In my years of being in the kitchen, I’ve come to learn that having a sharp knife as a partner is more than necessary in order to make a clean dish.
I’ve decided to dig deeper and research more on the best kitchen knife sharpener that would help people in their field of expertise.
Knife sharpener, whether it may be automatic or manual, is an important tool to add in your kitchen’s arsenal. When I first started cooking, I never thought I would need a knife sharpener. Ever.
The reason behind my thinking is because I honestly believed that my knife would never get dull – it was an expensive, sharp-edged knife, with High Quality standards. As a matter of fact, I even made sure to read its description and it said its blade would last a lifetime.
I’m not the one who would normally agree on this, but I wasn’t an expert on knives back then, and it was coming from a well-established company. And my trusted old chef’s knife was a warrior, it can cut through to almost anything.
Unfortunately, after using it regularly for a couple of months, it became dull. At first, I thought my knife was acting up. And I even almost contacted the company. But after a few hours of research on the internet, I finally found the reason why.
All knives, no matter how excellent the brand is, will eventually dull. And while it wasn’t no secret, I was still surprised. I asked around, and then they confirmed my suspicion.
Later on, I learned that getting a knife sharpener always comes next after you’ve bought yourself a knife. To my disbelief, there are even knives which get sharper after it has been sharpened!
It doesn’t really matter if you’re a professional cook who spends most of his time in the kitchen or a hobby chef who occasionally enjoy cooking every now and again. But there’s one thing I can tell if you’re reading on this article, you definitely would want a sharp cutting tool for your kitchen.
Dull knives are incredibly frustrating to use. They’re also dangerous as the blade tends to bounce and change directions during cutting.
Overall, I can say that there’s two important characteristics that the best sharpeners have – it must be able to work with a variety of knives and is capable of handling blade angles, and the temper should remain as it is in the sharpening process.
If you’re going to research on this, it simply has four ways where you can do it.
You could say that it’s the most well-known of the group. It’s incredibly fast, and anyone can use it. The best part is that it only needs a small space as it can be stored inside a drawer.
It’s still popular – but not as popular as the first one. It’s a good choice, and it still delivers results. For people who are budget-conscious, you may purchase this one as it’s evidently cheaper than electric-powered models.
I don’t offer this for people who just started sharpening knives. Relatively, this is what professionals often use. One commendable feature of this system is that it will not damage the temper of your steel as it offers flexibility.
And before these three was discovered, this is what everyone used back in the day. You need time to get used to this as it requires skill in order to master this method.
I know that it’s confusing – we have way too many sharpening knives for our own good. And this is especially confusing for anyone who just started finding a kitchen tool and choosing between manual or electric.
Sharpening blades have a number of material being used, and it varies from one sharpener to another. Each of the materials are intended for a different job, these may be natural stones and composite materials.
There’s a popular stone that has been used for thousands of years – Natural stones. This has been used on tools, weapons, and knives. Professionals say that you can get the best of natural stones from quarries in Arkansas. They have been referred as Arkansans stones.
Surprisingly, composite, which has also been called as man-made stones are more durable than natural materials as it has been made up of variety of materials. But at the end of the day, it still depends on the person.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the electric knife sharpening tools have abrasives which are man-made. They’re commonly found on the wheels to get certifies results after sharpening.
You can say that its characteristics are always changing. Specifically, the coarseness of the abrasives isn’t fixed. The moment you progress to a different stage of your sharpener, it changes as well.
Lastly, professionals fancy using either one of the two – natural or man-made. Yes, choosing the appropriate type of stone plays a factor, but it has been clear that it only comes second to getting the proper angle.
There’s a reason why professionals would rather stick to manual sharpeners despite electric sharpeners are faster – they can potentially damage your knives.
Grinding wheels are usually the problem with an electrical sharpener – unfortunately, it’s present with all of the electric-powered units.
Apparently, the speed which we love about them, conducts heat. Of course, the blade is present, the heat then transfers to it. This is where it all starts – it affects the steel’s sturdiness.
