A knife sharpener is hardly a tool that comes to your attention in the kitchen until your knife cannot cut through vegetables or other items. It is recommended to keep your knife sharp since it adds to your safety and improves precision. This guide will provide you with the information you need to find the best knife sharpeners in the market. There are several types of kitchen knife sharpeners that you can buy. The main categories are four and largely define how the knife sharpener works. The four types are;
Manual/pull-through knife sharpener
These come with a D-shaped handle that you place on a countertop or table, and to sharpen the knife, you pull it through one of the provided abrasive slots. This mechanism allows both sides to be sharpened at once. They are not the best option, especially for pricey knives, but they are affordable and work well for keeping kitchen knives sharp before using a professional knife sharpener service.
Electric knife sharpener
An electric knife sharpener has a motor that drives the wheel, abrasive discs, or flexible belts, which in turn sharpen the knife. They often have 2-3 levels of abrasion with the coarsest level for creating new edges while the fines ones realign and refine the edge.
This type of knife sharpener is best for a busy kitchen with a chef or cook who needs to sharpen his knives in a little time. They are quite expensive, though, and can also wear out your knives with frequent or long sharpening.
The whetstone is the oldest type of knife sharpener and comes in different designs and varying degrees of coarseness. To use this knife sharpener, hold you place the knife horizontally on the stone with the edge angling slightly. You then move it forwards and backward across the whetstone surface to sharpen the edge below.
It offers versatility, and any chef who has mastered its use will enjoy this aspect. The downside is the learning curve and the meticulous shopping you need to pick the best as your chef knife sharpener.
Honing/Sharpening rods or steels
These two chef knife sharpener options look similar but serve different purposes in the kitchen. Honing rods aim to align the knife’s steel fibers at the edge. Therefore, fine ceramic or steel surfaces serve them best. On the other hand, the sharpening rods need rougher surfaces to remove some of the metal from the blade. Sharpening rods are best for everyone, whether a chef or a home food enthusiast. If you get a tapered sharpening rod, it can serve as both a chef knife sharpener as a serrated knife sharpener.
Chef Knife Sharpener
The chef knife is the one knife you use most in the kitchen. For this reason, it is also the one that easily loses its sharpness and requires regular sharpening. Finding the right chef knife sharpener is crucial if you are going to do the sharpening on your own.
A good knife sharpener gives you reliability and allows you to maintain the edge on your knife whenever the moment calls for it. It also makes it safe for you and the chef knife so that you don’t end up injuring yourself or damaging your knife. This guide will help you in finding the best chef knife sharpener. It also gives you an overview of the various best quality kitchen knives in the market any chef would appreciate.
What knife sharpener do chefs use?
A higher number of chefs prefer using whetstones largely because of the freedom they offer. A chef is most likely going to have a specialized set of knives and clear-cut preferences. Often, they may choose a knife sharpener from the knife-making company that made their knives. The decision to use a whetstone is easier for a chef as he most probably has gained knife sharpening experience over the course of his career.
They are, however, not limited to whetstones only. There is often little time to waste in a fast-paced kitchen, and a chef may thus want to use the time advantage that an electric knife sharpener offers. On the other hand, steel rods could be better at honing. Ultimately, the choice of a chef knife sharpener depends on what the chef feels most comfortable with.
The kind of knife sharpener you buy should not be confined to what professionals use but rather what serves your kitchen best. Any quality professional knife sharpener will provide the premium performance and results you want if you match it to your skill and kitchen needs. If you get a top chef knife sharpener, but you do not know how to use it or get one for the wrong knife, then you will still fail to enjoy the benefits.
Best Knife Sharpeners
The best knife sharpeners often come from brands that are known for making knives. A top knife brand like Wusthoff, for example, crafts a chef knife sharpener for its knives and others. Other best knife brands which have their knife sharpener products include Tojiro, Miyabi, and Zwilling J.A Henckels.
Here is a look at five of the best sharpeners in the market
Miyabi chef knives are known for their authentic Japanese traditions and their sharpness. Their Japanese Honbazuke V-edge gives the 19° symmetrical blade unmatched sharpness. To maintain the sharpness of these kitchen knives, it is recommended to use the Miyabi Sharpening Whetstone with 1000 grit. Its top features include;
- Made from ceramic composite
- 1000 grit roughness hardly wears the blades down
- It has a lifetime manufacturer warranty
- It has an ultra-fast grinding effect
- 90-day moneyback guarantee
KitchenIQ™ has a product with several firsts that any chef and ordinary user in a kitchen will appreciate. Its top features include;
- It comes with a counter guard to protect the table and surfaces when sharpening.
