Whether in the kitchen or in the wild outdoors, having a blunt knife is both a frustration and an endangerment of your personal safety.
A sharpener is, therefore, more than a luxury item in the home. It is a necessity.
But you need to choose your sharpener carefully as you need a quality device that will produce the required results with minimal effort.
You also want a sharpener with the good edge retention and which won’t disfigure your precious knives.
Best Knife Sharpeners for 2020 – Quick Look
(Click on the name of any Knife Sharpener to read it’s in-depth review)
|2 Stages||4.2 lbs|
|3 Stages||4.63 lbs|
|Presto Knife Sharpener||2 Stages||2.95 lbs|
|Edge Keeper Electric Knife||2 Stages||2.9 lbs|
|Linkyo Knife Sharpener||2 Stages||2.7 lbs|
|GA Knife Sharpener||2 Stages||1.3 lbs|
|Chef’sChoice 250||3 Stages||2.7 lbs|
|Brod & Taylor Knife Sharpener||N/A||1.7 lbs|
|Chef’s Choice 320||2 Stages||1.25 lbs|
|Zwilling J.A. Henckels||2 Modules||2.8 oz|
1. Chef’sChoice 0315101 – Best Overall Knife Sharpener
The Chef’sChoice 0315101 is an excellent tool for keeping all kinds of knives in your kitchen razor sharp. This model works on both straight and serrated edges, bringing them to a fine point that makes for effortless cutting.
In addition to kitchen knives, the Hone Sharpener 315101 can handle everything from pocketknives to cleavers. It may be a simplified version of the three-slot 315XV, which sharpens in three stages, but this Chef’sChoice sharpener is just as effective.
But unlike its predecessor, the price level of this model won’t put much of a dent on your wallet. You can use it to bring back old knives to use that you may have been about discard.
Our In-Depth Review:
One of this product’s key strengths is how versatile it is. You can use it on your meat and vegetable knives as well as your serrated bread knives. Outdoorsman knives used for cutting ropes and hunting can also be sharpened on this sharpener. This sharpener is designed to work on both single-bevel Asian knives and contemporary double-bevel American knives.
Another weakness with the Chef’sChoice 0315101 is that it tends to scratch and eat away at the blade. Yes, you will get a razor-sharp edge, but it will be at the expense of the appearance of your knife. For this reason, it isn’t wise to apply this sharpener to prized daggers or kitchen knives. If you’re big on aesthetics, this is definitely not a tool you want to try on your precious knives.
Designed and made in the US, you can rest assured of the quality of this product. The abrasives are made from pure diamond to assure you a clean, polished edge with no distempering. It comes equipped with carefully designed guides that offer better control of the sharpening angle. The overall design of the sharpener makes it easy to use.
- It can be used on a variety of blades.
- Can convert 20-degree European edges to 15-degree US.
- More pocket-friendly than similar models.
- Highly effective with minimal effort.
- Repurposes knives to smaller-degree even if you only wish to sharpen it.
- Converting 20 to 15-degree bevel takes a lot of time and effort.
- Produces many scratches on the knife.
- Eats away and deforms the blade.
The Chef’sChoice 0315101 is a great alternative to whetstones, which requires a lot of time and effort to bring out a sharp edge. All you need to do is slide the knife through the guide rails a couple of times and your knife will be as sharp as it was when you bought it. You don’t need a great deal of experience to use the sharpener as is required to get the most out of sharpening stones.
You are well-advised to invest in this sharpener only if you want to restore the sharpness of functional knives. Its tendency to leave scratches will disfigure knives you keep for their aesthetic or sentimental value.
2. Chef’sChoice 120 – With Diamond Coating
This model of Chef’sChoice has a third guide designed to improve sharpening precision. It is an improvement on the two-guide model, the 0315101, not just because it comes with an extra slot.
Among other improvements, this model brings into play are feet that keep the machine stable as you sharpen. It retains the ability of its predecessor of being able to sharpen both straight-edge and serrated knives.
A knife sharpener using the 120 Diamond Hone will be able to easily slice through all types of meat- even those considered tough.
Yes, it costs a few dollars more, but you will be thankful when your knives stay sharper for longer. You will spend much less time than when using a sharpening stone or the earlier Chef’sChoice model.
Our In-Depth Review:
Electric sharpeners can get complicated with numerous switches and buttons, but this is not the case with this beauty. It has just one button to power it up, easily visible at the front. After you power it up to you simply slide the knife through the suitable slot inserting it as far as it can safely go and pulling it out smoothly as the disks work.
This particular model doesn’t even require you to add sharpening oils or other liquids. To keep the machine stable as you work, it comes with sturdy elastomer feet.
The process of honing a knife with this sharpener involves first passing it through the first stage where 100% diamond-coated disks create the first angled bevel. In the second stage, finer diamond disks create refined microgrooves that lead to the formation of a second level, a few degrees wider than the first.
