Best Knife Sharpener Reviews 2020
A good knife needs to be sharp. While that might seem like a fairly obvious point, it is an important one nonetheless. Not only is a dull knife relatively useless as a tool, but it can also be dangerous to use. Dull knives require more force to make a cut than a sharp edge knife, and increasing force increases the chances that you could injure yourself along the way. For both the performance of the knife and the safety of the user, knife sharpness is something that should always be considered before making your first cut.
Before getting too far into this article, it is important to highlight the difference between sharpening a knife and honing a knife. When you sharpen a knife, you are actually removing material from both sides of the knife edge to make it sharper. That is not the same thing as honing, which is simply realigning the blade edge to restore its sharpness when in use. These are two very different actions, and they use different tools to accomplish the job. For instance, if you have a block of kitchen knives in your home, the set probably includes a honing steel. This is a good tool for maintaining your edge, but it is not going to sharpen a knife. To do that, you need an actual knife sharpener of some kind.
After doing all the hard research for you, we’ve put together 7 of the best knife sharpeners in the comparison table below.
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Work Sharp WSKTS (our top pick)
There are both manual and electric knife sharpeners on the market today – this article is going to deal with the manual variety. There are pros and cons in using each method, and your choice will ultimately have to do with how frequently you need to sharpen your knives, and what kind of knives you own. However, the electrical products will have to wait for another article, because here we are going to zero in on finding a quality manual knife sharpener.
Later in this article, you will find a list of seven of the best knife sharpeners on the market today. Prior to that list, we will cover some of the main buying points and concerns that you should weigh before making a purchase as there is a bit of a learning curve. It is our hope that through a combination of information and product options, you will be able to select quickly and easily your next knife sharpener.
Major Buying Considerations for a Knife Sharpener
Before you spend even a dime of your hard earned money on a manual knife sharpener, it is important that you understand what you are looking for, and what kind of product will best suit your needs. There is a wide-range of price points covered in this market, from products that cost just a few dollars to some that cost ten times that amount or more. Nobody likes to waste money, so it is certainly in your best interest to take a little time to do some research. Fortunately, much of that research has already been done for you in this article.
1. Know Your Sharpening Angles
One of the first points to understand about knife sharpeners is that they have to be able to match the sharpening angles of the knives in question. Your knives have been designed with a certain angle between the tip of the blade and the rest of the knife, and that angle needs to be maintained while sharpening. Therefore, it is important that your sharpener matches up properly with the knife to get a good sharp edge.
Fortunately, many sharpeners are designed with the ability to suit some angles. For instance, 15 degrees and 20 degrees are the two most-popular angles for edges on kitchen knives, so many sharpeners are built with those designs in mind. It would be okay to purchase a sharpener that only accommodates one specific edge angle, as long as you make sure that the angle matches up with all the types of knives in your set. Trying to sharpen a blade at the wrong angle could do serious damage to the knife, so that would be an expensive mistake to make.
2. A Gradual Process
Sharpening a knife is a job that requires more than one step in order to be completed successfully. In fact, you may have to go through as many as three stages to wind up with a blade that is perfectly sharp. A high quality knife sharpener will have at least two, if not three different, stages, each with a different amount of grit. A common assembly is a three-stage sharpener system that has a coarse stage, a medium stage, and a fine stage. It might be helpful to think of these stages like sandpaper otherwise known as sharpening stones. As you get finer, you take less material off of the knife so that you can do more delicate work.
When a sharp knife has gone extremely dull, you may need to progress through all three of these stages. You would start with the coarse stage in order to roughly create a new edge that can be used for cutting. Then, you would move up to the next stage to refine that edge, and finally the last stage to finish it off perfectly. The grind would be getting finer as you go, so you would be refining the edge gradually until it is ready for use.
The beauty of having something like a three-stage sharpener is the ability to work a knife all the way back from being extremely dull. However, it is also nice because you can pick and choose the point in the process that you would like to start with. For example, if you have a knife that is only slightly dull, a quick trip to the finest stage of the sharpener might do the trick perfectly. You would be able to avoid taking too much material off of the knife, and you would have the job done in just moments.
