Anyone who’s had their share of time in a kitchen will agree that there’s nothing as frustrating as a blunt knife. The cuts come out all crooked; veggies all torn up; it requires way more force than is necessary. An experience that should be fun ends up being this really annoying chore. It also poses a danger to your fingers and anybody around who might fall victim to your frustration. So what is the solution then? What would the infamous chef Ramsey do, you may ask? Well, He would get himself a knife sharpener!
Having a knife sharpener is the perfect solution to most kitchen involved dilemmas. It’s is like having one of those best friends you didn’t know you needed. These sharpeners come in different configurations, some electric, some manual, which in turn give different levels of sharpness. Knife sharpeners literally give your knives a new lease on life. They become easy to use and will spare you all that extra effort in the kitchen. A good one will even sharpen your kitchen shears, keeping everything sharp and nice.
That said, finding a decent sharpener can be a tricky affair. The quality of sharpener affects the sharpness and the amount of effort needed. Some are perfect, yet some will sharpen overzealously. So if you don’t want your knives looking like a toothpick, best consult our list of the best knife sharpeners out there today.
Top 10 Knife Sharpeners Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Smiths SK2 Deluxe Knife Sharpening KitBest Knife Sharpener For Camping
Here’s another option for those who love sharpening stones. This kit includes a 5-inch medium-grit stone for sharpening as well as a 4-inch fine Arkansas stone for finishing the edge. It also comes with a premium honing solution that cleans and protects the surface of the stone. And to make sure you’re doing it right, there’s even a sharpening angle guide. While using a whetstone does require some skill, this kit is perfect for beginners who want to learn.
However, the fine stone is a bit on the small side and quite difficult to hold while drawing the blade across it. It would be better if the stone also came with a base to sit on that you can hold. Also, there isn’t a place to store the angle guide which can get misplaced.
- Complete sharpening stone kit
- Comes with sharpening angle guide for beginners
- Very affordable
- Requires skill to use
- Fine stone lacks a base
- No storage area for the angle guide
2. Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction SharpenerBest Knife Sharpener For Camping
If you’re a traveling chef or simply want to be able to sharpen your knives wherever you go, then this pocket-sized tool should be exactly what you’re looking for. This manual knife sharpener features carbide sharpening blades for eliminating dull edges and ceramic blades for creating a smooth finish. Then there’s the diamond rod which is perfect for making sure that your knife maintains a straight, even edge. The rod can also be used to sharpen serrated knives.
You can store this in a tackle box, your bug out bag, hiking gear, toolkit, or glove compartment. The biggest drawback to this knife sharpener is the fact that your hand will be placed pretty close to the edge of the knife as you sharpen the blade. This is not ideal for inexperienced users or unsteady hands. Also, it takes a lot of pull-throughs to get a razor-sharp edge. But if you only need the edge sharp enough to be efficient, this will do the trick.
- Very portable
- Easy to use
- Not for inexperienced users
- May be difficult for individuals with large hands
- Does not create a razor-sharp edge
3. Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening SystemBest Knife Sharpener For Japanese Knives
Sharpening stones can be a pain to use, especially if you don’t know-how. But if this is your preferred method, you’ll want a kit that has it all. The Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System is just the thing. You get 5 different sharpening stones within the kit, all of which are color-coded so you can visually see which ones are coarse and which are fine. The stones also feature angle options – 17-, 20-, 25-, and 30-degrees.
Finger-grooved safety holders so you don’t end up stroking the blade with your precious digits. And the knife clamp keeps the knife steady as you use the sharpening stone to create that razor-sharp edge. Other items in the kit include honing oil, knife clamp screws, guide rods, and the carrying case. However, it does take quite a bit of practice and skill to use this sharpener. It cannot be used for wide blades like a cleaver or large hunting knives because they won’t fit properly on the clamp. Also, the guide rods are a bit flimsy and can easily bend.
