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One of the most important things about knives is that they’re sharp; it’s their whole purpose for existing. So if you own a good sets of blades, it’s only natural that you’ll want to keep it sharp and ready to use at all times, right?
Enter the electric knife sharpener, the automatic alternative to doing it by hand. There are a few pros and cons to electric sharpeners as opposed to manual sharpeners, which we’ll go over below.
What we’ll also be taking a look at is what separates a good electric knife sharpener from a bad one, and take a quick look at what some of my favorite examples of the tool are.
Here are the best electric knife sharpeners you can buy:
Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife and Tool Sharpener
- Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Edge Select Professional Electric Sharpener
- Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener
- Presto Eversharp 3 Stage Electric Knife Sharpener
- Chef’s Choice 320 Compact Professional Knife Sharpener
- Grocery Art 2 Stage Multi-Angle Electric Knife Sharpener
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
7 Best Electric Knife Sharpeners (2020 Reviews)
This is likely the most versatile knife sharpener you will ever see. Unlike most knife sharpeners (which are designed for ease of use, primarily), this does not used a fixed angle and doesn’t support just a few fixed sized of knife.
This is suitable for sharpening just about anything, from your most delicate kitchen knives up to your thickest, meatiest machetes and everything in between.
It has a wide variety of angles to choose from, with a selector that supports any angle you choose between 15 and 30 degrees
The belt design provides a nice convex blade shape, distinct from the more standard beveled edge you’ll find on other knife sharpeners; it creates a superior cut and makes for longer lasting blades.
Everything about this sharpener is great, but it comes with two major pitfalls: the price, and the function.
The price can be waived off, potentially; it’s actually a bit cheaper than our runner up, so it’s not too beyond the pale.
But the fact is this knife requires you to know what you’re doing, which is something a lot of people might not be looking for in a knife sharpener. For the majority of people, the fixed angles of a standard sharpener are going to be a plus, since that’s the angle they’re going to be using anyway.
Extremely adjustable in both grinding speed and degree of grind.
Superior convex edge as compared to standard level.
A bit pricey.
Not new user friendly.
This is an excellent top end knife sharpener.
Performance is very solid, with a full 3 stage sharpening battery that can put any of your knives back to “as new” status, with excellent quality diamond grinding stones for durability, longevity, and razor sharp honing.
The construction is solid; a plastic, but a very durable one with a rugged thickness to it that will let it weather the ravages of tome very well as long as you take care of it.
The operation is as simple as always with a quick power on switch and clearly delineated stages.
It hones knives to a razor sharp 15 degree angle, a bit steeper than most knives. Excellent for slicing in particular, though your hard chopping power might be ill affected, so I wouldn’t recommend this for cleavers and the like.
This is relatively quiet, with the sound falling somewhere between 65 and 75 dB. That’s a fairly wide range of sounds (keep in mind that 75 dB is, counterintuitively, DOUBLE the volume of 65 dB) but even at the higher end it’s more than tolerable without needing protective wear, and shouldn’t be too annoying for the 10 seconds to a minute you need to listen to it.
Rounding things out is a 3 year warranty, which helps take the bite out of this sharpener’s greater than average price tag. Not a bad buy at all if you want to keep great quality knives in tip top shape.
Excellent 15 degree honed edge.
3 stages of honing for extra quality.
Easy to use.
3 year warranty.
A bit pricey.
Not great for sharpening less delicate knives.
The is an excellent and highly versatile heavy duty knife sharpener.
It does it all; kitchen knives, work knives, garden tools (shears, lawn mower blades, etc.), scissors, basically anything you’d care to stick in there.
It uses sanding belts to sharpen tools, providing a finer edge without the risk of over sharpening the blade or curling it, and provides a wide variety of sharpening options.
You get a variety of angles here: 50 degrees for outdoor utility knives, 40 degrees for kitchen knives, 65 degrees for scissors, and 25 degree options for various tools (one for smaller blades one for larger, thicker ones).
It’s powerful, runs for long time if you need it, is clearly durable, and has a 1 year warranty, all at a very reasonable price.
Versatile; works with both kitchen knives and outdoor tools.
Uses sander belts for safer and easier sharpening.
Lightweight and easy to use.
Useful as a portable electric sharpener; works with inverter power.
Can be a bit harder to use than more rigid sharpeners.
This is a really good budget 3 stage sharpener. It’s clear to see where they cut corners here, so let’s start with that: the plastic construction.
This plastic isn’t that bad, but it’s not exactly the most durable plastic shell I’ve ever seen on a machine either. I can see something like this lasting you a couple of years before needing to be replaced. However, given the price, that’s only an issue if you’re someone who really hates replacing stuff you use regularly.
The performance though is great. You have 3 excellent stages of sharpening, with 3 selectors for knives: thick (like cleavers), medium (your standard chef’s knife), and thin (slicing or paring knives, generally), all powered by very good sapphirite grinding stones.
This gives you a lot of versatility in this extraordinarily cheap package, and it remains as easy to use as any of the other models on the market.
For a good cheap electric sharpener you can treat as almost disposable, this thing is a surprisingly high quality sharpener, and is great for any middle grade knife you have on hand.
Easy to use.
High quality 3 stage sharpening.
Extraordinarily cheap for the performance.
Good sapphirite grinding stones.
Likely to break down relatively quickly due to cheap plastic construction.
Doesn’t do scissors or serrated knives.
This is a nice 2 stage sharpener from Chef’s Choice.
While it does only have 2 stages each is a higher performance, lightning fast, easy to use stage, once for a coarse realigning and the second for refining the edge and making it shine like new.
