Best knife sharpeners of 2020: From Kitchen IQ to Chef’s Choice

I’ve used a variety of chef’s knives through the years 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 like my International knife for extra delicate knife work. Nothing feels fairly pretty much as good as reducing with a pointy knife — slicing tomatoes with out even wrinkling the pores and skin, or chiffonading leafy herbs with out bruising the leaves. However even a premium chef’s knife will boring over time, and $150 (not to mention higher-priced choices) can really feel like a waste when your Mac cuts in addition to a $10 generic knife after just a few 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 each 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 big investments. Like with some other kitchen tool, what you place in is usually what you get out: A couple of bucks can get you measurable enhancements to your blade, and 20 instances that may hold your chef’s knife’s edge as sharp as new in perpetuity.

There are many tools on the market for holding 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 just a little simpler. So CNET examined the heck out of some sharpeners to determine which of them will all the time lead to a pointy knife, so you will not have to fret in regards to the angle or anything, and you may nonetheless get a razor-sharp edge from a previously blunt knife. Listed below are CNET’s picks for the perfect knife sharpener in your chef’s knife. We’ll replace it as we take a look at extra merchandise.

A observe, although: This checklist is only for chef’s knives. Different sorts of knives, like a looking knife or a serrated knife will want a unique form of sharpener.

Learn extra: The right way to hold your kitchen knives razor sharp

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The very best sharpener I used whereas testing was the $125 Chef’s Selection Trizor XV, a cumbersome system 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 guarantee the proper sharpening angle, so threat 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 system meant I might slice by means of 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 when you have loads of counter house or do not thoughts storing it in a cupboard, the Trizor is the best-performing system round.

David Priest/CNET

For those who’re much less excited about sustaining an ideal edge in your knife blade, and as a substitute need an reasonably priced, “good-enough” different, the $6 KitchenIQ 2 Stage Knife Sharpener may be for you. No, it will not totally resurrect an previous, boring blade, however this sharpener might help sustain a greater edge than standard with just some passes by means of this guide knife sharpener’s sharpening tracks every day.

The KitchenIQ sharpening system consists of 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 Levels sharpener, the KitchenIQ stands out.


To check our knife sharpeners, we acquired eight an identical chef’s knives and dulled them utilizing a Dremel. They nonetheless might minimize tomatoes and pineapples (our two testing fruits), however not cleanly; basically, 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 recommended passing the blade by means of “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 minimize with every fruit out of 10, noting my particular observations. The first targets right here had been to see how sharp the sting grew to become 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 a better stress context — reducing by means of a strong fruit in a non-straight sample.

Which is the perfect knife sharpener for you?

An important factor of a knife sharpener is its skill to sharpen an edge throughout the size of a blade. That mentioned, loads of different components may make different units a greater match for you. Listed below are a few of these components:

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

Usually, sharpening a serrated blade particularly requires a serrated knife sharpener, however you continue to could need to sharpen straight paring knives, boning knives, a fillet knife, cleavers or utility blades (or perhaps a pocket knife or looking knife). Whereas the Chef’s Selection sharpener is the perfect for chef’s knives, each the Presto Three Stage and Work Sharp units provide just a little extra flexibility for various blades. Presto, as an illustration, 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 strategy that will postpone informal cooks, however will doubtless attraction to DIY fans.


Regardless of honest outcomes, the Work Sharp appears to be like rather more at dwelling in a storage than on a kitchen counter.

David Priest/CNET

One other consideration is how clear your sharpener is: when you’re sharpening in your storage, then you definately may not 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 mentioned, 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 units are considerably louder than others. The Chef’s Selection Trizor is barely quieter than the Presto sharpeners, however none had been silent. If you’d like a quiet choice, non-electric sharpeners will likely be your finest guess.

Learn extra: The right way to begin cooking wholesome meals at dwelling

Out of all of the testing, the one system that appeared to haven’t any upside was the $eight Kadell three Levels Sharpener, which wasn’t as reasonably priced because the KitchenIQ sharpener and in addition carried out worse than some other sharpening tool I examined. In addition to that one, it appears just about any knife sharpener is best than no knife sharpener. So put money into the excessive finish or choose up a $6 tool. Both manner, meals prep will get a lot simpler while you do.

Extra recommendation for individuals who spend quite a lot of time of their kitchens

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