I bought the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II knife sharpener a while ago. Is it a good tool for sharpening knives? Read on to find out.
My wife and I were walking the mall, searching for a gift for a friend.
My friend’s a knife enthusiast, so we entered a hunting shop.
After finding nothing suitable, the shop owner pulled a dental torture device (that’s what it looked like) from a rack and placed it on a table before me.
The shop owner took a knife, flicked it open and pulled it through the tool.
My jaw dropped.
I had to have this contraption.
Never mind the buddy we’re supposed to be getting a gift for. He’d have to settle for a card.
I didn’t buy this doodad straight away. I feigned self-control for a few days, set a date and fetched it. It was a momentous occasion. Couldn’t wait to get home and sharpen anything and everything.
The Warthog Classic 2 is amazing for three reasons.
Easy to use
The Classic 2 is a plug-n-play type sharpener.
You remove it from the box and start sharpening your blades.
I don’t know why they included a usage DVD. It’s not necessary.
A dull blade only irritates you if you know the worth of using a sharp one.
So go ahead and keep using a dull blade and hack away at whatever you’re cutting.
But once you taste the smooth, easy cutting of a sharpened edge, you won’t be happy using a dull edge.
And although various sharpening tools give you excellent sharpness, few give it to you with the ease and speed of the Classic 2.
We eat plenty of meat and vegetables.
Some foods are difficult to cut, even with a sharp blade. My wife often summons me to the kitchen to help her cut an unmanageable fruit or vegetable.
Throw in a blunt edge and you’re climbing a mountain with a rabid monkey on your back.
A sharp blade makes cutting tough fruits and veggies easier.
Some of the Warthog Classic 2’s parts are metal; some are plastic. All the parts will give you long life.
The sharpening hones will give you many sharpening sessions before they need replacing.
You don’t use lubricant for sharpening with the Classic 2.
The honing stones are diamond-coated. They’re made for dry sharpening your blades.
You’ll clean up a tad of dust, but there’s no grime.
You can buy an electric knife sharpener, but you’ll need an electrical outlet to use it.
The Classic 2 is perfect for any sharpening situation, indoors or outdoors. You can sharpen anytime, anywhere.
The Classic 2 isn’t perfect (although it’s close). Here are my main issues with it.
It can’t reach the back
The Classic 2 can’t reach all the way into the corner of a knife’s ricasso. (The ricasso is a bit of unsharpened blade at the heel of the knife.)
The diamond hone rods are difficult to remove
Changing the sharpening angle requires the removal of the rods that hold the honing stones.
It’s a difficult task. You get used to it, but it takes a fair amount of finger pressure to unclip.
The knife guide is plastic
The guide against which you slide the knife down when sharpening, is made of plastic.
I have no problem with this, but some people might hate it.
Smooth (double bevel) blades only
The Classic 2 can’t sharpen serrated blades.
It also can’t sharpen a single bevel knife, since it uses a hone on either side of the knife to guide the knife while sharpening.
But it does a fantastic job of sharpening smooth blades. That’s enough reason for me to love it.
You can buy the Classic 2 online for ~$75. That excludes shipping.
Compare this to knife sharpening services in the USA. You’ll pay from $1.75 to $3 per inch. Add shipping—$5 per order—and your bill for sending in knives soon surpasses a Warthog’s price.
Let’s do some calculations.
I sharpened 12 blades with a combined length of 1,673mm (65.86 inches).
Let’s cut the outsourced sharpening price to $1.50 per inch AND exclude shipping costs.
65.86 inches x $1.50 per inch = $98.79.
It would cost you $98.79 to have your knives sharpened by someone else. Remember, that doesn’t include shipping.
That’s for every time you want your blades sharpened.
The Classic 2 lets you do the job at 23 percent cheaper. And you pay for it once and use it over and over and over.
You save plenty of money.
Besides, what if you want to try a different angle on one of your knives? The Classic 2 allows you to experiment. If you don’t like the new angle you’ve given your knife, sharpen it to another angle.
The Classic 2 comes with a guarantee. Here it is, verbatim:
Warthog Blade Sharpeners warrants that our Sharpeners and Diamond stones will be free from defect and that only the best Quality material is used to manufacture this product. The Guarantee is granted safely to the Buyer. Warthog Blade sharpeners will replace any defective products free of charge. Buyer must return the defective product to Warthog Blade Sharpeners for inspection. Warthog Blade Sharpeners have no obligation under this Guarantee if the product is mistreated or modified, or if the product has not been used according to its instructions.
Consequential Damages: In the event the manufacturer shall not be held liable for any special indirect incidental or consequential losses or damages allegedly attributed to this product.
Warthog Blade Sharpeners International
PO Box 3190, George Industria, 6536
Tel: 044 874 1411 / 1442 Fax: 086 529 1309
Warthog diamond stone
Warthog Blade Sharpeners manufactures high quality diamond stones that are free of defects. Diamond stones will retain their cutting ability for years of use. Diamond stones are manufactured for hand sharpening and not for motor-driven application. Initially your diamond stone will seem especially aggressive. It will smooth over time. When sharpening you need not to exert pressure – let the diamonds do the work. To test diamond stone use it on glass (ashtray or bottle, if it scratches the glass the diamonds are still in tact.) Diamond stones can be used to dry or use water for lubricant. Do not use oil on diamond stones. When sharpening it fast, use water or water with a little bit of dishwashing soap to keep the stone cool and prevent it from clogging. When cleaning is needed use soap water and a scrub brush, do not use petroleum-based cleaners.
Click here to download a PDF version.
In the box
The Warthog V-Sharp Classic II box contains the following items:
- Warthog V-Sharp Classic II.