- Complete knife sharpening kit
- Finger-grooved safety holders
- Different angle options
- Requires skill to use
- Not for large hunting knives or wide blades
- The guide rods can bend
4. PriorityChef Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated KnivesBest Knife Sharpener For The Money
This manual knife sharpener from PriorityChef features a two-stage sharpening system. The first stage features a diamond-coated coarse sharpening wheel that will sharpen your knife and give it a double edge finish which is not only sharp but provides better edge retention. The second stage is the ceramic wheel which hones the knife and realigns the edge, eliminating any nicks or imperfections. The best thing about this sharpener is that it can be used for both straight edge and serrated edge blades.
Even better, it features a handle that’s far away from the wheels and a non-slip cushioned base which are both important to ensure that your fingers remain safe. However, the slots are labeled 1 and 2 instead of something more easily understood such as “coarse” and “fine.” It can be quite easy to forget which is which and then end up damaging your knife. This is especially true if you’re sharpening a serrated knife which can only be sharpened using the ceramic wheel. Also, these cannot sharpen hunting knives as those are too thick while the slots are narrow. There is no guide to ensure that you keep the knife at a 90-degree angle at all times for correct sharpening.
- Simple to use
- Can do serrated and straight-edge blades
- Lacks proper labels
- Not for sharpening hunting knives
- No guides present
5. Presto 08810 Professional Electric Knife SharpenerBest Knife Sharpener For Hunting
This electric sharpener from Presto features a 3-stage sharpening system that can sharpen just about any knife you have in your kitchen, even Santoku knives. The first stage is a Sapphire coarse-grinding wheel for creating the proper angle while the second one features a Sapphire medium-grinding wheel for creating a precision edge. The third stage features an extra-fine-grit ceramic wheel that hones the blade.
You can use the blade selector to adjust the sharpening angles for thin knives like fillet or paring knives all the way to thick hunting knives. However, using this knife seems to require a bit of skill to ensure that you get the angles and the pressure right. The included instructions are poorly written so you may need to look for an instructional video online. Also, this sharpener is not to be used for ceramic knives.
- Holds an edge longer
- 3-stage sharpening system
- Can sharpen almost any knife
- Not for ceramic knives
- Poorly written instructions
- Requires a bit of skill to use
6. Chef’sChoice Trizor XV SharpenerBest Knife Sharpener For Beginners
Whether you’ve got straight or serrated, the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Sharpener will give you your edge back. The patented, flexible spring guides automatically adjust and control the sharpening angle so you don’t have to worry about it. The knife uses a 3-stage sharpening system; the first two utilize diamond abrasives for sharpening and honing edges while the 3rd stage utilizes a patented flexible abrasive system for polishing blades and extending the life of a serrated knife.
Aside from effortless sharpening, one of the best things about this electric sharpener is that it can finish the job in just 1 minute for never-before-sharpened blades and just 10 seconds for resharpening blades. The major drawback to this sharpener is its size (it is quite bulky) and the cost which is quite expensive (at the time of this review, more than $120). Also, it does get quite hot if you run it for more than 15 minutes. You’ll need to let it rest if you’re planning on sharpening several knives in one go.
- For straight and serrated knives
- Automatically adjusts angles
- Fast sharpening speed
- Can get hot
7. Chef’sChoice ProntoPro 4643Best Knife Sharpener For Asian Knives
This manual knife sharpener from Chef’s Choice caught our eye because of its design. It features a handle that’s far away from the slots, preventing injury to our much-needed fingers. It has a 3-stage sharpening system specifically designed for kitchen knives that have 15- and 20-degree angles. Like other models with a 3-stage sharpening system, the first one will sharpen the edge of an Asian style blade and the second one sharpening Western-style blades.
Both slots use diamond abrasives. The third slot polishes the edge and can sharpen serrated knives. However, the knives don’t seem to hold their sharpness for long. The sharpener doesn’t do so well with curved blades. And there’s no manual included for inexperienced knife owners.
