Best Knife Sharpeners Reviewed and Tested

Using dull knives is a pain even if the current task doesn’t require a lot of motion. More force is needed for a good cut, and safety concerns rise since there is a higher chance of human error with that additional force. Some consumers buy brand new sets of knives each year so they don’t have to deal with the pain of sharpening the old ones. Sharpening knives is easier than it has ever been thanks to an uptick in the technology used. Buyers with minimal experience can now maintain their knife set without damaging them or lowering the value. And the best thing about it is that there are mechanical and non-mechanical sharpening tools to get the job done.

Best Brands

Throughout the industry there will be a lot of products that appeal to different types of customers. The interest in the many different types of knife sharpeners means that there is no one big brand that stands out. When going by type, Priority Chef is known for the traditional knife sharpeners while Chef’s Choice would fall into the modern category. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately all products prioritize sharpening. Professional chefs will lean towards using traditional sharpening tools since they prolong the life of top tier knives in the kitchen. For consumers, any type will get the job done.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Cleaning will be different based on type, but the one that needs the most attention will be mechanical knife sharpeners. They are appliances just like any other in the kitchen and need to be maintained so that they function at 100% capacity. Individual instructions will usually point to removing a single panel and emptying whatever is collected. It’s similar to a toaster, although different models may require removing a screw. Less effort is always appreciated, so experienced users may find traditional knife sharpeners the better deal. They don’t require as much upkeep when you compare them to mechanical knife sharpeners, and are considered foolproof when it comes to cleaning.

Our Top 3 Picks

LINKYO
  • LINKYO
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Fast
  • Price: See Here
PriorityChef
  • PriorityChef
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Diamond
  • Price: See Here
Chef's Choice
  • Chef's Choice
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Colors
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Knife Sharpeners 

 

1. LINKYO

1. LINKYO
In order to beat the superiority of Priority Chef, Linkyo had to bring their absolute best to the table. They didn’t fail with their electronic sharpener that has nothing but upside.

Fast And Easy

There is nothing complicated about using this knife sharpener since it requires technical prowess equal to that of a pencil sharpener. Safety, cleanup and even advanced settings are simple enough to manage for all levels.
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Features and Specifications

2 stage sharpening with automatic blade positioning
Non-slip suction cup feet

Price/Value

For the average consumer, the low price of this product will work out well. For high level chefs or cooks, the value may be slightly diminished based on its long term handling of professional knives.

Decision Time

Linkyo did a fantastic job of making the features easily accessible to all levels of users. No fine tuning is needed as this model is ready to go right out of the box.
Pros

No downward pressure needed when sharpening

Built in stop feature

Cons

Lacks for long term blade maintenance of top tier professional knives

2. PriorityChef

2. PriorityChef
Seeing non-mechanical sharpener in the top three is a good thing, with a showing of quality materials over mechanical superiority. This Priority Chef model is used by a lot of professional cooks that want consistent sharpening.

Diamond Coated

There are other diamond coated products on the list, but none of them have gone through the rigorous testing of this model. Priority Chef made it a point to add how much time they spent on making their coating different than the competitors.
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Features and Specifications

Two diamond coated wheels
Non-slip cushioned base

Price/Value

For a low price, this can be the best addition to any kitchen. The diamond coating is durable and will last for years without wearing out.

Decision Time

Other than the bad instruction booklet, this is everything you would want from a knife sharpener. It has compatibility with multiple types of knives and earns a place in the kitchen.
Pros

Award winning design

Works on straight and serrated knives

Cons

Bad directions

3. Chef's Choice 15

3. Chef's Choice 15
Things get a little more interesting when you add the Chef’s Choice 15 Trizor XV to the list. Its functional design and clear instructions turns it into an instant winner for consumers.

Different Colors

One thing that is lacking with knife sharpeners is choice for colors. This model remedies that and is available in Black, Brushed Metal and White.
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Features and Specifications

Three stage system
Flexible spring guides

Price/Value

The high price might scare off some buyers looking for a cheaper solution. But the extra cost is worth it, especially for a top three product.

Decision Time

Buyers that are conflicted about spending this much for a knife sharpener should look at the overall praise for the product. Even against the competitors, it’s highly regarded as a top tier choice.
Pros

3 stage system is labeled

Simple on/off switch

Cons

Price

4. Work Sharp WSKTS

4. Work Sharp WSKTS
The design of the WSKTS leaves a lot to be desired, but what it lacks in visual appeal it makes up for with usefulness. Having this as your knife sharpener gives you a product that works for a lot more than knives.

