Summary: High quality craftsmanship with a convenient variety of grit stones, however best suited for shorter knives.
When it comes to helpful tips and guides for the hunter, one thing that you might notice over and over is that almost every time a deer knife is mentioned, the word “sharp” is often used. The reason for this is that dull knives tear while sharp knives cut. A newly purchased deer knife is often sharp, however it usually becomes duller the longer it is in use. This means that it is a good idea to have a good knife sharpener handy for putting the edge back on the knife. GATCO produces just such a knife sharpener system: The Tri-hone system.
GATCO has been in the business of producing great knives and tools for over 20 years now. Their products are known for their high quality.
- 3 ranges of grit
- Easy to change stones
- System comes with honing oil
- Simple, high quality craftsmanship
- Great value for money
- Stones are rather short
- Not suitable for sharpening longer blades
The Tri-Hone knive sharpener consists of three Arkansas stones, mounted on a triangular wooden block, as it sounds. The stones range in grit from coarse to medium to fine. This is handy whether the hunter needs to repair a badly damaged or neglected blade or who simply wants to put an edge back on the cutting surface of a maintained knife. It is a simple matter to turn the triangle in order to go from one stone to another; simply lift, turn and put it back into the included holder.
This knife sharpener system comes with a larger wooden block to hold the triangular sharpener so the desired stone is on top and offers a flat surface for the blade. The system also comes with honing oil that can be used to lubricate the knife and the stone.
The stones are quality made and are as good as any on the market, as far as I’m concerned. They are also glued securely to the triangular block. Though the knife sharpening system is simple in design, the quality is there and I give it high marks for craftsmanship.
It might seem a little strange to talk about durability when referring to a knife sharpener, but with reasonable care, this knife sharpener lasts a long time. The stones don’t wear down easily and as long as the knife sharpener isn’t dropped or banged around, the stones should remain attached to the triangular block. Compared to similar systems, I give this knife sharpener high marks in durability.
The Tri-Hone knife sharpener usually costs less than $50, so it isn’t very expensive. If you were to purchase three separate stones and honing oil, it is likely that they’d come to more money than the Tri-Hone knife sharpener costs.
My only complaint about this knife sharpener is that the stones really need to be longer. I find it difficult to give a proper hone to long bladed deer knives, though it is great for honing shorter blades.
I would recommend this knife sharpener, but I’d make sure that people realized that it might be too small for longer knives. I give lower marks for both features and recommendations, based entirely on the length of the stone. Otherwise this is a good knife sharpener.
GATCO Tri-Hone knife sharpening system is a good product and is quality made, though it has some shortcomings, no pun intended. I still use mine, mostly on my pocket knives.