Best Knife Sharpening SystemA good knife is one of a chef’s most valued tools. There is simply no substitute for sharp, well-honed knives in the kitchen. A properly sharpened knife can mean the difference between success and failure. Outside of the kitchen, sharp knives are important for everyone with an interest in camping, landscaping, or any of the many hobbies that require the use of them. If you are one of the many people who needs to use knives on a regular basis, then you need to learn how to choose the best knife sharpening system that will allow you to perform at your best.

What Are Knife Sharpening Systems?

These are systems that allow you to do the job efficiently. There are many different kinds. Some systems are very simple and rely on the use of a few grinding stones. Other systems are more complex and come with guides to make grinding the blade easier. Some of the most advanced models are completely automated. Basically, all you have to do is insert the blade in the slot, and the machine will sharpen the blade for you.

They vary a lot in price and quality. Some systems are very cheap and will cost you under 50 dollars. Other systems are expensive enough to make most potential buyers wince a little. Finding the best system for you depends upon being aware of both your budget and your needs.

Do you need to regularly sharpen knives, or do you only need to sharpen them once a month or less? Your answer to this question can help guide you in selecting the most suitable product for you. Someone who needs to sharpen them on a daily basis is going to have to spend more money for a system that can handle that level of use and still deliver great results. On the other hand, someone who rarely sharpens knives can afford to opt for a system that isn’t top-notch but can still handle small jobs.

Understanding The Pros And Cons Of Different Systems

Basically, there are three main types of sharpening systems that you need to be aware of. The first type is among the cheapest. It consists of nothing but a few grinding stones and instructions on sharpening your blade with the stones. Stone-based models can yield very good results. Unfortunately, they are not as simple to use as they may appear at first glance.

Getting great results with a stone-based system requires a degree of skill. You need to learn and practice a bit before you are ready to produce properly sharpened knives. In the beginning, there is a bit of a learning curve. If you are not the type of person who likes to acquire new skills, or you simply don’t want to spend any time learning how to properly sharpen with a stone-based system, then this is probably not the right system for you.

Unlike stone-based systems, systems with a guide are easier to use. The mechanical guide makes it much easier for you to sharpen the knife correctly and avoid damaging your expensive knives. Using a knife sharpening guide properly does take a little bit of practice, but it is very easy, and after a little bit of trial and error, you should quickly get the hang of it.

The only real downside to systems with a built-in guide is that unlike stone-based systems, they are not always capable of producing top-quality edges. A few of them are made with cheap materials. It is better to err on the side of caution when picking out one of these systems and choose one of the more expensive ones.

Unlike both stone-based systems and systems with a guide, automated systems (commonly referred to as electric knife sharpeners) make sharpening knives fantastically simple. Basically, in order to sharpen a blade with an automated system, all you have to do is insert your knife into the appropriate slot (slot to use depends on the size of your blade and the kind of edge you want), wait for an appropriate length of time, and then stick your knife into the finishing slot to polish it.

The downside of automated systems is that they tend to be on the expensive side and can cost quite a bit. If you are someone who needs to sharpen a lot of knives regularly, then an electric knife sharpener is probably the best for you. It will help you quickly get good edges on even your dullest knives.

Why Do We Need To Get The Best Knife Sharpening System?

It is an unfortunate fact that there are a lot of low-grade products out on the market. It can be a challenging task to discriminate between the good models and the bad models. It is even harder to find the best. Fortunately, if you learn a little more about how to evaluate the quality, you will be well on your way to finding the most suitable product for you.

1.) Watch Out For Inferior Materials

Good products are made with only the highest quality materials. You cannot expect to get good results from a system that is made of low-quality materials. Although systems made from high quality metal and ceramic materials can be much more costly up front than systems made with cheap materials, in the long run you will actually save a significant amount of money.

2.) Good Quality Construction Is A Must

Shoddy construction clues you in to the fact that the product is unlikely to deliver good results or last a significant length of time. Avoid poorly made models at all costs. Bad models can actually harm your blades. Blades that have been damaged by a bad model may need to be sharpened by a professional in the future or may actually need to be replaced.

3.) Warranties Matter

Great products always come with a warranty, at least if you purchase them new. A warranty is important, because it indicates that the company that made the sharpening system is confident that the system will give good performance and potentially provide years of use. A sharpener that is not purchased second hand and doesn’t come with a warranty should send off alarm bells. Don’t risk damaging your knives or ending up disappointed later.

Match Your Blade With The Right System

Not all knives are the same. This bears repeating, because the blades you need to sharpen will affect which model is going to produce the best results for you. Mismatching knives and sharpening systems only results in a mess at best and permanent damage at worst.

