Replaceable Components – When you purchase one of these manual sharpeners, you will want to ensure that you’ll be able to use it for many years. Since the abrasive components of these devices will wear out after repetitive use, it is vital to make sure that they’re replaceable! By choosing a sharpener, which has this feature, you will always be able to restore it to its pristine condition, by quickly replacing the abrasive components. 
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Grits – When purchasing one of these items, you will also need to take the time to select a grit rating. This is very similar to sand paper and will determine the exact type of edge that you’re able to achieve. A finer grit will be able to provide you with a smoother finished edge. Some manufacturers of these products do not openly display the grit of their steels, so you will need to look very closely!
Manual sharpeners fall into two basic categories: those that use a V-shaped cutting notch, often made of ultrahard tungsten carbide, to carve a new edge onto a blade, and those that use fixed or rotating abrasive elements (either an abrasive ceramic or diamond-impregnated steel) to grind a new edge. In general you get what you pay for with both kinds. Cheap models under $20 get a lot of complaints about sharpening performance, ergonomics, and durability. Move into the $40 to $50 range, and you begin to see more solid results. The cheap V-notch sharpeners, in particular, get terrible marks from most knowledgeable reviewers; such models remove huge amounts of metal, rapidly wearing knives into toothpicks, and they leave uneven edges that cut poorly and dull quickly. (I used one of these for about a week in the ranch kitchen and can attest to their awfulness.) However, as you’ll see below, when done right a V-notch sharpener is an attractive option.

Place the blade in the slot starting with the tang end and pull straight toward you, using a minimal amount of pressure on the wheels and drawing back at a moderate pace to allow the ceramic wheels to do the work. As you approach the blade tip, lift the handle slightly so you can sharpen the blade’s belly evenly as well. Once you reach the tip, lift the knife out of the slot and repeat. Usually, a few strokes through the DiamondStone yield a very sharp edge.


Frequently, our recommendation for beginning sharpeners is to start with diamond stones as their strengths make them ideal to build a sharpening toolkit around. Diamond stones are low maintenance and durable, lasting many years with only occasional cleaning. They are among the fastest stones to use making them time efficient. Diamond grit will handle even very hard steels, and diamond stones can be used for flattening waterstones. All these things make diamond stones a practical foundation for your sharpening toolkit.
If you want to start hand-sharpening knives, and you’ve never used stones, this kit has everything you need. It includes a medium-grit stone for sharpening and an Arkansas stone for finishing. It also includes a honing solution that protects and cleans the stone’s surface as well as a small plastic guide to help sharpening novices learn the correct angle for sharpening. This is the classic method for sharpening knives, which takes some time to master, but once you learn how to use a stone, you can sharpen knives to any angle you prefer.
To select our best-reviewed knife sharpeners, we considered four factors: performance, ease of use, safety and, for electric sharpeners, the noise level. To rate knife sharpeners on these criteria, we consulted professional comparison tests at sites such as Cook's Illustrated, Wirecutter and Wired. We also looked at more casual tests in newspaper articles and on consumer websites.
Furthermore, Novaculite consists of several different layers of stone of different densities, grit sizes, and colors. Thus, the red Novaculite layer (aka Washita Stone) is the both the softest and most coarse while, the next most coarse/hard grade is the grey/white Soft Arkansas stone; both of which cut relatively fast for a hard whetstone material and thus, they are an excellent choice for refining a bevel. Then, the next grade of coarseness/hardness is the hard Arkansas stone which is used to polish the bevel rather than define it and, last there are the grades of Hard Black and Hard Translucent Arkansas stones which are used for extremely fine honing and polishing of a cutting edge. Plus, it’s also the primary material in “Charnley Forest” (English) and “Turkey” oilstones.

Once that is done, you would proceed to start the sharpening process with a coarse grinding wheel. This is made of saphirite and helps create the proper angle. The 2nd stage involves moving on to a medium grinding wheel to give precision. The 3rd and last stage is sharpening on the fine slot. This sharpens your knife to perfection with an ultra-fine-grit ceramic wheel that sees to it that your blade is polished to an exact, razor sharp edge.

Oilstones, like the Norton whetstone, can be made out of natural or synthetic material like Novaculite, Aluminium Oxide, or Silicon Carbide. As per the name, oilstones require the use of oil as you sharpen your knife's blade. This type of stone is slower at sharpening or honing a blade and it can be messy and you need to always have some oil on hand but it creates a nice sharp edge and a beautiful polish.
A manual pull-through sharpener looks similar to the electric machine, except that it has no motor. You sharpen your knives by placing them into the slots and pulling through with force. These manual sharpeners obviously cost less money, and inevitably more time and labor than the electric counterparts. However, they can still bring very satisfying results.

Removing the burr is fairly simple. You'll need a leather strop or block (this sort of thing), which is designed to catch the metal fibres from the knife. You could do it with a fibrous tea towel or some newspaper if you like, but I'd suggest going with leather to begin with. The motion is fairly similar to sharpening. Draw the knife over the leather, going away from the edge at roughly the same angle as when you sharpened. 