Also, most of the units aren’t flexible at all. They only offer you to sharpen at one specific angle. Unluckily, this is what we don’t want to happen. It’s impossible to compromise the blade’s angle and hardness.
But when you’re using a manual sharpener, you don’t experience any of the concerns above. It’s unable to conduct heat, and the angle is flexible, allowing you to sharpen your knife comfortably.
No matter what the case is, you need to check out the company’s quality. These stones should be the best in quality, allowing you a smooth experience. It gives you the assurance of a consistent bevel throughout the process.
And finally, what I really like about manual sharpeners is that, it’s able to cater both large and small knives easily. Not to mention, you are guaranteed of safety when sharpening because of its safety precautions.
Another point of making an allowance for an electric sharpener as well-known as some of the other brands in this contrast, there are numerous reasons why the electric sharpener is superior to the rest of the field.
One can say that the most important factor of an electric sharpener is the capability of handling different angles at ease.
You need to remember that knives are intended for different purposes, that’s why they have different angles. Usually, people resort to letting the manufacturing do the sharpening for them – but I don’t recommend since it takes a few weeks to get it back.
The best electric sharpener should be able to handle numerous knives like: a paring knife, filet knife, or even a chef’s knife.
Here are the highlights:
It’s the fastest sharpener in the group.
There are now sharpeners which offer a wide variety of angles.
Unlike other sharpeners, this assures you consistency due to its grinding wheels.
Assuming that you’ve found the best electric sharpener, then its selector knob would do you good as you can control the angle of your knife during the sharpening process. Ideally, it should be able to display a variety of types – from hunting to kitchen.
You’re able to choose what angle you desire, and you’re good as done. There are cases where you can find a blade sharpener for serrated knives tucked inside the tool.
With every good, there’s always a bad – I mean, no sharpener is perfect. What I dislike about electric sharpeners is its heat. It usually has spinning discs that conducts heat along the length of the blade. It undeniably shortens the life of the blade.
Seriously, people should be more aware of this as this has become a popular choice in the market. Also, you’re only limited to a number of knives – it has way too many restrictions. It’s definitely the exact opposite of a manual sharpener.
You are only restricted to sharpen around 4-5 knives in a row as it tends to heat up rather quickly. However, this can be easily fixed if you schedule sharpening your knives on different dates.
Now, one of the reason why people don’t choose to buy the best knife sharpener right away is because of the common misconception that purchasing sharpeners are a waste of money.
And let me tell you straight, it’s the exact opposite of what you’re thinking. It’s definitely not a waste of money, if anything, you can actually save money!
How is this possible? Well, as what I’ve stated before, knives are bound to get dull – that’s the fate of every knife on this planet. There might be knives in which its blade can stay sharp longer, but in the end it will be, unenviably dull.
Getting yourself the best knife sharpener right away, even though some them is going to be costly, it’s still worth it – it’s able to revert your knife to its original or even better!
I would never suggest buying a knife sharpener that’s not high in quality. Okay, I understand what you’re thinking, they’re cheaper. But there’s one important thing you should know, purchasing cheap knife sharpener can damage your blade rather than sharpening it.
There are even cases where the blade has been damaged that it’s already beyond repair. When that happens, you won’t be able to use it again. You have no other choice but to buy another expensive knife once again.
Now, that’s just impractical.
And get this, if you’re going to use a dull knife because you refuse to sharpen it, you’re going to be prone to accidents. Why wouldn’t you be? You’re going to need pressure to be able to cut through the food.
And the feeling of fatigue will take over if you’re just going to keep on use a dull knife for hours. Then again, it’s going to lead to health complications in the future.
The sharpener should be precisely intended to make it easier for the user to set up. It should have a base that has suction cups on the end, allowing a stable platform from which to work. All you need is a flat exterior. Appropriately, the cups could be separated to cater for your needs.
