With time and use, even the finest knives will eventually become dull at some point. One option is to throw them away and get new ones, but on the other hand, you could invest in a good sharpener and enjoy your good ole trusty sharp blades for another decade or two.
But, which sharpener? To test them out, we spent $600 dollars on more than a dozen devices and countless pounds of ripe tomatoes. And now, we have the answer for you.
How We Picked
To make selections for testing, we assessed the technical specifications and design of dozens of sharpeners. We also went through 70,000 customer reviews and testaments from retailer websites. The finalists were chosen with the following criteria: highly effective sharpening, work on a wide variety of kitchen knives, and are easy and safe to use.
Our top criteria for a knife sharpener is simple: It should be designed to create a fine, smooth edge, and an angle acute enough for most food preparation tasks. We only went for devices that can create a convex angle of 20 degrees or less — the standard for kitchen knives.
A cook usually has more than one knife in their kitchen; and it’s not rare that they’re different in size and in metal composition.
So we tried to find sharpeners that, within their categories, can accommodate the most blade types and sizes. If the device does not perform effectively on at least the most essential trio: the chef’s knife, utility knife, and parer, it’s crossed off the list. The only exception to this rule concerns specialized sharpeners, such those for serrated blades.
Regular honing versus one-time repairing of a major chip requires different levels of coarseness, and so we prioritized sharpeners that offer more than one. Our picks in the general categories (devices for non-serrated blades) all have at least one level of coarseness for each.
Ease of Use
This is a criteria for our Best to Buy candidates: It has to be simple and intuitive.
One read of the manual should suffice for the user to figure out how it works (though of course we recommend you read the manual thoroughly).
Not everyone likes to spend a lot of time sharpening blades, so the process shouldn’t be tricky or involve too many complicated steps. If you would have to destroy a knife or two before getting the hang of it, we’ve skipped over it.
That being said, we have included a few choice picks for cooks who truly appreciate the art of rejuvenating a sharp edge. These sharpeners come in the form of multiple stones or belts of different grit coarseness, and usually with angle guides. These devices have a learning curve, and even when you’ve mastered it, the process still takes a lot more than a few minutes. However, they do offer the best results, and we personally know a lot of knife geeks who are obsessed with them.
Initially, we didn’t think of this as a criterion for choosing knife sharpeners, but an abundance of reviews and our own testing showed that a poorly-designed sharpener could indeed be dangerous.
On most devices, this usually relates to an unstable base and a high center of gravity, which causes it to slip or flip as you’re working on it with the obvious and potentially injurious consequences.
Some electric devices, meanwhile, can easily overheat after a few minutes of use. We’ve never seen a report of fire, but have decided it’s not worth the peace of mind to test them out.
How We Tested
Every single one of the sharpeners is tested on the same knives: the chef’s, utility, and paring knives. These are the three most frequently used knives in the kitchen, and they come in different sizes.
Before trying out the sharpeners on them, we rendered the blades dulled and useless by rubbing their edges on sandpaper for about one minute.
To make sure they’d reached the desired level of uselessness, we first put these knives under the tomato test. With soft, watery innards and thin but tough skin, a ripe tomato immediately exposes a dull knife. A rugged edge will squish the inside and tear the skin, as it struggles to cut through the tomato.
For each of the devices we read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to sharpen a dull knife, and followed them to the smallest detail. In each case, the ease of use and safety features were noted.
The sharpeners were then put to the test: once a knife was sharpened, we tested the blade again on three to four ripe tomatoes.
Sharpeners, like everything else, have an expiration date. Most will last for years, but wear and tear along the way is likely to cause a reduction in quality.
Hence, once the initial testing was wrapped up, the sharpeners were sent to our Healthy Recipes 101 Kitchen, where a great deal of food prepping happens daily.
We’re now waiting for the six months mark to pass before interviewing them to ascertain any perks and quirks that weren’t found during the initial test. Stay tuned!
