Knife & Tool Care Kit by Sentry Solutions

You don't need a graduate degree in cutlery to achieve expert results with this handy kit. "Gear Up" from our July 15, 2009, /SW eNewsletter/

Sentry Solutions' Knife & Tool Care Kit includes (from left) cleaning tools, a bottle of Tuf-Glide lubricant, a carrying case, Tuf-Cloth lubricating wipes, and a Gatco sharpener.

Sentry Solutions' Knife & Tool Care Kit includes (from left) cleaning tools, a bottle of Tuf-Glide lubricant, a carrying case, Tuf-Cloth lubricating wipes, and a Gatco sharpener.Courtesy Sentry Solutions

I consider myself the target audience for moron-proof products. I've never been particularly handy, but I've also never let that stop me from fooling around with gadgets-- which makes me the perfect candidate to determine a product's effectiveness in the hands of an unskilled user.

I recently got my hands on Sentry Solutions' Knife & Tool Care Kit, which includes a Gatco Micro X Pocket Ceramic Four-Rod Sharpener, Tuf-Cloth lubricating wipes, a small bottle of Tuf-Glide lubricant, four cleaning tools, and a carrying case. Once I figured out what all these elements were supposed to do, I tested them out on a variety of knives and came to the conclusion that this kit is in fact moron proof.

The Gatco Micro X Pocket Ceramic Four-Rod Sharpener is, in essence, a knife sharpener with training wheels. The unit consists of a plastic frame that holds two ceramic rods in an "X" formation and two more ceramic rods in parallel. Two of the rods are coarse, two are fine. To sharpen my kitchen knife, I placed the coarse rods in the X, placed the heel of the blade against the plastic guide to maintain the correct sharpening angle, and pulled the knife towards me. I repeated the process on the other side of the X for the other edge of the blade and presto! My knife was back to cutting paper-thin tomato slices.

What makes the Gatco sharpener extra special, however, is its ability to sharpen serrated blades. Using the ceramic rod mounted along the edge of the frame, you can sharpen a serrated knife by positioning the blade against the angled guide and running each serration down the length of the rod, which is sized to fit the curve of most serrations. In this way, I successfully sharpened a steak knife, a bread knife (baguettes, beware!), and my Spyderco rigging knife.

The most innovative item in the kit is the Tuf-Cloth, which comes saturated with Sentry Solution's proprietary "formula of non-toxic dry film corrosion inhibitors and lubricants [providing] a fast-drying, water-displacing, micro-bonding crystal barrier against rust, friction, and wear." As my lab partner, Lindsey Nahmias, put it, "It's like Rain-X for knives."

There's also a Marine Tuf-Cloth, which is the same as the regular Tuf-Cloth, only saturated with a slightly thicker formula for combating corrosion in salt water. I wiped the Marine Tuf-Cloth along the blade of the Spyderco and let the knife dry for a minute. Now, water beads off the blade like corruption allegations off a Rhode Island politician. The specially formulated dry-film lubricant should protect the blade from corrosion the next time I use the knife in salt water and leave it to languish in my gear bag.

The Tuf-Glide liquid lubricant comes in a small bottle with a needle-like spout for reaching nooks and crannies. I used it to lubricate my knife's folding mechanism, and I used the supplied lint-free cleaning tools (like Q-Tips, without the errant cotton fibers) to dig out the accumulated grit.

When I had finished using all the elements in the kit-- the sharpener, the Tuf-Cloths, and the Tuf-Glide-- my knives were sharp, lubricated, and protected. And I hadn't injured myself. Bonus!

Courtesy Sentry Solutions| |GACTO Super Micro Sharpener| Since we tested the Knife & Tool Care Kit, Sentry Solutions' Mark Mrozek has informed us that the kit "now has a new and improved GACTO Super Micro Sharpener in place of the Micro X. I have to say the sharpener is much nicer-- more durable and ergonomic (more bulky) than before and slightly bigger." Check out a photo of the new sharpeneer at right. -Ed.