While most sharpening systems use locks to hold the blade in place. The best sharpener should have a patented guide instead. This permits you to refine lengthier and larger blades. There aren’t really any size boundaries and edges as tall as 3 1/2″ can be accommodated on this arrangement.
Authorizing for a variability of anywhere from 10 to 24 degrees, the recommended kitchen sharpener offers a great amount of elasticity. There are locations for the most common angles, but you can choose any point you like depending on the blade.
In some knives, their respective manufacturers are able to sharpen the knife for you. It might look like that you’re saving money if you’re going to start buying knives which have this feature, but the truth of the matter is, the risk is more than you can afford.
The moment when you want to try out their offer, you have to send the knife to them, which may take a couple of weeks. Here’s my personal experience, before I wanted to try out their system, and see how it would go.
But unfortunately, the knife never came back to me. I don’t know what happened, and I thought it’s a normal process to wait for months on end. But apparently, my package got lost during the travel.
I was frustrated, and tried to call the company, but they don’t have a coverage for lost items. So yes, to make everything shorter, I had to spend money to purchase a brand new knife. Which I knew is going to start dulling in months’ time.
Now, assuming that my knife didn’t get lost, I would still have to wait weeks or months for it to come back. And since I use it on a daily basis, I can’t exactly afford the risk of not having my knife by my side.
How else am I going to cook?
It was then I realized that I needed my own knife sharpener. On the later portion of this article, I’m going to discuss to you on what are the best knife sharpener I’ve found in my search.
But if you can wait for a couple of months for your knife to be delivered, then sure. Go ahead. However, if you’re a wise person like everyone in the world of professionals, go get yourself a sharpener!
The answer to this actually depends on how often you use your knife, and it varies from knife to knife, too. If you plan on keeping your knife maintained, you should monitor them accordingly.
For example, if you use it on a daily basis, it varies on your workload. If your job requires you to be in the kitchen whipping up a new dish every hour, then it needs high maintenance.
Some of the professional cooks recommend at least sharpening them twice a year. By doing this, it keeps their knives sharpen for preparing meals during the holidays. Also, it remains sharp throughout the whole year.
An advice for the home cooks, it would be best for you to hone your knives a couple of weeks before and after you use your knife for a heavy task. It would keep your utility to be in the best possible condition.
And as a plus, you don’t need any serious sharpening or grinding for years to come if you do so.
But overall, you have to keep them in check. Make sure to sharpen your knife whenever you feel like it’s not working as it used to be. Always remember that each knife is different from the rest. Therefore, maintenance varies.
I’ve always wanted to make this clear – honing and sharpening isn’t the same. Although it’s usually a beginner’s mistake to assume that it is. But to save you from embarrassment, and also to educate you, here’s their slight difference.
When you say you’re going to hone your knife, it means you’re only going to realign its existing edge. It only needs a number of huffs per side on the sharpening steel.
On the other hand, when you’re going to say that you’re going to sharpen, it’s the process of grinding your knife, taking away the steel, and completely turning it into a new edge. Another thing, sharpening isn’t done routinely.
If you’re going to study the sharpeners, you’ll notice that there are more than one stage when using them. As you move forward to these stages, it’ll enhance the sharpness of your knife.
For example, you’re about to slice up onions or tomatoes, and you want a quick touch up, then you have to go through the stages. Specifically, stage three to hone the edge finely.
Commonly, there are about two stages – course and fine. However, if you opt to go for better sharpeners, they usually have three or more stages. To put it simply, the more the stages, the better the result will be. You’ll be able to sharpen even the dullest knives.
Here’s a warning though, if you’re going to go for sharpeners which only have 1 stage, they don’t give the best results. In fact, they even shorten the lifespan of your knife. These sharpeners are fairly course, and they often eradicate unnecessary metal.
However, I’d personally use a one-stage knife sharpener for my utility or pocket knife as it does the job perfectly. These sharpeners are handy, but there are limitation to what it can do.
Here’s what normally happens in the process – first, you remove the metal securely. Secondly, whatever metal that remains on the blade is straightened. Finally, you polish the blade to make its end-result a gleaming finish.
