|About the Wicked Edge|
In 2007, Clay Allison of Santa Fe Outfitters and Devin Kennemore of C Squared LLC joined together to design products for the outdoors industry. With decades of experience in outfitting and search-and-rescue, the two have a unique resume of combined talents and training that lend themselves to identifying areas of need in their fields and for developing solutions in those areas. In the spring of 2007 Clay and Devin were working on their up-coming video, "An Outfitter's Guide to Field Dressing Large Game." Field dressing is tough on knives and in the process, they did a lot of sharpening. By the end of the filming, they had each reached the end of patience with existing knife sharpeners. After talking it over, they got together to solve the shortcomings of the sharpeners they found so frustrating. The result of their collaboration was the first set of drawings for the sharpener that would become the Wicked Edge.
Refining the Concept
The initial prototype was a complete failure and they nearly threw in the towel on the project. Then late one night, inspiration struck and Clay sketched out a concept. Devin jumped in and added some much needed engineering expertise. After many refinements and painstaking revisions, the first successful prototype was created. Many months of testing and further refinements finally yielded the current sharpener; a fast and efficient precision machine.
The Wicked Edge Story as Told By Clay
'Back in the day, I got ready for a hunting trip in the same way as all my friends; making lists, packing gear, preparing food, sighting my rifle etc... An essential part was always sharpening my knife. In those days, we all used the standard two-sided stone with techniques that had been passed on to us by our fathers and grand fathers. I remember working and working for hours to get what finally felt like a decent edge, only to find that the knife just didn't get the job done in the field.
Eventually, I purchased an electric sharpener. My electric unit was fast and produced satisfying results. The knives weren't razor sharp, but they were pretty good. By then I was outfitting hunts on a prestigous ranch in Colorado and I had plenty of opportunities to test out knives. What my guides and I all quickly found out was that you still needed to bring at least four knives to properly dress out an elk. I began examining the edges of my high dollar knives and I noticed that they had a scalloped appearance. I did some research and found out what professional sharpeners have known forever: A well formed edge stays sharp much longer. Poorly formed edges, like those created on electric sharpeners will quickly dull. It was then that I purchased my first controlled angle sharpener.
The new sharpener was truly a revelation to me. The first thing I found was that my knives' edges lasted much longer. One knife was now taking me through a whole elk - skinning, quartering and caping. I was so impressed that I purchased several dozen controlled angle sharpeners and gave them out to my guides, family members and friends. The next thing I found was that with the purchase of the optional higher grit stones, I could get my knives truly razor sharp.
After nearly a decade of love, the fascination with my sharpener slowly began to fade.There were several frustrating issues with the sharpener: First was that the vise didn't have enough clamping power to be truly effective. The knives would often work themselves out of the vise and the whole process would come to a halt while the knife was replaced and the vise was reset. Sometimes the knife would come all the way out and actually fall to the floor. Second was the awkward juggle that had to happen to switch sides for sharpening. It was always a fiasco that really slowed progress and often ended up causing nicks and cuts on my hands. The third and most aggravating problem with the sharpener was that I often found myself needing to recreate the edge from scratch (which required a considerable amount of time) when only a touch up was needed. The combination of frustrations finally led me to discuss sharpening with my partner and sparked the creation of our first prototypes. With the Wicked Edge, we have solved all of the problems inherent with all previous controlled angle sharpeners.' - Clay Allison