This prepares the knife for insertion into the third stage where finer abrasive disks work to establish a thin, well-polished edge. After this stage of sharpening, your knife will be able to tear into even the toughest of subjects.
This Chef’sChoice beauty not only takes care of the functionality of your knives, but it also deals with the aftermath of sharpening. Metallic shavings produced during sharpening are collected by a magnetic pad. This makes the sharpener even safer to use.
Despite having three slots, this machine is quite compact and readily portable. This feature is especially important for those who will want to be using their sharpener on the go while in the wild outdoors.
- Very simple to use, unlike stone sharpeners.
- Works on a variety of knives.
- Leaves a clean edge.
- Works only on 20-degree edges.
- Is quite expensive.
Yes, this sharpener will cost you a pretty penny but depending on what you hope to achieve, it can prove itself great value. In just a few minutes you will have a razor-sharp edge you can use on virtually any knife- be it a meat cutter or a bread knife. In view of the fact that it will save you trips to professional knife sharpeners, the EdgeSelect can be considered a shrewd investment.
3. Presto Knife Sharpener – With Sapphire Wheels
The Presto 8800 008800 is for the budget-conscious knife lover who would like his blades sharpened with precision without the hassle of working away at a whetstone.
It works effectively on non-serrated blades and is very easy to use. Simply plug it in, power it up and slide your knife back and forth through the slots. In a matter of minutes, you will have a razor-sharp edge able to slice through most foodstuffs.
Its slots conceal hardy Sapphirite wheels made of the same material as those in the sharpeners of professionals.
The guides keep the knife in the precisely required angle for optimal sharpening. In the first stage, the knife is sharpened at the right angle and in the next it is polished into a fine edge.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Presto 8800 008800 restores the sharpness of blades using a two-step process. Each stage has two slots with sharpening wheels designed to achieve a specific purpose.
Thanks to the suction cups that hold the machine in place as you work, you can even operate it with one hand.
It also makes the sharpening process quite fast- just a few seconds and your blade will be as good as new. The results produced by this sharpener rival what you would get if you took your blade to a professional for sharpening.
This is down to both the design of the machine and the Sapphire used to make the grinding wheels. This material will produce sparks when sharpening stainless steel but you need not be alarmed.
Having said that, the Presto 8800 008800 does have its shortcomings. For one, it does not work on all types of blades. You cannot use it on serrated blades and you can’t use it to sharpen scissors.
- Compact and easily portable.
- Very pocket-friendly.
- Very easy to use.
- Works with all kinds of non-serrated knives.
- Stabilized by suction cups.
- The manufacturer only provides a 1-year limited warranty against defects.
- It doesn’t offer the effectiveness of diamond disks.
- Grinding wheels eat at metal a lot.
- It doesn’t deal with metal filings.
At its price point, this electric sharpener offers quite a bit. You get a tool that will get your knives razor-sharp in a matter of seconds with minimal physical effort. It is easy to use and easy to put away; its compact design doesn’t consume a lot of space. However, the pricing does reflect quite a few limitations, chief of which is the fact that it only works with non-serrated blades.
Yes, it does come with a warranty, but some may feel the one year it covers is too little compared to the three-year warranties other models come with.
4. EdgeKeeper Electric Knife Sharpener
This sharpener from EdgeKeeper promises to get your knives in tiptop, razor-sharp condition in a matter of minutes. Using it is child’s play; simply plug in the device, hit the power switch at the front and slide your knife’s blade back and forth through the slots.
Thanks to the positioning of its two slots, this electric sharpener holds the knife at the ideal angle for optimal results. Diamond-coated grinders ensure the sharpening is done neatly.
To give it an edge, the EdgeKeeper comes with non-slip feet to hold it in position firmly while in use. It also has a removable magnet that makes clearing up the filings from the knife much easier. Plus it is compact and easily portable and comes at a very pocket-friendly price.
Our In-Depth Review:
If you’re looking for a simple sharpener to restore the bite to your day-to-day meat and veg cutters, the EdgeKeeper is a good choice. For one, it is very reasonably priced. But for its price, you’ll get a lot of sharpeners.
Its two-stage mechanism is composed of two slots; one that does a preliminary grind and another that polishes off the knife-edge. The slots are angled to produce professional-looking results within a matter of minutes.
After sharpening you can easily unhook the panel and wipe the magnet clean before re-attaching it.
One big letdown with this sharpener is that it’s made for most American and European style kitchen knives with a fine edge. Knives with a thicker edge will need to be put through slots quite a few times for their sharpness to begin to return. The manufacturers themselves advise that it should not be used for survival knives or serrated knives.
Another point users raise is that it is not the tidiest sharpener around. Sure, it is a step up from stone sharpeners, but it doesn’t offer the level of refinement more advanced sharpeners do. You are therefore well-advised not to slot through expensive collector’s items. It will get the job done but don’t expect too much more than that.
- Very easy to use.
- Has greater aesthetic appeal than other models.
- Magnet deals with dust produced from sharpening.