Multiple Uses

Knives are not the only thing this sharpener can handle, as it has shown great flexibility with scissors and even tools. Serrated blades receive the same professional treatment, and all from a single sharpener.
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Features and Specifications

Includes P220 medium, 6000 fine and P80 coarse belts
Interchangeable sharpening guides

Price/Value

The price is about average, and aligns well with the rest of the electronic sharpeners on the list. For only a little bit more, users can also get a replacement belt kit with their purchase.

Decision Time

As one of the most advanced knife sharpeners in the industry, customers will get a good deal with this purchase. It’s close to being a top three product and is also the first electric product on the list.
Pros

Belts are replaceable

Comes with instructional DVD

Cons

Can be loud

5. SunrisePro

5. SunrisePro
The popular SunrisePro Knife Sharpener usually ends up on a lot of top lists for sharpeners. It is user friendly, often copied and an all-around great way to sharpen your knives.

No Skill Required

That is the main tagline for using this product and it holds up well. Along with hands free sharpening, it is the safest product on the list to use for all ages.
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Features and Specifications

Tungsten Carbide technology
Suction cup mount

Price/Value

The price is low, which is just about right for what this product offers. Since it works with serrated knives, it gains some extra value points in that category.

Decision Time

Sharpening your blades doesn’t get easier than using the SunrisePro. There are a lot of copies of this great product, but the original is still the best.
Pros

User friendly for all levels

Sharpens in under a minute

Cons

Ugly design

6. Winware

6. Winware
This Winware knife sharpener is the only ‘traditional’ product to make the list. It is tried and true, and the go to sharpener for buyers that want familiarity.

Still One Of The Best

Traditional doesn’t mean outdated, and with sound technique this knife sharpener is a great value. It has the largest learning curve but is well worth it if you strive for manual perfection.
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Features and Specifications

12 inches stainless steel
5 inch handle

Price/Value

This is one of the lowest costing products on the list, so it’ll be hard to beat if you’re doing a price comparison. The company made a sharpener with good durability and a lot of nostalgic value.

Decision Time

Knife sharpeners don’t have to be fancy to get the job done. Buyers will enjoy the quality of this product that gets the job done right.
Pros

Sold in single and bulk packages

Has a 14 inch variant

Cons

Not good for customers with arthritis

7. Zula

7. Zula
Knives will never be dull again thanks to this top tier sharpener from Zula Kitchen. It looks great, and performs as expected for a product in this price range.

Easy To Use

Unless you go for something smaller, there really aren’t a lot of models that are this easy to use. Consumers won’t need to spend time looking through the instruction manual thanks to the user friendly design.
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Features and Specifications

2 stage sharpener
Non slip grip bottom

Price/Value

This product is available at a low price that challenges competitors in the same category. Being easy to use makes it a great gift idea over more complicated knife sharpeners.

Decision Time

Even if this product wasn’t on a lot of consumer’s radars, it still deserves a chance. There is nothing more attractive to a buyer than a product that’s easy to use.
Pros

Strong construction

Attractive design for the kitchen

Cons

Just above average sharpening

8. Wüsthof

8. Wüsthof
The Wüsthof - 2 Stage Hand-Held Sharpener is the first modern option on the list, and it doesn’t disappoint. The dual stage performance is equal to a lot of higher tier sharpeners, and without the extra cost.

Compact

This is a small product when you look at its dual stage functionality. It can be stored anywhere or kept out in the open since the dimensions are so tight.
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Features and Specifications

Hard carbide steel blades
Fine ceramic rods

Price/Value

With or without the bar board the price is low, but the true value comes with the inclusion of the board. That’s the package that consumers should look at if they want to purchase this model.

Decision Time

Wüsthof makes some really good knife sharpeners, and this qualifies as their best. Paired with the bar board it is available at an excellent price.
Pros

Base is rubberized

Bar board is a high quality bargain

Cons

Slower to sharpen than other options

9. Lansky Deluxe

9. Lansky Deluxe
For a more complex version of the Winware model, consumers have thrown support towards Lansky. Their five stone sharpening system is a kit that comes with everything you need right out of the box.

Worth The Effort

The high learning curve needed for this set is worth the time needed, and will teach a lot of new users about sharpening knives. Even if the learning curve also serves as a con, there is no getting around the usefulness of understanding the mechanics of sharpening.
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Features and Specifications

Five color coded stone set
Knife clamp and custom case included

Price/Value

The price is about average, and worth it for users that want to make their knives last longer. Even if you purchase the double set, it’s a great value for a knife sharpener.

