- Performance (50%)6.3/10
- Design (15%)9.3/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.8/10
- Performance (50%)4.3/10
- Design (15%)9.3/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.4/10
The Amesser A-65 sharpener isn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer, nor does it create one. However, it still offered a better performance than the Chef's Choice 4643 in our tests.
Both devices have a sturdy construction with a great fit and finish. The Amesser gained good ratings for its substantial weight and soft, velvety cover texture, while the Chef’s Choice 4643 sports our favorite simplistic but highly stable base design.
When it came time to actually sharpen a knife, the former got the job done more quickly and effectively. We also achieved a straighter knife’s edge. The latter, despite its elaborate wheels, took twice the time in our speed test and couldn’t achieve the same performance level.
In the end, the Amesser A-65 is the more capable and the better choice between the two sharpeners.
- Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)5.2/10
- Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)7.0/10
- Edge Smoothness (20%)7.7/10
- Material Retention (25%)6.0/10
- Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)1.0/10
- Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)6.0/10
- Edge Smoothness (20%)5.2/10
- Material Retention (25%)7.0/10
Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon
- Sharpening Time: 2 minutes
- Cutting Feel: Swift and smooth
The Amesser clocked 120 seconds to restore a blunted blade back to use on a lemon.
This is double the ideal time (60 seconds), but is still within acceptable ranges. It’s actually a few seconds faster than its identical cousin, the Kitchellence. If your kitchen knives are regularly maintained, you should be able to get them ready for a cooking session within 30 - 60 seconds on this sharpener.
- Sharpening Time: 4 minutes
- Cutting Feel: Slightly heavy
The Chef’s Choice took its sweet time to sharpen and was consistently among the slower ones in all our test attempts. It took a whopping 4 minutes to bring the test knife from uselessly blunt to adequately usable on a lemon. Even then, the knife needed a little more force than usual to execute the cut. You’d get better results within the same time using a whetstone.
We wouldn’t count on this one as a convenient sharpener to prep our knife before a cooking session.
Maximum Sharpness Achieved
- Sharpening Time: 6 minutes
- Sharpness Level: 8 - (Chicken breast, two swipes)
On a ripe tomato, there was no need to apply any extra effort. The tomato split cleanly without leaving behind any trace on the chopping block.
The next checkpoint—chicken breast with skin—was a slight challenge. The test knife did well on a small piece, as indicated in the video. However, on a larger piece of breast, it failed to sever the tough skin and slippery fat in one go, hence our final score of 7.0.
- Sharpening Time: 6 minutes
- Sharpness Level: 7 (Ripe tomatoes, 1 swipe)
The blade had no trouble slicing its way through a ripe tomato in one swift motion. The chicken breast posed much more difficulty: Its slippery skin made it impossible for the test knife to slice clean-off in one go. Two rather heavy attempts were needed to sever the pieces, so we decided to keep the Sharpness Level at 7 instead of 8-.
This sharpness level should allow your knives to complete most food prep tasks with mild effort, but we usually expect more from a device with such a high price tag. We can’t count the number of sharpeners that cost one half or even one third of its price that can offer a better performance.
Here are the magnified shots of the test knife after sharpening with the Amesser A-65.
The edge came out straight and well polished with minimal signs of chips, burrs, or other defects. In comparison to the other handheld sharpeners we’ve experimented with so far, this sharpener did a good job of straightening and restoring the edge. And it’s no surprise that the result is almost a mirror image of what the Kitchellence produced.
Chef’s Choice advertises ‘two distinct facets set at different angles that form a longer lasting, arch-shaped edge’. The sharpener indeed created what looks like a double edge on our test knife.
Unfortunately, while the secondary edge emerged sharp and convincing, the abrasives’ effects on the primary edge were so subtle they were unrecognizable even under a magnifying lens. The discs on the Honing slot were either too fine to make a difference or were placed at an angle that did not allow contact with the knife edge.
That explains the lack of sharpness on the test knife—the secondary edge helps, but it can only do so much.
- Sharpening Time: 1 minute
- Target Sharpness:
You can bet that all knife sharpeners grind away a certain amount of material from the blade to reform the edge: the only difference is the length they go to. In just one minute, the Amesser A-65 took a heavy toll on the knife’s edge, as evident by the pictures here.