The first thing you need to know about the knives you are going to sharpen is their size. Size, when it comes to knives at least, matters. Some of the smaller systems (usually the ones that involve a mechanical guide) will not allow you to sharpen large blades for chefs. Conversely, some of the systems optimized for larger ones may be a little cumbersome to use with small pocket knives.

In general, if you are mainly going to be sharpening large blades, then you will have to forgo most of the systems with a mechanical guide. Your two options are stone-based systems and automated or electric types. For larger blades, stone-based systems are a cheaper option that can still yield good results. The downside is that, as mentioned previously, you will need some skill to properly sharpen your large knives with a stone.

Probably the best option for people with large knives is an automated sharpening system. The only exception to this general rule would be if you have some really expensive Japanese carbon steel blades or something similar. Truly top-notch knives (costing hundreds or thousands of dollars) cannot always be sharpened with an electric knife sharpener. You may have to seek the help of a professional or master the skill set necessary to use a stone-based system and get good results.

For people with small knives, such as camping enthusiasts who merely wish to sharpen pocket knives, systems with a guide are probably the best choice. A good model with a guide will make sharpening smaller blades almost effortless. You will get amazing results with pocket knives in a very short period of time. Small blades are generally much easier to sharpen than larger blades. Consequently, if you really are a rank beginner as far as this industry is concerned, you might want to start out by practicing sharpening small blades before you graduate to working with large knives.

Consider Purchasing More Than One System

It may be the case that there is no single best system for you. If you have a very large collection of knives, then you may want to purchase a couple different systems so that you can get the very best results with each knife in your collection. While this is obviously more expensive than only purchasing a single system, it will enable you to directly compare different systems and see which one is the best fit with your approach to sharpening knives.

The Lost Art Of Knife Sharpening

In the not-too-distant past, sharpening blades were an art that used to be practiced by skilled experts. Thankfully, the advanced systems available today makes sharpening knives far easier. It is now possible for amateurs to get great edges on their knives if they apply themselves and use the best sharpening systems available.

However, that being said, even the best knife sharpening system will still require you to learn a little bit about the best approach to sharpening blades. Before you start sharpening any large, expensive blades, it is in your best interest to take a little time to learn a bit about correct sharpening procedures. Take your time reading the instruction booklet that comes with your sharpener. Consider asking any friends who have experience with sharpening blades for help. Remember to be patient and let your skills develop as time passes.

Getting Blades Worthy Of A Great Sharpening System

As your sharpening skills grow, you may reach a point where you start to become dissatisfied with some of the knives in your collection. Many of the low-grade kitchen knives, while popular with consumers, are not quite up to the task of holding a good edge. They also do not tend to deliver the best performance in the long run. Cheap, badly made kitchen knives often make cooking more dangerous and a good deal less satisfying.

Sharpening blades regularly will make you aware of the importance of good quality knives. You will also learn how to distinguish between the best knives and cheap knives only suitable for use in the short term. This will help you to pick out the best knives when it is time for you to buy new knives.

Maintenance

Once you have a great model and have used it for a while, you will need to make sure that you maintain it properly. For some of the automated systems, there is very little maintenance required. However, for the stone-based systems, you have to keep in mind that you may need to soak the stones on occasion.

Soaking the stones allows for them to better sharpen blades and extends their lifespan. Don’t be stingy when it comes to applying water to your stones. The biggest mistake most beginners with stone-based systems make is failing to add enough water. Properly maintained stones will give you the best possible results.

Take a little time for maintenance, and it will give you good performance for years. Have an open attitude towards learning new skills, and you will be surprised how quickly you learn to produce well-sharpened blades. As your confidence in your abilities grows, you will get even better results.

Below we write review about 5 best knife sharpeners for help you choose the best sharpening system that fit not only your needs, but also your budget. Have a look through our reviews.

1.) Edlund 401 115V Electric Knife Sharpener

Edlund 401

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If you are a chef or simply love cooking, you know the importance of sharp knives. A sharp knife makes it possible for you to prepare food faster and easier. Knives are however prone to becoming blunt, especially if they are used on a regular basis. For this reason, it is important to have a quality electric knife sharpener that enables you to keep your knives sharp at all times. In this article, we will looking at the Edlund 401 115V Electric Knife Sharpener w/ Removable Guidance System.

Who Is This Product For?

Edlund 401 115V Electric-Knife Sharpener w/ Removable Guidance System is a knife sharpener that can be of great benefit to a chef or someone who simply loves to cook. It is easy to use, easy-to-clean and helps your knives maintain sharp edges. It can also be used by someone who desires to have their knives sharpened at home instead of taking them to a shop to occasionally to get sharpened.