Serrated knives are quite tricky to handle. Most knife sharpeners aren’t able to handle serrated knives; however, the best knife sharpener can. But it’s already been known that most of the economy models aren’t able to sharpen serrated knives properly.
For an effective knife sharpener, it would be best for you to check out the manufacturer’s records. For a sure-fire buy, the best ones to get are usually the latest models. Using them would mean you’re able to touch up your serrated knives without fear or risk of damaging your knife.
I’ll let you on a little secret: If you want really get those edge serrated finely, go for a round tapered sharpening rod – it’s the real deal!
There are two types of knife sharpener to choose from – manual and electric. Both of them have its own set of pros and cons. The best thing for you to do is find the type that would fit your daily needs.
These types have their own materials to use for the removals of metal, as they can be ceramic, stone, or diamond.
Also, keep in mind that they have different features of grits – it may array from exceptionally fine to exceedingly coarse. Now, for the coarse materials, these are better for discarding metal. This is perfect for dull blades as you may reset them to another angle.
On the other side of the coin, finer grits are ideal for a late start in the removal process. And for the polishing, you may use the finest grits to do the job.
Don’t jump off the barrel and purchase a knife right away. Here are some factors to ponder about, it’s going to help you find the best knife that has functionality and features.
Let’s think about the type of knives that you usually use during your time in the kitchen, if you got this down then it’s going to be easier for you to choose a knife sharpener.
It’s a given fact that every knife sharpener available on the market is capable of sharpening knives that have a straight edge. But as what I’ve mentioned earlier, not all of the sharpeners are able to cater to serrated knives.
But for instance, you don’t use serrated knives for your everyday juggle, or you only use it on lighter tasks, then you don’t need to purchase a sharpener at all as they’re known to breakdown steadily compared to the other knives.
Here’s another concern, if you fancy electric sharpeners better, then make sure that it doesn’t end up grinding the knife. Also, sharpeners of this type tend to heat up, choosing a metal-friendly sharpener would be wise.
They both work on a different pace, making your patience a factor. Generally, I’m not talking about patience alone, but I’m also referring to your working habits – do you need to get the job done right away?
Personally, I would go for fast sharpeners as I want everything to be done in a timely manner, but that’s how I roll – it’s basically the reason why I fancy my electric sharpeners better.
But if you’re going to talk about manual sharpeners, they usually have the feature of having a long learning curve. However, despite it needs a bit more time, they’re quite easy to use. You won’t have a problem with it.
This is an important factor as the shape varies depending on what the use is. Before you decide on what knife sharpener you want to get, it would be best for you to know what your knife’s bevel type.
You may refer to the different types of bevels that are commonly used in the kitchen today:
You’ll find that most cleavers have this feature. This enables a better way of retaining metal at the edge as it sports an outward twist taper. I’m quite impressed with this one, it leaves the blade stronger, and is still able to be fairly sharp.
It’s the exact opposite of the convex bevel. Unlike convex which has an outward feature, this one has an inward taper. When it comes to sharpness, it’ll exceed your expectation – it’s extremely sharp! The downside to this is that it’s fairly fragile. Straight razors have this feature.
This isn’t an easy make. You’ll find a taper at the blade’s spine. Honestly, I’d love to have this if only it wasn’t limited to commercial use. The reason why is because it has quite a number of metal to be discarded.
This is made for your comfort as it can cater both left and right handed people. Moreover, because it is one of the exceptionally sharp bevels, you’ll notice that Asian cook shows usually have this type of bevel. For how it looks, one side of it is completely flat, while the other is grounded.
Unfortunately, compared to the other knives on the list, this isn’t on the same level when it comes to its sharpness. But the ability to cut has been boosted, and it’s retained thinner – making it a choice for the Western demographic. You are sure to trust this knife for its durable strength in the kitchen.
