Best Knife Sharpeners Reviews (Tried and Tested)

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Key Features

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    Can sharpen any knife, any brand
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    Has a built-in vacuum to keep counters clean
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    Sharpens quickly and easily
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    With flexible sharpening belts
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    Great value for your money

knifesharpener

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?

Looking for the perfect knife? We talk about the best kitchen knife sets here.


Work Sharp Culinary

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.

What We Liked

  • Belt: Sander belt sharpening is in pretty much all ways superior to grinder wheel sharpening, both doing it more evenly as well as better and even a bit faster while producing less waste.
  • Vacuum: The built in vacuum is a nice touch and makes clean up less of a chore.

What We Didn't Like

  • Power: A minor gripe but I find the power button and setting selector difficult to press. It could stand to be a bit more pronounced.

KitchenIQ 50009 Edge

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 it 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.

What We Liked

  • Small: Easily fits anywhere you want to put it in your kitchen; fits most drawers and take sup very little counter space.
  • Cheap: You could buy about 5 of these for the price of a single decent knife.

What We Didn't Like

  • Simplistic: There’s not much to this one, really. Very little recommends it over just using a whetstone save for a little bit of extra speed.

3-Stage

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.

What We Liked

  • Thorough: While quick to sharpen at each stage, it does a fine job and incorporates more steps than some knife sharpeners to maintain the blade.
  • Glove: It coming with a cut resistant glove is a nice plus, as that’s another necessary kitchen tool for jobs like this that it never hurts to have too many spares of.

What We Didn't Like

  • Grip: While the handle is good, I prefer to have the double protection of the suction grips many others incorporate into the design to reduce the risk of accidents.

 KitchenIQ 50009

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 it 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.

What We Liked

  • Small: Easily fits anywhere you want to put it in your kitchen; fits most drawers and take sup very little counter space.
  • Cheap: You could buy about 5 of these for the price of a single decent knife.

What We Didn't Like

  • Simplistic: There’s not much to this one, really. Very little recommends it over just using a whetstone save for a little bit of extra speed.

 Zulay Premium

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 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.

What We Liked

  • Construction: Overall steel construction is very solid and sturdy, made to last a long time. Tungsten is an excellent coarse grinder, while ceramic is good for finer work (though not as good as diamond or sapphirite).
  • Handle: This sharpener is very easy to hold down, though it may look uncomfortable it distributes weight very well.

What We Didn't Like

  • 2 Stage: While a very good 2 stage, not including the straightening phase is still a downside. You buy a knife sharpener to avoid manual work on the knives, after all.

LINKYO Electric

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.

What We Liked

  • Inexpensive: This is a great knife sharpener for low end kitchen knives you want to revitalize and keep going for as long as possible.
  • Performance: For the price this is one of the best 2 stage knife sharpeners I could find, and well worth giving a shot for sure.

What We Didn't Like

  • 2 Stage: While great for a 2 stage sharpener, it is still a 2 stage sharpener. 3 stages is always better, even for cheap knives, and helps the knives maintain their longevity far longer.

 PriorityChef

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).

What We Liked

  • Grip: The handle is comfortable and allows for easy downward force to keep it from moving around, helped by the sticky cushioning on the bottom.
  • Sharpeners: While not particularly impressive in and of themselves (with simple ceramic grinders and decent speed), being able to do serrated knives is a selling point in itself.

What We Didn't Like

  • Construction: The metal is fine, but the slots for sharpening are a little too narrow for my taste, making it a bit cumbersome to use.

GA Sharpening Machine

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.

What We Liked

  • Multi-Use: This does not just knives, but scissors and even screwdrivers. Great if you want one machine to do it all.

What We Didn't Like

  • Construction: All plastic construction doesn’t impress me when you’re stickingmetal into it and sending sparks flying around. It’s not the worst, despite appearance, but steel or even aluminum is always better.

Wusthof PEtec

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.

What We Liked

  • 3 Stage: 3 stage sharpening provides a superior edge that will only need to be resharpened very occasionally. In my experience this sharpener makes knives sharp enough that you actually want it to lose its edge a bit, since you’ll likely end up using too much force to slice with the way these turn out and may end up hurting yourself.

What We Didn't Like

  • Price: It’s hard to overstate how expensive this thing is compared to other sharpeners. Worth it for high end knives, but hard to justify unless your knives (not knife set, each individual knife) is as expensive or more than this sharpener.

Chef’sChoice 4643

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.

What We Liked

  • Grindstones: Grindstones are diamond and hone everything to a razor edge easily and quickly.
  • Thorough: 3 stage design keeps knives in tip top shape longer than 2 stage sharpeners.

What We Didn't Like

  • Handle: Handle is a bit awkward. It fits ill in my palm and makes it difficult to distribute the pressure properly to keep it from moving.

 SHARPAL 101N

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.

What We Liked

  • Compact: This fits in any pocket, pants, shirt front, jacket, doesn’t matter. It’s small, light, and easily folds up to fit anywhere you want to put it.
  • Quality Materials: While ceramic isn’t the absolute top notch, it’s perfect for a portable piece of equipment like this because its’ cheap without being a poor choice for sharpening, like tungsten. The body is durable while remaining inexpensive enough you won’t be too put out if you drop it somewhere and need to get a new one.

What We Didn't Like

  • Non-Automatic: Less a downside and more of a caution. Tabletop knife sharpeners set the proper angle for you and all you have to do is pass the knife through; with this you need to have a basic understanding of how various knives are sharpened and why and how they are angled, grooved, or gradiated the way they are.

ALLWIN-HOUSEWARE W

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.

What We Liked

  • 3 Stage: Simple in most respects, but good where it counts. This goes through all 3 necessary stages to keep a knife in tip top shape for a long time.
  • Inexpensive: You could buy 5 of these for the price of one of the mid range options.

What We Didn't Like

  • Construction: Plastic is a bit flimsy, and may lead to you needing to replace this a lot. Thankfully it’s very cheap.

ChefsChoice 463 Pronto

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.

What We Liked

  • Grindstone: Grindstones are high quality, though nothing particularly special.
  • Sturdy: This thing looks like it will last you quite a while, and fits well in most kitchen cabinets or drawers.

What We Didn't Like

  • Handle: Handle is awkward and uncomfortable to me, leading to my hand quickly cramping while holding it. Perhaps user error, but it’s not something I generally have with other grip styles.
  • Specialized: Specializing in Asian knives isn’t the worst thing around, but there are plenty of sharpeners out there that do both, so it’s not a niche that really needed to be filled.

 EdgeKeeper

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.

What We Liked

  • Aesthetic: The sharpener looks very nice, and may be worth the price to some people who really like its looks over a similar model.

What We Didn't Like

  • Lack of Defining Features: This is a simple 2 stage sharpener with nothing specifically to recommend it; no particularly good or bad materials, glaring design flaws or wins, or any such thing that makes it stand out.

 SunrisePro Supreme

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.

What We Liked

  • Suction Cup: Suction is strong and satisfying to use with a very tight grip on the surface.

What We Didn't Like

  • Cheap: This sharpener exemplifies cheapness, not just in how inexpensive it is but in the materials used. Nothing about this sharpener is of quality and to add insult to injury it’s not even the cheapest sharpener I’ve looked at, while certainly being a strong contender for the worst.

Final Verdict

Work Sharp Culinary

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.

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?

Choosing a knife sharpener is surprisingly easy. There’s only a few main things you want to look at: construction, price, grindstones, stages, and extras.

Construction

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

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 knives (which are likely to be harder and sharper high carbon steels, which is more difficult to manually grind).

Grindstones

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).

Stages

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

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.

 

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