First Look: Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife & Tool Sharpener MK.2

First Look: Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife & Tool Sharpener MK.2

The work-horse tool gets some upgrades.

Work Sharp’s Ken Onion Knife & Tool Sharpener has been keeping knife enthusiasts’ edges sharp for a decade. A good run, by anyone’s measure. But the device’s time is up as the company welcomes the dawning of a new era—the Ken Onion Knife & Tool Sharpener MK.2. I’m sure some of you saw that coming.

Thankfully, Work Sharp hasn’t reinvented the wheel with the refresh of this time-tested multitool. Instead, the unit maintains many of the features that made it popular in the first place but offer a few notable enhancements that sharpeners and makers should find welcome, including a MK.2 Elite model with grinding functions.

Chief among the enhancements is the MK.2’s speed control, now offering seven preset speed settings to provide consistent and repeatable results. A new torque control delivers consistent power, even under load. To make the sharpener easier to dial in, Work Sharp has included a very clear amber LED indicator light for the belt speed selection for quick and precise adjustment. Furthermore, a scope click adjustment knob on the sharpening guide, with detent clicks, allows users to adjust in half-degree increments by touch. Incidentally, the guide is adjustable from 15 degrees at the low end to 30 degrees at the high, hitting nearly every angle for both knives and tools.

The MK.2 also comes with leather-lined angle guides that offer protection for knives during sharpening. Users will also note a lockout belt tensioner on the sharpening cassette that helps make changing abrasive belts fast and simple. The Ken Onion MK.2 will come with five grits to accommodate the full spectrum of sharpening from repair to ultra-fine polishing.

Ken Onion Elite MK.2

As for the grinding, the Ken Onion MK.2 Elite model has some interesting aspects too. The redesigned grinder attachment quickly and easily mounts to the power base without tools or calibration. Once attached, the grinder boasts on-the-fly motor speed control and continuous run time. Additionally, an adjustable, three-position convex pulley system allows users to customize their grind profile depending on personal preference or the type of knives being sharpened.

The Ken Onion Knife & Tool Sharpener MK.2 boasts a $200 MSRP for the base model and $300 MSRP for the Elite. While the original sharpener has been a standby for a long time, the new addition to the Work Sharp lineup should prove sharp.

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