Kitchellence 3-Stage vs Mueller 4-Stage 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
Kitchellence Knife Sharpener Review
Mueller 4-Stage Manual Knife Sharpener Review
Knife Sharpener type
manual
manual
Power
0W
0W

Our Verdict

8.3
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.9/10
  • Design (15%)
    9.2/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    9.8/10
7.6
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.7/10
  • Design (15%)
    9.1/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    8.3/10

The Kitchellence 3-stage and the Mueller 4-stage sharpeners are well-built devices. The former has a solid construction with a nice finish while the latter has a sizable body with an extra slot for shears and scissors. 

Both would benefit from a lower working section, though the Kitchellence does better in terms of balance, thanks to a metal plate near the base that adds weight and stabilizes it.

The Mueller can sharpen faster and to a higher level of sharpness. The Kitchellence, on the other hand, is much gentler to the edge. 

Your choice between the two thus comes down to what your priority is: If you don't mind spending more time to get a smoother edge, get the Kitchellence. If speed is important, go with the Mueller.

Performance

6.9
Performance Scores
  • 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
6.7
Performance Scores
  • Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)
    8.8/10
  • Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)
    8.0/10
  • Edge Smoothness (20%)
    4.0/10
  • Material Retention (25%)
    5.0/10
4.8

Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon

8.8
  • 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.

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

The Mueller isn’t the speediest of sharpeners, but it works fast enough. We put it through the lemon test twice, and it took 60 and 90 seconds respectively to complete the task. This is quite a reasonable time range, considering how dull we made the knife before testing.

Skipping the diamond rods won’t affect the result. We only used them to rid the knife edge of metal particles and make sure it was as smooth as it could be, but if you’re in a hurry, the ceramic rods alone would suffice.

7.0

Maximum Sharpness Achieved

8.0
  • 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.

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

After 5 minutes on Slot 2 and 30 seconds on each of the remaining slots, our test knife was able to cut through a raw chicken breast with the skin still attached. It did need a second swipe to sever the tough, slippery fat and skin, but this is the case for most devices.

7.7

Edge Smoothness

4.0
Kitchellence Knife Sharpener Edge Smoothness

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.

Mueller 4-Stage Edge Smoothness

The diamond dust and ceramic rods didn’t seem to do much if anything to smoothen the edge: It came out rough with waves and small chips all across its length. I could see it with my naked eyes and feel the chips and small particles as I ran my fingers along the edge. The discrepancy between the two sides just tops it off.

9.0

Material Retention

5.0
Kitchellence 3-Stage Material Retention
Kitchellence Material Retention
  • 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.

Mueller 4-Stage Material Retention
Mueller 4-Stage Material Retention 1
  • Sharpening Time: 1 minute
  • Target Sharpness:

The Mueller is a disappointment when it comes to preserving edge integrity. We were horrified at the size and amount of swarf the sharpener churned out after every swipe on the tungsten carbide blades. It’s all or nothing with this slot: When it works, it shaves off as much metal as it can. When it doesn’t, your knife simply glides through it, untouched.

The icing on the cake is the obvious unevenness on the two sides of the edge. We can’t quite work out the reason for this, because its sharpening slots look exactly the same as the Longzon, which created a very nice edge in our test. We re-edged the test knife and tried again, and even replaced the test knife in case it was a faulty one, but the end result was the same.

Design

9.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    9.3/10
  • Grip (25%)
    9.0/10
9.1
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    9.1/10
  • Grip (25%)
    9.0/10

Dimensions

Kitchellence 3-Stage Dimensions
  • Length:
    8.1" (20.6 cm)
  • Width:
    1.8" (4.6 cm)
  • Height:
    3.0" (7.6 cm)
  • Weight:
    6.4 oz (181 g)

Mueller 4-Stage Dimensions
  • Length:
    9.3" (23.6 cm)
  • Width:
    1.8" (4.6 cm)
  • Height:
    3.1" (7.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    8.6 oz (244 g)

9.3

Build Quality

9.1
Kitchellence Knife Sharpener Build Quality

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.

Mueller 4-Stage Build Quality

The Muller sharpener appears to be made from decent-quality materials. There’s also little to complain about regarding the construction: Its parts align well and even when we dropped the device on the floor they stayed together like a one-piece tool. We don’t like its high center of gravity and prefer a more weighted base, but at the same time, we can’t deny how well it was put together.

In the Box

Kitchellence Knife Sharpener In the Box
  • 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.

