Knife sharpeners are an efficiency multiplier, with the best electric knife sharpeners breathing new life into old knives by honing them back to the straight-from-the-factory condition—or better. Having a quality sharpener on hand allows you to upgrade multiple kitchen tools.
Knife sharpeners work by filing away the dulled bevel of a blade’s edge to restore its sharpness. Traditional sharpening techniques included manually running a blade along a stone. With modern sharpeners, it’s a cinch to sharpen and hone blade edges to peak efficiency.
- BEST OVERALL: Presto Professional Electric Knife Sharpener
- RUNNER-UP: Chef’sChoice 250 Hone Hybrid Electric and Manual
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener
- UPGRADE PICK: Chef’sChoice Trizor XV EdgeSelect
- BEST COMPACT: SHARPAL 191H Sharpener for Straight & Serrated Knives
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Electric Knife Sharpener
Sharpening wheel material, angle guides, and safety are among the key considerations buyers should think about when choosing the best electric knife sharpener for kitchen or workshop. Read on to learn all about electric knife sharpeners before making a purchase.
Sharpening wheels are made of ceramic, metal, or stone and are sometimes embedded with diamond particles. They refine the bevel at the edge of a knife blade by grinding away dulled material and polishing the edge.
Because ceramic sharpeners are synthetic, their grain measurements are very accurate. Fine-tuning the best grain for precise sharpening is easy and affordable with ceramics, but because ceramic can be made of a variety of synthetic materials, you’ll find some variation in how well products from different manufacturers perform. Sharpening surfaces that incorporate diamonds are thin but extraordinarily durable.
Number of Stages
There are two stages to maintaining a knife’s blade: sharpening and honing. Sharpening is grinding away the dull material on the edge of the blade. Honing is polishing or resharpening the blade’s edge.
The blunter an edge, the coarser the sharpening wheel’s grit needs to be. When you’re honing and polishing a blade, you need a finer sharpening material. The best electric knife sharpeners have multiple slots, some with coarse grit and others with a medium and fine grit, allowing the blades to be sharpened to perfection, no matter how dull they are when you first insert them into the sharpener.
The best sharpening materials for your kitchen knives have a lot to do with the materials from which your knives are made. For example, stainless steel knives are sharpened using different materials and methods than ceramic knives. Consult your knife manufacturer’s sharpening advice as you refine your search for the best electric knife sharpeners.
The angle guide, sometimes called the controlled-angle system or sharpening guide, directs the blade into the sharpening wheel at the proper angle.
The angle at which the blade meets the wheel is critical. An improper angle will result in a damaged or inefficiently sharpened edge. For freehand knife sharpeners, maintaining the proper angle is one of the most difficult sharpening techniques to master. Some electric knife sharpeners include guides that ensure perfectly angled sharpening for the finest possible bevel.
Kitchen knives generally have sharpening angles of 17 to 22 degrees, but other kinds of blades may have different sharpening angles. It’s important to determine your knives’ sharpening angles before you purchase an electric knife sharpener to make sure the sharpener you select can accommodate your blades.
To ensure the safest possible knife-sharpening experience, consult the manufacturer’s directions carefully before using an electric knife sharpener. Because ultrahard material will be grinding against steel or other blade materials, a botched job could ruin expensive blades, damage the sharpener, or cause injury.
Do not use electric knife sharpeners to sharpen garden tools, serrated blades, scissors, or any other type of knife unless the appliance is specifically designed to do so. Remember, exposing electrical appliances, like this one, to water or lubricants may cause electrical shock, so use them indoors only.
Our Top Picks
Not all electric knife sharpeners are created equal, and the sharpener that’s best for you may not be the best choice for another home cook. There’s a variety of quality electric knife sharpeners for every budget and skill level. Below is a collection of the best electric knife sharpeners to bring your dull kitchen knives back to life.
With its ceramic sharpening system, Presto’s professional electric knife sharpener hones dulled blades to razor-sharp in just three stages. This sharpener’s guides and blade thickness selector help take the guesswork out of the optimal angle at which to sharpen your knives. This device will accommodate all sorts of knives, from thick hunting blades to smaller paring knives.
With dimensions of 18 inches by 11 inches by 2 inches, one of the downsides of this Presto sharpener is that you’ll sacrifice some counter space in exchange for its multifunction convenience.
This electric sharpener from Chef’sChoice uses ultrafine diamond abrasives in a three-stage sharpening and honing process that leaves a super sharp edge. The first two stages use thin and durable diamond abrasives to sharpen dull blades. Because the third stage of the sharpening process—the honing stage—is manual, not electric, you can whip the sharpener out for a quick hone and polish without plugging the device in. You can also sharpen serrated edges, like bread knives, in this manual mode.
This sharpener achieves excellent results in a small footprint, but it does not have some of the advanced features you’ll find in competitors’ models.
Presto makes our list again with the 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener. The baby brother to Presto’s Professional model offers a two-stage sharpening system with a built-in angle guide that ensures precise contact with its sapphirite sharpening wheels.
This model does not offer all of the functionality of Presto’s other offerings, but it is a straightforward, effective sharpener. This unit may struggle with thicker or harder steels, however, and does not sharpen serrated blades.
This powerful, professional-grade electric knife sharpener hones Japanese- and European-style knives in three stages. What’s more, the Trizor XV can convert kitchen knives with 20-degree angles to a more precise 15-degree edge, which is sharper than some factory settings. Though its capability to convert a blade from 20 to 15 degrees is impressive, be aware that it takes dozens of strokes per blade to achieve this conversion.
This knife sharpener is 12 inches by 6 inches by 6.4 inches, which makes it small enough to stow in a cabinet but maybe a bit large to leave on the counter of a compact kitchen. This sharpening system earned the upgrade pick because with it you can perfect your entire set of kitchen knives at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional sharpener to do so. This Chef’sChoice model can also accommodate serrated blades and hunting knives.
Diminutive at 2.76 inches by 2.36 inches by 2.76 inches, this plucky sharpener employs a three-stage sharpening process. Its tungsten carbide and ceramic blades sharpen and hone straight, serrated, or scissor blades.
The Sharpal packs a big punch in a little package. Preset optimal sharpening angle guides make for hassle-free operation. Three heavy-duty suction cups secure the sharpener to the counter with powerful suction, so you won’t have to worry about the sharpener moving as you’re using it. It’s small enough to stow in a drawer, but with such modern styling, it’s nice enough to leave out on the counter, too.
FAQs About Electric Knife Sharpeners
If you still have some lingering questions about electric knife sharpeners, check out our list of frequently asked questions to get on the fast track to the best electric knife sharpener for you.
Q. What is the honing process, and how often should I do it?
Honing sharpens a blade’s edge by polishing the steel with a fine, sharpening material. Knives made of stainless steel should be honed every two to four uses.
Q. Do professional chefs use electric knife sharpeners?
Some chefs prefer to hand sharpen their implements, but electric knife sharpeners are found in professional kitchens all over the world. They provide professional results in minutes with minimal training.
Q. Are knife sharpeners bad for knives?
Electric knife sharpeners can damage knives if they are misused. The important thing to remember is that not all electric sharpeners accommodate all kinds of blades. Consult your knives’ manufacturer’s recommendations, construction material, and angle when determining the best electric knife sharpener for your kitchen.
Q. Do knife sharpeners get dull?
The sharpening material will lose effectiveness with use and may require replacement, though sharpeners that use ultrahard diamond sharpening materials last much longer.
Q. How long do electric sharpeners last?
A quality diamond sharpener may last up to 20 years, but lower-quality models that use other sharpening materials may need to be maintained or replaced annually.