You might not realize it at first, but the knives in our home and kitchen specifically are some of the most used tools and utensils we have.
There are the all important knives we use for preparing and cooking nutritious meals, the dining sets we use to sit down and eat with families each day, and the functional knives that help us enjoy the wilderness and our favorite pastimes such as hunting and fishing.
With so much use, it's no wonder that these miracle tools can often become blunt quite quickly, and therefore become fairly useless as a tool.
Traditionally, blades would be manually sharpened using large devices or those which took a lot of manpower to operate, with an innovative approach now taken to knife sharpeners that make them easier to use and far more effective.
The knife sharpener market today consists of a mix of electric and manual accessories, all with the one goal in mind: to restore any blade you have back to its ultra sharp factory edge. However, to get one that delivers on this promise usually means hours of searching and reading through knife sharpener reviews just to find one that should satisfy.
We've compiled this useful buyer's guide to show you the ins and outs of shopping for a knife sharpener, and what exactly the top products on the market look like today.
With a little bit of understanding about the important features of these devices and what some of the best sellers offer, you can feel confident you're purchasing the greatest one to keep your favorite utensils working their best.
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Why Having A Quality Knife Sharpener Counts
When you think about how often we rely on our knives, from the kitchen to the outdoors, it's a wonder that more households don't have a quality sharpener in their homes already. However, this useful accessory isn't as common as it should be, mainly because people don't understand just how far reaching the benefits can be.
- More precise cut - The absolute most important benefit to having a knife sharpener means you will always have the sharpest knives on hand. This means a more precise cut and less work from you, whether you're cutting a steak or filleting a fish on the lake.
- Saves money - Rather than throwing away your old utensil set or hunting knife every time you think the blade has worn down, a simple sharpening can get them even sharper than the day you bought them. Knives can last for over 20 years with a professional sharpening system at home which will save you thousands over your lifetime with this one device.
- Adds safety - When you're working with a blunt knife you're more at risk of slipping out or jarring the knife which can cause injury. Having both work tools and kitchen knives sharp and precise can ensure you are working as safely as possible in whatever job you might be doing.
- Faster work and preparation - If you've ever tried doing anything with a blunt knife you know it can take twice as long, so you should always have a sharp knife available. Spending a little time each month keeping your knives sharp will reduce hours from meal preparation time so you can get on with other tasks at home.
All of these benefits can be available to you when you invest in the best knife sharpener for your needs. If you're willing to spend so much on quality knives and kitchen utensils, it makes sense to put the same amount of effort into choosing a knife sharpener that can offer you so many benefits on top.
Features To Consider With Your Knife Sharpener
Choosing a knife sharpener doesn't need to be a complicated process, provided you have in mind a bit about its use beforehand. There are a few main features to consider when shopping for a knife sharpener, as there will be more than just one style and purpose out there to suit everyone and every blade you have at home.
This is the material that will be doing the hard work, so you want to choose a sharpener that offers something tough. A popular choice is 100% diamond thanks to its toughness, however, there are other options such as oil stone.
The angle of a knife sharpener refers to the angle between the blade and the stone. The smaller the angle, the sharper the knife will be. The most common angle for a chef's knife is usually 15 degrees, and some electric ones don't give options to adjust this amount.
Those with adjustable angles can go up to 35 degrees for things such as cardboard cutters or knives used for thick rope.
Type Of Sharpener
There are three main types of knife sharpener, divided into how they are operated. First, an electric knife sharpener does all of the work for you as you pull it through.
Second, a pull through knife sharpener is a manual device which requires you to pull it through and sharpen it yourself. Finally, a sharpening stone which allows you to sharpen the knife by pulling it over the stone.
Some knife sharpeners are only made to suit one style of knife, but more and more these days you will find a knife sharpener that can work with both plain edge and serrated knives, offering far more versatility.
The warranty feature on a knife sharpener is especially important on an electric device as there is more chance of fault, so look for a minimum of 12 months which includes all mechanical and electrical failures.
The best way to know exactly what features are right for you is to look at the blades you have at home and surroundings to determine what might suit them.
For the home chef who wants their kitchen filled with the sharpest and most precise blades, you're going to be looking for something completely different to the outdoor adventurer who relies on knives for their hunting and fishing outings.
