• 10 Best Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 3
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10 Best Knife Sharpeners in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)

There’s nothing worse than a dull knife when it comes to food preparation since it makes cutting through anything that much harder. And it can be dangerous as you will be more likely to slip and cut yourself. Sharpening your knives will not only make them last longer but also make your food preparation easier and safer.

Today, many types of kitchen knife sharpeners are available on the market, ranging from electric sharpeners to whetstones. But different sharpeners have different uses. If you need help choosing one, our buying guide and list of popular products will help you narrow down your choices. At the top of our list was Chef's Choice Pronto Pro Sharpener. Find out why below!

Featured in this article

Danilo Specchiulli
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-16-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Knife Sharpener – Buying Guide

Even a high-quality knife dulls over time. So you should sharpen your knives at least a few times a year, and much more often if you use them daily. For many, sharpening knives can be intimidating at first. Don’t worry–there are many sharpening tools that are easy to use and will give your knife that sharp edge.

Get the Best Performance From a Whetstone

While these may scare amateur cooks, whetstones, also known as waterstones, are the best way for you to sharpen your knives. 

Whetstones Help Maintain the Durability of a Knife

Whetstones Help Maintain the Durability of a Knife

Professional chefs often turn to whetstones when they sharpen their knives. Sharpening stones give you a razor-sharp edge, without removing too much material from the knife. 


Besides being efficient, whetstones will keep the edge sharper for longer. It’ll take a bit of practice before you get the hang of them, though. Once you do, you will be surprised how easily and quickly you can sharpen your knife.

Danilo Specchiulli
Italian Chef
Danilo Specchiulli

Whetstones aren’t all made naturally or from stones and minerals. There are two types of whetstones or sharpening stones – natural or synthetic stones. The first is usually made by quartz, such as novaculite. The latter is often made of bonded ceramic, corundum, among other materials. 


While it’s true that the ancient Romans used naturally occurring stones to sharpen their weapons and tools, things have progressed, and now even professionals find artificial whetting stones equally efficient. I personally find synthetic stones more reliable in giving me quick and consistent results. 


Although, natural whetstones have become a novelty for their beauty and rarity, so you can also consider it a collector’s item. If you’re new to knife sharpening, I recommend going for a synthetic one as these are much easier to work with.

Pay Attention to Grit Size, as They Have Different Purposes

Pay Attention to Grit Size, as They Have Different Purposes

Coarse stones that are less than 1,000 grit are for repairing chipped and damaged knives. Finishing stones range from 40,00 to 8,000 grit. 


For regular polishing, 4,000 to 5,000 grit stones are more than enough. But if you’re slicing fruit and vegetables, or filleting fish, then the 8,000 comes into play. It’ll make your knife delicate - too delicate to force its way through red meat, actually - so don’t overdo it.

Pay Attention to Grit Size, as They Have Different Purposes
Whetstones come in various grit sizes, with numbers indicating size. Your typical stone ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 grit. They’re used for dull knives that need a good sharpening. 

If you’re chopping away every day, pull out this medium stone about once a month. If you aren't often in the kitchen, then sharpen your knife once every three.

Danilo Specchiulli
Italian Chef
Danilo Specchiulli

Let’s talk grit, as this is crucial to the result of your sharpening endeavor. It all boils down to what state your knife is in. If you have a damaged or blunt blade, go for 200-1,000 grit. 


The value often refers to JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) as many sharpening stones still come from Japan. If you need to sharpen for cutting meat, then a 4,000 JIS stone is advised. Lastly, an 8,000 JIS stone is for filleting fish and cutting fruits or vegetables. 


I don’t recommend having multiple sharpening stones unless you’re a professional with multiple delicate knives. The bare minimum is 300 and 1,000 grit. You can also find stones with double grit on each side for extra convenience.

Look for Pull-Through or Electric Options for a Speedy Fix

Besides whetstones, which are a little harder to use, pull-through or electric sharpeners that are more friendly for beginners are also an option. They tend to be more convenient and adjustable, too.

