Knife Sharpeners: Expert and User Reviews

In this report

Knife Sharpeners: Ratings of Sources

1. Cook's Illustrated Knife Sharpeners, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, July 2015
Cook's Illustrated publishes two articles on knife sharpeners, evaluating both manual and electric models. They include a number of sharpeners meant to handle either 15-degree Asian knives or 20-degree Western-style knives; a few can handle both. These comparative reviews are among the best in the industry, with extensive hands-on testing and separate ratings for design and performance.
2. Wired I'm Losing My Edge, Scott Gilbertson, March 7, 2013
The author links to a series of videos tutorials on knife sharpening, then tests seven knife sharpeners, both electric and manual. Each sharpener receives a comparative rating out of ten, a brief listing of pros and cons, and a short summary that explains how it felt to use and, ultimately, how it performed under real-world conditions.
3. Knife Depot Knife Sharpeners, Contributors to Knife Depot, As of November 2015
Although we do take note of the knife sharpeners highlighted on the Knife Depot website, the user reviews collected for each model are much more instructive. The most notable models receive a dozen user reviews or more, with an average score of at least 4 stars out of 5 possible. Reviewer comments are usually brief and to the point, from users who are generally quite familiar with the range of knife sharpening options.
4. Knife Sharpeners, Contributors to, As of November 2015
Credibility: stocks a wide selection of knife sharpeners. User comments here tend toward the lengthy end of the spectrum and vary in usefulness; the most useful reviews come from owners who return several times to give updates on how their knife sharpeners perform over time. Standout models receive a rating of 4.5 stars or more after at least 100 user reviews.
5. Cutlery: Sharpeners and Steels, Contributors to, As of November 2015
Chef's Catalog carries a variety of cutlery, sharpeners and other supplies geared toward the serious home chef. User comments vary in length, and some knife sharpeners have accumulated more than a hundred reviewer comments. In addition to their feedback on the sharpeners in question, some reviewers also list their favorite brands and their skill level in the kitchen.
6. Knife Sharpener, Contributors to, As of November 2015
Credibility: stocks an extensive selection of knife sharpeners, but the number of reviews is relatively modest. Those reviews that are available tend to be frank and to the point, although the users' familiarity with knife sharpeners varies. We took special note of any models that receive a 4-star or better rating after at least eight user reviews.
7. Knives & Cutlery, Contributors to, As of November 2015
Bed, Bath and Beyond stocks a healthy diversity of knife sharpeners in its online shop, and most receive at least a few reviews from users. User education about knife sharpeners varies widely. The most notable models receive an average rating of 4 stars or more after at least a half dozen comments from owners.
8. The Washington Post Knife Sharpeners That Make the Cut, Joe Yonan and Bonnie S. Benwick, March 26, 2008
This review is a little old, but still useful because it involves hands-on testing under expert guidance, and most of the models haven't changed much. Five sharpeners are tested, with both electric and manual models in the mix. Various knives are tested, first in expert Frank Monaldi Sr.'s shop and then in the reporters' homes.
9. Review of the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife and Tool Sharpener, John B. Holbrook, II, Feb. 18, 2014
Professional photographer John B. Holbrook II is also a knife enthusiast, and has worked with enough knife sharpeners to lend some heft to this in-depth review of the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition knife and tool sharpener. He includes a video that explains the sharpener's features and assembly, but doesn't actually show it in use.
10. Recommended Sharpeners, Contributors to, As of November 2015
Credibility: accumulates just a handful of user reviews for a few knife sharpeners, and they're hard to access. The website's list of recommended sharpeners is more useful; each one receives two separate "out of five" rankings for ease of use and effectiveness.
11. What's the Best Survival Knife Sharpener?, Editors of, Not Dated
The editors of don't provide much information about who they are, but they do exhibit in-depth familiarity with all types of knives, including kitchen knives and survival knives, and their sharpeners. This round-up describes the various sharpening methods available to a home user, plus their advantages and disadvantages.