- Performance (50%)6.0/10
- Design (15%)7.8/10
- Ease of Use (35%)7.5/10
- Performance (50%)8.1/10
- Design (15%)6.8/10
- Ease of Use (35%)7.5/10
The Smith’s 50264 and the Wamery make an interesting contrast: The former sacrifices the knife edge lifespan for excellent sharpness, whereas the latter leaves the edge safe and smooth, but mostly incapable.
While the Wamery has an extra slot for scissors, the Smith’s can cover more edge angles, and thus, more types of knives. Both have an elevated working section that make them prone to wobbling during sharpening, though the Smith’s more so due to its long and narrow base.
If we had to choose one between the two, we’d go with the Smith’s because well, it gives you sharp knives. The Wamery’s wide base and scissor slot simply can’t make up for its incompetence.
- 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
- Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon (35%)9.2/10
- Maximum Sharpness Achieved (20%)6.0/10
- Edge Smoothness (20%)7.3/10
- Material Retention (25%)9.0/10
Sharpening Time to Cut a Lemon
- 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 10 seconds
- Cutting Feel: Light and smooth
For this test, we blunted a knife with sandpaper and ran it through the Wamery. It took 70 seconds for the knife to get to the sharpness level where it can halve a lemon in one go. This effectively places the Wamery among the top group of sharpeners in terms of speed.
However, the results had not always been so satisfactory. The Wamery took significantly longer (almost 10 minutes) in our previous attempts to restore the knife’s sharpness. We found that sharpening with the knife tip pointing slightly downward helped.
Maximum Sharpness Achieved
- 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: 7 (ripe tomatoes, 1 swipe)
As fast as it was to bring the knife to the lemon-cutting level, it didn’t go very far after that. The knife only reached Sharpness Level 7 after 6 minutes of sharpening.
You may struggle a bit with precision cutting and thin slicing, but at this level, your knife’s good for most other food prep tasks.
- 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!
- Sharpening Time: 1 minute
- Target Sharpness:
The coarse stage does take its toll on the knife’s edge, but the metal swarf that we collected after sharpening was rather minimal.
Among the handheld sharpeners we put to the test, this is among the ones that yielded the smallest amount of metal residue.
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.
When put under the examination of our magnifying lens, the knife’s edge looked straight. There are tiny shavings alongside and the grooves are noticeable but evenly distributed along the edge. This suggests that the honing stages did do their job, though not meticulously, to smoothen the edge.
- Build Quality (75%)8.2/10
- Grip (25%)6.5/10
- Build Quality (75%)6.6/10
- Grip (25%)7.5/10
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.
- Wamery 4-slot pull through sharpener
The sharpener comes in a cardboard package with the instruction manual printed on the back. All additional information (return address & warranty policy) can be found on the official website.
- Length:10.5" (26.7 cm)
- Width:1.3" (3.3 cm)
- Height:2.9" (7.4 cm)
- Weight:8.8 oz (250 g)
- Length:9.1" (23.1 cm)
- Width:2.3" (5.8 cm)
- Height:3.3" (8.4 cm)
- Weight:8.9 oz (252 g)
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.
The build of the Wamery suggests everything but top-notch craftsmanship. The sharpener is bulky but hollow and rackety. Its abrasives are a hit or miss and seem to wear out more quickly than the other devices we’ve tested. While it does look cute, the sharpener isn’t meant or built to last.
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.
The handle is spacious, which is a good thing with these sharpeners as you don’t want your gripping hand too close to where the blade goes. That being said, we think Wamery can cut back on the height while widening the base of the handle to improve balance.
The top part of the grip is covered in a soft, comfortable rubber padding, while the sides and underneath weren’t graced with the same material.
- 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.
- Levels of Sharpening:Coarse, medium, fine
- Abrasive:Tungsten carbide blades, diamond rods, ceramic rods
- Sharpening Angle:Not mentioned
The Wamery’s working section features a slot for shears and scissors and three for kitchen knives. For knives, you start on the tungsten carbide blades, then proceed to the diamond coated rods and ceramic rods. Without a ‘prep’ slot, we’d expected the sharpener to be harsh on the knife edge; however, that wasn’t the case.
While Wamery claims that the sharpener was designed for a wide variety of knives, it failed to mention the slots’ exact angle. We tried to reach out to the brand but so far have received no response. Certain knives have unconventional sharpening angles, so putting all of them through the same slots doesn’t seem like a good idea.
- 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.
- Material:Synthetic silicone
- Feet Type:Slip-proof padding x 2
The Wamery has a wide base, which partly makes up for its excessive height to maintain its balance. The pads underneath are soft and thin, and look cheaply made, but they do well enough to prevent the sharpener from slipping across the countertop during sharpening.
Ease of Use
- 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
- Slot Arrangement (10%)9.0/10
- Insertion (20%)8.0/10
- Pulling Through (10%)6.0/10
- Stability on Clean Surface (40%)7.5/10
- Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (20%)7.0/10
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.
The Wamery has four slots, marked with numbers from 1 to 4 embossed on its stainless steel casing. Slot 1 is reserved for shears and scissors, while the rest sharpens kitchen knives.
The knife slots progress rightward with increasing grit fineness, so it’s natural to follow through with the intended order. Our only complaint is with the lack of adequate space between the slots.
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.
During the course of our experiment, there were times when the blade wouldn’t position itself properly in the slots. When you look at the size of the entire sharpener, Wamery has been rather economical with its abrasives slots. They were a little too shallow and narrow to accommodate the entire blade’s length comfortably.
To avoid mishaps, we had to take things slowly and re-calibrate our aim before drawing the knife through the slot. But other than that, we proceeded as normal without much to complain about.
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.
The sharpening rods were solid and secure. However, the knife glided through the slots, especially the tungsten bars, at times without the slightest hint of resistance. That, of course, means the abrasives haven’t got in adequate contact with the edge to sharpen it.
A trick we learned after multiple failures is to sharpen with the tip of the knife pointing about 20 degrees downward. Then, a frictious brace can be felt as you pull the knife through. This doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it helped enough to sharpen the knife within a reasonable time frame.
Note that the knife will cut into the plastic frame on both sides when applying this trick, but that’s better than the abrasives not working.
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.
Sharpeners with an elevated design are prone to rocking back and forth, even with reinforced pressure on the handle. However, the Wamery’s underside spreads over a wide surface area, which allows it to stand this test despite its rather flimsy anti-slip pads.
Stability on a Wet and 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.
When placed on the slippery countertop, the sharpener managed to hold itself quite well. However, be advised that there was only so much that the slip-proof pads could do. Every once in a while, the sharpener inched back and forth, albeit that was something to be expected.