A knife sharpener is one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment, and absolutely everyone needs one.
Whether you’re a knife enthusiast or you just like to cook on occasion, a knife sharpener is a critical addition to your arsenal of tools.
Every household needs at least one, but it can be hard to find the best knife sharpener.
One of the best ways to start your search is by reading some knife sharpener reviews. These will give you some details about what different kinds of sharpeners do while informing you about exactly what makes the varieties so unique.
Certain knives require certain sharpeners and using the wrong one can actually damage the knife.
Before you start shopping for the best knife sharpener, dig a little deeper and ask yourself the right questions.
The answers will lead you to the perfect solution in the form of a sharpener you’ll be glad to own.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on Independent Wolf. For more information, read full disclosure here.
- How to Tell if a Knife Sharpener Will Work Well
- How to Find The Best Knife Sharpener
- How Much Should You Spend on a Knife Sharpener?
- TOP 5 Best Knife Sharpener Reviews 2020
- Deciding Which Knife Sharpener You Should Buy
How to Tell if a Knife Sharpener Will Work Well
Every knife sharpener should have at least two slots.
One slot should be coarse, and this is the part of the sharpener that will actually do the sharpening. It grinds the metal and creates microscopic tears in the blade, which revive its sharpness.
The second slot should be made of a different material, which is usually ceramic.
This slot will polish the knife. This smooths away any jagged parts and gives the knife a clean, finish. When you’re done honing the blade in this slot, the knife should come away looking like the factory edge has been completely restored.
Knife sharpeners that only have one slot can damage your blade, mostly because you’re continually sharpening it without getting rid of the jagged edges.
The best knife sharpener system will always have something in place to finish the blade. Without that finishing slot, your blade is likely to become brittle and break with repeated sharpening.
How to Find The Best Knife Sharpener
Knife sharpeners come in a wide variety of styles. You need to use a sharpener that’s designed for the specific kind of knife you want to sharpen.
It might seem unnecessary on the surface, but it’s more important than you may realize.
If you try to run a serrated pocket knife through even the best kitchen knife sharpener, you’ll ruin the serrated edges.
Just like you wouldn’t put bicycle tires on your car, and you shouldn’t sharpen your knife with the wrong sharpener.
Best Electric Knife Sharpener
The best electric knife sharpener will work on a variety of tools – sometimes even tools as large as hatchets or machetes.
As long as the electric knife sharpener is designed to handle a variety of tools or is adjustable to different widths.
Electric knife sharpeners are very convenient, especially when you have a lot of knives to sharpen. Your arm is bound to get tired eventually, because sharpening knives can be strenuous work.
The only thing you need to be cautious about with electric knife sharpeners is how quickly they work. It’s easy to grind down a knife by mistake. It’s important that you pay attention while the sharpener is running.
They’re easy to use as long as you’re cautious about the way you use them. Pick an electric knife sharpener that’s easy to learn if you’re purchasing your first one, and learn to use it by sharpening a knife you don’t particularly care about.
High powered electric knife sharpeners are great tools, but they aren’t for the casual user.
Read the best electric knife sharpener reviews before you purchase to make sure you’re getting a sharpener you’ll actually be comfortable using.
Best Pocket Knife Sharpener
Pocket knives have very different needs from regular knives. Many of them feature small blades that have multiple surfaces, such as serrated edges towards the back of the blade.
The slots on a pocket knife sharpener should be small enough to comfortably grasp the blade. Some pocket knives, such as Swiss army knives, have attachments like scissors that will also need to be sharpened.
These small attachments will definitely require a narrow sharpening slot, and this is something you should take into consideration when looking for the best pocket knife sharpener.
Best Manual Knife Sharpener
The best manual knife sharpener will always be a very basic tool.
This is something you can use for any knife that features a straight blade, and it works with the thickness of most knives or outdoor tools.
These come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re perfect for anyone who simply has a few knives they’d like to keep sharp – even if they aren’t a knife enthusiast.
Every household needs at least one manual knife sharpener that will work in a pinch.
