Products featured are independently selected by our editorial team and we may earn a commission from purchases made from our links; the retailer may also receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Have you had your knives sharpened lately? Chances are that the answer is no. With all of the things keeping us busy on a daily basis, including trying to figure out what you even want to eat, you’d be forgiven. But did you know that you should be sharpening your kitchen knives at least one to two times each year? If your knives can’t cleanly slice through a tomato or a piece of paper, it’s time to sharpen them.
Sharp knives don’t just assist with things such as dicing or filleting, they also help keep you safe while using them. A dull knife requires more force and pressure to cut, which means there’s a higher chance it could slip and potentially injure you in the process.
Of course, you could always have your knives professionally sharpened, but for convenience, we recommend purchasing a knife sharpener.
Manual vs. Electric Knife Sharpeners
When assessing potential knife sharpeners, it’s important you ask yourself whether you’ll want to have one that’s manual or one that’s electric. And while a lot of your decision will be measured by your personal preference, there are some key differences between the two that could play into your choice.
For starters, manual sharpers provide you with a level of control; you’re able to complete the action by hand. There are those who may feel uncomfortable with the slight loss in control that comes with using an electric sharpener. With a manual sharpener, you can control the speed and the pressure with which you sharpen. Additionally, manual sharpeners can be a lot cheaper and smaller than their electric counterparts. When using a manual sharpener, always make sure you’re working on a flat surface with no clutter surrounding you as you work. For extra protection, wear gloves and goggles.
On the other hand, electric sharpeners help do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to sharpening, pressure application and speed. They also come outfitted with a variety of angle features that can accurately sharpen different knife styles.
What’s the Best Knife Sharpener?
We looked at the following criteria when assessing the best knife sharpeners, including durability, price and versatility.
Composition: What exactly is the material sharpening your knives? The most common types of sharpening stones are oil stones, water stones and diamond stones. Each of these have different advantages depending on what exactly you’re trying to sharpen. Sharpeners with diamond stones are considered the cream of the crop by professional chefs, due to their durability, speed and strength.
Edge Angle: This will depend on what type of knife you’re trying to sharpen. Whether you’re working with a chef’s knife or a bread knife, be sure your sharpener can accommodate the specific knife or knife set you own ahead of time.
Durability: Sharpening your knives is about maintenance, so it only makes sense that you look for a sharpener that can stick with you for the long haul. You want a sharpener that is easy to maintain and will retain its efficacy for as long as possible.
Functionality: It all comes back to convenience, which in turn makes sharpening your knives safe. By selecting a sharpener that is fairly easy to maneuver and does the job quickly, there’s less room for error, frustration and potential injuries.
Price: There are a lot of pricy options on the market, but you don’t need to break your wallet to find a reliable sharpener, especially if you’re not using your knives very often. There are plenty of inexpensive sharpeners that will do the job well, and sometimes actually outperform their more expensive counterparts.
1. AccSharp Knife & Tool Sharpener
This easy-to-use manual sharpener is great in a pinch, promising a sharper blade in just 10 seconds. The device wraps around your fingers, allowing you to drag your blade through the tungsten. If you’re nervous about your fingers, don’t worry as a plastic guard keeps them safe during the process. It can accommodate a variety of knives, from chef’s knives to cleavers.
While the price may be cheap, the sharpener itself certainly isn’t. The sharpening blades are made from diamond-honed tungsten carbide. They can also be reversed, allowing you to double the lifespan of this sharpener. Many of the reviews left by customers single out the efficacy of this sharpener as well as its durability.
For the cherry on top, it’s easy to clean, thanks to the fact it doesn’t rust. Just clean it with a little soap and water, or put it in the dishwasher with the rest of your cutlery and dishes when needed.
2. Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener
We recommend this electric sharpener for those who have little to no experience with sharpening knives. The Presto 08800 utilizes a very convenient two-stage sharpening system. The first stage creates a precise angled edge, while the second stage polishes your blade and makes it razor-sharp. Just slide your knife through one of the two grooves on the first side 10 times, and then repeat the process on the second side. If you happen to forget, the sides are numbered for added ease. The whole process should only take about 30 seconds and promises a perfect blade every time, so you don’t have to stress or guess.
One reviewer referred to this sharpener as “idiot proof,” which is the highest level of praise you could ask for when it comes to sharpeners. It doesn’t get much simpler than this.
3. Chef’s Choice ProntoPro Manual Knife Sharpener
For those who may feel that manual sharpeners lack the precision of electric models, this sharpener from Chef’s Choice is here to prove you wrong. Featuring a three-stage sharpening system and 100 percent patented diamond abrasives, this sharpener can accommodate straight edge, serrated, sports and hunting knives. There’s even a soft touch handle that provides a secure, comfortable grip while you sharpen.
4. Work Sharp E2 Kitchen Sharpener
This electric sharpener is pretty inexpensive, though performs just as well as a lot of the other electric sharpeners on the market. Using it is as easy as the push of a button — the fully guided sharpener offers an even angle and a very sharp edge every time. Unlike a lot of other sharpeners, this one utilizes abrasive disks that provide for a gentler, but still professional, sharpening. While you can use this on your high-quality knives, you can also use it to sharpen scissors and shears.
The discs do need to be replaced after 100 uses, so we recommend this one if you’re someone who doesn’t cook very often or if you don’t have a lot of knives to maintain.
5. CWOVRS Manual Knife Sharpener Kit
This manual knife sharpening kit comes with everything you’ll need to keep your kitchen, gardening and/or hobby knives as sharp as necessary. Included are five sharpening stones of different grits and colors, as well as guide rods and a knife clamp so you can sharpen to precision.
This kit can accommodate continuous angle adjustments, from 17, 20, 25 to 30. This allows the user to actually change the angle. If you require a smaller angle, you can forgo the rods. Just ensure that you maintain a steady, firm grip throughout. Everything is packaged neatly in a compact carrying case that you can easily store in a drawer or closet.
(Additionally, you can currently save $5 off your purchase when you apply for the coupon on Amazon before checkout.)
6. Grocery Art Electric Knife Sharpener Tool 3-in-1 -Sharpening Machine
This electric sharpener is easily the smallest and lightest on our list weighing just over 1 pound. It’s perfect for those who may be working with less counter or storage space in their kitchen. But don’t let its small size fool you, it still gets the job done. In fact, this 3-in-1 sharpener can even sharpen your screwdrivers, something that many others don’t do and makes this one stand out from the rest of the pack.
Insert your blade or screwdriver into the respective slot, press the power button and let this little machine do the rest. There’s even a built-in auto angle to make the process that much easier. In the event you need to clean the base, just lightly wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it air dry. While you’re cleaning, just be sure to avoid the grinding wheel.
(This sharpener is also eligible for a $5 coupon when you apply before checkout on Amazon.)