Everyone who enjoys cooking knows that a chef's best friend is a sharp knife. Without it, things just don't get done as quickly or as efficiently. But how do chef's keep their knives in razor sharp condition?
With a sophisticated knife sharpener, which can often cost as much as the knife itself.
Crazy right? But today we're going to be looking at consumer grade knife sharpeners, you know those ones that won't break the bank.
If you're looking for a commercial knife sharpener, the type Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey would be proud of you'll need to go to your local kitchen supply store.
A knife sharpener is the ultimate problem solver and most people don't realise they need one until they actually buy one.
You can slog away cutting fresh fruit and vegetables with a blunt knife, completely unaware that your life could be so much easier. Then you buy a knife sharpener and it all becomes clear.
Like a rice cooker in the kitchen, once you've got one, you can never go back to the alternatives you managed with before.
Why buy a kitchen knife sharpener?
Knives will always become dull and blunt through continual use. It's a fact of matter. Even washing them, especially in a dishwasher, will cause them damage.
Very often we will simply stop using them and replace them with expensive replacements, or cheap new ones which will also become blunt pretty quickly.
With a knife sharpener, you don’t need to produce unnecessary waste by throwing away those old dull knives.
You can just as easily give them new life by sharpening and restoring them with an easy to use and fairly inexpensive sharpener. Save money as well by not buying expensive new knives when you really don’t need to.
A good knife can last years, just ask any professional chef!
Best Kitchen Knife Sharpeners
1. Toplus Knife Sharpener (3 Stage)
Wanting your kitchen knives to always be as sharp and as the day you bought them? The Toplus 3-stage knife sharpener is the perfect tool to have in your kitchen drawer.
Made from premium quality stainless steel and ABS plastic the sharpener is durable and sturdy.
The sharpening process only takes a minute or two. Simply place the knife in each slot and gently pull (or push) in one direction only several times.
The first slot performs a coarse sharpening with a diamond rod. The second slot is a tungsten steel blade for fine honing of the knife. And the third and final ceramic slot finishes the grinding to a razor-sharp result.
The manufacturer recommends that the first slot (the coarse sharpener) not be used unless the knife is actually blunt as it may damage the knife edge. They also warn that the slots may turn black after use but that this is a normal occurrence.
The Toplus sharpener will handle any size of kitchen knife except serrated knives or scissors. With a detachable head, it’s easy to clean with a soft brush followed by wiping with a wet and then dry cloth. The implement should not be put in a dishwasher.
2. RAZORCHEF PRO Knife Sharpener
Every good cook needs great kitchen implements, and that certainly includes their knives. But knives get blunt over time and sharpening them is a problem.
The tool cures the dull knife problem in a minute or two. It will sharpen both serrated and straight edge knives so that you can create meals that look like they’ve come from a restaurant kitchen.
After all, they do say that food only tastes as good as it looks and ingredients cut with a blunt knife just do not look mouth-watering.
The RAZORSHARP PRO is a state-of-the-art sharpening system which features 2 sharpening stages, coarse followed by medium, for perfect results. The polishing edges are made from quality tungsten steel.
The sharpener has a non-slip base to prevent dangerous slippage of the knife while you’re sharpening it.
The ergonomic handle is firm and comfortable to grip while using the implement, is suitable for both right and left-handed people, and is also cleverly designed to keep your hand well away from the knife’s edge when in use.
This sharpener offers a firm design focused on purpose and safety.
3. DALSTRONG Honing Steel Rod
The DALSTRONG Gladiator Series is a world-renowned group of kitchen knives and associated implements for both commercial and home kitchens.
Dalstrong designs for the day-to-day toughness of commercial kitchens, and that’s why many serious home chefs love their products.
The 10” Homing Steel Rod is no exception.
Featuring their iconic contoured Pakkawood handle, the honing rod is a professional solution to knife maintenance.
The rod itself is carefully handcrafted from high-quality stain-resistant carbon steel which is triple-riveted for ultimate strength.
Each honing rod produced is a single piece of high carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel which has been precision-forged, and is ultra-sharp, wear-resistant, and super strong.
Chromium has been added for stain resistance, and the steel has been precisely tempered for extra strength.
Fine grooves along the length of the rod work to straighten and sharpen the edge of the knife.
The ergonomically designed handle is made from laminated Pakkawood imported from Spain and expertly turned and finished for strength, comfort, grip and beauty.
The bolster at the base of the handle protects your hand when you’re using the honing rod. This handle is a feature of all their products.
They are tools to enjoy, to be proud of and to last a lifetime. This knife honing rod is no exception.
Sharpen any blade you have with the Premium Whetstone Sharpening Stone from Sharp Pebble. Use it for restoring any kitchen knife, scissors, pocket-knife, hatchet, razor, chisel, and even gardening tools.
