Amesser A-65 vs. Sharpal 191H Manual Sharpener Side-by-Side Comparison

Anh Ngo
Anh Ngo
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Nov 28, 2022
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Nov 28, 2022
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Review
Sharpal Knife Sharpener Review
Knife Sharpener type
manual
manual
Power
0W
0W

Our Verdict

7.6
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (15%)
    9.3/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    8.8/10
7.0
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    7.0/10
  • Design (15%)
    7.2/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    6.8/10

While they couldn’t look more different from each other, the Amesser A-65 and the Sharpal 191H performed to quite similar levels.

Despite having one less sharpening slot, the Sharpal proved to be faster and more effective in our tests and slightly outdid the Amesser in material retention too. However, the margins in all those three categories were modest. The two also ended up with close scores on edge smoothness.

When it comes to design and ease of use, the Amesser definitely has the upper hand. Its conventional full body makes it easy to grab and work with, whereas the Sharpal’s cylindrical shape and unstable suction base makes sharpening challenging if not dangerous. For that reason, the Amesser ended up with a higher overall rating.

Performance

6.3
Performance Scores
  • 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
7.0
Performance Scores
  • Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)
    6.4/10
  • Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)
    8.0/10
  • Edge Smoothness (20%)
    7.5/10
  • Material Retention (25%)
    6.7/10
5.2

Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon

6.4
  • 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: 1 minute 45 seconds
  • Cutting Feel: Swift and smooth

The Sharpal takes a total of 105 seconds to sharpen a dead dull knife to a high level of workable sharpness (lemon-cutting level). We suspect that the 15 seconds on the ceramic slot may have been a waste of time — the knife emerged keener before rather than after going through the slot.

7.0

Maximum Sharpness Achieved

8.0
  • 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: 8 (Chicken breast with skin, 1 swipe)

After 6 minutes of continuous sharpening with the Sharpal, the test knife managed to cut through a piece of raw chicken breast with ease. Similarly, ripe tomatoes posed no challenge — we could produce thin tomato slices using only the knife’s modest weight. So while it’s not particularly fast, the device does fulfill its promise of bringing sharpness to your knife edge if you give it enough time.

7.7

Edge Smoothness

7.5
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Edge Smoothness

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.

Sharpal Edge Smoothness

We didn’t feel its ceramic rod did anything to refine the edge, but the Sharpal did produce a nice edge overall. Granted, its tungsten carbide blades created deep grooves, but the grooves were straight and steady. There were no major signs of deformities, such as chips or burrs along the edge.

6.0

Material Retention

6.7
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Material Retention
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Material Retention 1
  • 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.

Sharpal Material Retention
Sharpal Material Retention 1
  • Sharpening Time: 1 minute
  • Target Sharpness:

Many users advise against using the Sharpal 191H on your expensive knives and we agree with them. This test lasted 1 minute, and the device managed to shred quite a lot of steel off our test knife. Note that although the knife edge was blunted using sandpaper for 45 seconds before this test, it had previously been sharpened on the Sharpal itself, so it wasn’t like the edge needed ‘resetting’. This level of metal removal is excessive. If your knife has a nice, beautiful edge that you’d like to maintain, it’s probably not a good idea to let it meet this sharpener.

Design

9.3
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    9.2/10
  • Grip (25%)
    9.5/10
7.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    7.2/10
  • Grip (25%)
    7.0/10

In the Box

Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener 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.

Sharpal In the Box
  • The Sharpal 191H sharpener
  • User manual

The Sharpal comes in a small and thin cardboard box along with a simple user manual. It’s compact and lightweight, so if you’re looking for a small device to use in emergencies or at your vacation home, this sharpener may be a good choice.

Dimensions

Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Dimensions
  • Length:
    7.9" (20.1 cm)
  • Width:
    1.9" (4.8 cm)
  • Height:
    2.9" (7.4 cm)
  • Weight:
    6.4 oz (183 g)

Sharpal Dimensions
  • Length:
    2.8" (7.1 cm)
  • Width:
    2.8" (7.1 cm)
  • Height:
    2.7" (6.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    3.0 oz (84 g)

9.2

Build Quality

7.2
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Build Quality
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Build Quality 1
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Build Quality 2

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.

Sharpal Build Quality

The device is lightweight and doesn’t feel solid; however, its construction is as sturdy as it can be. Its tungsten carbide blades are shinier than any other we’ve seen, and we liked the thick, strong base. 

