Basic Knife Sharpening Instructions

Step 1:

Insert the two prongs of the Depth Key into the two holes in the Alignment Guide as shown in Fig. 1.


Step 2:

For narrow-bladed knives, insert the Depth Key into the top pair of holes in the Vise. For wider blades, use the lower pair for increased holding power. See Fig. 2


Step 3:

Using the Vise Key, loosen the top screw of the Vise until the back of your knife fits easily between the jaws of the vise and rests on the prongs of the Depth Key.

Step 4:

Holding the knife so that the back of the blade is in contact with both prongs of the Depth Key and the tip of the blade is pointing directly away from you, slide the knife forward or backward until the blade is approximately centered in the Vise, then further adjust the position of the knife until the tip is lined up with the nearest mark on the Alignment Guide, as shown in Fig. 3


Step 5:

Tighten the top screw of the Vise until the knife is lightly held in place, then tighten the bottom screw until the knife is firmly held in place. Do not over tighten! Remove the Depth Key and Alignment Guide from the Vise. For long, thin blades, such as a filet knife, insert the Knife Brace into the hole in the top of the Base with the slotted end up, then place the knife into the Vise and the slot in the Knife Brace as shown in Fig. 4


Step 6:

Loosen the thumbscrews on each Collar and slide the Collars in or out along the Base Rod until the inside edge of each Collar is aligned with the desired degree mark, then tighten the thumbscrews by hand. Do not use pliers.  See Fig. 5


For assistance with angle selection, consult your knife manufacturer's recommendations, or see the chart at the end of these instructions for suggestions.

Step 7:

If this is the first time your knife has been sharpened using the Wicked Edge, or if you are changing the angle of the knife's edge, place the red/orange, Coarse/Medium-Coarse 100-200 grit pair of Diamond Blocks on the Guide Rods. If you have already sharpened your knife on the Wicked Edge and you are just touching it up, then skip ahead to the end of these instructions to the section titled: Touch-ups.

Step 8:

With the tip of the knife pointing away from you, grasp the Diamond Blocks with your fingertips in the indentations, being careful to keep your fingertips behind the colored trays that hold the stones. Rotate the Diamond Blocks upward and place the red, 100 grit Coarse Stone flat against the heel of the blade, as shown in Fig. 6. Hold the other Diamond Block out away from the knife.



Step 9:

While applying moderate pressure to the blade with the Coarse, 100 Grit Stone, slide the stone up and away from you toward the tip of the blade. This stroke is finished when the tip of the blade reaches the bottom of the stone as shown in Fig. 7.


Be careful not to slide the stone off the edge of the knife. Repeat this motion with the opposite stone. Continue this procedure, switching from side-to-side with each stroke. Periodically inspect the blade to see if the scratches made by the stone have reached the edge. If you are not sure, a simple test can be used: Apply five strokes to one side of the blade, then drag a cotton swab up the opposite side of the blade until it comes off the edge. If it snags on the edge, you have completed setting the angle on that side of the knife. Be sure to check along the entire length of the blade. Repeat this procedure on the other side of the blade. Once the angle is set on both sides, polish the edge by progressing through the orange-200 Grit, yellow-400 Grit, and green-600 Grit stones using the same heel-to-tip stroke that you used to begin the sharpening process, alternating between sides at each stroke.

If you have purchased the Extra-Fine/Ultra-Fine Accessory Stones, then you may continue to polish the edges starting with the blue, Extra-Fine Stones and finishing with the purple, Ultra-Fine 800-1000 Grit Stones.

Step 10:

To remove the knife from the sharpener, firmly grasp the handle of the knife with one hand, while loosening the bottom screw of the Vise. Carefully remove the knife. If necessary, loosen the top screw as well. Congratulations! You now have a Wicked Edge on your knife!


Follow Steps 1 through 5 to mount your knife in the Vise. Be sure to use the Depth Key and Alignment Guide to place your knife in exactly the same position as when you first sharpened it. Now set the sharpening angle as described in Step 6 to the same angle you used previously on this knife. It may be useful to keep a record of the sharpening angles and mounting positions for each of your knives. For your convenience, we have included a table with these instructions that you can fill out and use for future reference. To begin touching-up the edge of your knife, use the green, Fine Stones. Use the same heel-to-tip stroke technique described in step 9. Five to ten passes on each side should be enough for frequent touch-ups or lightly used knives. More passes may be necessary for knives that receive heavy use or infrequent touch-ups. If you have purchased the Extra-Fine/Ultra-Fine 800-1000 Grit Accessory Stones, use the purple, Ultra-Fine Stones first. If you find that your knife's edge cannot be fully restored with the Ultra-Fine Stones, then you may need to go back to the Extra-Fine Stones. Unless you have badly damaged your knife's edge, you should never need to use a stone with a coarser grit than the green 600 Grit, Fine Stone.