Top Picks For The Best Knife Sharpener
Just as there are countless types and brands of knives available, so too are there a wide selection of knife sharpeners to choose from.
Most knife sharpeners are divided into either manual or electric working systems, each with their own pros and cons to the user and their knives. Here are some of our top choices for a whole range of sharpeners currently on the market and what they can offer you.
Wusthof PEtec Electric Knife Sharpener
When you think of knives there are a few brands that come to mind, known globally for their quality and excellence. Wusthof is one of those brands, and for many years this German knife maker has been treating homes around the world to some amazing knives and utensils.
It's no wonder then, that their PETec Electric Knife Sharpener is one of the best-selling around, with just as much quality and excellence offered in this device as their other products.
This electric knife sharpener features a three step process which sharpens, hones, and then polishes your knives to get them looking and feeling as if they were brand new. It's one of the easiest to use electric sharpeners with no real need to test it out before you try, guaranteeing the perfect edge every time.
Because this is a Wusthof branded knife, people may think it's only been designed to meet their specific blades, but this couldn't be further from the truth. This electric sharpener will work with any brand of knife you can find, new or old, but be cautious that ones with handles that are shaped out of the ordinary might be hard to get through it.
The only real negative of the Wusthof Electric Sharpener is the price, as it's a little higher than other on the market, but you're getting absolute quality with every extra cent you spend. If you can afford it, this is certainly one of the better high-end knife sharpeners that are incredibly easy to master.
Chef's Choice Trizor XV Electric Sharpener
For the absolute best in knife sharpeners which get you the most precise cut, you can't go past the Chef's Choice Trizor XC Electric Sharpener. This device can turn just about any knife you own, even older kitchen dining utensils, into a Trizor Edge knife to give you a flawless cut every time and it works just as well for plain edge and serrated blades.
The Trizor Electric Sharpener has advanced patented spring guides which allow for an effortless feed into the machine so it's great for those who have never used a knife sharpener before.
However, you might want to test it on some of your cheaper kitchen knives so you learn the three stage process before you apply it to any expensive knives, as some of the online reviews have suggested.
If you're after a precise 15-degree angle cut from your knife sharpener, the Chef's Choice Trizor XV Electric Sharpener is definitely a top choice. With a sleek 15 degrees edge, you'll be able to cut through meats and other tough foods with ease and you can even transform your traditional 20-degree kitchen knives into something more precise.
This means you can save thousands over the life of your Chef's Choice Trizor just by not having to replace any old knives.
This device is easy to use, delivers results, and works just as well with a range of blades and kitchen knives. For those who have invested hundreds in purchasing quality kitchen knives and dining sets, you can put your faith in the Chef's Choice Sharpener to take the absolute best care of them.
Work Sharp Knife Sharpener
While there are plenty of options out there that get your kitchen knives sharp, for many people this just isn't heavy duty enough. Rather than relying on a simple pull-through electric sharpener, many people need something far more powerful to keep all of their tools and knives working and looking their very best.
This very device is the Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife Sharpener, with a premium flexible belt that makes light work of any dull edges.
Work Sharp is well known for creating innovative accessories that keep your most important tools sharp, and their Knife and Tool Sharpener is no exception to the rule. This device has a powerful variable speed motor and adjustable angle which gives you one of the most versatile options in the market for a knife sharpener that is anything but average.
Because this requires a little more work than a standard electric knife sharpener, be prepared to put in some time reading the owner's manual and really getting a hang of how the machine works. Many online reviews have marveled at just how great this device is when you really make an effort to understand it, so be prepared to put a bit of work in when you first use it.
The Work Sharp Knife Sharpener has a flexible belt that gives you complete control over what you're working with, so you aren't limited to just 15-degree angles on kitchen knives as you might find elsewhere.
This is the top choice for anyone who wants more than just a knife sharpener in their home as it can be useful for the garden shed, camping, fishing, hunting, and just about anywhere else you can find a good use for it.
Smith's Adjustable Pull Through Knife Sharpener
For the knife owner who is happy to put a little bit of extra work into their sharpening and receive a whole lot of flexibility and freedom in return, you'll be very pleased with what's on offer with the Smith's Adjustable Pull Through Knife Sharpener.
