THE ULTIMATE KNIFE SHARPENERS BUYING GUIDE

Did You Have To Cancel Your Dinner Plans?

Could You Not Cook The Steak You Wanted? Was Your Knife Too Dull To Cut The Meat?

Is Your Blunt Kitchen Knife Extending Your Time In The Kitchen?

You need to put a stop to this misery! Enough with trying to cut the meat with an edgeless knife.

Every day, millions of people use knives for one thing or another. I bet, a few thousand people must be using a knife right this minute. Just imagine if all of those people were using a blunt knife, how frustrating everyone would be, trying to cut something and just not succeeding. Uggh, only thinking about it gives us the cringe!!

But wait, it doesn’t have to be this way.

 You can end your misery, heck we can help anyone with a blunt knife woe with our ultimate guide to help you buy a knife sharpener. This way you won’t have to buy a new knife again and again and we all save time not running an edge less knife over stuff we want to cut.

 

All About Knife Sharpening

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF KNIFE SHARPENERS

There’s a whole wide range of sharpeners in the market depending upon your needs, budget, time and expertise. Knife sharpeners vary from manual stone sharpeners to Hi-tech electrical ones.

Not just this in each type you can get portable smart sized ones or heavy duty big ones, cheap ones or expensive ones.

Yet there are many factors, features and sharpening techniques you need to know about these sharpeners in order to decide the best one for yourself to buy.

Buying quality knife should be a one-time investment that can last longer with the help of using perfect sharpeners you can turn your dull, old and edgeless knives into razor sharp and highly efficient cutting knives.

Have a careful look at the classification chart below to help you know more about sharpeners.

 

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Knife Sharpeners Info-graphics

 

Q: How Many Times You Have Bought New Knives From Just To Get An Edgy Knife To Smoothly Cut Or Carve Whatever You Want To Without Any Hassle Or Hurdle?

How Many Times Do You Intend To Waste Your Money Over And Over Again?

Buying high quality and efficient sharpeners can really get you rid of all these troubles. Sharpeners are a solution to all your edgeless knife relevant issues you face daily while cooking in the kitchen either if you are a professional chef, or you cook for your family at home.

When your knives’ edges are dulled it’s not a signal for you to buy new knives instead, it’s time to buy a new quality knife sharpener.

Many people who are at pro-level of sharpening their knives passionately have quoted about their years of knife sharpening experience:

    “Knife sharpening is an art of perfection which you will learn with the passage of time, if you haven’t heard the sound while sharpening your knives yet you are missing the most relaxing experience you would want to do”

 

TERMS AND ACCESSORIES RELEVANT TO KNIFE SHARPENING
BEVEL: The sloping edge of the blade of the knife.
BLADE SHARPENING ANGLE: Particular angle set between abrasive’s surface and knife’ edges by the help of angle accessories.
DAMAGED BLADE EDGE: Chipped or nicked edges of the blade.
EDGE: The sharp cutting surface of every knife’s blade.
GRIT: Particles of sands and stone on the surface of sharpeners.
HARD KNIFE: Knives with high-quality material and thick edge.
HONING: Alignment of knife’s edges to regain sharpness.
SHAREPENING ANGLE WEDGES: Solid wedges or attachable adjusted to the whetstone to maintain angle for proper edges.
SHARPENING ANGLE GUIDES: Attachable angle guides to the spine of the knife to maintain sharpening angle.
SHARPENING: Scrapping off edge’s surface.
SPINE: The opposite surface of edge of the blade of the knife.

 

Manual Whetstone

 

MANUAL WHETSTONE KNIFE SHARPENERS

Manual Whetstones also are known as bench stone are the most primitive knife sharpening stones. They are characterized on the basis of their grit size, as it determines their output efficiency.

The lower the grit size the coarser the whetstone, which is more suitable for repairing chipped dull knives. Manual bench stone sharpeners include whetstones, oil stones, water stones, Japanese stones, ceramics stones, and diamond stones.

 

MANUAL WHETSTONE KNIFE SHARPENERS

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Pros
  • • Inexpensive, dual-purpose whetstone.
  • • Highly specific grit size with respect to purpose.
  • • Available in all ranges from less coarse to highly coarse.
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Cons
  • • Handling skills are required to master the art of knife sharpening.
  • • Beginners need to use sharpening angle guides or sharpening wedges for maintaining sharpening angle while sharpening.