Why Trust Us
No Conflicts of Interest
We purchased all of the sharpeners in this review out of our own pocket. Our reviews are experience-based and unbiased.
The initial testing was carried out by a team comprising a chef, home cooks, and kitchen tool enthusiasts with different levels of previous exposure to knife sharpeners.
Our recommendations take into account the experience of both people who want fast, efficient solutions, and those who find fun in spending effort and pride in surgically sharp blades.
The sharpeners are being tested more than once — they’re being put through heavy-duty use in a real kitchen. Our reviews will be updated constantly to reflect our experience with the devices over time.
The Best Knife Sharpeners of 2021 — Our Picks and Reviews
After testing, here are what we chose as the best kitchen knife sharpeners to buy in 2021.
- Best to Buy in 2021: Cubikook 3-Stage Knife Sharpener
- Best Electric Sharpener: Chef’s Choice Trizor 15XV
- Best Knife Sharpening System: Work Sharp Ken Onion WSKTS-KO-W
- Best Sharpening Stone: Sharp Pebble 1000/6000 Waterstone
- Best for Pocket Knives: Smith’s Abrasives PP1
- Best Manual Knife Kit: Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone System
- Best Honing Steel: Utopia 10 Inches Sharpening Rod
- Best Electric Sharpener (Runner-up): Presto 08800 EverSharp
- Best for Serrated Blades: Smith’s DRET Diamond Retractable Sharpener
Here’s our picks for the Best Knife Sharpeners.
1. Best to Buy in 2021: Cubikook 3-Stage Knife Sharpener
With three levels of sharpening, plus a safety-ensuring design, the Cubikook CS-T01 sharpener offers a quick yet long-lasting fix for your knife. Affordable and effortless to use, it’s easily our favorite for daily, casual sharpening in a home or professional kitchen.
- Sturdy construction
- Effective at sharpening and honing
- Easy to use, no setup
- Compact design, small footprint
- Affordable price
- Non-adjustable sharpening angle
Three Grit Grades
This compact sharpener features a complete working section with three coarseness levels, eliminating the need for separate sharpeners.
The first two levels are designed for serious sharpening (and thus should only be employed sparingly on knives with visible chips and burrs). The coarsest slot boasts two diamond dust coated rods which will remove sizable burrs and chips on your dull knife. The medium slot, with tungsten carbide blades, further deburrs and smooths it.
Featuring two ceramic rods, the fine slot is the most friendly to the delicate edge. It straightens and refines the edge without removing material. If you’ve ever honed your knife with a honing steel or the bottom of a ceramic bowl, this slot has the same, if not improved, effect. Your knife can meet it daily, or even every time you cook to prepare its edge for tough food.
Simple, Effective Design
We’ve had our hands on quite a few versions of pull-through sharpeners, and the Cubikook CS-T01 wins hands down when it comes to construction.
Its working section is tightly fastened on a wide, flat, and solid base, giving it the advantage of a low center of gravity. The base has two strips of silica underneath to help further stabilize it, effectively banishing the risk of flipping or slipping as you sharpen your knives.
Simple as it might seem, this stability is rare among manual pull-through sharpeners. The one that comes closest in terms of a full base is the Smith’s 50264, but its base is not wide enough.
Many employ an awkward design with the working part sitting on a tall, hollow base. This creates a high center of gravity, making the device prone to tipping.
The Wamery and Kitchellence KS37 P are examples of this problem. These two and the Chef’s Choice ProntoPro 4643 also have a handle whose cross section with the countertop is separate from the base of the working area. As a result, they tend to wobble as you pull your knife through. You’ll end up spending more effort trying to hold the device stable and stay safe from a slipping blade than working on your knife.
To add insult to injury, the base of the Kitchellence tapers at the bottom. That’s probably the reason they have to include a thick safety glove.
Being compact in size and design, the Cubikook is convenient to use. You can hang the device on the wall or leave it in your knife drawer for quick and convenient sharpening, even between cooking sessions. It requires zero setup.