Mueller 4-Stage In the Box
  • The Mueller 4-stage knife sharpener 
  • Instruction manual 
  • Appreciation card & promotional leaflet 

The Muller KS-4ST knife sharpener comes in a nice cardboard box. Included is a detailed user guide with safety notes and instructions on how to sharpen knives of different dullness levels.

Working Section

Kitchellence Knife Sharpener Working Section
  • Levels of Sharpening:
    Coarse, Medium, Fine
  • Abrasive:
    Diamond rods, tungsten carbide blades, ceramic rods
  • Mechanism:
    Pull-through
  • 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.

Mueller 4-Stage Working Section
Mueller 4-Stage Working Section 1
  • Levels of Sharpening:
    Sharpen (slot 1, 2, 3), Hone (slot 4)
  • Abrasive:
    Tungsten carbide blades, diamond rods, ceramic rods
  • Mechanism:
    Pull through
  • Sharpening Angle:
    20 degree

The Muller has a large working section with one slot for scissors and three for kitchen knives. It’s placed on a rather thick base — in fact, the Muller is among the tallest of all the devices we’ve tested. Unfortunately, this is not an advantage in the world of handheld sharpeners: A high working section only makes it more prone to toppling during operation.

Base

Kitchellence Knife Sharpener Base
  • 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.

Mueller 4-Stage Base
  • Material:
    ABS plastic
  • Feet Type:
    Anti-slip rubber pads

The Muller has a base running from the heel of its handle to underneath its working section. The base is supported with two flat rubber pads that offer friction and keep it from sliding across the countertop during sharpening.

9.0

Grip

9.0
Kitchellence Knife Sharpener Grip
  • 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.

Mueller 4-Stage Grip
  • Material:
    ABS plastic and rubber

The Muller has a grip that’s proportional to its wide working section. It offers lots of space for those with large hands, and there are finger nubs that make it easy to hold on to. We also appreciate the rubber padding on the upper side of the grip: It’s soft and gentle to your palm while also creating useful friction against grease or moisture.

Ease of Use

9.8
usability Scores
  • 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
8.3
usability Scores
  • Slot Arrangement (10%)
    7.0/10
  • Insertion (20%)
    9.0/10
  • Pulling Through (10%)
    7.5/10
  • Stability on a Clean Surface (40%)
    8.5/10
  • Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (20%)
    8.0/10
10

Slot Arrangement

7.0
Kitchellence 3-Stage Slot Arrangement

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.

Mueller 4-Stage Slot Arrangement

Unlike many other sharpeners where the diamond rods serve as a “prep” stage, on the Mueller, you start sharpening your knife with the tungsten carbide blades (Slot 2), then move on to the diamond rods (Slot 3) and finish on the ceramic rods (Slot 4). Interestingly, in the Amazon product description, slots 2 and 3 are swapped. 

The tungsten carbide blades remove the most material from the knife, so it makes sense that they’re the ‘coarsest’ stage. However, we found that the diamond and ceramic rods may sometimes dullen a keen edge, especially when you use both of them to ‘polish’ it. As a result, we prefer the more common setting of starting with the diamond rods for the straightening effect.

9.0

Insertion

9.0
Kitchellence Manual Sharpener Insertion

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.

Mueller 4-Stage Insertion

With a long grip and a wide working section, blade insertion into the sharpening slots was effortless and didn’t require much caution. If you’ve been sharpening with mini-size devices such as the KitchenIQ, where you’re gripping right next to the sharpening slot, you will likely notice the lack of stress when working with the Mueller.

9.5

Pulling Through

7.5

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.

Mueller 4-Stage Pulling Through

The test knife went through the last two sharpening slots with little problem. However, our experience with the coarse slot seemed to be hit-and-miss:  Sometimes, the tungsten carbide blades were almost slippery with no friction or pressure felt, which means they weren’t doing their job. Other times, they were tight and ended up removing too much material from the knife.

9.0

Stability on a Clean Surface

8.5
Kitchellence 3-Stage Stability on a Clean Surface

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.

Mueller 4-Stage Stability on a Clean Surface

The Muller keeps its balance well on a dry and clean wooden table or marble countertop. It’s taller than most devices, but thanks to the flat and frictious base, we never had to use excessive force to keep it in place during our multiple tests.

7.5

Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

8.0
Kitchellence Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

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.

Mueller 4-Stage Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

We had to be a little more cautious on a messy slippery countertop, but as long as you don’t work too fast, balance and stability won’t be an issue.