Having sharp knives in the kitchen is a must for all the cooking stuff. And keeping dull knives is just a waste of time and frustration.
Dull knives are not safe. It can easily slip when a downward force is applied during cutting.
Beware of the fingers!
In short, you need a knife sharpener, whether it’s manual or electric.
If you’re looking for a good electric knife sharpener that makes your life easier, read on to know the criteria that you have to look for when choosing the best one as part of your kitchen asset.
Manual or Electric Knife Sharpener
The manual sharpener is cheap but has lesser features. It requires more effort and time to sharpen a knife, while an electric knife sharpener restores a dull blade in a couple of minutes.
The electric sharpener will take care of everything when it comes to restoring a very dull knife to a razor-sharp edge.
Want a knife sharpener but under tight budget constraints?
No problem. At least keep a manual sharpener at home for a quick touch-up. But don’t expect to restore extremely dull knives in a very short time.
As technology advanced to replace labor-intensive works, electric sharpeners have gained its popularity in recent years.
Choosing an Electric Knife Sharpener
It’s nothing wrong to improve your lifestyle, but you may have these concerns.
It’s a common conception that the most expensive knife sharpener is the right choice to sharpen all types of knives.
It’s that so simple?
Before we jump to the conclusion, let’s go through some of the essential factors (features) to decide the right sharpener for your knives.
Multiple of Stage
Many types of electric knife sharpeners come with multiple stages. This feature is quite common.
An inexpensive electric knife sharpener has at least 2 stages for coarse and fine sharpening. Some have 3 or more stages for super-fine polishing and honing of the blades.
Each stage has left and right slots with precision angle sharpening guides. This feature will ensure each side of the blade is consistently sharpened to the same bevel angle to achieve hair-splitting sharpness.
Although a 2-stage electric sharpener is sufficient to grind the knife’s edge to achieve that sharpness, a 3-stage sharpener will further polish and refine that sharpness to achieve a super-fine edge.
The final stage of a 3-stage sharpener will also be used for polishing serrated knives as well.
That’s the difference.
On the other hand, if you need to reprofile a knife with a thicker bevel angle to a 15-degree edge, you won’t go wrong with the Trizor XV.
In most cases, 3-stage models are pricier than the 2-stage sharpeners but have better sharpening results.
However, expect the 3-stage sharpeners to be slightly bulkier with the additional sharpening stage add on.
Before choosing any knife sharpener, the first thing to do is to check all your knives.
Know the types of knives you have will determine what sharpener you need. Do not skip this step!
The European and Japanese styles of knives have different bevel angles.
In other words, the European style of knives are sharpened at 20-degree bevel angle on each side of the blade and the Japanese knives are usually sharpened at 15-degree.
Any sharpener that has a 20-degree sharpening angle can only sharpen typical European style of knives.
On the contrary, Japanese Santoku knives (single or double-bevel) will need a sharpener with only 15-degree sharpening angle.
Using a sharpener with a different sharpening angle other than the knife’s edge could severely damage the knives.
So, the next time you look for an electric knife sharpener, check the knife’s bevel angle first.
Tip: Choose an electric knife sharpener with adjustable sharpening angles. This will ensure it can handle all types of knives.
This is the best answer to the above 2 questions.
Our humble recommendation is the Work Sharp Ken Onion Belt Sharpener that does more than what you could imagine. This is one of the best American brands for knife and tool sharpeners.
The runner-up is the Chef’s Choice 1520 Sharpener that comes with both 15 and 20- degree angle guides to handle both types of knives.
Want more info on knife sharpeners that are made in the USA? Feel free to read the reviews below:
There are different types of abrasive materials used in knife sharpeners.
The use of different abrasives will also determine the types of knives to sharpen and the steel removal rate.
Each type has its strengths and weaknesses.
Diamonds – Diamonds are the most expensive and hardest naturally occurring material. When used in sharpeners, it can aggressively remove metal faster than any other abrasives.
It’s suitable for coarse and medium fine grindings of knives to turn dull blades into sharp edges quickly.
