Best knife sharpeners for 2020: Chef’s Choice, KitchenIQ and more

I’ve used plenty of chef’s knives over time and are available to understand every of them for his or her distinctive really feel — the heavy-duty Wusthof (my first chef’s knife) is nice for cubing squash, whereas I really like my International knife for mincing onions and leafy herbs. However even a premium chef’s knife will boring over time, and $150 (not to mention far dearer choices) can really feel like a waste when your Mac cuts in addition to a $10 generic knife after only some months. Enter the knife sharpener.

Knife sharpeners are far much less frequent within the common kitchen than many different tools, regardless of their worth. Some skilled cooks sharpen their knives day by day, however even the informal prepare dinner will profit immensely from sharpening their knives as soon as a month.


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The excellent news is knife sharpeners do not need to be large investments. Like another kitchen tool, what you set in is commonly what you get out: A couple of dollars can get you measurable enhancements to your blade, and 20 instances that may maintain your chef’s knife’s edge as sharp as new in perpetuity.

There are many tools on the market for protecting knives sharp — I am positive you are all conversant in the sharpening stone and the sharpening rod — however I needed the knife sharpening course of to be a little bit simpler than these specific sharpening tools. So CNET examined the heck out of some sharpeners to determine which of them will at all times end in a pointy knife with out you having to fret concerning the sharpening angle or anything, and nonetheless get a razor sharp edge from a previously blunt knife. Listed below are CNET’s picks of one of the best knife sharpener in your chef’s knife. We’ll replace it as we take a look at extra merchandise.

A notice, although: This checklist is only for chef’s knives. A serrated knife might have a special form of sharpener.

Learn extra: Tips on how to maintain your kitchen knives razor sharp

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One of the best sharpener I used whereas testing was the $125 Chef’s Selection Trizor XV, a cumbersome machine with three separate tracks for bringing boring knives to a super-sharp 15-degree edge (many American knives are sharpened to a 20-degree angle). The Trizor additionally comes with thorough and useful instructions to be used — explaining unfamiliar phrases and processes in easy methods. Plus, magnets on the sharpening tracks maintain your blade angled appropriately, so danger of creating errors whereas sharpening a boring blade on the diamond abrasive sharpeners is fairly minimal. 

The outcomes of my testing had been spectacular. The sharp blade and easy edge produced by the machine meant I may slice via a tomato with out squashing it or tearing the pores and skin due to inconsistencies throughout the size of the sting.

The one draw back of the Trizor sharpener is its premium price ($125 is greater than most individuals pay for a chef’s knife, not to mention the tool that sharpens it) and its cumbersome profile. However in case you have loads of counter house or do not thoughts storing it in a cupboard, the Trizor is the best-performing machine round.

David Priest/CNET

When you’re much less involved in sustaining an ideal edge in your knife blade, and as a substitute need an inexpensive, “good-enough” different, the $6 KitchenIQ 2 Stage Knife Sharpener may be for you. No, it will not absolutely resurrect an outdated, boring blade, however this sharpener can assist sustain a greater edge than normal with just some passes via the sharpening tracks every day.

The KitchenIQ additionally contains two tracks: a rough sharpener for setting the sting, and a effective sharpener for ending it. When in comparison with different compact, non-electric merchandise, just like the $25 Anysharp Professional with solely a rough sharpener or the poorly performing $eight Kadell three Phases sharpener, the KitchenIQ stands out. 


To check our knife sharpeners, we acquired eight equivalent chef’s knives and dulled them utilizing a Dremel. They nonetheless may lower tomatoes and pineapples (our two testing fruits), however not cleanly; primarily, we needed our knives to behave like chef’s knives which have seen years of use with out a lot maintenance.

I examined the knives earlier than sharpening them to make sure all of them carried out about as poorly as we needed them to, paired every with a sharpener and labeled accordingly. I then adopted the instructions for every sharpener. Some sharpeners urged passing the blade via “till sharp,” and I did so till the enhancements appeared negligible. Different sharpeners had been extra prescriptive, and I adopted the instructions exactly.

After sharpening, I examined every knife, how a lot it squashed a ripe tomato and tore its pores and skin whereas slicing, in addition to how simply it sliced pores and skin from a ripe pineapple. I rated the lower with every fruit out of 10, noting my particular observations. The first objectives right here had been to see how sharp the sting turned and the way easy it was throughout its size: a pointy blade should not squash a tomato, and a easy blade should not tear its pores and skin. A pineapple would take a look at the identical results in the next stress context — chopping via a sturdy fruit in a non-straight sample.

Which is one of the best knife sharpener for you?

Crucial factor of a knife sharpener is its capacity to sharpen an edge throughout the size of a blade. That stated, loads of different components would possibly make different gadgets a greater match for you. Listed below are a few of these components:

  • Capability to sharpen various kinds of knives
  • Cleanliness
  • Sound

Typically, sharpening a serrated blade particularly requires a serrated knife sharpener, however you continue to could wish to sharpen straight paring knives, boning knives, a fillet knife, cleavers or utility blades (or perhaps a pocket knife or searching knife). Whereas the Chef’s Selection sharpener is one of the best for chef’s knives, each the Presto Three Stage and Work Sharp gadgets provide a little bit extra flexibility for various blades. Presto, for example, can regulate its slots to information totally different blades extra successfully. Work Sharp makes use of attachments and belts of various coarseness for kitchen knives, pocket knives or scissors — a modular method that will postpone informal cooks, however will probably enchantment to DIY fanatics.


Regardless of honest outcomes, the Work Sharp seems rather more at residence in a storage than on a kitchen counter.

David Priest/CNET

One other consideration is how clear your sharpener is: should you’re sharpening in your storage, you then won’t sweat the metal filings that sprinkle out of some sharpeners, just like the Work Sharp or the Presto sharpeners. In a kitchen setting, cleanliness is a should, and Chef’s Selection Trizor and the $25 AnySharp Professional sharpener had been the cleanest. That stated, all of the above suggestions required minimal cleanup, if any in any respect.

Lastly, sound is a priority for some — and a few of these gadgets are considerably louder than others. The Chef’s Selection Trizor is barely quieter than the Presto sharpeners, however none had been silent. If you would like a quiet choice, non-electric sharpeners might be your finest wager.

Learn extra: Tips on how to begin cooking wholesome meals at residence

Out of all of the testing, the one machine that appeared to haven’t any upside was the $eight Kadell three Phases Sharpener, which wasn’t as inexpensive because the KitchenIQ sharpener and in addition carried out worse than another sharpening tool I examined. Moreover that one, it appears just about any knife sharpener is healthier than no knife sharpener. So spend money on the excessive finish or choose up a $6 tool. Both approach, meals prep will get a lot simpler while you do.

Extra recommendation for individuals who spend a number of time of their kitchens

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