It won’t make your blades surgically sharp, but more than enough for most cutting tasks.
What Can Be Improved
The biggest shortcoming of the Cubikook is that it offers sharpening at 20 degrees only. Most Western kitchen knives come with this edge angle; however, Japanese or hybrid knives usually employ a smaller angle, which makes them sharper (though admittedly also more prone to chipping).
Ideally the sharpening edge angle could be adjusted, like on the Smith’s 50264. Then again you would have to trade stability for flexibility — we didn’t have this problem, but there have been reports of the Smith’s carbide sharpening blades popping out of the device as the angle is changed.
All in all, the Cubikook CS-T01 is a well-rounded handheld sharpening device. We recommend it for every home cook who wants an effective sharpener that’s also safe, quick, affordable, and doesn’t require too much effort to use.
2. Best Electric Sharpener: Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Professional
Our team was unanimous in picking the Chef’s Choice Trizor 15XV as the best electric knife sharpener to buy in 2021. We love that it’s effective, intuitive, and can be used to fine-tune serrated blades.
- Guided sharpening
- Sturdy construction
- Supports single bevel and serrated knives
- Effortless to use
- High price tag
An Acute Sharpening Angle
The Trizor 15XV can bring your knives back to factory-level sharpness. It’s a three-stage electric sharpener with two diamond abrasives for coarse and fine sharpening, as well as a flexible abrasive stropping system for a final polish.
It sharpens at a 15 degree angle, hence the name 15XV, allowing the knives to make clean, precise cuts. We tested the device against the Presto 08800, which works at 20 degrees, and saw a sharp difference in how they cut afterwards — the Trizor 15XV was better by a far cry.
The reduced angle is not its only advantage. The exclusive stropping disks were effective in removing all the little chips and microscopic grooves on the blades. While our knives didn’t come out razor sharp, their edge was smooth enough to glide through ripe tomatoes effortlessly.
Note that a more acute edge also chips more easily. If you want to maintain the edge of your 20-degree knives, go for the Chef’s Choice 130 model. The 1520 model works on both angles, though it doesn’t offer the fine-sharpening option.
Ease of Use
Compared to belt systems, the Chef’s Choice Trizor 15XV is easy to use. The sharpening slot guides keep your knife at the proper angle. Since each slot grinds only one side of the edge, it requires more steps, but that also means it can work well on single-bevel blades.
It’s a good idea to read through the manual first for instructions on how to treat specific kinds of kitchen knives, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
At 3 pounds, the Trizor 15XV is not exactly a handy device. The setup is much simpler compared to a belt or stone system, but it still requires a power socket nearby and some space on the countertop.
So while it does sharpen a knife within a minute or two, the setup can be a bit of a hassle if you only want quick, spontaneous touch-ups. In our kitchen, the device is used biweekly or monthly for binge sharpening/polishing, and we feel it’s more suitable for such scheduled use.
If stones and belt systems seem too time-consuming and casual pull-through sharpeners won’t cut it for you, the Chef’s Choice Trizor 15XV is your best bet. It effectively sharpens, renews, and polishes your kitchen blades without requiring too much time or effort. Of course, its value is unapologetically reflected in a high price tag.
3. Best Knife Sharpening System: Work Sharp WSKTS-KO-W Ken Onion Edition
If you have more than a few blades around your house to sharpen but hate hours of back-bending work on a stone, get the Work Sharp Ken Onion. Fast, efficient, and applicable to a variety of knives, it will make sharpening a breeze.
- Fast, efficient. Delivers great sharpness.
- Extra angles, extra grit levels, two speed options
- Long continuous operation time (1 hour)
- Covers kitchen knives and other tools
- Takes time to get used to
- Produces metal dust
Adaptable to Any Type of Blade
The Work Sharp Ken Onion represents a complete system, with five belts of different grit grades that will answer to any of your sharpening needs. It has two speed options too, for when you want some extra power for a harder blade.
