Knife Sharpener Reviews
Ultimate Guide to Automatic and Manual Knife Sharpening Systems
Whenever cooking, hunting, camping, or being in combat, the pleasure from those activities is directly proportionate to an ownership of perfect tools for these activities. One of these tools is a sharp knife. A dull knife frustrates any user due to inability to complete a simple preparation task quickly and effectively. Moreover, a dull knife creates a risk to any user As its requires an extra effort for cutting. Knife may slip from more pressure on it, and may cause a severe cut. Consequently, a sharp knife is much more efficient and safe in use. Fortunately, there is a large number of tools available nowadays for sharpening dull knives and keeping them sharp for years. To help you choose the finest knife sharpener, we have created this detailed electric and manual knife sharpener reviews guide. It is intended to help to select the best knife sharpener to suit both your budget and your needs, and help you to ensure that your knives are always sharp and ready.
Currently, the market is over-saturated with the variety of knife sharpening tools and systems. Due to technological advancements , user’s first decision lays within a choice between manual or an automatic (electric) sharpening system. To assist you in this decision, there is the need to consider in more details both options.
Automatic Knife Sharpening Systems
Automatic knife sharpeners provides its users with speed and convenience due to their user friendly systems. As an owner of an automatic knife sharpening system, you can assure the sharpened knives sharpened effortlessly and quickly. Of course, automatic systems are more expensive compared to manual knife sharpeners, however, they save a great deal of time and energy. In the end, it is a reasonable value for your money.
For a majority of automatic sharpening systems there are common rules of use and care instructions. These are as follows:
|- Do not use with honing oil or water.|
- Use only on clean knives.
- Do not use for scissors or any blades that do not fit freely in the slots.
- Serrated blades should only be used in stage three.
|- Wipe exterior with a damp cloth.
- Once a year, remove accumulated metal dust from the clean-out cover located on the underside of the sharpener. Remove the cover and wipe with a paper towel or toothbrush.
Best Electric Knife Sharpener Systems
The following table lists leading models currently on the market and provides an overview of key features, used by customers for purchase decisions. In addition, at the end of the article you can review some additional models o electric knife sharpeners that may be best suited to your collection of knives.
Note: Price Ranges listed in the table reflect the following criteria:
- $: $10-$50;
- $$: $51-$100;
- $$$: $101-$200;
- $$$$: $201-300;
- $$$$$: >$301
1. Best Electric Knife Sharpener – Chef’s Choice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect
This knife sharpener has three sharpening process stages equipped with diamond abrasives and flexible abrasive stropping disks. It is designed for American, European and Asian knives and can transform any 20-degree factory edge of a knife into a high performing one. Flexible spring guides that adjust the angle automatically ensure an ideal sharpening angle every time of use. This sharpener is compatible with either straight or serrated edges.
It is a knife sharpener that provides three stages of sharpening and suitable for straight and serrated knives. It uses diamond-coated abrasives and knife guides to provide a razor sharp edge. It is designed for European, American cutlery to be sharpened at a 20-degree angle, and Asian – at 15-degree angle. Its advanced features include flexible polishing/stropping discs, which create those 15 or 20-degree edges on single/double bevel knives that are compatible even with pocket knives.
In comparison to other sharpeners in the same category, this appliance has a slightly higher than the average price. This sharpener is produced in the US by Chef’s Choice. It comes with a 3-year warranty to reassure its user about a solid quality of a product.. Its three sharpening stages are able to sharpen any type of knives and provide equal sharpening on both sides of knives due to Wusthof’s famous PETec standard. Each sharpening stare is responsible for a distinct operation: sharpening, honing and stropping and to ensure the finished polish, the third stage uses flexible stropping disks.
It is a two-stage knife sharpener, which sharpens even most non-serrated blades. This appliance uses precision blade guides at the first stage to position a knife at the angle to provide the best results every time you use it. Thanks to the Sapphirite sharpening wheels, you can get a razor sharp edge in several seconds. At the stage two, the appliance provides a honed and polished finish to keep a knife sharpened for a longer time.
This three-stage sharpening system is designed for kitchen, hunting, and sports knives. It has interchangeable blade guides that hold your knife at a perfect sharpening angle. The angle of sharpening can adjust to three positions with the lowest one for thin blades, such as filet knives, and the highest one for cleavers, etc. The first two stages of the appliance are equipped with Sapphirite wheels. At the first stage creates a proper knife angle with its coarse-grinding wheels and the second stage creates a precise edge of knife’s blade with its medium-grinding wheels. The sharpening process is complete with a grit ceramic wheel polishing for an extra sharp edge.