- Feet make it stable when in use.
- Very affordable.
- Only ideal for fine-edge blades.
- It is not the tidiest finisher.
- Feels cheap and flimsy.
- Clean-up magnet, not the most effective.
The EdgeKeeper is a decent knife sharpener for basic home use. It will enable you to restore your dull kitchen knives to functional use in a matter of minutes. It is straightforward to use and has features to make it comfortable and tidy to use.
You won’t get the sturdy build quality or the versatility that more premium brands offer, but then you won’t have to pay top dollar for it. You will, therefore, need to take a long hard look at your knives and decide what is most important for them before you make this purchase.
5. LINKYO Electric Knife Sharpener
This appliance promises to sharpen owners’ kitchen knives to professional standards right from the comfort of their homes. Gone are the days you had to send your knives to a professional sharpener.
This sharpener will give you a pro-level blade in a matter of minutes and it’s very simple to use. Its slots are designed to hold your knives in the best angle for optimal results.
Built with sturdy non-slip feet, this sharpening system is stable in use, ensuring the safety of the user.
Linkyo has not only thought of making your knives sharp effectively, but they have also taken care of the metal shavings that result from the sharpening. And you get all this at an astonishingly affordable price point.
Our In-Depth Review:
This sharpener is a huge step up from spending hours filing at knives with a whetstone. It will help you get your kitchen knives as sharp as it would be if sharpened by a pro. And this with minimal effort on your part.
Just plug the device in, power it up and move the blade sequentially through the slots. You don’t need to press the knife downward when in the slots, simply slide it in and out of the slots a couple of times and let the auto-positioning guides in the slots do the rest. In fact, pressing down too hard will damage the knife and cause the sharpener to stall.
As it works, the sharpener is held firmly in place by feet with suction cups. This makes it safer to operate. The receptacles at the bottom of the sharpener collect the filings from the sharpening process to keep your worktop, and the device itself, clean. Removing and emptying the receptacles is very easy.
While the Linkyo electric knife sharpener works very well for kitchen knives, it is not ideal for other kinds of knives. The manufacturer themselves advise owners of decorative ceramic knives not to use this particular model for ceramic knives.
- Very easy to use.
- Slots angled for optimal sharpening.
- Easy clean-up with removable plugs.
- Very reasonably priced.
- It can’t be used on ceramic knives.
- Quite noisy in operation.
- Wears away blades over time.
The Linkyo electric knife sharpener offers a lot for its price range. It quickly and effectively restores the sharpness of dull kitchen knives. As compared to manual stone sharpening, Linkyo’s sharpener requires virtually no physical effort. The manufacturer has also endeavored to make this product safe to use with stabilizing and clean-up features. Furthermore, Linkyo offers this electric sharpener with a one-year warranty.
However, buyers should not think they’ve got an all-rounder. This is a basic sharpener meant only for domestic use. Sadly, you even won’t be able to use it even for your bread knife. But despite its limitations, it is a worthy buy for a fraction of the price of more popular models.
6. GA Knife Sharpener Electric – Sharpening Machine
This is an all-round electric sharpener that can be used for all sorts of domestic tools; not just knives. It offers two-stage, multi-angle sharpening to sharpen, hone and polish blades, restoring sharpness with minimal effort.
If you have had to rely on a grinding wheel or whetstone to get your knives sharp, you will appreciate how easy this sharpener makes the process. It also makes it much faster; a few minutes and your knives will be razor-sharp.
The GA sharpening machine’s compact design means it takes up less space in the house and that it can be easily shifted to the place it’s required. But its size is by no means a compromise on its effectiveness.
Besides its effectiveness in sharpening various tools, this sharpener is an attractive buy because of its price.
Our In-Depth Review:
Over and above kitchen knives, you can use this electric sharpener to work on blunt scissors and even screwdrivers. Outdoorspeople will be able to restore their hunting knives and pocketknives to their sharpest with this electric sharpener. It is very effective in recovering old blades that you may have been thinking of discarding.
However, the tool has to have a straight edge; you cannot use this sharpener on serrated knives. You also cannot use it on ceramic knives.
On the flip side, the small, round design means there’s only so much blade you can put through the slots. This means it might take longer to get your knife as sharp as you like.
In addition to the retractable cord, there are a number of other added features that make this model easier to use. One is the suction cups on the feet that keep it stable as you work. At least that’s what they’re supposed to do. However, some users complain that it still moves about when in use, necessitating the use of both hands.
- It can work on a variety of tools.
- Compact design takes up minimal space.
- Very affordable.
- It works very fast.
- The retractable power cord makes it tidier.
- Cannot be used on serrated or ceramic knives.
- Heats upon prolonged use.
- Quite noisy.
The GA Sharpening Machine is a highly effective sharpener that works both in and out of the kitchen. Its key strength is its ability to sharpen a wide variety of tools beyond just knives. Besides that it is easy to use and easy to store, thanks to its light, compact design.
