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Best Knife Sharpeners for 2024

Anyone who has spent serious time in a kitchen, either at home or professionally, will tell you the same thing: a dull knife is much more dangerous than a sharp knife. Sharp knives are easier to cut with, more precise, and easier to control than dull ones. In a professional setting, where time is money and presentation matters, sharp knives let chefs work more efficiently. A sharp knife in your cookware set cuts faster and leaves delicate ingredients like herbs and vegetables looking much cleaner than a dull knife would.  

The world of knife sharpeners is as vast and deep as the world of knives they sharpen, and with so many sharpeners to choose from, it’s easy to be paralyzed by choice in your hunt for the best knife sharpener. Luckily, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you.

How We Chose the Best Knife Sharpeners

Home chefs will likely have different needs than professionals, but there are knife sharpeners to suit every need. The best kitchen knife sharpener will offer a completely different experience than the best electric knife sharpener, and the best pocket knife sharpener is going to be even more different. The specific knife sharpener you need depends on the type of knives you own, how often you use them, how much time you want to spend maintaining them, and, of course, your budget — and these are the factors we took into account when compiling our list.

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Our Picks for the Best Knife Sharpeners


Best Kitchen Knife Sharpener: Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker  

Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

Pros:

  • Easy to use (once you get the hang of it)
  • Versatile
  • Capable of precise sharpening

Cons:

  • There’s a definite learning curve
  • It’s not as low-effort as electric options

Photo Credit: Amazon

About the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker  

This manual knife sharpener comes with two ceramic sharpening stones and aluminum safety rods. It can be adjusted to sharpen knives at 15- and 20-degree angles, it can sharpen knives, shears, awls, and scissors, and is everything you need to keep all your kitchen implements sharp and ready for use. The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker is regularly priced at $104.95 

Why We Like It

Realistically, kitchen knives need maintenance more than they need anything else. The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker is the perfect, no-nonsense way to keep your daily slicer tuned to perfection. It might take longer to sharpen out big kicks to your edge, and it takes some practice to use right, but the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker offers everything you need (and nothing you don’t) to sharpen every knife you can throw at it.


Best Electric Knife Sharpener: Chef’s Choice 1520 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener

Chef’s Choice 1520 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener

Pros:

  • Super efficient sharpening ability
  • Sharpens serrated knives 

Cons:

  • It’s costly
  • It’s bulky

Photo Credit: Amazon

About the Chef’s Choice 1520 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener

This countertop electric knife sharpener’s stainless steel construction and 100% diamond sharpening abrasives make it one hefty beast of a knife sharpener. The Chef’s Choice 1520 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener offers two different sharpening angles, includes precision angle guides, and will even sharpen serrated knives. 

Why We Like It

The Chef’s Choice 1520 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener is great for anyone who wants the highest-quality knife sharpening experience and doesn’t mind a mild learning curve — you have to pull the knife through at the right speed. After a little practice, this knife sharpener will keep every knife in your drawer (even that tricky serrated one) sharp, safe, and effective. One reviewer noted that they only needed to use the Chef’s Choice 1520 once to craft the sharpest blade in their tests.


Best Pocket Knife Sharpener: Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener

Pros:

  • Simple
  • Inexpensive
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Very DIY
  • Only one sharpening angle

Photo Credit: Amazon

About Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener

The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is a really versatile piece of outdoor equipment that could serve double duty in your kitchen if you’re okay with everything having a 20-degree angle. This knife sharpener is specifically designed for hunting and pocket knives, cramming two different coarsenesses of sharpening material, a ceramic rod for any serrations, and a leather strop into one versatile, feature-packed tool. The price is right, too — only $39.95 at its normal price.

Why We Like It

The reviews speak for themselves — this plucky knife sharpener is a blast to use. This one little gadget can take you through five different levels of sharpening, starting with a 220-grit surface and ending with the included leather strop. There are angle guides at every step of the process, a groove for sharpening fish hooks, and, if you remove the strop, it even turns into a broadhead wrench, letting you work on three- and four-bladed arrowheads. If your knife-sharpening needs extend to the outdoors, the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is just the ticket.


