- 1 Why You Should Seriously Get an Electric Knife Sharpener
- 2 Wait, There’s More to Come
- 3 How to Choose the Best Electric Knife Sharpener
- 4 Reviews of the Best Electric Knife Sharpeners in 2020
- 4.1 1. Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect Model 15 — Editor’s Best to Buy
- 4.2 2. Presto 08800 — Best Value Electric Knife Sharpener
- 4.3 3. Chef’s Choice Hybrid Diamond Hone Model 250 — Best Combines Electric and Manual Sharpening
- 4.4 4. Wusthof Easy Edge — Best Wusthof Electric Knife Sharpener
- 4.5 5. Smith’s Edge Pro 5005 — Best Smith’s Electric Knife Sharpener
- 4.6 6. Presto 08810 — Best Presto Electric Knife Sharpener
- 4.7 7. Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener — Best Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener
- 5 Comparison Table of the Best Electric Knife Sharpeners in 2020
- 6 How to Use an Electric Sharpener
- 7 How Knives Becomes Dull
- 8 It’s Important to Keep Your Knives Sharp
- 9 Manual Sharpening Vs. Electric Sharpener: The Debate
- 10 Best Electric Knife Sharpener Brands
A dull knife is frustrating to work with, boring to look at, and straight up dangerous for certain kitchen tasks like chopping and fine-slicing slippery items. After all, it only stands to reason to complement a high-quality knife set with a powerful yet elegant electric sharpener. It’s hard to come up with a more iconic duo that complements each other this well. That’s why it’s worth investing in the best electric knife sharpeners that make kitchen tasks easier for cooks and chefs all alike.
Why You Should Seriously Get an Electric Knife Sharpener
For starters, it’s a one-unit-all-functions device that does it all. Why go through all the trouble and waste money on multiple appliances— diamond rods, whetstones, razor strops and whatnots— when you only need one? You can sharpen & convert knives, repair dents, nicks, & scars. You can also hone tips, polish, and deburr jagged edges; all in the same device.
An electric knife sharpener works with a wide range of knives whose blades are of different shapes, sizes, bevels, materials, and styles. Some models can even work with specialty knives of unconventional designs, like serrated blades, katabas, santokus, utility sporting knives, hunting knives, bread knives, filet knives, butcher knives, just to name a few.
While already a given from the get-go that using an electric sharpener is faster than other forms of manual knife sharpening, you’d be taken aback at how fast the process is upon giving it a try. It takes a mere minute or two for first-time sharpening and around 10 seconds for later rounds.
An electric knife sharpener is convenient to use and requires no prior preparation. The plug-and-use design and numbered stages make it user-friendly: plug in, switch on, and let the machine work its magic.
Cleaning-wise, grinding a knife does produce a certain amount of residues, but it’s not to such an extent that can cause a mess. There isn’t much to do other than emptying the filings cartridge once per year, and there’s little to no need for extra maintenance, as well.
Wait, There’s More to Come
The actual deal-sealer lies in the ease of use. Manual sharpening methods require in-depth knowledge on the knife class, angle placement, grit size of the abrasive surface, and how hard to drag the knife on an abrasive surface. An electric knife sharpener eliminates all of those worries, so you don’t have to bother yourself with such things.
If safety is the number one concern, there’s none better than an electric knife sharpener. The slip-proof design— either by the unit’s own weight or rubber feet— keeps the machine from sliding off countertops. Some models won’t even run when the blade is inserted incorrectly, preventing you from cutting and scratching yourself by accident.
How to Choose the Best Electric Knife Sharpener
A few factors to bear in mind when you’re picking an electric knife sharpener are listed right here. By referring to our buying guide, you can narrow down options, improve your chance of finding the right product, and make the most informed choice.
Hardly anyone pays a large sum of money for something they have little to no information about. But that’s not the case for electric sharpeners: they don’t cost an arm and leg. Their price range goes from as low as $20 all the way to $200. Let’s break things down into smaller categories.
Top Tier: From $130 to $200
The first thing you’ll notice about the sharpeners in this tier is that they are all tri-stage— sharpening, honing, and refining. The material used for the abrasive wheels is pure diamond, which explains the unit’s overall price. Diamond is the toughest material known to man, so it’s a no-brainer for a premium product on the high-end spectrum. Each stage has a distinct function, so the fineness or coarseness of the diamond also varies accordingly.
