Best Electric Knife Sharpeners: The Pros and Cons

I have a lot of knives. I also have a lot of uses for them. It’s rare for me to go a day without using a knife in one way or another. Sometimes I’ll pull out my trusty pocket knife to open a package. Or pry something open. Maybe cut open a bag or two. Honestly, pocket knives are super great when it comes to opening things in general.

But there’s one thing they aren’t great at: Cooking.

My Top 3 Electric Knife Sharpeners

As much as I love my Damascus pocket knife or my 12 inch Bowie knife – when I am in the kitchen, there’s only one knife for me.

The Chef’s knife.

This little piece of metal is irreplaceable in the kitchen. Slice tomatoes, dice onions and fillet a fish – the Chef’s knife is versatile. It’s powerful. Beautiful. The perfect example of just how far simplicity can go. And more than any other knife, it needs to be sharp.

A problem when you use it as much as I do. It’s also a problem easily solved with an electric knife sharpener.

The Best Electric Knife Sharpener In 2020

A knife sharpener – especially one powered by electricity – is an invaluable tool in the kitchen.

Take the 10 following electric knife sharpeners for example.


1. Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect Professional

Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect Professional

Starting off with the Chef’sChoice, its most apparent quality is its speed. Seriously, this thing is fast. I was able to sharpen ten of my knives in under an hour. Not only that, each was able to easily pass the paper test.

It, of course, isn’t perfect. It lacks precision and can’t sharpen knives with a 20-degree edge. You can try, but you’ll end up with a 15-degree edge when you’re done. Not great. Thankfully, that only means you shouldn’t use this sharpener on delicate knives.

For your workhorses? The knives you use all the time? This sharpener is perfect.

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Leaves a sharp edge
  • 3 stages sharpening
  • Diamond abrasives
  • Did I mention how fast it sharpens?

Cons:

  • Can be hard to use
  • Lacks precision
  • Not for 20-degree European knives
$108.08 from Amazon

2. Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect Professional For 20-Degree Edges

Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect Professional For 20-Degree Edges

Compared to the other less expensive options, the Chef’sChoice has some surprising downsides.

It’s loud. It takes effort to use and can leave a scratch. What it does succeed at, however, is reliability. Unlike a lot of other sharpeners, the Chef’sChoice is great when it comes to sharpening a bunch of cheap knives. Still, there is a little more effort involved than other equivalent sharpeners.

What sets it apart is the quality of the end result. You end up with a knife that is sharp and has a strong edge. Sadly, this sharpener doesn’t work that great for hunting knives. It does allow you to use it to sharpen serrated knives.

I did not, however, test the quality of this feature.

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Gives a sharp edge for the effort involved
  • Comes with a great manual

Cons:

  • Not the best choice for hunting knives
  • Can scratch the side of your knives
$124.93 from Amazon

3. Chef’sChoice Professional – Abrasive Precision

Chef’sChoice Professional – Abrasive Precision

Unlike a lot of other sharpeners, the Chef’sChoice Professional works on both serrated knives and 20-degree straight-edge knives.

It’s also a lot easier to use than a lot of other sharpeners. For a beginner, this would be a great first sharpener. The included manual is detailed and even offers some nice tips for beginners.

I ran a couple of knives through it, and each of them came out sharp with a nice, smooth edge to it. However, the guide rails on the side of the slots left a few scratches on each of the knives I tried it on. For inexpensive knives, it’s not a big deal. I wouldn’t use any of my good knives with it, though.

Still, for the price, it’s a very good sharpener that is still better than a lot of others in the market. Especially at this price bracket.

Pros:

  • Works on both 20 degree and serrated knives
  • Super easy to use
  • Perfect for most kitchen knives

Cons:

  • Guide rails can scratch the side of the knife
  • Doesn’t work on Japanese knives
$89.89 from Amazon

4. Presto EverSharp

Presto EverSharp

When it comes to kitchen knives, we all have that one knife that we save for special occasions. The one we only use when we want something done right. The one we can always count on to get the job done. Although we rarely use this knife, the times we do use it – we want it sharp. And to keep it sharp, we want a high-quality sharpener.

This isn’t it.

The Presto EverSharp is the sharpener we use for the rest of our knives. I won’t put any of my good, expensive knives near this sharpener. But I will use it for all the cheap knives that I use every day. Even the dullest knife comes away with an edge sharp enough to cut through anything. It’s very coarse, however. If you’re not careful you can easily shave off too much steel.