3. Safety Always Matters
You shouldn’t have to worry too much about this point when you are buying a quality product from a respected company, but it should be addressed nonetheless. Anytime you are sharpening your knives; it’d be a good idea to be very careful and make sure you are using the equipment in the proper way. Never move the knives around in a way that could be dangerous, and keep your fingers (and everything else) clear of the area where the actual sharpening takes place.
The majority of the products on the market have been designed with safety in mind, so they make it pretty easy for you to keep your fingers clear of the sharpener. However, bad decisions can always override good safety design, so it is up to you to operate the sharpener in a safe and responsible manner.
4. Surface Material
As you look through the options for manual knife sharpeners or even sharpening stone, you will notice that there are a number of different materials that can be used actually to do the work of sharpening the knife blade. Some of the options you are likely to run into include tungsten carbide, ceramic, and diamond. As you might expect, the diamond option is the hardest, and it is also typically the most expensive. A good diamond surface can do a tremendous job of sharpening a blade, but you will likely have to pay for the convenience.
In terms of the surface that is offered on each of the sharpeners listed, you will notice that many of them advertise a grit rating, again much like in the world of sandpaper. A lower number equals a rougher surface on this scale. A rating that is around 100 would indicate a rough surface meant to start work on a dull knife while something in the 1000s would be a finer surface for finish work.
Taking the information above into consideration, you should now have a better idea of what you are looking at when you start to browse specific models – such as the seven highlighted below.
Top Seven Rated Knife Sharpeners
1. KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener
This handy little, high quality product is one of the best knife sharpeners on the market. A large investment won’t be required to take possession of this useful tool. The Edge Grip has been designed to do just that – grip the edge of a table or countertop nicely. When placed on the edge securely, you can run your knives through the sharpener without having to worry about dragging the blade along the surface of your table. Just a few quick passes through this sharpener and your dulling knives should be ready for action with a sharp edge.
Without a doubt, this product is one of the most-popular manual sharpening systems. It has received thousands of reviews, and most of them have been positive in nature. There are plenty of great comments about the low cost that is offered on such a useful product, and many users also appreciate the compact design which doesn’t take up much space in the kitchen. If you need to whip some of your knives into shape, and you don’t want to break the bank in the process, take a close look at the KitchenIQ50009 Edge Grip.
2. Chefs Choice 4643 ProntoPro Angle Select Diamond Hone 3 Stage Manual Knife Sharpener
The Chefs Choice 4643 ProntoPro intends for you to work sharp in the kitchen. It’s a step up regarding features, as a result, has a higher price tag. You will need to spend more in order to purchase this sharpener, but you will get plenty of performance and razor sharp blades which makes it justifiable. This product includes a 3 stage sharpening process, and it allows users to select between 15 degree and 20 degree angles in order to match the knives that are being run through the unit. It uses 100% diamond abrasives to do the actual sharpening, and there is a soft touch handle for keeping a secure grip during the job.
The reviews for this product, as they were for the last one, are excellent. Users have stated how they find this item to be easy to use and how it fits nicely with the rest of their kitchen gear. In the end, the vast majority of buyers feel that this item does an amazing job of sharpening their knives, leaving blades razor sharp – isn’t that the whole point? For a more serious chef who has to constantly sharpen knives, the ProntoPro might just be the perfect high quality kitchen companion.
3. Priority Chef Knife Sharpener
The Priority Chef Knife Sharpener is 2 stage manual sharpener, it’s a product that frequently falls between the first two options on the list. The first stage of the sharpening process offers high quality blades to roughly correct the blade while the finishing stage are 2 ceramic stone wheels that finish up the job that sharpens knives. Beyond the sharpening equipment, this product also has an ergonomically designed handle and non-slip base to make operation as quick as and easy as possible.
