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TSPROF Pioneer Guided Sharpening System An In-Depth Review

The TSPROF Pioneer is an impressive angle-guided sharpener that offers the potential for razor-sharp results, particularly if you take the time to understand sharpening fundamentals. However, it’s essential to note that it does come with a few limitations. Since this is a full in-depth review I have included chapters in this video that you can skip to. Without further ado, let’s delve into the review.

Components and Build Quality

It comes with everything you need to get started such as an entire set of diamond grit progression plates:

  • Extra Coarse F150 – for rough shaping or micro-chips repair work.
  • Coarse F220 – for defining the edge.
  • Medium F400 – for primary sharpening.
  • Fine F600 – for edge smoothing.
  • Extra Fine – F1000 for the Final Polishing.
TSPROF Pioneer Abrassive Dimensions
TSPROF Pioneer Abrassive Dimensions

Features and Adjustability

Once assembled, you are left with a small and sturdy system, the table clamp is not the most beautiful thing but it works. The system is rock solid in place with no wiggle room on the parts due to the included anti-slip pads, which matters a lot in these types of systems. It comes with the Pioneer body, 2 Knife Clamps, 5 Diamond Plates, an Abrasive Holder, a plastic parking stand, and a stroke limiter. On the Pioneer body, there is an angle adjuster with some rough angle estimate markings and a rubber ring for stone thickness adjustments.

And finally, there is the turning mechanism that you operate with one push to unlock the plate. TSPROF also sells add-ons or upgrades such as the steel base that also comes with anti-slip pads which is what I used during the testing period. With both the steel base and table clamp you can position the sharpener without the blade touching the table while turning.

Rough Angle Estimate and Angle Finder

The angle guide on the rod is accurately adjusted to the provided clamps and abrasive plates. However, when a blade is attached, the angle may shift significantly depending on the blade’s width. Therefore, a digital angle finder is essential. You can use your phone or, for better accuracy, an angle cube.

TSPROF Axicube

TSPROF also offers the Axicube, a compact angle finder designed for their sharpening systems. It comes with a premium price tag of around $130 and provides precise measurements but uses a micro-USB port to charge, which may not align with the current standards. A USB-C port would be preferable.

The Axicube features an inclinometer function called P1, along with presets P2 and P3 for other TSPROF systems. In the case of the TSPROF Pioneer, the P4 function serves solely as an angle finder. The Inclinometer can also be used with the TSPROF Pioneer so that the cube can be set flat.

Setting Up and Attaching Abrasive Plates

With everything set in place, it’s just a simple matter of attaching the abrasive plates. With a simple pull, you can attach and switch plates very fast and easily. If the stones are from different thicknesses you can use the rubber stone adjuster.

Ensuring Blade Edge Alignment

After that, you need to make sure that the blade edge is as straight as possible for the best results. If you want to trace the factory angle of the knife, you can use a sharpie to find the correct angle (or simply trace the different reflections). If the entire Sharpie is ground away, you are at the factory angle. If you want to add your own angle, make sure to use an angle finder to find the angle that you want.

Sharpening Methods and Burr Removal

Once that is set you have multiple ways to sharpen. You can push, you can pull, you can saw, or swipe. It does not matter what method you use unless you want the sharpest results possible since each method does not differ much. There is no need to apply pressure, just let the weight of the plate do its work for you. In my case, I will use the sawing method with the coarse diamond plate and progress slowly to the finest plate. All you have to do before turning the blade is to feel for a burr, which is a thin raised metal being pushed to the other side.

Final Touches and Burr Removal

Once that has been established on the entire blade edge, turn the knife over by pushing the lever and rotating the knife, and repeat the same step, once the bur has been established, I like to remove the burr with a few swipes on each side. Remove the metal residue on the blade edge with a damp towel or kitchen paper before you move to the other abrasive plates and repeat the steps. Since the plates I’m using are all the same thickness I don’t have to adjust for thicknesses or use the angle finder to find the angle again. Repeat the steps until you are happy. You can stop at F600 if you want more bite on your edge. If you want something smoother go all the way up to F1000. I like to add an optional step with my last abrasive plate during the bur removal by raising the angle a tiny bit by 0.1 to 0.3 degrees up, to speed up the process and it removes the burrs very easily without the need to use a strop.

Results & Stone Adjuster

Once that has been done the knife is extremely sharp and the results speak for themselves. It will slice through any paper easily without stropping. Of course, you can add the strop for the final step but there is no strop included in the base kit. I have bought aftermarket strops which is another plus for the TSPROF Pioneer that you can buy aftermarket abrasive plates and strops for the system.

Since the strop is thicker I will be using the angle adjuster to compensate for the thickness. First I use the smaller plate and adjust the rubber ring with it.

