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        The 6 Best Knife Sharpeners, Tested and Reviewed
        HomeHome > News > The 6 Best Knife Sharpeners, Tested and Reviewed

        The 6 Best Knife Sharpeners, Tested and Reviewed

        Jun 11, 2023

        The Longzon 4-in-1 Knife Sharpener bested them all

        Laura Denby is a food, home, and lifestyle writer who specializes in creating thorough and analytical product reviews to help shoppers make more informed purchasing decisions. She has a Culinary Arts diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education and a WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits. Her work has appeared in leading food and lifestyle publications like PEOPLE, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Verywell Family, Southern Living, and more.

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        People / Russell Kilgore

        Ask any professional chef — from Bobby Flay to Alex Guarnaschelli — what their secret in the kitchen is, and chances are they’ll tell you it’s a sharp chef’s knife. Not only is a sharp blade more efficient when chopping and dicing, it’s also safer for your fingers when making thin cuts. If your dull knives could use a makeover, it’s time to invest in a knife sharpener. Though there are a ton of options to choose from, the best knife sharpeners should be easy to maneuver, sturdy, safe, and effective at transforming dull blades with a super-sharp edge. “The sharpness of your knife has a direct domino effect on how your food tastes,” said Guarnaschelli. “For home cooks, sharpening can be a daunting process. Don’t worry about being perfect, just get in there and give it a try,” she added.

        In search of the best knife sharpeners available, our team of experts put some of the leading models through a rigorous series of tests. We tested both manual and electric models and observed how effectively they restored old, dull blades. The Longzon 4-in-1 Knife Sharpener earned the People Tested seal of approval because it’s functional, efficient, and easy to use. If you’re a serious home cook who takes pride in your professional-level knife skills, a knife sharpener could save you time, money, and (not to be dramatic, but...) maybe even a trip to the ER.

        Here are our best knife sharpeners that PEOPLE Tested.

        Amazon

        An included QR code leads to an easy-to-follow instructional video

        Non-slip base keeps it safely in place

        Includes a special blade for scissors

        Should not be used on on serrated knives

        Should not be used on ceramic knives

        With four sharpening slots, a sturdy, non-slip base, and an unmatched ability to bring dull knives back to life, this knife sharpener won the top spot in our tests. It’s functional, easy to use, and affordable, which makes it an incredible value for the price. Our testers love how easy it is to use — an included QR code directs you to an instructional video that’s helpful for beginners and regular users alike. The four slots add versatility to an already efficient gadget — it has a tungsten steel slot that’s specifically designed to sharpen scissors; a tungsten steel blade to sharpen coarse, dull knives; a diamond slot to polish and repair; and a ceramic slot to sharpen, finish, and polish. This sharpener can accommodate chef’s knives, paring knives, boning knives, and meat cleavers. However, keep in mind that this product should not be used on serrated knives or ceramic knives.

        Overall, this model excelled in all of our tests. When used on an old, dull knife, it successfully restored the blade to peak sharpness, helping it slice through paper and tomatoes with ease. Our experts loved it so much, product tester Lacey Barnes said, “The value is amazing, and the quality is exceptional. I would recommend this product to friends and family with high regards; it’s an excellent purchase for everyone.” At such an affordable price, this is a fantastic purchase for both advanced and beginner home cooks alike.

        Price at time of publish: $14.69

        Sharpening stages: Fine, medium, coarse | Dimensions: 3 x 9 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 11 oz. | Sharpening slots: 4

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        Amazon

        Heavy-duty base and non-slip feet add stability

        Compatible with ceramic knives

        Angled slots for left and right sides help ensure that both sides get sharpened easily

        Should not be used on serrated knives

        Our testers found it difficult to sharpen the heel and tip

        Our testers loved how easy this Mueller sharpener was to maneuver and how comfortable, safe, and sturdy it felt when in use. We found it to be effective at sharpening dull knives, and we particularly appreciate that it comes with angled slots for both the right and left side of the knife, which means you’re guaranteed to sharpen each side evenly and at the perfect angle. It has two sharpening stages, fine and coarse, which our testers found to be functional and effective.

        This is an electric sharpener that uses diamond discs as the abrasive to hone knives. Thanks to non-slip feet, the product does not slide around on the countertop, which makes it feel safe and stable. Though our testers were pleased with the overall value of this sharpener, they did have trouble getting the heel and the tip of the knife as sharp as the center. Overall, it’s not the most effective sharpener we tested, but the angled slots for both sides of the knife provide unmatched ease of use, which makes this a great option for beginners or occasional users. Thanks to the foolproof design, stability of the base, and affordable price tag, we think it’s a great value for the price.

