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Work Sharp Culinary E5 Review – Best Automatic Knife Sharpener

I am a hardcore fan of tools because I like hands-on. Whenever I looked at the gorgeous and shining beveled knife, it always reminds me of the knife sharpener. I’ve came across some brands and have some knowledge of the electric knife sharpeners but somehow the images of Work Sharp belt sharpeners flashed in my mind naturally.

Work Sharp used abrasive belts for all the models, among them the newest sharpener is the Work Sharp Culinary E5.

Work Sharp Culinary E5 Kitchen Knife Sharpener with Ceramic Honing Rod

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There are so many abundant options to sharpen knives starting from a two-stage manual sharpener to a electrical sharpeners.

Why choose Work Sharp?

This American company focuses on quality, versatility, and ease of use. When I closely compared its design and specifications of the Work Sharp E5 with other models, I know it is a user-friendly and high-quality automatic knife sharpener.

The Culinary E5 comes with a ceramic honing rod. Although it is not as versatile as the Ken Onion Edition, the Work Sharp E5 was built with simple operation in mind for beginners and busy cooks.

Nobody loves a dull life with a dull knife, right? I enjoy outdoor activities, but I also more into blades, exceptionally sharp ones. Well, don’t freak out, of course, I love humans too.

The urge to explore the features, pros and cons highly motivated me to write a review on the Work Sharp E5. I might not cover everything but I believe this useful information will greatly help someone whether they should include the Culinary E5 as part of their kitchen assets.

At least they can decide for themselves which to choose out of the various Work Sharp belt sharpeners.

Without further ado, let’s go through the features, pros and cons of the Work Sharp Culinary E5.

Features of Work Sharp Culinary E5

Work sharp culinary has revolutionized the way knives will work. This automatic knife sharpener can reciprocate any blunt knife into a beautifully edgy knife.

Work Sharp Culinary E5 Kitchen Knife Sharpener with Ceramic Honing Rod

  • Superior one-touch programmed sharpening: This electrical sharpener is very efficient. It takes only ninety seconds to re-sharpen a tool. There are three options for settings which allow you to sharpen, shape, and refine your knives according to its requirement. All you have to do is press the button. The best part is that this re-edging cycle is fully automated. So, as soon as the blade is entirely sharpened, the tool turns off!
  • Belt-drive system: This is a significant specialty of the work sharp knife sharpeners. This system is generally used by manufacturers, where the flexible belt is replaceable. The efficiency of the grade sharpening belts comes with a medium grit.
  • Accommodates all types of knives: Yeah, this E5 electric sharpener is versatile. It is designed to assist any style or any brand of knives.
  • Astounding Built-in-vacuum: Mostly, people sharpen the knives far away from food due to debris produced while sharpening. But, that is not the case with work sharp E5 models. They are designed with an internal vacuum which avoids any by-products of grinding from coming out of the culinary tool.
  • Additional 8” ceramic honing rod: The E5 Culinary sharpener comes with a ceramic rod which automatically edges the knife at the correct position. So, it is quite time-saving as well.
  • Innovative MicroForge technology: Well, this technology makes it easier for chefs as well as non-professional cooks to maneuver and control the edging technique of the tool. It also delivers a more durable knife after sharpening.
  • Unique design: This work sharp culinary has won the 2018 Innovation Award for a sharpener.
  • Three-year warranty: You might be thinking that I am bluffing. But, trust me this product comes with a three-year warranty which is a bonus.

Aren’t those features amazing? It is like a mini powerhouse of bombarding features packaged into one tool.

By design, the E5 culinary is very simple to use. It takes a 17-degree edge on the knife by powered sharpening.

Using the Automatic Knife Sharpener Step by Step Guide

Work Sharp Culinary E5 Kitchen Knife Sharpener with Ceramic Honing RodFirst and foremost keep your knife ready, and decide whether you want to shape, sharpen, or refine the tool. Choose shape to restore dull knife, sharpen for medium grinding and refine to hone the knife.

  1. For shaping the knife, click the sharp switch once. For sharpening the blade, click the sharpen button twice. Finally, if you want to merely refine the blade, then you must click the sharpen button thrice.
  2. Set the left side of the heel of your knife against the guide; pull the entire knife straight, slowly while resting on the front edge rollers.
  3. Alternate the slot for the other side of your knife. Repeat this process until the machine automatically stops. Now, your knife is going to be as good and sharp as a brand new one.
  4. Once you are done, slice a tomato, or any veggie to check if it’s entirely done.

Once the knife is sharp, you must focus on maintenance of the sharp edge. So, the specialty of this Work Sharp E5 Knife Sharpener is that it comes with a ceramic honing rod with built-in guide.

Work Sharp Culinary E5 Kitchen Knife Sharpener with Ceramic Honing Rod

All you got to do is use the ceramic honing mode for maintenance. For this, you have to maintain the knife at the angle guide and keep making a stroke. Seven to ten strokes are sufficient to preserve the sharpness of the blade.

In fact, the refine mode of the E5 is also used to hone the knife but requires electrical power. However, the ceramic rod is more convenient in this case for a quick touch-up.

The MicroForge on the Edge

The Work Sharp E5 sharpener can also be used for advanced sharpening. It has a MicroForge technology. Are you wondering what that is? No worries, keep reading further.

Well, the MicroForge technology is used explicitly for improved durability and more efficient cutting control. It puts microscopic facets, like the micro-serrations along the cutting edge of the knife to ease cutting fibrous food, vegetables, and bread.