On the plus side, I was able to repair the edge of one of my knives that had a nick on it.

Pros:

  • Great for sharpening worn down knives
  • Sharpens fast
  • Leaves a great edge

Cons:

  • Too coarse for sensitive knives
  • Not great at honing
$25.39 from Amazon

5. Preston Processional

Preston Processional

This one isn’t as fast as some of the other sharpeners on this list. But it does leave a dull knife sharper than ever.

Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of being very course. Going through all 3 stages would leave you with a noticeable gap of lost steel. Easily 1 or 2 mm wide. Luckily, you can easily avoid this problem by starting at stage 2 instead. Although the end result won’t be as sharp, it’s still good enough to pass the paper test.

Overall, this is a very good electric sharpener if you can work past the problems.

Pros:

  • Sharpens fast and sharpens well
  • Sharpens evens the dullest of kitchen knives

Cons:

  • Hard to keep steady
  • Can be hard to use
  • Takes off a lot of steel per pass
$43.99 from Amazon

6. LINKYO Electric

LINKYO Electric

Many professional chefs use what is commonly referred to as the “tomato test”. That is, a knife is only considered sufficiently sharp if it can cut through the skin of a tomato with the minimum amount of pressure. Needless to say, a knife sharpened with the LINKYO aces this test superbly. It takes a few passes to get there but once you do, it leaves you with an extremely sharp knife.

The bad news? It’s noisy, slow and takes a while to get there. It also takes a few tries to get the right amount of pressure. Once you do, however, this little sharpener is amazing to use.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from this one. It really surprised me with just how much I ended up liking it.

Pros:

  • Leaves a knife sharp after a few passes
  • Great for knives without a full hilt
  • Quick and easy to use

Cons:

  • Can be though to use
  • Takes a while to sharpen
  • On the noisy side
$22.95 from Amazon

7. Work Sharp WSKTS

Work Sharp WSKTS

It’s easy to find an electric sharpener that works on kitchen knives. It’s a lot harder to find one that can sharpen your hunting knives too. Harder still is finding one that isn’t terrible or cheaply made.

And forget about finding one that won’t kill your wallet. The Work Sharp, however, is the closest one I’ve found yet. It’s fast, leaves a wonderful edge and got each of the knives I tried it on to a respectable degree of sharpness. It’s not really great for smaller knives, though.

Other than that, the Work Sharp is amazing for the price. Well-made, powerful and versatile. You rarely get all three at this price point. Once you get over the small learning curve, this electric sharpener is sure to be a staple inside your kitchen and out of it too.

Pros:

  • Fast, easy to use
  • Works on hunting knives
  • Incredibly well-made

Cons:

  • Has a small learning curve
  • Not great for short blades
$69.95 from Amazon

8. Secura Electric

Secura Electric

At first glance, the Secura looks like any other sharpener. Take a good look, however, and you’ll really see the difference.

The knife slot is fairly wide. Most kitchen knives will easily fit. Full hilts might have a problem as the slot is still small enough for the hilt to get stuck on it. For any other knives, though, it’s easy to give a couple of passes through each of the stages.

The end result is a knife that is surprisingly sharp. It does take a little while to figure out how much pressure to apply, though. Figure it out and you end up with a sharpener that is worth every penny.

It’s definitely a sharpener I don’t regret purchasing.

Pros:

  • Great even for dull knives
  • Great customer support
  • Great for inexpensive knives

Cons:

  • Takes a few passes to get a sharp edge
  • Hard to use with a learning curve
$21.99 from Amazon

9. EdgeKeeper Electric

EdgeKeeper Electric

The EdgeKeeper isn’t perfect.

The grindstones are really coarse. It’s easy to over-sharpen and take off too much metal. Pulling the knife out evenly can be difficult. It’s easy to make a mistake and end up with a knife with a misaligned edge.

For everything wrong, however, the EdgeKeeper does one thing right: It sharpens your kitchen knives perfectly. Every dull knife I gave this sharpener ended up being sharper than ever. Each took only a couple of passes through to get there too. It did, however, take away a little more metal than I was comfortable with.

