How to Pick the Best Knife Sharpener for Your Knives ?
Why Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives?
Dull kitchen knives are irritating, time consumer, dirty, and dangerous. They make cutting anything from cheese, bread, and fish to meat and sandwiches an incredible pain. Besides being difficult to work with dull knives can be incredibly dangerous. The harder you push down or pull across with a dull knife the more likely you are to cut yourself and end up with stiches or a missing finger. But more importantly, it is about the experience in the kitchen. No one wants to work with a dull knife, and during dinner parties or the holidays how embarrassing is it to hand someone a knife that won’t cut. You end up apologizing and searching for a better and sharper knife. The trouble and hassle just isn’t worth it. The pleasure of owning a set of kitchen knives is that you can pick them up and they will cut, every time and without hesitation. The pleasure is handing a cooking partner or a dinner guest your kitchen knife and they become almost jealous of your quality steel. You shouldn’t have to focus on the knife due to it being dull. You should only have to focus on the food, the cut, and the cook. The knife is your tool in the kitchen that you bought to work when you need it to. So, make sure it is sharp. Investing in the right knife sharpener is key to keeping your tools healthy and long lasting.
Comparison of 15 Best Knife Sharpeners in 2020
|Image||Product Name||Features||View on Amazon|
|Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife||Check Price|
|Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener||Check Price|
|SMITH & WESSON Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S||
CONVERT YOUR KNIVES: Ideal for converting traditional 20-degree factory edges of household knives into high performance Trizor XV 15-degree edges
|10 Inches Honing Steel Knife Sharpening Steel Sharpening Rod||
10-inches knife sharpening steel rod is for
|THE PROFESSIONAL CHEF’S PREFERRED CHOICE.||Check Price|
|Chicago Cutlery knife set and In-Block Sharpener||DUAL SIDED SHARPENING- Made from durable silicon carbide, this two-sided sharpening block comes with both a 400-grit side, used for returning edges to their original shape, and a 1000-grit side used for smoothing and polishing cutting edges.||Check Price|
|SUPERIOR BUNDLE : Your complete knife sharpening kit comes with double sided (#1000/ #6000) premium quality whetstone||Check Price|
|COMPLETE SHARPENING SYSTEM: Give your blades an enviable edge with a knife sharpening stone kit that includes all the essentials.||Check Price|
|DIAMOND ELECTOPLATING: State-of-the-art manufacturing for precision Kitchen, Home or Hunting blade sharpening||Check Price|
|Noble Home & Chef ceramic hones are made with quality Japanese ceramic materials built to withstand years of use and ideal for hard steel knives including Japanese knives.||Check Price|
|3-Step Knife Sharpening System: With our incredible 3-slot system, we’re revolutionizing the art of knife sharpening!||Check Price|
What about pocket knives ?
All knives need to be sharpened; even the best pocket knives need some blade care. However, often due to the blade difference there are different sharpening techniques. So, when you are looking for the best pocket knife along with a sharpener make sure to get something that states and advertises and the reviews support the effective sharpening of your best pocket knife. Gerber is know for its quality, utility, and long lasting nature. The Paraframe Mini Knife is no exception. Its handling is exceptional with a weight that is both light in the pocket and solid in the hand. To sharpen your best pocket knife no need for something incredibly sophisticated. A simple handheld v-shaped slot sharpener like the one from Smith’s will do nicely. Smith’s is an American based company in Arkansas that has become a leader in the knife and scissor sharpening world. The PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener has both carbide and a ceramic disks to sharpen your damaged blades and then polish them clean. Similar to the Gerber knife is the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops pocket knife. Both versatile and good looking this knife can be carried discretely in a hip or jacket pocket while still being completely useful for any type of cutting in the field from wire to string to leather. Just remember that your best pocket knife is a different beast than the knives that you have in the kitchen. You should treat them differently. Either use an all-purpose sharpener on all of your blades or separate sharpeners for each kind. Below is a detailed description of sharpeners for your kitchen knives. So, for now grab a PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener for your truck or tool box for your best pocket knife and listen up to how to deal with your kitchen knives.
Best Kitchen Knife Sharpener Considerations
Any simple Google search for “best kitchen knife sharpener” or “best knife sharpener” or “best electric knife sharpener” is most likely going to yield a number of results that are for the most part useless if you don’t understand what you are looking for. You need to marry three (3) primary things:
1. You need to know what type of knives you have. This will determine the type of blade is on your knives.
2. You need to know what your budget is. This will give you a range of models.
3. You need to know what your goal is. Are you interested in something that cuts or the most amazing blade for your amazing knife? It matters.
