Your knives are among your most important kitchen tools, and they work best (and more safely!) when sharp. Even the best quality knives will dull over time. You can have them sharpened professionally, but that gets spendy. Or you can maintain a nice sharp edge on your culinary cutting tools at home.
It takes a little finesse to get the angle and stroke just right (chefs learn knife skills right from the start in culinary school and they practice, practice, practice), so if you have never sharpened or honed your own knives, you might want to warm up by practicing on inexpensive knives. Check out local second-hand stores or estate sales for “practice” knives - they won’t cost much and you may find some real treasures that become new favorites.
As with any maintenance chore, keeping your knives in top shape works only if you do it regularly and that is more likely to happen with quality tools that are user-friendly and produce the desired results. So consider your style. Do you prefer traditional methods? Handheld convenience? Love your power tools? You can keep your knives on the cutting edge with sharpening stones, manual pull-through sharpeners or electric knife sharpeners. For all methods, you will want to have a honing steel on hand - frequent use will go a long way to keeping your knives super sharp.
Whetstone sharpeners have been around for ages and are still in use because, well, they work! Practice is good - it’s up to the user to maintain a correct and consistent angle on the blade for best results. Knife geeks love this method because they can customize the sharpening angle for European knives (20°) or Japanese knives (15°). They are relatively inexpensive.
This whetstone has two grits, 600 and 1500, for two-stage sharpening. The sturdy non-slip rubber base keeps the tool stable during use. You can use this stone on a variety of edges - pocket knives, hunting knives, scissors, and, of course kitchen knives!
This stone is made from a highly durable and long lasting aluminium oxide material, corundum. The non-slip silica base holds the sharpening stone securely in place. Use the 1000-grit side to prepare and smooth the steel blade and the 3000-grit side to hone the finish. Sharpen any kitchen knife, pocket knife and scissor etc. with this sharpener.
Also made from corundum, this sharpener is made for pros but friendly for home users with a web link for an instructional video and an angle guide. This stone will sharpen more than kitchen knives, too. Sharpen scissors, pocket knives, chisels, even axes! Start with the 1000-grit coarse side, then finish with the 6000-grit polishing side for sharp and smooth blades. Manufacturer offers a 1 year guarantee.
Sharpen all your kitchen and outdoor knives with this dual angle design. An 800-grit stone gets the dullest edge back in shape and then a 3000-grit side hones blades to razor sharpness. Use the 15° angled base for beginners or the flat base for more experienced users. Base is non-slip and the sharpener includes an instruction manual, online video tutorial and a cleaning/lapping stone to keep your sharpening stones in top shape.
This durable aluminum oxide whetstone has a 1000-grit side for sharpening and a 4000-grit side to polish the edges of your blades. A Silicone layer keeps the stone firmly in place the non-slip bamboo base while the angle guide keeps your fingers away from the blade while maintaining a consistent sharpening angle. An e-book with extra sharpening tips and tricks is included. Sharpen kitchen knives, pocket knives, chisels, straight razors, pruners and scissors. 1 year guarantee.
Manual Pull Sharpeners
Easy to use, pull sharpeners are a popular choice. As the name implies, you simply pull your knives through the abrasive chamber with light, even pressure. Most models stow easily in a drawer, work quickly and are inexpensive, so they can be a good choice for the novice cook. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
Sharpen straight and ceramic kitchen knives quickly with this 3-stage knife sharpening tool. Simply pull your knives through the sharpener. The first two slots have angled stones for coarse and fine sharpening. The third ceramic slot is for honing metal knives and sharpening ceramic knives. Maintain a safe and secure grip with the contoured handle and slip-resistant base.
Utilizing two cutting-edge and advanced sharpening stages, this highly efficient tool will bring new life to your dull knives effortlessly. The tungsten steel slot sharpens dull blades while the ceramic slot eliminates burrs, hones and polishes the blade. Light weight and sturdy, the non-slip ergonomic design enhances safety.
The Zulay sharpener has an easy to use two-stage sharpening system. The coarse stainless steel slot is best for extremely dull or damaged knives and the fine ceramic slot is ideal for honing, finishing, polishing and touch-ups. The non-slip grip bottom keeps the sharpener steady and easy to hold. You can sharpen stainless steel, ceramic, hard steel, large, small, pocket, hunting and fishing knives. Lifetime replacement warranty.
The Brod & Taylor knife sharpener makes professional quality sharpening available for the home cook. Sharpen all types of knives, including serrated blades and Japanese-style knives. High-quality Damascus blades can be honed without fear of damaging the edge. Precision-ground ultra-hard carbide sharpeners on patented spring-action bars adjust automatically to accommodate different blade angles. Rugged construction with almost 2 pounds of solid stainless steel. Austrian-made tungsten-carbide sharpeners last over 5 years; replacements are available.
Dorlle Knife Sharpener has two stages of diamond grinding wheels for coarse and fine sharpening along with a third stage with ceramic wheels for honing. The stainless steel body with EVA non-slip cushion at its bottom offers a stable base with an ergonomic grip.
