If there’s one thing everyone needs in their kitchen, it’s a set of super-sharp kitchen knives. However, even the sharpest knives will eventually become dull.
That’s why a knife sharpener is such an important tool to have on your countertop – in just a few minutes, you can bring your blunt, lifeless knives back to their original super-sharp, power-slicing selves.
Although knife sharpening is a pretty essential practice, you’d be surprised just how few people actually own a knife sharpener.
If you’re in the market for a new one, we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite knife sharpeners, and we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each one to help make your buying journey a breeze!
Your days of blunt, lifeless chopping are numbered: here’s our list of the best five knife sharpeners on the market.
Our Best Knife Sharpener
FIrst on our list, we have the Sharpal 191H. This is one of the most trusted knife sharpeners on the market and for good reason.
The Sharpal 191H is an impressive 3-stage sharpening system, featuring carbide blades for quick edges, ceramic blades for honing, and a tungsten carbide blade for scissor grinding.
With a powerful suction base, your sharpener will remain attached to your countertop at all times, with no risk of unwanted movement or injury.
Each sharpening slot is made with premium abrasive material, and according to Sharpal, you can pull a blade through each slot 10,000 times before they’ll start to wear!
This means you’ll get plenty of use from your sharpener, and more bang for your buck than you can dream of.
What’s more, your sharpener will also come with a three-year warranty, giving you peace of mind that you’re investing in a reliable, quality product.
Although this is a pretty diverse tool that can sharpen straight-edge knives, serrated knives, and even scissors, it’s incredibly compact.
When we tested this tool, we could hold it comfortably in our hands, and we found it took up minimal space during storage!
When we put this test, we had very little to complain about.
Once your sharpener is suctioned to the countertop, simply pull your knives through the slots, and let the sharpener do the rest. It’s so easy to use, you won’t even have to think about what you’re doing!
However, to get the right angle for sharpening, you’ll need to pull your knife through very slowly. Pulling too quickly can cause the blade to slip, and you could end up sharpening the wrong places.
- Suction Base: This sharpener sticks effortlessly to your countertop, so you won’t have to worry about it slipping when you’re sharpening.
- 3 Slots: You can sharpen straight edges, serrated edges, and even scissors, with a designated slot for each design.
- Easy to Use: Simply press the black button, and you’re off! There’s no complex control to get to grips with, and your knives will be as good as new in just a few minutes.
- 3 Year Warranty: Your sharpener is covered by a three-year warranty, so you’ll be investing in a high-quality, reliable product.
- Pull Slowly: It can take a while to get your sharpening technique right with this tool. You’ll need to pull your knives through the slots slowly and at an angle to get sharp blades.
Next on our list is the Cuisinart foldable knife sharpener. If you’re a big fan of compact, highly efficient tools, this is one for you.
The Cuisinart is super simple to use, and it’s a completely manual tool. That’s right, no mains required!
With a foldable handle and a non-slip silicone design, simply pop out the handle, grip, and pull your knives through the slots.
This 3-stage sharpener features three slots for honing, revitalizing dull blades, and a hard alloy slot to restore knife edges.
The second slot (designed to improve the sharpness of your knives), is enhanced with diamond powder to give you an even sharper blade!
Weighing just over 10 ounces and measuring 5.5 x 2.75 x 2.25 inches, this manual knife sharpener is small, lightweight, and a total powerhouse.
When we put it to the test ourselves, we were impressed with just how well it spruced up our old knives.
We also found that its built-in safety mechanisms offered us real peace of mind and worked hard to protect us from any accidental injuries.
This knife sharpener is so compact, it could fit nicely inside your cutlery drawer, and in our opinion, it performs just as well as wet stones!
Our only complaint is that it has no suction base.
Although it has a silicone non-slip handle, you’ll still need to be extra careful when sharpening, and keep a strong grip at all times.