Manual Knife Sharpening Systems
These sharpeners cost less compared to automatic knife sharpeners since it takes more effort and time, i.e. the most of the work is done by a user.. However, many people prefer manual sharpening tools due to their compact size and the ability to have a higher control of a sharpening process. Manual sharpeners take up considerably less space compared to the automatic systems, which makes them more suitable for outdoor use and travelling for hunting or camping.
Later in the text the list of the best-rated manual knife sharpeners has been composed that available on the market today according to customers’ reviews. Consider this list to choose a perfect manual sharpener for your needs.
The following table lists leading models currently on the market and provides an overview of key features, used by customers for purchase decisions.
1. Work Sharp WSGFS221 Guided Field Sharpener
The original purpose of WSGFS221 design was devoted to sportsmen. This appliance is the angle guided five-stage knife sharpener. Every stage has an inbuilt angle guide that enables a continuous bevel across the blade. Coarse and fine diamond plates, a fine three-position ceramic rod with fish hook honing sides, coarse grit, and fine grits, and a micro-abrasive leather strop make this appliance a powerful tool to restore a blunt knife. Its compact size and affordable price makes it a valuable investment for people who enjoy mobile outdoor lifestyle.
This tool is perfect for sharpening, honing, and alignment. Due to its agronomical design, the handle is extremely comfortable for manual use. The ceramic has abrasive properties that helps to sharpen as well as align your knife. This appliance is the most suitable for European and Japanese cutlery.
It is an outstanding manual handheld knife sharpener, which is well known for its compact size and ease of use. Producing a sharp edge, it is suitable for serrated and sports knives. Moreover, this sharpener is equipped with a slot for aligning blades. It only takes to put a knife on a hard surface with its blade up, run the Accusharp down along the blade from bottom to top. These easy movements will create a perfectly sharpened and aligned blade.
This appliance uses diamond abrasive wheels, which enable to provide sharp blades within seconds. The soft-touch handle minimises pressure on user’s hands so user do not experience tiredness from the use of appliance. Its non-slip pads keep the sharpener secure and fixed in hands, preventing it from slipping the sharpening process. Anyone who decides to purchase this appliance will benefit from its compact size, lightweight and ease of storage.
It only takes only several strokes to restore a perfectly sharp knife with the help of ceramic rods and tungsten-carbide that Lansky provides in its BladeMedic sharpener. Its unique design allows to reach the smallest serrations also because it is equipped with a diamond tapered rod.
Classification of Manual Knife Sharpeners
There are two main categories of manual knife sharpeners: stones, slotted and rod systems.
Since the ancient times, people have used stones as sharpening tools. An essential thing in choosing a stone is to make sure that the selected one is harder than the dull knife. It might sound strange, but most people think that every stone is naturally very hard. If you think the same way, you are wrong. Sometimes stones should be lubricated with water or oil before being used as a sharpener. Stones can be of either fine, medium or rough coarse. The stone of the hardest material is a diamond abrasive one. Ceramic is a bit softer than a diamond abrasive, and the most commonly used stone is a hard stone. Using a hard stone, you often have to put a lot of effort into sharpening since it is almost as hard as steel. If you want to sharpen a really dull knife, you might want to use a combination of all these stones. So, remember that the used stone should always be harder than the knife that you are going to sharpen.
2) Slotted and Rod Systems
Other manual knife sharpeners can be divided into the category of slotted or rod. The first one is a manual sharpening system, which uses metal strips that are placed together and act as fingers or wheels. The knife is drawn through a V formed by these strips. This system can be used only for straight blades. A rod system has ceramic rods, which are set at definite angles and implanted into the appliance’s base. Thanks to the design of the system, the knife is pulled against the rods. It works with serrated and straight blades. Best of all it works on shorter knives.
The Guide towards finding the Best Knife Sharpener
Since there are so many knife sharpeners available on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one will be a perfect kitchen knife sharpener or the best hunting knife sharpener for you. The first thing you should consider is the type of knife you are going to sharpen. Next step is to decide if you want to have a manual or electric knife sharpening system. In case you do not wish to do everything by hand, an electrical system may be better for you.
A rod system will be a better choice for you if you sharpen short knives. If you need to sharpen straight blades, it is better to look for a slotted sharpener. A water stone sharpener can be suitable for knives with thin blades.
