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Fun fact: people are more likely to injure themselves with dull knives than sharp ones. This sounds like a bit of an oxymoron; after all, it’s harder to cut things with a dull knife, right?
Correct, which is why a dull knife is far more likely to simply slide off of something you’re trying to cut rather than bite into it, leading to it biting into you instead from the excess force.
To avoid kitchen disasters, keep your knives sharp, and what better way to make it easy on you than to grab a knife sharpener?
Our Top Choice...
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Top 15 Best Knife Sharpener in 2021
1. Work Sharp Culinary E4 Kitchen Knife Sharpener
This is an excellent high end knife sharpener. Unlike most, which use grinder wheels of various materials (diamond and ceramic most commonly, sometimes sapphirite), this uses sander belts, the same method many chefs will use to maintain their own knives, just much faster.
This makes it just as easy to use but sidesteps one of the inherent issues of a knife sharpener: damaging or over-sharpening your knives, thus trimming down or curving the blades too much (which can end up with a “curly” blade).
It’s a 3 stage sharpener, being able to shape, sharpen, and refine the edge on any blade, everything from cleavers on down to the smallest paring knife, plus scissors of course (without even having to break them apart!). As a final bonus it comes with a built in vacuum cleaner to suck up all the metal particles thrown off by the sharpening, meaning you can even safely use this on your kitchen countertop without worry.
2. Presto EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener
This is a solid intermediate knife sharpener. Nothing special about it, unlike some higher end models, but it has a much better design than some of the extremely cheap knife sharpeners onthe market. The way it’s easier to use for one; you have two sides on each of the stages, each of which sharpens one side of your knife.
This makes it so you don’t need to turn the knife or knife sharpener around to grind both sides.It turns on easily, stays stuck to the table firmly with three suction cups on the bottom, and is easy to use. What’s not to like?
3. 3-Stage Knife Sharpener by Kitchellence
This is a surprisingly good for the price 3 stage sharpener. The first coarse sharpening removes nicks and scratches, the second restores shape, and the third hones the edge. The machine is easy to use and sharpens both sides at once, making it a quick sharpener.
It doesn’t stick to the table on its own but provides an excellent grip and stability with its handle, and the addition of a cut resistant glove is a very nice touch; it’s always good to have one around the kitchen for some of the more slippery tasks (like shelling oysters or filleting fish) and makes a nice addition to this package.
4. KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener
If you’re just looking for a cheap option to keep some mediocre kitchen knives sharp, this knife sharpener has you covered. There’s nothing really fancy about it. It has a coarse sharpening side and a fine sharpening side, so perfect for honing an edge or buffing out nicks and scratches in non-serrated knives. Like all knife sharpeners even the traditional one holds the angle you need for easy sharpening, as contrasted to a whetstone which needs a bit more knowledge of how to use it.
It’s small and easily fits in a drawer or on the counter without taking up too much space, and it’s incredibly cheap. Like the price of a sandwich cheap, so there’s no excuse not to have it.
5. Zulay Premium Quality Knife Sharpener
As far as 2 stage sharpeners go, this is the leader of the pack. While I still think 3 stage is better, at least this puts the cost cutting of the straightening stage (which can be done with a sharpening rod instead) to good use making sure the whole package is impeccably built.
This tungsten and ceramic sharpener from Zulay Kitchen revives old blades perfectly, though does struggle a bit with larger blades (it’s best used on pocket knives, paring knives, or santoku knives at most; a butcher’s cleaver sharpener this is not). It’s made of very sturdy steel which weighs it down quite well and makes it easy for the heavy, straight handle to be pressed on to stop it from budging an inch.
6. LINKYO Electric Knife Sharpener
This is a simplistic but well made knife sharpener. It’s made of plastic, but appears to be a very sturdy and heat resistant kind, better than many of the cheap plastic ones I’ve seen. It grinds well on both sides of the knife, and has solid 2 stage sharpening.