Specifications

There are several things that make the Edlund 401 115V Electric Knife-Sharpener w/ Removable Guidance System a good electric knife sharpener. First and foremost, this electric knife-sharpener has a precision guidance-system. This feature is important because it helps maintain the edges of your knife. The motor on this system is pressure sensitive which is designed to shut down if there is excessive pressure. This prevents excessive wear and burns. The importance of this is that it protects your knives from wearing out, thereby seeing to it that they serve you for a long time. Apart from this the Edlund 401 also has an ABS plastic knife guide. This makes it easier for you to clean and operate the system. Last but not least, this electric-knife sharpener has a rocker switch that enables you to know when the system is running. This is a good safety measure.

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Prevents wear of knives
  • Easy to operate
  • Maintain knife edges
  • Durable
Cons
  • It does not sharpen many different kinds of knives or other tools
  • It is made for specific kind of knives.

Is This A Great Purchase?

Edlund 401 Electric-Knife Sharpener is a great purchase. It is a great purchase because it is fast, sharpens knives while maintaining the edges, it is easy-to-clean and easy to operate as well.

In conclusion, it is important to go for a quality knife sharpener especially if you use knives on a regular basis. This will see to it that the knives are usable for a long time and it will also make it easier for you to prepare your meals.

2.) Chef’s Choice 1520 AngleSelect Review

Chef’s Choice 1520 AngleSelect

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A sharp knife in the kitchen can save you a lot of time as well as can allow you to work with efficiency to make a good meal at the specific proportions that you want. The Chef’s Choice 1520 AngleSelect Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener is a good product to get your knife sharp and at the right angle.

Specifications

  • This one has the design qualities to sharpen many European, American and Asian knives that might be in your possession.
  • This is great because now you don’t have to worry about going to a professional’s store to get your knives sharpened.
  • You have the option of recreating or restoring an angle of 15 degrees on that Asian knife. It can also do the same to your American or European knife with a 20 degree angle to these two.
  • Has 100% diamond abrasives. It also has polishing and stropping discs that are patented.
Pros
  • Many of the knives that you might have can be sharpened so that you can work with efficiency.
  • Creates a “gothic arch” that is known for its sharpness.
Cons
  • It can use up some of your time during the sharpening process.

Is This A Good Choice?

In our opinion, this product is a great purchase because it is great at what it does. It is also durable and can create a “gothic arch”, which is known for its sharpness.

3.) Jet 708015 JSSG-10

Jet 708015 JSSG-10

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One important part of woodworking is to keep tools sharp and crisp to produce a clean-cut and chiseled finished product. Little things can be more irksome than working with dull tools, as it takes more effort and pressure, not to mention an unappealing result. Sharp tools help provide accurate and safe woodworking.

Sharpening woodworking tools is an important skill for both novice and veteran woodworkers. There are many methods to sharpen woodworking tools like a sharpening stone or engaging a professional’s service that can be expensive. On this page, we will be looking at the Jet 708015 JSSG-10 Slow Speed Wet Sharpener. It has a combination of features like a 10″ wet stone sharpening wheel, torque tuning, accessory storage and more.

Specifications

  • Variable dial speed control maintains outer wheel speed. The dial ranges from 90 to 150 RPM.
  • The Jet Wet Sharpener is powered by a DC motor of 110V, (DC) 1.8A, 3,550 RPM designed with dispensable brushes and built to operate efficiently at a higher temperature.
  • A torque adjuster allows consistent pressure on the drive shaft.
  • Enclosed water tray helps prevent possible damage from overheating and is easier to keep it clean from fragments.
  • The Jet sharpener comes with a built-in drawer – keep your tools organized at your disposal.
  • The JSSG-10 comes with few more goodies – A surfaced grader, sharp straight edge jig, honing compound tube, an angle measuring device, drawer base, and a machine cover.
Pros
  • The dial speed control which, when used to maximum RPM, consistently reduced grinding and honing times even though no additional pressure was applied, making it pretty handy to sharp small carving tools.
  • Wide flange around the edge of the tank, channels water from the wet grinding surface, which keeps it cool thereby helping eliminate risk of overheating. This simple but well-designed feature catches the errant water that drips from the edges of wider tools such as plane irons during sharpening. The end panel keeps the mechanism clean of debris and water.
  • The support arm is compatible with the Jet Wet Sharpener jigs, ensuring a solid base for consistent sharpening and depth adjustments. Also, you cannot gouge the grinding stone when placed in the horizontal position.
  • The JSSG-10 includes a DVD of a hands-on description with expert woodworker Ernie Conover.
Cons
  • No printed user guide included in the package, but is available online which can be inconvenient for some.

Is This A Great Purchase?

It is a great purchase because sharpening our tools ourselves can be a great money-saver and with Jet 708015 JSSG-10 Slow Speed Wet Sharpener being a quality product, is capable of producing sharp edges on many cutting tools. It comes with a good quality grinding stone wheel, is easy to operate and comes with a 5-year warranty along with a host of accessories.