A guard between the handle and sharpening area protect your hands.
Electric knife sharpeners are easy to use and take most of the guesswork out of the task. Some see this as a disadvantage - they like having complete control of every aspect of keeping their knives razor sharp. But for consistency and the ability to repair the edges of damaged knives, they do a great job. Some models give you the option to choose between a 15° and 20° angle. Resist the temptation to press down as you draw your knives against the spinning abrasive wheels - let the machine do the work. Isn’t that why you chose an electric sharpener to begin with? Electric sharpeners can be more expensive than other types, but the cost can be worth it if you cook (and cut) a lot.
Razor sharp edges with 3-stage hybrid technology combine electric and manual sharpening for household and kitchen knives, sports knives and pocket knives. Stainless steel knife guides maintain a consistent angle. The diamond abrasive wheels sharpen to a burr-free edge. Stages 1 and 2 are electric using 100% diamond abrasives for fast and easy edge shaping and sharpening. Stage 3 uses non-motorized ultra-fine diamond abrasive wheels for a polished, razor-sharp edge that is strong and durable. Stage 3 also sharpens serrated edges. One year limited warranty. Engineered and assembled in the USA.
For professional sharpening, steeling or stropping all types of 20° degree class knives
quickly, the Chef's Choice 130 may be just the right tool. It sharpens both straight edge and serrated knives
in three stages: 100% diamonds in Stage 1, super-hardened sharpening steel in Stage 2 and flexible stropping disks in Stage 3. Built-in precision angle guides in all three stages eliminate guesswork and produce consistently sharp edges. Rubber feet hold the unit securely to the work surface. Assembled in the U.S.A. Limited 3 year warranty.
Just a few pulls will keep your knives in top shape, including serrated blades, with the Wusthof PEtec electric sharpener. The coarse stage has diamond-coated abrasive wheels that will reset a dull blade. The coarse (sharpening) notch should be used 1-2 times per year when the blade is dull. The fine (honing) stage has ceramic slats that can be used for regular (as often as every use) maintenance. The stropping wheels provide a fine finish. Gently drag the blade through each stage 2 or 3 times, starting with the coarse grit (sharpening), followed by the fine grit (honing), and finishing the edge with the stropping wheels at the end.
The Kitchen IQ Pro uses extra fine interlocking ceramic wheels that produce a superior edge while removing minimal material from the knife's edge, extending the life of the knife. This means that the electric sharpening feature can be used for even light touch-ups of an already sharp knife. The ceramic wheels maintain a consistent angle on both sides of the knife blade at the same time. There are two manual finishing slots, one with carbide blades to use for setting the initial edge to match sharpening angle of the ceramic wheels. The other manual slot has triangular shaped ceramic stones that are designed to follow the shape of a serrated knife and can polish a freshly ground edge on straight knives. Includes a retractable scissors sharpener.
Professional EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener works great on kitchen knives, hunting knives and fillet knives. The3-stage sharpening system is easy to use for professional results at home.
Interchangeable blade guides provide optimum sharpening angles without guesswork. Blade guides automatically hold knife at the perfect sharpening angle.
What About Honing Rods?
Sometimes called sharpening steels or honing rods, these vital knife maintenance tools don’t truly sharpen. Instead, they hone or realign the edge of a slightly dulled blade, keeping the edge sharp and true between sharpenings. A few sweeps of the blade against the metal or ceramic rod at the beginning of each use help keep it in alignment.
Victorinox, makers of the original Swiss army knife, has been crafting fine cutlery since the late 1800's, and this hard steel will keep your blades in tiptop condition with just a few routine passes. The finely turned wood handle feels great in your hand and looks great in your kitchen. Victorinox honing steels are manufactured in Sheffield, England, to Victorinox specifications.
The combined riveted handle design is combined with a contoured shape in the Wusthof Classic to add comfort and control. The rear bolster that acts as a counter balance when using the knife and adds significant blade control. The forward partial bolster is designed so you can sharpen the complete length of the blade. The Wusthof company dates back to 1814 and remains family owned in the cutlery capital of the world, Solingen, Germany.
This honing steel is designed to keep your blades in peak cutting condition between sharpenings. It features two opposing sides that are grooved (for honing) and 2 opposing sides that are smooth (for polishing). To hone, place the steel tip on a sturdy surface and gently pull the blade 3-4 times per side on the grooved sides of the steel. To polish, repeat the process on the smooth sides.The black laminated PakkaWood D-shaped handle provides maximum comfort
At 10 1/2 inches, this honing rod will realign edges quickly and work well on Japanese cutlery which tend to be harder than other knives. Use it regularly to maintain a fine edge. Black ceramic is harder than both white ceramic and steel and does not rust.
Hand wash is recommended. Not dishwasher safe.
The V-SAN honing rod is made from a durable black crystal ceramic material that improves on the brittle and fragile nature of some other materials. The antislip design of the uniquely designed tip makes honing your knives safer and more stable. The ergonomic ABS plastic handle fits in your hand comfortably.