You can also expect to find adjustable sharpening angles on the grinding slots, meaning you can use the device for a bevy of different blades, from straight to serrated, from Western to Asian. They work with most knives, except for a few specialty knives that require the human touch.
That being the case, certain manufacturers claim their electric sharpeners work wonder with specialty knives— which require meticulous manual fine-honing and polishing, like using a diamond rod— and we find that to be the case. Still, the number of sharpeners with such versatility is rather limited.
Middle Tier: From $50 to $130
This is the price range that houses the majority of electric knife sharpeners on the market. As to why there’s a huge price gap, it’s due to a number of factors.
You can still find units using diamonds for the abrasive wheels, but this material is not used as liberally as the ones in the top tier and rather limited to the final honing stage. For the other slots, instead, you’ll find sapphirite, an alternative material which ranks second only to diamond in terms of hardness and durability— but comes in at a much lower cost.
In response to the selective use of abrasive materials, another noteworthy change is the grinding stages: the final two stages— honing and polishing— are merged into one, decreasing the overall stages from three to two.
Bottom Tier: Below to $50
At this point, the abrasive is considerably and understandably of lower quality. They can be ceramic, carbide tungsten, or synthetics. They also have two sharpening stages with permanently fixed angles.
2. The Knife Itself
Your knife sharpener wouldn’t be of much use if it isn’t compatible with the blades. For a certain type or class of knife, there’s a unique sharpening method or device that works exclusively with it.
If we are to classify knives, there are multiple ways to do it. To determine what electric knife sharpener is the best choice, you need to know the properties of your knife.
There are two types of knife if we’re going by origin— Western and Asian.
Western knives, referring to American and European standards, measure 18° to 20°. They are one of the most used knives whose presence in almost all kitchens feels like a necessity rather than luxury. And when it’s sharpening time, Western knives are compatible with all types of sharpening tools and devices, both manual and powered units.
Meanwhile, Asian knives, like the ones you’d find in the hand of a sushi chef who is filleting salmons, are small and slim. They have sharper angles of 12° to 15°, often found on sushi knives, santokus, or katabas. When sharpening an Asian knife, you either hone it by hand or resort to a specialized electric sharpener designed to work with this knife class.
In broad terms, a knife’s angle covers from 12° to 35°, depending on its nature and purpose. The larger the blade angle, the stronger and more durable the blade will become, but at the cost of the gradual loss of sharpness. If we’re going by the angle, there are four classes:
- 30° to 35°: signature to cleavers, chopping knives, and butcher’s knives.
- 25° to 30°: found in hunting knives, pocket knives, outdoor utility knives, like the ones used during camping trips or survival trips.
- 18° to 25°: the majority of kitchen knives falls in this range, including chef’s knives, boning knives, and carving knives.
- 12° to 18°: fillet knives, paring knives, and Japanese knives are of these angles. Any sharper than this, and you’ve got yourself a razor blade.
You have to pay attention to the shape and bevel of the blade as well: straight or serrated, double or triple-bevel. For those who aren’t sure how to classify knives, here are some common bevels found on most types of knives.
Strictly speaking, electric knife sharpeners work with a wide range of knives, but specialty knives whose slim blades and fragile build may not survive the harshness of the grinding wheels. If you apply too much force during sharpening, they can bend, deform, or damage beyond repair— at which point they’re as good as ruined.
Due to their delicate nature, specialty knives are no stranger to minor nicks, rags, and tears. Either fine-hone those knives by hand or resort to a specialized electric sharpener in these situations.
3. Material of Abrasive
The grinding wheels— also known as abrasives— are the most critical component of an electric knife sharpener. As diverse as the knives, there are various materials for the abrasive; the most popular of which are:
- carbide tungsten, and
Diamond ranks second to none in terms of hardness and durability, which comes to no one’s surprise when it’s used for premium products from high-end brands. But it’s not exclusive to the expensive models; you can still find diamond abrasives on mid-tier models, but it’s limited to the fine-honing and polishing slots designed for delicate knives.
Sapphirite is the runner-up to diamond in terms of quality and performance. It’s a fine alternative preferred by many manufacturers, which explains its presence in many budget-friendly electric knife sharpeners.
Other materials used as abrasives include polished ceramic, carbide tungsten, and bonded synthetics. Their quality and performance are inferior to the other two.
4. Sharpening Stages & Slots
Most electric knife sharpeners has two stages:
- The first course has coarse/extra-coarse grits. It grinds and sheds loose bits of material off the blade, which will form a newer, sharper angle.