Using a diamond sharpener, you can get a very sharp edge since the stone is extremely hard. You can quickly sharpen a knife using hard ceramic stones. Stones that need to be lubricated with oil stay flat for a longer time and are more durable. You need to soak water stones in water before using them, but they wear out quicker compared to the other stones. Many sharpening systems incorporate either one or several of mentioned materials.
Choosing a knife sharpener, you need to consider whether you need a sharpening system that handles serrated, straight, or both blades; ceramic or metal knives; Chef, Japanese sushi or Shun knives, or maybe even a razor.
Knife Sharpener Reviews
You can find a large number of good knife sharpening systems available on the market, which are produced by quality manufacturers. Therefore, it is extremely hard to find the best one. Sometimes checking the ratings of knife sharpeners may not be enough for making an informed purchasing decision. Considering this fact, we introduce you not only to the rating list of the top sharpeners made by our in-house experts but also reviews of these knife sharpeners . To have our own opinion on the matter, we have inspected every model we review and accumulated feedback from the customers who have bought and used these appliances. We hope that our reviews will be useful and help you in your searcher for the best knife sharpening tool.
When a Knife Needs Sharpening?
Many people often use their knives for purposes that they are not meant for, causing damage to the blade in the process of doing so. Sometimes knives are used for prying things open or scraping something. Both of these things may bend your blade. Moreover, knives can become damaged due to normal wear and tear as well. For example, kitchen knives can become corroded due to being used to slice acidic food. The same happens when you wash knives in a dishwasher. Hot temperatures or using chemicals while cleaning will cause the same effect.
The most common damage to a blade is blade buckling that is caused by bending or heavy cutting. An example of it can be when you break apart ice or use cutting boards. To minimize damage to the knife, try to clean it right after use, use softer surfaces for cutting, and make sure you use the right blade for the right purposes.
There are several ways of how to check your knife’s sharpness:
Touch – You should run your thumb across its blade, but be sure not to cut yourself while doing it. You should draw your finger perpendicular to the knife’s edge. If the blade is sharp, you can feel a distinct edge. Sometimes the blade may even make a sound due to vibration. If the knife’s blade is dull, your thumb will slip over its edge since it will be round.
Visual – You can hardly see the edge of a very sharp knife since it is too small. Moreover, you may not see it even under a microscope. To determine whether your knife needs sharpening or not, you need to focus on the shape at the blade’s edge and turn the knife. If you see a change in its reflection, the blade needs sharpening. If your knife has rolled edges, it can create a reflective surface so that you also see nicks. A properly straightened edge cannot be seen with the eye when looking head-on.
Biting – Checking if a blade “bites” is one more way to check its sharpness. It means that the knife cuts without any pressure as soon as is drawn across an object. There are appliances that are made specifically for checking “biting” ability of a knife, but some paper or a thumbnail can be used for this purpose as well (just be careful and don’t cut yourself). You can check a kitchen knife on fruits and vegetables.
Core Stages of Knife Sharpening Process
There are three primary stages in a knife sharpening process:
Sharpening – Sharpening is a process when you restore the edge of the blade by removing metal from it. To accomplish sharpening, you need to rub the knife’s blade against some surface that is harder compared to the metal of the blade. When you draw the knife’s blade across that surface, small pieces of metal are broken apart and removed. This process mostly depends on the angle of drawing the blade across the surface. In its turn, the angle depends on the knife’s type. However, the perfect angle for many knives is 20 degrees. The shallower angle results in a sharper knife, but such an edge will not last for too long. With a steeper angle, you can make a more durable edge, which, however, will not be as sharp. This process can also be called “grinding.”
Straightening – It involves straightening of the blade’s metal not removing much of metal. Sometimes it is also called “honing.” Many people often confuse it with sharpening. Not to be among them, remember that when you sharpen, metal is removed; and with straightening or honing, you do not remove metal.
Polishing – It is the final stage after you have sharpened and honed your knife. Sometimes it is also named “stropping” and provides a shiny, mirrorlike finish to the blade. This finish is often achieved thanks to buffing with a cloth wheel. If you have ever buffed a shoe, it is similar to this process.
Instructions for Knife Sharpening
The first thing that you need to do is to clean any residue that may be on the blade. Then take a whetstone soaked in water for up to 10 minutes. Keep the blade’s face side about 1/8 inch over the stone. Be sure not to cut into the stone with the blade’s sharp cutting edge. Keeping the blade at about 15-20 degree angle, you should slide it back and forth along the stone quickly and evenly until the knife’s blade is sharpened. Then turn your knife over and repeat all these steps. Most knives can be sharpened using this technique. Using stones, you may need to try various grit considering how dull the knife is. Some blades may require a harder abrasive. If you aren’t going to use a stone but a knife sharpening system instead, it follows the same technique except you put in less effort, because the sharpening system is designed to much of the work for you.