        Price at time of publish: $39.97

        Sharpening stages: Fine, coarse | Dimensions: 3.45 x 9.13 x 3.75 inches | Weight: 2.5 lbs | Sharpening slots: 4

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        Amazon

        Lights up to indicate what sharpening stage you’re using

        “Refine” setting helps achieve a super-sharp edge

        Adjustable sharpening angles makes it compatible with different styles of blades

        Most expensive sharpener on our list

        If you’re looking for a reliable, professional-grade knife sharpener for serious home cooks, this is one of the most effective on our list. It easily sharpened dull knives, bringing them back to peak performance with a super-sharp edge, with minimal effort. It’s a fantastic way to keep heavily used knives sharp, so both professional chefs and advanced home cooks would benefit from having one in their home kitchen. Our expert product testers were so pleased with this knife sharpener, it ranked among the best of all the options we tested.

        We found the sharpener to be easy to use. It’s sturdy and durable, and thanks to a non-slip rubber base, it doesn’t move around. The stainless steel mechanism sharpens knives without scratching or damaging the blades. Our testers noticed a considerable difference in sharpness after running blades through the sharpener and found cutting carrots and tomatoes to be much easier, requiring less effort and pressure. In fact, expert product tester Katie Couch said, “This knife sharpener significantly improved the sharpness of the knife, making it easier to cut items.” It features two angled sharpening slots with three sharpening stages: fine, medium, and coarse. Because this sharpener uses a grinding belt, it’s easy to adjust the angle that you sharpen at, which makes this a particularly convenient tool for Japanese-style knives, whose edges are sharpened to different angles.

        Although this is one of the most functional and effective sharpeners on our list, it’s also the most expensive. With a considerably higher price tag than most of the other tools on our list, this sharpener is best suited to someone who cooks frequently.

        Price at time of publish: $200

        Sharpening stages: Fine, medium, coarse | Dimensions: 5.5 x 9 x 3.4 inches | Weight: 2.25 lbs | Sharpening slots: 2

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        People / Russell Kilgore

        Amazon

        Angle guides help ensure you sharpen at the right degree

        Sharpens straight and serrated knives

        Rubber feet prevent slipping

        Complicated instructions might be difficult for beginners to understand

        Electric knife sharpeners are a great option for beginners because the automated process is much easier to tackle than the manual sharpening process. Our testers love this option because it’s easy to handle and feels sturdy and secure when in use. The design of the sharpener is strategically thought out: It’s designed in a way that ensures that the entire knife — from heel to belly to tip — is sharpened effectively. It has six sharpening slots so each knife can be sharpened at the perfect angle on both the right and the left sides.

        This sharpener uses diamond discs to improve the edge of your blade. Three sharpening stages — coarse, medium, and fine — mean you can revive dull blades and refine them to a super sharp-finish. Our testers found it to be extremely effective when sharpening flat knives. “This sharpener worked exceptionally well,” said Couch. “I was surprised by how well this device sharpened the knife and how well the knife performed after sharpening,” she added.

        Although this is an effective, easy-to-use electric sharpener for flat blades, our testers found that it didn’t perform as well when sharpening serrated knives.

        Price at Time of Publish: $137.51

        Sharpening stages: Fine, medium, coarse | Dimensions: 6.25 x 12 x 6 inches | Weight: 3 lbs | Sharpening slots: 6

        People / Russell Kilgore

        Amazon

        Clear, thorough instructions are helpful for first-time users

        Knife guards help users sharpen at the perfect angle

        Cannot be used on serrated knives

        This two-stage knife sharpener takes all the guesswork out of sharpening knives, which makes it an easy and approachable option for beginners. Sharpening knives for the first time can be intimidating, so our testers were thrilled to see how clearly the instructions outlined the process. The easy-to-read manual provided clarity on how to use the machine, what stage to use, and how long to draw the knife back through the sharpener.

        The precision knife guards hold the blade at the perfect angle for sharpening, whether you’re using the fine or coarse stage on both the left and right sides. That means you can rest the blade against the edge, and you can be sure you’re sharpening at the right angle. The two-stage system features a coarse setting and a fine setting, so you can sharpen, hone, and refine dull blades. Our testers noted that this model was very effective at reviving old knives, and they noted that after sharpening, old knives were almost as sharp as they would’ve been straight from the box. “For an electric sharpener that gave me an almost 80 percent sharper blade from the start, I would say this is a great value,” said product tester Chris Gorsuch.

        Keep in mind that this sharpener should only be used on straight blades and isn’t suitable for serrated knives.

        Price at Time of Publish: $37.76

        Sharpening stages: Fine, coarse | | Dimensions: 5.8 x 8 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 3 lbs | Sharpening slots: 4

        People / Russell Kilgore

        Amazon

        Width of the sharpening slots can be adjusted for thicker or thinner knives

        Sharpens sport knives, serrated knives, Santoku knives, and standard blades

        Suction cups on the base help hold the sharpener in place

        Larger than most of the sharpeners on our list, so make sure you have ample storage space

        Our testers found sharpening the tip to be difficult

        This large, durable Presto sharpener has adjustable slots that can be modified to accommodate knives with different widths. That means you can sharpen thick hunting knives, medium-sized serrated knives, and thin boning knives with the same level of precision. Though there’s added functionality, our testers had no issues figuring it out — the instructions are clear and easy to understand. The adjustable thickness settings and the angle guides help sharpen each knife with accuracy, so this is a fantastic option if you have a collection of different knives you’d like to revive. Suction cups at the base help hold it steadily in place, so it won’t slip or slide around on the countertop when in use.