Its size is, however, a limitation when it comes to sharpening larger blades. And it has a few other drawbacks that may dissuade some potential buyers. But its very reasonable price means that it offers great value for money at the end of the day.
7. Chef’sChoice 250 Diamond Hone Hybrid Sharpener
This model from the renowned Chef’sChoice brand pegs its reputation on versatility. It offers two modes of operation; manual and electric in its three sharpening stages. The first two stages are designed for electric sharpening and the last is for manual honing.
Another way this sharpener showcases its versatility is in the kinds of blades it can be used to sharpen. Over and above meat and vegetable cutters, this sharpener can hone bread knives, pocket knives, and sports knives.
Equipped with 100% diamond abrasive disks, its slots work on knife edges to produce a razor-sharp arched finish. As an assurance of quality, potential buyers can rest on the fact that the sharpener is made and assembled in the USA.
Our In-Depth Review:
This sharpener is solid and well built. Its guide slots for all the sharpening stages are fitted with 100% diamond abrasives. These sharpen and hone the knife-edge without overworking the device’s electric motor. This means it is less prone to overheating, unlike sharpeners with other kinds of abrasives. It also means that the sharp edge on the blade will hold for longer.
You can, therefore, expect to pay slightly lower energy bills over time. The ability to use this sharpener manually means you can carry it with you when you go camping in places without electricity.
Built and assembled in the US by EdgeCraft, a firm renowned for quality, you can rest assured you have a tool that will work effectively and serve you for a long time.
Another drawback with the Chef’sChoice 250 is the one-year manufacturer’s warranty, which may sound paltry compared to the three-year warranties other models come with.
- It offers great value for money.
- It can be used on a variety of blades.
- Solid build quality and doesn’t overheat easily.
- Knives hold a sharp edge for long.
- It comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.
- Not very effective for serrated knives.
- Not built to handle 15-degree Asian knives.
- The manual stage requires some expertise.
At this price range, it’s hard to get a better quality sharpener that can do as much as the Chef’sChoice 250. It works on both straight and serrated edges and sharpens more than just domestic knives. Pure diamond abrasives ensure quick results without too much exertion. Innovative hybrid technology makes this one of the few ‘green’ electric sharpeners in the market.
This product comes with a limited warranty, which some buyers will feel is too short. But for the price of the sharpener and the features it comes with, few can argue it is value for money.
8. Brod & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener
The Brod and Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener is a little pricey, though it is minimalist both in design and kitchen space it occupies, looks stunning and works well. It promises to sharpen knives fast without eating away at the metal.
Both straight and serrated blades will be given a razor-sharp finish in a matter of seconds. Tough tungsten carbide grinding wheels work on blades of between 12 and 20 degrees to produce a smooth, sharp edge.
You can use this sharpener on even your expensive collector’s items as it does not damage or disfigure the blade.
Our In-Depth Review:
Manufactured in Austria by Brod and Taylor, this professional knife sharpener is not average in any way. It is rated just as highly as other highly rated knife sharpeners, but what sets it apart is its unique and beautiful design and the fact that it does not need electricity to function!
It can be used on nearly any knife, be it straight or serrated. Not only can it sharpen regular double-bevel blades, but single-bevel edges, a handy feature for professional chefs.
Lastly, this knife sharpener is durable and long-lasting due to its careful construction. While sharpening bars are available, this product is expected, with regular use, to last more than 5 years.
Design: A panel of hefty-feeling stainless steel features a wide opening, ahead of which sits 2 sharpening bars that are spring-mounted, forming a ‘V’. This slot is where the knife is pulled through while being sharpened. It is elegant in appearance and a compact apparatus.
Performance: described as simple-to-use and effective, the Brod and Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener can be relied upon where earlier, outside vendors might have had to be brought in to sharpen your knives. This implement is an effective and gentle tool that would be welcome in any home.
Worth It?: That would be a firm yes. Though pricier than its fellow non-electric knife sharpeners, as well as some electric knife sharpeners, it is worthy of your investment. Forges from stainless steel and almost 2 pounds in weight, it is substantial in feeling, oozing high quality. Conversely, it takes up relatively little kitchen countertop real estate, making it akin to a knife sharpening art piece!
As this is the heavier duty version, there is a lighter duty version of the Brod and Taylor professional knife sharpener, known as the classic. It works much in the same way, differences being it weighs less due to being made from nylon. For professional chefs though, the heavier one of the two is highly recommended.
Competition: to unique to have any! This knife sharpener does not draw comparisons to any other, due to its stand-out nature. There exist easier, more regular manual sharpeners for less money and also heavier, electric knife sharpeners that cost about as much. Ultimately, neither of those categories of knife sharpeners are any simpler to implement, or as effective.
- Attractive and sleek.
- High quality and weighty.
- Can sharpen serrated knives.
- Can sharpen single-bevel and double-bevel knives.
- Quite expensive.
- A lack of a provided metal shavings collection container.
