• 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Kyocera, Nitori, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Kyocera, Nitori, and More) 2
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Kyocera, Nitori, and More) 3
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Kyocera, Nitori, and More) 4
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Kyocera, Nitori, and More) 5

10 Best Tried and True Japanese Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Kyocera, Nitori, and More)

Are your kitchen knives as sharp as they should be? Do you want your Japanese knives to cut as sharp as they once did? Do you need a knife sharpener that can sharpen your hagane steel knife? If your answer is "Maybe?" then you probably need to invest in a Japanese knife sharpener! Japanese knife sharpeners come in different shapes and types, including manual and electric. However, with so many brands, like Kai Corporation, Yoshida Metal Industries, and Daiso, all offering different types of sharpeners it can be difficult to decide on a Japanese knife sharpener that truly makes your knives sharp.


To figure out the best Japanese knife sharpener, we gathered the 32 best-selling Japanese knife sharpeners on e-commerce sites popular in Japan, such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping, and tested them all.

We tested each product for the following:

  1. How well it sharpens our knives
  2. How easy is it to use
  3. How easy it is to store

We then ranked the 10 best Japanese knife sharpeners in 2022 based on our tests. We also put together a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese knife sharpeners for you.

Featured in this article

mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 07-04-2022
Table of Contents

What's Special About Japanese Knife Sharpeners?

What's Special About Japanese Knife Sharpeners?

If you are pretty particular about your knives, you might own a few Japanese knives. Japanese knives offer fantastic sharpness and precision, with some chefs even claiming that food prepared using Japanese knives taste better. However, no matter how sharp your knife may be, all knives eventually become dull and don't cut as neatly as they used to. So to solve this, you need to sharpen them.


Whetstones requires skill and practice, since they grind the entire knife. Using poor technique can actually ruin your precious blades. However, knife sharpeners are best for both beginners as well as for people who simply don't have time to use a whetstone. They require little to no skill to use properly and can make your knives cut as good as new.


Moreover, many Japanese knife sharpeners are designed to be used with Japanese knives, so you might be able to get a knife sharpener from the same brand as your knife, ensuring they'll work harmoniously.

Compare the Best Japanese Knife Sharpeners

We gathered the 32 best-selling Japanese knife sharpeners on e-commerce sites popular in Japan, such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping, and tested them all.

We tested each product for the following:

  1. How well it sharpens our knives
  2. How easy is it to use
  3. How easy it is to store

※Japanese prices for some products are listed but have been converted into USD for easy viewing.