 

TIP:

As the knife sharpening stone grit size increases to medium ranges those whetstone are to be used for fixing dull knives. The higher the number of grit size are used to finish and polish sharpened knives finely.

NOTE:

LOW GRIT SIZE = COARSE SHARPENING OF DAMAGED EDGES.

MEDIUM GRIT SIZE = SHAVES OFF DULLED EDGE’S SURFACE.

HIGH GRITZ SIZE = FINE POLISHING OF SHARPENED EDGES.

 

GRIT SIZES PURPOSES
LOW GRIT SIZEGrit size from up to 320 to 400 is the coarse whetstones used for better fixing chipped dull knives, the bigger the chip size the lower the grit.
MEDIUM GRIT SIZEGrit size from up to 400 to 3k is to be utilized for sharpening knives, lower grit is for the purpose of sharpening dull knives whereas higher grit for daily maintenance of knives.
HIGH GRIT SIZEGrit size above 4k to 6k is for the purpose of lower mirror polishing, whereas grit size from 8k to 12k is for finer mirror polishing of sharpened knives.
HIGHER GRIT SIZEGrit size above 12k for intensely fine polishing of sharp knives.

 

TYPES OF WHETSTONES

 

1.  NATURAL WHETSTONE SHARPENERS:

Natural whetstones have been in use of humans since the caveman’s time to sharpen knives as a tool. They are best known to recover damaged chipped knives. According to Wikipedia, Natural whetstones are cost friendly and have the highest grit size. Natural whetstones are typically formed of quartz such as Japanese whetstone.

2.  SYNTHETIC WHETSTONE SHARPENERS:

Artificial stones usually come in the form of a bonded abrasive composed of a ceramic such as silicon carbide or of aluminum oxide. Bonded abrasives provide a faster cutting action than natural stones.

They are commonly available as a double-sided block with a coarse grit on one side and a fine grit on the other enabling one stone to satisfy the basic requirements of sharpening. ( Source Wikipedia )

3.  WATER WHETSTONE SHARPENERS:

By means of lubrication, water can be used specifically to the whetstone. Generally, water is mostly used by means of lubrication before sharpening, it reduces the heat produced due to friction.

4.  OIL WHETSTONE SHARPENERS:

Some whetstones are oil specific, requires mineral oil before sharpening or polishing the knife. Once you use oil over whetstone then you can’t use water.

 

Diamond Whetstone

 

5.  DIAMOND WHETSTONE SHARPENER:

Diamond is the hardest mineral found naturally in the world. Using a diamond as a sharpener tool will make it more feasible and effective. Diamond Whetstone sharpeners can be used for sharpening dry or with water but no mineral oil.

It is also known as D.M.T (Diamond matching technology) based Diamond Whetstone. You can sharpen your dull knife by placing its edge at a 20-degree angle against whetstone’s surface.

 

Natural Japanese Whetstone

 

6.  JAPANESE WHETSTONE SHARPENER:

Japanese sharpening whetstones are the hardest and most affordable natural whetstones available. These whetstones have a low grit size which is coarser and more efficient in sharpening chipped edges.

Japanese stones also come with the highest grit size ideal for finishing and polishing a knife’s edge. Japanese whetstone is inexpensive, long-lasting, and highly effective but requires skills to work with.

 

KNIFE SHARPENING STONE KIT

    • Mostly when you buy a whetstone kit you would get a knife sharpening stone, silicon holder, sharpening tool guide, and wooden base.

 

    • The knife sharpening stone grit comprises of dual sides, one side having lower grit size for sharpening and another side of higher grit size for polishing.

 

    • Whetstone Knife Sharpening Kit

 

    • Silicon Holder:

      It provides a non-slippery firm frame for a whetstone.

    • Wooden Base:

      It serves as an immovable platform and contains whetstone.

    • Sharpener Angle Guide:

      An attachable angle guide for beginners. It serves as a consistent adjusted angle with respect to whetstone’s surface.

 

Q: How to Use a Whetstone to Sharpen Knives? (Tips and techniques)

      • Soak your whetstone into a deep container full of water for a half an hour before use.

 

Soaked Whetstones

 

    • Allow the knife sharpening stone to absorb water into itself.