The Brod and Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener is simple to use and effective, while also being well-crafted and compact, which makes it ideal for both small and big kitchens. It is on the pricey side, but you are assured of value for money.
9. Chef’s Choice 320 Diamond
Chef’sChoice is a very well regarded brand name in the knife-sharpening world with over 100 patents.
Their 320 Diamond Hone FlexHone provides both straight and serrated-edge knives with sharpness applied with ‘hair-splitting’ precision. The sharpening process is fast, with the grinding done by pure diamond abrasives.
Besides kitchen cutlery, you can use the 320 Diamond Hone to sharpen cleavers and hunting knives.
Our In-Depth Review:
Chef’s Choice has several well-loved knife sharpening products, and the 320 Diamond Hone is one of them. Considered a powerful knife sharpening tool, it creates multifaceted edges of such superiority on any type of steel knife (alloy, stainless or carbon).
Boasting a clean, modern design, this sharpener should blend right in with any kitchen’s aesthetics. In addition, it offers a simple to use layout and safe, effective sharpening modes. Included is an easy to follow knife sharpening guide, making you the master of knife sharpening in no time at all.
This knife sharpener can sharpen almost any European or American 20-degree dull knife in minutes (leaving Asian type knives aside).
This prolific sharpener also returns serrated knives back to their former glory. Every tooth is reassembled after being polished making chopping large vegetables and cutting bread a breeze.
Maximum results are delivered while never de-tempering steel blades. The sharpened edges double-bevel are guaranteed to maintain their sharpness longer as compared to traditional V-shaped edges.
Sharpening, generally speaking, has two stages. In stage 1 is for dull to very dull blades, 100% fine coarse sharpening diamond abrasives, and this is most ideal for exceptionally dull knives. This is the stage at which the initial angle bevel is created while removing the most blade metal. For the best results, this stage needs several pulls on both of the sides of the blade.
Stage 2 is used by advanced micron size 100% diamond. Known as stropping, this stage polishes after realigning the edge to produce a sharper, finer blade. From that point, the second angle bevel is established to achieve astonishing sharpness and an arch-edge shape. For serrated blades, this is the sole stage.
The chef’s Choice 320 Diamond Hone sharpener offers another standout feature, the Elastomeric Spring. This guides the knife onto the sharpener. As well as being a well thought out feature, it makes sharpening safer, simpler and precise, ultimately making it effective.
The elastomeric spring’s objective is to hold correctly the knife in position, therefore, mitigating the risk of damage while ensuring the blade’s perfect sharpness. It also reduces the risk of injury, making the chef’s choice 320 diamond hone sharpener over of the safe sharpeners on the market.
- The two-stage electrical sharpening process.
- A wide range of knives can be sharpened.
- Durable and tough.
- Ideal for dull and often used knives.
- Included user guide.
- Slightly noisy.
- The motor may heat up.
- May scratch new knives.
- Not versatile; only 20-degree type knives can be sharpened.
The 320 Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener is very well reviewed by past current users, who exclaim its effectiveness. It particularly excels at resurrecting long-forgotten knives from dullness and bluntness. This is one of the better electric knife sharpeners out today.
10. Zwilling J.A. Henckels 32601-003
This manual knife sharpener from trusted German brand Zwilling promises users an easy way to restore the sharp edge to their kitchen knives. Sharpening is done through a two-step process on two steel wheel slots.
Draw it slowly through the first slot while pressing gently for coarse sharpening and then repeat the procedure through the second for refined honing. It’s just as simple as it sounds. The unit itself is solid, well built and compact- easily fitting the hand, and easy to carry around.
Coming at a fairly affordable price point, this tool will enable you to save on electricity while allowing you to sharpen your knives anywhere.
Our In-Depth Review:
Zwilling J. A. Henckels 32601-003 uses a two-stage process to restore the sharpness of blades. In the first stage, steel wheels work on the knife-edge to provide a preliminary sharpening or pre-sharpening. The second stage hones the blade using ceramic wheels to ensure a smooth, polished finish. It is an idiot-proof process that anyone can execute; the slots hold the knife at a 90° angle, eliminating the need for trial and error.
Another testament to the quality of the design of this sharpener is the fact that both left and right-handed users can comfortably use it. The quality of this sharpener is an extension of the reputation for quality Zwilling J. A. Henckels has cemented over two centuries in the business.
For safe operation of this sharpener, it comes with rubber feet to keep it stable as you work. There is a sizeable guard between the handle and the sharpening slots to further reduce the risk of injuring yourself on the newly sharpened blade.
No electric motor means you have to be ready to provide more of the force required to sharpen the blade. This also makes sharpening a more time-consuming activity. Another weak point of this handheld sharpener is that it is a bit messy to clean.
- Made by a manufacturer with a 280-year reputation for quality.
- Built for both right and left-handed use.
- Quite affordable.
- It does not consume electricity.
- Compact and light; readily portable.
- Requires both hands to sharpen.
