Best knife sharpeners of 2020: From the super cheap to high-end

I’ve used quite a lot 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 really like my World knife for extra delicate knife work. A brilliant sharp knife feels nice to make use of. You may reduce tomatoes with out even wrinkling the pores and skin, or chiffonade leafy herbs with out bruising the leaves. However even a premium chef’s knife will uninteresting 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 every 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 must be big investments. Like with every other kitchen tool, what you place in is commonly what you get out: A couple of dollars can get you measurable enhancements to your blade, and 20 occasions that may preserve 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 aware of 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 end in a pointy knife, so you will not have to fret concerning the angle or anything, and you may nonetheless get a razor-sharp edge from a previously blunt knife. Listed here are CNET’s picks for the most effective knife sharpener in your chef’s knife. We’ll replace it as we check extra merchandise.

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

Learn extra: Easy methods to preserve your kitchen knives razor sharp

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The most effective sharpener I used whereas testing was the $125 Chef’s Alternative Trizor XV, a cumbersome machine with three separate tracks for bringing uninteresting 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 right sharpening angle, so threat of constructing errors whereas sharpening a uninteresting blade on the diamond abrasive sharpeners is fairly minimal.

The outcomes of my testing have been spectacular. The sharp blade and easy edge produced by the machine meant I may slice by 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 value ($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 you probably have loads of counter area or do not thoughts storing it in a cupboard, the Trizor is the best-performing machine round.

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In the event you’re much less all for sustaining an ideal edge in your knife blade, and as a substitute need an inexpensive, “good-enough” various, the $6 KitchenIQ 2 Stage Knife Sharpener may be for you. No, it will not totally resurrect an outdated, uninteresting blade, however this sharpener may also help sustain a greater edge than typical with just some passes by 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 similar chef’s knives and dulled them utilizing a Dremel. They nonetheless may reduce 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 repairs.

I examined the knives earlier than sharpening them to make certain 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 steered passing the blade by “till sharp,” and I did so till the enhancements appeared negligible. Different sharpeners have 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 reduce with every fruit out of 10, noting my particular observations. The first targets right here have 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 check the identical results in the next stress context — reducing by a strong fruit in a non-straight sample.

Which is the most effective knife sharpener for you?

Crucial 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 here are a few of these components:

  • Means 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 Alternative sharpener is the most effective for chef’s knives, each the Presto Three Stage and Work Sharp units supply 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 possible attraction to DIY lovers.


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

David Priest/CNET

One other consideration is how clear your sharpener is: if you happen to’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 Alternative Trizor and the $25 AnySharp Professional sharpener have 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 Alternative Trizor is barely quieter than the Presto sharpeners, however none have been silent. In order for you a quiet choice, non-electric sharpeners shall be your greatest wager.

Learn extra: Easy methods to begin cooking wholesome meals at dwelling

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

Extra recommendation for individuals who spend lots of time of their kitchens

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