Image
1
Yoshida Metal Industries Global Speed Sharpener GSS-01 1

Yoshida Metal Industries

2
Azuma Kleva Sharp 1

Azuma

3
Kai Corporation Compact Electric Sharpener AP0543 1

Kai Corporation

4
Daiso Quick Sharpener 1

Daiso

5
Takeuchi Kaisoku Noko Eiji Takeuchi's Super Sharpener 1

Takeuchi Kaisoku Noko

6
Kataoka Manufacturing WaterSharp III 1

Kataoka Manufacturing

7
Laundly Diamond Knife Sharpener re-009 sharpener 1

Laundly

8
Yoshida Metal Industries Global Sharpener GSS-02 1

Yoshida Metal Industries

9
Kai Corporation Seki Magoroku Diamond and Ceramic Sharpener 1

Kai Corporation

10
Kai Corporation Kai House The Sharpener 1

Kai Corporation

Name

Global Speed Sharpener GSS-01

Kleva Sharp

Compact Electric Sharpener AP0543

Quick Sharpener

Eiji Takeuchi's Super Sharpener

WaterSharp III

Diamond Knife Sharpener re-009 sharpener

Global Sharpener GSS-02

Seki Magoroku Diamond and Ceramic Sharpener

Kai House The Sharpener

Features

Sharpener that Keeps the Blade Razor Sharp

A Stable Sharpener that Sharpens Well

An Easy-to-Use, Stable Sharpener

Pressure Needs to be Adjusted Accordingly, but Sharpens Knives Well

A Compact Sharpener for Limited Space

Best for Superior Sharpness

Sharpens Well but Not Intuitive

Requires Extra Force to Slide in the Blade, but Makes Knives Super Sharp

Easy to Use but Mediocre Sharpness

Simple and Straightforward but Not Quite as Sharp Compared to Other Products

Price$10.21$10.58$26.62$1.75$33.15$49.78$7.74$70.15$16.62
Japanese吉田金属工業グローバル スピードシャープナーアズマ クレバーシャープ貝印 コンパクト電動シャープナーAP0543大創工業 クイックシャープナー竹内快速鋸 竹内英治のスーパー研師片岡製作所ウォーターシャープIIILaundly ダイヤモンド包丁研ぎ器re-009sharpener吉田金属工業 GLOBAL(グローバル)シャープナー GSS-02貝印 関孫六 ダイヤモンド&セラミック シャープナーAP0308貝印 Kai House ザ シャープナーAZS0101
Can be used withStainless steel (double-bevel blades)Stainless steel (double-bevel blades, serrated blades)Stainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)Stainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)Stainless steel, titanium, steel (double-bevel, single- bevel, thick blades)Stainless steel, hagane steel (double bevel blades)Stainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel)Stainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)Stainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)Stainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)
Sharpening materialAlumina ceramic, ceramicTungsten steelCeramicABS Polystyrene WhetstoneN/AAlumina ceramicsDiamondCeramicDiamond, ceramicAluminum oxide, ceramic
Size and weight1 x 4 x 0.75 inches/2 oz.2.3×2.3×2.3 inches/2.43 oz.6.1×2.3×1.8 inches/5.82 oz.1.82× 2.01× 6.34 in./8.7×2×2 in./4.87 oz.8.2×1.3×2.1 in./4 oz.8.2×1.9×2.5 in./5.47 oz.8.2×1.9×2.5 in./5.64 oz.5.5×2×2.1 in./3.39 oz.4.2×4.2×4.3 in.
Sharpening ability4.04.05.0YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Ease of use3.03.73.54.04.05.04.04.03.33.3
Compactness3.64.03.33.43.63.23.43.53.53.6
Overall score3.03.883.754.03.34.03.33.24.03.3
Link

10 Best Tried and True Japanese Knife Sharpeners

1

Yoshida Metal IndustriesGlobal Speed Sharpener GSS-01

$10.21

Japanese吉田金属工業グローバル スピードシャープナー
Can be used withStainless steel (double-bevel blades)
Sharpening materialAlumina ceramic, ceramic
Size and weight1 x 4 x 0.75 inches/2 oz.
Sharpening ability4.0
Ease of use3.0
Compactness3.6
Overall score3.0
2
Japaneseアズマ クレバーシャープ
Can be used withStainless steel (double-bevel blades, serrated blades)
Sharpening materialTungsten steel
Size and weight2.3×2.3×2.3 inches/2.43 oz.
Sharpening ability4.0
Ease of use3.7
Compactness4.0
Overall score3.88
3

Kai CorporationCompact Electric Sharpener AP0543

$26.62

Japanese貝印 コンパクト電動シャープナーAP0543
Can be used withStainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)
Sharpening materialCeramic
Size and weight6.1×2.3×1.8 inches/5.82 oz.
Sharpening ability5.0
Ease of use3.5
Compactness3.3
Overall score3.75
4

DaisoQuick Sharpener

$1.75

Japanese大創工業 クイックシャープナー
Can be used withStainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)
Sharpening materialABS Polystyrene Whetstone
Size and weight1.82× 2.01× 6.34 in./
Non-slip gripYes
Sharpening ability4.0
Ease of use3.4
Compactness4.0
Overall score3.72
5

Takeuchi Kaisoku NokoEiji Takeuchi's Super Sharpener

$33.15

Japanese竹内快速鋸 竹内英治のスーパー研師
Can be used withStainless steel, titanium, steel (double-bevel, single- bevel, thick blades)
Sharpening materialN/A
Size and weight8.7×2×2 in./4.87 oz.
Non-slip gripYes
Sharpening ability4.0
Ease of use3.6
Compactness3.3
Overall score3.65
6
Japanese片岡製作所ウォーターシャープIII
Can be used withStainless steel, hagane steel (double bevel blades)
Sharpening materialAlumina ceramics
Size and weight8.2×1.3×2.1 in./4 oz.
Non-slip gripYes
Sharpening ability5.0
Ease of use3.2
Compactness4.0
Overall score3.63
7

LaundlyDiamond Knife Sharpener re-009 sharpener

$7.74

JapaneseLaundly ダイヤモンド包丁研ぎ器re-009sharpener
Can be used withStainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel)
Sharpening materialDiamond
Size and weight8.2×1.9×2.5 in./5.47 oz.
Non-slip gripYes
Sharpening ability4.0
Ease of use3.4
Compactness3.3
Overall score3.52
8