- Takes some time to obtain a sharp enough edge.
- Cleaning away filings is a bit messy.
- There are electric sharpeners at this price point.
- It cannot be used with serrated and 15-degree blades.
This manual sharpener is ideal for simple kitchen knife sharpening. Since it doesn’t rely on electricity, it can be used for outdoor applications. It is effective and easy to use, though it requires a little more effort than your average electric sharpener.
Though the Zwiling sharpener is generally affordable, there are electric models that come at the same price point. This may turn away some potential buyers, who may opt to go for one of the cheaper electric options. But those who understand the high standards to which Zwiling hold themselves will not mind forking out a little extra for quality.
Knife Sharpeners – Buyer’s Guide
What Is A Knife Sharpener?
A knife sharpening is basically a tool used to sharpen knife blades. Typically, a knife sharpener is designed to remove blandness, file blades and hone cutting edges on the blades of the knives. This tool can even be used to sharpen other types of metal utensils. Their sharpening process allows knives to work effectively and sharply again.
Types Of Knife Sharpeners
There are several types of knife sharpeners. These include stones, handheld models such as steel sharpeners and electric sharpeners.
Sharpening stones are the simplest types of knife sharpeners. These include whetstone and carborundum. They are normally round or rectangular shaped and measure up to 12-inch thick. Typically, whetstone knife sharpeners are made of silicone dioxide minerals.
The mineral stones are then processed with lubricating oils to stimulate its own natural oils. These oils are what fosters the sharpening process as the knife is rotated in a circular motion during the sharpening process.
You will come across a wide range of designs of the stones, each priced differently according to their grade. The higher the grade, the better the results. The stones are also designed to cater to different types of blades such as heavier or lighter blades.
Carborundum stone sharpeners on the other end tend to be sturdier and more abrasive. It is made of a silicon carbide variation. However, compared to a whetstone, carborundum stone sharpeners tend to deteriorate over time as you use them for sharpening knives.
The deterioration happens as the carbide disintegrates. Carborundum stone sharpeners feature a rectangular shape with smooth and coarse sides. When sharpening you use both sides, first the coarse than the smooth side. The coarse side grounds the blade into shape whilst the smooth side smoothens and sharpens the edges. This stone is ideal for eliminating rough edges completely.
Sharpening steel is another type of extremely effective knife sharpener. A sharpening steel is a handheld sharpener. It is sometimes referred to as honing steel. A sharpening steel is shaped like a rod of steel, ceramic or diamond-coated steel. It works to realign and sharpen blades.
When using sharpening steel, the blade of the knife is drawn across the steel in an arced motion as the sharpening steel is help firmly as a sword. The fine-textured grinding surface of the sharpening steel is what sharpens the blade edges.
Electric Knife Sharpeners
Electric knife sharpers help to sharpen knives more effectively and conveniently. You can find electric knife sharpeners for home and commercial use. Generally, they are used for blades that are frequently in use and tend to become bland quicker. Thus, this makes them ideal for commercial use. Thus, to choose the right electric knife sharpener to consider the size of the blade, the safety features and even the ease of cleaning.
How Do Knife Sharpeners Work
The knife sharpening process incorporates several different methods. These methods also go through stages. The stages include sharpening, straightening, and polishing. Sharpening and straightening the blades can also be referred to as honing interchangeably. In this stage, a sharpening stone is more useful. The knife is rapidly brushed against the stone to reveal a rough sharpening process.
And in finer grits, the same stones will give you fine sharpening results. Knife sharpeners also straighten the knife blades and without affecting the edges, the blades are then polished for a mirror-like finish. The frequency and intensity of each stage depend on the type of blade used and the consistency required -be it coarse or fine.
A bevel is sometimes referred to as the grind. It is the shape of the blade edge. The bevel of the knife normally depends on how the knife is used. There are 6 common bevel types.
A chisel bevel features only one side that is ground down whilst the other side is flat. The bevel type features an extremely sharp edge and the chisel detail can be either positioned on the left or right side. Most commonly, you will find this type of bevel design in Asian culinary knives.
The saber bevel on the other end features a sharp V shape. The taper of this bevel types begins in the middle of the blade. You will find this bevel type with many knife blades.
A flat bevel on the other end is similar to a saber bevel. However, its taper begins at the spine of the blade. Flat bevel type blades are very rare due to their high cost of production.
A hollow bevel type tapers inwards. This design gives the bevel an extremely sharp drop but a weak edge. This type of bevel is normally used on straight razors.
Convex bevels are the opposite of hollow bevels. They taper outwardly making the edge sharper and sturdier. Because of this rugged nature, convex bevels are normally used on cleavers.
A double bevel is a popular bevel type amongst western knives. The double design incorporates a second back bevel attached above the first one. This allows the blade to be thinner and to improve its overall cutting quality. The double bevel, however, doesn’t produce the sharpest edge.