Perform Quick Touch Ups With a Pull-Through Sharpener

Perform Quick Touch Ups With a Pull-Through Sharpener
Pull-through sharpeners are made up of a handle and a V-shaped groove inside the sharpening slot. You insert the blade in the slot and slide through. This sharpener is handy and simple to use

Also, it’s light and compact, so it’ll easily fit into your kitchen drawers. However, there are some sharpeners that aren’t suitable for single-edged blades, so make sure your sharpener is compatible with your knife.

Because only the very edge of the knife touches the grinding stone, it won’t stay sharp for long. Use these for a quick touch up between full sharpenings.

Electric Knife Sharpeners for Convenience and Speed

Electric knife sharpeners aren’t much different from manual pull-through sharpeners. Because they are electric, they can sharpen a knife much quicker than their manual counterparts. However, they may damage your knife, as they can remove too much material, or put the wrong angle on the edge.

Maintain a Perfect Edge Between Cuts With a Sharpening Steel

Maintain a Perfect Edge Between Cuts With a Sharpening Steel
Despite their name, sharpening (or honing) steels don’t sharpen; they straighten the edge of the knife as it gets warped over time. 

Regularly realigning the blade will help maintain it, so not only do your slices slide like butter, but you also don’t need to pull out your sharpener as much. These are usually made of metal, and you can also find some that have been coated in diamond or ceramic.

Danilo Specchiulli
Italian Chef
Danilo Specchiulli

There is often a misconception that the sharpening rod is for sharpening because you see someone use it right before cutting something like turkey. However, you should treat this tool as a quick fix. You cannot use this as a substitute for sharpening but for honing.


Whenever you feel resistance as you slice, that means your blade isn’t as aligned as before. A sharpening rod will put all of the microscopic parts of the blade’s edge back together like a nice haircut. When you don’t feel improvements after sanding, it’s time to sharpen.

Make Sure You Know What Knives You Have First

Make Sure You Know What Knives You Have First
There’s chemistry between sharpeners and knives too—sometimes, they fit; sometimes, they don’t. 

So before purchasing, you need to consider some additional factors, such as the type of knife (European or Japanese), the type of blade (single-edged or double-edged), material (stainless steel, carbon steel, or ceramic), the shape of the blade (straight, curved, and so on), and the angle of the blade.


Note that European knives use a 20-degree angle and Asian knives use a 17-degree angle. You'll have to look at this when purchasing a sharpener, but electric ones that can adjust are the easier choice. Serrated blades don't work with all sharpeners either, so make sure to check the product descriptions

Danilo Specchiulli
Italian Chef
Danilo Specchiulli

My Japanese father-in-law, a chef of 40 years, passed down one of his treasured knives to our family. It was a beautiful double-edged hand-crafted chef’s knife that required careful sharpening. It had about 60 HRC or degrees Rockwell C (the hardness level of a knife). Due to its relatively high HRC, we needed a higher grit to match. 


If you have a knife ranging from 52 to 56, a sharpening stone of up to 800 grit will do. Medium hardness between 53 and 59 will require about 1,000 to 3,000 grit. High hardness knives, 60 HRC and above, will need grit from 3,000 to 8,000


Knowing the HRC of your existing knife allows you to pair it with the correct grit because using a 3,000 grit stone on 52 HRC will do nothing.

10 Best Best Knife Sharpeners

Below is a list of the 10 best knife sharpeners that’ll make prepping food easy and fun. Hope it’ll help you to find the perfect one!

*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Danilo Specchiulli.