Most of the high-quality electric sharpeners use diamonds in the first and second stages to reshape dull knives.
Diamonds are also used to sharpen ceramic knives as well.
Ceramic – Harder than steel, ceramics are usually used in the final stage of knife sharpeners for polishing and honing of steel blades. Do not get confused with the ceramic knife sharpener.
Sapphire – Similar to ceramic, sapphire is yet another hardest substance besides diamond. Some sharpeners use sapphire as abrasive to substitute ceramic and have proven its effectiveness in removing steel.
Among the three types, diamonds and ceramic are the most commonly used abrasives in knife sharpeners.
Sharpening Wheel or Belt
Metal removal is the process of grinding the metal away either by rotating wheels or belts. Many electric sharpeners use grinding wheels while others use belts.
Both have their pros and cons.
For multi-stage sharpeners, each stage will have a rotating wheel with different abrasives and grits. To sharpen a knife, you just need to proceed to different stages to reshape and polish the blade accordingly.
For the belt grinder or belt knife sharpener, you may have to swap belts with different grits to reshape and hone the knife.
The advantage of using a multi-stage sharpener is the ease of use. But the disadvantage is you have no control over the grits being used in this type of sharpener.
The belt knife sharpener, on the other hand, has the advantage of swapping different grid belts from coarse grinding to super-fine polishing and honing. You can have more control using a belt grinder.
As a matter of fact, replacing a belt is cheaper than replacing a grinding wheel.
Amazon has plenty of stock for replacement belts but none for a specific model of wheel grinder.
The only way is to buy from the manufacturer directly. Less choice means expensive stock.
As we all know, most of the devices come with a one-year warranty. This is pretty standard for any purchase.
However, some manufacturers provide more than one year of warranty, and this is a big plus for a consumer. It’s indicative of high-quality standards provided by the manufacturers.
As a rule of thumb, it translates to more endurance and lesser breakdown. Of all the sharpeners, the longest warranty you can get from the manufacturer is the Tormek Sharpener which is 7-year.
Countertop or handheld sharpener, it all means size and weight.
Multi-stage electric knife sharpeners are mostly countertop models, but some types are way more portable.
Because of the multi-stage design, they’re bulkier in size and require a flat surface to operate.
The portable type of electric sharpeners like the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener can sharpen straight-edge knives and other types of tools in any directions or movement without much restriction.
It can also use on any flat surface similar to the countertop models. As it’s portable, it’ll never sit in the kitchen forever.
Think garage, garden, and backyard.
For the countertop knife sharpeners, they’re mostly used to sharpen kitchen knives. The kitchen is the only and most suitable location to place the sharpener.
Last but not least, price is another purchasing factor to consider.
Buying an expensive model with lots of features but much underutilized is a waste. And a cheap one to grind a bunch of expensive knives may make your heart bleed.
But striking a balance between features and price will need some homework.
We hope this article on how to choose an electric knife sharpener can really help you find the best electric knife sharpener on the market.
At the end of the day, it still goes to individual’s preference.
Whether it’s features or price, we hope you can bring home some valuable information to help you make an appropriate buying decision.
If there’s only one sharpener to choose, we’d recommend the Work Sharp Ken Onion Belt Sharpener. It’s both versatile and portable for all your sharpening needs, whether it’s kitchen knives, hunting knives, or any tools with a blade.
Choosing an electric knife sharpener is not difficult if you’ve done enough homework.
More Reviews and Guides
- Top-Rated Chef’s Choice Knife Sharpeners (2019 – 2020)
- Top 5 Work Sharp Electric Belt Knife Sharpeners You Can Buy – Versatile & Portable
- Do Electric Knife Sharpeners Work? Pros and Cons Explained
- LINKYO Electric Knife Sharpener Review – Good Value for the Price
- Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener Review
- Sharpeners for Ceramic Knives
- How To Sharpen A Serrated Knife With An Electric Sharpener
- Tormek T-8 Wet Stone Grinder Review – Best Water Cooled Sharpening System