Design of the Week: Knife Sharpener

By on February 5th, 2024 in Design, news

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3D printed knife sharpener [Source: Printables]

This week’s selection is the Knife Sharpener by Printables contributor firstgizmo.

“Gizmo” is a very prolific designer, having contributed an astounding 87 3D models to Printables as of this writing. Many of them are household items that provide some convenience, and there are plenty involving multiple part assemblies.

One that caught my eye was the Knife Sharpener. This is a device that you can use to properly sharpen knives with a whetstone. This is normally done by skilled handlers manually, but the trick is to hold the angle of the blade rigid during sharpening. That’s quite difficult to do, and usually requires some type of tooling aid.

That’s exactly what this 3D model does: it holds the blade in a fixed position at the correct angle, and an arm also holds the whetstone, which also must be at a fixed and precise angle.

The result is that you can easily sharpen blades with this 3D printed device.

I’m quite excited about this because all of my knives are dull and it’s not fun to sharpen them. This device should make my kitchen life — and yours if you use knives — a lot easier.

There’s 40 parts in this download, and it’s not because the device is complicated. It’s because there are a lot variations at play. Knives are different sizes, require different angles, whetstones are various dimensions, etc.

It seems that gizmo has included enough part variants to handle almost every common knife scenario, making this a very useful 3D print. Remember, you probably have several different knives in your drawer and they will inevitably be different sizes.

Gizmo recommends printing in PLA for an interesting reason. The sharpener’s design involves sliding the mechanism back and forth during operation. PLA is said to be less “sticky”, and this makes the sliding process much more smooth than if you had printed with PETG or ABS/ASA.

One of the best features of this design is that Gizmo has included substantial instructions for assembly and use of the device. There’s even a list of common angles used for different knife styles for those unfamiliar.

That said, Gizmo explains:

“All these facts are horribly simplified and you might do your own research first. They are a good point to get started though. Remember its no rocket science in the end. Simpletons like you and me most likely wont notice the difference between 20° and 15°, for cutting open frozen food wrapping anyway. So don’t tinker with the whole thing to much and just use the sharpener as the tool it is intended to be.”

Soon all 3D printer operators will have properly sharpened knives. Or at least that’s my hope.

Via Printables

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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