It is believed that Vikings suspended these knife sharpening tools from their belt. However, it is not exactly clear, even to scholars, how the Vikings wore these pendants. We laced ours with a versatile, adjustable high-quality leather cord and packed it in a USA-made muslin pouch so you get to choose how to wear it or carry it. Wear it around the neck for the most Ragnariest looking necklace you’ve ever seen, cinch it all the way down so that it can be hitched to your belt or clipped onto your pack, or simply pocket it while still contained in the hand-stamped muslin pouch.
You will be given access to our useful online learning material: a set of videos and articles to help you improve your sharpening technique. These resources were made by professional knife sharpeners, specifically for beginners and intermediate sharpeners. The articles and videos will guide you and teach you knife sharpening from scratch, also covering more advanced techniques. You can also get in touch with us anytime if you have any questions concerning sharpening specific types knives.
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The Scanpan Knife Sharpener has taken the best qualities of tungsten, diamond and ceramic to create the perfect knife sharpener. The first tungsten edge restorer redefines the shape of the edge of your knife, creating a perfect blank to put a finer edge on. It will also remove any small nicks and burrs on your edge. The second diamond sharpener takes a little bit of metal off your knife, thinning the blade edge to lessen the resistance when cutting. The final ceramic sharpener polishes the edge in to the finest of edges making your knife ready for use. Once you have used this sharpener you will never go back to blunt knives again!

We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you're starting to end up with puree instead of nicely sliced tomatoes every time you get them on your cutting board, it might be time to sharpen your blades. Our selection of knife sharpeners will give you the edge to get chopping and slicing with precision again in no time, whether you're a home cook or a restaurant chef. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best knife sharpener on Amazon.
Before you start sharpening, soak the stone in water for around five to 10 minutes, until it absorbs the water and a liquid film appears on the surface. After soaking, splash some water on top, and re-splash during the process if it ever gets too dry. You'll get a dark, splotch of steel and stone building up on the stone while you're sharpening the blade. This is totally normal so just splash the stone with some water to clean it off and allow it to perform more efficiently. 

First, I used a “steel” that came with a set of knives I’d purchased. It’s a rough steel rod with a handle. I really tried to master sharpening my knives with that. As a new home cook, I figured everyone knew how to use one of those because why else would one come with the knives? But the method eluded me. I only managed to dull and nick my knives.

For chefs of all skill levels, it is absolutely vital to have a good sharpener in the kitchen. Of course, you need a specific type of sharpener with precise characteristics. You need one that works with your knives! It is also vital to choose one that works quickly and accurately. You don’t want to end up with a blade that has been deformed by the sharpener. Below, you will be able to find a breakdown of some of the very best kitchen knife sharpeners on the market. 

If I am to be completely honest, I must tell you that I actually came extremely close to selecting another manual sharpener for this position. I thought it looked wonderful. It had all the specifications I would hope for in a manual knife sharpener and then some. It boasted the ability to sharpen at two different angles (15 degrees and 20 degrees) and included a honing feature. It looked solidly built. It used diamonds to grind the blades down. It sounded perfect and I almost selected it, until I read the consumer reviews. The consumer reviews for that apparently perfect manual knife sharpener were abysmal.

Removing the burr is fairly simple. You'll need a leather strop or block (this sort of thing), which is designed to catch the metal fibres from the knife. You could do it with a fibrous tea towel or some newspaper if you like, but I'd suggest going with leather to begin with. The motion is fairly similar to sharpening. Draw the knife over the leather, going away from the edge at roughly the same angle as when you sharpened. 

We have taken 6 different knife sharpeners to compare. We tested them in situations which were as similar as possible and used them according to the instructions of the manufacturer. If necessary, we kept sharpening until it was simply impossible to increase the sharpness of the knife. First we blunted some Eden Classic Damast Chef’s knives on a whet stone. By cutting paper, we were able to check whether the condition of each of the knives was equally blunt. Then we started sharpening and after doing so, tested the edge on a piece of paper again. Sometimes a knife may seem sharp after sharpening, but actually this ‘sharpness’ is caused by a false burr. That means that the knife has not yet reached it proper V-shape, but that a burr was created which makes the knife appear sharp. After a few cuts in paper, this burr will wear down and you will find the knife is still blunt, or at least, not as sharp as expected.


Another factor that launches Stage 2 ahead of a standard steel are those 2 handy guide slots for the left and right sides of your blade. These slots are perfectly angled to ensure proper contact between the blade edge and the miniature rod, and this in turn creates razor sharp micro-serrations. Trying to hit this sweet spot angle on your own takes tremendous skill, and if you miss by just a little bit all you’re doing is dulling the blade, or simply rubbing the face. So why not use Stage 2, eh?

This 9-inch honing steel is the perfect length for most people. Just slightly larger than the typical chef’s knife and slicing knife (usually the longest knives in a set), this rod will not be too much for most people to handle. Unlike the 12 and 14-inch rods featured further up this list, this 9-inch rod should be very easy to confidently and safely control.
The Chef’sChoice ProntoPro 4643 is our overall pick among knife sharpeners. A manual model, it was the easiest of all our test models to use—almost intuitive, in fact: You insert the blade in one of the slots and run it back and forth, from heel to tip, until the tool grinds a new edge. The sharpening elements are wheels impregnated with diamond abrasive—a material that Cook’s Illustrated found to be superior (subscription required) to ceramics in both sharpening speed and lack of friction. In our test, about 30 strokes on the coarse wheels under light pressure cut a brand-new edge. Another 20 strokes on the fine, polishing wheels gave the edge a reasonably smooth finish.
The Brød & Taylor Pocket Knife Sharpener (which is no longer available) uses the same carbide stones as the full-size model noted above, and it sharpens and hones just as well. It would make a solid, pocketable tool for campers, hunters, and anglers. But this compact model is not stable enough for long or heavy kitchen knives, and you can’t engage the spring-loaded arms in order to use a polishing function.
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