Is This The Finest Tool To Put An Edge On A Blade?
Knife Sharpening

Posted On August 27, 2016 at 4:56 pm by / 8 Comments

Is There Such A Thing!?

What is the best knife sharpener on the market? It’s a tough question to answer simply because there are too many variables! If I asked a car salesman “What is the best car I should buy?”, what do you think his response would be? He would probably ask you more questions such as “Are you looking for a family car or a sports car?” “How many passengers?” “What kind of mileage were you hoping to get?” etc.

As With Anything You Buy, There Will Need To Be Some Factors To Consider

The point I am trying to make here is that with anything you buy, there will be a number of considerations that will need to be understood and answered. I have provided in this post 3 factors/variables that will help you answer this question!


Factor 1: How Much Do You Know?

If you are reading this post, then I am assuming that your knowledge is limited (and that’s okay!). You’re most likely a homeowner that is looking to put an edge on your dull blades, or maybe a restaurant owner or chef with a little bit more experience. Chances are you’ve never sharpened a blade before, and are looking for a relatively quick, easy and cheap way to get the job done. Pause for a second and answer the question, “How much do I really know?”

  1. Absolutely nothing and I just want these darn blades to not be dull anymore!
  2. I know a little bit, but I am no pro!
  3. I am a pro and know how to put a wicked edge. Also, technique doesn’t faze me. (If this person is you, then I don’t think this post will be of much value, but feel free to continue reading).


Factor 2: What Type Of Blades/Tools Will You Be Working On?

Spend some time looking at the tools you will be working on and try to identify two things:

Type: There are literally tons of different types of knives that are used What Is Your Knife Type & Grind? Do You Know It?
for different purposes (weapons, tools, utensils etc.). What type is yours? Are you hoping to sharpen a utensil type or a pocket type blade? If it’s a utensil type, what can it be categorized as? Is it a chef style, a utility style or something else (maybe a bread knife)? Here’s a link showing 13 different utensil type blades that are used for cooking and preparing meals.


Grind: Once you have identified your type, the next step will be to understand your grind. According to Wikipedia, the grind of a blade refers to the shape of the cross section of the blade. You should check out the following blog post where I talk about grind in more detail.


Factor 3: How Much Are You Willing To Spend?

As with any consumer item you purchase, cost will always be a consideration. The price range for sharpeners can vary from as much as $5 upwards to $300 and anywhere in between. The electric styles are typically more expensive than non electric and the traditional stones, but that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily better! In order to determine what is the best knife sharpener on the market (suited to your needs), you will need to decide how much you are willing to spend (shipping, tax and accessories included).

How Much Are You Willing To Spend?

A point to consider: If you will be working on an expensive set of Wusthof’s, it would probably be wise to invest in a higher quality product as opposed to a $5-10 inexpensive alternative.


3 Examples: What Is The Best Knife Sharpener On The Market, Specifically For Me?

The 3 factors presented above should be a guidepost to help answer what is the best knife sharpener on the market. The 3 hypothetical examples below should help drill the idea home.


Example 1:

Factor 1 How much do you know about putting an edge on blades? I know close to nothing and I’d prefer a solution that is easy, hassle free, and relatively cheap.

Factor 2 What type of tools will you be working on? Mostly inexpensive kitchen chef blades.

Factor 3 How much are you willing to spend? I’m looking for a relatively cheap option ($).

Recommendation: An electric style is recommended in this case since it will be much easier for a beginner to use. Smith’s Edge Pro Compact & Presto Eversharp are my two recommendations. Both are reasonably priced and can do a great job on kitchen knives.

Presto Professional Eversharp Electric Knife Sharpener


Example 2:

Factor 1 How much do you know about putting an edge on blades? I have some working knowledge, but I am not a pro by any means and because of this I am limited in some ways.  

Factor 2 What type of tools will you be working on? Outdoor, pocket, kitchen blades and axes. 

Factor 3 How much are you willing to spend? I don’t mind paying a little extra for a quality system ($$).

