- Performance (50%)6.1/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.2/10
- Design (15%)8.1/10
The KitchenIQ is a sturdy, compact, and affordable device. It’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer — so to speak — nor will it create one, but it’s still a good choice for those on a budget or looking for a reliable sharpener to use on the go.
Things We Like
- Easy storage
- Affordable price
- Base works on both counter edge and flat surfaces
- Simple, sturdy design
Things We Don’t Like
- Awkward small size
- Long sharpening time
The KitchenIQ 50009 has found itself on many sharpener rating lists, and we also couldn’t help but notice its 50 thousand positive reviews on Amazon. The device is cheap, which is surely one of the reasons, but is there more to it? Naturally, this was one of the first handheld sharpeners we bought to test out.
While we wouldn’t go as far as calling the KitchenIQ phenomenal, our test results at least partially justified its popularity.
PerformanceHow We Tested
- Sharpening Time to Cut Lemon (35%)4.5/10
- Maximum Sharpness Achieved (25%)7.0/10
- Material Retention (25%)6.0/10
- Edge Smoothness (20%)6.5/10
The KitchenIQ offered mediocre results in all our performance tests. Its rather small sharpening elements will sharpen your knives enough that you’ll be able to feel the difference, but not by leaps and bounds. It will shave some metal off your knives and leave you with a smooth edge.
Sharpening Time to Cut Lemon
- Sharpening Time: 2 minutes 53 seconds
- Cutting Feel: Swift and smooth
On average, the KitchenIQ took almost 3 minutes to sharpen a knife to the point that it can cut through a big lemon in one single swipe. This isn’t bad for such an affordable device, but we generally expect faster results from handheld sharpeners. Some others take less than half that time to get to the same level. For example, it was 70 seconds for the Smith’s, and 80 seconds for the SunrisePro.
Maximum Sharpness Achieved
- Sharpening Time: 6 minutes
- Sharpness Level: 6
The test knife reached lemon-cutting capability after about 3 minutes of sharpening with the KitchenIQ. That’s as far as it went; even an additional 3 minutes didn’t improve its sharpness rating further.
Tougher foods will require more swipes/effort, but at this level, it’s capable of most cutting tasks, save for perhaps precision cutting and thin slicing.
We conducted this test several times over the span of months and used the device in our kitchen throughout that time. The results were consistent, so at least we can conclude that its abrasives will take a long time to wear down.
- Sharpening Time: 1 minute
Since its tungsten carbide blades do most of the sharpening, the KitchenIQ peels off more steel from the blade than do most other multi-stage sharpeners. It produces more dust than coarse swarf, suggesting that it acts more like a gentle grinder rather than a serious peeler. This suspicion is confirmed by the relatively fine edges it creates. This was true even when we deliberately applied more force while pulling the knife through.
Unfortunately, the extra pressure didn’t help much with improving the knife’s sharpness.
The KitchenIQ produces a rather smooth edge with no major chips or burrs. The primary edge looks narrow, with visible horizontal grooves and tiny metal grains and fragments. The ceramic rods seem to do their job of refining the edge, making for better results compared to the Smith’s or SunrisePro.
DesignHow We Rated
- Build Quality (75%)8.7/10
- Grip (25%)6.5/10
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.
In the Box
- The KitchenIQ 50009 edge grip knife sharpener
The device comes in a simple clamshell package. It has four color options. Interestingly, each color is sold at a different price, though they’re all affordable.
Weight & Dimensions
- Length:3.7" (9.4 cm)
- Width:2.0" (5.1 cm)
- Height:1.8" (4.6 cm)
- Weight:2.1 lbs (1.0 kg)
The KitchenIQ deserves a shoutout for its excellent build quality despite its cheap price. The whole sharpener is solid and sturdy. Its parts all fit together seamlessly, leaving no unexpected gaps. We actually dropped it from our countertop a couple times, and it took it well. Even afterward, we didn’t observe any rattling or loose components.
The silicone grip cover was nice to the touch and comfortable to hold throughout the sharpening session.
We really like the feel of the grip — it’s soft but offers good friction. It has an ergonomic shape and is connected directly to the base, thus offering great stability. Its tiny size, however, feels awkward in even smaller hands. Users with large hands will have problems finding a safe place for their fingers.
- Levels of Sharpening:Coarse, Fine
- Abrasive:Tungsten carbide blades, ceramic rods
- Mechanism:Pull through
- Sharpening Angle:20 degrees
The KitchenIQ offers two levels of sharpening. While the slots themselves are more or less the same size as those on other devices, the whole working section is rather small and doesn’t work well with larger and thicker knives.
- Feet Type:Edge gripper
Not only is the layout of its working section different from most other devices, the KitchenIQ’s base is special too. It’s a thick silicone pad that covers the grip and extends all the way to the base, creating lots of friction with any flat surface. The cutout in the middle of the base forms an edge grip, allowing you to attach it to the countertop or table edge (as long as that edge is 90 degrees).
Ease of UseHow We Rated
- Slot Arrangement (10%)7.0/10
- Insertion (20%)7.0/10
- Pulling Through (10%)7.0/10
- Stability on a Clean Surface (40%)10/10
- Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface (20%)7.0/10
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.
The KitchenIQ employs a different slot layout than most others of its type: The coarse slot is placed further from the grip than the fine one. If you’ve used other pull-through sharpeners before, this layout will take some time to get used to. Otherwise, it’s not a problem: The slot names (Coarse and Fine) are printed on both sides of the working section, so pay a little attention and you’ll do it right. This also makes the device south-paw friendly.
You may notice that the tungsten blades in the Coarse slot have distinct corners that protrude from the plastic frame. If you use too much force or are too fast with insertion, your delicate knife edge may end up raking across one of those surfaces and risk chipping or deforming.
Also, the tiny size of the KitchenIQ means the slots are jammed together and are very close to the grip. There’s a real danger of cutting yourself if you’re not mindful while sharpening your knives.
All that being said, insertion was not challenging. We measured the actual openings and found to our surprise that they’re some of the widest among all the devices we tested (6mm).
The KitchenIQ’s sturdy working section and strong base allows for steady operation. Pulling through was effortless, though it’s easy to cut into the plastic frame underneath the sharpening panels if you go too fast.
We noticed that the ‘brace’ is rather loose on this device — the sharpening rods don’t seem to grip to the blade very tightly. This contributes to the rather mediocre sharpening performance.
Stability on a Clean Surface
With a grip and base made from one solid piece of tough silicone, the KitchenIQ stood perfectly still on a clean countertop as we pulled a knife through it. It has a low center of gravity, so regardless of the force used, the device didn’t wobble one bit.
We tried it on the countertop edge, too, which it’s designed to work on, and were happy with how well it gripped the edge.
Stability on a Wet and Dirty Surface
Like most other devices, the KitchenIQ’s silicone base couldn’t keep it in place on a dirty countertop. To its credit, the device slid but did not shake or wobble like the taller units we tested. Still, given how its grip is so close to the sharpening slots, you run the risk of cutting yourself if things slip.
The same was observed on a wet and slippery edge: no wobbling, but the silicone foot doesn’t help much in keeping it from gliding along the edge.