If you have already perused some of the knife review pages on this website, you have probably noticed that I usually select a “Best in Class”, “Best Value”, and Best something else for each Top Three Choices section. What I quickly noticed when working with these knife sharpeners was that it simply wouldn’t be possible to do such a thing. Each of these types of sharpeners is so different from the other types that I felt all deserved their very own “Best in Class” selections.
Our observations about the types of sharpeners on the following pages are based heavily on our experience using them. Why? Because if a sharpener is a pain to use, then it’s going to stay in the drawer where it will be of minimal benefit to our knives. We tried the sharpeners with a variety of knives—all stainless steel—including paring, slicing, boning, utility, and chef’s knives of various lengths; most were tragically dull when we started. We didn’t try serrated, ceramic, or other specialty knives.
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 Work Sharp WSKTS-KT Knife sharpener is the only sharpener on the market, which can handle every knife in your home. This device uses flexible abrasive belts, which enables it to sharpen different types of knives, from straight blades, curved knives, filet knives, tanto knives, gut hooks and serrated knives. Regardless of the shape of the blade, this sharpener is ready.
The diamond material is very durable and equipped with a metal plate that has tiny diamonds engraved in it, which may or may not contain surface holes. The diamonds with holes are more common and capable of sharpening the knife while the holes capture the swarf. This design is preferable because the swarf can decrease the effectiveness of the stone and prevent the blade from getting a precise sharpness. This feature will also offer the user a much quicker and more effective cut.
To answer an obvious question: The difference between 15 degrees and 12 degrees is so slight that a 15-degree sharpener is fine for both kinds of bevels. So if a dedicated 15-degree sharpener is all you need (that is, if you own only Asian or post-2011 European knives), we have good news: Chef’sChoice makes the otherwise identical Pronto 463, which contains a single Asian-style sharpening slot. (For the testers at Cook’s Illustrated, the Pronto 463 is the top choice among manual sharpeners.) And if you own older European knives exclusively, the company sells a dedicated 20-degree model, the Pronto 464.
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