- Foldable Handle: Makes this sharpener compact and easy to store
- Non-Slip Design: So your sharpener will remain firmly in place during use
- Enhanced With Diamond Powder: The revitalizing slot is enhanced with diamond powder to give you a cleaner, sharper blade every time
- No Suction Base: Unfortunately, this sharpener has no suction base, so it can’t be secured directly to your countertop. You’ll need to maintain a strong grip on the handle at all times, which may not be safe for users with joint issues
Now, let us introduce you to the Mueller 4-in-1 knife sharpener. That’s right – this heavy-duty comes with four featured sharpening slots, unlike most models which only include three!
With this sharpener, you’ll benefit from a featured scissor sharpening slot, a course sharpening slot, a medium-coarse sharpening slot, and a fine-honing sharpening slot.
With an ergonomic handle and a non-slip rubber base, this sharpener is designed to sit firmly on any surface – but you’ll still need a tight grip to prevent it from slipping.
With this sharpener, you can do anything from fine-honing already sharp knives to giving the dullest models a complete makeover.
Thanks to its design, this model is suitable for both left and right-handed users, and thanks to its compact body, it will take up minimal space during storage.
When we tested the Mueller 4-in-1, we were impressed with its capabilities.
It’s easy to use, requires no mains power, and can be gripped with ease. This sharpener worked flawlessly, and it was even able to sharpen some more obscure-shaped blades!
These specialty knives passed through the sharpener with ease and weren’t obstructed by the handle or the sharpener’s frame.
If you’re not a pro-knife sharpener, you’ll appreciate this model.
If you’re used to using high-end sharpeners, you’ll probably find this a little basic, but there’s no doubt about it – your knives will come out razor sharp every time, in quick time!
Our only complaint is that if you apply too much pressure when sharpening, the edge can roll. Any more pressure than the weight of the knife could damage the knife and your sharpener.
- Easy to Use: This sharpener is so easy to use – simply grab and go!
- Compact: Thanks to its compact design, this knife sharpener can be packed away easily without taking up too much space
- 4 Slots: This sharpener features four slots, including a designated scissor slot, so you can sharpen the dullest knives, or spruce up already sharp models
- Super Sharp: We tested this on all sorts of knives, and each one came out razor-sharp every time
- Pressure Can Be Tricky: Finding the right amount of pressure to apply can be difficult. If you apply too much, the edges can roll, which will damage your knife and your sharpener
If you’re a fan of more traditional sharpening methods, take a look at this knife-sharpening stone kit.
Sharpening stones are a popular choice for more seasoned sharpeners, and with the right technique, they can give you some truly impressive results.
This stone kit includes everything you need to start your stone sharpening journey, including two double-sided grit whetstones, a non-slip bamboo base, an angle guide to keep your knife in the right position, a leather strap for knife polishing, a flattening stone for leveling, and a pair of quality, cut-resistant gloves to keep you safe.
If you’ve never tried stone sharpening before, don’t sweat it – this handy kit even comes with a thorough instruction manual so you can learn all the tips and skills you need to pull it off!
This makes this kit great for both beginners and advanced stone sharpeners alike.
We put these stones to the test, and honestly, we were blown away by the results.
Not only does this kit offer a thorough introduction to stone sharpening, but the tools themselves are safe, reliable, and deliver super-sharp results every time.
The bamboo base did an excellent job at keeping our knives stable, and the protective gloves felt safe and secure throughout.
Unfortunately, we did find the angle guide a little tricky to use.
If you don’t get the right angle, you can end up dulling your blades – so, before you start, be sure to read the instructions and position your angle guide correctly.
- Thorough Kit: This kit includes everything you need for stone sharpening, from the stones themselves to a non-slip base and gloves
- Great for Beginners: Thanks to its handy instruction manual, this kit is suitable for complete beginners!
- Excellent Results: Once you’ve mastered the art of stone sharpening, this kit delivers exceptional results. Even the dullest knives can be brought back to life!
- Versatile: Although this kit is designed for knives, it can even be used on face shaver blades and outdoor tools
- Angle Guide is Difficult: Unfortunately, the angle guide can be difficult to use, and beginners may struggle to get to grips with it. Read the instructions thoroughly and establish the right angle before sharpening to avoid dull blades
Last up, we have this hand-held knife sharpener by Chef Master.
