Chef's Choice 4643 vs. PriorityChef Manual Knife 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
Chef’s Choice 4643 manual knife sharpener Review
Priority Chef Manual Knife Sharpener Review
Knife Sharpener type
manual
manual
Power
0W
0W

Our Verdict

6.5
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    4.3/10
  • Design (15%)
    9.3/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    8.4/10
8.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    8.7/10
  • Design (15%)
    7.8/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    8.2/10

The PriorityChef 2-stage sharpener is a better manual sharpener than most, and it’s an easy pick over the Chef's Choice 4643.

The PriorityChef features a basic, function-oriented design, while the Chef's Choice’s design offers both stability and great comfort. Both sharpeners are sturdy, but the latter is more robust and has a much better fit and finish.

Instead of the blades and rods usually seen on other manual sharpeners, these two employ abrasive wheels, which remove considerably less knife material. However, the ones on the PriorityChef sharpened much faster and more effectively, while those on the Chef’s Choice didn’t seem to hit the knife’s edge at the right angle and delivered rather subpar results.

Performance

 Performance
4.3
Performance Scores
  • 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
8.7
Performance Scores
  • Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)
    8.8/10
  • Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)
    8.0/10
  • Edge Smoothness (20%)
    7.5/10
  • Material Retention (25%)
    10/10
1.0

Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon

8.8
  • 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.

  • Sharpening Time: 1 minute 15 seconds
  • Cutting Feel: Swift and smooth

Our blunt test knife emerged sharp and keen after 75 seconds of sharpening with the Priority Chef. In fact, it was sharp enough to slice through a lemon in one go after just 60 seconds on the Coarse stage; the extra 15 seconds served only to refine the edge and, consequently, the cut.

Your mileage may vary depending on the conditions of your knives and the hardness of their steel. However, in most cases, you won’t need more than 30 seconds to rejuvenate a dull knife to a serviceable level.

6.0

Maximum Sharpness Achieved

8.0
  • 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.

  • Sharpening Time: 6 minutes
  • Sharpness Level: 8 (chicken breast with skin, 1 swipe)

Even after 6 minutes, our test knife needed two, sometimes three rather heavy swipes to cut through beef tendon. It had no trouble with chicken breast with runny skin and fat, though. Ripe tomatoes, similarly, were a piece of cake.

Since our Control knife was at sharpness Level 8 when brand new, we could say the Priority Chef sharpener can bring it back to factory sharpness after 6 minutes. Of course, you may see different results with knives that are made of particularly hard steel.

5.2

Edge Smoothness

7.5
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Edge Smoothness

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.

Priority Chef Edge Smoothness

Unlike the V-shaped abrasive blades found on most other pull-through devices, the Priority Chef’s abrasive discs create short, nearly vertical grooves along the edge — and the ceramic fine stage didn’t do much to refine them. We also detected chips and burrs — albeit very small ones — where the edge is narrowest. That suggested that the sharpening discs do not directly contact that part.

That being said, the Priority Chef still created a much finer edge than did its other disc-based cousin, the Chef’s Choice 4643. The Chef’s Choice created a secondary edge, but it left the primary edge completely untouched.

7.0

Material Retention

 Material Retention
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Material Retention
  • 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.

Priority Chef Material Retention
Priority Chef Material Retention 1
  • Sharpening Time: 1 minute
  • Target Sharpness:

For the speed and level of sharpness it can achieve, we were impressed by how little material the Priority Chef removed from the knife after one minute of sharpening. The only debris was dust and tiny chips rather than long curls of swarf, like some others. The device seems to only shave off what’s really necessary to make the edge sharp.

Design

9.3
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    9.0/10
  • Grip (25%)
    10/10
7.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    7.9/10
  • Grip (25%)
    7.5/10

In the Box

Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener In the Box
  • 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.

Priority Chef In the Box
Priority Chef In the Box 1
  • The Priority Chef manual sharpener
  • Instruction manual
  • Promotional leaflet 

The Priority Chef comes in a colorful cardboard box. The package also includes instructions on how to sharpen with the device, plus care and storage tips.