You only need to apply the MicroForge edge once or twice a year.

To apply MicroForge along the edge of the knife, do the followings:

  1. Remove the ceramic rod of the sharpener from the handle.
  2. Start at the tip of the tool and keep pushing the knife through the micro slot one time.
  3. You must remember to keep the knife at a resting position against the handle.
  4. To hone the MicroForged edge, do this. Put back the ceramic rod, such that the smooth side is aligned with guides.
  5. Now, make 8 to 10 light strokes, alternating each side of the knife.

To remove the MicroForge edge, go through the entire sharpening process again.

Belt Replacement

The belt is very lasting. It will take you a long time before a replacement is needed. Replacing the belt will happen in two situations, either the original belt has been worn out or you want to upgrade the belt that comes with the E5 upgrade kit.

First, pull open the front cover. Replacing the belt is done by pressing down the tensioner and slide the belt off. Then lift up the tensioner, an extra belt is located inside. Take out the new belt and install it by holding the tensioner down and fit it around all the 3 pulleys.

It’ll not take more than 2 minutes to replace it the first time.

The Pros

Nobody will love to use a blunt end knife, right? Getting it to sharpen manually is the old school method and pretty tedious as well. That is the time when the electric knife sharpener come to the rescue! The Work Sharp E5 knife sharpener is a boon for most of the people running on a very hectic schedule.

  • The Work Sharp E5 is an automatic electric knife sharpener that eliminates guesswork to get a razor-sharp edge, so there is no need for watching millions of “how to use” videos.
  • Lightweight and portable. It weighs only 2.5 pounds.
  • E5 culinary is very easy and convenient to use.
  • Compact and handy. The 7.2 inches by 4.5 inches occupies a minimal footprint on your kitchen table.
  • Includes a ceramic honing rod with MicroForge technology.
  • Sharpen serrated knives using the ceramic rod.
  • Does not produce any excess debris while the knife is being sharpened, due to its in-built vacuum.
  • Apart from the usual kitchen knives, it can also be used to sharpen and refine hunting knives, or any other knife blade. Scissors can be sharpened, too.
  • The premium grade sharpening belts (P120 grit) are replaceable which make them more popular.
  • Optional to purchase the upgrade kit for knives at 15 and 20-degree edge angle.
  • Their three-year warranty shows how confident and reliable they are about their E5 knife sharpening culinary.

The Cons

There are very little disadvantages to this machinery except for its price. It does come a bit on the higher side of the price range. But, its exclusive features and efficiency far outweighs this price. Thereby, it has become one of the most popular automatic sharpeners in the market for refining, shaping, or sharpening knives.

If you need an affordable and high-quality sharpener by Work Sharp, check out the review on the belt driven knife sharpener.

Another drawback might be the heating of the machinery while sharpening the tools. But, that can be overcome by giving breaks of five minutes between simultaneous strokes.

All in all, when it comes to belt driven sharpener, Work Sharp is considered the best kitchen knife sharpener in the USA.


  1. What are the best angles for my knife?

Asian style knives require a fifteen-degree angle, while European style knives require around twenty-degree approximately. The Work Sharp E5 culinary is manufactured to provide a seventeen-degree edge which is suitable for most of the blades available in the market. That’ll not only correctly sharpen the tools but also maintain its durability and cut control.

  1. Can I sharpen my scissor blades with this machinery?

Yes, you just need to remove the guide on the side and direct the scissor across the belt at a 60-degree angle. Sharpen only the beveled side of the scissors, not the flat side.

  1. Can I use it for sharpening ceramic knives?

No, ceramic knives require diamond abrasive for shaping and refining. The E5 culinary does not provide that.

  1. How frequently should I sharpen my knives?

Well, it depends on the amount of use, but typically sharpening a few times a year is enough to maintain the fine edge of the knife.

  1. What is the E5 upgrade kit? Is it available with the product?

The E5 upgrade kit can be purchased separately online. It is used for further advanced sharpening of the knives. It provides bonus angle guides required for western and eastern blade knives.

  1. Is this product ideal for a professional kitchen?

Yes, of course! The professional chefs recommended it. Read the reviews and check it out yourself. It is commendable and swift. Plus, it has got premium-level belts for sharpening your knife!


For some reason, you may not find the Culinary E5 appealing. In this case, do make an effort to check out other Work Sharp models.

To sharpen knives at 25-degree edge angle, buy the Combo Knife Sharpener. This is the cheapest of all models without compromising on quality.

To have more control over the features as well as cost, go for the Knife & Tool Sharpener.

Among all Work Sharp models, the Ken Onion Edition is the best buy if you want full control of the sharpener with expansion capabilities.

Lastly, the WS3000 is the best sharpener for woodwork tools.  But it is a workbench model similar to a grinding machine. It also has expansion capabilities for sharpening knives as well as other tools.

Final verdict

We’ll sum up this review in three words. WE LOVE IT!

If you decide to buy it, we hope you’ll enjoy the features for years to come before another purchase is needed. As a matter of fact, the exclusive features of this automatic knife sharpener is rather unique and worth a try.

The price as compared to normal sharpener is a bit high for most of the customers. But, this is a one-time investment, and it is worth it.

It comes with a three-year warranty, but the best part is Work Sharp is offering a 90-day money back guarantee for unsatisfied customers. That is how confident they are about this product. It is light years ahead of the grinding sharpeners commonly used by other people.

We would say if you want an automatic knife sharpener with amazing features the Work Sharp E5 is currently the best in the market.

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