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It’s a good idea to own a knife sharpener. All knives, even your best kitchen knife sets, eventually become dull and will need sharpening.
Imagine peeling an orange with a dull knife. The rubbery drag. The too deep or too thin cuts. Or how the edge easily misses the orange peel surface. Every slip increases your chance of injury. There is no hard, fast rule for the best time to sharpen your knife. Once your cuts are not clean, even, or easy-to-make, grab your sharpener. It will allow you to prep your utensil safely at lightning speed.
Manual and electric sharpeners are easy-to-use. They are versatile, need zero-skill, and provide quicker results than traditional sharpening stones and systems.
Shopping for the right one, though, is no easy task. Some have helpful settings and dust collecting features, which is why we have tested sharpeners to find the best ones worth the investment.
Our team has also considered online customer reviews, personal experiences, and our testing experience.
In this testing experience, all the knife sharpening tests provide data that are as factual as possible. To test so many knife sharpeners, we needed many dull knives, which we happened to find a lot after our best knife set testing experience. We wanted to ensure that the knife sharpeners meet several essential characteristics that most buyers would appreciate. These features are that the knife sharpeners are:
- Easy to use: despite the model, brand, or type of sharpener one chooses to purchase, it is always necessary that it is easy to use.
- Can create a sharp enough edge: Let’s face it, a knife sharpener is useless if it does not provide sharp straight edges. Your knife must be able to slice through both tomatoes and meat just as smoothly.
- It can be used to sharpen a wide variety of knives: There is no need to have a knife sharpening tool that can only sharpen specific or certain types of blades. That would create the need for more than one sharpening device, which will only take up space in the kitchen.
These reasons are why these criterias were selected for our testing experiences.
Whether you have one beloved knife or a set, this list can help you find the best knife sharpener to keep your blades razor-sharp. These sharpeners are from trusted brands, got my test-backed recommendation, and have lots of five-star reviews from real Amazon members. In this article you will find the best electronic and manual sharpeners for your needs.
The Most Popular Types of Knife Sharpeners
There are several kinds of sharpening devices available to create and maintain the sharp edge of blades. Knife sharpeners have four main types: manual, electric, whetstones, and honing rods. The most popular type of knife sharpener is manual.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each type.
Honing rods do not sharpen. Instead, they realign bent out of shape edges. Once straightened by sharpening steel, you will need a sharpener.
Manual knife sharpeners are handheld, and you either pull the knife through a slot or pull the sharpener over the blade. The pulling action allows for more control than the electric sharpening process.
Handheld is simple to use, but your physical effort is required.
Electrics have a similar pull-through design as the manual with spinning sharpening stones inside. They usually have two or more slots to help fine-tune sharpness with little effort. However, you will have to be careful not to shorten the life of your blade by shaving off more metal than necessary.
Whetstones give ultimate control and are the preferred choice of professionals. The user runs the knife back and forth on the stone to sharpen one side at a time. The learning curve is steep to gain the correct angle and pressure. If the whetstone doesn’t have a refined side, you may need to purchase multiple stones to achieve different grit levels.
How to Pick the Best Knife Sharpeners
As you may have realized by now. Knife sharpeners differ in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and purposes. It is therefore critical to have an idea of how one should pick the best knife sharpener. Firstly the best knife sharpener is one that suits the needs of the purchaser and their particular situations. Just like no two persons are the same, the way they will use their tools are not the same. So here are a few pointers you should consider when seeking to pick the best knife sharpener:
The blade on your knives:
It is essential to know what material the blade of your knives are made of and see the type of sharpener you should get, whether a course or mild grit or a ceramic or diamond abrasive.
It is crucial to identify how much you would like to spend on a knife sharpener. The cost of a sharpening tool for your knives ranges from $10 to $250 and above. Have a budget in mind and stick to it.
Degree of sharpness:
Some sharpeners can sharpen from 11 to 30 degrees; others can not. Have an understanding of what degree of thickness you require to ensure you are getting a knife sharpener that can suit your needs.
Quick List of The Best Knife Sharpeners for 2021 and beyond.