The original Work Sharp tool is awesome, but it is only adjustable between 20° and 25°. The Ken Onion, on the other hand, offers to sharpen any knife between 15° to 30°.
The smaller angle gives it the ability to sharpen Japanese blades and hybrid Western kitchen knives that we see a lot on the market these days. The larger angle, meanwhile, covers thicker tools, such as screwdrivers, outdoor knives, and axes.
Admittedly, the belts may be a little delicate for particularly thick and hard tools, but they will get the job done with a bit of patience from your side.
A Steep Learning Curve
If you’ve only ever used rods and pull-through sharpeners, expect a learning curve with the Work Sharp. It requires a bit more hand stability and self-confidence than the Chef’s Choice Trizor 15XV does. In fact, we’d even argue that it takes more time getting used to than the typical manual stone system, such as the Lansky.
Read the manual thoroughly, twice over, to avoid rookie mistakes that can damage your knives.
Start with your cheapest knives until you’ve gotten used to the process. Use some tape to cover your blades and leave only the edge showing. Wear a mask and eye protection too, as the sharpening process will produce fine particles shooting in your direction.
Be it a chipped chef’s knife, a dull parer, or a rusty pair of kitchen shears, the Work Sharp Ken Onion will give it a smooth edge. We recommend it for enthusiasts who appreciate sharp blades and don’t mind some practice to get there.
4. Best Sharpening Stone: Sharp Pebble #1000/#6000 Whetstone
The Sharp Pebble #1000/#6000 kit has all you need to get started with stone-style sharpening. It’s a modern take on the classic stone with two grit levels, an angle guide, and a guidebook for new learners.
- Set includes everything you need
- Balanced duo grit
- Ebook guide included
- Good customer service
- Hardness of guide is high and may scratch your knives
The Sharp Pebble whetstone sharpener comes with everything you need: the double stone itself, a beautiful base to stabilize it, and an angle guide.
The stone is a combination of two waterstones. The blue part, which has a grit or grain density of 1000, is for sharpening dull blades. The white side, meanwhile, has a 6000 grain density for finer honing and finishing. This is the perfect grit duo for newbies and experts alike. It takes a little practice to master, but the simplicity and low cost of the Sharp Pebble make it one of the best knife sharpener options.
Remember that a 1000 grit whetstone is quite coarse, so you shouldn’t use it very often. Once every four to six months is sufficient. Honing with the fine side, however, can be done much more often.
The base is a solid, durable block of bamboo with a slip-resistant layer on the underside. Its upper silicone component grips the stone to give it extra stability. The silicone and bamboo are both easy to wipe clean.
The set, however, is not without flaws. While most customers find the guide rod useful, there are complaints that it leaves marks and scratches. You may want to try it out on your less expensive blades first, especially if you’re not already practiced with whetstones.
5. Best Pocket Knife Sharpener: Smith’s Abrasives PP1 Pocket Multifunction
Compact, affordable, yet multifunctional, the Pocket Pal from Smith’s is intended for use on pocket knives and outdoor tools. Think of this little foldable unit as the Swiss Army knife of knife sharpeners.
- Small, portable
- Tackles both straight and serrated blades
- Has fine honing option
- May feel awkward when held in larger hands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, the Pocket Pal sharpener has a diamond-coated rear rod that can fold neatly into its shell. Since the rod is tapered to a small point, it can slide between the teeth on your serrated knife, delivering a proper sharpening.
The Pocket Pal comes with two slots for quick sharpening. It has a coarse carbide slot for revitalizing dull edges, and a fine one made of ceramic for providing a smoother hone. This ceramic slot can work on both straight and serrated knives.
Thanks to its three sharpening options, the Pocket Pal can handle any type of pocket blade, from a brawny hunting knife to a straight-edged camping pocket knife. Theoretically, it can even tackle bulky swords and cleavers, though such large blades would take a lot of time.
