Kitchellence 3-stage vs Smith's 50264 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
Smiths Adjustable 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
6.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Design (15%)
    7.8/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    7.5/10

If sharpness is your only priority, go with the Smith’s. If you also care about safety and the integrity of your knife edge, however, the Kitchellence is the superior choice.

In our tests for sharpening time and sharpness level, the Smith’s had the upper hand. The Smith’s also offers more choices of sharpening angle, which few others of its type do, including the Kitchellence. Unfortunately, it lacks stability — an important criteria when working with blades. The device also peeled off way too much metal from the blade for our tolerance. 

The Kitchellence takes significantly longer to sharpen, and the maximum sharpness level you can reach with it is lower than that offered by the Smith’s. It’s also gentler on the knife edge, more intuitive to use, more stable during operation, and has a much, much stronger and sturdier build.

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
6.0
Performance Scores
  • Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)
    8.0/10
  • Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)
    8.0/10
  • Edge Smoothness (20%)
    4.5/10
  • Material Retention (25%)
    3.0/10
4.8

Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon

8.0
  • 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 25 seconds
  • Cutting Feel: Light and smooth

The Smith’s Pull-Thru completed the lemon-cutting test in 85 seconds, thus easily securing its place among the fastest sharpeners. It performed consistently well in this test through our repeated attempts over the months, sometimes overriding its own record to reach the 70 seconds mark.

If immediate sharpness is all you ever need, this one won’t disappoint.

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, one swipe)

We had smooth, almost effortless slices with tomatoes, and the thick flesh and slippery skin on a raw chicken breast didn’t pose much of an obstacle for the knife, either. This is the same keenness level as when the knife was brand new, so we’d say the sharpener did an excellent job of reviving a knife from dead dullness.

We were able to slice through the thick and stringy fibers of a piece of beef tendon with two swipes, but it was rather forceful, so we decided to grant it an 8 in sharpness at the end.

7.7

Edge Smoothness

4.5
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.

Smiths Pull-Thru Edge Smoothness

While it is true that this sharpener was quick and effective, it was at the expense of the edge’s integrity. From tip to heel and everything in between, the edge was anything but smooth once it had exited the slots.

In the process of sharpening, the abrasives took a massive toll on the knife’s edge and rendered it deformed.

9.0

Material Retention

3.0
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.

Smith's Pull-Thru Material Retention
Smiths Pull-Thru Material Retention
  • Sharpening Time: 1 minute
  • Target Sharpness:

Compared to other manual sharpeners in the test, this one ranked last in terms of material retention ability. As the photos indicate, it sacrificed a significant amount of material in exchange for sharpness. Over time, it can eat away at the blade, reducing the knife’s overall lifespan. You could practically whittle the knife away to nothing on this device if you want to!

Design

9.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    9.3/10
  • Grip (25%)
    9.0/10
7.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    8.2/10
  • Grip (25%)
    6.5/10

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)

Smiths 50264 Manual Dimensions
  • Length:
    10.5" (26.7 cm)
  • Width:
    1.3" (3.3 cm)
  • Height:
    2.9" (7.4 cm)
  • Weight:
    8.8 oz (250 g)

9.3

Build Quality

8.2
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.

Smiths Pull-Thru Build Quality

We could tell that the materials that make the Smith’s Pull-Thru Sharpener are all high-quality, and the finish suggests the manufacturer’s dedication to every small detail. 

However, its angle adjustability is accommodated by a bunch of movable and removable parts. Even though they’re secured with screws, the device feels shoddy as a whole. Its angle nob and the working section threaten to fall out or break at the first drop.

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.

Smith's Pull-Thru In the Box
  • 1x sharpener
  • 1 x instruction manual

Rather than a cardboard box, the Smith’s Pull-Thru came delivered in a plastic blister pack molded after its outline. The package wouldn’t pop open, so we had to cut it with a pair of scissors to retrieve the contents inside.

A user’s guide is included with the package and contains plenty of useful information that you may need to know before using this sharpener. An online version is also available on the official website.

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.