The knife sharpeners we tested include (Click on the arrow ⇩ if you would like to jump to section) :
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Overall Knife sharpener: Brod & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Electric Knife sharpener: Chef’sChoice Trizor XV EdgeSelect
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Sharpening Stone: Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Manual Knife Sharpeners: Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Sharpener for stainless steel and ceramic Knives: Electric Diamond Knife Sharpener Tool
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Honing Steel Sharpener: 10 Inches Honing Steel Knife Sharpening Rod
- ( ⇩ ) – Best heavy-duty knife sharpener: WEN 4270 10-Inch Two-Direction Water Cooled Wet/Dry Sharpening System
- ( ⇩ ) – Best knife sharpener for serrated blades: Smith’s DRET Diamond Retractable Sharpener
The knife sharpeners reviews for which we have relied only on consumers experience and feedback:
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Professional Knife set: Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition
- ( ⇩ ) – Best priced knife sharpener: Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener, two stages, Black
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Pocket knife sharpener: SHARPAL 191H Pocket Kitchen
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Knife Sharpener for Stainless Steel knives: Pensar Knife Sharpener Professional Stainless Steel
- ( ⇩ ) – Best three stages Knife Sharpener: DDF iohEF Manual Knife Sharpener
13 BEST Knife Sharpeners Tested and Reviewed In 2021
Our testing experience:
During our testing experience, the first thing that was noticed is how lightweight this sharpener is. It is not bulky, nor does it take up a lot of space on the counter. The edges created by this knife had testers cut everything around to see how quickly it would lose its sharpness, and it did not. This sharpener is tested as the best overall because it can work with multiple blades, stainless steel material, and patented technology that makes the knife sharpening process faster and easier. While it’s testing was being conducted, the significant issue found was having to hold the blade to where you want it some of the time. I must add that this tool’s presentation would look as if it is a piece of artwork in your kitchen rather than a knife sharpener.
- Automatically adjusts to the knives angle
- Sharpens, polishes, and realigns the knives blade all at once
- Does not damage the knife during sharpening
- Having to hold the sharpener to the angle of the knife
- A lot of knocks offs you may need to search for the real thing.
This knife sharpener is a multi-purpose tool that is well equipped to take on any task. Verified shoppers who have purchased this tool from Amazon.com states that this professional-grade sharpener is very easy to use and works on most blades. It is on the more expensive side and may seem a little bulky and heavy for some. Manufacturers of this knife sharpener swear by it and state that it will bring back your knife set to its original condition, in some cases sometimes better than the factory versions. You may want to consider protecting the smaller pieces. This is so that they do not get lost if you ever have to pull the sharpener apart; As you may need to replace them often.
- Sharpens multiple blades, both large and small.
- Most parts are replaceable and can be purchased with ease.
- A bit overpriced
- Too many removal parts to keep track of
Our testing experience:
When we tested this sharpener, it was my first time using an electric knife sharpener, and I must say, it left a lasting impression. This tool is very lightweight, one of the lightest in our testing experience. There was no guesswork in the setup. Sliding the knife into the sharpener required no effort, and this tool can sharpen a 15 degree blade, which not many other sharpers can achieve. When we pointed a knife (so dull it could hardly cut bread) for 15 solid minutes, the result was as if we just purchased this set from the factory. The feeling was incredible and left us wanting to find even more blades to sharpen. Based on several reviews on amazon.com, it was related that this sharpener does not sharpen scissors, we decided to test this theory for ourselves. We got a pair of scissors and tried it out; what happened is that the top of the scissors was okay but from the middle downwards posted some difficulty.
- Can sharpen up to a 20degree edge
- Sharpens several different knife points.
- It is not suited for larger cutting tools or scissors.
- It may leave a weird mark on your knives.
- It may take longer to sharpen some knives.
The Presto knife sharpener is affordable and a handy product to have around. This tool is a fraction of the cost of other sharpeners on the list. It does not sharpen the serrated edges and rougher blades; It sharpens regular knives well according to customers’ feedback. If you have a knife set that all knives have straight edges, including the steak knives, this sharpener will be okay. Reviewers describe this tool as lightweight and very easy to use, but most suited if you are not a professional chef who cooks often and only needs to sharpen your knives now and then. This two-stage sharpener works electronically and can provide a razor-sharp blade. The presto knife sharpener only uses 120 volts of current in case you have a 220-volt current and was made in China.
- Sharpens both sides of the knife
- extremely easy to use
- Do not sharpen serrated edges.
- Lightweight and easy to carry around.
Our testing experience:
I had no idea; I would like this sharpening stone as much as I did. This one does not move out of place as most sharpening rocks do. It is durable, lightweight, and can sharpen a lot of different knives, even an ax. While we enjoyed the testing experience for this tool, I was not too fond of the idea of having to use this for my thinner blades as it may be a little too hard for thin blades. I, however, enjoyed trying different types of blades on this sharpening tool. If you sharpen your knives, you often get additional stones and store them in a cool, dry place. By our observation, this stone works on a chef knife, steak knife, santoku knife, paring knife, sushi knife, cleaver knife, BBQ knife, Hunting Knife, Pocket Knifekitchen knives, Japanese knife, butcher knife, paring knife, Scissor, Chisel, Blade, Straight Razor, it can even sharp an ax. You may also need some form of sharpening oil, which is not included with this purchase.