We were rather astonished how this tri-stage sharpener managed to shear off almost as much metal as ones with fewer stages. Indeed, the quantity of swarf collected was somewhat similar to that produced by the Sunrise Pro and KitchenIQ.
So, if you do purchase the Amesser A-65, it’d be a good idea to use the second stage only on really dull knives. For milder cases, the ceramic rods in the third stage would suffice.
- Sharpening Time: 1 minute
- Target Sharpness:
The Chef’s Choice 4643 took off more steel from the test knife than its sharpness suggested, but the amount wasn’t significant. As typical of wheel-type sharpeners, the residue was fine dust rather than coarse shavings, suggesting highly controlled grinding.
- Build Quality (75%)9.2/10
- Grip (25%)9.5/10
- Build Quality (75%)9.0/10
- Grip (25%)10/10
In the Box
- Amesser sharpener
- Instruction manual
- Protection glove
- Thank-you note
The cardboard package includes the sharpener, a cut-resistant glove, a user’s guide, and an appreciation card from the manufacturer. This product is under warranty for up to 18 months.
- Chef’s Choice 4643 AngleSelect Knife Sharpener
- 1 x instruction manual
The Chef’s Choice snugly fits into a plastic blister pack with a user’s guide included (which is also available online). The package can pop open quite easily, so there’s no need to cut it with scissors.
Besides the sharpening techniques, the manual also guides you on how to test the knife’s sharpness, and provides helpful tips to keep your knives in their best condition.
- Length:7.9" (20.1 cm)
- Width:1.9" (4.8 cm)
- Height:2.9" (7.4 cm)
- Weight:6.4 oz (183 g)
- Length:9.3" (23.6 cm)
- Width:2.0" (5.1 cm)
- Height:2.8" (7.1 cm)
- Weight:6.6 oz (187 g)
This sharpener is well put together and feels sturdy. Shake as hard as you might, and everything stays perfectly intact as if the whole thing is made of one solid block.
At one point, we plucked off the working section and took a quick peek inside the base. It has a metal piece attached underneath and weighs 6.44 ounces, accounting for the majority of the sharpener’s total weight.
The working section has several contact points that lock into the base and click when assembled correctly. Sadly, this part isn’t available for purchase or replacement. Once it breaks, you’ll have to toss the whole thing in the trash and get a brand-new unit.
Its materials do not scream ‘top-notch quality’, but the Chef’s Choice 4643 benefits greatly from an ergonomic design and robust build. The parts are well reinforced and screw-tightened, though it can be disassembled piece by piece. Finish is near perfect and matches its high price tag.
- Material:ABS plastic
In general, the Amesser’s handle offers a great sense of comfort and safety. You can skip using the glove if you want to: the handle’s material feels soft and grippy, while the size is just about perfect for a good, strong grasp. The icing on the cake is a series of finger nubs running along the handle’s length.
The handle extends and slightly arches itself toward the end, forming an ergonomic crescent-like shape. It’s just about the perfect size, and the coating material feels soft and grippy between the palm and fingers. Unfortunately, the handle isn’t loop-shaped. Otherwise, you’d be able to hang it on a hook to keep it within an arm’s reach.
- Levels of Sharpening:Prepare, Sharpen, Polish
- Abrasive:Diamond-coated rods, tungsten steel blades, ceramic rods
- Sharpening Angle:20°
Each stage of the working section features ordinal numbering and some visual cues that display the slot’s material and function.
The sharpening process begins with the Prep stage whose main purpose is to straighten the knife’s edge. Following that is the middle stage, used to sharpen the edge. Meanwhile, the final stage is meant for honing or giving a slightly blunt knife some light touch-ups every once in a while.
On the whole, the Amesser A-65 should handle most types of kitchen knives.
- Levels of Sharpening:Coarse, Fine
- Abrasive:Diamond-coated disks
- Mechanism:Pull through
- Sharpening Angle:15° & 20°
The Chef’s Choice 4643’s working section features three sharpening slots that are securely fastened into the base and covered in a shiny stainless steel sheet.
Unlike most manual sharpeners with abrasive bars or rods, it’s equipped withdiamond-coated discs. As the blade passes through them, these wheels rotate with each draw, grinding and reshaping the edge.
Slot 1 sharpens Asian knives at a 15-degree angle while Slot 2 sharpens Western knives at 20 degrees.
Interestingly, there’s only one slot for honing (Slot 3) for both types of knives, but the exact grinding angle isn’t mentioned in the manual. We asked the official manufacturer in an email but have so far received no response.
