Best Knife Sharpeners Reviewed and Rated for Quality
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. Here you will find the best knife sharpeners available to consumers in 2019.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
No downward pressure needed when sharpening
Built-in stop feature
Simple to operate
This product is priced at a competitive low.
10 Best Knife Sharpeners
No downward pressure needed when sharpening
Built-in stop feature
Simple to operate
This product is priced at a competitive low.
Lacks for long-term blade maintenance of top-tier professional knives
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.
No hassle or worry blade positioning with this two-stage equipment, this model offers automatic positioning. There is also no need to stress over the unit sliding around on the countertop. It comes complete with suction cups to hold it in place during use.
Cost and 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.
Works on straight and serrated knives
This product is diamond coated.
Comes with a non-slip cushioned base to ensure safety during use.
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.
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.
Designed to be ergonomic, you can easily get a comfortable grip on this unit to sharpen up those blades. Perfect for those seeking a more manual approach to keeping their knives in pristine cutting order.
Cost and 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.
3. Chef's Choice 15
3 stage system is labeled
Simple on/off switch
Consumers can pick from three different colors
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 turn it into an instant winner for consumers.
One thing that is lacking with most units is the choice for colors. This model remedies that and is available in Black, Brushed Metal and White.
This system comes with three stages of sharpening. Giving you the perfect edge each and every time. The directions are clear and precise so that even a first-timer can have professional-grade edges.
Cost and 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.
4. Work Sharp WSKTS
Belts are replaceable
Comes with instructional DVD
This product can be used for multiple reasons.
Comes at a great price tag.
Can be loud
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.
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.
This is the first belt-driven option on our list. I personally have this one at home and we all love it. It works quickly and efficiently. Keeping our knives in perfect slicing order.
Cost and 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.
User-friendly for all levels
Sharpens in under a minute
Comes built with Tungsten Carbide technology
Not the best-looking design
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.
Keep it in Place
There is nothing worse than an appliance that slides all around the counter while you are using it. Sort of makes you want to bust out the superglue to keep that thing in place. You don't have to do that with this model, the manufacturer has included a suction cup system for keeping it in place.
Cost and 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.
6. Chef’sChoice 4643
Made out of quality materials
Easy to hold the handle while giving a firm grip
Can be used on a multitude of knives
Sharpened knives last a longer time
Easy to work with
Diamond abrasives with crisscross system creates an even sharpening
Customer service isn’t as responsive
Works best with larger knives
When seeking the perfect knife sharpener, it’s all about getting a quality product that will get the job done effectively every single time. Having a sharp knife not only allows you to make effective cuts but it ensures you get the most out of the food you eat. The Chef’sChoice 4643 ProntoPro Diamond Hone Manual is not only effective, but it gets the job done in record time. Say goodbye to knife sharpeners that get stuck or need to be used excessively.
Advanced CrissCross Technology
One of the features that makes this a top contender is its crisscross technology. The technology itself is not only innovative but it helps sharpen your knife from all angles. It delivers a sharp edge due to its diamond abrasive wheels, which sharpen simultaneously for superior cutting without any burr.
Though most knife sharpeners contain one sharpening system, this one has 3 stages. Having three distinctive stages ensures your knife gets sharpened in more than one way. Furthermore, 100% diamond abrasives are used in all three stages. You are getting a sharper knife, that is polished without any rough edges. Its all about getting your knife sharpened evenly throughout.
Cost and Value
When it comes to the cost and value of this you will be spending a little more money as it is on the pricier side. However, the product is well worth the price point due to the quality that you are getting. You aren’t only getting a knife sharpener, but you are paying to have your knives prepared to cut through anything including tough meat like butter.
Attractive design for the kitchen
This product is very easy to learn to use.
Comes with a non-slip grip bottom.
Just above average sharpening
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.
Backed by the Company
Everyone loves the feeling of safety when purchasing anything new for the first time. Afterall a lot of money gets wasted on items that just don't pan out. Upon purchasing this unit, you are backed fully by the manufacturer. If you are not satisfied, you can contact customer services for a full refund of your money.
Cost and 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.
Base is rubberized
Bar board is a high-quality bargain
This product is compact and small.
Low price tag.
Slower to sharpen than other options
The Wüsthof - 2 Stage Hand-Held 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.
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.
For those who have no clue what dual-stage performance means, let us explain it to you. One part will carbide for creating a rough edge on the blade. The final part will be ceramic for polishing up any spots that the carbide made too rough.
Cost and 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.
9. KitchenIQ 50009
Priced exceptionally well
Compact in size
Sharpening is easy
Easy to use
Perfect for straight and double-sided knives
Not as long-lasting as you would want it to be
Customer service isn’t the best
When most of us think about knife sharpeners we picture a large item with multiple slots; however, that isn’t always the case and this sharpener proves it. The KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener might be smaller in size but it's mighty and powerful right when you need it most. Whether you use it to sharpen dull knives, or you are simply refreshing the sharp ones you have, this one will get the job done.
Thanks to having carbide blades perfectly paired with the brand's elite edge grip The KitchenIQ 50009 is capable of sharpening a multitude of blades, regardless of how dull or damaged they might be. The beauty of having carbide blades is with the simple act of pulling your knife across from them you will get a sharp knife every time. Furthermore, finish your knives with the second slot that helps you polish any of the dullness that might remain from the first few swipes.
