In our tests, the Chef’sChoice ProntoPro 4643 took seriously dull blades—we ran them against a chunk of concrete curbstone until they were all but useless—to tomato-filleting sharpness in less than a minute. And like all our picks here, it’s far easier to master, and far cheaper, than traditional sharpening stones or modern jig systems. Effective, affordable, simple to use, and easy to store, the ProntoPro 4643 is the clear winner for most people.
For this guide, we limited our focus to manual and electric sharpeners. Such models are by far the most popular choices for sharpening knives, and for good reason. When well-designed, manual and electric sharpeners are effective, extremely quick and easy to use, and durable. (By the same token, when poorly designed they’re cumbersome, flimsy, and ruinous to blades.)
Last, it should be noted that dual-sided Coticule/Belgian Blue whetstones are also sometimes available which have a layer of Belgian Blue stone on one side and a layer of Coticule on the other. Thus, these whetstones provide a softer, more coarse, grit on one side and a harder, finer, grit on the other. Plus, due to the inherent toughness of the Belgian Blue stone, these dual-sided stones do not require a substrate layer.
A dull knife is near worthless so you should be looking to keep a razor edge on all of your blades. That means you’ll be spending time on the sharpener, no matter what type of steel you have. If you’re serious about your knives then why skimp on so-so sharpening systems? I continually scratch my head at folks who invest in $200, $300, $400+ knives and don’t given them the treatment they deserve. So, overall I highly recommend the Wicked Edge system. It’s not cheap but overall well worth it in my experience.
The EdgeSelect feature means that you’re not limited to using the entire 3-stge process. It depends on what you actually need, and you have to factor in what you’re trying to cut. So if you’re going to use your knife for fibrous ingredients like venison or pumpkin, you can opt to just sharpen the knife with the 1st and 3rd stages only. This leaves the edge with a bit more bite, so that it can cut through the tough fibers more cleanly.
This article is not about how to sharpen a knife, check this article instead, but briefly, a coarse stone is critical, it has the potential to raise a Burr quickly and make a dull knife sharp quickly. The correct use of pressure enables us to form a burr, remove the burr and then do some coarse stone refinement and thus create a very sharp knife. This sensation is motivation, it is a confidence builder and will enhance your sharpening experience, so believe me when I say that a coarse stone is your first priority. I recommend a 400, 600 or 800 grit. After that, depending on the knives you are sharpening strive to obtain stone combination, such as a 400 – 1,000 – 5,000 grit three stone combination is going to allow you to achieve knives sharper than most people have ever seen.
There is very little doubt that Chef’s Choice is responsible for some of the great knife sharpeners on the market. The Chef’s Choice 320 falls within this category, as well. It is somewhat more expensive than other kitchen knife sharpeners, but it offers a wealth of extra benefits and features. With a 2-stage sharpening system, you can rest assured knowing that this sharpener will get your blades sharp, without damaging them!
With the DMT process, you get the most number of diamonds per square inch, which boosts the durability of the sharpening surface. These stones are also amazingly flat, so that you’re assured of even contact with the knife.You can use this sharpening tool for various types of knives. These include many types of home kitchen knives, gardening tools that include your spade and trowel, outdoor or hobby knives including tactical knives, fillet knives, machetes, axes, and hatchets, and also woodworking implements like your chisel and veiner.
Many electric sharpening units are designed with kitchen knives in mind. Some of them are suitable not just for culinary applications, but also for working on hunting and survival equipment or brush-management tools. Of course, you'd never want to be caught with a dull pocketknife when field-dressing a buck or building an emergency shelter. With today's wide range of available electric knife sharpeners, you never will be.
That’s not to say that you need one of these knife sharpeners—as we note below in the next section, you may prefer another type of sharpener, one that arguably produces an even better edge. But the simple, foolproof sharpeners we’ve picked here will satisfy most people, and they all do the job quickly. That means you’ll be far more likely to use one of these, and that means you’ll always have sharp, safe, effective, and enjoyable knives at hand.
Not sure why I bought this item and then I received it. It has a bit of a 'cool' factor and is well made. I took the sharp edges of the stone as they were a bit uncomfortable on my chest but have since been wearing it a lot. Used it to put an edge on some workmates knives and to tickle up my own daily use knife. I like it, it is a bit different and useful.