- It provides both coarse and fine sharpening for scissors and knives
- It can sharpen both serrated and straight blades
- It can sharpen right and left-handed scissors
- It does both sharpening and honing
ZWILLING chef knives are known for their sharpness and durability thanks to thin blades and the high carbon content. If you were to buy a ZWILLING knife, then you should get the best knife sharpener for it too. Thankfully, the brand has arguably the best chef knife sharpener for this role. Top features for the ZWILLING ceramic sharpening steel include;
- Ceramic material guarantees gentle sharpening protecting the blade
- It offers excellent ergonomic handling
- It can sharpen scissors and blades
- It provides gentle sharpening suitable for sensitive blades
- 90-day moneyback guarantee
A Tojiro blade is any chef’s dream and will belong in any kitchen. Fortunately, you can say the same about the Tojiro Pro Edging Japanese Whetstone #1000. It is the best knife sharpener if you are looking for the best way to maintain your Tojiro blades or any other kitchen knife, but you prefer a chef knife sharpener that offers you more freedom. Its top features include;
- It is a synthetic water stone providing premium quality
- Comes with 1000 grit side
- Has a lifetime manufacturer warranty
- Provides double edge sharpening
- It is made from ceramic material
Wusthof has a strong heritage of making some of the best chef knives from Europe. It is no surprise that they will look to create a chef knife sharpener that would match their quality knives. It is an interesting addition to your kitchen and comes with the following key features;
- It has two ceramic discs the provide faster and sharper results
- Has non-slip rubber feet
- The handguard protects your hand from injury
- Made in Germany
- Comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
Is it hard to sharpen knives?
While it is possible and probably the best decision to sharpen your knife, it is not a breeze in the park. There is a learning curve in using any kitchen knife sharpener. It takes time and plenty of practice and concentration. You need to understand the various aspects of grit and angles and the knife blades.
If you have not had enough practice and developed sufficient knife sharpening skills, it is not recommended to start out on your pricey chef knife. Instead, find any other knife in the kitchen and practice with it. Ideally, you should try out the various knife sharpener options before settling on one. Suppose you immediately start sharpening your chef knife and other main knives in the kitchen without prior experience. In that case, you risk damaging the knife by grinding off more metal than is necessary.
What is the best knife sharpener for kitchen knives?
Picking the best knife sharpener for your kitchen knives comes down to quality, preference, and the suitability of the sharpener. You should only buy a knife sharpener you are willing to learn how to use or one you have already mastered. Other considerations are;
The knife grit level
Grit level refers to the fineness or coarseness of the abrasion material on a knife. Coarse grit, which is under 1000, is used for damaged knives, while medium grit that is 1000-3000 is for sharpening dull undamaged kitchen knives. On the other hand, fine grit from about 4000 to 8000 is for horning the knives to refine the edge.
While the size of the knife sharpener will not affect its sharpening ability, it will impact its storage, so make sure you buy one you can easily store in the available space.
The time it takes to sharpen
A chef whose choice of chef knife sharpener is a whetstone may not mind spending five minutes fine-tuning his blade, but you probably will. So, pick an option that will serve the purpose within a convenient time for you.
Your budget will also determine the sharpener you buy. For value, consider what the chef knife sharpener offers and its durability. If you are sharpening many knives regularly, you will need durability, and it will cost more. Also, if you want more settings/levels and a multifunctional kitchen knife, then it is recommended you get a more premium option.
Should I Sharpen a New Knife?
Most knives come from the shop with what is known as the ‘factory’s edge.’ Often it should be sharp enough for several of the kitchen duties. It is recommended that you use it for several days or chores to gauge its sharpness, angles, and how you envision it serving you. Be sure you know the degree of sharpness you want before taking it through a knife sharpener.
Some enthusiasts, though, insist on sharpening their knives straight out of the box. In such instances, the person already knows the purpose of the knife and the degree of sharpness expected.
It is recommended that you sharpen your knives every 1-2 months on average, but this may vary depending on frequency of use and what you are cutting. At House of Knives, we have the best knife sharpeners from the leading global brands, as well as top-quality knives and knife accessories. Shop with us today and enjoy unending options and a seamless shopping experience.
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