As previously stated, most knife sharpeners are large, on the contrary, this one is not. This sharpener offers a more compact design. Having a compact design ensures you always have a place for this sharpener on the top of your table, in your kitchen counter or you can travel with it if you decide to do so. Furthermore, it is paired with a firm base for sturdy and safe use.
Cost and Value
When it comes to the cost and value of this item it is extremely cost-effective, you can almost say it's pretty cheap. Furthermore, you are getting a quality product, that is compact and comes with superior blade sharpening for the price. It’s a win-win for all.
Sharpens fast and efficiently
Works with ceramic knives
The product comes with cut resistant gloves.
Gloves may not fit everyone
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.
Included with the package is a pair of cut resistant gloves. For safety reasons these work great and are an essential part of the package. They prevent you from accidentally slicing into your hand or finger.
Gripping this will seem naturally comforting to you. Designed for either those who are right or left-handed to use with ease. Making cleaning up the edges of your knife that much quicker.
Cost and 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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Most of the prices on the list are low, with only a few averages 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, 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 theirs 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 about these criteria is the number 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 rankings.
The design was a criterion 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.
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 topic 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 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 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.
The last three things we looked at was sharpening features, extras, and safety. Sharpening features were related to selling points like the number 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. Extra was a topic 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 topic, 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 freehand. The more safety measures 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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When it comes to your passion for cooking, you know that an excellent knife makes a world’s difference. Having a full set of sharp knives is even better. The better the knife the better the food prep. Dull knives will slow you down and can also be dangerous. That is why having a knife sharpener is super beneficial.
Make sure your knives are stored properly, whether that is in a knife block or on a magnetic holder. Properly protecting your knives makes sure that the blades do not bump against anything and get damaged. Use an appropriate cutting board. After you clean your knives, dry them off completely to avoid any corrosion. Sharpen your knives when they are dull. Make sure to use a quality sharpener to do this.
So now you have completed the hardest task, you purchased a quality knife sharpener and are enjoying it. However, just like any electronic or appliance you want to take care of it and maintain it to keep it performing to the best of its abilities. To do just that we wanted to provide you with information on how to maintain your sharpener. The best way to keep your sharpener intact is to clean it with a simple paper towel. Cleaning it with a paper towel ensures the blade sharpener remains intact and does not become damaged by any harsh chemicals. Additionally, you want to keep any wires and plugs dry to avoid any shortage or electrical damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: 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.
q: 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.
q: 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 make 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.
q: 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 a 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 fall 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.
q: 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.
q: Can You Sharpen More Than Knives?
Buyers that have a certain type of tool they want to sharpen should check the product's 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.
q: 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 cheaply made used knives to test out techniques with their new sharpener.
q: 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.
q: When Should You Sharpen A Knife?
Knives that have lost a considerable 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.
q: 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 of 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.
q: 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.
q: 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.
q: 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.
q: 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.
q: Will Traditional Sharpeners Be Harder to Use?
They will be harder, but with the tradeoff of better sharpening. Manual knife sharpeners give 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.
q: Are there ways to maintain the sharpness of the knife longer?
Knives that are used more often, require more sharpening. However, limiting the use of the knife should never be considered. One way to maintain the sharpness longer and slow the dulling process would be using wood cutting boards. Storage of the knives should also be considered, ensuring the blades are protected while storing. Never use the dishwasher for cleaning your knives, and dry them immediately after washing.
q: What does it mean to hone a knife?
To hone a knife you would use a honing steel. Honing pushes the edge of the knife back to the center and straightens it. This method corrects the edges without shaving much of the blade material away. Honing does not actually sharpen a knife although it may give that appearance and feel. When a knife is honed properly the blade goes back to being in the proper position and therefore seems sharper. Honing should be performed often. Some people hone their knives before each use.
q: Is sharpening and honing the same thing?
No, sharpening and honing is not the same thing. A butcher’s steel is used to hone knives, not to sharpen them. This may make you wonder what honing accomplishes. To allow you to get the straightest knife-edge as possible, honing is used to even out the edge of the blade. Nothing is shaved off of the knife when you hone.
q: Is knife sharpening really necessary?
Yes. Knives become dull for a variety of reasons, such as the reputation of cutting, acid corrosion, or they are bent. Having a well-sharpened knife makes it simpler to use and reduces the chance of it slipping and injuring you while slicing through something. A well-sharpened knife allows you to cut through produce or meat effortlessly, making kitchen prep easy.
q: How often do knives require sharpening?
The answer to this question depends on how often you use the knife, how well you care for it, and what was cut. Also, more frequent knife sharpening is needed for the less expensive knives. However, to keep your knife in tip-top shape, honing after almost every use is recommended. This allows the blade to continue to cut well and keeps the blade edge straight. Honing of the knife cuts down on the number of times your knives need sharpening.
q: What is the ideal type of cutting board to keep my knives from becoming dull?
The ideal cutting board would be one that is soft. Composite plastic and wood cutting boards are easier on the knife blade that hard materials such as marble, ceramic, or granite. These harder materials tend to cause the blade edge to become damaged or roll. This is one of the main reasons why you should never cut directly on your countertop.
- Cook's Illustrated: How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives, ,
- Family Handyman: How to Sharpen a Knife, ,
- Epicurious: How to Sharpen a Knife and Hone It the Right Way, ,
- LifeHacker: The Right Way(s) to Sharpen a Knife, ,
- Types of Knife Sharpeners, ,
- This Tool Does Not Actually Sharpen Your Knife. Here's What a Steel Really Does, ,