Increase your productivity in the kitchen and once again enjoy the pleasure of using scarily sharp knives for perfect ingredient preparation.
So quick and easy to use. Made from durable silicon carbide the sharpening stone has two sides for a perfect sharpening process.
Simply use the Grit 400 side to remove small nicks and chips and to restore the blade to its original shape. Then use the Grit 1000 side to sharpen and smooth the edge of the blade.
No need for expensive honing oils, just water. And the non-slip silica rubber base prevents nasty accidents from happening while in use.
Measuring 18.4cms in length and 5.7cms wide the Premium Whetstone will suit most kitchen utensils with sharp blades as well as other blades you have which need sharpening. It’s also compact enough to be easily stored in a drawer or cupboard when not in use.
The Whetstone comes with a helpful eBook Users’ Manual to make you an expert in the use of the honing stone.
The kitchen knife sharpening tool from CARVER MARVEL is a miracle for restoring your old dull and blunt knives, steel or ceramic, back to amazing new sharp condition within 30 seconds. (The sharpener is not suitable for serrated knives).
The process involves three easy stages within the one implement. The sharpener is a sturdy and comfortable ergonomic all in one tool with three slots, each with a different purpose. The handle is easy to hold in either hand. The rubber base provides safety from slippage during use.
The first stage is the Diamond Surface Slot which is a coarse grit and prepares the blade for sharpening by removing chips and and restoring blade shape.
The second stage (for steel knives only) is the Tungsten Steel Slot which sharpens the blade. And the third and final stage is the Ceramic Stone Slot which polishes the knife for maximum durability and sharpness.
Measuring 20cms in length the CARVER MARVEL will suit pretty well any blade you want to sharpen, including hunting knives and other blades.
The kit includes a brush to clean the sharpener with – instructions are included to guide you with both the sharpening and the cleaning process. And the product has a lifetime warranty.
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How do I keep my kitchen knives sharp?
Sharpening knives is a process which requires an implement or tool. Knife sharpeners come in a few different types.
There is the more traditional steel honing rod type which tends to be preferred by the professional kitchens and chefs. These are literally steel rods which you draw the knife blade down and across to sharpen it.
Then there are whetstone varieties which are also of the more traditional type. These are simply blocks of stone (natural or man-made) with a grit structure to ‘hone’ the blade, usually combined with oil or water.
And finally, there are the modern sharpeners which are hand-held implements with built-in sharpening slots which take no real skill to use. These are very popular with the general public as they are very easy to use and work perfectly well.
The process is different with each of the three types of sharpener so you will need to learn that once you have purchased one.
But whichever type you choose, keeping knives sharp is just a matter of doing it on a regular basis. It is not a complicated or a long process once you get the hang of it. And once you do, you will realise just how good it is to always have sharp blades in your kitchen!
Do knife sharpeners ruin knives?
Knife sharpeners of the more traditional varieties (honing rods and whetstones) have been around for centuries without any debate about whether they ruin knives.
Professional chefs and those who profess to be, how does one say this, ‘up with the Joneses’, will happily sharpen their knives with one of these methods.
But these same people have all sorts of issues with the modern easy-to-use knife sharpening implements which are quick, easy and require no skill to use.
The so-called ‘pull-through’ sharpeners. The argument they raise is that these sharpeners are way too rough and coarse with the blade and will wear away the metal of the blade.
There is no proof that this will actually happen. And the logic doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny either. A knife is made of steel, a very durable metal.
An occasional abrasion of that metal against another metal to create a new and sharper edge surely cannot do any significant damage or wear it down to any noticeable degree.
The indisputable fact is that these pull-through sharpeners work! That the other two types are more difficult to perfect as a technique.
If it were not for these new sharpeners many of us would probably still be throwing away our old dull knives and spending money on new ones.
How often should you sharpen knives?
The debate is open about how often one should sharpen kitchen knives. It very much depends on how serious a cook you are, the quality of your knives, the type of sharpening method you favour, and the type of use your knives get.
Jamie Oliver explains when to sharpen a knife.
For most of us, knives certainly need to be sharpened when they are becoming dull or blunt.
When they are not slicing through food like butter then it is probably time to think about sharpening your knives. If you favour the pull-through sharpener then you will be needing to sharpen your knives pretty frequently.
For those who favour expensive utensils and treasure them, the honing and sharpening process is almost a fine art.
The recommendation by those in the know is that these blades be honed quickly every time they are used to keep them up to par between being properly sharpened.
If they are properly looked after sharpening may only be necessary every year or two, again depending on use, quality etc.
After much deliberation on choosing the best knife sharpener we've opted to recommend our #1, the Toplus.
Combining many features and great value for money, it's easy to see why it's so highly reviewed online.
James is a thrill seeker who loves to take part in adventure sports. Currently he’s studying his PHD while working as a software engineer. In his spare time he loves to write.