It doesn’t matter what type of kitchen knife you have, it could be a cheaper Victorinox or an expensive Shun, at some point they will become dull and will need to be given a new edge by using some sort of knife sharpener. There is no getting away from it, if you’re mangling tomatoes beyond recognition instead of simply slicing them it’s time to get your knife sharpened.
Sure you can help hold off a full knife sharpening by regularly using a hone before or after each use. By honing a knife, you will help to prolong the sharpness of your blade and will avoid having to sharpen it more than is necessary, check out my article here if you are unsure of what a hone is.
So when that time comes to bring new life to that blade, which is the best knife sharpener to use? Over the years I have used many different types of knife sharpeners, both manual and electric and even a couple of battery operated devices. What I’ve discovered is that there are a lot of crap less than capable knife sharpeners out there.
So in this article I have weeded out the worst and have listed some of the best knife sharpeners I currently own or have personal used throughout my career. So sit back grab a coffee and lets crack-on.
Manual and Electric Knife Sharpeners: The Best I’ve Used
Below are some of the best knife sharpeners I have used to date, the list will be updated if and when I get my hands on a new device so make sure you check back regularly to see my latest recommendation.
I have included both manual and electric knife sharpeners and right at the end of the article I’ve gone a bit old school and touched on the subject of sharpening a knife using a whetstone (keep a look out for my full article about whetstone sharpening).
Kitchen IQ Pro Ceramic Edge Gourmet Electric Knife Sharpener
This is the knife sharpener I’m currently using at home, the Kitchen IQ Pro ceramic edge gourmet electric knife sharpener. For the money you really can’t go wrong with it, I’ve had it for little over 6-months and it doing a great job. If I remember correctly I think, I paid under $150 for it.
It has various standout features that I think make it top of its class. Firstly, there’s a section for sharpening serrated knives, which I haven’t really seen on other knife sharpeners. Also you can bring life back to your dull scissors by using the scissors sharpener, which is pretty neat.
The main grinding wheel on the Kitchen IQ Pro electric knife sharpener feature super-fine gritted interlocking alumina ceramic wheels (a first in electric knife sharpeners I believe, but don’t quote me on that) that really gives your knife blade a razor sharp edge without aggressively remove a load of metal (to be honest I think it gives better edge to my knives than when they were first unboxed).
Check out my video on the KitchenIQ knife sharpener below.
Apart from the main grinding wheel the KitchenIQ Pro electric knife sharpener also features two additional slots on the right hand side.
One has carbide blades which can be used to get the correct angle on the blade before you use the main sharpening slot. The other slot on the right is pretty neat as it consists of triangular shaped ceramic stones which can be used to sharpen a serrated knife.
Chef’s Choice Model 1520 Electric Knife Sharpener
Chef’s Choice has a large range of different knife sharpeners and it really seems like each year they bring out a new one. The only experience I have had with the Chef’s Choice knife sharpeners is with the 1520 device.
What I like about the Chef’s Choice 1520 electric knife sharpener is the fact that you can sharpen both Asian knives (typically a 15-degree edge) and Western kitchen knives (typically a 20-degree edge) on the same unit. It can even bring new life back to Sankou kitchen knives which have the hollow-ground blades. (I believe their other sharpener the 151 only takes 20-degree angles knives).
I like to think of the Chef’s Choice 1520 electric knife sharpener as idiot proof, why? If you are new to knife sharpening getting the correct angle is crucial this is where the 1520 shines as it has precise knife guides that align the knife at the correct angle.
Wüsthof Precision Edge 2 Stage Knife Sharpener
The last device on my list is the Wüsthof Precision Edge 2 stage knife sharpener. This is a bit different than the above two because it requires no electric to bring life back to your blades as it uses a bit of human elbow grease to get the job done. If you’re on a tighter budget the Wüsthof manual knife sharpener is cheap, I believe mine cost under $20 when I got it, which is not bad at all.
I like to use the Wüsthof knife sharpener when I’m in a rush or if I simply want to quickly get a nice sharp edge on my blade without taking out, plugging-in, and setting up the bigger electric knife sharpener. Its small size means it can easily be stored in the knife drawer and is ready to use at a moment notice.
For a small compact manual knife sharpener, it does a great job with its two sharpening process. The carbide steel blade section is more aggressive and the finer ceramic section is for the final honing of the blade.
Going old School: Sharpening Your Knife with a Whetstone
Sometimes a knife sharpener just can’t cut it and that’s when I like to use a whetstone. The be honest the best way to sharpen a knife correctly is to use a whetstone, not even the best knife sharpener can give your blade a razor sharp edge like a whetstone can.
Using a good whetstone (like this two-sided knife sharpening stone), a honing steel and with a little bit of practice to get the angle right and consistent, you can keep all of your kitchen knives razor sharp and in perfect condition, like a pro.
Keep a look out for my upcoming article on how to use a whetstone.