Decision Time

Complicated but worth the trouble, buyers will get their money’s worth with this complete set. With a little bit of time learning the system, you’ll never need another knife sharpener again.
Pros

Available as a single set or dual

In depth multilingual instructions

Cons

High learning curve

10. Kitchellence

10. Kitchellence
With all of the two stage knife sharpeners on the list, the inclusion of this updated Kitchellence product was a must. It provides everything the previous knife sharpeners had out of the box while including its own set of specialized features.

Extras

Included with the package is a pair of cut resistance gloves. For safety reasons these work great and are an essential part of the package.
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Features and Specifications

3 step system
ABS plastic material

Price/Value

With the sharpener and glove in one package all for one low price, this is a steal. There won’t be any buyer’s remorse with the use of this three stage system.

Decision Time

This Kitchellence model is correctly placed on the list for what it provides to the buyer. Even though it didn’t make the top five, this knife sharpener provides a lot of great ideas for the industry.
Pros

Sharpens fast and efficiently

Works with ceramic knives

Cons

Gloves may not fit everyone

Criteria For Evaluation

Our top ten had a lot of challenges to go through that sorted out the best of the best. The most exciting thing about the list is that it showed how active the industry is, with both traditional and modern knife sharpeners having a great showing. The only big surprises on the list were at #1 and #10, with the products being polar opposites of one another. We had a variety of tests that rounded out the top ten, starting with price.

Price

Most of the prices on the list are low, with only a few entering average to high. Products that were added to the list with a high price showed great quality and features that were incredible for their current market value. A lot of medium to high priced sharpeners were left off of the list due to their lack of originality. They provided a lot of the same features of the lower priced items, so the high priced products that made the list are truly exceptional. Their ability to sharpen knives caught our attention and set the bar for some of the other products. We took on branding next, a criteria that looked at how the company marketed their sharpener.

Companies that made compatibility clear were moved to the top of the list. That means brands that mentioned how their sharpener worked for more than knives, or when they listed the type of knives their product worked with. This is an overlooked perk for new and experienced users that potentially buy the wrong sharpener due to lack of information. What was interesting with this criteria is the amount of companies that didn’t list all compatible tools- even when their product was compatible. Information is power in the buying process, so branding had a big impact on the overall top ten ranking.

Design

best knife sharpeners

The design was a criteria that truly benefited the Lansky model, the only sharpener on the list with multiple color options. Lack of variety was a letdown for multiple top choices on the list that opted to go with a single design. Lansky thought outside of the box and proved that a small variation could make them a favorable contender for consumers, and even some professionals. It’s not the most robust design lineup, but they provided more choices than any other competitor on the list. Earlier on in the ranking process there were two other sharpeners with multiple designs that failed to make the cut due to price or branding. Their removal put Lansky in a league of its own among the other products on the top ten. When using a knife sharpener, ease of use is important for all experience levels. In a slow or fast paced environment, no one wants to deal with a confusing sharpener getting in the way of their current task. Our list was ordered in a way that took out products with unnecessary steps in their sharpening process. This was easier for electronic sharpeners since they’re fully automated. For the traditional ones, we looked at the most widely used models and how people interacted with them. To judge ease of use, we looked at the steps needed for a regular knife along with the time it took to achieve effective sharpness. The tail end of the non-mechanical products were taken off of the list for being too complex for what they offered. This is how Winware made it to the #10 spot, with several of the products dropping off of the list due to not meeting the ease of use criteria.

 

Warranties

Warranties weren’t always straightforward and required a little digging. After looking at the fine print, we made a decision to only keep products on the list that had a good policy to back it. Mistakes happen, and it isn’t out of the ordinary to have defects with a product lineup. Customers don’t want to be on the hook when this happens, so having a good warranty is important. For buyers that are new to knife sharpening this is especially true, as it isn’t out of the ordinary to have them break both their tool and the product through mishandling. That is why the next criteria we looked at was instructions, and their clarity. Even if the product is electric, clear instructions help out buyers that want the best experience. It also prevents accidents and damaging of knives or tools. In depth directions were praised, helping products to move up on the top ten list over the sharpeners with less clear manuals. To meet the consumer satisfaction requirements, we didn’t include online manuals. Customers are more likely to read directions out of the box, so it made more sense to focus on printed materials.

