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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
- Angle-adjustable sharpening
- Sharpening slot for serrated blades included
- Wide slot inserts
- Replaceable abrasives (sold separately)
- Substantial weight
- Sharpens both Asian and standard knives
- Strong build, high-quality body material
- Slot cover
- Beautiful design
- Shears off a considerable amount of metal
- Awkward slot structure
- Long, narrow base
- Brittle sharpening blades
- Anti-slip pad doesn’t fully cover the base
- Awkward grip
The Smith's 50264 3-stage and the Zwilling 4-stage sharpeners have a lot in common. Both sharpen in more than one edge angle, and both have a thin, narrow body. But their sharpening performances are far from similar.
The Smith's 50264 gets the job done quickly—it’s one of the fastest we’ve tested to date. On the other hand, it eats away the knife blade and due to the flexibility of the working section, creates a rough, wavy edge.
The Zwilling designates separate slots for each grind angle, and enjoys more stability as a result. It removes less knife material and produces a much straighter and smoother edge. However, it couldn’t sharpen to the same level that the Smith’s could. It’s also among the slowest to produce results.
Between the two, the Smith’s is the more effective,but there are other devices that offer a more well-rounded sharpening experience—check our rating table to find one that works 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.