- Performance (50%)4.3/10
- Design (15%)9.3/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.4/10
- Performance (50%)6.9/10
- Design (15%)9.2/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.8/10
Both the Chef’s Choice and the Kitchellence are well-built and offer great stability during sharpening. But when it comes to results, the latter is an easy winner.
The Chef’s Choice boasts diamond-coated discs, which sounds great in theory but not so much in practice. It creates a sharp double edge, but it takes a lot longer than the Kitchellence to get there. Also, in trying to accommodate two grind angles, edge smoothness is compromised.
The Kitchellence comes with three stages of sharpening, placed in a natural, progressive order, making it intuitive to use. Each slot features substantial rods or blades that regenerate your blade without removing too much material or destroying the edge. The device is more well-rounded and it wins in the categories that matter the most, too.
- 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 (35%)4.8/10
- Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)7.0/10
- Edge Smoothness (20%)7.7/10
- Material Retention (25%)9.0/10
Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon
- 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: 2 minutes 5 seconds
- Cutting Feel: Swift and smooth
We spent 125 seconds with the Kitchellence to bring a knife from uselessly dull to cutting through a lemon in one single draw. The cut was effortless and did not require significant hand pressure.
The sharpening time is rather slow; but note that we blunted the knife to an extreme degree for the test. Most cooks wouldn’t wait until their knives become so dull. If you maintain your blades properly, you should be able to make them serviceable after about one minute on this device.
Maximum Sharpness Achieved
- 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, 2 swipes)
After sharpening on the Kitchellence for 6 minutes, the knife slid through a ripe tomato effortlessly, so we went on to try it on raw chicken breast with skin. It went through the chicken breast in two slices.
This isn’t an exceptional result, but the knife was only at Level 8 when brand new, so it’s safe to say the Kitchellence almost brought it back to its factory level.
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.
The Kitchellence produces some of the smoothest edges among pull-through devices we tested. Thanks to its stability and the thickness of the sharpening rods, it was easier to maintain a consistent pull force through each draw. As a result, the edge came out smooth and even from tip to heel.
We could find no remaining burrs or metal flakes on the edge. The ceramic rods in the final stage did a good job straightening the edge and removing little burrs.
- 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.
- Sharpening Time: 1 minute
- Target Sharpness:
The Kitchellence’s substantial sharpening rods and blades are braced tightly together so they sharpen very well, but don’t remove much material from the knife edge at a time. The ‘swarf’ is more fine dust than chips, hinting at a fine edge.
This is mostly thanks to the design of the tungsten carbide blades themselves. However, the Kitchellence is also one of the rare cases where the bulky diamond rods really work to ‘prepare’ the edge for the peeler slot.
- Build Quality (75%)9.0/10
- Grip (25%)10/10
- Build Quality (75%)9.3/10
- Grip (25%)9.0/10
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.
- The Kitchellence sharpener
- 1 x user’s guide
- 1 x safety glove
The Kitchellence comes in one piece, with a solid ABS plastic body. It has a distinctive matte finish that’s very soft and comfortable to touch.
The package includes a glove and a user’s manual that offers instructions on how to sharpen metal and ceramic blades.
- Length:9.3" (23.6 cm)
- Width:2.0" (5.1 cm)
- Height:2.8" (7.1 cm)
- Weight:6.6 oz (187 g)
- Length:8.1" (20.6 cm)
- Width:1.8" (4.6 cm)
- Height:3.0" (7.6 cm)
- Weight:6.4 oz (181 g)
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.
We’ve had our hands on a few others that look very similar to the Kitchellence, and they were all lightweight and shoddy. So it was a nice surprise how well-built the Kitchellence is.
The device is made of high-quality ABS with a nice finish. It’s solid, sturdy, weighted, and every part fits together tightly and seamlessly. It didn’t create the rattling sound heard on many others as we shook it or used excessive force to sharpen.
The only thing we didn’t like about the build is the tiny and somewhat flimsy silicone pad underneath the grip.
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.
- Material:ABS plastic
Among all the devices we tested, the Kitchellence offers the best grip. It has an ergonomic handle with finger nubs. The cover is a special kind of ABS plastic that feels like a matte silicone — it’s so comfortable on the skin a lot of the time we just skipped using the glove altogether.
- 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.
- Levels of Sharpening:Coarse, Medium, Fine
- Abrasive:Diamond rods, tungsten carbide blades, ceramic rods
- Sharpening Angle:20 degrees
The Kitchellence sports three stages of sharpening, marked with the numbers 1, 2, and 3. The Coarse slot (1) removes larger burrs and straightens the edge, the Medium slot (2) removes material and refines the edge, and the Fine ceramic rods (3) hone the edge.
Though the working section is easily removable, it’s not sold separately. So once the rods have worn out and the tungsten blades are no longer keen, the whole device will have to go to the trash bin. That being said, with its thick rods and quality build, we suspect it will last for years.
The sharpening rods on the Kitchellence are also larger than on other pull-through sharpeners, such as the Cubikook or Wamery. They feel firmer and more sturdy, and the larger size also means they may last longer.
- 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.
- Material:ABS plastic
- Feet Type:non-slip rubber base
The device tapers at the base and has a patterned pad underneath it. The pad is soft, thin, and doesn’t help much with keeping the device stable.
Ease of Use
- 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
- Slot Arrangement (20%)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
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 Kitchellence has a very intuitive design, with the slots arranged in a progressive order. There are numbers engraved on the stainless steel cover on each slot, and on both sides too, so it’s more difficult to get it wrong than right. You won’t need other visual cues or instructions.
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.
The slot openings are not the widest among those we tested, but they have reasonable width and depth. Insertion was effortless and didn’t require much anticipation or forethought.
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.
We like that the sharpening rods are larger on this device than most others of its type. They created a firmer, touter brace of the knife edge as we pulled the knife through. Unlike some other devices, this brace hasn’t loosen up after six months of heavy-duty use.
The U-shaped holder stays clear of the working section, so we never once cut into it even when we deliberately increased speed and lowered the knife tip at the end.
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.
Despite its small and tapered base, the Kitchellence is stable when working on a clean surface. This is thanks to its solid structure and an additional piece of metal placed underneath the working section for increased weight and a lower center of gravity.
Stability on a Wet and 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.
Facing the slippery countertop challenge, the thin and small rubber feet showed their weaknesses. The working section’s location high above the base didn’t help either. As a result, the device slid and wobbled a little.
The solution is easy: keep your countertop clean and the device will be safe to use. If you have shaky hands and want to be extra safe, however, the Cubikook may be a better choice.