Sharpening Features, Extras and Safety

about knife sharpeners

The last three things we looked at was sharpening features, extras, and safety. Sharpening features were related to selling points like the amount of stages, coating used and size of tools that can be used. For reference, sharpeners that allowed the use of larger blades were viewed favorably. At this point it was all a balancing act, as the top ten was already filled with products that had similar sharpening features. A small shuffle was made at the bottom of the list, but nothing too drastic since the products were so close in performance. Extras was a criteria that focused on the sets or products that included extra items. There wasn’t a lot of activity in this area, with two products in particular gaining a big advantage. Work Sharp was the only sharpener on the list to include an instructional DVD, a move that earned it double points for both the extras and instructions criteria. With a better design it could have easily been in the top #2 on the list. Safety was the last criteria, although not the least important. It was a heavy priority in our calculations that prioritized the safety of the customer. Products had to have a base that was steadied by suction, weight or through the use of a handle with the free hand. The more safety measure that were present, the high a score the sharpener received. This became an important score for the electronic sharpeners, with the bulk of them relying heavily on suction and weight safety measures. Electronic models that had a clear on/off switch gained points, and was considered a safer option in a family home.

FAQ

Does The Brand Matter?

Brand recognition with knife sharpeners is important for buyers that have an expensive knife set. An easy way for a company to lose its customer base is to destroy the same knives they are supposed to sharpen. It’s rare a sharpener will do harm to a knife set if it is being used according to the directions. That’s why brands should be judged not only on their customer support, but their ability to provide clear and concise directions. Without clear directions, a customer will have to hunt for operating instructions on their own and hope they get it right.

How Hard Is It To Clean A Knife Sharpener?

The only type of knife sharpener that requires a bit of effort to clean are the mechanical ones. They come with their own individual care instructions that should be followed closely. Improper cleaning of a knife sharpener can damage the product permanently. Based on the skill level of a normal consumer, cleaning a knife sharpener takes less than a few minutes. The only time a user will be overwhelmed with maintenance is if they neglected it for a couple of months. Products collect a lot of knife materials while cleaning and are prone to clog up when they aren’t cleared out.

Are Electronic Knife Sharpeners Better?

For the average consumer, yes. The knife sharpeners that professionals use require a bit of work compared to the electronic models. The automated mechanics of an electronic knife sharpener is best suited for consumers that want to get the job done without access to a lot of advanced features. Normal households will also get the benefit of safety features built around the idea that the product will be in a family home. Small things like rubberized grips, suction cups and auto-off features makes electronic sharpeners a must for any kid friendly home. And just like traditional sharpeners, they are small enough to be stored in a small drawer when not in use.

What Are The Cons Of Each Type?

Traditional knife sharpeners require more skill from the user. This includes angling the knife correctly and knowing when it is sharp enough. Instructions are a lot less informative on their use as they expect the consumer to have a working knowledge of knife sharpeners in general. Arthritis is concern when using traditional knife sharpeners, and may prove too difficult to use for some users. Lastly, safety is up to the user rather than the product itself. Major brands will provide as much protection as they can, but since sharpening is manual, the force applied will be up to the consumer.

Mechanical knife sharpeners falls under the umbrella of any sharpening product that uses electricity. If the product isn’t battery operated, it needs to be close to an outlet. Battery operated knife sharpeners of high quality are rare and don’t have as much power as their ac counterparts. For mechanical sharpeners as a whole, consumers that use expensive knife sets will usually avoid them. They shorten the life of even the best knife quicker due to the sharpening being so precise. So the life of knife sets is significantly longer when using a traditional knife sharpener and being able to maximize the sharpness.

Is A High Priced Sharpener Worth It?

Most of the products in the industry are low priced, so when customers see high priced products they think it is directly related to quality. Not all high priced knife sharpeners will grant top tier quality. In some cases high priced knife sharpeners have a lot of features to cover up for its mediocre knife sharpening capabilities. If the product you’re purchasing can’t sharpen your knives effectively, then it’s not worth the extra money. Be wary of products that guarantee a perfect sharpening, something that isn’t possible with automated methods. Currently the only way to do that is with the services of a professional or through the use of traditional sharpeners- and both are reliant on the skill of the user.

Can You Sharpen More Than Knives?

Buyers that have a certain type of tool they want to sharpen should check the products compatibility. Some can even sharpen serrated knives, one of the hardest types to get right. Anything that needs an edge can be sharpened including scissors, pizza cutters and certain blades. The listed features won’t always have these tools in their support list, so a little extra research might be required. When you aren’t sharpening a knife, different angles need to be used that work with the tool being sharpened. There is a small learning curve involved in the process, but nothing too out of the ordinary from the regular instructions.

How Long Does It take To Sharpen?

There will never be a consistent answer to this question, and no matter who you ask, the answer will be different. How dull is the knife? What type of knife is it? How long has it been since the last time it was sharpened? What sharpening product are you using? The answer to all of these questions will serve in deciding how many strokes is necessary to achieve optimum sharpness. Keeping the number of strokes per side even is the only thing that everyone agrees on. Consumers can always buy cheap used knives to test out techniques with their new sharpener.

