We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates. We also participate in affiliate programs with ShareASale and may receive a commission when products are purchased through our links.
Clamp-style sharpening tools use a clamp with several holes with predefined angles. The stone is mounted on a rod and is pulled through these holes, so that the angle remains consistent. Another system is the crock stick setup, where two sticks are put into a plastic or wooden base to form a V shape. When the knife is pulled up the V, the angle is held so long as the blade is held perpendicular to the base. Several cutlery manufacturers now offer electric knife sharpeners with multiple stages with at least one grinding stage. These electric sharpeners are typically used in the kitchen but have the ability to sharpen blades such as pocket or tactical knives. The main benefit of using an electric sharpener is speed with many models that can complete the sharpening process in one to two minutes. The disadvantage is that the sharpening angle is fixed so some specialized knives, like a Japanese style Santoku, may need additional attention to sharpen to the ideal angle.
The goal when sharpening is to create a burr, which is a tiny whisper of metal left on one side of the blade. You'll know you have a burr when you can feel one smooth and one scratchy side to the edge. Warner's is formed in no time at all; I struggled. Nevertheless, eventually I got there. Once you've got the burr, it's time to move on to step three.
Knife sharpeners work by stripping away metal to form new bevels, ideally at an angle that closely matches the original. But you don’t need to obsess over getting the angle exactly right. For most kitchen knives, consistency trumps precision, says David Marks, a professional knife sharpener and owner of Stoddard’s, a Boston cutlery store and sharpening service: “As long as you keep the same angle throughout the process, it doesn’t matter if you’re off by a couple of degrees from the original angle.” Since consistency is key, many knife sharpeners incorporate some means of setting the angle for you.
The Spyderco 2014MF Tri-Angle's open construction and pre-set angles mean you can use it to sharpen just about anything, including 20-degree Western knives, 15-degree Asian knives, serrated blades and scissors. Users say the learning curve is quick and the results are great, and optional diamond sharpening rods remove enough steel to re-shape even damaged blades. The angled sharpening rods do double duty as safety rails to protect your hands.
Meanwhile, if you want something that you can use to sharpen a variety of knives and edges, including small and pointed tools, you might want to consider the DMT WM8CX-WB 8-Inch Duo Sharp Plus Bench Stone – Coarse/Extra Coarse with Base. For less than a hundred bucks, you can even use it to repair a damaged edge because of its extra-coarse diamonds.
Although electric knife sharpeners don't provide as much control as manual sharpeners, they're faster and easier to use. In most cases, you pull the knife slowly through specially designed slots in the sharpener; abrasives hidden inside the slots do the sharpening. Electric knife sharpeners tend to be larger than manual models, so keep storage or counter space in mind.

Why, then, do so many of us shy away from the task? To put it bluntly, it's because it's a rather daunting process for the beginner. Your image of knife sharpening may consist of a hyper-masculine chef slashing away violently at a steel rod (we're looking at you, Gordon). Conversely, you might have seen cooks meticulously and methodically stroking their blade up and down a Japanese waterstone with more intricate attention to detail than a Flemish landscape. 
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.

The kind of tech we love: compact, reliable, durable, attractive and cheap. Purists may feel that other sharpeners will produce a more perfect result but for 99% of the human race this sharpener will be everything the doctor ordered. Your blades stay sharp for a good long time thanks to the 2-stage sharpening process and if you’re a left handed chef you’ll love the fact that it works just as effectively for you as for anyone else.


Overall, using a sharpening steel isn’t overly complicated. The overall design of the item should give you a good idea of how to use it. Therefore, no instructions should be needed, but practice is essential. This is a two handed system that will require you to grasp the sharpener in one hand and the knife in the other. Be sure to hold both items securely and rake the edge of the knife down the sharpening steel.
When attempting to choose a whetstone for sharpening your favorite knife, the number of choices can be mind boggling. In fact, sharpening stones are divided into four distinct categories consisting of natural whetstones and manufactured whetstones which, in turn, are divided into two other categories consisting of oil stones and water stones. Then, there are numerous different varieties of natural whetstones consisting of several different materials that are quarried from different places around the world as well as several different types of man-made whetstones!

The Work Sharp WSKTS-KO Knife and Tool Sharpener is specifically designed to handle a wide range of knife and tool sharpening jobs. One of its main features is the precision sharpening guide, which can be adjusted from 15 to 30 degrees. It allows 1 degree increments. These adjustments allow you to sharpen straight bladed and serrated knives, as well as any other blade that you might possess.


Reviews indicate that it takes about 20 passes to sharpen a dull blade, be it straight or serrated, with this little device. One note: The AccuSharp is only designed to work with 20-degree blades (the typical measurement for a Western-style kitchen knife) that are beveled on both sides. So it's not the right choice for 15-degree (Asian-style) knives or knives with a chisel edge that is only beveled on one side, which will rule out some serrated blades.

No need to worry about angle or pressure with this style—electric grinders will keep both straight and serrated blades in prime condition with little to no work from you. Not nearly as hands-on as a honing steel, electric sharpeners are noisier and take up more counter space but will keep knives in prime condition with little to no work from you. Safe, fast and user-friendly, they can easily be stored in a kitchen cabinet or under the counter when not in use. Keep in mind that, with proper honing, blades really only need to be sharpened a couple of times per year.

However, due to limited natural deposits and extensive quarrying over the centuries, true, high quality, Japanese water stones are now few and far between and are very expensive. Thus, various companies are now producing synthetic Japanese Water Stones which generally have a more consistent composition and grit size than natural stones as well as often begin somewhat harder and thus, lasting a bit longer; not to mention being cheaper to purchase.
Overall, these systems are highly innovative, effective and can sharpen or hone your blade to perfection. Are they a little more expensive? Yes, but serious knife enthusiasts will find that the extra cost is ultimately worth it for the increased benefits. This doesn’t mean that this type of system will be the right knife sharpener for you though. Instead, you’ll need to know exactly how and how often you will be using the sharpener, before you make your decision.
These are unquestionably great starter stones. After all the sharpening done over the course of a couple days, they're still perfectly flat, showing little to no signs of wearing down. Mind you I did watch tons of how-to videos online before undergoing the endeavor, so I knew how to try to make the stone wear evenly. But, my 15 year old nephew who was working on the Ontario, as I told him he could have it, if he wanted to fix it up, didn't watch all those videos and I didn't see any uneven wear on his stone after working it about a half hour either.
×