Smiths Working Section
Smiths Pull-Thru Working Section
  • Levels of Sharpening:
    Sharpen, Hone/Polish
  • Abrasive:
    Precision-ground carbide, crossed ceramic
  • Mechanism:
    Pull through
  • Sharpening Angle:
    14°, 16°, 18°, 20°, 22°, 24°

The Smith’s Pull-Thru may look like a typical tri-stage sharpener, but it’s actually a dual-stage model with an extra sharpening slot for serrated blades.

The abrasive system features precision-ground carbide and ceramic stones. They’re tough, durable, and can certainly get the job done.

Except for the serrated slot, which remains fixed at 22.5° per side, the Smith’s sharpening slots are adjustableby 2° increments from 14° to 24°, allowing it to accommodate a wide variety of knives. It’s intended as a fix-all solution for busy cooks who have little time and patience to alternate between different tools.

The device is also one of the very few that allow replacement of the abrasives. You can purchase and change them at home with tiny Philips screwdrivers. If you forget to note the knob's angle while dismantling the parts, the equipment is so designed that you won't be able to lock it into place until you locate the right spot.

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.

Smiths Pull-Thru Base
Smiths Pull-Thru Base 2
  • Material:
    Rubber
  • Feet Type:
    Slip-proof soles

The underneath of this sharpener features two rubber soles on both ends.

Do you notice anything missing in between the sharpener’s underside and the flat surface area? With a high center of gravity and a narrow body supported on two tiny soles, it is not surprising that the whole thing feels wobbly with each draw.

9.0

Grip

6.5
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.

Smiths Grip
  • Material:
    Rubber

The handle is covered with silicone and has grooves, which makes it grippy. However, in proportion, it’s rather small compared to the whole device . It’s connected to the base, which is good, but part of the base underneath it is flimsy and narrow. This means you will need a strong grip to keep this device stable during sharpening, as confirmed by the stability tests.

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
7.5
usability Scores
  • Slot Arrangement (10%)
    7.0/10
  • Insertion (20%)
    10/10
  • Pulling Through (10%)
    7.5/10
  • Stability on Clean Surface (40%)
    7.0/10
  • Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (20%)
    6.0/10
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.

Smiths Pull-Thru Slot Arrangement

The slots on this device are arranged based on a combination of grit level and designated knife type. Instead of medium coarseness in the center, the middle slot is reserved for serrated blades. Even though the sharpening order does progress rightward, it feels disrupted and unnatural.

With only one correct direction to draw the knife, we followed the arrows adjacent to the slots. These handy little cues indicate where to position the blade and which way to go, preventing cooks from making mistakes. It’s not ideal for lefties, though; so if you happen to be a southpaw, you need to choose another tool.

9.0

Insertion

10
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.

Smiths Pull-Thru Insertion

During the course of our experiment, we found no discernible difficulty when placing the knives into the slots.

The inserts are wide open on top to comfortably accommodate the knife, while the slots gradually taper downward. Depending on the type of knife you’re working on, you can further tighten or loosen the abrasive blades.

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.

Smiths Pull-Thru Pulling Through

The abrasives themselves are hard and well-built; however, because the angle is made adjustable, their frames are not sturdy. As a result, they jostled and squeaked when we tried pressing the knife down during sharpening. This resulted in the excessive loss of metal and a very poor, wavy edge. However, the jostling improved when we reduced the force, so the trick here is to be extra gentle and use just a little more than the knife’s own weight when sharpening.

At times, the knife’s tip scratched into parts of the sharpener, usually the front end facing toward you. This could be annoying but doesn’t really affect the knife edge.

9.0

Stability on a Clean Surface

Stability on Clean Surface
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.

Smith Stability on Clean Surface

Even when positioned on a spotless surface, knife sharpeners with such an elevated body are quite unstable due to their high center of gravity. The Smith’s Pull-Thru is no different.

The friction at the bottom was strong enough to prevent the unit from flying off the countertop, but the more serious issue was the back and forth rocking motions. With its small footprint and slim body, the sharpener shook and wriggled with every draw. Sharpening at times felt unsafe and uncomfortable.

7.5

Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

6.0
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.

Smith Stability on Dirty Surface

If the dry surface test served as any indicator, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the sharpener didn’t fare so well on the oil-stained and salt-sprinkled surface. It kept inching itself away from where we set it down. The friction at the sharpening slots didn’t help, either. 

To be fair, most other devices struggle in this test. But the Smith’s Pull-Thru was among the bottom tier of the bracket.