Best Budget Electric Knife Sharpener: Work Sharp Culinary E2

Work Sharp Culinary E2

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • Sharpens many types of knives

Cons:

  • Electric sharpeners may wear knives over time
  • Doesn’t sharpen blades fast

Photo Credit: Amazon

About the Work Sharp Culinary E2

The compact, countertop Work Sharp Culinary E2 is an electric knife sharpener made to fit your kitchen knife, Nakiri, serrated knife, cleaver, scissors, and paring knives. It comes with a honing wheel, sharpening guides to help you make consistent edges and flexible abrasive disks. The Work Sharp Culinary E2 normally costs $59.95.

Why We Like It

If you’re a home cook with a modest-to-meager set of knives to keep sharp, the Work Sharp Culinary E2 could be the knife sharpener you’ve been looking for. It’s easy to use and will handle any knife you throw at it — even serrated. Many reviewers note that it produces a better edge than any other similarly-priced knife sharpener. If you only need a knife sharpener every once in a while, the Work Sharp Culinary E2 is a great option.


Best Rolling Knife Sharpener: Work Sharp Rolling Knife Sharpener

Work Sharp Rolling Knife Sharpener

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t require electricity
  • Compact size

Cons:

  • Pricey, especially considering the lack of motors
  • Tall knives can be tricky

Photo Credit: Amazon

About the Work Sharp Rolling Knife Sharpener

The Work Sharp Rolling Knife Sharpener includes a magnetic angle block, three different sharpening abrasives, and a round sharpening device that you roll along your countertop to sharpen your knife. This sharpener typically costs $119.95. 

Why We Like It

There are some who think that electric motors have no place in knife sharpeners. This is a pretty hard-line opinion for some, but as you see, we have two electric sharpeners on our list. Regardless of anyone else’s potentially pretentious opinions, we love the Work Sharp Rolling Knife Sharpener for the tactile feedback it offers as you sharpen your knives — one reviewer noted they could hear their blade get sharper. The included magnetic block offers four different sharpening angles, so you can sharpen every blade in your collection — from your fancy Santoku blade to your beat-up old chef’s knife.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Knife Sharpener

Style

There are almost as many types of knife sharpeners as there are types of knives and people who use them. Something like the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener wouldn’t cut it in a professional kitchen, much like the Chef’s Choice 1520 wouldn’t be a sharp choice if you need to sharpen something like an arrowhead or a fishhook. Pull-through, electric, rolling, and manual sharpeners all have advantages and disadvantages — the trick is figuring out which is best for your needs. 

Ease of Use

A tool that you don’t know how to use properly is useless. Unless you’d rather your knife sharpener spend its days as a paperweight, it behooves you, as the person using and operating the tool, to choose one you know how to use or to learn how to use what you choose. Different styles of knife sharpeners all come with their own learning curves, too. 

Price

Would you buy a Ferrari if you couldn’t afford to put gas in it? Me neither. Know what knife sharpener is best for your needs — if you sharpen your knives once or twice a year, you likely don’t need the latest and greatest in knife sharpening technology (but it’s ok if you want it). Similarly, a professional kitchen might find it suitable to invest in a top-of-the-line model, since it would be seeing more regular use.


FAQ

What Is the Best Knife Sharpener You Can Buy?

The best knife sharpener depends on your knife sharpening needs. The best kitchen knife sharpener we recommend is the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker. If you’re looking for the best electric knife sharpener or best pocket knife sharpener, you might consider the Chef’s Choice 1520 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener or the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener. 

What Is the Best Thing To Sharpen a Knife With?

Whetstones, also known as sharpening stones, are the best way to sharpen a knife. They limit the amount of metal you can remove from the blade with each pass — something that modern electric knife sharpeners can’t match. They are a much more labor-intensive method of keeping a blade sharp, though. 

What Do Professionals Use To Sharpen Their Knives?

Because they limit the amount of metal you can remove with a single pass, most professionals agree that whetstones are the best way to sharpen their knives. Removing as little metal as possible means you can preserve the integrity of the blade for a longer period of time, which is really important when you spend a lot of money on a nice knife. 

How Often Should I Sharpen My Knives?

The frequency with which you sharpen your own knives will depend on a few factors: the quality of your knives, how often you use them, how you use them, and more. As long as you’re not a professional chef or otherwise using your knives from dawn til dusk, you should only need to sharpen them two or three times per year. A good rule of thumb is to sharpen them whenever you can tell they’re getting dull.

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