- The second course has fine/extra-fine grits. It further fine-tunes the newly formed angle by making small tweaks.
Some models have three stages— with the fine-honing or stropping stage added at the end of the unit— where you can work with delicate and slim knives. For every stage, there are two slots for two facets of the blade.
We’d advise home cooks to stick with a dual-stage model, which is plenty functional for casual sharpening. There’s no need to overspend on a device if you fail to see the point in it or spot any noticeable difference.
Meanwhile, a tri-stage electric knife sharpener would make sense for pro chefs. They can spot and appreciate the finer details and subtle differences in a matter of seconds.
Due to its abrasive nature, the first stage is rarely utilized— instances where its presence is needed are limited to:
- annual overall maintenance,
- converting a knife, and
- salvaging a misshapen blade.
Using the first stage means sacrificing a portion of the blade’s own metal to form a new edge, so use it with caution.
All of the models we picked complies with US household electricity protocols, with Chef’s Choice’s products further backed by an ETL certification for meeting safety standards. Some models won’t operate when the blade is inserted incorrectly, keeping the user from accidentally cutting or scratching themselves like they would with manual sharpening tools.
To counter the buzzing and vibrations, you should opt for models with a handle that gives you a firm grip, a sense of control, and reassurance when using the device.
To further prevent the electric knife sharpener from slipping or sliding off the countertop, you should select models with rubber feet or a heavy base to keep the unit in place.
Other aspects that we also took into account when choosing the products include cleaning & maintenance ease, sharpening time, and other miscellaneous factors. We’ll go through them as we review each of our picks in greater detail.
Reviews of the Best Electric Knife Sharpeners in 2020
If you need a quick recommendation of which electric knife sharpener to buy, the list below should suffice, and this is the part where we part. Here are our picks for the best electric knife sharpeners.
- Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Electric Knife Sharpener — Editor’s Best to Buy
- Presto 08800 — Best Value Electric Knife Sharpener
- Chef’s Choice Hybrid Diamond Hone — Best Combines Electric & Manual
- Wusthof Easy Edge Electric Knife Sharpener — Best Wusthof
- Smith’s Edge Pro 5005 Electric Knife Sharpener — Best Smith’s
- Presto 08810 Electric Knife Sharpener — Best Presto
- Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener — Best Linkyo
However, if you’ll indulge us with some more of your time, please find the in-depth reviews for each product right below.
1. Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect Model 15 — Editor’s Best to Buy
Even among a bevy of strong competitors, the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect Model 15 manages to stand out above the rest. “A nice blend of immense sharpening prowess and subtle fine-honing”— all stages are automatic— is our summary to give this monster of an electric knife sharpener.
With strong credentials and backed by a large group of convinced buyers, it’s no surprise that the Trizor is also featured as one of our picks for knife sharpeners to buy this year.
The tri-stage sharpener measures 10 inches long by 4.25 inches wide by 4.25 inches tall, weighing 4.42 pounds.
The flexible spring guides let you insert knives of various length into the grinding slots without taking a second look. You can run the blades worry-free knowing that all three stages are set to a permanent 15° sharpening angle. Though the sharpening angle isn’t adjustable, at least you’ll know those Asian knives of yours are in good care, especially those double-beveled blades like the santoku knives.
While we’re on the topic of knives, it’s nice to know the Trizor can transform an out-of-the-box knife to a razor-sharp one used by Gordon Ramsay. Besides conventional chef knives, the Trizor is rather versatile and friendly with a wide range of blades.
The Trizor is also adept at converting Western knives to Asian-styled ones with its abrasive diamond core, which can salvage even the most deformed knives.
While some users consider the Trizor’s use of diamond abrasive a selling point, others beg to differ. Rounds after rounds of grinding ought to have lasting effects on specialty knives, so bear that in mind and approach with caution.
And so far, it’s the sole unit that can work with serrated blades with satisfactory results.
Of course, it’s not without limitations— the line draws at ceramic knives, the sole type of knife excluded from the compatible list. Other incompatible kitchen tools include scissors, machetes, and axes of all kinds, for those who are wondering.
You will be glad to know the Trizor takes one minute to sharpen a brand-new knife, and ten seconds for later rounds, as claimed by Chef’s Choice.
The unit is ETL-certified and approved for North American household use. Also, the product is under warranty for up to three years, to boot.
The Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect Model 15 sets high standards for other electric knife sharpeners to follow. It’s such a nice blend of functionality and price that you’d be hard-pressed to find another one on-par with it.
2. Presto 08800 — Best Value Electric Knife Sharpener
The Presto 08800 feels like a steal for many. For one thing, it’s not easy to come across such an inexpensive electric knife sharpener that is on par with the high-end ones of premium prices.
At first glance, the Presto 08800 feels ordinary. It features two stages— one for rough sharpening and another for fine-polishing— but then again, what electric knife sharpener doesn’t?
The real deal, however, lies from within. The grinding wheels are sapphirite, which comes quite close to diamond in terms of hardness, but at a much lower cost. That explains why many manufacturers opt for this material as a substitute for diamond.
The Presto 08800 crafts new edges and fine-hones blades masterfully on a wide array of knives. But to be more specific, its specialty focuses on standard kitchen knives and sports knives, like the ones on hunting trips and survival camping excursions to the wilderness taken by Bear Grylls. Understandably and rather sadly, serrated blades aren’t fit for this unit.
The 60-watt unit complies with standard US household electric outlets of 120V, so there’s no need for any additional adapter whatsoever. The unit is under a limited warranty up to one year of eligibility, to boot.
The Presto 08800 isn’t flashy or anything of the likes; if anything, it feels dull— no pun intended. Nevertheless, it has managed to disprove doubts and exceed all expectations from many. To the untrained eyes, it may be just another ordinary electric knife sharpener, but we can reassure you, it’s nothing short of extraordinary.
3. Chef’s Choice Hybrid Diamond Hone Model 250 — Best Combines Electric and Manual Sharpening
Sometimes you can’t shake the feeling of unease upon using an electric knife sharpener, even truer when you’ve been accustomed to manually fine-hone every blade. The Chef’s Choice Hybrid Diamond Hone Model 250 can give you the best of both worlds.
The Hybrid measures 8.8 inches inches long by 3.4 inches wide by 3.8 inches tall, weighing 2.3 pounds, as claimed by the manufacturer.
The grinding disks are pure diamond on all three stages with different coarseness/fitness based on what function they’re meant for. While the first two stages are motorized, the last stage lets you make small tweaks over here and there on the blade by hand.
And since the final stage is independent from the first two and doesn’t require electricity to run, you can unplug the device and assert control over the final result for as long as you need, until it’s to your liking.
The disks give the blades a rejuvenated, arch-shaped edge with ease, so cooks wouldn’t have to overexert themselves. Each stroke should be ideally five seconds long and it’d take somewhere from five to twenty strokes for each facet on each stage. Just remember to alternate between the left and right slot to ensure the blade’s geometric symmetry.
Similar to the Trizor, the Hybrid works with double-beveled blades. It also works wonders with steeled edges and criss-cross edges, a major deal-sealer for many cooks. Such sharpening prowess is also a huge step-up that separates this unit from the mass.
The Hybrid works best with knives of 20°— signature to Western blades. Whether the knives are straight or serrated doesn’t matter, because the Hybrid can deal with both types with ease. The Hybrid’s scope covers a bevy of knives, including standard household kitchen knives, light sporting knives, filet knives, bread knives, and pocket knives.
Since the sharpening angle is fixed at 20°, Asian-styled knives like the single-faceted katabas, sushi knives, and santokus aren’t the right fit. You can turn to the Trizor we reviewed earlier or the 1520 model, which are designed to work with Asian-styled knives.
Cleaning and maintenance-wise, there’s little to no fuss over. You can wipe the exterior with a damp piece of cloth, and remember there’s no need to apply any additional oil or lubricating liquids. As for the metal residues collected within the unit, turn the sharpener upside down, gently tap and shake the unit till all the bits fall out.
Regarding other information, the Hybrid Diamond Hone Model 250 is under a one-year warranty, ETL-certified, and approved for Canada household use.
If you aren’t ready to part way with manual hand-honing and move on to automatic sharpening, then don’t sacrifice or compromise one for the other, because you can get the best of both worlds with this Chef’s Choice Hybrid Diamond Hone Model 250. It’s fast and convenient for those who need a quick sharpening, but still offers a sense of control and authority to those who want to fine-hone delicate blades. You’d be hard-pressed to find another knife sharpener that blends automation and manual control this well.