This may not be the most attractive knife sharpener you’ve ever seen, but this model goes to show that looks aren’t everything.
There’s no doubt about it – this sharpener is a professional-grade sharpening powerhouse, and it’s reasonably priced, too!
Its fish-like design is easy to handle and delivers fantastic results.
With a carbide tip and reversible blades, you can keep your blades sharper for longer, and double improve the lifespan of the sharpener itself.
Because this is a hand-held model, your safety is paramount. This sharpener features some effective finger guards to keep you safe while sharpening, and it’s incredibly easy to use.
To start sharpening, simply hold your knife upside down on a stable surface, and stroke the sharpener from the handle to the point repeatedly until sharpened.
This hand-held sharpener is also made from rust-resistant stainless steel to improve longevity, and its compact design makes it easy to store when not in use.
When we tried this on our knives, we were pretty impressed with the results. It only took a few strokes to sharpen our dullest knives, and the sharpening blade itself doesn’t wear down easily, even with consistent sharpening.
We also loved how easy it was to use, and we’d recommend this model to any beginner sharpeners who don’t want a fancy model!
Our only complaint is that this sharpener doesn’t work as well on larger knives, and it requires more effort to sharpen.
This sharpener is best reserved for standard kitchen knives rather than larger tools, like meat cleavers.
- Convenient: With just one blade and a hand-held design, this sharpener is ideal for beginners or those who want to sharpen their knives quickly and easily
- Reversible Blade: Thanks to its reversible blade, this sharpener has double the life span of other sharpeners
- Finger Guards: Its unique shape offers effective protection when sharpening
- Great Results, Minimal Effort: In just a few strokes, you can sharpen even the dullest knives
- Not as Good With Larger Models: Unfortunately, this sharpener doesn’t work as well on larger knives
Ready to invest in a new knife sharpener? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Manual or Electric?
Ultimately, the choice is down to you. Electric knife sharpeners require less effort, and they can sharpen your knives faster. However, manual sharpeners may last longer.
You’ll be able to replace dull blades, without buying a whole new sharpener.
Consider The Grit
Most sharpeners come with different levels of grit. The grit refers to the amount of metal removed from the knife during sharpening.
Coarse grit is used for the most damaged knives, while fine grit is better for honing and refining already sharp knives.
If you’re not sure which grit you need (or you’d benefit from them all), look for a sharpener with different grit slots.
Another thing to consider is time. Whetstones are a popular option for more experienced sharpeners, but they can take longer. With a whetstone, you can sharpen each knife for around 5 minutes.
On the other hand, manual and electric sharpeners require just a few strokes between the blades to get the job done.
Whether you’re using a manual or electric sharpener, ensure you have a non-slip design to work with.
Non-slip handles will stop your sharpener moving during use, and keep your hands safe when working. If you’re using an electric sharpener, look for one with a suction base for extra security.
A quality whetstone kit will include a separate non-slip base (usually bamboo) – if you’re new to using whetstones, make sure you choose a kit with one of these bases for your safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Knife Sharpeners Ruin Knives?
When used correctly, a knife sharpener can restore a knife’s blade, and improve its longevity. However, if used carelessly or with limited experience, a knife sharpener can dull your blades.
Some electric sharpeners can be quite aggressive and require only a small amount of pressure to sharpen knives. Too much pressure can dull your blades, so use them with caution.
Is It Better to Sharpen a Knife Wet or Dry?
Wet is recommended. Using water or oil is best as it helps remove any waste material built up during sharpening, and if you’re using sharpening stones, it will prevent them from clogging.
Wet knives aren’t advised for electric sharpeners.
Is It Worth Sharpening Your Knives?
Yes! Your knives should be sharpened two or three times a year to keep them sharp and realign the edge. Even cheap knives can be sharpened, and doing so will keep them functional for longer.
Even if you’ve never sharpened your knives before, it’s never too late to start. With the right sharpener, you can keep your knives in tip-top condition and avoid the need to buy frequent replacements.
Whether you use an electric or manual model is up to you, but we hope this article has given you the inspiration you need to kickstart your buying journey!