10 Best Knife Sharpeners | March 2017

We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you're starting to get puree instead of nicely sliced tomatoes, it's time to put a better edge on your blades. Our selection of knife sharpeners will get you chopping and slicing precisely again in no time, either in your home kitchen or a restaurant. Skip to the best knife sharpener on Amazon.
10 Best Knife Sharpeners | March 2017


Overall Rank: 1
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The PreciSharp 3-Stage has a reliable ABS plastic build, an ergonomic handle, and rubber feet to avoid slippage, while keeping your hands away from your knife. Although it easily accommodates steel knives, it doesn't sharpen ceramic cutlery very well.
  • will sharpen any knife size
  • very affordable price
  • doesn't come with any instructions
Brand PreciSharp
Model NA
Weight 4 ounces
9
The Chef's Choice 320 is a 2-stage sharpening system that handles both straight-edge and serrated blades. Its elastomeric spring guides hold your knives at the proper angle, but it can scratch the sides of your knives over time.
8
With its patented, power-grip suction base and round design, the SunrisePro Supreme attaches securely to almost any smooth countertop or other surface. Its tungsten carbide sharpening edges make sharpening a fast and easy process.
7
Most people do not want to use up their counter space, and they don't want yet another electrical appliance. The Messermeister CR-12F is a ceramic rod model, and it will sharpen and restore most knives with just a small amount of work.
  • soft grip for safety and comfort
  • 1200 grit rating
  • not as effective on japanese steel
Brand Messermeister
Model CR-12F
Weight 11.2 ounces
6
The Lansky Master's Edge includes both medium and fine ceramic rods, as well as a new triangular sharpening rod for handling almost any type of serration. However, this sharpener also has a significantly steeper learning curve than most.
  • hand guard for safety
  • rounded shape is sleek and stylish
  • rods can fall out of place
Brand Lansky
Model MEDGE1
Weight 1.4 pounds
5
The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker provides components that all snap together into a self-contained, ABS plastic base and lid, making this system ready to be bolted to your counter, and it comes with a tool for every kind of knife.
  • high alumina ceramic stone
  • instructional dvd is included
  • brass safety rods
Brand Spyderco
Model 204MF
Weight 1.4 pounds
4
The Chef's Choice 130 is constructed with hardened mini steel designed to create the most precise edges possible using its ultra-sharp, microscopic teeth. A single pass, once per month, is enough to keep any knife as sharp as it was brand new.
  • built-in stabilizing feet
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • safe to use on expensive knives
Brand Chef's Choice
Model 0130506
Weight 4.7 pounds
3
The Brod and Taylor Classic will make your knives sharper than they were when they were new and the build quality was clearly important to the maker, as these sharpeners are made to last. They are made with woven PA66 nylon instead of plastic, like most models.
  • sharpen serrated or flat knives
  • adjust automatically to your angle
  • will not damage blades
Brand Brod & Taylor
Model KS-510
Weight 12 ounces
2
Built for professionals, the Chef's Choice Angle Select offers an all-in-one design that accommodates Asian, European, and American style cutlery. Its patented stropping polishing discs both restore and create superior sharpness.
  • pure diamond abrasives
  • engineered and assembled in the usa
  • very sturdy construction
Brand Chef's Choice
Model 0115200
Weight 5.1 pounds
1
Featuring a durable, powder-coated finish, handmade steel frame, and 325 grit natural diamond rods, the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II has been carefully crafted to give your knives long-lasting, razor-sharp edges. It has a unique industrial design that comes in five colors.
  • precisely calibrated spring tension
  • ideal for kitchen and hunting knives
  • solid rubber base
Brand Warthog
Model 540006
Weight 1.2 pounds

A Dull Beginning

A simple fact of life is that sharp knives will dull. You cannot avoid this, nor can you ever purchase a non-dulling knife. Now that we have come to terms with this harsh reality, we can correct course to sharpen our blades to achieve optimal performance. If you are someone who uses blades frequently; hunter, chef, serial killer, you need a way of sharpening your tools.

Knives need to be sharpened for a myriad of reasons: corrosion by acid, getting bent, and repetition of cuts all weaken and dull the knife, creating blade damage. Luckily for us, there are methods to refine the edge resulting in fewer new knives purchased.

Knife sharpening is a complex process and it is achieved in several stages. First, the blade is sharpened. The semantics of the word sharpening can be tricky. Here it is defined as grinding the blade against a hard surface, or a soft surface with hard particles, such as sandpaper. The hard surface will grind away the old dull surface of the blade, exposing the new metal underneath. A grindstone or whetstone is usually employed at this stage of the process. The rougher grit will be used first, then a refined sharpening can occur using a finer grit.

The next step is straightening, which is also known as honing the blade. The aim is to realign the newly exposed metal and this is achieved with a honing steel. This does not remove much, if any, metal from the blade. The hone will smooth out the nicks and rough patches caused by the destructive sharpening phase. This is known as burnishing the blade. The hone will look like a rod made of steel, though ceramic models are effective as well.

The final stage is polishing or stropping, which gives the blade a mirror finish. This is accomplished by using a razor strop, which is made of soft materials like leather or canvas. The existing metal is tempered enough to be reformed at this stage, making it easier to create a smooth edge.

Grinding, Steeling, And Stropping

The three stages of sharpening a blade can be named after the tools they use to achieve the desired effect: grinding, steeling, and stropping.

A whetstone is the primarily tool used for sharpening the blade. Most are synthetic and include particles in the stone to determine grit size. A larger grit will make for a rough grind, while a finer grit makes it smoother. Most stones will have two sides to facilitate a rough and a fine grind. An oil stone and a grindstone are similar variations of the whetstone. Diamond, of course, is a girl's best friend and a knife owner's dream. Considering it is the hardest known substance to man, it can sharpen anything and it's used for knives as well.

Another option besides using whetstones is the scary sharp method. And yes, this is the actual name for it. The method employs using sandpaper to the same effect as a whetstone and it's ideal for woodworking tools.

In the next stage you must steel your blade. The honing steel rod is the most popular option, though, as mentioned previously, ceramic and even diamond rods give an excellent performance. The operator must adapt to a tough learning curve; blade precision is important at this stage and it requires you to hold the blade at consistent angles.

Lastly, the stropping stage. Remember seeing old barber shops on television? Remember that leather paddle they used to buff the straight razor? That is stropping. The strop can be leather or canvas and it's the final step in polishing the blade, making an even surface. Depending on the use of the knife, this step may be omitted. A chef will not require the blade precision chopping vegetables that a barber requires shaving with a straight razor on a gentleman's face. The chef may simple steel the blade and keep working.

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.

A History With The Knife

Prehistorically, humans began to sharpen knives as soon as knives were used as tools. Evidence of stone knives sharpened were found to be in use over 75,000 years ago. Once humans began to use metals, the knives improved, along with their sharpness.

Western style knife sharpening can trace it's roots back to the mountains of Trento, Italy. The moletas were a staple in every Italian city. Characterized by their oversized hat and sharpening station, these men sharpened all the knives of the residents in the city. They delivered the knives to the people on horse drawn carriages.

At the turn of the century, these immigrants moved to New York and brought their knife sharpening skills with them. Grinding stones replaced the cumbersome pedal operated foot wheel, and business grew. The moletas were absorbed in American culture, and brick and mortar knife sharpening shops emerged.

Today, you can certainly bring your knives to be sharpened, but there is something special about doing it on your own. It does have a steep learning curve, but I can assure you, this skill will last you a lifetime.



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Last updated: 03/27/2017 | Authorship Information

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