Electric knife sharpeners are helpful and convenient tools that make quick work of dull blades. These machines can truly come to the rescue when whetstones are too much trouble and manual devices won’t cut it. Of course, there are unique downsides to each device, and it can be a little tricky to pick the right one.
We’ve tested quite a few electric sharpeners. Here, we will share our assessments of their performance and usability to help you choose the best one. We will also discuss the features that make some electrical sharpeners more efficient than others.
- Updated Dec 21, 2022:
Product ratings are updated following new test results for electric knife sharpeners.
How We Test Electric Knife Sharpeners
There are certain things that make for a good electric knife sharpener. Using our own hands-on experience as well as a careful study of customer reviews and discussion forums, we set out a list of criteria for electric sharpeners and designed tests to bring their characteristics to light.
We have a full breakdown of our Test Methodology if you’d like to dig into the nitty gritty. But to cut the long story short, here are some of the most prominent criteria and testing processes.
Performance: Is It Quick to Produce a Sharp, Strong Edge?
Using sandpaper, we blunted a test knife until it could no longer tear through printer paper. Then we sharpened the knife on the electric sharpener until it could cut through a string of raw beef tendon.
With that, we determined the speed of the machine and how much material it removes from the knife. We also rated the quality of the knife edge based on its smoothness, bevel height, and bevel evenness.
Each sharpener also went through a test where we sharpened with it for 25 minutes straight. This helped us determine if the machine is able to handle multiple knives consecutively, which is how people typically use their electric sharpeners.
Safety & Ease of Use: Is It Straightforward to Work With?
We rated how safe each electric knife sharpener appeared based on the levels of noise and heat a machine produced during sharpening as well as its ability to control metal dust. Ease of use was determined based on how easy the machine was to set up and use, how long the warranty lasts, and whether it is possible to find replacement parts online.
Design: What Knife Types Can It Handle?
We took into account the quality of materials and workmanship of each machine. Its versatility — the ability to handle different knife sizes, edge types, and edge angles — was also tested and rated.
The Best Electric Knife Sharpeners in 2023
Here are our picks for the best electric knife sharpeners in 2023, based on our test results.
- Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Electric Sharpener — Best Overall
- Work Sharp Ken Onion — Best for Different Blade Types
- Presto EverSharp Electric Sharpener — Best Value Electric Sharpener
For a quick review for each product, read on. Click on the headings to read detailed reviews and ratings.
1. Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Electric Sharpener — Best Overall
Things We Like
- Strong, solid build, great stability
- Excellent sharpness
- Long operation time without overheating
- Sleek design
- Easy setup and cleanup
- Long warranty (3 years)
Things We Don’t Like
- No grind angle options
- Shaves off a lot of knife material
Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Electric Sharpener Test Results
- Performance (40%)8.0/10
- Design (30%)7.2/10
- Ease of Use (30%)8.7/10
The Chef’s Choice Trizor XV is neither the quickest nor the most versatile electric knife sharpener, but its effectiveness, simple design, and safety features secured it this top spot on our ranking board. If you’re looking to achieve professional sharpness within minutes with minimal effort, it’s the one for you.
This sharpener produced a better edge than any other manual or electric device we tested. That edge isn’t flawless, per se, but it’s sharper and finer than most and the edge height was unbeatable. We could pick out the Trizor’s product from a pile of test knives based on its bevel height alone. Unfortunately, the sharpener shaves off a lot of steel from the knife to achieve this. Ultimately, though, good height correlates with better retention, so the knife will stay sharp for longer and need less sharpening.
The learning curve is almost flat with the Trizor XV. It has a straightforward design that allows you to just flip the switch and go.
Instead of basic slits like on most others, it incorporates spring-loaded angle guides to give your blades a precise and consistent angle each time. The machine is steady and stable—we never experienced stalling and it didn’t push at the blade the way the EdgeKeeper (another diamond-disc electric sharpener) did. It passed our working time test with flying colors.
The Trizor XV won’t overheat and is also excellent at controlling sharpening residue. Its angle guides and the magnetic plate underneath the abrasives do a decent job of corralling metal shavings. That being said, it’s still best to sharpen your knife away from the food prepping area.