The Pocket Pal is easy to carry around on fishing or camping trips, and with a concave grip it’s foolproof: You will know intuitively how and where to hold it properly. It’s small and may feel awkward if you have big hands, but that’s the price of portability.
6. Best Manual Knife Sharpener: Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System
We picked the Lansky kit as the best manual knife sharpening system knowing it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It takes time, but if you enjoy the process of giving your blades new razor-sharp edges, you will fall in love with this versatile tool.
- Easy (and fun) to use
- Does both sharpening and honing
- Works for various knife types and edge angles
- No guides for Asian blades
The kit comes in a neat box with, among other things, five stones of different grits and colors, making it look like a playkit. And it is fun to play with.
With guide rods and a knife clamp, it allows you to sharpen your knives to various angles with satisfying precision. It can handle any type of kitchen knife: chef’s, butcher, fillet, and even knives for hunting and outdoor uses. The small bottle of honing oil that comes in the package helps too.
With the smallest angle being 17 degrees, the guide rods won’t be so useful on Asian knives, which usually come with edges of 13 to 15 degrees. You can sharpen them without the rods, of course, but it takes more practice and a steady hand.
7. Best Honing Steel: Utopia Kitchen 10 Inch Honing Steel
The Utopia wins our vote as the best honing steel to buy in 2021: It’s solid, does its job well, and comes at a reasonable price.
- Easy to use
- Effective in keeping knife edge
- Made of durable materials
- Not dishwasher safe
- Doesn’t really “sharpen” knives
The honing steel comes in two length options: 10 inches and 12 inches. Made of carbon steel and plated with a thick layer of nickel-chrome, it feels solid and properly weighted (11.4 ounces). It has a solid plastic handle with a “bolster” that balances out part of the weight of the metal, providing comfort during the honing process. This bolster also helps with safety, as it keeps your hand from slipping down while holding the rod in a vertical direction.
Note that while it’s sometimes called “sharpening steel,” the Utopia is really a honing tool—it doesn’t create new edges on your blade. You will still have to give your knives proper sharpening with more serious tools every six to 12 months. This rod’s purpose is to keep the edges keen between more major sharpenings.
The rod does well at what it is designed to do. It will straighten curled blade edges and remove little metal burrs, keeping the blade sharp and smooth. Give your blade a few strokes, and you won’t have any problem with tough chicken skin or ripe tomatoes.
A large ring at the end of the handle allows you to hang it on a rack or hook it on the wall. It’s a minor but much-appreciated feature, because you will need to hone your knives often—ideally before every use. Keeping it somewhere easy to reach would be a good idea.
Pro tip: After cleaning, season the rod with a touch of cooking oil to prevent rust.
8. Best Electric Knife Sharpener (Runner-up): Presto 08800 EverSharp
When the Chef’s Choice isn’t your choice — the price for one can be prohibitive — but you still want to try an electric sharpener, the Presto Eversharp may be a suitable alternative. It only has two stages instead of three, but hey it’s also one-fifth the cost, and it does the job nicely too.
- Two-stage sharpening
- Stable during operation
- Leaves metal dust
The Presto has four sharpening disks — two coarse, two fine. The disks are all made of sapphirite dust, which partly explains its more affordable price compared to those made with diamond dust. When it comes to hardness levels, though, it’s not that far behind on the Mohs hardness scale: sapphirite is a 9/10 while diamond is a 10/10.
This means it’s more than hard enough to remove unwanted materials from all sorts of metal knives and renew the edges like a charm. Be aware that, for this exact reason, your knives shouldn’t meet the coarse disk more than twice or three times a year. The more gentle fine disks are sufficient to bring a dull knife to factory sharpness.
There’s not much to write home about regarding the design of the Presto, though we think its stability during operation deserves some credit. It’s neat, it’s efficient, and a practical choice if you want quick sharpening on a budget.