Of course, some of the better electric models, such as those from Presto, are very stylish and don’t need to be stowed away. Either way, these sharpeners are lightning fast and get the job completed quicker than the others. If you live a hectic lifestyle and don’t have time with the above sharpeners, the electric knife sharpeners from Chef’sChoice and Wusthof are definitely worth checking out! The easy of use and convenience are simply unparalleled. The only negative to these will ultimately be the increase in price.
Whether they were professional testers or home users, reviewers sometimes found it a bit unnerving to pull the AccuSharp over an exposed knife blade with nothing but its plastic guard as protection. Once they got past that, though, they found it produced a sharp edge quickly and easily. Workers in a prominent test kitchen found it especially handy for quick touch-ups, since it's small and light enough to fit in a drawer.
To summarize, Shapton Glass 500, 1,000 and 2,000 is a good combination and if you would like to throw in the 4,000 grit stone in lieu of the 2,000 that is good as well. If your knives are very hard, ZDP 189 for example, this is a fantastic choice. (They are also excellent for tools, chisels etc. and they are the premier choice for many Straight Razor honers).
When a whetstone is used to cut metal, it acts like sandpaper by removing small particles of metal (aka “swarf”) with each pass of the blade over the stone. Therefore, whetstones with more coarse grits cut faster than those with finer grits and, at the same time, soft whetstones cut faster than hard whetstones because each pass of the blade over both types of whetstones not only removes fine particles of metal from the blade, it also removes fine particles from the surface of the whetstone (aka “slurry”) which continuously exposes new cutting crystals. However, if the swarf is allowed to build up on the surface of the whetstone during sharpening, it will clog the stone and drastically diminish its effectiveness. Therefore, some whetstones require water to lubricate the stone and suspend the swarf whereas, other whetstones require oil to lubricate the stone and suspend the swarf.
If you’re a dedicated home chef, or if you simply demand the best possible edge that doesn’t involve messing with stones or jigs, we recommend the Chef’sChoice Trizor XV Sharpener. Cook’s Illustrated also names this professional-grade electric model as the top pick in the category, and I’ve used a similar model, the 1520, to great satisfaction on my heavy Wüsthof chef’s knife and cheap paring knives for six or seven years now. (The fact is, Chef’sChoice dominates the high-quality sharpener market.)
Honing the Knife – Of course, these sharpening systems are very versatile and can be used for sharpening and honing. In terms of honing, you will need to look at the system’s grit. This is capable of helping you determine how fine of an edge you can achieve with the system. This is a very similar situation, as you would be presented with, while trying to buy sand paper. A higher grit ensures a finer edge. Be sure to find a system that offers a suitable range here to ensure that you’ll be able to achieve the precise edge that you desire!
This is the interior set up of the Wicked Edge hard case. The Wicked Edge is actually upside down in the case with the base on top and the center vice going down into the foam of the case. Notice how well different stones are laid out in the case so you can arrange them in the order you want to make the sharpening progression easier. The different components also have specific cut-outs and the white box off the bottom left hand side is for the angle cube. In the top left there is a small spot for random stuff like a spare battery for the angle cube (trust me get a spare).
There are several complications that will be present if you have a dull knife. First, the knife’s blade will become slightly ineffective. The level of effectiveness will be determined by the dullness of the blade. If you have allowed it to dull significantly, the blade might not even make the necessary cut! In the same sense, the knife will become a little more dangerous when the blade has been dulled. So, how can you tell if the blade is dull?
Before I even begin discussing much else about this sharpener I would like to take a moment to discuss its four sharpening slots. Upon reading consumer reviews, I found that many people were confused by the fact that there were four slots and mistakenly believed that this was a four stage sharpener. This is a two stage sharpener. It has one stage with a rough grit and one stage with a fine grit so that you can adjust the type of sharpening to the dullness of the blade.
Our guide attempts to give you the easiest methods for keeping your arsenal of knives sharp and ready. One final item to mention: Serrated knife blades won't work with all types of knife sharpeners. If you're using a pull-through or electric knife sharpener, it needs to have a serrated setting or the blade will lose the serration during sharpening.