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Elite vs elite - Which sharpener is best?

Date: 05-02-2024

The Precision Adjust Elite and the Ken Onion Elite face off in a rigorous head-to-head test, evaluating these high-end knife sharpening machines. The examination focuses on speed, edge quality, sharpness, and edge retention to determine the ultimate performer. Utilizing matching knives, specifically the Limited Edition Work Sharp Benchmade Bugout, both sharpeners are put through a comprehensive evaluation process.

The sharpening methods of the Precision Adjust Elite and the Ken Onion Elite, while similar in some aspects, employ different technologies. The Precision Adjust Elite employs flat grinding with diamond, ceramic, and leather plates, while the Ken Onion Elite utilizes flexible belt sharpening, allowing for the achievement of a convex edge. Both incorporate progressive grits to attain a finely honed, razor-sharp edge.


Speed: Winner Ken Onion Elite
In terms of speed, the Ken Onion Elite emerges as the clear winner, proving to be 3-4 times faster in sharpening the Work Sharp Bugout compared to the Precision Adjust Elite. Despite both featuring progressive grits, the Ken Onion's powered sharpening system excels in efficiency.

Faster sharpening means extra time for coffee.


Edge Finish: Precision Adjust Elite
When assessing edge finish, the Precision Adjust Elite takes the lead. While both knives exhibit visual appeal, the Precision Adjust Elite produces an almost mirror-like finish, surpassing the even finish of the Ken Onion Elite, which contains visible sharpening scratches.


Sharpness: Winner Precision Adjust Elite
In the sharpness category, the Precision Adjust Elite prevails. BESS Test results indicate an average of 154 for the Precision Adjust and 295 for the Ken Onion. Although both sharpeners deliver impressively sharp edges, the Precision Adjust Elite secures the win with a razor-sharp edge below 200 on the BESS Test.


Edge Retention: Winner Ken Onion Elite
Moving to edge retention, the Ken Onion Elite claims victory. The knives are subjected to various cutting tasks, and after 50 strips of cardboard, 25 cuts through 1-inch hemp rope, and 10 cuts through braided rubber hose, both knives are assessed on the BESS Tester. The Ken Onion Elite maintains a better edge, with an average of 439 compared to the Precision Adjust's average of 329.


Overall Winner: Ken Onion Elite Sharpening System
In conclusion, while both sharpeners excel in delivering sharp edges through distinct methods, the Ken Onion Elite emerges as the overall winner, particularly excelling in speed and edge retention—two critical factors in the evaluation.

NOTE: We rematched these two sharpeners again and had surprising results!
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