Other than the inadequate size, there’s nothing to complain about in the design of the KitchenIQ. The device is symmetrical, sturdy, and has a decent fit and finish. It’s smart, simple, versatile, and highly function-oriented.
The Smith’s Pull Thru sharpener is made with decent materials and enjoys a nice fit and finish. Unfortunately, it suffers from poor design, in particular an elevated working section and a long and narrow base.
With only two sharpening slots and a basic design, it doesn’t require a high IQ to understand how the KitchenIQ works. The device’s small size may, however, mean you have to pay extra attention every time you use it or risk hurting yourself by misplacing the knife.
On the whole, the Smith’s Pull-Thru was one of the most versatile and convenient handheld sharpeners we’d experimented with so far. However, it was due to two major flaws that some points were docked away: the odd sharpening order and the feeling of unsteadiness.
The KitchenIQ failed the speed test and offered mediocre results in all other performance tests. Its rather small sharpening elements will sharpen your knives enough that you’ll be able to feel the difference, but not significantly. It will shave a lot of metal off your knives and leave a barely passable edge.
The Smith’s Pull-Thru pulled off good grades when it came to sharpening time and maximal keenness. However, it failed to replicate the same success for other aspects.
Pros & Cons
- Easy storage
- Affordable price
- Base works on both counter edge and flat surfaces
- Simple, sturdy design
- Angle-adjustable sharpening
- Sharpening slot for serrated blades included
- Wide slot inserts
- Replaceable abrasives (sold separately)
- Awkward small size
- Long sharpening time
- Shears off a considerable amount of metal
- Awkward slot structure
- Long, narrow base
The Smith’s would be our pick over the KitchenIQ because it’s faster and more effective. Of course that’s not to say the KitchenIQ is without its own advantages.
The problem with the Smith’s is its instability in the working section, which results in a wavy knife edge. Its long thin body means you have to strain more to keep it in place, too.
The KitchenIQ, while being much smaller, feels much more solid and stable. It’s also gentler on the knife edge, though admittedly that doesn’t mean so much as it doesn’t really sharpen to the degree the Smith’s does.
Behind the Comparison
Anh Ngo is a writer with 9 years experience at different media outlets, covering from public news and events to product testing and analysis. At HealthyKitchen101, she works across different departments, communicating closely with its network of writers, editors, and health, tech, and search engine experts to provide a meaningful and pleasant reading experience for visitors.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.