- Black, but also available in blue, red, silver and white.
- Two hone rods with diamond hones included and mounted, ready for use.
- Usage instruction DVD.
- Usage instruction pamphlets.
- Warranty pamphlet.
- Brochure for other Warthog sharpening products.
How to use
It’s easy to use the Classic 2. Follow along, but…
Before you start
Before using the Warthog V-Sharp Classic 2, know the following:
- Don’t use oil for sharpening with the Classic 2.
- Use water when using diamond hones.
- Wear gloves to keep from getting cut.
- Press your knife’s cheek against the blade guide when you pull it through the Classic 2.
- Not too hard. The guide is made from plastic and can bend.
- Don’t apply pressure to the spring-loaded rods when you sharpen.
- Let the diamond hones do their work.
Follow these steps
How to sharpen a dull blade with the Warthog Classic 2:
- Remove the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II from its box.
- Keep the Warthog steady by holding it by the thumb grip.
- Run your knife through the Warthog with your other hand, using an up and down, back and forth sawing motion.
- Keep the blade’s cheek against the blade guide.
- Do this 30 to 40 times.
That’s three steps.
No assembly or tightening required. No lubricant required.
How to touch up a blade with the Warthog Classic 2:
- Run your blade through the Warthog in a downward motion, out of the sharpener.
- Do this ten to 15 times.
Once you’ve sharpened a blade, you only need to touch it up now and then.
Check the 12 second video for a demo.
Steeling your blade
You can steel your sharpened blade with the Classic 2. Follow these steps:
- Unclip the honing stone rods.
- Flip them over and clip them back in, steel rods on the outside, but at an increased angle.
- If you sharpened your knife at 20 degrees, increase the angle to 25 degrees. If you sharpened at 25 degrees, increase the angle to 30 degrees.
- Pull your blade through, ten to 15 times.
This 24 second video shows you how to set up your Classic 2 for steeling a blade.
Sharpening thick blades
To sharpen a thick blade, you need to adjust the blade guide.
Follow these steps to adjust the blade guide:
- Loosen the blade guide locking screw.
- Tilt the blade guide as far back as possible.
- Tighten the blade guide locking screw.
Now you’re able to sharpen thick blades, even an ax head.
This seven second video shows you how to set up your Classic 2 for sharpening thick blades.
The Classic 2 gives you three sharpening angles:
- 20 degrees
- Recommended for boning, carving and paring.
- Slicing edge for meats, veggies and soft materials.
- 25 degrees
- Hunting knives, pocket knives, chef’s chopping knives.
- For cutting on hard surfaces.
- 30 degrees
- Steeling and rough cutting work.
- Durable bevel, great for chopping.
Because the Classic 2 uses the blade’s edge as reference, you get an accurate angle that remains the same, session after session.
This is not the case with sharpeners like the Lansky Deluxe, which uses the blade’s spine as reference.
When you use a Lansky Deluxe, chances are you change the sharpening angle every time you re-sharpen a knife. Unless you marked your Lansky’s position on your knives. That’s a schlep.
The Warthog V-Sharp Classic II comes with two 325 grit diamond stones.
You can buy the following diamond stones for it:
- 270 grit.
- 325 grit.
- 600 grit.
- 1000 grit.
Use the coarsest stone (270 grit) for rough edges. Use the finest stone (1000 grit) for finishing an edge.
How to exchange diamond hones
The Warthog box claims that it’s easy to remove the diamond hone from the rod.
I needed the help of my trusty stubby screwdriver.
This 16 second video shows how I remove it and slide it back.
How long does a blade stay sharp?
There’s no clear answer to this…
A blade’s toughness depends on the type of material it’s made of, as well as the heat treatment it’s received.
Your blade won’t stay sharp if it’s made from an inferior material, or if they messed up the heat treatment process.
How long it takes to sharpen a new blade
This depends on the condition of the blade.
Let’s do some calculations, based on Warthog’s instructions for using the Classic 2.
Warthog says you must sharpen a dull blade by pulling it through the Classic 2, 30 to 40 times, using a sawing action.
This is a quick action, so we’ll assign a second to each pull.
We’ll also double the number of times you pull it through, because we can.
Warthog says it takes ten to 15 slow pulls through the Classic 2, to finish the sharpening process.
We’ll do it thirty times, and count two seconds for each pull.
So we have 80 saw-like pulls, at one second per pull, and 30 slow pulls, at two seconds per pull.
That gives us a total of 140 seconds.
Let’s add steeling to the process.
Steeling requires you to unclip the honing stone rods, flip them over and reattach. We’ll assign 30 seconds to this action.
Then you need to run the knife through the Warthog another 15 times. We’ll double it, and assign one second to each pull.
140 seconds + 60 seconds = 200 seconds.
The fast, saw-like action required for dull blades takes practice to perfect. So you’ll start off slow.
At a slow pace, you can sharpen a blade in less than ten minutes.
Once you get the hang of the Classic 2, you’ll sharpen a blade in less than four minutes.
I love the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II.
It’s easy to use. Remove it from the box, set your desired blade angle and pull your knife through. Knife sharpening can’t be easier.
It’s clean. It uses diamond coated hones for sharpening. You don’t use oil for sharpening with these hones.
It’s consistent. Because the tool uses the blade edge as a reference point, as opposed to a clamping position on the knife’s spine, you never have to refresh your sharpening angle. The difference in angle, from one sharpening session to the next, is minimal, if any at all.
No electricity needed. Take the Classic 2 outdoors. It’s small enough to form part of your camping kit. And it’s manual. No need to plug it in.
The Warthog Classic 2 is hard to beat. It’s a premium knife sharpening tool. I recommend you get one.