4. Wusthof Easy Edge — Best Wusthof Electric Knife Sharpener
Next on our list is the Wusthof Ease Edge. Though you’d be more likely to encounter this brand’s various in-house lines of knives at multiple retailers— both brick-and-mortar stores and online— its line of knife sharpening tools, including the Easy Edge, is also mention-worthy and deserves serious consideration.
Unlike standard electric knife sharpeners whose slots are perpendicular to the body, the Wusthof Easy Edge positions two grinding slots alongside the body of the unit. Inside the device, a belt sander-style sharpening mechanism runs the abrasive brand— which is stretched and positioned on the wheels like a rubber band.
The unusual design is rather exciting, but for those who are accustomed to traditional pull-through sharpeners, they may find this model rather difficult to work with at first. Eventually, they’ll get the hang of it after a few tries. That said, the manufacturer offers a pictorial instruction on how to use the device.
After a while, the abrasive band is bound to lose its grit over time, but you can contact the customer service for further questioning about spare parts and replacement. Also, if you feel like experimenting with different coarseness or fineness, you can order them through online customer service as well.
There’s no mention of the material of the abrasive brand, angle set, or what type of knives is compatible with the unit— save for the standard household chef knives. But based on our educated guess, since there are three stages, you can sharpen serrated blades and a few specialty knives on the third stage, but the result won’t be as satisfactory as those treated with a specialized knife sharpener.
For some reason, the Wusthof Easy Edge isn’t as sought after as its in-house manual counterparts, but that doesn’t devalue this electric knife sharpener in any way. The Wusthof Easy Edge is deservingly the representative for this brand with its reliable performance and functionality.
5. Smith’s Edge Pro 5005 — Best Smith’s Electric Knife Sharpener
This electric knife sharpener itself doesn’t make itself stand out in any particular way, even among the low-budgeted tier. But if you’re to pick a product that best represents this brand, it goes without saying there’s no beating the Edge Pro 5005.
The Edge Pro works with steel blades of different length and hardness, as claimed by Smiths’. The manual finishing/honing slot is equipped with crossed ceramic rods. As for the coarse stage, the abrasive wheels are bonded synthetic abrasive, which is much inferior to other high-end materials like diamond and sapphirite in terms of hardness and durability. This would also explain its price tag. But at least the wheels can minimize heat buildup when grinding the blades, lowering the chance of de-tempering and deforming your blades.
The unit is slip-proof with rubber feet, but the addition of the rubber grip handle further gives you a sense of safety and reassurance when using the device.
Cleaning and maintenance-wise: use a damp piece of cloth or paper towels to wipe the exterior after unplugging from the outlet. Also, there’s no need for powdered abrasive cleaner, lubricant of any kind, or water to clean the components. And to leave nothing left unsaid, submerging the unit in a sink or a dishwasher is a big no-no.
The price tag means anyone can purchase it, but whether you’re actually purchasing it, we’ll leave it to your discretion. Sure, the Smith’s Edge Pro 5005 delivers— albeit barely— but that’s pretty much everything you can expect from this low-budget electric knife sharpener.
6. Presto 08810 — Best Presto Electric Knife Sharpener
We did review a Presto electric knife sharpener above, but the 08800 is chosen for different reasons, and it lacks certain aspects to be the representative of its own brand. That honor is reserved for the Presto 08810, which comes in as a pleasant surprise for many.
Presto uses sapphirite for the first two stages— coarse and medium, respectively— and extra-fine gritted ceramic for the final stage. The unit works with standard kitchen knives, santokus, and sporting knives.
But the most prominent feature of this sharpener is how the grinding slots can change angles to suit different knives. And so far, this is the only electric knife sharpener featured on this entry that offers users such versatility and flexibility. Here’s the guide from the manufacturer:
- Thick for hunting knives
- Medium for chef’s knives and regular kitchen knives
- Thin for filet and paring knives
However, the unit has a major design flaw: the placement of the stage. While conventional electric knife sharpeners have all stages and slots lined up on the same side of the device, the Presto 08810 somehow leaves the coarse slot alone on the left side. It’s a good thing the device is stable and slip-proof on its own, because the lack of a handle makes it awkward to hold on to the unit when all the grinding slots are whizzing and whirring.
Another issue commonly reported among users is that you’d find sparks upon sharpening certain knives. Don’t be alarmed, since this is a normal occurrence for knives with high-carbon content.
There are two receptacles on the bottom of the unit that collect metal filings from grinding the knives. Remember to remove these receptacles by unplugging two red plastic plugs on the bottom of the sharpener and shake out the filings collected inside. You should do this once per year.
