Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about kitchen knife sets, cutting boards and butcher blocks, the best butter knife and steak knives, and even asked chefs to share their favorite kitchen knives, we’re rounding up the best knife sharpeners you can find on Amazon, so you can keep those knives slicing like new. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
The iconic Wiltshire Stay Sharp Knives have been in homes since 1938, and are known and trusted for their self-sharpening mechanism, as well as providing good quality durable knives. The Wiltshire Cooks Knife is ideal for chopping, dicing and mincing with its high quality stainless steel blade. Scabbard sharpens and hones the knife each time the knife is removed, while the triple rivet handle provides strength and durability. The coloured trim is perfect for quick identification in the drawer. The locking system ensures the knife is securely held in place, and has a safety lock button to release the knife.
The type and size of the blade being sharpened determines the size of the stone needed. In general , a 6" stone is considered a small sharpening stone, an 8" stone is a common larger size, and a stone larger than 8" (10"-12" are available) is considered generously sized. Stones smaller than 6" (3" and 4" stones are quite common), are considered pocket stones and can be used for toolboxes, tackle boxes and on-the-go sharpening, but are generally not recommended for regular sharpening jobs.
Truly meant for honing, this rod features deep grooves which extend the length of the rod. As you sweep your blade along these grooves they will gently work to pull its edge back into proper alignment, making it stronger, straighter and allowing it to stay sharp for longer. Consumers appear to be very happy with this rod’s performance and construction. Their reviews give off an overwhelming impression that this rod is reliable and gets the job done right (so long as you know how to use a honing rod).
Beginning on the right side of the knife, move from tip to heel and heel to tip, then flip the knife and repeat. For the left side, it’s opposite—start at the top of the stone to reach the heel area completely. So, you will move from heel to tip and then tip to heel. Remember to apply and release pressure as you did earlier, exactly the same as in Step 2, but with light, refining pressure.
i have been sharpening knives all my life [im 61] ,its more of a relaxing hobby than anything else but i hate working with a dull blade.i have never used a water stone before and intend to buy some and get going.all ive ever used are oil stones and i can get an edge i can shave with [provided the knife is of a good steel ],so ive been reasonably happy with myself ,i was just wondering if you have ever tried sharpening with an oil stone and what differences you have found.i also have a lansky kit which i use every now and then but i find hand sharpening gives a better edge..
Sharpening kits or systems can be manual or electric. They tend to require more time and effort than other simple sharpeners, and you always have to pass a learning curve before you can properly sharpen your knives without causing damages on the blades. A good sharpening kit is totally worth it though: once you’ve mastered the technique, your blades can have even keener and sharper edges than when they’re fresh out of the factory.
Sharpness Coarse sharpening on the Vulkanis is done with the knife pointing down and the fine sharpening with the knife point up. If you use it correctly it will put a good edge on your knife. However, when using the knife you will find its blunts quicker than when it's sharpened with, for example, the Minosharp. The cause of this can be seen in the picture of the edge; you can still see little burrs on the edge.
Although the Trizor XV is easy to use, you have to use it correctly. That means sharpening one side of the blade at a time until a burr forms, whereas a back-and-forth, one-side-and-then-the-other approach might seem more intuitive. (Don’t worry—the Trizor XV’s manual explains the process plainly.) Maintenance is easy: Once a year or so, you open the bin on the machine’s underside and wipe out the metal shavings that it has conveniently captured there with a magnet.
Siliciclastic stone is a clastic, noncarbonate, sedimentary stone that is almost exclusively silica-bearing and exists as either a form of quartz or, another silicate mineral. In addition, hardened clay is also a sedimentary stone but, it is formed from organic materials such as plant and animal matter and thus, it is much softer than Siliciclastic However, when silicon sediment is suspended in a clay matrix and then naturally hardened over thousands of years, it forms an excellent whetstone material; although, it is somewhat softer than Novaculite. Thus, because the geology of Japan once held large deposits of this type of stone it has been used for hundreds of years for sharpening tools, knives, and swords. However, unlike Novaculite, Belgian Blue, and Coticule, both natural and synthetic Japanese whetstones use water for lubrication and thus, they are commonly known as “Japanese Water Stones” because this type of stone is very porous. Thus, natural Japanese Water Stones must be soaked in water for up to twenty-four hours prior to use whereas, synthetic Japanese Water Stones can be soaked for only a few moments.
Once you set the sharpener up, start your blade from where the edge starts closest to the tang and run it down the hone, at the same time pulling the blade back toward you, ensuring the hone contacts the entire length of the cutting edge all the way to the tip. Hence, you’re doing two simultaneous motions—moving down the hone and pulling the blade back toward you. Do it all with light pressure.
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 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!