4.) KME Diamond Knife Sharpener

KME Diamond Knife Sharpener

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The KME Diamond Knife Sharpener is a quality product that comes with low profile jaws, as an additional feature. Designed with an included base, this device is crafted for accuracy. The ease of use is always a plus.

It’s easy to assemble and dissemble and light weight making it an easy on the go option. The sharpener provides angle adjustments from 17 to 30, with one degree elevation at a time. Plus the 360 degree rotation with two horizontal stops feature makes it possible to sharpen both sides of the blade in one go, without having to adjust the clamp over and over for the sides.

Features

  • Portable: Easy to assemble and dissemble. It is light weight, hence easy to carry. A convenient on the go device.
  • 360 Degree Rotation: The clamp has a 360 degree rotation with two horizontal stops. A knife when rotated to 180 degrees would sharpen both sides of the blade.
  • Single Hand Knob Clamp: For ease of use, especially for the people working single handedly, only one hand knob clamping technology has been applied to the device. This means no more adjusting the clamp for blade thickness.
  • Low Profile Neoprene Padded Jaws: Fine angle sharpening of the blade as the clamp doesn’t scratch the blade.
  • Two Knife Positioning Reference Lines on the Jaw: For repeatable sharpening angle for individual knives. That means one doesn’t have to adjust the angle over and over for similar knives.
  • Spherical Bearing Rod Guide with base: Maintains a zero deviation from the set angle, while providing smooth motion.
  • Continuous Angle Adjustment – 17 to 30 Degrees: Main frame is engraved with angle scale that starts with 17 degrees and increases by one degree each up to 30 degrees. Function is controlled by a thumb nut.
Pros
  • Easy to assemble and dissemble.
  • Light weight and thus portable.
  • Three different kinds of blades.
  • Single handed use leverage, as one doesn’t have to adjust the angle over and over for thickness.
  • Good handling and accuracy.
  • Repeatable sharpening angle.
  • Zero deviation.
  • Multiple angles scaling, for desired results.
Cons
  • Not suitable for sharpening fillet knives.
  • Cannot sharpen a wide curvature Kukri, as the stone cannot reach the entire blade.
  • Diamonds might take a while to give desired scratch free results to the blade.

Is This A Good Choice?

If you are not looking to solely sharpen fillet knives and/or a wide curvature Kukri, then the answer is a yes! Considering the overall features, the KME Diamond Knife Sharpener with Gold Series Hones and low profile jaws, is a great product.

5.) Norton IM 313CIS

Norton IM 313CIS

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One of the keys to success for a knife is its sharpness. Have you ever used a blunt knife in your kitchen while cutting vegetables or meat? I am sure the blunt knife made your cutting difficult and tedious. Well, that’s where quality sharpening tools come handy. In this brief overview, we will be looking at the Arkansas Sharpening Kit fully furnished with sharpening stones and honing oil.

So what makes the Arkansas stones suitable for sharpening kitchen knives? First, they are dual sided with small coarse stones with each end having block guides to assist in getting the right sharpening angle. They are mounted on a block of cedar making them safe to use in sharpening your knife. The stones also come packaged with honing oil that helps during the knife sharpening exercise. In this article we will focus on the Norton IM 313CIS Soft Arkansas Sharpening Kit, its specifications, cons and pros and find out if it is a good buy.

Specifications

This Norton Sharpening has a bench sharpening unit that includes an oil reservoir and a rotating axis designed to hold the three sharpening stones in position. The Norton includes three Arkansas sharpening stones, each having a different functionality: the Silicon carbide stone that is used for repairs, the Aluminum Oxide that is used for both sharpening and maintenance and the Arkansas (novaculite) that is used to polish the knives’ edges. The three stones have 100, 240 and 600 quality of grit respectively. The stones’ moderate sizes makes them easy to handle. Moreover, the Norton has a durable plastic case that protects the stones against material damages. The stones are equipped with honing oil that helps in lubrication during sharpening and an angle guide that gives direction on how to position the three stones correctly during sharpening.

Pros
  • Easy to use – the Norton Sharpening Kit has an angle guide that directs users on how to position the stones for easy sharpening.
  • Cost effective – the Sharpening tools are efficient and they cut costs that could be used to hire professional knife sharpeners.
Cons
  • Maintenance – these stones require regular cleaning. In fact, its oil should be changed as soon as it gets dirty. This exercise may prove tedious to some people.

Is This A Great Purchase?

In our opinion, if you are looking for quality and durability in a sharpening kit, the Norton has it. It is a great purchase because its easy to use and can help save you the money used to take your knives to a professional.