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 Zwilling sharpener has a robust construction; its frame is made with mostly high-quality materials and has an excellent fit and finish. Its most important components—the sharpening blades—however, seem to be made of the wrong material for the job. The tall, long, but narrow body, meanwhile, makes it more prone to losing balance and stability.
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.
Though the Zwilling’s slot layout is not exactly basic, it’s easy to work with. Blade insertion is safe and simple. However, the actual sharpening process can be a little challenging as the device tends to rock on its narrow base pad.
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 Zwilling isn’t a complete failure: It can sharpen a dead, dull knife to highly serviceable keenness. However, it lost way too many points on speed, which is a critical criterion for convenient sharpeners. Its sharpening blades left a consistent edge, but that doesn’t make up for the excessive amount of material it removed doing so. It reminded us of the Chef’s Choice 4643 in many ways.
Pros & Cons
- Easy storage
- Affordable price
- Base works on both counter edge and flat surfaces
- Simple, sturdy design
- Substantial weight
- Sharpens both Asian and standard knives
- Strong build, high-quality body material
- Slot cover
- Beautiful design
- Awkward small size
- Long sharpening time
- Brittle sharpening blades
- Anti-slip pad doesn’t fully cover the base
- Awkward grip
The KitchenIQ 50009 2-stage and the Zwilling 4-stage manual sharpeners have a lot more in common than their looks and prices may suggest.
Though distinctive in size, the two sharpeners share a strong, solid, sturdy build. Each has unique selling points: The former sports a compact size and an edge-gripping base, while the latter sharpens and hones at two different grind angles.
Unfortunately, neither performed particularly well in our tests. In fact, they were among the slowest and least effective sharpeners. The Zwilling did slightly better in most categories but that didn’t offer much of a consolation, especially considering its high price.
There are plenty of other manual pull-through sharpeners that can do a better job. Check out our rating tables to find the right one for you.
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.