It’s easy to use and easy to clean, with conveniently placed debris receptacles underneath the sharpener’s body to catch all the metal shards thrown off by the sharpening.
All in all nothing to write home about but perfect for the price range.
7. PriorityChef Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives
This is a model that is identical in many ways to the Zulay model above. Unfortunately it doesn’t perform the same functions nearly as well. The slots are narrower, making it less suited for thicker knives, and it also struggles a bit more with curved knives due to this, besides small ones.
Straight knives work best, but an interesting feature of this one is that it claims to sharpen serrated knives (only on the fine side), which is a rarity among these sharpeners.
The grip is quite good, with a lot of cushioning on the bottom to keep it from sliding around. It’s also very inexpensive, so worth picking up to test it out and see how well it works for your knives (serrated knives vary wildly in how big the serrations are).
8. GA Knife Sharpener Electric
This is an interesting and reasonably priced multi use sharpener. Instead of having two slots designed to be used for most blades, it has a pair of standard knife sharpener slots (2 stage, coarse and fine), a slot for scissor blades and a slot to sharpen flat head screwdrivers (not something you’ll find yourself using much, but perfect if your screwdrivers have gotten flattened and don’t fit in the slots any more).
The construction is nothing to write home about; plastic with a single power button and some little legs on the bottom to help stop it from slipping.
Not my favorite knife sharpener but it’s a rare one with many functions, even if its construction is likely to fall apart fairly quickly.
9. Wusthof PEtec Electric Sharpener, Gray
This is an excellent high quality knife sharpener with a no frills appearance and 3 high quality stages: a diamond coarse grinding stage, a finder diamond grinding stage, and a final stropping stage to make your knives ridiculously sharp.
The machine is easy to use, with non slip rubber footing and a nice wide area to place your hand for extra grip, with a single switch to turn on.
The main problem with this sharpener is it is insanely expensive. You’re looking at 4-5 times the average price of any other sharpener on this list, at least.
10. Chef’sChoice 4643 ProntoPro Diamond Hone Manual Knife Sharpener
This is one of the best knife sharpeners you can find on the market anywhere. Its diamond grinders hone even the toughest steel with ease to a razor edge, and it works with European, American, and Asian style knives equally well (though excels at straight edged blades or ones with a very gentle curve, 15 to 20 degrees).
It works quick and easy, with a thorough 3 stage design (one to buff nicks and scratches, one to straighten the blade out, and the third to hone) leaving your knives in excellent quality over the long haul.
All in all for the money this is one of the best you could consider purchasing, hands down.
11. SHARPAL 101N 6-in-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener & Survival Tool
We’re looking at a lot of electric sharpeners today, but let’s take a moment to appreciate the utility of a purely manual sharpener. This is made to be taken out with you and fits in any pocket. It’s comfortable and compact, with a pair of ceramic honing blades, plus a sharpening rod. It’s great for pocket knives and small survival knives or utility blades.
In addition to its sharpening capability it also comes with a nice emergency whistle and a fire starter, making it a great multi purpose survival tool. Great, cheap, and portable, it works anywhere so long as you know how to maintain a decent angle to sharpen your knife.
12. ALLWIN-HOUSEWARE W Professional Knife Sharpener
This is as simple as it gets when it comes to a 3 stage sharpener. It has no electric components, a simple grip, and cheap materials…but I find I really like it.
It’s easy to use and comes with quality materials where it counts (in the grindstones), with a diamond rough or coarse side, a tungsten sharpener, and a ceramic fine tuning section t keep knives razor sharp and ready to cut for about the price of a fast food meal.
It’s not fancy…but it doesn’t need to be.
13. Chef'sChoice 463 Pronto Diamond Hone Manual Knife
Much like the other Chef’s Choice model that looks almost identical to this, this one is…fine. It’s a simple 2 stage knife sharpener with a slight twist: it’s specialized in Asian cooking knives. Santoku and partoku knives for example are this thing’s bread and butter.