There is an appliance that is called a honing steel. It is commonly used as a tool for honing and looks like a screwdriver. You should use this appliance after each time you use your knife. If you use a honing steel correctly, it will straighten or realign the blade of your knife. You should stand the honing steel up on some hard surface with one hand and hold the knife’s handle at the top. Using your other hand, place the knife’s heel against the steel top at an angle of about 20 degrees. With light pressure, draw your knife down the full honing steel length and pull it across the full length of your knife. Do not forget to maintain the angle of 20 degrees. Move to the other side of the knife and repeat this process. Do it several times for each side. Honing is perfect for maintaining your knife sharp between sharpening.
Instructions for Knife Polishing
To polish knives, you may use felt wheels, leather strops, or sanders. However, old-fashioned hand polishing also does the job well. By the way, it is good to first remove the handle from the blade, so that you will not damage it with cleaning products. Using a 200–600 grit emery cloth, sand the blade of your knife until it is smooth. Together with a soft polishing cloth use a polishing compound to hand polish the knife’s blade. At the end of the process use penetrating oil for cleaning the blade and wipe it with a clean rag thoroughly. Reattach the blade to its handle.
Main Knife Components
Knives can be of various styles, shapes and sizes, but basically, they have two main parts, which are the blade and the handle. Below you can see additional parts of knives that are common to most of them. If you become familiar with these parts, it will help to follow knife-sharpening instructions much easier, and choose the correct tool for sharpening.
Tip – the knife’s front part (knife point).
Edge – the part of a blade that cuts.
Heel – the edge’s back part (opposite to the point).
Spine – at the blade’s top, opposite to the edge.
Point – where the spine and edge come together.
Bolster – band that attaches the knife to its handle.
Scales – the part of the knife creating the handle, often made of wood.
Butt – end of the knife’s handle.
Rivets – metal pins.
Tang – the part of the blade going into the handle.
|Model||User Rating||Feautures||Review||Chek Price|
|Chef’s Choice 120 Diamond||4.8|
100% Diamond abrasive
Unique Trizor-Plus edge offers superb sharpness
Three Stage perfect sharpening
3 Years household warranty
|Presto 08810 Professional ||4.2|
Sharp your knife like a pro with 3 stage sharpening system
Optimal sharpening angles
Best works with kitchen & sporting knives
| Chef’s Choice 130 Professional ||5|
First Electric Knife Sharpener with 100 % Diamond abrasives
Flexible stropping disk
3 Years Warranty
| Work Sharp WSKTS ||4.6|
Sharpens every knife with superior abrasive belts
Sharpen a huge range of bladed shop & garden tools
Quick & consistent results
| Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric||4.8|
Sapphirite sharpening wheels gives perfect edge to knife blades
Easy to use 2 stage sharpening system
Easy to carry
| Work Sharp WSKTS-KO ||4.9|
Multi-position Sharpening module
Adjustable sharpening chaperons gives perfect results in no time
Compact & portable design
| Wusthof 3 Stage Electric ||4.8|
Best for straight & serrated edge knives
Additional guide for polishing knives
100% diamond abrasive wheel in first slot
| Chef’s Choice 320 Diamond||4.7|
Get long lasting edges with 2 stage sharpening
Elastomeric spring guides perfectly hold knife blades
100% Diamond honing
|Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV||4.4|
Best works with European & Asian Style Knives (serrated & kitchen knives included)
Flexible spring guides automatically adjust knife’s blade at proper angle
Coarse stropping disks
3 years limited warranty
| Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin ||4.5|
Specially designed for American, European & Asian style knives
Patented flexible polishing discs plus 100% Diamond abrasives
Developed in the U.S.A.
|Premium Knife Sharpener By Harcas ||4.9|
Sharpens every type of knife with a fine edge
Two-module sharpening system
Portable to place on kitchen counter top
|Smiths Consumer Products ||5|
Sharpens dull kitchen knives in 4 strokes
Comprises two-modules – one for coarse sharpening and other for fine sharpening
Durable and lightweight
| AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener||4.8|
Easy stone rotation to sharpen knife
V-shaped non-skid base
Premium honing solution protects the sharpening surfaces
|Priority Chef Knife Sharpener||4.9|
Sharpens every knife easily & instantly
Suitable hand-grip for security
Diamond-honed tungsten carbide