Still, despite all the problems, the EdgeKeeper is still one of the top electric sharpeners I have ever used.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Great for kitchen knives
  • Fast and only needs a few passes

Cons:

  • Can be hard to pull the blade through
  • Takes a lot of metal off
$39.99 from Amazon

10. PriorityChef Sharpener For Straight And Serrated Knives

PriorityChef Sharpener For Straight And Serrated Knives

Most of my knives are straight-edged. But I do have a few serrated ones. A couple of those I like to use a lot. Which is kind of a problem. They are always duller than I would prefer. And since they’re serrated, it’s kind of a pain to sharpen them up.

Hence my surprise at finding out about the PriorityChef. Like most sharpeners, it takes a few passes to get a knife to an acceptable level. It has an amazing grip on your counter. It’s easy to use. But what separates it from the rest is its ability to sharpen serrated knives with the same level of quality as a straight edge.

I wasn’t expecting much at first, but in the end, I really ended up loving the PriorityChef.

Pros:

  • Small size
  • Sharpens knives fast and easy
  • Even works with serrated knives

Cons:

  • Can take multiple passes to sharpen
$14.95 from Amazon

Before You Buy: What To Look For In A Sharpener

Blind investments are always a bad idea. Especially expensive ones like buying a knife sharpener. Splurging on the first one you see will only leave you disappointed.

What to look for in an electric knife sharpener

Before you bite the bullet, you gotta make sure that the bullet is worth biting into. In the case of an electric-powered knife sharpener, that means making sure that you have your priorities straight.

Let me explain.

When shopping for a knife sharpener, it’s important to take into account two things:

1. The features it provides and
2. The qualities you need.

Needless to say, it’s important to make sure that the two overlap. Mostly. Sometimes a sharpener gives you a feature you didn’t know you needed. And sometimes that feature is so good it makes you forget about everything you thought you wanted in the first place. Like the EdgeKeeper Electric for instance.

When you’re new to sharpeners, however, there’s an additional step you need to take. One that you’ll learn to internalize as you become experienced in the ways of the knife sharpener.

And that’s making sure that the sharpener itself is high quality.

Here are the main things you need to consider.

Performance

An obvious, but frequently overlooked, quality is power. It shouldn’t be faster to sharpen a knife by hand. If it is, it’s time to start looking for a new sharpener. Likewise, a fast sharpen doesn’t mean much if the end result is full of nicks and scratches.

When it comes to performance and power, keep an eye out on the end result. It should be keen on a smooth edge to it. It should also be consistent. The third, fifth and tenth knife should all come out with an edge just like the first.

Safety

Knives are dangerous tools. Good sharpeners understand this fact and provide ways to mitigate the risks.

How a sharpener accomplishes this varies but most electric sharpeners will have slots to help guide the knife. The best sharpeners, however, also care about your knife. They may provide options that let even brand new users sharpen the blade using the correct angle and pressure.

Price

Another obvious point but not in the way you’d expect.

Sure, the size of your budget is important, but the price of a sharpener goes beyond how much you expect to pay. It takes into account that having a premium price means getting premium service and everything that follows. It should have a warranty and be back up with the right kind of customer service.

Knife sharpener's material

Material

The strongest sharpening material is diamond, followed by tungsten-carbide and polished ceramic. These three provide the best abrasive surface and allow for a fast and powerful sharpen.

But pure abrasiveness isn’t the only thing to take note of. You need to look at the grit too. The lower the number, the courser it is and vice versa. Finding the perfect balance between the two is vital. And this balance is one that easily changes depending on where you are in the sharpening process.

The details are complex, but just know that most great sharpeners provide ways to easily hide away the minor details.

Noise

Although not the most important feature, the noise a sharpener produces can still be a major factor. Some people find the scraping sound to be unbearable and will easily pay a higher price to avoid it.

And this ties into another major factor to consider. Personal comfort.

Although certain sharpeners may be objectively better, many times you aren’t looking for the best. You’re looking for the best fit instead. Don’t be afraid to take a step down if you know a certain knife sharpener will give you piece-of-mind instead.

Manual Or Electric Knife Sharpener? The Pros And Cons

Whenever someone comes to me for a good recommendation, there’s always one question I make sure to ask every time.

“Do you even need an electric sharpener in the first place?”

Although convenient, this benefit comes at a price. Unlike a regular sharpener, the amount of control you get is much lower. Especially when comparing prices. The amount of money you would have to pay to get an electric sharpener with the precision of a hand sharpener is astonishingly higher. But an electric sharpener brings something else to the table instead.