        Our testers love that this three-stage sharpener uses a grinding steel for a coarse grind, a medium grinding wheel, and a ceramic wheel for fine-honing. This product is versatile and functional, and it excelled in all of our sharpening tests. After sharpening, our previously dull knives were able to cleanly slice through paper, carrots, and tomatoes. However, our testers noted that this electric sharpener struggled to get the tips of certain knives as sharp as others.

        Price at Time of Publish: $68.99

        Sharpening stages: Fine, medium, coarse | Dimensions: 2.18 x 11.25 x 18.4 inches | Weight: 5 lbs | Sharpening slots: 6

        People / Russell Kilgore

        Sharpening stages are important to consider when sharpening your knives. For best results, select a sharpener that has at least two capabilities — coarse and fine. Sharpening on the coarse setting will help with really damaged knives, and it’s a great way to make a big change with a few strokes. Sharpening on the fine side is an ideal way to finish the sharpening process, and it helps refine your blade while polishing it at the same time.

        Before purchasing, keep in mind that there are two types of knife sharpeners — manual and electric. Manual knife sharpeners typically give the user more control, and they allow the user to achieve more consistency and precision. They’re also usually more affordable and don’t require a power source. However, they can be difficult for beginners to get the hang of. Alternatively, electric sharpeners are quick and user-friendly. These automated sharpeners tend to be more expensive, but they are easy to understand and take a lot of the guesswork out of the process.

        Knife sharpeners can vary drastically in price, so before you invest in one, consider how often you plan to use it. If you cook frequently and plan to sharpen your knives regularly, a more expensive knife sharpener that you’ll get plenty of use out of might be worth the heavier price tag. If you’re a beginner home cook and looking to dabble in maintaining your cutlery, consider a less-expensive knife sharpener to help you practice. You may learn that you prefer the precision of a manual sharpener, or you may find that you want the ease of an electric one. Either way, make sure to consider your style of knives, how often you cook, and how often you plan to sharpen before you purchase one.

        One of the most difficult parts of sharpening a knife effectively is keeping the blade at the right angle as you pull it back and forth. Different styles of blades get sharpened at different angles, so it’s important to know the right angle for your knife and to maintain consistency as you pull it back and forth. If you’re a beginner who struggles to maintain a consistent angle when sharpening, select a sharpener that comes with angle guides, like the Presto EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener. The specially designed slots help hold the knife at the perfect inclination.

        People / Russell Kilgore

        We tested 23 knife sharpeners side-by-side in our food-testing lab and graded them on ease of use, maneuverability, sturdiness, and effectiveness. To start, we read through each product's instructions and rated them on how easy or difficult each one is for a beginner to understand. Next, we assessed how sturdy or flimsy each sharpener felt. Knife sharpeners should be stable enough to sharpen large knives safely, so sturdiness and heft are important factors. We also examined whether or not each sharpener had non-slip feet — if a sharpener is able to move around on the countertop, the more dangerous it will be to use. Next, we examined whether or not the sharpeners included any accessories, and we observed what type of material it’s made out of. Different materials have different grit sizes, which will have an impact on the versatility of your sharpener.

        To test these factors, we started off with dull knives, and we recorded how effectively they were able to cut through paper, carrots, and tomatoes prior to sharpening. After recording those results, we used each knife sharpener to sharpen the dull knife. We repeated the edge tests — cutting through paper, carrots, and tomatoes once again — and recorded how sharp the blades were after using the sharpener.

        Though many people think of a honing steel as a knife sharpener, they are actually two very different tools. Honing steels help to maintain the edge of a knife rather than sharpen the blade. With a knife that has a very fine edge, too much wear and tear can cause the steel to ripple or bend. A honing steel helps maintain a straight edge on either side of the blade so the steel doesn’t warp or fold onto itself. Alternatively, a sharpener actually grinds the steel, bringing dull knives back to their sharp origin. A honing steel will maintain your knife’s edge, but it’s not an effective way to sharpen the blade.

        The sharper, the better, so when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to sharpen your knives. You will be able to tell that a knife needs sharpening when the blade feels dull, and you feel yourself applying more pressure when cutting through food. Knives should never slip or slide, so if you find that the edge of your knife slips on vegetable skins, it’s probably time to sharpen it. If you have to use a rocking or sawing motion to cut through foods, that’s another good indicator that your knife is too dull.

        Laura Denby is a food, home, and lifestyle writer who specializes in creating thorough and analytical product reviews to help shoppers make more informed purchasing decisions. She has a Culinary Arts diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education and a WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits. Her work has appeared in leading food and lifestyle publications like PEOPLE, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Verywell Family, and Southern Living. Based on our testers’ feedback, Denby compared several of the most popular knife sharpeners based on factors like price, instructions, ease and safety of use, and sharpness achieved. She also relied on expert insight from Alex Guarnaschelli, an Iron Chef and Food Network celebrity chef.

        We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country use with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

        But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

        In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

        Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our People Tested content.

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