If anyone knows the art of knife sharpening, it’s the Japanese. The Samurai (AKA Japanese Warrior) were not only some of the most talented fighters and warriors, but also had the knack to produce one wickedly sharp edge! If you visit Japan today, you’ll see almost all chefs using a traditional stone as if it’s muscle memory. They do so with consummate ease! Since not everyone wishes to emulate a Japanese chef or learn his technique, we have the Minosharp Plus 3 that aims to make the process relatively easy, while trying to replicate the same results. But does it? Keep reading to find out!
Pros – First The Positives!
- Versatile System Featuring Three Different Abrasives – The Minosharp Plus 3 is probably one of the most versatile pull through sharpeners I have reviewed to date. Pull through sharpeners are extremely common today because of how quick and simple they are to use. All pull through’s work with the same principle: You place the heel of your knife inside an abrasive slot, and pull or swipe from heel to tip repeatedly until sharpness is achieved. So how exactly is the Minosharp Plus 3 more versatile than the others? It has three different abrasive wheels (coarse, medium, and fine), compared to most other pull through designs which only have a single abrasive/stage. The problem with having a single stage is that it’s never always exactly what you need. Having 3 stages/abrasives gives you the flexibility to choose depending on the condition of your blade. If your blade is not completely dull, you can choose medium and/or fine. If your blade has no bite at all, use coarse and so on. The point is you have more opportunity to customize and control the process in comparison to a single stage pull through.
- Uncomplicated Design That Is Pretty Easy To Use – The color coded wheels help distinguish one sharpening wheel/grit from the other. Blue is coarse, brown is medium, and yellow is fine. Setting up and using the Minosharp Plus 3 is quick and painless. You pop open the wheel compartment, and pour water into the tray. You don’t need to add too much water, but just enough so that a quick spin of the wheels ensures they are coated with water. Close the compartment and now you’re ready to go. The video below from Chefknivestogo demonstrates how it’s done!
- Water Makes A Big Difference! – Water is what distinguishes this sharpener from all the other pull through’s. And if you think otherwise, you’d be very mistaken. Allow me to explain. Coating the ceramic abrasive with water serves to accomplish two things:
1. It makes the process less aggressive – If you’ve ever seen someone use a ceramic water stone, you may have noticed how smooth and natural it looks. There is no resistance and the edge is slowly worked to perfection. Water plays a huge part in this as it reduces the friction and heat. It makes sharpening feel unforced!
2. It washes away steel residue – Water cleans both the blade as well as the ceramic abrasive of any steel residue that results from sharpening. Cleaning the abrasive in particular ensures it remains clean at all times, and is not loaded with steel.
- Results Speak For Themselves – If you think you will get the same results with the Minosharp Plus 3 as you would with a stone, then you may end up being a tad bit disappointed. That being said, the results are still pretty damn good! Yes, it may not be the perfect, polished, wickedly sharp edge you tend to get when using a stone, but it’s not too far off from that either.
Cons – Now For The Negatives!
- Requires A Little More Maintenance Than Others – A really small drawback, but one I felt the need to mention regardless. The competing products to the Minosharp Plus 3 are basically all other pull through sharpeners, and majority of these are easier to maintain simply because they don’t use water. Adding water to the compartment, and then removing once done adds an extra step to the process. It’s not a big deal in most cases, but it could make a difference with sharpening on the go or when you’re out in the boonies and need a quick touch up.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: How many passes should I make through each wheel and which wheel should I use?
Answer: To determine which combination of abrasive wheels you need to use, you will need to gauge the condition of your knife. If it’s excessively dull use the coarse, medium and fine (in that exact order). If it needs a quick touch up use the medium and fine or just the fine. Minosharp recommends doing 7 or 8 passes for Global knives, and 15 to 20 for other brands.
Question: Can I use this to sharpen single sided sushi knives?
Answer: No, this device is not designed to sharpen single sided blades.
The Minosharp Plus 3 is one of my favorite picks/recommendations for a pull through sharpener. It won’t give you the same results as a stone or professional service, but it’s not too far behind and there isn’t too much of a difference to be honest. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer!