Do you have a dull Knife?
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Knives Sharpening and Honing tools in the market
- 2 Choosing the Best knife Sharpener for YOU!
There are three things you can use to make a knife “sharp”; sharpen using a Stone, Hone or Strop. Stone Sharpening is the process of actively removing material from the blade, creating a brand new razor-sharp beveled edge. Honing is realigning the edge of the blade; stropping is fine sharpening the blade with a leather material without removing any metal material thereby producing a very sharp edge. Stropping maximizes the amount of contact the edge has with the object being cut. The three are done for durability and precision, but to most knife users one substitutes all the rest summing it as Knife Sharpening systems.
People would not bother with Knife sharpeners if the knives could stay sharp from the moment they are bought. However, due to their function, the knives do fray, and they require sharpening. This is the reason why you need to know what the best knife sharpeners available are today.
You may have heard someone once say “There is this ragged man that pedals around my neighborhood once in a while with a bike that has a grinding stone attached. He goes house to house sharpening knives. He is actually very good and charges peanuts. I wish he would come more often”. You would think that he must be lucky to live in such a neighborhood in the 20th century.
The following is a short guide on the types of knife sharpeners that are available on the market today, and how they are used.
Types of Knives Sharpening and Honing tools in the market
- Sharpening stone.
- Sharpening Steel.
- Pull-Through Sharpeners or Manual Knife Sharpeners
- Electric Knife sharpener.
- Knife Sharpening Systems.
Sharpening stones are rectangular blocks of stones that are ideally an inch thick and are made from materials like ceramic, diamond or natural sharpening stones. This tool has been used since time immemorial and is found in most homes to date because it can also be used to sharpen scissors, razors and other tools with big blades that need sharpening. A sharpening stone is used for dull knives because it removes a lot of material that ages the knife pretty fast. It needs skill and practice to produce the desired result. The big brands in the sharpening stone market are Smith , DMT and Norton. We will be listing the 10 best sharpening stones in the market. We looks into these products in a customers perspective. That is why only Top rated Sharpening stones are grabbed its place in this table.
This is a long, narrow rod made out of steel or ceramic, mostly used to hone a knife blade since it does not shave off much material. It is, therefore, not good for sharpening a dull knife; it needs someone to be very careful with the angle. If care is not taken, the knife will end up with a deformed blade, instead of a sharpened one. You can safely say this requires a lot of technique to get it just right. It is a good knife sharpener for Pocket and Survival knives though.
There are many good brands making sharpening steels. To let every good brand feature a product, we haven’t picked up two products from the same company in the below table.
Pull-Thru Sharpeners or Manual Knife sharpeners
These come in different shapes that can be used horizontally or vertically, without requiring much effort. You pull the knife through the Sharpener to straighten the burrs along the knife to give is a sharp, consistent edge. This tool works best on kitchen knives, but also works well when sharpening pocket knives.
We have enlisted only two sharpeners from each reputed brands in the below table so as to feature all good manufacturers.
Electric Knife Sharpeners
The best kitchen knife sharpener in the market for kitchen knives we believe is the Electric knife sharpener. This mostly comes in the shape of a box that sits on your kitchen counter with one to three slots where a motorized wheel spins and grinds the edge of the knife to bring a sharp edge to the knife. Electric Knife sharpeners are both fast and effective for the person who wants the knife sharp, fast, but are less effective with tactical knives which require more control over the process.
The key players in the Electric Knife sharpener industry are Chef’s choice, Presto, Kitchen IQ and Wusthof. Chef’s choice has the most variety of Electric sharpeners. We have listed no more than two sharpeners from the same brand.
Knife Sharpening Systems
Apart from the traditional knife sharpeners, there are knife sharpening systems which make the task of sharpening knives at home into a walk in the park. Traditional knife sharpeners, such as stones, require you to have some experience in sharpening knives. However, when you use sharpening systems, they do it all for you; all you have to do is place the knife in the system, tweak the settings and the rest is taken care of. Knife sharpening systems have a number of inbuilt settings and the most common are:
- Sharpening angles – Knife sharpeners come with different settings for the angle; different angles produce different results. If you want to sharpen a knife, so that it has a razor edge, then you will use a 17 degree angle. 20 degrees is best for fillet knives and meat cutting knives; 25 degrees for hunting knives and other outdoor knives which should have a durable cutting edge which will not become dull quickly. 30 degrees is best for knives that are used for heavy duty tasks, such as cutting cardboards, carpets and even wires.
- The types of hones – The type of hones, determined by the grit factor, will also determine how a knife will be sharpened. The higher the grit factor, the finer the honing will be. You should select the hone, depending on the kind of knife that you are sharpening; the finer hone is for sharpening delicate blades.
Knife sharpening systems have inbuilt safety features that ensure that you do not get injured when you are sharpening your knives. They include finger-grooved safety holders which ensure that your hand is not in proximity of the sharpening tools. The system components are stored in plastic holders so as to ensure that there is no damage. They also come with clear instructions on how to use them, in several languages, ensuring safe use of the systems.
Knife sharpening systems have revolutionized how people sharpen their knives at home. Chefs will also use these to ensure that their knives are steadily and uniformly sharpened. Some systems are even able to sharpen grooved edges, something that is very difficult using the manual techniques. With these systems, you can be sure of precision, which will give a better edge to your knives. Some systems replace the stone, with a component that has diamond powder on the surface which ensures that you can sharpen ceramic knives; ceramic knives cannot be sharpened by a stone since they will wear out the stone very fast, without getting sharpened at all.
The below table features best knife sharpening systems from reputed brands
Choosing the best knife sharpener is more complicated than it looks. Not every knife responds the same to different sharpening techniques, and thus this shall serve the purpose of a knife sharpening guide to help you stop wasting time.
Choosing the Best knife Sharpener for YOU!
Whether manual sharpener or electric sharpener, each type comes with its pros and cons. Manual knife sharpeners need skill and practice to master the art. Manual knife sharpeners are affordable, give you more control on the sharpening process and also use less storage space. They go for less than 10$, and fancier models go for about 40$.
The Diamond Knife Sharpeners are currently the chefs’ darling in comparison to the ceramic knife sharpeners like Japanese Professional Knife Sharpening Stone . Unfortunately, what you save on cash, will serve to waste time when sharpening knives. In today’s world, time is a precious commodity, and any serious cook will not want to waste it. For example, a chef who needs 20 dishes prepared in one day, a mum who has to have dinner ready before everyone comes home and make a mess out of her kitchen, both don’t have the pleasure of sharpening a knife for a whole 30 minutes.
Electric knife sharpeners are the best way to go. They really do not provide much control over the process and need a big storage space, but you can be sure those two are the least of a kitchen’s problems. Electric knife sharpeners are fast and efficient. They are easy to use, and anyone with no prior knowledge of Knife sharpening can learn in minutes. For this machine that makes your work easier you will have to cough triple or more than the manual knife sharpener. They range between 50$ and 200$.
Knife Sharpener Reviews
We came up with 3 criteria to compare and review the Knife Sharpeners that will help you with making the decision of the best Knife Sharpener for you.
- Ratings from Amazon
Best Kitchen Knife Sharpener Reviews
Most kitchen knife sharpeners are considered for their ease of use since kitchen knives are mostly used for their basic purpose of cutting, slicing or applying a coating. Performance is top if you are a Chef but for the usual home kitchen use price is most considered. A balance between Performance and Ease, leaning a little on the Price gives us the best choice to the best kitchen knife sharpener.
The KitchenIQ Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener is an ultra cheap,lightweight, easy to use portable manual knife sharpener. Carbide blades and ceramic rods in this pull through sharpener boast pre-set sharpening angles that can provide proper sharpening angles Carbide blades (Coarse mode) are used for edge setting capabilities, and the ceramic rods (Fine mode) provide final edge honing. Two stages of sharpening makes even a very dull or damaged knife to a razor sharp one. For proper comfort and steadiness while sharpening this KitchenIQ sharpener comes with a soft grip rubber handle. To note that this sharpener only works on straight blades not on serrated ones.
The chef’s choice 320 diamond hone sharpener is a multistage electric knife sharpener. It is safe for high quality knives. This sharpener can restore 20 degree edge on European- American style knives and 15 degree edge on Asian style knives. The sharpener is easy to use on serrated and fine edge knives and can be used to sharpen variety of knives whether it be sports knives, pocket knives or even Japanese style knives. Its two stage sharpening produces durable long lasting edges. The first stage provide 100% diamond honing where as the second stage focus on polishing and stropping the edge. Serrated blades have to under go only polishing stage where as fine edge blade should go through both the stages. The Chef choice 320 also comes up with two year warranty against defects as well.
Presto 08800 Eversharp Knife sharpener is a cheap yet highly rated electric knife sharpener that can produce razor sharp edges on your non serrated blades. The sharpener uses two stages for easy and quick sharpening. Stage one features creating a precisely angled edge and then honed on the second stage. This sharpener is suitable for sharpening knives made by made of alloy, carbon, or stainless steel. Presto 00880 EverSharp electric knife sharpener comes with a two year warranty against defects.
Chef’sChoice 1520 AngleSelect is high end yet very loved expensive Electric knife sharpener. It is a versatile knife sharpener that can be used on Asian, European and American style knives. This 3 stage knife sharpener can be used for serrated, straight, single, and double-bevel knives. It uses high end engineering to provide razor sharp edges on all kinds of blades. It boasts 100% diamond abrasives and patented flexible stropping polishing discs. Chef’sChoice 1520 AngleSelect comes with 2 year warranty against defects as well.
Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System comes with five sharpening hones of different coarseness and works great on kitchen, outdoor, hobby, or garden knives. It includes coarse, extra-coarse, medium, extra-fine ceramic hones and fine alumina oxide compared to low price standard model of Lansky sharpening system. It can provide adjustable angle sharpening with 17-, 20-, 25-, and 30-degree angle options. The system comes with with a knife clamp, knife clamp screws, a carrying case, honing oil, guide rods, and helpful instructions.
Work Sharp has partnered with knife maker Ken Onion to develop this knife and tool sharpening system with expanded features for easy ,fast to sharpen all your knives and tools with precision. It can sharpen straight bladed knives, serrated knives, kitchen knives, scissors and any other shape or type of blade . This high end, expensive, compact and portable manual knife sharpening system provides accurate, repeatable and quick sharpening results.
The ability to estimate 15/20 degrees so as to manually sharpen your knife is highly limited to most humans. The electric knife sharpener thus wins the race by being an effective knife sharpener for kitchen and also easy to use but a little pricy.
Best Survival and Pocket Knife sharpener Reviews
Pocket and Survival Knives are treasured thus need careful consideration of the Sharpener you need to pick. When thinking about the Best survival Knife sharpener or best pocket knife sharpener you should consider performance in terms of how effective the blade is sharpened. The best one will not chip off the blade too fast because it needs to last long. You should also consider how precise the sharpening process will be; every knife needs a certain amount of sharpness in order to be effective. Owners of these knives love to feel the process of sharpening the knives, and will sit on a rock and engage in this ritualistic task. This is the reason why most of them will prefer using manual knife sharpeners for their hunting and pocket knives.
The Lansky Blademedic Knife Sharpener is an ultra cheap, portable knife sharpener that can sharpen all kind of outdoor knives whether it be Regular or Serrated Blades, Hunting, Fishing or Pocket knives. This pocket portable knife sharpener boasts 4 different sharpening features. Tungsten Carbide will restore your blade in 3 or 4 strokes,Ceramic Sharpening Rods will Polish the blade to a finished edge in four to five strokes, Serrated Knife Sharpener get inside even the smallest serrations to sharpen your serrated blades and Diamond Tapered Rod at the bottom helps in fast reconditioning and maintenance.
Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener is also a cheap, portable yet highly rated knife sharpener that is ideal for whoever want to ensure their blades have the sharpest edge wherever they roam. The Pocket Pal sharpener boasts a fold out, tapered round diamond-coated rod for sharpening serrated and fine edge blades, pre-set carbide blades- than can quickly restore a dull or damaged edge, and specially shaped ceramic stones for razor sharp finish. For extended life of Smith’s Pocket Pal, its ceramic stones and carbide blades can be replaced and reversed.
Word of caution: This sharpener found its place here only because of it is high performance/price. If you want a real, long lasting sharpeners for your heavy blades look for other models in this list.
Smith’s 50264 Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener offers a fixed-angle slot for sharpening serrated edge blades and Coarse and Fine stages of sharpening for all types of straight edge knives. This highly rated, cheap pull through sharpener features easy adjust knob for sharpening at a wide range of angles spanning from 14 -Degrees per side to 24-Degrees per side. Smiths 50264 comes with soft grip handle, non-slip rubber feet for comfortable grip and can give a very quick sharpening to your dull or damaged blades
Gerber 31-001270 Bear Grylls Field Sharpener is a portable, pocket sized cheap manual sharpener that features Coarse carbide and fine ceramic for sharpening fine edged blades and two rod shaped diamond-coated sharpeners for serrated blades. The sharpener comes encased in hard plastic cover and features a handle made of grippy rubber for secure and comfortable holding.
Some Tips for our Readers
- It is recommended that you use a good Knife sharpener, first, and then finish it with steel. It makes the knives stay nice and sharp. Using traditional sharpening requires skill and practice. When sharpening a knife, the steel does not sharpen; the whole process sharpens the edge by unfolding it. However, this straightened edge is weak and quickly folds again. Soon enough this edge breaks off or folds back so tightly that it can’t be straightened with a steel sharpener and eventually has to be reshaped.
- A diamond knife sharpening stone is specifically for ceramics; alternatively you can use a silicon carbide sharpening stone. They are more affordable and they are the next best thing to taking it to a professional knife sharpener.
Concluding the Knife Sharpener Madness
Knife sharpeners are tools that have been used ever since the Stone Age, when knives were carved out of bare rock. They are a necessity if you want to have an easy time when carrying out tasks that require a sharp knife. Whether you are cutting up some beef in the kitchen, or you are laying out some knives for a dinner party, you have to make sure that they perform their tasks as they should. In other words, the knives have to have the requisite edge for the task. You would not want to try and cut a piece of steak, with a knife that has an edge suitable to a butter knife.
Now that you’ve read the article tell me how do you find the right knife sharpener? Feel like we’ve missed some great knife sharpener or have some question?. Drop a comment and let us Know
(PS: First 6 Images are the properties of Smith Edge. Checkout their entire sharpening products on Amazon )