Fun fact: Chef’s Choice first ever electric knife sharpener debuted in 1985, and they are proudly American with all their sharpeners being engineered and assembled in a facility out of Pennsylvania.
Pros – First The Positives!
- Edge Angles – Edge angle is simply the measured angle from a blades vertical to one knife edge (according to Wikipedia). Western/European knives usually have 20 degree edge angles. Japanese, on the other hand have 15 degree edge angles. The Japanese blades, as you can imagine would be blazing sharp in comparison to its European counterpart. However, the thinner Japanese blades would also be more susceptible to nicks, chips, and notches in comparison to the European style.
The Chef’s Choice Trizor XV produces a 15 degree resulting edge angle. This could be a pro or con depending on how you look at it. It’s a pro if a.) You wish to sharpen a 15 degree Japanese knife or b.) If you want to purposefully alter the edge angle of a blade from 20 to 15 degrees (maybe you own a cheap blade not worth much that you’d wish to do this with). It’s a con if a.) You wish to maintain a 20 degree edge on your thicker Western blades. This sharpener can’t produce 20 degree edges. The point I am trying to make here is this: If you own a thicker blade, think carefully about whether you wish to alter the edge to a thinner profile, or simply maintain it to what it is.
- Stropping Stage Included – I like that the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV has the ability to strop. Stropping is an important step in maintaining and caring for your blade. It serves not only to realign and straighten the cutting edge, but also to polish and coat it too. Having an independent stage for stropping allows the freedom to strop without having to sharpen. If you’re interested in knowing more about stropping, check out my blog post by clicking here.
- Easy To Use – Chef’s Choice Trizor XV is easy to use and operate. Flexible spring guides ensure your knife does not wiggle or bounce while being drawn in the stages. This is especially important when talking about electrical sharpening systems because your control is already limited to begin with. If your blade is not steady during the process, you risk ruining your edge profile and removing too much metal as a result.
Cons – Now For The Negatives!
- Lack Of Control – Being an electric style, it only offers so much control in comparison to sharpening stones. What I mean by limited control is how much metal is removed as a result of passing your blade in stages 1 & 2. Sure you can determine how many passes you will make through each stage, but this is not the same as having complete freedom when you use a stone. If you were well versed with using a stone, you’d have a solid technique capable of producing an optimal razor sharp edge. Therefore, for better control, it may be wiser to consider a stone.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What voltage does this sharpener operate on?
Answer: 120 volts. If you are living in a 220 volt region, your best bet is to use a transformer or to look for a different device capable of handling your voltage requirements.
Question: How can I determine which stage(s) I should be using for my knife?
Answer: This will vary based on the current condition of your blade’s cutting edge. Is your edge so dull that it can no longer perform even the simplest cutting tasks? If it is, then start with stage 1, followed by stage 2 and then finally stage 3. If your edge still has some bite, go ahead and use stages 2 and 3 only. If your knife only requires a refinement and polishing, use stage 3.
Question: Can I use the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV to sharpen scissors and various tools?
Answer: This device is designed to work on knives only. Using it to work on scissors and other tools could result in damage to both your equipment as well as the sharpener.
This is a sharpener best suited for thinner blades (traditional Japanese styles). That’s not to say it’s not good for thicker blades, but be aware that it will strip off quite a bit of metal. Operating the device is straightforward and easy. A final piece of advice: Use stage 1 sparingly, and try to get away with using stage 2 and 3 for the most part. Ensure your knife is free of debris before sharpening. If you have any questions, please let me know!