The blade angle is an angle to which your knife blade is sharpened. As a general rule of thumb, the greater the blade angle, the more durable the knife blade will be. However, this also means that the sharpness will be compromised.
30 To 35 Degree Angles
Chopping blades such as cleavers boast this angle range. These blade angles tend to be high, meaning the blade is durable but not as sharp. You cannot expect to fillet using a chopping blade. However, their durability and sturdiness allow them to apply the much-needed force in chopping without ruining the.
35 To 30 Degree Angles
These angles are typically found on utility and hunting knives. They hold enough power and strength to be used as survival EDC blades, thus, their higher angle doesn’t affect their performance.
18 To 25 Degree Angle
The majority of kitchen knives hold this angle range. Common knife blades with this angle range include a chef’s knife, a boning knife, and a carving knife. Typically, this angle range provides a balance between strength, durability, and sharpness. You can use these knife blades to cut veggies, fruits, and meats.
12 To 18 Degree Angle
Blades with this angle range tend to be extremely sharp. They are also designed to tackle delicate tasks such as filleting, delicate slicing, and pairing. As such, their rather weak build is not put at risk to break. If you go lower than 12 degrees, the majority of blades are razor blades.
How to use the electric knife sharpeners
Using an electric knife sharpener has never been so easy. To operate it effectively, simply follow the steps below;
Position The Blade
Place the place on the designated slot of the sharpener. Always ensure that the entire blade first. The heel should be in direct contact with the grinding stone to ensue effective sharpening. Begin to sharpen the heel area and keep pulling gradually through the tip.
Move Your Knife
The electric sharpener is designed to automatically set the angle of your knife as it passes through the slot and comes in contact with the grinding stone. Generally, the blade should be at a 15 to 20-degree angle. Repeat the same process with finer stones after grinding. This helps to reshape the blade and fine-tunes the edges. Pass the knife twice through the slot on each side.
Wash The Knife
After this process, turn off your electric sharpener. Even though the knife will look clean, you should rinse it to get rid of excess shavings that may have been skipped by the magnetic collection. Wipe it to dry with a clean kitchen towel and resume to use it.
Advantages Of Using An Electric Knife Sharpener.
Electric knife sharpeners bring with them great benefits. Typically, they are easier to use, efficient and convenient. All you have to do is to plug the sharpener to a power outlet for a quick touch up. However, they are also packed with more benefits.
Other Benefits Include:
- No skill required – unlike sharpening stones or rods, you don’t need any skill to use electric sharpeners
- Electric knife sharpeners are safer to use
- They don’t require a lot of effort to operate
- They are more accurate compared to manual knife sharpeners
- Electric knife sharpeners can accommodate a wide range of blade sizes and types. So you don’t have to struggle or get confused when trying to find an ideal one for your knife.
- You don’t need to hire professional because electric knife sharpeners are easy and straightforward to use
- An electric knife sharpener gives you a broad option to customize your parameters, depending on how sharp you want your blade.
Important Things To Consider Before Buying An Electric Knife Sharpener
When you are choosing a good quality knife sharpener to invest, you must consider certain key features. Integrated the ideal features ensures that you get an effective option. Yet, before you embark on a knife sharpener choosing quest, you must first know what type you want to go for – a manual or electric sharpener. Apart from the angles, other features to consider include:
Knife sharpeners are built with different abrasion materials. These materials will determine what type of knives your sharpener can work on. Typically, you want the abrasive materials to be made with smooth and durable joints as well as high strength material to withstand friction.
Diamonds abrasive materials are hard thus, making them highly durable. It is also faster at removing metal thus, making it great at sharpening. This, however, makes them quite expensive.
Ceramic tends to be highly sturdy than metals such as steel. It is ideally effective at honing (sharpening and straightening) as well as polishing.
Sapphire is less commonly used. However, it boasts great sturdiness and abrasiveness. It functions as well as diamonds but works best in both honing and polishing.
Grit is defined as how small or large the abrasive material fitted on your knife sharpener is, if the grit is low, this means that the sharpening effect will be coarse and vice versa. Electric knife sharpeners, for example, come with two settings to allow you to choose the fineness. The grits of sharpening stones, for example, are normally denoted in the 1000’s.
So a stone marked 4000+ will give you a fine grit for a refined edge. Medium grit is marked on stone with ranges 1000 to 3000. It is normally ideally used to sharpen undamaged dull knives. Stones with markings lower than 1000 on the other end, provide coarse grit and are normally used for damaged knives with nicks.
The size is also an important feature to scrutinize. But this feature focuses more on your storage space rather than its functionality. So before you purchase a knife sharpener, designate a space for it in your kitchen so you know the approximate size to go for.
You should also consider the portability of your knife sharpeners. Handheld sharpeners and stone sharpeners are normally portable. This allows you to use them anyway be it the backyard, in the garage or even when you are camping in the wilderness.
However, countertop knife sharpeners, especially multi-stage and electric ones may limit your movement. These types tend to be bulkier, require a flat surface to operate and cannot work without power supply.