- Multipurpose Use
- Parts are replaceable and easy to get
- Stone wears down quickly
- Stone may be too rough for some blades
Our testing experience:
When this knife sharpening tool arrived in the mail, our team was excited to try it out and go old school for a change. Throughout the process, We were both satisfied and disappointed with many aspects of this tool. The first thing noticed was that some of the material was not as described by the manufacturer. Some metal parts were aluminum when stainless steel would be a better fit where quality is concerned. Using this sharpener was not as easy as it could be, like the lining up to find the right angle took some time and it does not seem suited for all knife types, especially the thinner ones. My chef knife and utility knife got a nice sharp edge after using this tool, and we like that most of the parts were replaceable and can be repurchased if lost.
- Easy to use and can be fun
- Not suitable for all knife types and blade
- May need to replace the screws in the clamp because of quality
Our testing experience:
Our testing experience for this sharpener has an amusing story. While time may not permit, let us say that this sharpener is not suited for scissors, hunting knives, pocket knives, folding knives, or serrated edges. We tried sharpening some of these blades before seeing that it was listed in the manufacturer’s instructions. That was okay as this knife won its category for its expertise in sharpening ceramic and stainless steel edges. It was discovered that sharpeners with a ceramic grinder blade would not sharpen ceramic knives well; you will need diamond as the abrasive, which is where this sharpener comes in. It was easy to use and lightweight and gave a Sharp edge. Overall, we were not disappointed with these knives’ quality results but wished this sharper could take on serrated edges.
- Specialized for certain knives
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Limited in the type of edges, it can sharpen
- May have steel dust after use
Our testing experience
This knife sharpener created one of the most exciting testing experiences we have ever conducted. We took turns trying this sharpener out on several different dull knives, and the results are here. While this tool may tire the hand if done for some time in the same position, it will get your knives as sharp as you want them. We tried them on many different blades including serrated edges, and they worked just fine. Overall this sharpener is easy to use and not hard to figure out. You will get the edge on your blade that you are looking for, but it may take some time to achieve this. No issues were found using this honing steel to sharpen different edges.
- Extremely cheap
- Lightweight weighs less than a pound.
Our testing experience:
Our next knife sharpener was the heavy-duty knife sharpener by WEN. Right off the bat, we identified that no dull blade could stand against this sharpener. It is the heaviest on the testing experience, but it met all the excellent knife sharpener requirements. It is easy to use and gives a sharpening like no other tool on our list. It would, however, take some time as it runs a bit slow at only one speed. The machine’s speed reduces the risk of accidents based on our observation, but it also takes up time. It sharpened knives of different shapes and sizes and did not damage the blade itself. It uses a sharpening block, which may need to be replaced after a few uses. They are, however, inexpensive to replace.
- Ideal for knife makers
- effective and sharp finish
- Only has one speed, which may be time-consuming
- The sharpening stone block may need to be replaced regularly
Our testing experience:
This small tool can take on big jobs. That is why we were excited to add it to our testing experience. When it came out of the package, I expected it to be a little bigger; it was, however, the size of a pen. The manufacturer’s label stated that this product was retractable, it is not entirely. We tested this product on both serrated edges and straight edges, and it worked well on both surfaces. This product, however, is not ideal for more extensive and tedious sharpening projects. It is hardly noticeable and can easily be lost because of this same reason. We recommend using the clip attached if possible. Or you could spend half a day searching for this product as I did. It is easy to use and requires manual work, but the result is a well-sharpened edge.
- Small and lightweight
- It has a pocket clip so it will not be lost easily
- Not suited for all blades
- It does not fully retract
Our next featured knife sharpener is by Sharpal. This sharpener is compact and lightweight to the point that it can fit in the palm of your hand. It works in three stages as it sharpens, restores, and repairs the blades. This tool is easy to use. There is a suction cup on the bottom that holds the sharpener firmly into place when placed on a flat surface while you use it. The most appropriate use for this knife sharpener is Household purposes, Kitchen Straight Edge Knife, Outdoor, camping and Sporting Straight Edge Knife, and Serrated Knife.
- Easy to carry and store
- Stylish design
- Not expensive
- This sharpener does not work on ceramic knives
- May nick the blade of the knife
- Does not sharpen all scissors
This is a sharpener by Pensar that works mostly for stainless steel knives. The feature that stands out most with this sharpener is the G-clamp that can be adjusted to maximize the grip’s tightness. This grip also provides convenience and safety when honing the knife. This product comes with ten whetstones, and the parts can be replaced if necessary. The handles are adjustable, and the knife can be sharpened with the sharp end of the blade facing away from the user. The packaging of this product includes all you need the stone and tools to start, and you can replace these parts as time goes by.
