Spyderco 600F Galley-V Easy-to-Use Sharpening System, Fine Grit Ceramic Rods
SP600F: 600F Galley-V Sharpening System
Smart cooks know that sharp knives are among the most important tools in the kitchen. They also understand the advantages of being able to keep their knives at peak sharpness, on demand, and with a minimum of effort. Spyderco's Galley-V sharpener is the perfect tool for that important job.
The Galley-V is an easy-to-use system that quickly sharpens all types of kitchen knives, even those with serrated edges. Unlike our Tri-Angle Sharpmaker and Gauntlet, which are designed to be stored after every use, the Galley-V is intended as a permanent or semi-permanent fixture in serious kitchens. Its base is designed to be screwed or clamped to a countertop or other solid surface so it is always available for quick touch-ups to keep your knives at maximum sharpness.
Truth be told, the Galley-V is not a new concept. The first-generation version of this sharpener was originally released in the mid 1990s. Its uniquely shaped stones, which have an "acute ellipse" or "cat's eye" cross-sectional shape, were patented in February 1993. The original base design, which held the stones at a 30-degree included angle, was granted a patent in January 1995. And while serious sharpening aficionados appreciated the "always-ready" convenience of the original Galley-V, ultimately, it was discontinued and the Sharpmaker filled the void.
The newly released version of the Galley-V faithfully offers all the same advantages of the original, plus one. Since it is intended for serious cooks in serious kitchens, its sharpening angle is optimized for high-performance kitchen cutlery. Instead of the 30-degree included angle (15 degrees per side) of the first-generation Galley-V, this model features a 20-degree included angle (10 degrees per side). This extremely acute angle is ideal for maintaining or creating exceptionally keen edges on the thin-bladed knives skilled chefs prefer.
We've all seen experienced cooks pick up a sharpening steel and deftly "steel" their kitchen knives to keep them at optimal sharpness as they work. While the Galley-V was created to fulfill this same important role, the way it achieves it is very different. Traditional sharpening steels are hardened steel rods with a series of fine grooves machined along their length. Since the cutting edge of a knife is basically a series of microscopic teeth, the steel functions to "realign" these teeth between sharpenings to extend the performance of the edge. Traditional steels do not actually remove material from the cutting edge, so they do not truly "sharpen" it. They also only work on relatively soft blades, like most European kitchen knife brands. Harder blades, such as those found on Japanese cooking knives, don't really respond to the action of the steel. Also, achieving and maintaining a proper and consistent angle between the edge of a handheld knife and a handheld steel requires lots of practice.
The Galley-V is also designed for quick, frequent touch-ups while you work in the kitchen, but is far superior to a traditional steel. First of all, the Galley-V is a true sharpener. Its abrasive rods actually remove steel from the edge of a knife to re-shape it into an acute "V" shape. Made from high-alumina ceramic, the rods’ fine-grit abrasive works efficiently, but not too aggressively, carefully honing the edges of your knives without shortening their service life (a common problem with motorized sharpeners).
To easily achieve the perfect edge-to-abrasive sharpening angle every time, the Galley-V's durable ABS plastic base has two holes in it that pre-set the angle of the abrasive rods. The star-shaped holes hold the stones in a V-shape with a 20-degree included angle. All you have to do is keep the plane of your blade vertical as you draw the edge along each rod from heel to tip, alternating from side to side. The 12-inch-long ceramic rods are specifically designed for large kitchen knives, allowing long, smooth strokes that sharpen the entire length of the edge. Designed to be quick and simple to use, the Galley-V also does not require any electricity, oil, water, or any complicated clamps or fixtures.
For knives with plain-edged blades, the Galley-V's abrasive rods should be positioned so one of their convex sides faces inward toward the apex of the "V." Since the rods actually remove blade steel as they sharpen, with time the contact surfaces of the rods will become "loaded" with steel. To keep sharpening, simply remove the rods, rotate them slightly, and reinsert them in the star-shaped holes in the base. This will expose a fresh abrasive surface and allow many sharpenings before the stones require cleaning. Rotating the stones in the holes in the base also allows you to position the stones perfectly to sharpen all the way to the heel of the edge on knives with "shoulders" where the blade bevels meet the ricasso.
For bread knives and other knives with serrated edges, use the exact same sharpening technique, but with the narrow edges of the rods facing in toward the center of the "V." The small, focused radius of the rods' edges flows in and out of the scallops in the serrations, quickly honing the entire length of the edge while maintaining the shape and integrity of the serrations’ teeth. Again, if the contact surfaces of the rods become loaded with steel, simply remove the rods and rotate them to present the opposite edges of the rods and fresh abrasive surfaces.
After many sharpenings, all the available surfaces of the rods will eventually become loaded with steel. To restore their abrasiveness, simply clean them with warm water, ordinary kitchen cleanser, and a scouring pad. This will remove the accumulated steel and open the pores of the abrasive. Maintained in this way, the Galley-V will last a lifetime.
The base of the Galley-V has two countersunk holes for mounting screws. Although they allow it to be permanently screwed to a countertop or cabinet so it is always available for use, we understand that option may not work for everyone. One clever alternative is to mount it above a kitchen doorway, where it’s out of the way, but still easily accessible. With very little practice, you can learn to rotate your sharpening technique 90 degrees to achieve the same excellent results.
If you prefer not to mount your Galley-V base permanently, you can also use screws to attach it to a cutting board or similarly sized wooden base. This approach preserves your counter space, yet provides a foundation with enough weight and stability to use the sharpener as designed. Alternatively, you can use C-clamps or a similar style of clamp to secure it temporarily to the edge of a countertop or table.
Spyderco's Galley-V comes complete with a durable ABS plastic base, two fine-grit white ceramic rods, and a detailed instruction sheet. The ultimate accessory for every serious cook, it takes the mystery out of knife sharpening and is the quickest and easiest way of keeping every knife in your kitchen in top condition. Made in the USA.