 

    • Set the whetstone over silicon holder frame and a wooden base for firm sharpening.

 

    • You can also add a few drops of mineral oil over the whetstone’s surface.

 

    • Set up the knife sharpener angle guide over the spine of the knife or by the help of a rubber band.

 

How To Sharpen Your Knife With Whetstone

 

STEP#1: Set the angle wedge on a linear side of the whetstone.

 

STEP#2: Start to and fro repetitive movements of the knife against the whetstone’s surface, target the knife’s chipped edges or dull edge.

 

STEP#3: Keep moving one side for 10-12 times, repeat the same process with the other side of the edge.

 

NOTE: Be careful and be precautious as you don’t need to be fast at sharpening knife it might damage the knife or cause injury.

 

Knife Honing Rod

 

KNIFE SHARPENER ROD

Knife sharpening rods are best known to be used for honing serrated knives. Most commonly used for the alignment of edges and honing of culinary knives. Knife sharpening rods are mostly made up of a diamond, hardened steel, and ceramics.

These are best knife sharpener rod, recommended by the top chefs as an immediate accessory to hone your knife. It is also known as “BUTCHER’S STEEL” or “HONING STEEL”. Knife sharpener rods are inexpensive, easily available, and stylish to look in the kitchen.

 

KNIFE SHARPENER ROD

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Pros
  • • Immediately enhances the smooth performance of the knife.
  • • Ceramics and diamond provide sharpening with honing of the knife.
  • • Can be hanged in the kitchen wall.
  • • Requires little pressure for honing.
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Cons
  • • Handling skills are required to hone knives.
  • • Rods sharpening angles required for beginners.
  • • Should be able to judge knife dulling level before honing.

 

Types Of Knife Sharpening Rods

 

CERAMICS KNIFE SHARPENING ROD:

Ceramic knife sharpening rods are made of knife sharpening material, which removes somewhat particles from the edge of the knife as well as aligns and maintains the dull edges also.  Ceramics honing rods have fine grit ideal for both harder Japanese steel knives and western steel knives. They provide immediately sharpened and aligned edges. You can also use a strop after using the ceramic rod for further finishing

STEEL KNIFE SHARPENING ROD:

Steel knife sharpening rods are made up of hardened steel. Honing a knife through steel rod provides a fine edge and maintains it as well. Steel honing rods are best known for aligning and maintain the sharpened edges of the knife. The most recommended angles are 15-20 degrees to hone a knife.

DIAMOND KNIFE SHARPENING ROD:

Diamond knife sharpeners are known to grind away dull edges as well as honing. The diamond sharpening rods are made up of a steel core, whereas the surface is covered with diamond grains. Diamonds knife sharpening rods provides a sharp and finely finished edge due to its high grit size.

How To Use Knife Sharpening Rod Kit To Hone Knives?

Keep in mind that sharpening or honing isn't an easy stuff. If you take it lightly you might get yourself injured.

To avoid any injuries, handling needs to be administered. Keep your holding hand’s fingers behind the grip point.

To sharpen your knife start from top to bottom, commonly honed at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to knife’s edges.

The rod actually won’t remove any steel from the edges, it only aligns the knife’s edges and removes burr at a moderate to intensive level.

 

Here’s a diagrammatic elaboration of knife honing for beginners.

      • For downward honing, hold your honing rod by the help of holding grip point against the working floor in an upside down manner.

 

      • Adjust honing rod angle guide of your required angle and move the knife in an upward to downward direction against the rod’s grit.

 

      • Keep moving each side of the knife’s edge repetitively in the same fashion for 10-15 minutes.

 

      • Then after honing check the knife’s performance by taking the paper cutting test.

 

How To Hone Your Knife With Honing Rods

 

Here’s a comparison table between the general features of sharpening whetstones and honing rods:

 

 

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HANDHELD KNIFE SHARPENERS

Handheld sharpeners are well-known because of their smart design and portable feature. Although it has limited two, three or four grit slots divided into coarse and fine ones.

But handheld knife sharpeners are brilliant as it provides ease of transportation as well as access to all, no skills needed. You can use it in the kitchen or carry with you outdoors.

Many come with handling space or handle, others have a smart base design that fixates itself to your counter, and more variety.