The description of this one is somewhat similar to that of the flat bevel. However, it doesn’t start from the spine. The taper starts in the middle of the blade. One amazing benefit you’re able to get from this type of bevel is its long lasting edge you can rely on. But it comes with a price as its cutting ability is being compromised.
Although that this can be greatly altered, depending on what you really want, but you still need to take into consideration of the space you have at home. Let’s say for instance, you don’t have the luxury of adding more space to the room, then you should go for manual sharpening tools.
On the other hand, if you have the place to spare, then go for the electric sharpening tools. But overall, the decision is up to you. You may have to give up a couple of things for your electric sharpener to have a reasonable place to stay.
I’m not going to lie – I love my electric sharpeners. But boy, are they annoying. It doesn’t really bother me in general, but there are just times where it just gets too noisy for my taste – or anyone for that matter.
But if you’re a person who doesn’t mind enduring noise for a couple of minutes, then you’re good to go. On the contrary, if you like to keep it silent and calm, manual sharpening tools would be perfect for you.
In my case, even though it can be annoying, I still think that it’s worth it. It gets the job done fast, and its convenience is something even money can’t buy.
Your budget gives an impact on the choices you make. You’ll find manual sharpeners cheaper than electric sharpeners. They’re easier to maintain, as they don’t have any moving parts to sustain. Whereas when in an electrical sharpener, there are tendencies of parts malfunctioning one way or another.
Of course, I personally do not want to put a price tag for quality. This is only part of the factors that may affect your buying choices, but if you’re going to purchase a well-made sharpener, it’s going to worth every penny.
If you’re a left-handed person then you need take good care of the choices you make when choosing a sharpener. Most of the available units are made for right-handed people as they are denser population-wise.
However, there are these models that are dexterous. Make sure to choose them as they don’t compromise in terms of comfortability and it doesn’t endanger your safety as well.
When you’re on the hunt for the best knife sharpener, knowing its qualities is important. You’re already aware that repetitive use of the blade will eventually become misaligned. And you need a trusted sharpener to revert it back to its top shape.
However, if you’re not careful when choosing a sharpener, and you ended up choosing a low-quality tool, then it’s going to end up damaging your blades instead.
Here are some qualities you should be on the lookout for:
The best knife sharpener should be able to sharpen a knife enough to cut through a tomatoes’ skin in a cinch as this is the best way of testing out the knife’s sharpness.
A commendable ability of a knife sharpener is to make a nice, straight edge without leaving scratches on the blade.
You shouldn’t have a hard time in angling your blade. There’s a number of knife sharpeners which allows you to angle your knife at a poor position. But most of the knife sharpeners require you to practice.
Find a sharpener which has the flexible to cater to a variety of angles, most especially 15 and 20 degrees as they’re considered as the most common.
On the other hand, electric sharpeners use slots to guide the knife to the belt, and away from your fingers. Either way, the best knife sharpener is able to completely prevent injuries.
Years of dealing with different sharpeners has led me to narrowing it down to a number of best knife sharpeners I’ve encountered in my career as a cook. I hope this will be of great assistance to you in finding which one is suitable for your kitchen.
|Chef's Choice 1520 AngleSelect Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener-White||$$$|
|Presto 08800 Eversharp Electric Knife Sharpener||$|
|Wusthof 3 Stage Electric Knife Sharpener||$$|
|McGowan Diamond Stone Electric Knife Sharpener||$$|
|Chef's Choice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect Electric Knife Sharpener||$$$|
|Smith’s 50008 8-Inch Diamond Tri-Hone||$$|
|Woodstock SteeleX D1130 1000 Grit and 6000 Grit Japanese Waterstone||$|
|King Medium Grain Sharpening Stone||$|
|DMT W250EFNB 10-Inch DuoSharp Bench Stone Extra-Fine/Fine||$$|
|Norton IM313 -11.5" Three Stone Sharpening System - Fine India, Medium Crystolon, and Coarse Crystolon stone||$$$|
|Chef’s choice 320 Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener||$$|
|KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener||$|
|Smith’s 50264 Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener||$|
If you own a set of Asian, European and American style knives, then this one is for you as this is specially modified for those knives alone. For its angle, you’re able to recreate 15 degrees when dealing with Asian knives. And for your European and American style, it’s perfect for a 20 degree angle.