This is a fixed alignment electric sharpener designed to give you a 20 degrees beveled edge and is compatible with serrated knives, unlike a lot of 2 stage sharpeners. This one uses standard disks (100% diamond) to sharpen and can power through a whole host of knives easily and quickly, letting you get back to cooking as fast as possible.
For the price you’re paying it’s pretty good; a little more expensive than I’d like, but not too out there. The main deciding factors are going to be whether you’re fine with 2 stages of sharpening (which many will be, either because they don’t care about the third polishing and refining stage or prefer to do it by hand) and are fine with the fixed angle, which may be incompatible with some knives that might have a slightly different angle to it.
Fast and easy to use
Fixed angle cuts down on mistakes
2 stage sharpening for extra fine edges
Good quality diamond grinding discs.
A bit more expensive than I’d prefer.
Lacks a third sharpening stage.
This is a great budget model from Grocery Art. It has decent enough performance, with a 2 stage setup that’s simple and straightforward to understand.
It’s as basic as you can get, but that’s not really a drawback for the price (about a third of the average you’re likely to pay for a 2 stage electric sharpener). The grinding stones are standard stones; not diamond or ceramic, so are likely to wear out pretty fast as well.
Still, while it works it’s a great sharpener, and will still probably save you money in the long run on low to medium grade knives. Plus it works on scissors and screwdrivers, which is nice functionality to have.
It’s cheap, good, and really hard to beat for the price, but it’s certainly not going to blow your socks off. This is really more of an option for those with either very strict budgets or as a stopgap measure while you search for a higher end knife sharpener or to keep your old and busted knives working well enough while you shop for a newer, better set.
Easy to use.
Suctioning is sturdy.
Versatile, can be used for scissors and screwdrivers as well as knives.
Very inexpensive pricing; nearly a third the market average.
Overall low performance and cheap construction makes this definitely not a lifetime buy.
Here’s a pretty decent midrange model. It has 2 stages of sharpening, clearly delineated and labeled for convenience.
It suctions securely to the tabletop and controls with just the flick of a power switch, making it as simple as can be.
The fixed roughly 20 degree angle is perfect for most kitchen knives, though be sure to know the angle your knife was originally sharpened with before you put it through this, as it could mangle a nonstandard knife.
Still, overall for what it is you get a good deal. While only 2 stages (a coarse grind and a fine sharpening grind) it has a very durable (for a plastic machine) construction and good quality sapphirite grinding stones; a pretty standard but still very good material for grinding most knives.
Simple and easy to use design
Sturdy and well constructed.
Doesn’t slide or shift when properly suctioned.
Good sapphirite grinding wheels.
Good price for the performance.
Lacks versatility (only grinds a single angle and doesn’t do scissors or other tools).
Only 2 stages.
Ultimately I stand by the Ken Onion Edition Work Sharp as the best electric knife sharpener, but it’s a close run thing between that and the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV.
Both are excellent sharpeners with a lot to offer, and the latter is a lot easier to use, but the freedom of being able to choose your angle and grinder speed wins out in the end for me. I’ll always take a bit of versatility for the cost of a slight bit of extra effort on my end.
The others are likewise solid options for various reasons, but if you’re working with high end knives you paid good money for, our top two are the ways to go.
What Should I Look For in an Electric Knife Sharpener?
Shopping for an electric knife sharpener is pretty easy if you keep in the big 3 features: grinder material, sharpening stages, and blade angle.
The majority of cheaper knife sharpeners are going to use a generic grindstone to sharpen blades. Not only is this material less good at sharpening your knives, it’s less durable, and will wear out faster.
The three better materials to look for are sapphirite, diamond, and good grinding belts (rather than wheels).
Sapphirite is a synthetically created sapphire which holds a hardness just below diamond. It’s a cheaper material, making it a favorite of mid grade sharpeners, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad; it’s very durable and hones a keen edge on knives.
Diamonds are a step up from that in terms of…well, everything. Hardness, durability, sharpening power, it all goes to the diamond grinding stone.
However, what trumps both of them in most cases is a good belt. While diamond will create an initially sharper edge, a good grinding belt will create a much more SUSTAINABLE edge, taking less material off the blade at any given time and creating a nice convex shape that holds the sharpness better and increases the longevity of your knife.
While diamond sharpeners are a bit worse in overall effectiveness in my opinion, they do happen to be a bit easier to use due to being a part of a more rigid system, where belts give you a lot of room to mess up.
There are three basic stages of sharpening for a knife: coarse buffing, actual sharpening, and fine honing.
Anything that provides less than 2 stages should be discarded from consideration immediately; there’s no point in buying a sharpener for that.
3 stages is typically better, but overall is somewhat less important than the second “main” sharpening stage, so should be considered a nice extra rather than a must have. Stage 3 of sharpening is more easily done by hand than either of the other two, because the path for you to refine the edge has already been carved,
This is largely a matter of personal preference in terms of exact number, but a good sharp kitchen knife should have an edge on its somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees. 25 or 30 for bigger chopping knifes (like a cleaver), but that’s mostly reserved for outdoor utility tools like axes and machetes that need that extra heft to bite into thicker materials.
The average knife sharpener is going to provide you a single edge option and always sharpen to that specific edge. This should be fine so long as it’s between that 15 and 20 degree gradient and the knife you’re starting with is already roughly that angle.
You’re looking at anywhere between $40 and $150, thereabouts, depending on whether you’re buying a very minimalist knife sharpener or a high grade one.
Don’t discount the $40 options out of hand; a good rule of thumb is to buy a knife sharpener that costs about as much as what one of your individual knives does.