Grit and Redneck Hustle: The Untold Story of Legendary Knife Maker Ken Onion

In case you missed  it last week, Work Sharp Tools has a new Mark 2 version of the Ken Onion Edition Knife and Tool Sharpener. I write about it in the upcoming Knife News (July):

Work Sharp unveils Upgraded Ken Onion M2 Knife and Tool Sharpener

Ashland, Oregon’s Work Sharp Tools has a sharpening system for everyone, whether you are looking for a pocket-portable manual unit for on-the-go touch up work, to a motorized unit, capable of grinding an entire knife from a piece of stock.

The Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife and Tool Sharpener Mk. 2 (KO2) is the latter. Like its first generation predecessor, the KO2 features 3/4”x12” belts, an upgraded motor, and an available blade grinding attachment. This attachment is included with the Elite unit (MSRP $299), or is available as a $129 add-on to the $199 base unit.

“There are 3 things about the KO2 that I am most excited about”, said Onion. “These are the improvements to the variable speed, the 3 belt tension settings for precise convex grinds, and the ability to fine tune the angle while the machine is in operation”.

The KO2 is ideal for the hobbiest who is wants to dip a toe into grinding a few knives. Its versatility is great for a homeowner with a range of knives and tools to sharpen. Or, as Ken suggests, “With its speed and ease of use, it would be perfect for someone wanting to set up a side-hustle sharpening knives at farmers markets and the like”.

For more information on the Ken Onion Edition Mk. 2 Knife and Tool Sharpener, or any of Work Sharp’s vast array of sharpening systems, visit

As part of the promotion of said sharpener, they just released this video biography of Ken.

Ken is a great guy, and I am ever grateful that he has been so available whenever I have needed a quote or have a question.