- For straight and serrated knives
- Can handle both Asian and Western-style blades
- Handle feels comfortable
- Edge doesn’t stay sharp for long
- Doesn’t do a decent job on curved blades
- Doesn’t come with instructions
8. Wusthoff Sharpening SteelBest Knife Sharpener for All Blade Types
Technically, this isn’t a knife sharpener. It actually just hones a knife which means evening out any of the nicks on the edge that makes using the knife difficult. This is a great tool to use before and after cutting food in order to maintain the edge longer. This sharpening steel from Wüsthof is pretty long at 10 inches. The steel itself is magnetic which means that it collects the metal fibers produced when you hone the knife.
There’s a slip-resistant plastic handle which is perfect for helping reduce the potential for accidents. And the loop on the handle makes it easy to hang if you don’t have space in your knife block. However, as we’ve said, it won’t sharpen your dull knives. You’ll need an actual knife sharpener for that. It also is not long enough to hone 8-inch knives. And this is made in China, not Germany.
- Magnetic steel
- Slip-resistant plastic handle
- Easy to use
- Not for sharpening
- Not long enough for honing 8-inch knives
- Made in China
9. Brød & Taylor Professional Knife SharpenerBest Knife Sharpener For Serrated Blades
This manual sharpener looks like an incredibly complex device and would probably intimidate inexperienced knife wielders. The price, a whopping $119, would do the same. But there’s an actual reason for the price and the look of the device. First, the sharpener uses tungsten carbide which will not only last a long time but are excellent for creating razor-sharp blades.
Second, this manual sharpener works even better than some electric ones out there because it is almost foolproof. There’s no need for you to know what the edge angle of your knife is because of this sharpener self-adjusts. You can use this to sharpen, hone, and polish your knives – both straight and serrated. However, it will take some getting used to.
- Self-adjusting sharpener
- Great for both straight and serrated
- Quick to sharpen a blade
- Very expensive
- Takes some practice
10. SunrisePro Supreme Knife Sharpener for all Blade TypesBest Knife Sharpener for All Blade Types
There are times when you will want to sharpen a blunt knife within the shortest time possible. in that case, you will need the fast-action SunrisePro Supreme Knife Sharpener, which will get your knife sharp in just 3 wipes. It is ideal for use in the kitchen and can work on several types of knives. Thus, you can use it to sharpen your pocket knives, hunting knives, butcher knives, and chef’s knives. Depending on the type of blade you intend to sharpen, you can calibrate the device accordingly.
Given its compact size, this device can easily be kept together with the rest of the kitchen appliances. With this knife sharpener, you don’t need an electric connection. After all, it is non-electric. It features a non-slip rubber bottom, an ergonomically built rubber handle, and a suction pad on the top. With that, it stays stable while you are using it.
- Has a non-slip rubber bottom
- Sharpens knives of all sizes
- Compact and easy to store
- May leave knife with rough edges
- Tends to stop performing within a short time
- Great only for basic sharpening
Choosing The Best Knife Sharpener – The Ultimate Buying Guide
If you’ve been losing your edge in the kitchen for quite some time, then you better be aware that you’re doing more than just lengthening your time spent on cooking prep. Aside from slowing you down, you’re also risking your fingers, at the very least. In short, a dull knife in your kitchen just won’t do.
The solution? A knife sharpener. Of course, there are different kinds available which means you need to learn more about knife sharpeners to ensure you find the right one that suits your needs perfectly. To help you find which one should make the cut, we’ve constructed this buying guide.
Types of Knife Sharpeners
This is the easiest sharpener to use because it doesn’t require any skill at all. The abrasive wheels in the device spin so that when you draw the knife through the slot, the blade is sharpened. Typically, this electric sharpener features two slots. The coarse grit for sharpening the edge of really dull knives or those with an uneven edge.
