Jessica DeMay

Best Knife Sharpener 2021 [Expert's Choice]

A good-quality knife is one of the most common and necessary tools to have in your kitchen. To ensure your kitchen knives stay as efficient and safe as possible, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality knife sharpener. The Regalia Emperor Damascus was named the best knife sharpener, while the Chef’s Choice 320 and the Vulkanus Knife Sharpener received notably high remarks.

There is nothing worse than dull kitchen knives and the fact is that using a dull knife can be quite dangerous. For example, if you use a bad knife, it may happen that you apply too much pressure and thus increase the risk that something can happen. This requires that knives are handled correctly in the kitchen, otherwise sharp knives are at least as dangerous.

In principle, a knife can last forever. As long as there is steel left to grind on, you have the opportunity to grind the knife. Unfortunately, there are, of course, cash box cutters out on the market and many models can actually ruin the sharpness instead of improving it. Do you, however, buy a knife grind such as has performed well in various tests so you can maintain your knife almost forever.

In this test, we have compiled several models that have received top marks in various tests, and the best knife sharpener is also suitable for people who have never used a knife sharpener before. Most top models we have selected are very easy to use, even for beginners.

You might also like: Ooni Pizza Ovens.

Top 3 Knife Sharpeners in 2021

All knife sharpeners in our list are good - but they are not good for all knives.

What determines which sharpener suits you best is the angle, hardness, and size of the knife.

In our article on the differences between Western and Japanese knives, you can read that Japanese knives have an angle of 12 to 15 degrees. Chef knives from Europe usually have an angle of 20 to 22 degrees.

Japanese knives are usually of much tougher steel than their European or American counterparts. They are also narrower and have a smaller surface. While you won't normally need a Japanese knife for daily kitchen tasks like making homemade pizzas, it will surprise you how useful it is when cutting meat.

All of this affects the technique used to grind the knife. Therefore, most knife sharpeners have different holes/jacks for each knife type. If you use a Japanese chef knife in a knife sharpener made for European and American knives, you risk destroying the knife.

SummaryThe sharpener you need depends on the angle, hardness, and size of your knife. Japanese knives have a smaller angle and are typically made of tougher steel than European knives. Some sharpeners are adjustable to suit different kinds of knives, but when sharpening a Japanese knife, ensure you use a sharpener that is designed specifically for Japanese knives.

For the Amateur Chef: Chef's Choice 320

chefs choice 320 knife sharpener

If you have kitchen knives that need grinding, no knife grinding will do the job better, easier and faster than this Chef's Choice model.

The grind has two stages, one for entertaining the base edge and one step for polishing the edge.

All you have to do is turn on the machine, run the knife through step 1 a few times, repeat the same on step 2 and then you are done. The result is a sharp-edged knife, which in addition lost almost no metal at all.

The times when you had to send the knife to a professional for grinding are passé. Having to buy new, expensive, knives as soon as the old ones have become dull is also no longer relevant. These machines are so good and easy to use that there are no excuses.

Chef's Choice is known for the quality of its knife sharpeners and this machine is traditionally faithful. They grind and polish cheap, expensive, dull, and semi-sharp knives without any problems whatsoever.

Not all machines dare to grind their most expensive knives, with the risk that they will break or damage. There is no such concern at all with this machine.

SummaryThe Chef’s Choice 320 is easy enough for amateur chefs to use but powerful enough to sharpen the knives of professional chefs. This compact, 2-stage knife sharpener sharpens works by first grinding the knife to create a sharper edge, then honing the edge to quickly sharpen even the dullest knives. You can trust the Chef’s Choice 320 to properly and efficiently sharpen even your most expensive knives.

For the Enthusiast Chef: Vulkanus Knife Sharpener

Vulkanus Knife Sharpener

Are you an amateur chef who wants to easily grind all your kitchen knives in a simple way? then Vulkanus Professional knife sharpener is the right choice. With this amazing quality sharpener, you can't fail to sharpen some knives, even if you have never touched a knife grind.

If you are a person who usually takes care of your kitchen knives very well, i.e. if they store properly or do not wash in a dishwasher, this knife grinding may be something for you. Something that also makes this knife grinding something unique is its ability to grind both straight and toothed knives.

With this very flexible knife sharpener, you have a super sharp knife in just a few seconds and the fact is that it both grinds and polishes at the same time. It is so easy to use that it is almost impossible to make mistakes and it is thanks to the unique design, and the patented spring technology.

Vulkanus Professional knife grinding adapts itself to the angle of the knife, thus achieving the best result without being able to make mistakes.

However, if you have knives that have larger notches in the edge and that need to be ground up from scratch, this is not the best option as it has a type of roughness on the stone. Then the best in the test winner is a much better choice. If you want to cut all knives in the kitchen, even toothed knives, this is a perfect choice for all happy amateur chefs.

