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Chef'sChoice 4643 Manual vs Wamery 4-Stage Manual Side-by-Side Comparison
- Performance (50%)4.3/10
- Design (15%)9.3/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.4/10
- Performance (50%)8.1/10
- Design (15%)6.8/10
- Ease of Use (35%)7.5/10
The Chef’s Choice 4643 is more than double the price of the Wamery. It employs sharpening discs instead of the usual rods and has two sharpening slots for Western and Asian knives. The Wamery's only competitive point against it, besides affordability, is the extra scissor slot.
Interestingly, the two enjoyed the same rather mediocre overall performance rating in our tests. The Chef’s Choice’s substantial discs offer slightly better sharpness. However, the Wamery’s ceramic rods produce a smoother edge.
Much preferring the design of the Chef’s Choice, it’s the one we’d go for if we had to choose between them. Its wide base and lower center of gravity gave it a great advantage in our stability tests. It’s also one of the most comfortable to work with. The Wamery is not terrible, per se, but it lost points due to its tall body and rather insubstantial build.
Chef's Choice Manual Knife Sharpener’s Performance
- 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%)9.2/10
- Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)6.0/10
- Edge Smoothness (20%)7.3/10
- 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: 1 minute 10 seconds
- Cutting Feel: Light and smooth
For this test, we blunted a knife with sandpaper and ran it through the Wamery. It took 70 seconds for the knife to get to the sharpness level where it can halve a lemon in one go. This effectively places the Wamery among the top group of sharpeners in terms of speed.
However, the results had not always been so satisfactory. The Wamery took significantly longer (almost 10 minutes) in our previous attempts to restore the knife’s sharpness. We found that sharpening with the knife tip pointing slightly downward helped.
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: 7 (ripe tomatoes, 1 swipe)
As fast as it was to bring the knife to the lemon-cutting level, it didn’t go very far after that. The knife only reached Sharpness Level 7 after 6 minutes of sharpening.
You may struggle a bit with precision cutting and thin slicing, but at this level, your knife’s good for most other food prep tasks.
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.
When put under the examination of our magnifying lens, the knife’s edge looked straight. There are tiny shavings alongside and the grooves are noticeable but evenly distributed along the edge. This suggests that the honing stages did do their job, though not meticulously, to smoothen the edge.
- 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 coarse stage does take its toll on the knife’s edge, but the metal swarf that we collected after sharpening was rather minimal.
Among the handheld sharpeners we put to the test, this is among the ones that yielded the smallest amount of metal residue.
Chef's Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener’s Design
- Build Quality (75%)9.0/10
- Grip (25%)10/10
- Build Quality (75%)6.6/10
- Grip (25%)7.5/10
What’s in the Box With the Chef's Choice 4643 Knife Sharpener
- 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.
- Wamery 4-slot pull through sharpener
The sharpener comes in a cardboard package with the instruction manual printed on the back. All additional information (return address & warranty policy) can be found on the official website.
- 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:9.1" (23.1 cm)
- Width:2.3" (5.8 cm)
- Height:3.3" (8.4 cm)
- Weight:8.9 oz (252 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.
The build of the Wamery suggests everything but top-notch craftsmanship. The sharpener is bulky but hollow and rackety. Its abrasives are a hit or miss and seem to wear out more quickly than the other devices we’ve tested. While it does look cute, the sharpener isn’t meant or built to last.
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.
The handle is spacious, which is a good thing with these sharpeners as you don’t want your gripping hand too close to where the blade goes. That being said, we think Wamery can cut back on the height while widening the base of the handle to improve balance.
The top part of the grip is covered in a soft, comfortable rubber padding, while the sides and underneath weren’t graced with the same material.
- 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:Tungsten carbide blades, diamond rods, ceramic rods
- Sharpening Angle:Not mentioned
The Wamery’s working section features a slot for shears and scissors and three for kitchen knives. For knives, you start on the tungsten carbide blades, then proceed to the diamond coated rods and ceramic rods. Without a ‘prep’ slot, we’d expected the sharpener to be harsh on the knife edge; however, that wasn’t the case.
While Wamery claims that the sharpener was designed for a wide variety of knives, it failed to mention the slots’ exact angle. We tried to reach out to the brand but so far have received no response. Certain knives have unconventional sharpening angles, so putting all of them through the same slots doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Chef's Choice 4643 Manual Knife Sharpener
- 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:Synthetic silicone
- Feet Type:Slip-proof padding x 2
The Wamery has a wide base, which partly makes up for its excessive height to maintain its balance. The pads underneath are soft and thin, and look cheaply made, but they do well enough to prevent the sharpener from slipping across the countertop during sharpening.
Chef's Choice 4643 Knife Sharpener Review
- 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 (10%)9.0/10
- Insertion (20%)8.0/10
- Pulling Through (10%)6.0/10
- Stability on Clean Surface (40%)7.5/10
- Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (20%)7.0/10
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 Wamery has four slots, marked with numbers from 1 to 4 embossed on its stainless steel casing. Slot 1 is reserved for shears and scissors, while the rest sharpens kitchen knives.
The knife slots progress rightward with increasing grit fineness, so it’s natural to follow through with the intended order. Our only complaint is with the lack of adequate space between the slots.
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.
During the course of our experiment, there were times when the blade wouldn’t position itself properly in the slots. When you look at the size of the entire sharpener, Wamery has been rather economical with its abrasives slots. They were a little too shallow and narrow to accommodate the entire blade’s length comfortably.
To avoid mishaps, we had to take things slowly and re-calibrate our aim before drawing the knife through the slot. But other than that, we proceeded as normal without much to complain about.
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.
The sharpening rods were solid and secure. However, the knife glided through the slots, especially the tungsten bars, at times without the slightest hint of resistance. That, of course, means the abrasives haven’t got in adequate contact with the edge to sharpen it.
A trick we learned after multiple failures is to sharpen with the tip of the knife pointing about 20 degrees downward. Then, a frictious brace can be felt as you pull the knife through. This doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it helped enough to sharpen the knife within a reasonable time frame.
Note that the knife will cut into the plastic frame on both sides when applying this trick, but that’s better than the abrasives not working.
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.
Sharpeners with an elevated design are prone to rocking back and forth, even with reinforced pressure on the handle. However, the Wamery’s underside spreads over a wide surface area, which allows it to stand this test despite its rather flimsy anti-slip pads.
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.
When placed on the slippery countertop, the sharpener managed to hold itself quite well. However, be advised that there was only so much that the slip-proof pads could do. Every once in a while, the sharpener inched back and forth, albeit that was something to be expected.