The Chef’s Choice does come with its own limitations. It operates at only one rotational speed. Newbies with unsteady hands may be prone to uneven material removal along the knife edge while veterans can’t speed it up for harder knives. In addition, the angle is set at 15 degrees and cannot be adjusted. That works great for most kitchen knives, but not if you’re very particular about your angles and want to maintain the original strength of a cleaver or the delicacy of a filet knife.
The Chef’s Choice Trizor XV is the best electric knife sharpener to buy, and also the best sharpener of any type, if you aim to create sharp, strong knife edges in a hurry so you can focus on the cooking. But if you’re a knife connoisseur, the Work Sharp Ken Onion down below may be a better choice.
2. Work Sharp Ken Onion — Best for Different Blade Types
Things We Like
- It accommodates different edge angles and blade types
- You’re in control of the speed
- It can produce a mirror-like finish
- It works on various tools other than kitchen knives
Things We Don’t Like
- It throws dust into the air
- There’s a learning curve
- It’s tricky to get even bevels
Work Sharp Ken Onion Electric Sharpener Test Results
- Performance (40%)7.4/10
- Design (30%)8.9/10
- Ease of Use (30%)7.3/10
No other electric sharpener is as versatile as the Work Sharp Ken Onion, nor can any other produce as fine an edge. It is also more difficult to use than most but a blade enthusiast will likely consider the results to be worth the extra effort.
The Work Sharp Ken Onion comes in a brawny body with lots of adjustable parts, plus five abrasive belts. You can alternate among the belts for different coarseness levels, customize the edge angle to anywhere between 15 and 30 degrees, and change the belt speed to cater to the type of knife you’re sharpening. It works on big and small kitchen knives, Asian and Western blades, straight and serrated edges, and even things like gutting hooks!
This sharpener also produces a shinier edge than any other electric sharpener. While the edge height is modest, its texture is comparable to that produced by a series of whetstones. The edge reflected light so well we had difficulty taking a photo of it.
Our test knife was a cheap stainless steel knife that began life at sharpness Level 8 on our Practical Sharpness Scale and was destroyed using sandpaper. After sharpening with the Ken Onion, the knife moved up to Level 9 and glided through a thick string of raw beef tendon like butter! You just need to pay attention while sharpening to create even bevels on both sides.
Admittedly, the Ken Onion takes longer than a typical electric sharpener to get there. But compared to whetstones, the Ken Onion is much quicker and requires less skill to produce a mirror-like edge.
With so much customization, you have to do more than switch the machine on to create that nice edge. It will take a few sessions before the process feels natural. Also, while overheating is not an issue, you will need to be cautious about the noise and metal dust. Unlike the Chef’s Choice, you sharpen in the open with the Ken Onion, so the dust goes everywhere. Make sure you wear protective glasses and a mask while working with it.
3. Presto Eversharp Electric Sharpener — Best Value Electric Sharpener
Things We Like
- Quick sharpening
- Good bevel height
- Affordable price
- Simple setup
Things We Don’t Like
- It creates lots of fine dust
Presto Eversharp Electric Sharpener Test Results
- Performance (40%)7.9/10
- Design (30%)6.0/10
- Ease of Use (30%)6.8/10
For those looking for an affordable electric sharpener that offers decent performance, the Presto 08800 Eversharp is a good choice. While it lacks the versatility and sleekness of the other two machines above, it costs one third the price and still does a great job of returning an edge to your kitchen knives.
The Presto Eversharp actually performed better than the other two in our speed test. It restored a dull edge twice as fast as the Work Sharp Ken Onion. We were surprised to see a straight edge with a height comparable to that produced by the Trizor XV.
Admittedly, its coarse stones produced a less refined texture. It required a little more effort to cut through beef tendon. However, that’s still better sharpness than when the knife was brand new.
As basic as its slots look, it’s easy to insert your knife and maintain a consistent grind angle. The sharpening process is effortless. Our tests suggest that as long as you’re not applying excessive pressure, the Presto can run 25 minutes straight without stalling. The machine does get quite hot, but you’re not supposed to hold onto it anyway. It’s steady and doesn’t need stabilizing.
