They are critical if you want to keep your knives in top condition. There is a wide range of sharpeners available, including small hand-held blocks to large electric knife sharpeners. When looking for the best knife sharpener for kitchen knives you need to look for specific features. All knife sharpeners are designed to restore the blade of a knife to its original sharpness.
Since most people are not professional chefs with a lot of experience sharpening knives, they do not know what to look for when purchasing a knife sharpener. However, a knife sharpener is a very useful tool to have around the house.
Best knife sharpeners
Difference between knife sharpeners
The biggest difference between knife sharpeners is whether they are manual or electric. If you plan to sharpen many knives, opt for an electric sharpener. Electric sharpeners work very quickly and will not tire your arms. These range from relatively small counter top sharpeners to large models meant for industrial use.
If you have space, consider an electric sharpener. If not, look into sharpening stones or sharpening steels, because these are easier to store in small kitchens. However, manual sharpeners do require more work on your part to draw the blade across the sharpener.
kitchen knife uses
For most kitchen uses, a small tabletop or handheld sharpener will suffice. Those with an angle guide are usually best for beginners because they hold the knife at a consistent angle against the sharpener. If you are not used to sharpening knives, you may find it difficult to hold the right angle without such a guide. However, with practice, a sharpening stone or steel is quite easy to use.
Most knife sharpeners can handle either plain or serrated blades. Some also have an extra slot to sharpen scissors. If you plan to sharpen large blades, like ax blades or gardening tools, you’ll need a sharpener large enough to handle such blades, like a tabletop grinder, although it is also possible to carefully sharpen large blades using a manual sharpening stone or steel. Grinding wheels are usually made of aluminum oxide and can sharpen a wide variety of tools and materials, unlike some knife sharpeners that are designed specifically for kitchen knives.
The durability of knife sharpeners
Most knife sharpeners should be able to last you at least a few years, depending upon how often it is used. All sharpeners work by grinding the blade against a hard, rough surface. The roughness of this surface is measured in grit. Most sharpeners include two sides; one in a rougher grit for pre-sharpening, and a finer grit for honing the blade. Some stones may be sold in just one grit on both sides; purchase two different stones to fully sharpen your knives.
There are many different surfaces used for these sharpeners, including stone, ceramic, diamond, and steel. Ceramic stones are known for providing a very sharp edge, but may be fragile, and can break if dropped on a hard surface. Diamond sharpeners provide a sharp edge and do not wear down quickly.
Carbide sharpeners should be used on a knife that is not extremely dull. Steel will quickly reshape, but not resharpen, frequently used knives. Natural stone is often the least expensive choice, but frequent use can wear down the center of the stone.