One of the most prominent feature of Chef’s Choice is that it has 100% diamond abrasives. More importantly, it carries a patented flexible stropping/polishing discs. The result of this is that its edge structure gives a kind of “gothic arch” to the touch.
This has been manufactured in China, and has the feature of having a 2 stage process. This quite handy as this is easy to use, you’re able to sharpen all of the knives which aren’t serrated. Presto sharpener has 120 volts. It’s a stage 1 sharpening unit.
Precision is a main feature, you don’t have to guess-sharpen your blades with this unit as it gives you the ideal angle for sharpening anytime. Its Sapphirite sharpening wheels creates a razor sharp edge. This of the same level when you go to professional shops.
Wusthof is at it again with an amazing 3-stage sharpener. This has been customized to hone and polish straight and serrated edge blades. For its first stage 1, it has 100% diamond abrasive wheel which allows it to take on even the dullest of knives and create a new edge.
Second stage is for refining the edge and hones with its grit diamond wheel. And lastly, it sports an advanced stropping material. This used for polishing the knife and turning it into a razor-sharp edge.
McGowan has a nifty electric sharpener as this one is particularly easy to use. What I like about this is it does not promote hassle, it’s super-fast as this is one of those one-step sharpening units. It carries diamonds in the sharpening unit.
It has an ultra-sharp 15ºXV technology that enhances its strength and durability. You’re able to convert your ordinary household knives into something cooler like Trizor XV edges. It gives you an absolute control of the blade due to its advanced, patented flexible spring.
This is an ideal sharpener for larger knives, you may also use this on woodworking tools. This is also suitable for smaller tools as it has the feature of micro-tool sharpening pad. It’s being partnered with a non-slip rubber feet.
One prominent feature is that it cuts aggressively making it a choice for woodworkers. You’re able to reach your goal of having a sharp edge faster. This gives you a winning turn as it’s able to polish your knife while you’re honing. To lubricate this, you just need water.
It has a precision flat sharpening system. To provide consistency it has a two-diamond surface. On one side it has a find diamond to provide a razor-sharp edge. On the other, it has extra-fine to give the best of polishing.
Norton carries 3 stones in place. It’s been sported with a durable plastic case which you can rely on. It gives you a no-slip rubber feet, and it also you can rest easy as it protects stones from breakage. It has an accurate angle guide for precision to boot.
KitchenIQ has a unique design. Aesthetic-wise, I love it. This sports a V-Grip Bottom so you can use it on edge or counter. It gives you the best of comfort as its handle is soft-grip, allowing you to have a better control.
It gives you the choice of sharpening a wide range of knives. This works perfectly for sharpening dull knives very quickly. You may use this for maintaining edges that are already sharp, and it has a replaceable abrasive components.
The issue between who’s the better sharpener – electric or manual – is long outdated. The answer depends on what your taste is, and what are your needs. These knives above are all fantastic sharpeners to get the job done; however, finding the best one for you is tricky. Don’t be too hasty.
People have different claims on what they think is the best sharpener, so don’t get confused with their opinions. Although I would always recommend on reading reviews first. Just take it easy. What I usually do is I make a list on the different kinds of sharpener – sort of like this one I made – and I try to think about where I’m going to use it for.
For those people who don’t use sharpeners as much, then you can narrow down your scope by purchasing an electric sharpener as it does not give you the burden of mastering sharpening skills. However, if you want to kick it old school for your personal preference, then a manual sharpener should do fine assuming that you’re up for a challenge.
The company’s name and manufacturing should tell a lot about the unit itself, so do a thorough background check before making a purchase.
To help you in finding out the best sharpener for you, here’s a video by America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a highly informative video which I know you’ll find extremely useful. Don’t worry, it’s only 4 minutes long!