- Material:ABS plastic
- Feet Type:Non-slip rubber base
The Amesser’s base is a checker-patterned pad that gradually tapers toward the direction of the handle. The pattern helps with creating friction and thus preventing the device from sliding across the countertop during sharpening; however, it does pick up residue and specks of dirt.
- Material:Synthetic rubber
- Feet Type:Slip-proof sole (x 4)
With the bottom being a hollow gap instead of a solid whole block, the sharpener is lightweight. However, because the base is wide and the center of gravity low, it maintains its balance very well.
The quartet of rubber feet attached at the base corners do a great job of creating friction and keeping the device in place during sharpening—we feel this is a more economical and effective design than the large pads usually seen in other devices.
Ease of Use
- Slot Arrangement (10%)10/10
- Insertion (20%)9.0/10
- Pulling Through (10%)9.5/10
- Stability on a Clean Surface (40%)9.0/10
- Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (20%)7.5/10
- Slot Arrangement (20%)7.0/10
- Insertion (20%)8.5/10
- Pulling Through (10%)8.5/10
- Stability on Clean Surface (40%)9.5/10
- Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (10%)7.0/10
Like the majority of handheld sharpeners, the slot structure advances from left to right. Each slot has some handy visual cues as a brief introduction to help cooks identify its function and feature. These fine prints are easy to read and they eliminate any unnecessary guesswork that may arise in the process.
The sharpener has labeling for the slots’ functions and designated knife types. Depending on the knife you’re sharpening, the intended order goes as 1-3 (for Asian-style knives) or 2-3 ( for European-style knives).
The slot trios share the identical size, width, and depth, so it’s easy to confuse them. We strongly advise you to look at the labeling carefully before sharpening your knives, especially during the first sessions with the device.
While the Western slot can only blunt an Asian knife, putting your standard knife in the Asian slot can destroy the edge beyond the point of repair. We actually had to throw away a test knife trying that out.
The entries into the sharpening slots are just wide and deep enough to accommodate the blade properly but not comfortably. During the course of the test, there were occasional bumps here and there when positioning the knife into the slots.
We also noticed some wiggle room between the abrasives, resulting in the knife leaning and jigging sideways. This was also the reason why we sometimes had trouble keeping our draw straight, as you can see from these overhead shots.
The Chef’s Choice has rather narrow slot openings, so if you’re in a rush, there’s a chance you’ll misplace the knife and cut the cover instead of inserting it into the slot.
On the bright side, once the knife is at the opening, it’ll be smooth sailing. Because the slots taper downwards and the discs are placed deep below, the knife will slide straight down. Insertion is thus much safer for the knife edge compared to sharpeners with tungsten bars that keep threatening to clash with the edge and cause chipping.
On the whole, the abrasives were tight and solid. The first two stages actually felt a little heavy at times due to the nature of the material.
It’s unlikely that you’ll overshoot the blade and cut into parts of the device by mistake—the plastic frame is far enough below the abrasives to prevent that.
Because the slots are deep and run all the way across its width (2 inches), it was relatively easy to keep the knife straight during sharpening to reduce the risk of creating uneven edges.
That being said, there’s some room for the knife to jig sideways; when it does, you will feel a change in the friction as you pull the blade through.
As its discs are placed deep down in the slots, the knife kept nicking into the frame, leaving lots of marks and scratches.
Stability on a Clean Surface
Save for some slight backward tilts, the Amesser barely moved at all. Thanks to its well-proportioned body, this sharpener was firm, steady, and stable. For the most part, you shouldn’t encounter any discernible problem with the device’s stability on a clean surface.
This is one of the rare devices that come without a full base and can still offer excellent stability. Despite being lightweight, the sharpener stayed secure and steady on a spotless kitchen countertop, thanks to its well-proportioned structure. Those with weak wrists or shaky hands will really feel a difference with this design.
Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface
Prior to this test, we splashed a spoonful of oil and salt on the countertop surface to create an exaggerated mimicry of a real-life messy cooking area. The sharpener lost its footing, slipping and inching away from the original spot after just a few pulls.
Moving on to the simulated messy countertop splashed with cooking oil and peppered with salt: The sharpener’s balanced design continued to keep its footing. The base did lose its traction with the contact surface and moved along with the pull, but only occasionally and not to the extent seen on most other sharpeners.