Model 320: A simplified, cheaper, dumbed down version of the 3-stage sharpeners is how I would describe this. If you stumbled upon this page and are unfamiliar with the 3-stage variations from Chef’s Choice, feel free to check out my reviews on the 1520, 120, and trizor xv. In case you didn’t know, Chef’s Choice are to electric knife sharpeners, as Starbucks are to Coffee! They’ve been in the game for a long long time, and people (mostly) like their products. Alright then, let’s dive right into the pros and cons!
Pros – First The Positives!
- 2 Stages: One For Sharpening, One For Polishing – Keeping it simple with 2 stages is what Chef’s Choice have done with the 320. They’ve basically omitted an entire sharpening stage (a stage whose purpose it was to accomplish fine sharpening). The end result is a device that is about as foolproof as you can get! What you need to know about the 2-stage system, specifically for this product:
1. Stage 1 is coarse sharpening. It is ideal for extremely dull edges. Important to understand that this stage will remove the most material, so I would only do a couple pulls as required on either side.
2. Stage 2 is the stropping stage that polishes and realigns the edge.
Important: Chef’s Choice 320 is designed to work on 20 degree knife edges (typical European/American brands such as Wusthof, Henckels).
- Cheaper Than Their Other Models – Chef’s Choice 320 is quite a bit cheaper in comparison to its 3 stage counterparts. Check out the current price on amazon by clicking here.
- A Choice To Pick Your Favorite Finish/Color – I mentioned this previously for another one of their sharpeners, so this is a pro in general for most Chef’s Choice products. This, just like price above, isn’t a factor that affects the product functionality, but I mention it because I think it’s important to have variety on something that will probably be displayed in your kitchen. You have a choice of 5 different finishes: white, black, platinum, chrome, and brushed metal. While Chef’s Choice do get the thumbs up for the 5 different finishes, they get a thumbs down for not keeping the price consistent across the board! Choose wisely!
- Caring & Maintaining Is Fairly Straightforward – The Chef’s Choice 320 is incredibly easy to maintain. There is a rectangular clean out cover that collects metal shavings by having a magnet attached to its inner side. These metal shavings that collect as a result of sharpening can then by wiped off the magnet using a toothbrush or paper towel, and the clean out cover can be attached back to the unit.
Cons – Now For The Negatives!
- Not The “Total” Sharpening Solution – What’s a total sharpening solution? For me, it’s a device that is capable of working on mostly everything. In other words, it’s a jack of all trades. The Chef’s Choice 320 isn’t a jack of all trades. It isn’t suited for thinner blades, nor does it have a fine sharpening option. Instead, it is a system that is more focused than it is versatile. Whether this affects you or not, is something you’ll have to understand and answer yourself. Again, this goes back to understanding the type of knives you need to sharpen, before buying the first thing you set your sights on.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: I’ve seen used units of these electric knife sharpeners on amazon. They are significantly cheaper than buying new. What’s your opinion or take on buying used?
Answer: I don’t recommend you buy any used electronics. Electronics are a special case, and I would advise that you only buy new. This is just my personal opinion.
Question: You mentioned warranty as a con above. If it were you, would you consider purchasing an extended warranty?
Answer: Never been a fan of extended warranties, so no I would never purchase one. I’ve never regretted not getting an extended warranty. Hopefully, that remains the same in the future! (fingers crossed!)
Knife sharpening at it’s simplest; this is one way I would describe Chef’s Choice 320. Overall, a solid system that is more affordable than its 3 stage sister models. It’s a device that is focused on solving a specific problem. The problem of sharpening European/American knives. Some final points worthwhile repeating:
1. Prices vary based on the product finish, so choose accordingly.
2. Always try a couple of passes/pulls first and check for results. This will help avoid unnecessary removal of steel from your blade.
3. Try and understand if a 2-stage system will meet all your needs. If not, then investigate other models/products.