 

HANDHELD KNIFE SHARPENERS

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Pros
  • • Easy to use for beginners.
  • • No skills needed.
  • • Lightweight.
  • • Portable.
  • • Reasonable prices.
  • • Less time consumption.
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Cons
  • • Lesser precise sharpening as compared to Whetstone.
  • • Limited grit slots.
  • • Fined tuned polishing not available.
  • • Does not removes hairlines from the knife’s edge.

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ELECTRIC KNIFE SHARPENERS

Electric knife sharpeners are the most advanced and fastest version of sharpeners. It enables the user to sharpen a knife without the hassle of handling, continuous repetitive continuous to and fro movements, conscious about sharpening angle, and no skills learning required. It is hi-tech automatic user-friendly, you just need to insert your knife into sharpening slot and pull from heel to tip.

There are mostly two slots one for coarse sharpening and second for fine polishing. Some chef’s choice electric sharpeners provide you with three options, the additional third feature is honing. You just need to go with the flow, don’t fight with the machine.

 

ELECTRIC KNIFE SHARPENERS

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Pros
  • • Highly effective sharpening.
  • • Fast and least time-consuming.
  • • Easy to use and no skills needed.
  • • Fine-tuned knife polishing.
  • • Three to two different dedicated slot for specific grinding, honing and polishing functions.
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Cons
  • • Not manual.
  • • Not portable.
  • • Not versatile
  • • Expensive.
  • • Limited grit slots options.
  • • Careless knife sharpening administration could damage it.

 

 

how to handle a knife while sharpening

 

 

OTHER TYPES OF KNIFE SHARPENERS

LEATHER STROPPING BELTS:

In order to avoid honing, after sharpening people can do stropping of the sharpened edges. It provides the polishing of the edges by using a paste or lotion to enhance polishing. Mostly leather belts are the best sources of stropping already sharpened edges of the knife. There is a significant change in the sharpness of the edges of the blade after stropping.

 

BELT GRINDERS:

Belt grinding is a method of finishing sharp edges, which are run over abrasive belt surfaces. Belt grinding removes particles from the surface of the edges to acquire finer finishing and removes the burr from the blade’s tip. There are many types of belt grinding methods such as the following:

 

          1. Stroke Belt Grinders:

            They are manufactured and used in industries. The sole purpose of professional grinding surfaces and corners of the knife’s blade edge.

          2. Plate Belt Grinder:

            It is also known as Flat Belt Grinders. It is a fine grinding process where the belt is settled in a flattened horizontal manner plated to the rotator.

          3. Wide Belt Grinder:

            It comprises of multiple head belts of variable grit sizes. The first head is for coarse grinding, whereas other heads are used for finer finishing.

          4. Back Stand Grinder:

            It is manufactured with a wheel surfaced with a grinding belt, vacuum cleaner, and multi-station processes.

          5. Centerless Grinder:

            Centerless grinding has no fixed centered location for grinding an object. In this process grinding is done by placing the material to be ground between two grinding rotary wheels.

          6. Portable Grinder:

            It is also known as the portable belt sander. It provides grinding control to the user. The object to be ground is fixed to the surface and the grinder moves along the edges.

 

CLASSIC V-SHARPENERS:

V-Sharpeners are the ultimate simple steel sharpener based of two diamond grit rods at fixed angles vertically due to balanced spring tension. V-sharpeners are known for dual-edge sharpeners at the same time.

While sharpening the user doesn’t need to maintain sharpening angle manually or through wedges. Mostly used for sharpening serrated knives, hunting knives, tactical knives e.tc.

SERRATED KNIFE SHARPENER:

There are many types of sharpeners and honing rods for serrated knives such as D.M.T dia-fold serrated knife sharpener, crock sticks serrated bread knife sharpener, diamond chainsaw file, handheld serrated knife sharpener and more.

The main purpose of such sharpeners is to provide sharpening of each tooth of the ground side of the serrated knife.

CROCK STICKS:

Crock sticks are used to hone knives in the most feasible way. Crock sticks have innovated the honing process by removing the requirement of an adjusted sharpening angle.

Crock sticks are vertical honing ceramics sticks inserted in the platform at particular angles. Knives are honed in a downward direction mostly at angles of 16, 20, 22 or 45-degrees.

 

Benefits of Buying a Knife Sharpener

          • You always will have a sharpened knife in your hands.