The fine one is for honing the edge of knives that need a bit of sharpening but still have a consistent cutting edge. One of the biggest advantages of using an electric knife sharpener is the presence of guides that enable you to get the perfect angle for your knives. If you have a variety of knives in your kitchen, an electric sharpener is your best option since it will allow you to sharpen them to the correct degree. However, electric sharpeners like the Presto 08810 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener are bulky and not portable. Also, they can be quite noisy and expensive.
Manual or Handheld Knife Sharpeners
Because it features fewer slots compared to electric sharpeners, a handheld sharpener is usually small and portable – perfect for traveling chefs who need to sharpen their tools wherever they may be. They’re also easier to store away, preventing your kitchen from getting too cluttered.
The method of sharpening will depend on the design. You either pull the sharpener down the length of the blade while the knife is placed spine-down on a table or you draw the knife through the slot while the sharpener is on a flat surface. One big advantage of this type of knife sharpener is the price. While there are some really expensive ones, you can easily find a good one for $20 or less. The Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener is a handheld knife sharpener that’s really small and perfectly portable.
Serrated Knife Sharpeners
Unlike other knives, serrated knives are not so easy to sharpen due to the blade’s shape. You can easily damage the knife is sharpened using a manual or electric sharpener that was not designed for this type of blade. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s manual or website before purchasing it. The Chef’sChoice Trizor XV Sharpener is an electric knife sharpener that can handle both straight edge and serrated edge knives.
Also known as whetstones, this type of sharpener requires quite a bit of skill and effort. But most experts agree that once you get the hang of it, it does produce the best results for both Japanese and Western-style blades.
If you prefer this kind of knife sharpener, it’s best if you also get a crash course on how to use it from an expert to ensure that your knives don’t get damaged. One of the best sharpening stones we’ve come across is the Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System which is a complete kit.
Also called the butcher’s steel, this isn’t really used for sharpening knives. It’s used by chefs and butchers (hence, the name) to hone the edge which just means realigning the edge for easier cutting. However, depending on the cut or style of the steel, you may be able to do a bit of sharpening.
If you want to buy sharpening steel, it is recommended that you buy one that matches your knife brand since they are specifically designed to hone their knives. However, if you have a really dull knife, you’ll still need one of the knife sharpeners mentioned above. The Wusthoff Sharpening Steel is one of the best sharpening steels we’ve come across.
What Factors Should I Consider?
When choosing a knife sharpener, you ask yourself what exactly are your needs. Do you need to sharpen an extensive knife collection? Or do you just have one or two basic knives? How experienced are you at sharpening knives? Taking these things into consideration can help you make the right choice.
Ease of Use
A knife sharpener that takes the guesswork out of sharpening is the best option for those who are inexperienced with knives or just don’t want to bother with learning angles and proper sharpening skills. Some sharpeners like the Chef’sChoice Trizor XV Sharpener will feature preset blade guides to help users sharpen a variety of knives correctly.
Some materials are better at sharpening than others. If you want less effort and more efficient sharpening, look for a sharpener made of diamond or tungsten like the Chef’sChoice ProntoPro 4643. While these will cost more, you are less likely to damage or wear it down too much because you won’t need to pull it through the sharpener too much.
Knives are dangerous things so it’s only natural if you feel apprehensive about sharpening one. Which is why you should look for a sharpener that features barriers that will prevent you from injuring yourself.
Also, make sure that the sharpener is stable when placed on a flat surface. A wobbly base will not only potentially damage your knife as it is being sharpened, but it could also cause your knife to slip and cut you.
In general, electric sharpeners cost more but manual sharpeners can also be quite pricey. The cost of any knife sharpener will not only depend upon the features (i.e. type, guides, barriers) but also on the material used. Harder materials like a diamond coated sharpener.
Tired of having to deal with blunt knives? With the right knife sharpener, you will ensure that your knives are always in good condition. Check out the products we have reviewed in this write-up and pick one that is going to work for you. Even better, we have compiled a comprehensive buying guide to make the decision-making process even better. You wouldn’t need to look elsewhere for more information.