The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Knife Sharpener

Do you have a collection of old knives at home that no longer work? If you do then you may be wondering whether a good knife sharpener could make them useful again.

It definitely could but there are a few things you need to know about before you go ahead and choose one. Getting the wrong knife sharpener could turn out to a waste of money, while the right one will be a terrific investment that makes your old knives easy and fun to use all over again.

Some of the points we have to consider in this respect are around how knife sharpeners work and their ease of use. Before that, we need to see why you need one in the first place.

How to Tell If You Need to Use a Knife Sharpener

One issue that not everyone is clear on is around when they should know whether or not to use a knife sharpener. It might sound obvious but it may not always be clear when you need to make your knife sharper.

The best recommendation in this case is to try and cut something that provides some resistance but should be easy enough to slice with a sharp knife. A tomato, an apple, or even a piece of paper held up in the air can all work well for this test.
If it doesn’t cut cleanly and effortlessly, then it is probably time to take a look for the best knife sharpener.

Why Use a Knife Sharpener

It is easy to think that a knife sharpener is only really needed for those tasks that involve cutting through really tough things like cuts of meat and plastic. Yet, there is an even better reason than this for getting your knives sharpened regularly and professionally.

Basically, if you use a blunt knife then you are more likely to put a lot of force into cutting with it. This greatly increases the risk of the knife slipping and causing you an injury.

Therefore, keeping your knives sharp and ready to use at all times is a smart way of staying safe at home as well. If you have the right, safe and effective knife sharpening tool in the kitchen then this is something you never need to worry about ever again.

Different Models Work in Different Ways

One of the first things that you will notice once you start looking at knife sharpeners for sale is that they all look different. Some are like metal bars or rods while others are slabs of stone. Yet others are built around ceramic disks or are bulky plastic devices.

The truth is that there are more than just aesthetic differences between these different types of knife sharpeners. While they all have the same end goal of giving you a sharp knife, they each go about it in different ways.

The Common Types of Knife Sharpening Tool

  • Honing Steel. One of the most common types of knife sharpener is the kind that looks like a thin metal rod, usually with a plastic handle for you to hold it by. This is a versatile and easy to use implement but you need to know that it works differently from most other types of sharpener. This is because it essentially re-aligns the knife’s edge rather than shaving off part of the blade to make it sharper.
  • Stone Sharpeners. For many people, this is the most authentic and attractive looking of all of the knife sharpening tools out there. It is called a whetstone, water stone or sometimes Japanese sharpening stone. The key with this tool is that it has an abrasive surface that rubs away a very small amount of the blade to get it sharp again. In some case it will be double-sided, with one side more abrasive than the other.
  • Disk Sharpeners. Another highly popular type of knife sharpener tool is that which uses abrasive disks set into a plastic base. This is simply another way of conveniently grinding the knife’s blade to get it nice and sharp again. It works like the stone sharpener we just looked at; by removing a tiny amount of material from the knife.
  • Other Types. These days you will find a wide variety of both manual and electric knife sharpeners for sale. Some of them come with beautiful designs that fit in perfectly to any sort of kitchen. Yet, the most important point to look out for is how it works. In most cases, you will see that it grinds the blade to make it sharper.

Ease of Use and Safety

How easy it is to use is another of the big considerations to take into account, as is the safety aspect. As we have seen, there are several different types of tool for sharpening knifes and they each have unique features on them.

So, what should you particularly look out for to make sure that you get a knife sharpener that is easy and safe to use?

  • Left and right handed use. It is no secret that left-handers can sometimes struggle with tools around the home. Thankfully, the majority of tools for sharper knives are easy and comfortable for both right and left handers to use. It is also worth looking for a model that it is easy to use with just one hand.
  • Safety features. Of course, you want to get a tool that sharpens knives but that doesn’t sharpen your hand at the same time! This is especially important for senior people or those with children at home, but anyone who is concerned for their safety should look for some safety features. These could include the fact that that its sharp edges are hidden away or that it is built on a stable, non-slip base.
  • How much work will it involve? Some of the most popular knife sharpeners involve a fair amount of manual work, which a lot of people love. However, if you want something that is fast and easy to use then perhaps you will want an electric model that you can let get on with the job without any real effort on your part.