But let’s chat for a moment on what the features are on a knife sharpener. The purpose and utility of a knife sharpener is to turn a dull blade into a sharp blade. To see an old Japanese chef discuss the importance and how to sharpen a blade watch Mino Tsuchida here talk Japanese blades and culture. Sharpening a blade is the art (yes it is totally an art) of taking a piece of dull metal and create an edge that should cut through paper. You are literally grinding away pieces of the knife’s edge to reveal a new edge, a new blade, and a new utility for an aging piece. Breathe life into your blades. If you are wise with your choices you can sharpen many knives better than the factory quality. Before going out to buy the Chef’s Choice 15XV (which is your best bet for an electric sharpener) or the 10 Inch Honing Steel or a beautiful Whetstone understand why you should by it. The best knife sharpener is useless if it isn’t appreciated. Here are the considerations you need to keep in mind:
· The Price: Is it $8 or $180? Both may or may not work for your needs.
· The Process: How long does it take to sharpen a knife? Well, it depends on your knife and the type of blade you want.
· The Grit: Different sized grits have different tasks when sharpening the knife. The finer the grit the more polishing it does. The larger the grit the more steel it cuts off. The more grit sizes used the higher the quality of the end blade.
· The Size: How big is the unit? Pocket sized or tabletop with an electric cord?
These considerations may not matter if you want something that makes your standard knives cut but if you are looking for the best knife sharpener you need to know what you are getting yourself into. The main advice that anyone will give you is when you do choose a product and buy the best kitchen knife sharpener you can get you need to read the instructions. If you don’t follow the included steps it doesn’t really matter if you bought the best electric knife sharpener on the market for all types of knives including pocket knives and garage tools like the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener you will always have dull knives. Pick based on your needs and always read the instructions.
Not All Knifes Are the Same
Like anything in the world the more you learn about something the more you realize how little you actually know. Don’t worry it really only is a momentary problem. Just know that if you have a European knife or a Japanese knife there are different methods of blade care due to the differing structure of the blade. You can Google image search to see the differences. Here is a general discussion that should get you going until you are wanting to buy one or the other. This discussion is determined on sharpening what you already own.
European knives are for the most part any knives that you buy that aren’t a Japanese knife. The other style that is considered incredible desirable is German. German knives are sharp, utilitarian, and stand the test of time. Any standard set of cutting knives that you buy at a kitchen store in the United States or Europe will be styled after the German process of creating an edge. The edge on a German or European style knife has two angles. The steel of the blade angles down in a straight line until the point. At the end point the angle increases creating the fine edge of the knife. This two-angle design is perfect for the European style cuisine that has a lot of chopping, cutting, and slicing. Any of the best kitchen knife sharpeners will work on European blades.
Japanese knives are generally considered to be sharper than European blades because the angle of the steel from the shaft to the edge is finer than on European blades. This gives it a sleeker profile. It is able to achieve this because it only has one angle across the entire face of the blade. Where the European blade had two angles, one for the face and then one for the edge. The Japanese blade has a single angle across the entire blade. This single angle blade is ideal for Japanese cuisine that tends to slice long and thin cuts from fine meats and vegetables often. Think of how fine sushi is and the finesse that it takes to cut slices from such soft fish. You would know if your knife is a Japanese knife. It either has Japanese writing on the blade or you remember what you bought. To keep your Japanese blade as a single angle you truly can only use a whetstone on it. The best kitchen knife sharpeners that aren’t a Whetstone like the one from Whetstone Cutlery will create a new edge on the Japanese knife that will be more akin to a German styled knife. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just depends on if you want to keep the Japanese quality of the knife or would just like to keep it sharp.
Not All Sharpeners Are the Same
The best knife sharpener is not the best electric knife sharpener or the best hand-held knife sharpener. It is the best knife sharpener for what YOU need and what YOU are looking for in your knife. What type of blade do you have? Is it something you bought at the grocery store? Did you buy it at a high-end kitchen store for a few hundred dollars? Do you care how long the knife lasts? Are you just looking for a sharp edge? The answers to these questions matter. Remember the best knife sharpener isn’t always the one that is recommended. It is the one that does the job that you need it to do. Whetstones and diamond carbon steel rods and honing steel rods and hand-held or electric sharpeners will all perform differently depending on what you are looking for.
How To Sharpen A Knife (Esoteric Overview)
You could probably take a whole series of classes on how to sharpen a knife. Just simply by doing a quick Google or YouTube Search you come up with hours of tutorials. If you need this level of granularity in your education then head on over after this article grab a beer and get ready for some amazing information. You will learn why it is an art and why it is so important to take your knives seriously. The best knife sharpeners all do generally the same thing. You take the edge of the blade (the side that cuts or used to cut) and starting with the edge closest to the grip slide the edge down the Whetstone or sharpening rod. Do this a few times on each side. Each push of the knife’s edge along the stone or rod will slowly start to form a new and sharper cutting angle. You need to switch sides to make sure that the edge stays straight and uniform. However, you don’t just slide the knife along the edge. It isn’t that simple. You need to make sure that the blade is the correct angle from the stone or rod that is specific to that type of knife. This isn’t the article to go over that but is for the purpose of a general introduction to the theory. Sharpening against a Whetstone should keep your knives sharp for 30+ days depending on the amount of use. Sharpening against a honing rod will only keep them sharp for a few days. However, the Whetstone process can take an hour where the honing rod takes a few minutes. This is all compared to the process of the hand-held or electric knife sharpener. A hand-held unit like the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener only take a few swipes for the knife through the separate groves to get it factory sharp again. Similarly the electric knife sharpener like the Chef’s Choice only takes a few swipes to be as sharp or sharper than it ever was. Hand-held units and electric units run on the same principle of spinning discs that automatically sharpen the knife as it is run through the grove. They either have a set angle or one that can be manually set for the type of knife.