Image
1
Chef’s Choice Pronto Pro Sharpener 1

Chef’s Choice

2
Sharp Pebble Premium Knife Sharpening Stone 1

Sharp Pebble

3
Chef’s Choice 290 Angle Select Hybrid Sharpener 1

Chef’s Choice

4
Vremi 4-Stage Manual Knife Sharpener 1

Vremi

5
Winco Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel 1

Winco

6
Chef’s Choice Electric Knife Sharpener 1

Chef’s Choice

7
KitchenIQ 2 Stage Sharpener 1

KitchenIQ

8
Kota Japan Sharpening Steel 1

Kota Japan

9
 LINKYO Electric Knife Sharpener 1

LINKYO

10
Tatara Sharpening Stone 3000/8000 Grit 1

Tatara

Name

Pronto Pro Sharpener

Premium Knife Sharpening Stone

290 Angle Select Hybrid Sharpener

4-Stage Manual Knife Sharpener

Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel

Electric Knife Sharpener

2 Stage Sharpener

Sharpening Steel

Electric Knife Sharpener

Sharpening Stone 3000/8000 Grit

Features

Simple, Accessible, and Keeps Knives in Tiptop Shape

A Beginner-Friendly Way to Get a Professional Edge

An Electric and Manual Hybrid Machine

A Handy Sharpener That Works for Both Western- and Asian-Style Knives

Touch Up Your Knife's Edge With a Reliable Steel

Quick, Easy, and Versatile Machine for Japanese-Style Knives

Very Light, Compact Design for Easy Storage

Diamond Sharpening Steel to Keep Blade Edges Aligned

A Simple, Wallet Friendly Electric Knife Sharpener

Perfect Stone for a Mirror-Like Finish

Price$49.95$39.99$99.04$4.99$16.47$150.21$5.99$16.99$99.99$29.99
MaterialPlastic, diamondAluminium oxide, bamboo baseStainless steel, diamondStainless steel, diamondStainless steelDiamondCarbideDiamondIron, plasticCeramic, aluminum oxide
TypePull-throughWhetstonePull-through, electric hybridPull-throughSharpening steelElectricPull-throughSharpening steelElectricWhetstone
KnivesStraight edge, serrated knives, sports and pocket knivesAll bladesEuropean/American 20-degree knives, Asian-style 15-degree knives, straight and serrated blades, sport and pocket knivesStandard knives, Asian-style knivesAny non-serrated, non-ceramic knifeNon-ceramic, Straight and serrated knivesStraight edge blades, serrated edge bladesSteelStraight-edge knives
Link
1

Chef’s ChoicePronto Pro Sharpener

$49.95

MaterialPlastic, diamond
TypePull-through
KnivesStraight edge, serrated knives, sports and pocket knives
2

Sharp PebblePremium Knife Sharpening Stone

$39.99

MaterialAluminium oxide, bamboo base
TypeWhetstone
KnivesAll blades
3

Chef’s Choice290 Angle Select Hybrid Sharpener

$99.04

MaterialStainless steel, diamond
TypePull-through, electric hybrid
KnivesEuropean/American 20-degree knives, Asian-style 15-degree knives, straight and serrated blades, sport and pocket knives
4

Vremi4-Stage Manual Knife Sharpener

$4.99

MaterialStainless steel, diamond
TypePull-through
KnivesStandard knives, Asian-style knives
5

WincoStainless Steel Sharpening Steel

$16.47

MaterialStainless steel
TypeSharpening steel
KnivesAny non-serrated, non-ceramic knife
6

Chef’s ChoiceElectric Knife Sharpener

0101500

$150.21

MaterialDiamond
TypeElectric
KnivesNon-ceramic, Straight and serrated knives
7

KitchenIQ2 Stage Sharpener

$5.99

MaterialCarbide
TypePull-through
KnivesStraight edge blades, serrated edge blades
8

Kota JapanSharpening Steel

$16.99

MaterialDiamond
TypeSharpening steel
KnivesSteel
9

LINKYOElectric Knife Sharpener

$99.99

MaterialIron, plastic
TypeElectric
KnivesStraight-edge knives
10

TataraSharpening Stone 3000/8000 Grit

$29.99

MaterialCeramic, aluminum oxide
TypeWhetstone
Knives

More Expert Tips for Sharpening Knives

More Expert Tips for Sharpening Knives

Danilo says, "If you’re new to sharpening using a whetstone, keep in mind that it’s all about the angle. Put the blade - sharp side inwards - at a 90 degree on the stone. Then, half this to get 45 degrees. Tilt once more in half to get about 20 degrees for European knives and a bit more to 17 degrees for Japanese knives. 


I recommend choosing a sharpening stone with a surface area close to your blade's size and length. This way, with every swipe, you get a more even finish."

More Knives for Different Purposes

Not all knives are equal. Some are better suited for cutting bread, some for fish, and some for spreading jam. If you're looking for more specific types of blades, check out our other articles below.

Buying Guide Reviewed by Chef Danilo Specchiulli

Danilo Specchiulli
Italian Chef
Danilo Specchiulli

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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