Dimensions

Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Dimensions
  • Length:
    9.3" (23.6 cm)
  • Width:
    2.0" (5.1 cm)
  • Height:
    2.8" (7.1 cm)
  • Weight:
    6.6 oz (187 g)

Priority Chef Dimensions
  • Length:
    7.9" (20.1 cm)
  • Width:
    2.4" (6.1 cm)
  • Height:
    2.6" (6.6 cm)
  • Weight:
    8.3 oz (234 g)

9.0

Build Quality

7.9
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Build Quality
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Build Quality 1

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.

Priority Chef Build Quality
Priority Chef Build Quality 1

The Priority Chef has a minimalist design with stainless steel and ABS plastic parts. Although more oriented toward functionality than aesthetics, the components fit together well and sport pleasant finishes. The only complaint we have is with the base pad that’s made of a low-quality material and doesn’t fit snugly into the stainless steel frame.

10

Grip

7.5
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Grip
  • Material:
    Rubber

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.

Priority Chef Grip
  • Material:
    Stainless steel

Unlike most other devices, the grip of the Priority Chef is basically a pipe that’s attached to the device via a plastic framework. The stainless steel is easy to clean but can be cold to the touch and feel slippery if your hand is wet or greasy. Other than that, we couldn’t find a problem with it. The low center of gravity really helps, so we never had to employ excessive force to keep the device in place.

Working Section

Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Working Section
  • 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.

Priority Chef Working Section
  • Levels of Sharpening:
    Sharpen, Hone
  • Abrasive:
    Diamond-coated coarse disc, ceramic honing disc
  • Mechanism:
    Pull through
  • Sharpening Angle:
    17 degrees

The Priority Chef sharpener has a simple working section with one diamond-coated disc and one ceramic disc for sharpening and honing your knives, respectively. Each is labeled below the slot on either side — it’s equally simple whether you’re left- or right-handed.

Base

Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Base
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Base 1
  • 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.

Priority Chef Base
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Feet Type:
    Sponge pad

While we love that it’s low and wide, the base is actually the Priority Chef’s least effective component. It’s a stainless steel plate housing a sponge-like pad that feels cheap and is prone to tearing. The pad adds almost no weight or friction, and we suspect that it will come apart long before anything else.

Ease of Use

8.4
usability Scores
  • 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
8.2
usability Scores
  • Slot Arrangement (20%)
    10/10
  • Insertion (20%)
    7.0/10
  • Pulling Through (10%)
    8.5/10
  • Stability on a Clean Surface (40%)
    8.0/10
  • Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (10%)
    7.0/10
7.0

Slot Arrangement

10
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Slot Arrangement
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Slot Arrangement 1

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.

Priority Chef Slot Arrangement

The device has only two progressive slots. Their relative coarseness is embossed right underneath on both sides of the working section. That eliminates any guesswork or confusion during sharpening. Both work at the same bevel angle and are not adjustable, so the Priority Chef may not be right for all your knives.

8.5

Insertion

7.0
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Insertion
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Insertion 1

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.

Priority Chef Insertion

The Priority Chef has some of the narrowest slot openings among the devices we’ve tested. While this may help keep the blade aligned, it does make inserting the knife a little stressful. 

Luckily, with a large grip and a raised plastic frame, you’re unlikely to cut your supporting hand.

8.5

Pulling Through

8.5
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Pulling Through

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.

Priority Chef Pulling Through

Our test knives slid through the Priority Chef with ease every single time: Both sharpening discs offer a firm and steady brace. The knife tip does cut into the U-shape frame from time to time, but because you don’t have to push downwards while pulling through, the contact is mild and should not affect the knife edge.

9.5

Stability on Clean Surface

Stability on a Clean Surface
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Stability on 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.

Priority Chef Stability on a Clean Surface

With a low center of gravity and a full padded baseplate, the Priority Chef is well-balanced. Its anti-slip pad doesn’t exactly measure up to the name, but as long as you can maintain a relaxed grip, the device will stay in place. It may sound counterintuitive, but too much force on the grip will only make the sharpener slip more often.

7.0

Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

7.0
Chef’s Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener Stability on Dirty Surface

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.

Priority Chef Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

While the ‘anti-slip’ pad was barely effective on a spotless countertop, it was useless on one with oil and salt on it. That being said, the sharpening session was still manageable thanks to the unit’s generous footprint and modest height. Again, it seems to fare better when your grip is not too tight.