Knife Sharpener Buyer’s Guide
When buying a knife sharpener, you will probably run into all kinds of different options, and it might be overwhelming. Knife sharpeners come in many different shapes and sizes, and all of them have different features and benefits. If you don’t know which one is the best knife sharpener for you, it is important to start by understanding how knife sharpening works, and what features will benefit you and your kitchen needs.
How a knife sharpener works
Knives are sharpened by rubbing them against an abrasive surface repeatedly. There is a certain speed that you must use to sharpen the knife, or it won’t work properly, and that’s where knife sharpeners come in. It’s much faster and more effective than rubbing two knives together like people used to do before we had the technology that spawned knife sharpeners.
Knife sharpening kits generally use multiple abrasive surfaces to sharpen knives. One of the rough surfaces will create “burrs” on the surface of the knife that is removed with another, finer abrasive surface. This process is what creates the sharp edge you desire.
The best part is that knife sharpeners do most or all this work for you.
Types of Knife Sharpeners
Knife sharpeners can be manual or electric. Manual knife sharpeners, like sharpening stones, require much more effort than electric knife sharpeners. While a manual knife sharpener provides the different abrasive surfaces, you are still the one who has to run the knife through the device repeatedly to sharpen it.
This effort can be tiring and frustrating, and often not as effective as using an electrical sharpener to do the work for you at a much faster pace. One benefit of a manual knife sharpener, however, is that it is often cheaper than electric knife sharpeners.
While electric knife sharpeners are more expensive, they are easier and quicker to use. These knife sharpeners provide the abrasive surface as well as the speed and movement needed to sharpen a knife. This means that all you have to do is sit there and hold the knife in place.
Electric knife sharpeners also sharpen your knives much quicker than a manual method, sometimes in as little as thirty seconds.
When buying a knife sharpener, you will probably need to decide which is more important to you: the price or the ease of use. If you want a knife sharpener that is easy and quick to use, you will probably have to sacrifice your budget. If you are operating on a lower budget, you may need to get a knife sharpener that takes a little elbow grease.
The use of your knife sharpener will also play a part in your decision. If you cook a lot and find your knives getting dull quickly, an electric knife sharpener may be the most beneficial to you. If you only need to sharpen your knives once in a blue moon, a manual knife sharpener is the way to go. When slicing meat for jerky, a sharp knife is ideal in order to cut through the tough muscle meat. If you prefer not to use a knife, then you can always use an electric meat slicer.
The knife sharpener you select will also depend on what kind of knives you own and use. Many knife sharpeners nowadays can work on a variety of knives and some even work on more than just knives. Pay close attention to the types of knives they specify in their product details, however.
Some knife sharpeners warn against using ceramic knives on certain settings or stages, and some don’t work on serrated blades.
Before you buy, make sure you know what kind of knives you own, what they are made of, and if your choice of knife sharpener will work on them. Consider if you will need to sharpen anything more than kitchen knives, too. From hunting knives and tools to scissors, meat cleavers and more, you could be able to find one that does it all—just read up before you buy.