With the advent of affordable industrial diamond abrasives, sharpening systems like this Chef’s Choice 464 Pronto have actually begun to work properly. Older versions of this patented idea used hardened steel wheels or ceramic rods and yielded uncertain results, but the Pronto produces consistent results with a minimum of practice.
The Pronto is set to restore western-style blades to a standard twenty degree bevel, so it isn’t intended for thinner Japanese cutlery and shouldn’t be used on that type of blade. For any standard plain-edge American or European kitchen knife, it should work well. The diamond wheels are long-lasting and the sharpener itself is built stoutly, but few people would choose a manual sharpener like this to rework a kitchen full of dull tools. Restoring knives with the Pronto will still require persistence and elbow grease.
Start out with an old knife for practice, and draw the blade smoothly through each slot, keeping the blade level and pulling back straight. Pulling to either side puts more stress on the wheel than is needed and may nick the blade and cause it to jam. Don’t press down more than lightly — the knife shouldn’t bounce and stutter across the wheels.
Many high-quality knives have polished bevels that blend with the main blade. This sharpener incorporates a two-stage system in each honing slot, restoring the main bevel at the same time it polishes the edge. The result will not be factory-perfect, but it does a good job of restoring old knives to a practical and useful condition.
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[phpbay]Chef’s Choice Manual Diamond Sharpener, 2[/phpbay]