The best manual knife sharpener is one that offers a universal fit to the most common types of knives that you use in your home.
Best Hunting Knife Sharpener
When you’re looking for the best hunting knife sharpener, there are a few things you’ll want to ask yourself.
Do you really need the best hunting knife sharpener, or do you need the best portable knife sharpener?
That all depends on the way you use your hunting knives. Some people might benefit from finding one sharpener that successfully does both things.
Some knife sharpeners are very large, and they’ll add weight to your bag. You might not want to make your bag too heavy, especially if you’re going to be carrying it around with you for a long period of time.
If your knife gets dull out in the woods, you’re going to want the best portable knife sharpener you can get.
You’ll want the best hunting knife sharpener to keep at home so you can properly tend to your blades once you’ve returned from your trip.
Best Kitchen Knife Sharpener
Everyone deserves the best kitchen knife sharpener. It’s hard to prepare meals when you have bad knives.
If you’ve ever seen one of those late-night commercials that feature someone effortlessly slicing through a tomato, this is always due to the sharpness of the knife.
Some knives don’t come sharp enough, and old knives dull out until they’re practically useless.
The best kitchen knife sharpener will be the one that fits on your countertop or in your drawer for easy access.
The slots will be sized perfectly for both small knives (like paring knives) and large knives (like chef’s knives).
Knife sharpener system for your kitchen will have at least two slots, as knives that have only been coarsely sharpened will rip apart things like delicate produce.
How Much Should You Spend on a Knife Sharpener?
Good knives aren’t cheap, and they require a certain level of care to maintain their value.
Even subpar knives will benefit from being regularly sharpened – if you sharpen them frequently, they may work better than they did when you first purchased them.
A knife sharpener is an important investment that too few people consider.
It’s worth the money to get a sharpener or several sharpeners that will work well for you. Your work is only as good as the tools you use, and your knives are vital tools.
A great sharpener will even save you money in the long run by helping your knives last much longer. It’s worth spending a little more for quality.
TOP 5 Best Knife Sharpener Reviews 2020
Now that you’ve made your considerations and determined what sharpeners you’ll need, it’s time to narrow down your considerations by browsing some knife sharpener reviews.
What is the best knife sharpener? Well, that all depends on what you need your sharpener to do.
These are all exceptional sharpeners that rise to the top.
Whether you’re looking for the best manual knife sharpener or you’re seeking out the best electric knife sharpener reviews, you’ll find a lot of sharpeners you’d be thankful to own.
Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic
Lansky makes many of the top rated knife sharpeners on the market, and the BladeMedic is a testament to the brand’s overall quality.
This is a compact, portable sharpener that will allow you to work with knives that feature a wide variety of cutting surfaces.
It’s easy to use, and you’ll definitely want to take this one with you. Whether you’re camping, hunting, or fishing, you’ll definitely find yourself reaching in your bag to grab this sharpener.
- Features two slots for straight edges – one carbide side for sharpening, and one ceramic side for finishing the blade. These slots are the ideal size for pocket knives, allowing you to get the full edge snugly into the slot for proper sharpening.
- While most pocket knife sharpeners only feature a diamond tapered rod for the serrations in a pocket knife, this one also features a ceramic stone to hone your serrations. This gives your knife all the care it needs, so your saw back won’t wear down faster than your drop tip.
- This sharpener features a small opening on the back that will allow you to carry it on a lanyard or a keychain for easy access.
- While this sharpener is perfect for smaller hunting tools and pocket knives, it’s too compact to use for larger field knives, such as machetes. Those will require a special sharpener.
Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System
Specialty sharpening systems can be used for anything that needs to be sharpened. This goes for kitchen knives just as much as it goes for garden tools.
f you prefer to have ultimate control over your ability to sharpen your knives, you won’t have a single complaint about this sharpening kit.
It features 5 different stones as well as 5 angle guides to help you dial in with precision.
- The handles on each stone are designed with ergonomic grips and color-coordinated plastic. Each grit or grade of ceramic comes in a different color, allowing you to be sure that you’ve grabbed the correct stone.