Yoshida Metal IndustriesGlobal Sharpener GSS-02

$70.15

Japanese吉田金属工業 GLOBAL(グローバル)シャープナー GSS-02
Can be used withStainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)
Sharpening materialCeramic
Size and weight8.2×1.9×2.5 in./5.64 oz.
Non-slip gripYes
Sharpening ability4.0
Ease of use3.5
Compactness3.2
Overall score3.48
9

Kai CorporationSeki Magoroku Diamond and Ceramic Sharpener

$16.62

Japanese貝印 関孫六 ダイヤモンド&セラミック シャープナーAP0308
Can be used withStainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)
Sharpening materialDiamond, ceramic
Size and weight5.5×2×2.1 in./3.39 oz.
Non-slip gripYes
Sharpening ability3.3
Ease of use3.5
Compactness4.0
Overall score3.45
10

Kai CorporationKai House The Sharpener

Japanese貝印 Kai House ザ シャープナーAZS0101
Can be used withStainless steel, hagane steel (double-bevel blades)
Sharpening materialAluminum oxide, ceramic
Size and weight4.2×4.2×4.3 in.
Non-slip gripYes
Sharpening ability3.3
Ease of use3.6
Compactness3.3
Overall score3.4

How We Tested the Knife Sharpeners

How We Tested the Knife Sharpeners

We tested each product for the following:

  1. How well it sharpens our knives
  2. How easy is it to use
  3. How easy it is to store

Test ① Sharpening Ability

Test ① Sharpening Ability

First, we tested how sharp each knife sharpener could make our knives.


We purchased santoku knives from Daiso, a popular 100-yen store, and scraped them onto plastic cutting boards exactly 3,000 times. We then followed the manufacturer's instructions to sharpen our knives. After our knives were sharpened, we cut a tomato with our newly sharpened knife to check how much sharpness our knives had regained.


For products that didn't come with instructions, as well as for those that didn't specify how many times we should run our knives through them, we ran our knives through them seven times.

Test ② Ease of Use

Test ② Ease of Use

Next, we checked how easy each product was to use. 


We sharpened our knives by checking for the following:

  1. How stable and safe the sharpener felt when in use
  2. How clear the sharpening method was and how easy it was to sharpen

Test ③ Compactness

Test ③ Compactness

Finally, we tested to see how compact each product was.


We checked and evaluated each product to see how compact they were and whether or not they had useful features that made them easy to store.

How to Choose a Knife Sharpener - Buying Guide

Here are four major points to consider when choosing a Japanese knife sharpener.

What Type of Sharpener Do You Need?

There are four main types of sharpeners.


  • Rollers
  • Cross sharpeners
  • Electric sharpeners
  • Sharpening rods/sharpening steels

Let's look at the pros and cons of each type.

Roller Sharpeners Offer a Similar Sharpness to Using a Whetstone

Roller Sharpeners Offer a Similar Sharpness to Using a Whetstone

Roller sharpeners, or sharpeners with guides, are probably the most commonly sold nowadays. They consist of a V-shaped groove with spinning whetstones and you slide the knife through to sharpen. These sharpeners can sharpen your knives as if you used a whetstone since they sharpen the blade edge vertically in the same way.


Their main drawback is that when viewed under a microscope, the blade edge is very jagged, similar to a saw blade, damaging your knives. While they can make your knives feel sharp for a bit, the sharpness won't last for long. It's best to use these knife sharpeners only once or twice a month.

Cross Sharpeners Are Simple and Affordable, but May Damage Your Knives

Cross Sharpeners Are Simple and Affordable, but May Damage Your Knives

Cross sharpeners refer to knife sharpeners that feature two whetstones aligned in a V shape. They have an incredibly simple design and are relatively affordable when compared to other types of knife sharpeners.


Their main drawback is that since the cutting stone only hits the very edge of the knife blade, creating a shallow V shape, this can result in a dull blade. Additionally, while regular whetstones sharpen knives in a vertical direction, these whetstones sharpen knives horizontally, which can result in a jagged edge.


Avoid using these knife sharpeners with knives that are already sharp, since they can actually damage your knife. Only use these sharpeners with knives that have an obtuse cutting edge.

Electric Sharpeners are More Expensive but a Breeze to Use

Electric Sharpeners are More Expensive but a Breeze to Use

Although they're more expensive and louder, electric sharpeners can give you a good edge with little effort. They basically work the same as manual V-shaped types, but the motor means you can sharpen quickly, without having to move the knife so many times. They take up a little more space, and of course, you need to be careful about not getting them wet.