I would say they are worth the money. Go for it. I took a blunted Pampered Chef kitchen knife from completely dull to razor sharp in about an hour (of bumbling and repairing mistakes LOL) heavy grinding. If you have a severely damaged blade, grab one of those cheesey two sided stones from Harbor Freight to do your heavy grinding. From there these stones will work very well.
In terms of feedback, in the eyes, and in the hands of many sharpeners, the feedback on this particular brand of stones is not to their liking and often it is enough to stop them from using them. These are thinner than other stones as well so you may get the impression that you are not getting your moneys worth. They are very hard stones, there is no soft, creamy sensation as you sharpen, there is not much feedback at all in fact.
For instance, American Novaculite (aka Washita and Arkansas Stones) is a form of metamorphic Chert that produces some of the best known and best loved natural whetstones in existence. Then, there is a form of Belgian Coticule which has been known for providing extra-keen edges since Roman times and, there is a Japanese Siliciclastic sedimentary stone (aka Japanese Water Stones) which consist of a fine silicate particles suspended in a clay matrix. Plus, there are also various types of man-made whetstones available such as Silicon Carbide (aka Crystalon) stones and Aluminum Oxide (aka India Stones) as well as a synthetic Corundum (aka Ruby) rod and Aluminum Oxide impregnated ceramic rods as well as several different types of diamond hones.
Turning my mind away from the fancy advertising gimmicks which had lured me to the sharpener that I almost selected for this position, I began looking closer at consumer ratings and reviews. Of all the manual knife sharpeners I found, all five included here on this page, the Sunrise Pro had, by far, the most positive consumer ratings. It’s hard to argue with people who have used this device in everyday settings and seen positive results.
If no metal is being removed from the edge of the blade, it’s considered honing. Whereas if metal is being removed from the blade edge this is considered sharpening. Certainly, even honing will result in some microscopic amounts of metal being removed from the blade edge but not enough to be visible to the human eye, so the above definition is basically a solid one.
JosephineDC.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Additionally, JosephineDC.com participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.
You could bring your knives to a local knife sharpener, but why not do it yourself? Sharpening your knives is very easy when you use the tools from Knivesandtools. In addition, sharpening your knives is great fun because you will experience step by step what happens to your knife while you sharpen it. As such you will truly start to appreciate your razor-sharp knives. Taking care of your own knives is fun, useful and, above all, a piece of cake!
The iconic Wiltshire Stay Sharp Knives have been in homes since 1938, and are known and trusted for their self-sharpening mechanism, as well as providing good quality durable knives. The Wiltshire Santoku Knife is ideal for precision cutting and slicing. The air pockets on the blade reduce cutting resistance and stop vegetables from sticking to the high quality stainless steel blade. Scabbard sharpens and hones the knife each time the knife is removed, while the triple rivet handle provides strength and durability. The coloured trim is perfect for quick identification in the drawer. The locking system ensures the knife is securely held in place, and has a safety lock button to release the knife.
The Chef's Choice 1520 AngleSelect knife sharpener's three sharpening stages can do just about anything. It has a dedicated slot for sharpening 20-degree Western knives, a second slot for sharpening 15-degree Asian knives, and a third slot with a flexible polishing/stropping disk to help polish off a smooth, sharp edge. Spring-loaded blade guides keep everything at just the right angle. This Chef's Choice sharpener is also pretty quiet for an electric model, and very safe.
As mentioned, hand-sharpening knives is by no means an easy task to get right. It requires investment in a set of stones of varying coarseness, patience, and lots of practice. In fact, a lot of people end up damaging a knife or two while learning the process, so its good not to start training on your finest European blade. With the advent of high-quality electric options, though, that learning curve is effectively eliminated.
The Work Sharp WSKTS-KO Knife and Tool Sharpener is a handheld device, which is optimized to handle various sharpening jobs. It comes with a belt sander, which spins around following a triangular configuration. It has a set of angles on either side, which can be adjusted from 15 to 30 degrees, depending on your sharpening needs. Unlike other electric knife sharpeners, which tend to overheat during high speeds, the speed of this one is adjustable.
The Internal Motor – Each of these devices is equipped with an internal motor that does the work for you. It is essential to make sure that the motor is going to provide you with many years of service. You can do this, by reading knife sharpener reviews for these particular units. If you discover one that seems to breakdown quickly, you will want to stay away from it, at all costs.
You want sharpening stones that will be useful for the majority of your edges now, and that will remain useful as you expand both your tools and your sharpening toolkit in the future. Ending up with duplicate stones or ones that are no longer useful as you gain new knives or tools is a waste of money. The goal is to start with something that will stay with you as your needs develop.