- Multiple grades of sharpening stones to choose from
- Can grip to many surfaces
- Not very expensive
- Water changes the color of the stone once wet.
- This product seems overly complicated
- the material used to make this tool appears inferior.
This product is designed to produce quality knives after a few minutes of use. It has three slots that will accommodate the sharpening, restoration, and polishing of the blade. This tool is portable as it is small and relatively lightweight. The anti-slip base causes the sharpener to stay in place when being used. This product description states that it comes from Germany; Some customers, however, think differently. The grinder is made from diamond Coated Aviation Ceramics, making it uniquely for knives that cover stainless steel and ceramic knife blades.
- Stylish design
- Product may damage knife edges
- It is only suited for a kitchen knife, fruit knife, boning knife.
- Inferior quality
How to Tell If Your Knives Need Sharpening
For those who are always in the kitchen and constant use of a knife, we know that having a dull blade can cause annoyance and fatigue and cause you to lose a finger. To avoid these problems, it is essential to understand when your knives need to be sharpened, but how? Below are several ways in which you can tell you need a knife sharpener:
- If Your knife does not cut through but slides off an onion.
- If your knife smashes instead of slices a tomato.
- If the blade of the knife feels dull and round.
- If your knife can not cut paper.
- If you look closely at the edges of the knife, it is bent and beaten up instead of straight and sharp.
- If your knife can’t cut through a strain of hair effortlessly.
- Or if your blade cannot shave noodles.
While there are other ways to test if you should sharpen your blades, these are the safest ways that we listed above. In the event any of these situations apply to you, you need to get your knives sharpened. You do not want your knives sliding off fruits and vegetables in the middle of cooking. Best practise is to keep the knife set sharpened and practice knife safety rules.
How Long Should It Take to Sharpen a Knife?
The process of sharpening a knife used to be a long and tedious task. Many people would bypass this process by calling professionals to do it. Thankfully, simple and easy to use knife sharpeners came on the scene, but just how long should it take to sharpen a knife?
Well, the answer to this question is dependent on the state of the knife. It is recommended that you sharpen knives when they still have a little sharpness in them. When this is done, the process is effortless in most cases and can last between 6 to 12 minutes on average. If the knives are on the dull side, this could take much longer depending on the blade’s state.
However, you will find professional knives like the Western Style Knives are sharpened every three days on average. Doing this gives the knife the cut that professional chefs require.
Care and Maintenance Tips
Caring for your knife sharpener like most kitchen tools is no walk in the park. But it is essential to know-how to preserve the longevity of the sharpeners’ quality. Here we provide tips to assist you in caring for your knife sharpener. Let us begin:
- Keep your knife sharpener stored in a clean and dry area.
- If your knife sharpener uses a motor, try not to run the sharpener for too long without giving it a rest.
- Try to avoid metal dust from getting into the sharpener; this could block the motor and cause build up in your sharpener.
- If you are using a stone sharpener, ensure to wet the stone occasionally. This does not only give a sharper blade but also preserve the stone from cracking.
- Keep a firm hold on the knife’s handle and your shoulders when using a stone to sharpen your knives. A firm grip will cause the blade not to have a rugged edge and sharpens the knife faster.
- When using sharpening steel, the proper way to do this is to tip the steel on the counter and have the sharpener in a vertical position. Hold the knife on the steel at a 15-degree handle to ensure safety and effortless sharpening.
- Not all users like to read the instructions manual, but different blades require different sharpener requirements. Read manufacturers’ instructions carefully to ensure the sharpener you selected is appropriate for the utensils you use.
These are only a few of the tips you should consider when caring for your knife sharpener. While considering these, remember your number one objective is first and foremost your safety.
Knife sharpening tools, much like other kitchen appliances, have multiple options from which one can choose. It is all about your comfort zone; you can choose from stone sharpeners, Electric knife sharpeners, knife hone, or sharpening steels. Whatever your choice is, it is essential to bear a few details in mind. Before your purchase, ask yourself, can this tool sharpen different types of knives? How easy is this sharpener to use, and what kind of result will it produce? While it is almost impossible to test every sharpening tool available on the market, our team has chosen ten knife sharpeners that are the best in various areas.
We tested them in our in-house kitchen. These testing experiences and essential data on the knives were all listed above. We aimed to provide information based on our expertise and our personal testing experiences. Afterall, who knew that there was so much to learn about purchasing a sharpener for the knives in our kitchen.
We hope you enjoyed the article, and even more importantly, we hope you find the knife sharpener you are looking for.