Updated February 22, 2020 – If there’s one thing anyone who works with knives knows it’s that keeping knives sharp is just as important, if not more so than the quality of knife you have to begin with.
Without a sharp knife, you can forget about finely chopping delicate foods, and anything that requires precision and accuracy is next to impossible, not to mention the increased danger of cutting yourself.
So, how do you keep your knives sharp? With a knife sharpener of course! Let’s look at whetstones today…
There are two types of sharpeners, manual and electric. While electric is great for the ease and convenience, it also gives you less control. With a manual, you are in control of the entire sharpening process. You need to have an understanding of sharpening angles as well. The angle and knife edge dictates the effectiveness of the knife and the durability.
Also, consider the type of stone you want in your sharpener. Different types create different results.
- In general, a ceramic stone is sort of the middle ground for sharpening. This is a great product for knives that are still somewhat sharp.
- A diamond stone is better for a very dull blade. Diamond dust is embedded in the composite stone and since diamonds are so hard, they can sharpen faster.
- An Arkansas stone is best for the finishing touches, getting the knife razor-sharp, and polishing.
Here are 5 of the best manual sharpeners on the market today
Gatco 8T001 Arkansas Tri-Hone Sharpening System
The Gatco 8T001 sells for a for a pretty good deal when you consider its high quality.
- It’s lightweight at less than two pounds and is made up of three different stones, each about the length of a dollar bill.
- The stones are mounted on a wooden triangle for easy use and convenience when switching between the stones.
- Each stone is a different grit, fine, medium and coarse, which allows the sharpener to work with just about any knife.
Gatco, or The Great American Tool Company, has been around since 1989 and has a wide variety of knife sharpening tools. President of Gatco, John Anthon promises each Gatco product is precision made and of the highest quality.
Customers say with the help of this sharpener their knives went from dull and useless to sharp and ready to cut through just about anything.
Gatco 10003 3-Stone Sharpening System
Another Gatco on the list, just further proving the quality of this company.
This sharpener sells for a bargain price, and also has three stones. But they are all separate, not connected like the one mentioned above.
However, it does come with an angle clamp to allow the user to control the angle at which they sharpen their knife. This allows you to sharpen at a consistent angle at all times. I personally have a similar model with a few more stones, the 10006 (click here to see the review).
Customers say the kit works great, is easy to use and the fact that the user can control the angle is a great addition.
Smith’s 50008 8-Inch Diamond Tri-Hone Bench
This sharpener sells for a more than decent price. And has a much bigger sharpening surface than the previous two models, but weighing in at just under 1.5 pounds there is no extra bulk.
- The sharpener includes three stones, once again connected to form a triangle, which can be rotated with a hand crank.
- Two of the stones are diamond and feature an overlapping oval design which catches metal shavings that build upon the sharpening surface.
- The third is an Arkansas polishing stone.
- The larger surface is great for large knives and woodworking tools
Smith’s has been around since 1886, and they have a broad line of sharpeners. They make it their mission to always act in a way that generates trust and dedication. They are committed to making sure you have the sharpest knife for whatever your task might be.
Many customers commented they love the design, and the rubber grips on the bottom of the sharpener help to prevent movement while in use on many different surfaces.
Lansky Diamond Deluxe Sharpening System with Extra Coarse, Coarse, Medium & Fine Hones
This compact knife sharpening kit comes at a surprisingly affordable price. Especially when you consider what it can do.
- It includes four different stones, and an angle clamp for better sharpening.
- The set weighs just over 1.5 pounds.
- The best feature of this kit is the design of the stones.
- Each one features finger grooved safety holders to give the user a better grip while helping to prevent injury.
Lansky is a very well known company when it comes to sharpeners. They are working constantly to create new and better sharpening products for their customers.
Customers say the product works great and is long-lasting. Although the stones are small, and some knives don’t fit well in the angle clamp. So, if you have little knives, like paring knives, it might be harder to secure them. I usually just clamp them down and sharpen at a shallower angle. It’s easy to use and effective.
Ceramic Stone Set, Knife Sharpening, Medium and Polishing
This sharpener set consists of two stones, medium grit, and fine grit, connected together.
There is no angle guide with this product, but the stone surface is very large, which can be helpful when sharpening big knives. Also, the finer grit side acts like a polisher as well, not only making your knives as sharp as new but looking like new too.
Customers say this is the easiest sharpening kit they have used, and the ceramic stone holds up well after many uses. Customers also noted the convenience of not having to use oil or water as is necessary with some stones.
The most important thing when buying a sharpener is to do your research. Think about what you will be sharpening, and go from there. There are a ton of great products on the market and, once you know what you’re looking for, it’ll be easy to find the perfect one for you.
Also, remember that prevention is the best medicine! Keep your knives sharper for longer with the best cutting board and storage block! You might also be interested in my post about honing steels, which can help extend the life of your knives.