- Comes with an adjustable knife clamp that will allow you to sharpen anything you need to sharpen. Dull hedge clippers and pruning shears? No problem. Just set the clamp to the right width.
- This kit comes in an organized molded plastic case that will help you keep all of the components together. It’s easy to store when it’s not in use, and you’re unlikely to lose any of the pieces.
- The honing oil that comes with this set is specifically designed for use with these stones. When you run out, you can’t replace it with just any honing oil. You’ll need to repurchase the same kind.
Presto 08810 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener
This electric knife sharpener is fit for a chef.
This is a three-stage system that will allow you to handle everything from fillet knives to meat cleavers all with a single sharpener.
It’s made to be versatile and durable. It’s the only sharpener you’ll need in your kitchen, and it will allow you to extend the lifespan of all sorts of cutting tools.
- This electric knife sharpener features a selector for blade thicknesses, allowing you to manually set the sharpener to accommodate whatever kind of knife you intend to run through it. You get a setting for thin, which would be used for things like paring knives. Medium will work for the average steak knife, and thick will work for things like cleavers or other butcher’s tools.
- This model is designed for ease of use. Some electric knife sharpeners feature a large rotating belt and require a lot of manual control. This sharpener automates the process, allowing you to sharpen your whole drawer of knives in mere minutes.
- Three-stage system offers you maximum control. You don’t have to worry about ruining your knives by sharpening them too much. If they just need a little touch up, you can run them through a weaker guide. This makes it easier to maintain the sharpness of your knives, rather than waiting for them to completely dull out so you can put a whole new edge on them.
- This unit is very large, mostly because of the motor and all of the features it offers. If you don’t have a lot of counter space, you’re probably going to need to find a place to put it while you’re not using it.
PriorityChef Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives
This is a sharpener designed with the beginner in mind. It’s made so anyone of any skill level can use it, and it’s perfect for people who may be a little nervous about using a knife sharpener.
It comes equipped with some valuable safety features they promote ease of use, and there’s nothing complicated about the way it works.
This sharpener will help you get a great edge on your knives without a fuss.
- Sharpener features a large, easy-grip handle that will help you hold it in place while you’re sharpening. All you need to do is grasp it firmly and press down to keep the sharpener from sliding around. If you’re careful and hang on tight, the sharpener won’t slip.
- Easy two-step sharpening system will work perfectly for most kitchen knives. This makes this sharpener uncomplicated and affordable, so it’s a top choice for people who only need to sharpen the knives they frequently prepare meals with.
- If you’re careful enough, you can actually use the first slot with things like bread knives that feature shallow serrations. The sharpening wheel is delicate enough to sharpen the edges without destroying them.
- Since this only has two slots, you’ll need to be delicate with your knives. It won’t automatically adjust, so the amount of pressure you apply when sharpening needs to be proportionate to the size of the blade you’re working with.
KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener
This is an entry-level mini sharpener that doesn’t have a whole lot going on, but it’s very good at what it does.
It only features two slots, but they’re perfect for basic kitchen knives or even scissor blades.
It may be the bare minimum, but it’s high quality and relatively inexpensive.
- Unique sharpener design sits on the edge of a countertop, allowing you to anchor it in place while you’re using it.
- Easy to store when not in use. It’s very compact, and it won’t take up a lot of space in your drawer or cabinet.
- The side of a sharpener comes with an ergonomic soft grip that will allow you to comfortably hold the sharpener without it sliding around.
- Small size makes it a little more difficult to sharpen very large knives.
Deciding Which Knife Sharpener You Should Buy
After reading the best knife sharpener reviews, the right choice should become clear.
The best knife sharpener is always on a case by case basis, because a knife sharpener that’s perfect for one thing may completely fail to do another.
This is exactly why people buy multiple knife sharpeners, which is something you should give some consideration to.
It’s worth it to take care of the knives you bought if you want them to last for decades, and getting the perfect sharpener for your knives will help you do that.