Recommendation: In this case my recommendation would be the Work Sharp Guided System. This is a complete solution capable of working on a variety of tools (highly versatile). Even though it is non-electric, it is easy to use and comes with detailed instructions. I would also definitely purchase the upgrade kit, as it comes with extra diamond grits and a leather strop.

Work Sharp Sharpening System


Example 3:

Factor 1 How much do you know about putting an edge on blades? I have some basic knowledge. However, I am interested in developing my understanding on the subject, as I find it quite interesting. 

Factor 2 What type of tools will you be working on? An expensive set of Wusthof chef knives.

Factor 3 How much are you willing to spend? Money is not a factor. I’ll spend as much as I need to ($$$).

Recommendation: You have a couple of really good options available given the amount you are able to spend. From the electric category, I’d recommend the Ken Onion which gives you a lot of freedom and control and is one of the most versatile sharpeners out there. If you wanted to step it up a notch and go from newbie to master, I’d recommend you invest some of the money in taking classes on learning how to use sharpening stones. Use the rest of the money to buy stones (with different grits) and practice till it becomes muscle memory!

King 2 Sided Sharpening Stone


Final Words And Something To Ponder…….

If you are the type of person who is ready to invest your time in learning how to put a wicked edge on blades, I’d recommend nothing other than stones. It takes time and effort, but the results are worth it. This won’t be the case for a number of people, and this is understandable. Similar to how some people love to maintain and work on their cars themselves, while others don’t! You can invest time and money to learn a new skill and interest, or you can buy a ready made product that takes less time and effort (and quite possibly less money) to use. However, with the new skill you get the best results. See the trade off?




The above examples show how each factor plays a huge role in answering the question of what is the best knife sharpener on the market. If you spend some time to understand and answer these 3 factors, it will be considerably easier to find a product that meets your needs. I hope this post will have provided you with a starting point towards finding a solution to suit your needs. Was this post helpful? Yes? No? I’d love to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment and lets discuss! Also, feel free to check out my reviews of electric and non electric knife sharpeners!

8 thoughts on “

  1. Very informative post. What do you generally find works better, electric or non electric? What would you suggest for a newbie?

    1. Thanks for dropping a comment.

      It’s hard to answer the question of which is better, electric or non electric simply because you have varieties in both that are great as well as not so great. It really all depends on your specific situation. I would lean more towards electric if I were a newbie, but there still are some great non electric sharpeners that are easy to use as well!

      I hope that answers your question. Cheers!

  2. Interesting write up, and a rather simple but good summary. As you point out, “what is the best knife sharpener” does vary from person to person depending largely on their needs. I see how it can be overwhelming, given all the products currently available to choose from. For me I will choose an electric knife sharpener over the non electric!

    1. Thanks for reading Hari, and yes you hit the nail on the head by saying it varies from person to person. Please stay tuned for more blog posts! Cheers!

  3. Really informative review of answering the question “what is the best knife sharpener”. I am thinking about purchasing a set of Wusthof knives and so I’d probably pair it with a Wusthof knife sharpener. I have this bad habit of cutting myself when using sharp knives so I need to be more cautious going forward. Sounds crazy, but have you ever had a similar issue when dealing with sharp knives?


    1. Tove,

      All the time! It’s important to always be safe and aware before handling a knife. Forcing yourself to become consciously aware should take care of this. Thanks for reading! Cheers!

  4. Thanks Irvan. I must admit, I’m not a knife aficionado but I’ve always found manual sharpeners to be pretty annoying. They’re somehow prone to rusting. How does one care for some of these, especially those for chef knives? Which parts require frequent servicing? Very tired of the knives in my kitchen going dull on me but cost-effectiveness is also important.

    1. Joshua, thanks for reading. Which manual knife sharpener are you having this problem with? I’d love to know who the manufacturer is. The only part I would recommend replacing are the grits/sharpening stones as these tend to wear after repeated use. Please let me know which manual sharpener you are having these difficulties with, so I can advise you better. Cheers!

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