The speed and duration to which knife sharpeners work differs. In general, electric knife sharpeners will work a lot faster than manual ones. If you have mastered the right skills, te it shouldn’t take you more than 5 to 10 minutes to use a sharpening stone, for example. However, if you use an electric knife sharpener, this time will be cut by up to half. But if you find knife sharpening fun, then, the time spent shouldn’t be an issue.
It is not always easy to gauge the quality of your knife sharpener unless you are a professional. Thu, especially for electric knife sharpeners, it is always a good idea to go for one that comes with a warranty. Typically, good quality electric sharpeners will come with a 1 to 7-year warranty, depending on their value and quality. This doesn’t only guaranty their quality but also allows you to get a replacement in case of defects.
The price of a knife sharpener ranges from $10 t $150. This depends on its type, capacity, and quality. You are more likely to find an electric knife sharpener more expensive than other types. Although, this is not always the case.
You are also more likely to come across premium quality sharpening stones that will be more expensive. Although, sometimes you may also find a good knife sharpener to suit your needs at quite an affordable price. So it all depends on your budget and what you are looking for.
FAQs Related To Knife Sharpeners
How Often Should You Hone A Knife?
It all depends on how often you use the knife. However, for a standard home knife, it is recommended that you hone it at least twice a year. Doing so ensures that the blades are always working efficiently with each 6-month time bracket. However, this s a recommended practice, if you notice that your blades are getting dull faster, it is okay to increase the honing to 3 to 4 times a year.
What Knife Sharpeners Do Chefs Use?
Many chefs like to use sharpening steels or electric knife sharpeners. Electric knife sharpeners tend to shave off a significant amount of metal when you sharpen your knife blades. However, many chefs will use electric knife sharpeners with different settings such as coarse, fine, and non-motorized steel to tackle this problem.
What Type Of Knife Sharpener Is The Best?
It all depends on what you are looking for. Every knife sharpener type comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Sharpening steels, for example, are easy and fast to use. These knife sharpener types are also portable so you can use them anywhere. You will notice that many chefs also use these. Electric knife sharpeners on the other end also are also easy to use, extremely convenient, and boast more settings to choose from.
What Angle Do You Sharpen A Knife At?
Most knives are sharpened at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees angle. In particular, western knives normally lay on the 20-degree curve. Asian knives such as Japanese ones on the other end lay on the 17-degree side.
Can You Sharpen A Knife With A Sand Paper?
Yes, you can indeed sharpen your knife with sandpaper. There are several ways you can use sharpen your knife using sandpaper. To sharpen your knife, first, clean it and dry it with a kitchen towel. Cover items such as a brick or wood with the sandpaper. Then run the knife as if you are using a sharpening stone, lay it flat, and rotate it in a circular motion to ensure all areas are sharpened. Alternatively, after drying your knife with a kitchen towel, keep it at a 20 degrees angle (to achieve this, put it at a 90-degree angle, than 45 than half of the 45) and gently run it across the sandpaper making sure you cover even the edge. As you are sharpening it draws the knife away from you to keep safe.
When Sharpening A Knife Do You Push Or Pull?
It depends on the situation. For example, if you are using a smaller sharpener with little surface area, the stroke is always in a pushing direction. Stroke the knife in a forward and straight direction. When doing so, never pull or drag the edge but rather push it forward. A countertop stone on the other end will also prompt a pull and slide mechanism but not a straight pull.
How Do You Keep A Serrated Knife Sharp?
To keep a serrated knife sharp, you should use a serrated knife sharpener. To restore the sharpness, you must smoothly sharpen each serration. However, unlike plain edged knives, serrated knives don't require sharpening very often. This is because a serrated knife functions as a chain saw. However, when they are dull, the most definitely need sharpening because rather than cutting, they end up shredding and tearing.
Do You Need To Wash The Knife After Sharpening?
Yes, you need to wash your knife after sharpening. This is because, during the sharpening process, small amounts of metal shavings will fall on it. And you don't want to cut your food without cleaning these shaving first. In addition, electric knife sharpeners will also come with magnets that pull the metal shavings from the blade surface. However, even this mechanism is not always 100% effective. Thus, no matter the type of knife sharpener you use, you must ensure you wash your knife before using it.
How Do I Know If My Knife Is Sharp?
There are many ways you can check the sharpness of your knife. The easiest way to gauge the sharpness of your knife is by checking how effective it is at its regular tasks. For example, when using a fillet knife, will it smoothly glide whilst filleting the meat or will you have to repeat the strides over and over again to effectively cut the meat? For your chef’s knife, a good way is to use it to cut harder food items such as onions. Onions are an ideal food item to test the sharpness of your knife due to their rubber-like and thick skin. Rather than smoothly cutting through the skin, you will end up shredding and tearing through the onions. Sometimes, you can even tell whether your knife is sharp or not simply by looking at the blade. You will be able to see if the edges are bland or sharpened.