Electric knife sharpeners use a spinning whetstone to sharpen knives. Many electric sharpeners make use of the natural weight of the knife itself, meaning you don't need to control the pressure of your knife. This makes electric knife sharpeners great for those who want to quickly sharpen their knives with as little fuss as possible.


However, electric knife sharpeners can be pretty loud. Additionally, most electric knife sharpeners are designed for right-hand use, so southpaws should check beforehand if they can use a particular product or not.

Sharpening Rods Are Tough to Master but Worth the Effort

Sharpening Rods Are Tough to Master but Worth the Effort

Sharpening rods are used by grazing the edge of your knife against the rod and can be used to sharpen knives, scissors, peelers, and other blades. They're fairly compact and thin, so they can fit in a drawer. Don't get one that's too short, though, or it will be even more difficult to use.


However, unlike other knife sharpeners, they require you to carefully adjust the pressure and angle at which you sharpen your blades, making them less suited for beginners.

Choose the Right Type for Your Knives

Choose the Right Type for Your Knives

While knife sharpeners are convenient tools, the type of knife you can sharpen with them can vary. It's important to consider the type of knives you have, the materials of your knives, and the blade type of your knives.


Most of these Japanese knife sharpeners are for stainless steel double-beveled knives. If you have a specialty knife, be careful and get a sharpener that's compatible with it.


Traditional Japanese santoku knives often have a single bevel, and these will require a special sharpener. However, many santoku sold recently for home use are double-edged. There are a limited number of sharpeners that can handle single edges, sashimi knives, or serrated edges, as well as ceramic knives, but if the sharpener doesn't specify, don't try it.


If you have a lot of knives, consider a knife sharpener that can handle both single and double-bevel knives.

Consider a Knife Sharpener With at Least Two Different Levels of Abrasion for Daily Use

Consider a Knife Sharpener With at Least Two Different Levels of Abrasion for Daily Use

Whetstones can broadly be divided into three groups, depending on their roughness: rough grind, medium grind, and finishing grind. The roughness is determined by the grit, usually indicated with a # and a number. 


While there's no clear-cut definition, they usually fall under the following.

  • Rough grind: #80 to 220 grit
  • Medium grind: #400 to 1,500 grit
  • Finishing grind: #3,000 grit and above

Depending on the sharpener, it can vary from having a single type of whetstone up to all three types. For daily use, it's best to look for a knife sharpener with both a medium and finishing grind. However, if you plan on sharpening a knife with a chipped edge, it'll be more efficient to use a knife sharpener with a rough grind.

Look for a Non-slip Sharpener to Prevent Injuries

Look for a Non-slip Sharpener to Prevent Injuries

When using a knife sharpener, the last thing we want to do is get hurt. Generally speaking, knife sharpeners that you place down on a flat surface are safer than sharpening rods, since the blade is pointed downward toward the sharpening surface. 


Choosing products that have a rubberized non-slip grip on the bottom or products that have a decent amount of weight to them can prevent them from slipping while you sharpen your knife.


Some sharpeners that you place down on a flat surface might have suction cups that claim to allow you to use them with one hand. However, if the suction cups don't have a lot of grip, they can become undone, meaning it's best to still hold these down with your free hand. When using a sharpening rod, always be sure that nobody is around you before you sharpen your knives.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Knives?

How Often Should I Sharpen My Knives?

Using a knife sharpener once or twice a week can help you retain the sharpness of your knives, allowing you to cook with less stress. Moreover, sharper knives are actually safer, since your food won't slip out from under your knife.



However, using knife sharpeners alone can potentially damage your knives, so if possible, it's best to sharpen your knives with a whetstone at least once or twice a month.


If you use a knife sharpener and a whetstone but still can't get your knife sharp enough, it's most likely time to consider a new knife. Check out our articles on knives from the links below.

Need Some More Sharp Stuff for Your Kitchen? Here are Some Great Products!

Need Some More Sharp Stuff for Your Kitchen? Here are Some Great Products!

Lucky for you, our team of editors and experts has tested out a lot of other kitchen tools you can use to slice and dice anything you want.