9. Best for Serrated Blades: Smith’s DRET Diamond Retractable
Serrations are difficult to sharpen, so serrated knives require a more specialized type of sharpener. Smith’s retractable DRET retractable sharpening pen is specifically designed for the job.
- Works on both straight and serrated knives
- Coarse abrasive diamond dust (400 grit)
- Not efficient for big knives
- Can be too coarse for thin edges
The sharpener comes in the shape and size of a pen with a retractable rod at one end. The tapered tip of this diamond-dust-coated rod can get to the smallest crevices between the teeth of your knife, returning them to their original sharpness. Being so compact in size, it can even sharpen gutting hooks.
The DRET is great for single or double-bevel pocket knives, sport knives, and most tactical knives. For small and medium-sized knives whose blades are only partially serrated, this rod can be a lifesaver. While the tapered part is for sharpening the teeth, the half-rounded end of the rod can take care of the straight part of the edge.
Sharpening a long blade will surely be time-consuming. However, when there’s serrations, it’s technically the only effective way to do it.
When not in use, the rod is kept safely inside the handle. It even has a clip to secure it in your pocket.
Best Kitchen Knife Sharpeners — A Quick Summary
|Our Pick||Type||Grit Grades||Types of blade supported||Buy It for|
|Cubikook CS-T01||Manual, pull-through||Coarse|
|Kitchen knives||- Quick, casual daily use
- Edge polishing
- Burr removal
- Fixing of small chips
|Chef’s Choice Trizor XV||Electric, pull-through||Coarse|
|Kitchen knives||- Regular planned use
- Edge polishing
- Burr removal
- Fixing of small chips
|Work Sharp Ken Onion WSKTS-KO-W||Electric, abrasive belt system||Extra-coarse (P120)|
|- Kitchen knives|
- Outdoor knives and tools
|- Regular planned use
- “Binge” sharpening
- Fixing of small and medium chips
|Sharp Pebble 1000/6000||Waterstone||Medium (1000)|
|- Kitchen knives|
- Outdoor knives and tools
|- Regular planned use
- Fixing of minor and medium damage
|Smith’s Abrasives PP1||Manual, pull-through, tapered rod||Coarse|
|- Small knives and tools|
- Serrated knives
|- Quick use
- Fixing of minor damage
- Sharpening hooks and serrated edges
|Lansky Deluxe System||Manual, oilstone kit||Extra-coarse|
|- Small kitchen knives|
- Small outdoor knives and tools
|- Planned use
- Fixing of minor and medium damage
|Utopia Rod||Honing steel||N/A||Kitchen knives||- Quick, casual use between cooking sessions
- Edge straightening
|Presto Sharpener||Electric, pull-through||Coarse|
|Kitchen knives||- Regular planned use
- Edge polishing
- Burr removal
- Fixing of small chips
|Smith’s DRET||Retractable tapered pen||Coarse (400)||- Very small knives and tools|
- Serrated knives
|- Sharpening hooks and serrated edge|
Top Knife Sharpener Brands
1. Work Sharp
Work Sharp Tools is a brand under Darex, LLC. With three decades of experience, Darex makes some of the best electric sharpeners on the market. Its drill sharpener Drill Doctor has won prestigious awards from Sears Catalog, Handyman Club of America, National Hardware Show, and others.
The experience is employed on Work Sharp Tools, which focuses on manual and powered sharpening devices for culinary, outdoor, and woodwork tools. Knife enthusiasts love its powered handheld sharpeners, which come with whole sets of quality abrasive belts.
Shun belongs to the KAI Group, which has been making cutlery in Japan since the early 20th century. They make fine knives, and certainly know what makes a sharp edge.
Despite the high price tags that come with them, Shun duo-grit stones and honing steels are sought after by cooks and chefs who trust in their high quality materials and craftsmanship.
3. Sharp Pebble
Sharp Pebble also sells knives and strops, but it’s mostly known as a brand of affordable sharpening stones.