The reviews that have been left for the Priority Chef are just as good, if not better, than those left for our first two items. Hundreds of reviews have been provided, and nearly every one of them has been a supportive comment regarding the capabilities of this sharpener. It is considered to be easy to use, it provides reliable results, and it can save you from having to buy a new set of knives. It should be noted that, as with most sharpeners, this product is designed to work with steel knives, and it is not suitable for use with a serrated knife. For a quality manual sharpener that can breathe some life back into your knife set, take a look at this offering from Priority Chef.
4. PreciSharp Easy Knife Sharpener 3-Stage Professional Knife Sharpening System
If you would like a little more versatility within your manual sharpener, you might want to consider the PreciSharp model. This sharpener can work with knives of all sizes, and it can care for both steel and ceramic knives. As mentioned above, many sharpeners are only fit for use on steel blades, so this model is a strong option if you own ceramic knives. Despite these extra features, this item comes in at a cost that is right in line with some of the others on our list. You don’t need to plan on spending all day working on your knife sharpening when you add this piece to your collection. It should only take a few pulls through the sharpener to be left with a razor sharp edge on your blade.
The reviews would seem to support that position as well. Users have been very complimentary of the PreciSharp, praising both its ability to create a sharp blade and the ease of use that it offers. For the cook who has a high quality collection of knives that match up with the capabilities of this product, picking the PreciSharp might be a fairly easy decision.
5. Wusthof Precision Edge 2 Stage Knife Sharpener
The brand name Wusthof is a familiar one in the knife world, so it only stands to reason that they would put forth an offering in the knife sharpening business as well. This is a 2 stage system which uses carbide steel blade for the course stage and fine ceramic rods at the honing stage. At just 9 long, this is a unit that won’t take up much of that valuable storage space in your kitchen. Again, this is an affordable, easy to use product.
Strong reviews have been left for the Wusthof just as with our other listed sharpeners, so you should be able to buy with confidence in this product. Users have commented that the knife does a good job creating an edge, especially at the price that it demands. If you would like to get a product from a brand name that you already know has a place in this market, think carefully about purchasing the Wusthof Precision Edge.
6. Smiths 50264 Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener
This is one of the most adjustable models on our list, as it covers knives from 14 degrees to 24 degrees in angle. This is a nice luxury for those who have a large knife collection which includes a variety of edge angles. Before making a purchase, think about your knife collection and whether or not you would benefit from having a sharpener that can cover that large range. Even though you can get great versatility from this product, it still comes in with a reasonable price tag.
Reviews for this product are positive on the whole, as there are only a few minor complaints to be found. There are comments on the nice handle that makes the product easy to control, as well as how it is effective for items like pocket knives and fishing knives as well as traditional kitchen knives. When adjustability is at or near the top of your shopping list for a manual sharpener, it is the Smiths 50264 that deserves a close inspection.
7. Wrenwane Kitchen Knife Sharpener
To finish up our list, we have a product that includes a 2 stage sharpening system which is intended for use on straight bladed steel knives. The large grip featured on this product has been designed to make it easy to use as well as to sharpen your knives safely, as you don’t want any slipping while you are moving a knife around. As is the case with many of the other models we have reviewed, this product has a coarse stage with a tungsten carbide surface to deal with extremely dull knives and a ceramic fine stage that is meant for finishing. Once a dull blade has visited both of these stations, it should be sharp and ready for action.
Good reviews have found their way onto the page of this product as well, with compliments ranging from the simplicity of the product to the speed of the process and more. Also, with a reasonable cost, this is an item that is praised for its value. Most users have found that they are happy with the edge they receive on their knives, and that is the one job that the Wrenwane must be able to handle time after time.
As you read through this list, you likely noticed something of a problem – there are a lot of great options on the market when it comes to manual knife sharpeners. Where it can be hard to find a great tool in some categories, there is no shortage of excellent products that offer to sharpen up your kitchen knives in just moments. Keeping your knives sharp is always a good idea. Therefore, you are going to have to make your pick based on your personal needs and the variety of knives that you have in your kitchen. Order a sharpener that is going to be able to handle all of the jobs you expect it to do in order to save yourself from having to order another sharpener in the near future. Thank you for taking the time to check out our article, and we hope you find the best knife sharpener system that you need in order to work sharp!