The unit is backed by a one-year warranty, similar to its 08800 brother.
Save for its awkward design and the sparking, there’s hardly anything to nitpick about the Presto 08810. It works with a diverse range of blades thanks to the adjustable sharpening slots. Also, a nice blend of price and functionality— in thanks to the adept use of high-quality, cost-friendly materials for the abrasives— makes this electric knife sharpener a can’t-miss for many cooks.
7. Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener — Best Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener
It doesn’t spell trustworthiness or reliability when a cartridge manufacturer turns its business orientation toward kitchenwares. The logic behind such a decision remains a mystery, but for some reasons, the Linkyo electric knife sharpener is a huge success, with thousands of buyers vouching for it with high ratings and rave reviews.
Upon initial inspection, the unit feels standard, or rather indistinguishable from other electric knife sharpeners. It features standard two sharpening stages, with information regarding the abrasive material kept secret from the buyers. We can understand the importance of trade secrets, but since other brands and manufacturers are rather open and straightforward about their product’s structure, we feel there is some sort of dishonesty with the Linkyo electric sharpener.
After sharpening, where do the metal filings go? Not into the device itself but into the built-in receptacle reserved just for storing residues. Once you’re finished, you can empty the receptacle by unplugging it from the unit and dumping the shards into the trash hassle-free.
The rubber feet keep the unit from sliding off the countertop when it’s running, so you don’t have to hold it down.
The product is backed by a one-year warranty upon product registration online.
Whether the success continues is up to debate and remains to be seen, but there’s irrefutable and undeniable validity to the Linkyo electric knife sharpener. Its performance may pale compared to others, but we can safely assume it’s decent enough to perform on regular kitchen knives.
Comparison Table of the Best Electric Knife Sharpeners in 2020
|Model||No. of Stages / Slots||Material of Abrasive||Fixed / Adjustable Angle||Warranty|
|Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect Model 15||3 stages, 6 slots||Diamond||Fixed, 15°||3 years|
|Presto 08800||2 stages, 4 slots||Sapphirite||Fixed||1 year limited|
|Chef’s Choice Hybrid Diamond Hone Model 250||3 stages, 6 slots||Diamond||Fixed, 20°||1 year|
|Wusthof Easy Edge||3 stages, 2 slots||Sandbelt abrasive||Fixed||3 years|
|Smith’s Edge Pro 5005||2 stages, 3 slots||Bonded synthetic abrasive for the wheels, cross ceramic rods||Fixed||3 year limited|
|Presto 08810||3 stages, 6 slots||Sapphirite & ceramic||Adjustable||1 year limited|
|Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener||2 stages, 4 slots||---||Fixed||1 year upon online registration|
How to Use an Electric Sharpener
Gone are the days where you fiddle with the sharpening tools, wondering whether you’ve picked the right ones. No more do you have to rely on guesswork, instructional videos on YouTube, or housewife tips— none of which is consistent with one another. With an electric knife sharpener, you no longer have to burden yourself with such worries.
Granted, using an electric knife sharpener eliminates many hassle factors, but you still need to pay attention to every stroke you make. Here goes the process.
- Turn the device on
- Place the knife into the slot – with the heel at the base of the sharpener, the belly making full contact with the grinding surface, and the cutting edge touching the bottom of the slot. A tip: sharpen from the heel to the tip, no pun intended. Never insert the tip into the blade guide or push the blade through the slots. For those who have no idea what these parts are, here’s an anatomy of a knife.
- Apply light, downward pressure on the handle, and run the blade through the stages by pulling back – each stage has two slots for two sides. As the blade traverses through the slots, you’ll hear whizzing and whirring noises, along with a shaking knife. Don’t let the knife wobble by gripping on the handle firmly.
- Run the blade a few times in a slow yet steady fashion. Hold the knife straight, don’t lean the knife sideways unless instructed by the manual or guide. Pull the knife back in one motion without stopping midway. Also, don’t forget to lift at the end of each stroke to sharpen the tip of the knife.
- Once finished with the first stage, move on to the next ones.
- Test the knife on papers or fruits. If the result is unsatisfactory— meaning you cannot slice through the paper in one swift motion or slice thin strands of veggies and fruits— repeat the process once more from step 2.
- Turn off the device. Clear out the debris and filings collected within the machine every once in a while.