What Type of Sharpener Is Best For Me?
For the best knife sharpener that will ensure you the most brilliant cut imaginable there is no better tool than a Whetstone. Further, Whetstones are the only style knife sharpener that will ensure that your Japanese knives will stay of the “Japanese style.” There are a number of different brands and types of Whetstones. You need to ensure that the type you buy is a level and grade of grit that you need for the use. If you are looking to both sharpen and polish the blade the multiple Whetstones will be needed to ensure that the blade is sharp and clean. Here are a few very trusted types of Whetstones:
· Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone (Comes with a knife sharpening book)
· Stone and Steel Knife Sharpening Kit (Comes with a knife sharpening book)
Regardless of the type you buy make sure you follow the directions. Of all of the types of knife sharpening a Whetstone is by for the hardest and most time consuming. The results are absolutely phenomenal and will last significantly longer than any other type of sharpening technique. So, choose wisely. It is handy to buy a kit that comes with a sharpening guide specifically written for that Whetstone in mind. The guides will describe the type of oils to use, the angle of the blade on the stone, and the post sharpening care of the blade and stone. For the best knife sharpener get a Whetstone, but remember you must be committed to the art and committed to the time. This is not for the feint of heart or the non-cooking inclined. For a quicker process see one of the two options below.
There are two general types of rod knife sharpeners. If you are looking for a portable sharpener or something you can pull out to impress your guests than the best kitchen knife sharpener for you is either a 10 inches honing steel knife sharpening steel sharpening rod or a diamond carbon steel professional knife sharpener rod both are based on the same principle of just sliding the knife down the edge of the rod to create a quick and easy edge on the knife. The edge doesn’t last nearly as long as the Whetstone edge but it will do the job for a few days or up to a week depending on how much you use it. The process is simple enough. Take the knife and start at the edge of the blade closest to the handle and draw it down the rod at a uniform angle multiple times on each side until you have achieved the desired sharpness. These rods create a new angled blade along the edge of the knife. So, don’t use them for your Japanese knives. Only use these for your European blades. Here are a few of the best kitchen knife sharpeners for rods:
Regardless of the type of rod you end up buying make sure you read the instructions. For the most part it is pretty easy to use these, and it takes minutes to get a great edge on a knife. So, you won’t need to spend an afternoon in the shop slaving over the work. Pull it out right before you carve that turkey. It will impress your guests and make you appear a bit more caveman like. Not a bad thing.
Manual and Electric Sharpeners
The hand-held and electric knife sharpeners are definitely the Cadillac cars of the knife-sharpening world. There is a range in price here that can stretch from ten dollars to one hundred and thirty dollars. Each will perform well but the pricier options are longer lasting, easier to use, and significantly quicker to use. So, when you want the best electric knife sharpener make a determination on what your priorities are. Do you want something that is fast? Do you want something that takes up space? Do you want something that is cheap? Similar to the honing rods described above you don’t want to use a Japanese style knife in one of these unless you know what you are doing. They will create a new edge along the blade that is at a different angle than the face of the knife. So, if you are looking for the best electric knife sharpener for a Japanese knife you may want to ask yourself why you have a Japanese knife. For quick and instant sharp steel as if you bought the knife new you can’t beat an electric sharpener. Hand-held units will deliver the same factory level edge but tend to take a few more rolls of the wrist and can tire your grip. However, if you are chill with sitting for a few minutes and carefully manually pulling the blade through then a cheaper unit will serve you nicely. Remember it isn’t about being the best electric knife sharpener it is about being the best unit for what you want. Here are a few examples of some of the best units on the market:
An electric or hand-held knife sharpener is a great handy tool to have around if your knives aren’t the highest of quality. Regardless of the value of your knives one of these units will ensure that your knives stay around for as long as you are cooking. That is what makes these the best kitchen knife sharpeners for the price and time of commitment. They will keep your knives sharp and clean as if they are straight out of the box. You will never have to worry about the sharpening technique or the type of knife. A few sweeps of the blade through the slot and your knife will be ready to cut just about anything. All you need to answer now is: are you ready to experience the true sharpness of your knives? Hopefully the answer is yes.