This manual knife sharpener can work with both serrated and plain edge knives just as well, so you only need the one affordable device for all your knives.
This knife sharpener has been ideally designed for people who like to take their tools outdoors, for everything from camping to fishing, and carry it easily in their pocket. It has a soft grip handle and rubber feet for stability, so you can set it up just about anywhere and put it to good use for a quick and convenient sharpening.
The best thing about this knife, besides it being one of the more affordable options, is that you can easily adjust the settings to make it suit any blade you need. The adjustable knob can work from 14 to 28 degrees which make it far more versatile than most of the electric blades now available on the market.
For anyone who needs more than just the kitchen knife working its best, you won't be disappointed with how precise this gets your blades.
If you're using this for a standard knife there is a two stage process to take, otherwise serrated blades can be tackled with just one stage, and whichever you choose you can have the blade finished to a razor's edge.
For a compact, convenient, but powerful knife sharpener that works with a whole range of tools and knives, you can't go wrong with the Smith's Adjustable Angle Pull Through Knife Sharpener.
Lansky Deluxe 5 Stone Sharpening System
When you want only the toughest sharpener for your knives, whether you use them in the garden or the kitchen, you want something as reliable as the Lansky Deluxe 5 Stone Sharpening System. This revolutionary device offers a manual way to work with a whole range of edges from chef's knives to gardening tools, and everything in between.
For those people who want a quick and convenient sharpener for their kitchen knives, this likely isn't the system for you. You'll need to be prepared to put in some elbow grease to get results, but it will return the favor with a far closer and more precise sharpening.
Be cautious when using the clamp on more delicate knives and handles, though, as it's possible you could leave a mark when you're getting down to business.
This is a great option for anyone looking for a manual knife sharpener and doesn't want to rely on a preset electric device to get their blades sharp again. With five different hones ranging from ultra fine to extra coarse, you'll be able to sharpen everything from the finest ceramic to the toughest steel.
The Lansky Deluxe 5 Stone Sharpening System comes with a few different angles possible for your blades, however, don't expect it to go down to 15 degrees as you'll find with some electric styles.
This is for more heavy duty devices such as razor blades and fillet knives with a 17-degree angle, and right up to 30 degrees for knives which cut through rope and cardboard, giving you a wider selection of what it works with.
The Knife Sharpener Market Today
With so many varying options out there for quality knife sharpeners, it all comes down to the what exactly you are using yours for.
Before you invest your money in one of these handy accessories, get a clear picture of the knives and tools you use most commonly and those that will be put through your knife sharpener, as well as how much man power you want to provide in order to get them sharp again.
Knife sharpeners only appear to be growing in popularity though, as people realize that there is no need to get rid of your chef knives or dining sets altogether just because they have lost their sharpness and magic. Often times it is just because you've been using a poor substitute for a knife sharpener, all of which can be fixed when you invest in one of these top choices instead.
When you make the decision to spend hundreds of dollars on a quality knife for food preparation or invest in a complete dining set for the family with the best steak knives on offer, it makes sense that you should take absolute care to maintain them too.
That's why choosing the best knife sharpener is an important investment for the home and one that will provide you with years of service.
The Final Word
For the average home user who wants to keep their premium quality knives in the best possible shape, the clear winner would be the Edge Craft Chef's Choice Trizor XV Electric Knife Sharpener. This is the easiest to operate, most affordable, and gives the most precise edge to even the dullest knives.
A close second comes from the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener. This offers something a little out of the ordinary in that it can be used for a range of other accessories as well, and not just your kitchen knives. Although not as easy to operate as the Edge Craft, you certainly won't be disappointed with everything this can provide.
For a complete knife sharpener kit, the best choice is the Lansky 5 Stone Sharpening System thanks to the versatility it offers. No matter what type of blade you have or the coarseness you require, you can completely adjust this to suit your needs. Provided you are happy to do a bit of hard work when compared to an electric, you certainly won't be disappointed.
Finally, if you are looking for the best pocket knife sharpener to take along outdoors on fishing and camping trips it has to be the Smith's Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener. This compact and convenient device works with all kinds of blades but is particularly adept at handling the heavy duty tools you use in the wilderness.