Smith's 50264 Adjustable vs. PriorityChef 2-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
Smiths Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener Review
Priority Chef Manual Knife Sharpener Review
Knife Sharpener type
manual
manual
Power
0W
0W

Our Verdict

6.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Design (15%)
    7.8/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    7.5/10
8.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    8.7/10
  • Design (15%)
    7.8/10
  • Ease of Use (35%)
    8.2/10

The Smith's 50264 is an example of a product that looks better than it can perform. The PriorityChef is a mirror opposite.

The Smith's 50264 comes with an adjustable edge angle, which in theory should allow you to find a balance between sharpness and edge retention. In practice, however, its abrasive blades did sharpen quickly and effectively, but the flexibility resulted in a rough, wavy knife edge. The device’s long and narrow base means you have to exert force to keep it balanced during sharpening.

The PriorityChef, on the other hand, has a rather plain design, but its low center of gravity and wide base offer good balance and stability. Its abrasive discs can quickly produce a sharp and smooth edge without the excessive removal of knife material. It’s the better choice, both in efficiency and design.

Performance

 Performance
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
8.7
Performance Scores
  • Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)
    8.8/10
  • Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)
    8.0/10
  • Edge Smoothness (20%)
    7.5/10
  • Material Retention (25%)
    10/10
8.0

Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon

8.8
  • 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.

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

Our blunt test knife emerged sharp and keen after 75 seconds of sharpening with the Priority Chef. In fact, it was sharp enough to slice through a lemon in one go after just 60 seconds on the Coarse stage; the extra 15 seconds served only to refine the edge and, consequently, the cut.

Your mileage may vary depending on the conditions of your knives and the hardness of their steel. However, in most cases, you won’t need more than 30 seconds to rejuvenate a dull knife to a serviceable level.

8.0

Maximum Sharpness Achieved

8.0
  • 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.

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

Even after 6 minutes, our test knife needed two, sometimes three rather heavy swipes to cut through beef tendon. It had no trouble with chicken breast with runny skin and fat, though. Ripe tomatoes, similarly, were a piece of cake.

Since our Control knife was at sharpness Level 8 when brand new, we could say the Priority Chef sharpener can bring it back to factory sharpness after 6 minutes. Of course, you may see different results with knives that are made of particularly hard steel.

3.0

Material Retention

 Material Retention
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!

Priority Chef Material Retention
Priority Chef Material Retention 1
  • Sharpening Time: 1 minute
  • Target Sharpness:

For the speed and level of sharpness it can achieve, we were impressed by how little material the Priority Chef removed from the knife after one minute of sharpening. The only debris was dust and tiny chips rather than long curls of swarf, like some others. The device seems to only shave off what’s really necessary to make the edge sharp.

4.5

Edge Smoothness

7.5
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.

Priority Chef Edge Smoothness

Unlike the V-shaped abrasive blades found on most other pull-through devices, the Priority Chef’s abrasive discs create short, nearly vertical grooves along the edge — and the ceramic fine stage didn’t do much to refine them. We also detected chips and burrs — albeit very small ones — where the edge is narrowest. That suggested that the sharpening discs do not directly contact that part.

That being said, the Priority Chef still created a much finer edge than did its other disc-based cousin, the Chef’s Choice 4643. The Chef’s Choice created a secondary edge, but it left the primary edge completely untouched.

Design

7.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    8.2/10
  • Grip (25%)
    6.5/10
7.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (75%)
    7.9/10
  • Grip (25%)
    7.5/10

In the Box

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.

Priority Chef In the Box
Priority Chef In the Box 1
  • The Priority Chef manual sharpener
  • Instruction manual
  • Promotional leaflet 

The Priority Chef comes in a colorful cardboard box. The package also includes instructions on how to sharpen with the device, plus care and storage tips.

Dimensions

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)

Priority Chef Dimensions
  • Length:
    7.9" (20.1 cm)
  • Width:
    2.4" (6.1 cm)
  • Height:
    2.6" (6.6 cm)
  • Weight:
    8.3 oz (234 g)

8.2

Build Quality

7.9
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.

Priority Chef Build Quality
Priority Chef Build Quality 1

The Priority Chef has a minimalist design with stainless steel and ABS plastic parts. Although more oriented toward functionality than aesthetics, the components fit together well and sport pleasant finishes. The only complaint we have is with the base pad that’s made of a low-quality material and doesn’t fit snugly into the stainless steel frame.

6.5

Grip

7.5
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.

Priority Chef Grip
  • Material:
    Stainless steel

Unlike most other devices, the grip of the Priority Chef is basically a pipe that’s attached to the device via a plastic framework. The stainless steel is easy to clean but can be cold to the touch and feel slippery if your hand is wet or greasy. Other than that, we couldn’t find a problem with it. The low center of gravity really helps, so we never had to employ excessive force to keep the device in place.

Working Section

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.

Priority Chef Working Section
  • Levels of Sharpening:
    Sharpen, Hone
  • Abrasive:
    Diamond-coated coarse disc, ceramic honing disc
  • Mechanism:
    Pull through
  • Sharpening Angle:
    17 degrees

The Priority Chef sharpener has a simple working section with one diamond-coated disc and one ceramic disc for sharpening and honing your knives, respectively. Each is labeled below the slot on either side — it’s equally simple whether you’re left- or right-handed.

Base

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.

Priority Chef Base
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Feet Type:
    Sponge pad

While we love that it’s low and wide, the base is actually the Priority Chef’s least effective component. It’s a stainless steel plate housing a sponge-like pad that feels cheap and is prone to tearing. The pad adds almost no weight or friction, and we suspect that it will come apart long before anything else.

Ease of Use

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
8.2
usability Scores
  • Slot Arrangement (20%)
    10/10
  • Insertion (20%)
    7.0/10
  • Pulling Through (10%)
    8.5/10
  • Stability on a Clean Surface (40%)
    8.0/10
  • Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (10%)
    7.0/10
7.0

Slot Arrangement

10
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.

Priority Chef Slot Arrangement

The device has only two progressive slots. Their relative coarseness is embossed right underneath on both sides of the working section. That eliminates any guesswork or confusion during sharpening. Both work at the same bevel angle and are not adjustable, so the Priority Chef may not be right for all your knives.

10

Insertion

7.0
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.

Priority Chef Insertion

The Priority Chef has some of the narrowest slot openings among the devices we’ve tested. While this may help keep the blade aligned, it does make inserting the knife a little stressful. 

Luckily, with a large grip and a raised plastic frame, you’re unlikely to cut your supporting hand.

7.5

Pulling Through

8.5
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.

Priority Chef Pulling Through

Our test knives slid through the Priority Chef with ease every single time: Both sharpening discs offer a firm and steady brace. The knife tip does cut into the U-shape frame from time to time, but because you don’t have to push downwards while pulling through, the contact is mild and should not affect the knife edge.

7.0

Stability on Clean Surface

Stability on a Clean Surface
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.

Priority Chef Stability on a Clean Surface

With a low center of gravity and a full padded baseplate, the Priority Chef is well-balanced. Its anti-slip pad doesn’t exactly measure up to the name, but as long as you can maintain a relaxed grip, the device will stay in place. It may sound counterintuitive, but too much force on the grip will only make the sharpener slip more often.

6.0

Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

7.0
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.

Priority Chef Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface

While the ‘anti-slip’ pad was barely effective on a spotless countertop, it was useless on one with oil and salt on it. That being said, the sharpening session was still manageable thanks to the unit’s generous footprint and modest height. Again, it seems to fare better when your grip is not too tight.