This is a bit weird and makes it hard to recommend this one. It would be great for my kitchen since I tend to use a santoku knife the most (I’m not a huge fan of the European style chef’s knives, I’ve always found them too large for the space I usually have to work with; I have tiny cutting boards for my tiny counters) but for most people? Probably not worth a purchase this exclusively does a 15 degree angle grind, where many European knives want a 20 degree angle.
On top of that it still has the awkward grip, so for most people I’d say pass on this.
14. EdgeKeeper Electric Knife Sharpener
This sharpener is sadly more form than function. It has a quite nice “50’s diner/shake shop” aesthetic that would fit perfectly in a themed kitchen of some kind, and looks great on the countertop. Unfortunately other than that it’s a fairly standard 2 stage electric sharpener with nothing to really distinguish it from other models you could get for the same price or cheaper.
It’s not terrible, but there’s nothing particular great about it either that’s worth mentioning as compared to options in the same price range.
15. SunrisePro Supreme Knife Sharpener for all Blade Types
I’m not a fan of this one. As far as cheap options go, there are cheaper and better available, this one is just awkwardly priced for its extremely limited use. It’s a one stage sharpener with only a rough tungsten grindstone and is made entirely of a flimsy plastic. It only holds to the table via an admittedly very good suction cup, but I prefer having a grip on the device itself, and that’s simply not possible here.
This is the perfect example of what not to look for in a knife sharpener. It promises big things and does not truly deliver on them.
The Work Sharp model (the one up top with the belt grinding) is hands down my favorite here. It’s a bit expensive but does an exemplary job with most knives and sidesteps the drawbacks and inherent weaknesses of most electric sharpeners.
Of the rest, I like any of the 3 stage sharpeners to an extent, while 2 stage is a bit trickier. The Zulay model is most worth your time, while the Linkyo electric 2 stage is surprisingly good at what it does. You can’t go wrong with any of those. If you need something like this, we have a complete set of electric sharpener here.
The SunrisePro model is the only “hard avoid” on this list, with the Chef’s Choice Asian being a close second for worst sharpener I’ve seen in a while. The former is simply lacking in quality, while the latter doesn’t do enough to be worth the price when more versatile options exist (including the 3 stage Chef’s Choice one above it) that aren’t any more expensive.
How Do I Choose The Right Knife Sharpener?
Similar to choosing a butcher knife or any kitchen knife, choosing a knife sharpener can be surprisingly easy. There’s only a few main things you want to look at: construction, price, grindstones, stages, and extras.
The construction is usually best as either purely metal (stainless steel is good, cast aluminum is okay) or a mix of metal and plastic. Full plastic construction is always going to be a mark against the product, especially for electric knife sharpeners, unless you like the smell of burning plastic and want to have to replace it after a year or so.
Price is going to depend on you and the quality and price of your knives. That’s second bit is the most important. If you have $5 knives, honestly in some ways you’re better off just buying a new set when your old ones get dull; they resharpen quite poorly. For the average set you can pick up on the cheap at a department store for $30 to $50, a $15 or less sharpener will do you just fine, and 2 stages is fine as well. For anything more expensive, essentially buy a sharpener in the same price range as one of your knives; it will have better materials (particularly grindstones) which will work well on your higher quality blades (which are likely to be harder and sharper high carbon steels, which is more difficult to manually grind).
Grindstones come generally in about 4 different materials: diamond, tungsten, ceramic, and sapphirite. Diamond is good for rough work and shaping, tungsten for rough sharpening, and the latter two for finer work. Beware any sharpener which is all one material but claims to have multiple stages, save for finer grits of diamond (which can be used for anything at the right fineness of grit).
Typically there are 2 and 3 stage. 2 stage sharpeners shape the edge and then refine it; 3 stage sharpeners do that but add an extra phase in between that keeps the edge straight and strong longer. 3 stage is always better.
Extras are any nice things that aren’t standard; for example out winner has a built in vacuum cleaner which effectively traps all the metal dust that might otherwise get on your counters.