Writing: Kano Ichiyama/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa, Mitsuki Nagasawa, Izumi Taneda/Photos: Koichi Miura, Yuki Inagaki

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    It’s summer, it’s hot, and you just want a cold drink. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that your ice cubes will water down your drink as they melt. Reusable ice cubes are a great solution to this issue, as they're made of frozen synthetics like silicon gel and won't melt at all. You can also use them as many times as you want! We've done the research for you and created this list of the nine best reusable ice cubes on the market this year. Our favorite reusable ice cubes are Urban Essentials' Reusable Freezable Ice Cubes. They're safe and easy to use, and those who have purchased them love their design. Read on to learn more about our other picks and a buying guide at the end.
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  • 10 Best Matcha Tea Sets in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed)
    10 Best Matcha Tea Sets in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed)
    Matcha has long been appreciated for its multiple health benefits, including promoting brain activity, weight loss, and improving alertness. Making the beverage can be difficult, though, when the powder is so fine and doesn't dissolve well in water. A matcha tea set with specially designed tools for making the perfect drink comes in handy here.Maybe you're just looking to make your daily cup of green tea nice and smooth, or maybe you're curious about the Japanese Tea Ceremony - we've got you covered with all the information you need when choosing your set. Our top pick was the Matcha Whisk Set by BambooMN for its simplicity, reliability, and its attention to detail used to craft its tea ladle. Read on for more information about what else made the cut! 
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  • 10 Best Hot Pot Cookers in 2022 (Aroma, Zojirushi, and More)
    10 Best Hot Pot Cookers in 2022 (Aroma, Zojirushi, and More)
    There’s nothing more comforting on a cold winter night than sitting around a table with your friends and family eating food that you all cooked together. And there’s no better way to do that than hot pot! From broths filled with mouth-numbing Chinese Szechuan peppers to mild Japanese shabu shabu, hot pot is fun, instant, and easy to do at home—if you have the right materials.As the popularity of this traditional Asian cooking style continues to rise in the West, so does the availability of electric and stovetop cookers in small and large sizes. But choosing is difficult, so that’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to picking out the right hot pot cooker. We’ve also included a list of our 10 favorite hot pots—split into electric and non-electric categories—to start your search. We personally loved Zojirushi's Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet for its versatility and portability, but read on to see more choices!
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  • 10 Best Cake Decorating Kits in 2022 (Pastry Chef-Reviewed)
    10 Best Cake Decorating Kits in 2022 (Pastry Chef-Reviewed)
    With so many delicious-looking sweets on baking shows and social media feeds, there has never been a better time to consider decorating your own cakes! If you're aiming for that professional look, with neat designs made from frosting, then a cake decorating kit is essential. These kits will provide you with all of the tools you need to make beautiful cakes at home.We looked online to find the best cake decorating kits on the market. Our favorite pick is the 71-Piece Cake Decorating Supplies Kit by Kootek because it has high-quality tools that every beginner needs to get started and is easy to use. Keep reading for more of our favorite products, and check out our buying guide reviewed by a cake decorator and pastry chef to learn more about choosing the right cake decorating kit for you!
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  • 10 Best Canning Funnels in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)
    10 Best Canning Funnels in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)
    Home canning is a fun and safe way of preserving your favorite foods to enjoy all year round. However, it can be really messy as you pour liquids from a pot into a jar. If you're tired of cleaning up all the spills and splatters, use a canning funnel. With it, you can transfer ingredients quickly and totally mess-free! Canning funnels can be made of different materials like stainless steel, plastic, and silicone and are available in different sizes. Therefore, choosing one that meets your needs might not be an easy task. To aid you with your search, we've compiled a list of the 10 best canning funnels available online. Küchenprofi's Stainless Steel Funnel With Filter ranked first on our list as it's durable and comes with a strainer to help you filter out ingredients easily. For more options, keep reading our list of favorites! And if you need some tips in choosing a canning funnel, take a look at our buying guide reviewed by a professional chef at the end. 
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  • 10 Best Saucepans in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)
    10 Best Saucepans in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)
    One of the most essential kitchen items that you'll want to have is a high-quality saucepan. When it comes to capacity, a saucepan can hold from one to four quarts of liquid. Within high sides, straight edges, and a long handle, it's great for making sauces or cooking oatmeal. However, there are many products available online, so how do you know which one is of high quality?Different materials are better for certain types of cooking, and understanding this is the first step to finding a good saucepan. Knowing how to prevent food from sticking to and ruining your pan will do wonders, too. If you don't know which product to purchase, check out our favorite, Ninja's Foodi NeverStick Saucepan With Glass Lid, which suits any cooking situation. Read on to see our other recommendations and buying guide that will help you decide!
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