Once that has been done I only need to raise the angle adjuster to the thicker strop.

Limitations

While the TSPROF Pioneer sharpening system offers impressive functionality, it has a few limitations to consider:

  • Knife Width: The system may be challenging to use with wider knives, such as Chinese cleavers, as only a small portion of the plates will be used with each stroke making it a tedious task. Due to the very wide blade, there is some added flex to the blade. This limitation can be addressed by purchasing an extension-guided rod which should be included in the base kit to make it more viable for kitchen knives with a width over 40mm. The 100mm extension rod will increase the stroke limit, which is particularly recommended for sharpening most standard home-use kitchen knives that have a width of 50mm or higher.
  • Sharpened Angle Range: The system with the base clamps has a limited range of sharpened angles, typically around 12 to 26 degrees per side, depending on the knife being sharpened. This may not be suitable for knives with unconventional blade angles. If you want to sharpen a lot of bone cleavers then the TSPROF Pioneer is limited by its sharpened angle up to 26 degrees per side and in this case, the limit is around 18 degrees per side. Bone cleavers often require an angle of 40 degrees or higher per side to take care of the heavy impact of cutting large and very dense bones.
(The clamps also barely fit the 5.3mm thick spine)
The clamps also barely fit the 5.3mm thick spine

Add-ons

The system is great for adding additional add-ons such as an add-on for sharpening scissors. The add-ons are great with the many variations that TSPROF offers such as an L-attachment to increase the knife range and sturdiness of longer knives and also great for smaller knives. You can even easily add a convex edge with a convex attachment.

L-attachment, Convex Attachment.
L-attachment, Convex Attachment.

Key Takeaways

System Performance and Reliability

The TSPROF Pioneer angle-guided sharpening system consistently delivers exceptional results with the included abrasive plates, ensuring razor-sharp edges with their sturdy construction. The abrasive plates take around 5 to 10 kitchen knives to break in.

Component Durability

While most components are rock solid, the plastic parking stand may require improvements to enhance stability during use, since it has fallen a few times when I was not recording.

Plastic Parking Stand
Plastic Parking Stand

Rod Limitations and Recommendation

The standard rod included in the system may be limiting for kitchen knives. I highly recommend that TSPROF include a 100mm extended rod in the base kit to cater to a wider range of sharpening needs, especially for kitchen knife enthusiasts.

A +100mm extension rod should be included in the standard kit the standard is a bit short for kitchen knives with a width wider than 40mm.
A +100mm extension rod should be included in the standard kit the standard is a bit short for kitchen knives with a width wider than 40mm.

Importance of Digital Angle Finder

A digital angle finder is essential for precise sharpening with this system, ensuring accuracy and optimal results. The available add-ons offer versatility for users with specific sharpening requirements.

An Angle Finder is pretty much a must-have with the TSPROF Pioneer
An Angle Finder is pretty much a must-have with the TSPROF Pioneer

Considerations

Before investing around $350 in the TSPROF Pioneer sharpening system, it’s essential to evaluate whether it aligns with your current sharpening needs and preferences. While the Pioneer offers impressive functionality, TSPROF offers more advanced and higher-priced systems that may better suit users with specific requirements or those who perform high volumes of sharpening. These advanced systems often provide additional features and enhanced ease of use, which could provide a faster and more convenient workflow.

Additional Info

The Stroke limiter also comes with a rubber ring in the box, which was not used during recording this minimizes the impact and sound on the limiter. (I did not mention the sound without the rubber as that did not bother me). The standard rod would benefit from the +100mm extension rod regardless of the added rubber.

Minor hindrance

The second minor thing to note is where the rod goes in when you set it in the parking stand it rotates with you when you park the abrasive but when you start using it again you want to position it back in the middle or you might feel a small resistance.

Edge widening

In the case of kitchen knives, there is a small widening of the edge ie; a lowering of the sharpened angle depending on how long the blade is and away from the center. Therefore I prefer the heel part more towards the center as the widening of the tip area of kitchen knives is ironically a + as in I prefer it that way for kitchen knives since it is beneficial making it cut smoother for a more precise task with the front area of the knife. (You can compensate for it but in the case of kitchen knives I recommend it as is and keep the heel more towards the middle, not that noticeable with short knives).

Visit the TSPROF Store:
TSPROF Pionner Official Amazon Store
TSPROF Official Website

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ChefPanko

Hi, I'm ChefPanko, I have worked for multiple restaurants and have decided to share my experience with you guys. I will share recipes and techniques that I have learned, taken, and improved from the French, Japanese restaurants that I have worked for. I will also explore other cuisines with you guys.

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