The system makes the humans inability to precisely grind metal on both sides of the knife and form and edge that meets perfectly at the Apex of the blade go away. The magic of the Edge Pro is exactly this, while there is definitely a learning curve, the creation of muscle memory is a moot point, the system forces you to replicate chosen angles as you sharpen on both sides and in my experience, it made the knives I sharpened sharper than any knife I had ever seen. We must assume that the user of the Edge Pro has followed the directions provided by the maker and is moving at a good rate up the learning curve.
Vielsalm Coticule on the other hand generally occurs in much more narrow layers sandwiched between the slate layer and the Belgian Blue layer and thus, it is both less plentiful and more expensive than Belgian Blue stone. Also, Coticule is divided into different grades and sometimes displays blemishes on the surface due to its proximity to the slate layer. Furthermore, it is somewhat harder than Belgium Blue stone and, due to its brittleness, it is bonded to a substrate layer of hard slate prior to sale to prevent the stone from breaking during use.
One of the most well-regarded natural whetstones is the yellow-gray "Belgian Coticule", which has been legendary for the edge it can give to blades since Roman times, and has been quarried for centuries from the Ardennes. The slightly coarser and more plentiful "Belgian Blue" whetstone is found naturally with the yellow coticule in adjacent strata; hence two-sided whetstones are available, with a naturally occurring seam between the yellow and blue layers. These are highly prized for their natural elegance and beauty, and for providing both a fast-cutting surface for establishing a bevel and a finer surface for refining it. This stone is considered one of the finest for sharpening straight razors.
In many ways it is very similar to the Trizor 15. It has the advanced spring guide for more precise control of the sharpening angle, and which enables the sharpening of even cleavers and other thick knives. Again it offers the 3 stages of honing, with the diamond abrasives and the patented flexible stropping/polishing disks. It is also very suitable for the same type of knives: chef’s, Santoku, bread, hunting, pocket, and fillet knives. Again it can be used for straight edge and serrated knives, and for knives from Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
When the block is intended for installation on a bench it is called a bench stone. Small, portable stones (commonly made of bonded abrasive) are called pocket stones. Being smaller, they are more portable than bench stones but present difficulty in maintaining a consistent angle and pressure when drawing the stone along larger blades. However, they still can form a good edge. Frequently, fine grained pocket stones are used for honing, especially "in the field". Despite being a homophone with wet in most dialects of modern English, whetstones do not need to be lubricated with oil or water, although it is very common to do so. Lubrication aids the cutting action and carries swarf away.
Knives can last a long time, provided they are properly maintained. Cleaning, polishing, and oiling your knife all contribute to the longevity of the blade. Sharpen your knives frequently. I'm sure you have heard the saying, a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. If you are uncertain as to how to test if you blade is dull, there are a number of tests you can perform.
The Chef’s Choice 120 sharpener features three stages of sharpening. You can easily select between rough grit, fine grit, or honing. Rough grit is best for those extremely dull blades that will not cut through anything whatsoever, or blades which have been damaged and pitted. You can choose to follow that stage with the second and third stages or skip right to the third. Personally, I find it isn’t necessary to use every stage every time – that only chews up your blade faster, causing it to shrink.
Every continent—Europe, Asia, and the Americas, seem to have their own knife design traits, so it can be a bother to find a sharpener that suits your knife. And this is especially true if you have lots of different knives from different areas in the world. Add the fact that your sharpener has to deal with serrated as well as straight-edged knives, and it may seem as if you’ll need more than one sharpener to take care of them all.
Wicked Edge Sharpeners have won many awards in recent years, and for alternative high grade sharpening tools they are certainly a company to watch. Their accolades include, ‘Accessory of the Year’ for two years in a row at BLADE Show (2009 and 2010), and most recently Wicked Edge have claimed the Kitchen Innovations® 2014 Award for Best Professional Series Knife Sharpener.
“Great knife-edge maintainer!!! This is the best sharpener I’ve used for keeping a keen edge on your best kitchen knives. It’s primarily for the last step in maintaining a keen edge on the knives you use every day. It’s not for neglected knives that need a significant amount of metal removed. This would be great for maintaining a new set of quality cutlery. If you are looking for perfection to keep your best knives in top shape, this is the unit to get … I find that half to one dozen strokes every so often will keep your knives as sharp as the day you got them.”
But if the edge it produces isn’t the absolute best (that honor goes to the Trizor XV), why consider the Brød & Taylor? Two reasons. First, its footprint is small enough—4½ by 3½ inches in breadth and depth, and 6½ inches high—that you can keep it on the counter, meaning you’ll be more likely to hone your knives every time you use them, a good practice that too few people are disciplined enough to follow since it generally means pulling a knife steel out of a drawer or knife block. Second, this sharpener is so elegant to look at and so simple to employ that it almost encourages you to use it. Whether you respond accordingly is a matter of personal taste and dedication, of course, but knowing our readers, I’m sure at least a few value such things highly.