SummaryThe Vulkanus Knife Sharpener is a quality tool for anyone who wants to take good care of their knives, but prefers a more straightforward, simple sharpening process. The Vulkanus easily sharpens both straight and toothed knives in seconds. With its patented spring technology, this sharpener adjusts to accommodate the angle of each knife you run through it. However, the Vulkanus isn’t the best choice for knives with large notches or for knives with a mirror clean sheen that you want to maintain.

For the Expert Chef: Minosharp Whetstone 1000 (Medium) / 8000 (Super Fine) Grit

minosharp knife sharpener 1000/8000

Global Minosharp wet grinding stone is the perfect alternative for those who want to learn how to master the art of grinding silvery knives. The art of being able to sharpen sharp knives is something that many people strive to learn during their lifetime.

With this kit comes a perfect wet grindstone with two different roughnesses, one of which is 1,000 and the other of 8,000. Then comes also grinding fixtures that you put on the back of the knife, which helps you get the right angle of the knife.

It is not easy to achieve a perfect result in just freehand, but with the grinding fixtures, even beginners can get an acceptable result regarding the sharpness of the knife. But to really master and achieve a perfect result, it takes a lot of hours in front of the sandstone. With the fixtures that come with it is not at all as complicated to get a very good result, despite being a beginner on wet grinding stones.

The grindstone is two-sided, i.e. it has different roughness on both sides, where the roughest is 1000 grit and the other is 8,000. A roughness of 1000 is perfect for knives that have normal wear and should you have fewer notches in the edge then you should go good to get rid of these. However, if the knife edge has a much larger notch then you will need a grindstone that has coarser roughness.

The roughest roughness of 8,000 only adds to polishing the edge, making it very fine and even. It is worth mentioning that it takes a lot of patience to get a perfect result and therefore you should have some free time to do it in peace and quiet. It is simply not possible to speed up the result.

SummaryThe MinoSharp Whetstone is an excellent choice for an expert chef. It includes a combination water whetstone, 1000 and 8000 grit, for either fine sharpening or honing the blade to give it a fine polish finish. This knife sharpener was designed to use with professional quality kitchen knives, making it less suitable for beginners.

Choose the Right Grit

All knife sharpeners come with different types of grit, ie it is either coarse, medium or fine. Alternatively a mixture of two.

The coarser the stone, the more metal disappears as you sharpen the knife.

Rough grinding stone (under 700 grit) - Good for damaged blades, for example where the blade has jack or notches in it. Medium (800-2000 grit) - Good for grinding blunt knives that are not damaged. It polishes the blade and makes it extra sharp.

If you want to fix and sharpen a damaged knife, then you want a knife grind with as rough stone as possible. If you just want to grind dull knives that are not undamaged, then you should aim for a knife grind with a medium and fine entry.

SummaryThe type of knife sharpener you buy will greatly depend on the type of grit you need: coarse, medium, or fine. Less than 1000 grit is best for knives that need to be repaired because of chips in the blade. 1000 to 3000 grit are typically used to sharpen dull knives, and 4000 to 8000 grit are best used to refine the knife edge.

Electric Knife Sharpeners Should Be Avoided If You Have Expensive Knives

Electric knife sharpeners are definitely the best if you want to quickly get a really good sharpness on the knife and the result will be really good. However, they grind on the knives quite hard in some cases, and therefore you should be a little careful with knives that are expensive or knives you want to be extra afraid of.

If you have very good kitchen knives, we recommend either the best in the test winner or a regular wet sharpener. This gives you better control of the grinding and you avoid grinding away unnecessarily much steel. An expensive and nice kitchen knife can hold as long as there is steel left to grind, so grind sparingly!

SummaryDespite their time-saving capabilities, electric knife sharpeners are often too aggressive, resulting in more grinding than necessary. A manual knife sharpener, like the ones mentioned above, gives you more control and allow you to avoid grinding more than necessary.

How We Chose the Best Knife Sharpener for Our Test

There are plenty of models to choose from and it is not easy to know which type of model performs best. But that also fits even knives as that angle differentiates between Japanese and European knives. It took many hours of research to find the best models.

Among other things, we have used several independent best in tests, but also quite ordinary articles on the subject of knife sharpeners. Product reviews and customer reviews have also been crucial in choosing the best knife sharpener.

The price has not directly been decisive this time and although electric knife sharpener works very well, you do not really get the same control and feel as doing it manually. Therefore, none of the electric knife sharpeners we have included in our test are the test winners. Then there are even better electrical variants where you get more control over the grinding itself but it is not for ordinary consumers because of the high price.

SummaryWith so many different knife sharpeners to consider, finding the right one can be a daunting task. By looking at various independent tests as well as authentic customer reviews, we were able to compile a list of the best knife sharpeners for amateur chefs, expert chefs, and everyone in between.
Jessica DeMay
Jessica is the lead content creator of Dishcrawl. She has lived in Italy (Napoli) for 7 years and has since become absolutely obsessed with pizza.
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