Will Using A Sharpener Degrade The Quality Of The Knife?

This is unavoidable no matter what type of sharpener you use. Sharpening a knife is essentially grinding the dull parts of it away to make it sharp. Technically each time you sharpen a knife you are degrading its quality. What makes a big difference is whether you are sharpening it too much, a common mistake that can lead to early retirement for your new knife set. A good sharpener will take off only the dull parts while smoothing out the area you need. Bad products that sharpen quickly do so at the cost of quality, leaving you with a knife that won’t last as long as it should.

When Should You Sharpen A Knife?

Knives that have lost a considerably amount of sharpness need to be dealt with quickly. Slicing is always a good way to test how well a knife cuts. When a knife struggles to cleanly cut a tomato, then it has definitely lost its edge. Having to add additional force to a cut with your free hand is problematic for motions that require a clean cut. In many cases you’ll end up smashing the top of the object and then sliding it down, creating an uneven cut. Your knife doesn’t have to be the world’s sharpest tool, it just needs to maintain a useful edge.

Are There Knives That Don’t Need Sharpening?

The safe answer is no, although NASA has come pretty close with the KNasa Chef Knife. At some point, any tool that depends on sharpness will need a knife sharpener in its lifetime. Unless the fictional Adamantium becomes a real metal alloy, buyers will have to sharpen their tools as needed. The price for purchasing knives that need little upkeep is high, and not a reality for a lot of consumers. Looking at the price to value ratio of a professional knife set vs. a consumer based one shows that it’s more beneficial for customers to use home based sets paired with a knife sharpener.

How Heavy Is The Power Consumption For Electronic Sharpeners?

Low, even for the three stage models. You won’t have to worry about short circuiting a wall socket by using one. It’s also not necessary to unplug it to conserve energy, with a lot of the products available having an auto mode or manual off switch. This is useful information for buyers that want to plug in their knife sharpeners to an RV outlet or cabin with less than desirable hookups. Out of all the appliances in a kitchen or garage, an electronic sharpener will probably use the least amount of energy. An alternative option for buyers that want an automatic sharpener would be to browse for battery operated models.

Can You Damage A Knife Using A Sharpener?

Absolutely, and more often than not it is user error. Proper documentation will help in avoiding this problem, but there are also some other things that could be at fault. Cheap knives that are near the end of their life are prone to breakage. They are sold cheap and have a short shelf life, so sharpening them on a consistent basis will only speed up the already accelerated lifespan. Knives that are not listed as dishwasher safe and then put in the dishwasher are weakened considerably. They are prone to breakage due to mishandling, even if they’re top tier knives. Product care in both directions will make sure that when you’re sharpening a knife it doesn’t break.

Can You Use Electronic Sharpeners On High Quality Knives?

Yes, but it isn’t recommended. Now the line here is that high quality knives are on the professional level, as in hundreds of dollars per set. It’s almost mandatory to use a traditional sharpener to take care of tools on this level. Of course consumers can use whatever product they want, so it isn’t uncommon to see an electronic knife sharpener used with a high priced set of tools. Just be aware that the life of those knives will be shortened faster with its use, losing a lot of the advantages granted when buying top tier sets.

Are Replacement Parts Expensive?

Some of the prices for the actual products are so low that it doesn’t make sense to buy replacement parts. This applies to electronic knife sharpeners that are out of warranty. The price of a broken replacement part will cost about the same as the entire unit, making it pointless to even purchase. Certain things like belts (if the sharpener uses it) are worth replacing since they are sold in pairs and come cheap. When the part costs less than half of the product as a whole, it is a good investment to pull the trigger on that deal.

Will Traditional Sharpeners Be Harder To Use?

They will be harder but with the tradeoff of better sharpening. Manual knife sharpeners gives you full control over how the knife is sharpened. Perfect strokes will also extend the life of the blade longer than an electrical sharpener. The learning curve may put off some users, but it is worth it for buyers that have expensive knife sets. You don’t have to be perfect when using a traditional sharpener, and when done right you’ll sharpen tools a lot less since they’ll maintain an edge longer. As a side note, users with bad wrists or arthritis will find using these products hard.

How To Make The Best Decision

Finding the correct knife sharpener starts with deciding how comfortable you are with a specific type. Traditional knife sharpeners use manual sharpening methods and are easier to clean. They have a high learning curve, lower price and are supported by professional chefs worldwide. Modern knife sharpeners are electronic products that automate the sharpening process. They need to be maintained on a regular basis and are the go to product when you just want to simplify things. The downside is that they may not take good care of top tier knives that need fine tune sharpening on a long term basis. For consumer friendliness, nothing beats a modern knife sharpener.