The Presto EverSharp looks as basic as its sub-$50 price tag would suggest. However, we can see quality in both the materials and workmanship. It’s very function-oriented with no shoddy parts or gimmicky details. Ours has continued to run without issues well beyond the warranty period, though admittedly we mostly use it for testing.
Other Electric Sharpeners We’ve Tested
The Narcissus features a robust and attractive build and offers decent performance despite the affordable price. It’s the quietest electric sharpener we’ve tested and also gained a higher score than most in dust control.
Its main shortcoming is in the overheat protection mechanism, which keeps switching the machine off after only a few minutes—barely enough time to sharpen just one knife. Also, its abrasive design keeps it from thoroughly sharpening the whole blade of a smaller knife.
A budget-friendly price and a pretty design are the EdgeKeeper’s main—and unfortunately also its only—strengths. While the edge it produced was sharp enough, the bevel texture was the worst we’ve seen from an electric sharpener. The machine’s exterior is made with low-quality materials and the motor overheats easily (to as high as 157 °F). It lasted only a few weeks and kicked the bucket during our continuous working time test.
How to Use an Electric Sharpener
Most electric knife sharpeners are very simple to use. However, they’re quick and it’s easier to destroy a knife edge with an electric unit than through other methods of sharpening. Also, because they run on electricity, there are some other potential hazards.
Not all electric sharpeners are the same, so we strongly advise you to read the manufacturer-provided instructions on how to use and maintain your specific machine. The manual usually includes tips on sharpening various types of knives and how to get the most out of your device.
For those who are not familiar with the machines, here’s a general guideline on how to sharpen with an electric sharpener.
- Electric sharpeners can produce loud noises and a lot of fine metal dust. Make sure you wear a dust mask, glasses, and earplugs when sharpening. Though they don’t usually get hot enough to cause burns, it’s a good idea to wear gloves anyway; you’re working with sharp blades and electronics, after all.
- These machines can toss metal dust into the air in all directions, so it’s best to do your sharpening far away from food, cookware, or utensils.
- The contact between abrasives and metal blades can occasionally produce sparks. Make sure there are no flammable materials nearby where you’re sharpening. Below is a generalized operating procedure for using an electric sharpener. Because of immense differences in design, the Work Sharp Ken Onion (and any similar belt-operated device) follows a different procedure. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for such sharpeners.
1. Start by thoroughly cleaning your knives. Make sure you remove any residue, dust, oil, or moisture before you start sharpening.
2. Place the electric sharpener on the countertop or table top. Check to make sure it’s facing you in the right direction. Plug it in.
3. Select the right sharpening angle for your knife and adjust the sharpening speed, if applicable.
4. Flip the switch to turn the sharpener on.
5. Select the proper starting slot based on the manufacturer’s suggestions. Usually, you’ll start with the coarse slot if you’re sharpening or use only the fine slots if you’re just honing the knife.
6. Holding the knife handle, insert your knife into the sharpener starting at the heel. Keep its spine parallel to the table surface.
7. Carefully pull the knife blade toward you at 1 inch per second until the whole length of the blade has passed through the slot. Do not apply pressure as you move. Make sure that you keep the blade at the same angle at all times. Afterwards, pull the knife through the slot for the other side of the blade.
Alternate between the two slots about four times. Test the knife edge on a piece of printer paper—if the cut appears too ragged, run the knife through the coarse slots a few more times.
8. Progress to the finer slots with two to three pairs of pulls on each stage.
9. Continue sharpening your other knives as necessary until you finish or you reach the sharpener’s rated working time limit. If necessary, turn the machine off for about 15 minutes to let it cool before continuing the sharpening session.
10. Once you’ve finished sharpening, turn the machine off and unplug it. Using a dry towel, wipe dust off the sharpener before storing it.
11. Wash your knives in soapy water and wipe them dry. Clean the table.
The frequency with which your knives need to be sharpened depends on their use. A blade that’s used often or used to cut very tough materials will need it more often. If you’re a home cook, your knives likely don’t need to meet the sharpener more than once a month.