Both testers agreed that a larger lever would be easier to work with. We also think more substantial ceramic blades with a smaller edge angle would do better in polishing the edge without blunting it. 

The fit and finish is decent, except for some blemishes on the black frame at the working section.

9.5

Grip

7.0
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Grip
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Grip 1
  • 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.

Sharpal Grip
Sharpal Grip 1
  • Material:
    Plastic

The lever is sturdy and strong, and we appreciate the raised patterns that work to prevent your thumb or palm from sliding off while you’re pushing it down. That being said, a bigger lever size would eliminate the challenge in the first place.

Working Section

Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Working Section
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Working Section 1
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Working Section 2
  • Levels of Sharpening:
    Prepare, Sharpen, Polish
  • Abrasive:
    Diamond-coated rods, tungsten steel blades, ceramic rods
  • Mechanism:
    Pull-through
  • 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.

Sharpal Working Section
  • Levels of Sharpening:
    Sharpen, Hone
  • Abrasive:
    Tungsten carbide blades, ceramic rods
  • Mechanism:
    Pull through
  • Sharpening Angle:
    20 degrees

The Sharpal’s working section is a small, raised crown that almost looks frail. At first glance we actually expected it to come off after the first few uses, which it never did. On the contrary, it was completely stable and secure during sharpening. We don’t think it’s made for larger knives, though.

Base

Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Base
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Base 1
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Base 2
  • 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.

Sharpal Base
  • Material:
    Rubber
  • Feet Type:
    Suction cup

The Sharpal’s base is a suction cup. It’s large and thick and connected to a lever which activates the suction when pushed down. 

There’s one little issue with this design. The harder the cup sucks onto the surface, the heavier the lever will feel. So, if it’s the right surface, you actually have to use a lot of force to push it down. Sometimes a thumb is not enough, and using the palm on the small lever can hurt.

The suction cup works great on a completely flat and fine surface, such as a marble countertop. On a wooden table, you’ll have to readjust it a couple of times before you finish sharpening a knife with it.

Ease of Use

8.8
usability Scores
  • 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
6.8
usability Scores
  • Slot Arrangement (10%)
    6.5/10
  • Insertion (20%)
    9.0/10
  • Pulling Through (10%)
    6.0/10
  • Stability on a Clean Surface (40%)
    8.0/10
  • Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (20%)
    3.0/10
10

Slot Arrangement

6.5
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Slot Arrangement

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.

Sharpal Slot Arrangement

Other than a slot for shears and scissors, the Sharpal employs a basic slot layout with one for sharpening and one for honing. There are numbers at the front to suggest the order plus an arrow to show you the right direction to pull your knife. 

However, by intuition, first-time users are likely to have the lever face them and risk sharpening in the wrong direction. We actually did that twice. While we don’t think it’d do any harm to the blade, some minor design adjustments would make it totally avoidable.

9.0

Insertion

9.0
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Insertion 1
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Insertion 2

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.

Sharpal Insertion

While its slot openings are not particularly large, we never had a problem placing the knife into the right position. Not having to hold the device in place with your hand probably gives some confidence, thus improving precision.

9.5

Pulling Through

6.0
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Pulling Through

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.

Sharpal Pulling Through

Pulling through was awkward. The test knife experienced great friction, especially near the knife heel when going through Slot 1 (the tungsten carbide blades). Slot 2 was smooth sailing, but it felt like we were actually blunting the knife edge rather than polishing it.

To its credit, the device is designed in a way that makes it unlikely to nick the frame as you finish a stroke, which is a problem on many other pull-through sharpeners.

9.0

Stability on a Clean Surface

8.0
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Stability on 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.

Sharpal Stability on a Clean Surface

The suction cup works great on the right surface: The device never moved or wobbled, and contrary to our predictions, the delicate-looking working section was as stable as a fort. 

Its minus points are the enormous force you have to apply to push the lever down, and the loss of suction over time—one reason the device is not suitable for binge sharpening.

7.5

Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

3.0
Amesser A-65 Manual Knife Sharpener Stability on 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.

Sharpal Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

While some moisture may help with increasing friction, the suction cup is useless on a countertop stained with salt and oil. Technically, you can still use the device if you hold it with your hand, but because the sharpener is so small, it was difficult and dangerous to do so.