 

          • A sharpened knife is safer, as it is quick to cut, slice or work with. Whereas dull knives make it harder to work with and high risks of slipping through hands.

 

          • It saves the knife’s life and extends its work quality. Allowing you to make no further investment in knives.

 

          • Learning the art of sharpening knife enables you to learn a new skill.

 

          • Knife sharpening is a skill which later turns into a long-term investment.

 

          • Sharpening becomes an enjoyable hobby for those who do it frequently.

 

          • The sound of a knife going against grit surface of the sharpeners is one of the most satisfying ones.

 

 

WHY DO DIFFERENT BLADE ANGLES MATTER BEFORE SHARPENING?

Different blade angles matter a lot for accurate sharpening, honing and polishing processes. As each degree of angle has specified consequences. Blade angle mainly depends on how hard or how brittle knife blade is, simply we focus on the durability of the blade.  It also depends on how sharpened edge we want for a particular purpose such as chopping, slicing, or shaving.

Some knives have a bevel on both sides, some have a one-sided bevel. The sharpening angle selection is dependent on the variability in the bevel side of the blade.

For two-sided bevel, each side angle is summed, of which particular total sum sharpening angle is figured out.

If you will start to sharpen your knife at wrong sharpening angle then sooner or later it will break the blade of the knife. Here’s a diagrammatic representation of different sharpening angles.

 

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The sharpening bevel angles range from 10 degrees to above 35 degrees with respect to whetstone’s or honing rod’s grit surface.

For beginners angle guides, wedges or sharpening angle rods are needed to be utilized. Sharpening angle guides come in a range of different angles.

 

Sharpening angle guides

 

 

 

TYPES OF KNIFE AND THEIR PURPOSE

Q: Have you ever had the experience of using Edgeless Old Knife annoying you and your cooking experience?

Using Edgeless knives can really get on your nerves, while constantly running your knife over and over again on stuff you want to cut or cook but it seems impossible.

Dulled knife tends to slip and slide while cutting foodstuff which could be dangerous.

 Just suppose you are cooking broccoli and chicken but because of the dulled knife slipping on your fingers, you might end up cooking and eating broccoli, chicken along with your index finger. JOKING!

 

TYPES OF KITCHEN KNIVES

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CERAMICS KNIVES:

The blade of the knife is made up of zirconium dioxide. The hardness level of this material is equivalent to hardened stainless steel, which makes them durable. Ceramic knife’s hard edges are known for long-lasting sharpness and innovative print designing on the blade.

 

SERRATED KNIVES:

These knives are named because of their serrated toothed edge of the blade. These are best known to cut hardened bread surface into perfect loaves. Serrated knives are seemed to be the hardest ones to be sharpened.

 

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WOOD CRAFTING KNIVES:

These knives have extremely sharp edges for the purpose of soft and delicate wood’s carving and crafting. The knife is manufactured with easy user handling design. Chip Wood Carving Knife ideal for wood crafting beginners and wood carving learners.

 

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TACTICAL KNIVES:

These knives are also known as combat, fighting or trenching knives. These are designed for effective physical self-defense and lethal physical attack on the enemy.

 

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HUNTING KNIVES:

These are used for the purpose of skinning and cutting the meat of the hunted animal. Camping and machete knives are sub-types of hunting knives. Hunting knives might have fixed or foldable blades. These knives are made from the hollow ground that gives it razor sharp edge.

 

THE CONCLUSION

Now the question arises for the big decision of buying a knife sharpener. Answer me one thing,

Q: Are you enough informed and satisfied after reading about all the things you need to know about knife sharpeners, basic sharpening to-dos and don’ts and variety of knives?

We have discussed almost every aspect of knife sharpeners and knife sharpening’s F.A.Qs for beginners, from cost, pros, cons, time-consuming, quality, quantity, how to use, what you need, which sharpener is best for your knife and much more.

By now you should be able to judge what kind of knife sharpener you should go for or if yet you are confused about buying any knife sharpener or want to know more about specific sharpeners or knife sharpening techniques in detail check our other articles.

From my point of view, electric knife sharpeners are the best ones for beginners. Whetstones and honing rods require skills and practicing, whereas for learners you can utilize the help of angle guides, angle wedges and online video tutorials of knife sharpening for beginners.