The Pros and cons of Manual vs Electric knife sharpener

The speed at which you can sharpen a knife is hundreds of times faster than that of their counterparts. It’s also simpler and nearly effortless to do. It’s also possible to find a sharpener that works on nearly any type of knife including serrated edges. More than that, it’s also possible to have this speed and versatility without losing out on safety.

Something that cannot be understated when we start talking about sharpening multiple knives. As any avid knife collector will tell you, when you have a bunch of knives you need to sharpen – sooner or later, you’re getting cut. An electric sharpener with good safety features helps to reduce the chances of this.

Even the most premier hand sharpener with every bell and whistle you can think of doesn’t compare to how safe an electric sharpener is.

Obviously, the trade-off is – as I mentioned before – the price and precision. So what does that mean? Unless you’re on a tight budget or need the extra precision offered by a manual or hand sharpener, most of the time an electric sharpener will be your best choice.

The Right Way To Sharpen A Knife

We all know why a dull knife is more dangerous when you’re in the kitchen. But what you most likely don’t know is how important proper sharpening practices are.

Spoiler: They’re very important.

Not just to you but to your knife as well. Sharpen a knife wrong and you end up with a wrecked knife, a busted sharpener and a trip to the emergency room. Or at the very least, a bunch of bloody fingers.

Obviously that’s just the worst-case scenario, but that doesn’t make the following proper practices any less important.

Quick Tips To Sharpen The Right Way

  • Use the proper equipment. Be it cut-resistant gloves or anything else, it’s important that you have everything you need before you start sharpening. Luckily, you rarely need anything more than the actual knife and sharpener. Especially if you’re using a modern electric sharpener.
  • Read the manual. Every sharpener is different. You may think you’re an expert when it comes to sharpening knives, but you never know when a manufacturer will throw a curveball at you. Rather than risk something going wrong after the fact, read the manual beforehand. Trust me, it’ll save you a major headache in the long run.
  • Use the right sharpener for the right knife. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with reading the manual, but don’t use a serrated knife with a sharpener that isn’t designed for one. The same goes for any other uncommon knife like Japanese knives. Unless your sharpener has the ability to do so, all you’ll end up doing is ruining a perfectly good knife.
  • Learn when to sharpen and when to hone instead. You don’t have to sharpen a knife every day. In fact, doing so can actually end up doing more harm than good. Instead, use a honing rod beforehand. If you hone your knife before use every time, it will drastically cut down on the amount of time you need to spend sharpening it.
  • Safety first! Seriously. Knives are dangerous. Don’t risk hurting yourself if you don’t have to. Use gloves, read the manual and turn off any distractions beforehand.

Caring For Your Electric Sharpener

An electric sharpener is a pricey investment. You brought it because you wanted it and that means you should take care of it too.

Store it in a safe place when you’re not using it. When you are, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines from the manual. And when you’re done, give it a thorough cleaning. Treat it right and it’ll treat your knives right too. Something you clearly care about if you’re buying a knife sharpener.

Caring for your electric knife sharpener

When your knives are in prime condition, you’ll know it and feel it too. A sharp knife can cut through the toughest of meats like butter. That leaves you time to focus on the important stuff, the actual cooking. More than that, a sharp knife keeps you safe.

Sharpening knives is boring busywork, but with the proper care and attention, a good sharpener will drastically cut down on the time you spend sharpening. A good thing not just because it gives you more time to do the things you love to do. The less time you spend sharpening, the greater the chances are that you’ll finish everything up without getting injured yourself.

So, treat your electric sharpener right. Give it the care it deserves and it’ll pay dividends in return. Treat it right and it’ll treat you right.

Trust me, your knives will thank you.

Is An Electric Knife Sharpener Right For You?

Deciding on a knife sharpener is a tough choice. Almost as hard as picking a Chef’s Knife to use in the kitchen. In some cases, it can be an easy one. If you have a lot of serrated knives, for example, you’ll want the PriorityChef. If you’re looking for some deep precision, go with the Chef’sChoice EdgeSelect Professional or the Secura. A knife sharpener is an investment and it’s one that’s decided by the knives you own.

Is An Electric Knife Sharpener Right For You?

An electric sharpener is a staple in my kitchen. But I know that it isn’t for everyone.

They are pricey and lack the fine control you get from a hand sharpener. But they make up for it with versatility and ease of use. And in the case of serrated knives, it’s sometimes the only option. For me, the pros outweigh all of the cons.

And I know you’ll feel the same. Especially if you have half as many knives as I do.

Last update on 2020-02-21 at 21:10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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