight batteries.

The carbide multi-head of the CarBee-Sharp is always used dry.  The sheer portability of this interests us — anytime you find yourself out and about with a dull blade, just fish one of these out of the nearest toolkit and it’ll get you on your way, in theory.  With six different surfaces on its head, it can finish out a blade in a number of ways, from honing to polishing.  But you’ll probably need to practice with it a bit to achieve the maximum effect.

We’re curious to know if anyone has gotten their hands on one and how it went.  Are these a novelty, or a handy solution to dull blades?  Let us know in comments.

Street pricing starts at $12.

CarBee-Sharp [Website]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


6 Responses to Hot or Not? CarBee-Sharp Sharpener

  1. DocN says:

    The way these kinds of “sharpeners” work- and they’ve been around for decades- is there’s two carbide blades that form a V. Today they typically use off-the-shelf triangular TNMG type machinists’ carbide inserts.

    Anyway, you drag the blade through the V, and it scrapes off metal from either side of the cutting edge.

    Now, they work, to an extent. But they remove a great deal of metal on every pass (far more than a stone will) which will wear out your blade in a big hurry. They also provide a poor cutting angle- a wider V than the knife might have originally come with.

    Third, after several uses, the blade tends to become almost serrated- you get dips and lumps in the edge since most of us aren’t able get a firm consistent pull on each stroke.

    Last, that one has no handguard, and so chances are VERY good that one day you’ll slice yourself very badly while sharpening a knife.

    Now, these things aren’t without use: Fish canneries and meat processors use them frequently (along with wall-mounted electric edge grinders) since their knives are essentially disposable, and are thrown away when no longer servicable. They’re also good for tools where perfect edge geometry or long life aren’t necessarily required- like felling axes, machetes, lawnmower blades, and so on.

    So while they work, save them for noncritical uses (throwaway carpet knives and the like) and stick with a good whetstone or Lansky-type sharpener for a knife of any quality.


  2. Kierna says:

    DocN, if you’d have taken a second to look at the manufacturer’s website you’d see that that is not how this product works, and is actually more like having a whetstone on a handle, although of course it’s not exactly the same it is sharpened in a similar manner and you control the degree to which the edge is sharpened.

  3. NateTheKnife says:

    I just got one and after jacking my blade up for a while (always practice on the Smith & Wesson, not the Benchmade) I started to get the hang of it. The key is being gentle and not using to much pressure. But it delivers on the promise! I can now put a hair catching hone on a knife in short order with this little guy. I’m a knife collector and straight razor enthusiast and have hundreds of dollars in sharpeners , wet stones, diamond stones, butcher steels and so forth. I’m fairly picky when it comes to recommending a sharpener, but bang for your buck and portability make this little tool worth while. And as Kierna said, it’s more like having a wet stone on a handle.

  4. justaguy says:

    Hi Nate
    Have you used the DC4 sharpener? I’m torn between this and the DC4 for a relative cheap sharpening solution that i would like to master on a cheap blade before moving onto more pricey ones. Which would you recommend?

  5. Dave says:

    I have used Carbee for awhile, and I agree with Nate. Go slow without much pressure (you don’t need a lot of force). Too much pressure will wear knife out quickly. Also, I try to run it against the original angle the tool’s edge was ground to. Even though I am sharpening challenged, it works great! Usually, I just use the burnishing edge to touch up between sharpenings. The cutting edges are for when the tool is very dull, and needs a fresh edge from scratch….DAVE

  6. Barry Kade says:

    I too am sharpening challenged. But after a week of practicing with the Carbee-Sharp, I can now confidently put a very decent edge on any of my knives. Even my Soviet Era AK bayonet is now reasonably sharp. It is made of some very very hard steel.

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