Interestingly, Sharp Pebble doesn’t sell their stones separately. They always come in sets of a double faced stone or two or three separate stones, a guide, a stone holder, and occasionally a strop. Despite the budget-friendly prices, these stones offer performance that edges in on that of high-end products.
Cubikook is a rising brand that’s already setting new standards for kitchen tools and appliances.
Variety is not one of its strengths; however, the few products that it does offer are quickly becoming popular among home cooks thanks to their durability, functionality, and ease of use. Its Chef’ Sharpener CS-T01, a handheld pull-through sharpener that comes in solid ABS construction and with three stages of sharpening and honing, is one of the new must-haves in home kitchens in the US.
5. Chef’s Choice
Launched in 1985, Chef’s Choice is a brand under EdgeCraft Corporation. It specializes in small tools and appliances, including kitchen knives, waffle makers, food slicers, egg cookers, and sharpeners.
Chef’s Choice electric sharpeners are made with 100% diamond abrasives and multi-stage technology, making them fast and highly effective devices. Made in cooperation with Wusthoff, these sharpeners are trusted and used by home cooks and professional chefs worldwide.
Lansky is a brand of outdoor knives and sharpening kits. The brand was established about 40 years ago, when Arthur Lansky Levine developed the controlled angle sharpening system and started Arthur Lansky Levine & Associates.
Lansky is most known for its precision sharpening systems. These systems are compact-sized kits with small abrasive stones and honers, clamps, and angle guides that allow the customer to sharpen their knives at consistent angles.
Spyderco is more famous for its pocket knives and doesn’t offer a wide range of sharpening products, but its Tri-Angle Sharpmaker is very popular among knife enthusiasts.
The system, invented more than 40 years ago, employs a simple and effective design that both novices and experts can use to give their blades a new, razor-like edge.
A new knife usually comes reasonably sharp. Before putting it on the shelf, the factory has sharpened it to a specific angle and given it bevels that are suitable for the tasks it’s intended for. When sharpening the knife by yourself, you could potentially change the bevel(s) and alternate the edge angle.
If you have very little experience in knife sharpening, the safest bet is to use a new knife until it becomes dull before sharpening it.
That is, unless your knife comes already damaged and there’s no way for you to return it.
A professional chef or knife enthusiast may have particularly specific preferences for the knife edge. However, just because a knife is not customized to your preference doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t cut it for you. You may want to give it a thorough visual inspection and try using the new knife for a few days. That will ensure you have a better feel for the knife and know what, if any, adjustments are needed.
If you feel the difference in the edge angle or bevel and it affects your cutting experience, then it’s not too late to take it to the stones. This sharpening typically involves reprofiling the edge to a particular angle, altering the bevel, or creating/removing secondary edges.
When sharpening on a stone, the push stroke is also referred to as the edge-leading stroke, and the pull stroke, the edge-trailing stroke. Each of these styles has its own pros and cons.
The edge leading stroke compacts the steel and removes more material. It is the more effective style when you want to fix a damaged edge, but it also causes chipping. The trailing stroke creates a keener edge, but because it stretches the steel, it tends to create foil burr.
You can either push or pull, or combine the two strokes when sharpening a knife.
We recommend the edge leading stroke on coarse (low-grit) stones for edge rejuvenation. You can finish the sharpening session on a fine stone with the edge trailing stroke, but stop after about 30-40 laps before the foil burr forms.
After sharpening a knife, you can polish it with very fine sandpaper or stropping leather. This step is optional.
Once the sharpening and honing is complete, it’s crucial to handwash your knife in soapy water and wipe it dry immediately with a soft cloth. Do not leave it wet or dirty, as rust and discolorations can appear really fast in those conditions.
If you have a high-carbon knife, you may also want to coat the knife with vegetable oil to prevent rust.
There are many different variables that decide the usability of a kitchen knife sharpening tool, and there’s no such thing as a perfect device for everyone. We hope our picks and reviews of the best knife sharpeners made it easier to find the one that most suits your needs and budget.