How Knives Becomes Dull
A brand new, out-of-box knife kicks things off with a bang. You chop and dice things effortlessly, until one day you struggle to make a single clean cut. You can feel something is wrong but can never quite pinpoint it until taking a closer look and realize that it needs sharpening after months of service. There are many reasons why a knife loses its edge:
- Daily wear and tear
- Deformation & bending from excessive use of compressive forces, i.e crushing garlic cloves
- Cutting on hard surfaces (metal & glass cutting boards) & objects (frozen food & bones)
- Improper storage— clashing with other knives and tools, gathering impurities
- Misusing the knife outside its intended purposes— for odd tasks & items
- Liberal & universal use of a single knife on all tasks— a bad habit to break for many cooks
- Corrosion due to contact with acidic food (limes, tomatoes, etc.)
- High temperature from cutting recently cooked items
- Dishwasher intensity (and seriously, who puts knives in a dishwasher? That just begs for troubles)
Those are a few among many mistakes made when using a knife incorrectly, and you’d wonder why your blade dulls so fast. If left unserviced long enough, a knife not only loses its sharpness but also damages the overall structure and integrity. No matter how keen and tough the blade is, it wouldn’t last long without proper care and maintenance.
It goes without saying that there are ways to restore a knife’s sharpness. Among the tried-and-true methods that have proven to be efficient, electric knife sharpeners stand above the rest, and for good reasons, too.
It’s Important to Keep Your Knives Sharp
People working in the kitchen— whether as a hobby, a chore, or a profession— can relate to and cringe at the thought of a dull blade. It not only frustrates those unfortunate enough having to work with it, but also poses threats of injuries upon dealing with certain tasks and items.
A well-maintained and regularly sharpened knife feels right when you can cut with authority and poise. It shouldn’t waste your time and strength: a properly sharpened knife requires little downward pressure to cut through things. It wouldn’t also take you more than the force from the fingertips to slice through items, let alone the whole arm.
A sharp knife not only makes the job easier for cooks, but it also feels safer when one single cut is enough instead of sawing back and forth multiple times.
Manual Sharpening Vs. Electric Sharpener: The Debate
Sharpening a knife manually is more than just a dull kitchen task— no pun intended. The use of handheld pull-through sharpeners, whetstones, and diamond rods remains popular among knife users, with some even qualifying it as a form of art. After all, videos of people grinding their blades are a hit on YouTube, registering millions upon millions of views.
While it’s a fair and valid point, the effectiveness of these methods is proportional to the amount of time and effort invested, and it’s a steep learning curve that takes years of experience to master. What you need is a way to quicken the sharpening process and a sense of comfort & reassurance upon clutching the knife between their fingers.
Upon realizing you can allocate time and effort to better use— like, just saying, on doing the actual cooking— do you realize how badly you need an electric knife sharpener.
Best Electric Knife Sharpener Brands
Before wrapping everything up nice and clean, we thought you might want to get familiar with fan-favorite brands of knife sharpener. You may have already known some of these, while others are new players trying to gain consumer recognition. Either way, let’s see how many you can recognize among these names.
Chef’s Choice by EdgeCraft is one of the most prominent knife sharpening device manufacturers in the field. For cooks of all levels, strolling through its product pages is equivalent to a kid in a candy store. Their high-quality products tend to knives of all class and design. While some express their doubt and hesitance upon seeing the price tag, rest assured that you’re buying and using for life.
Those working in the kitchen must have at least once dreamt of owning a brand new set of Wusthof knives and a complementary sharpener. Though the name may be strange to hear or pronounce, Wusthof is another mainstay in the top knife and sharpening tools manufacturers.
Their products remain bestsellers year-round with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Wusthof has been and still is, one of the fan-favorite brands that pop to mind when a recommendation for high-quality kitchen tools is required.
Rather than a knife sharpening tool-oriented supplier, Presto specialises in a wide array of household and kitchen appliances. In a way, Presto can be comparable to Hamilton Beach, but its product lines are more affordable— which arguably give you the best bang for your bucks— and somewhat more diverse. Both of its in-house electric knife sharpeners, the 08800 and the 08810, are both featured in this entry.
There’s little to no information regarding this brand, other than its foundation year and place of origin, which is Arkansas. Its knives and sharpening tools collection are rather decent but still pale in comparisons to other brands, considering its supposedly long presence in the market. As of the moment this article is written, this brand is somewhat the underdog compared to other major names. It will be a while before this brand can catch up, but this doesn’t deter Smith’s from trying.