Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Work Sharp E2 Plus vs E5 Kitchen Knife Sharpeners

E2 plus knife sharpener packaging
The E2 Plus from Work Sharp. It has a small footprint so it doesn’t take up too much space, perfect for the kitchen.

Anyone, especially chefs, who have had to use a dull knife understand the frustration it causes. You might as well be trying to chiffonade with the edge of a spoon.

We aim to make your cutting experience better by helping you make the best decision for your kitchen.

With that goal in mind, we have done some research on the Work Sharp Sharpeners E5, E2, and E2 Plus.

work sharp culinary package and kitchen knife sharpener on kitchen counter

I need to disclose that Work Sharp sent me a model E2 Plus to check out and use and review. All opinions are my own and I use my E5 and E2 Plus all the time.

side view of work sharp sharpeners out of box

Work Sharp Culinary E5

The E5 is a premium knife sharper created by Work Sharp. It is a great addition to the kitchen of a perfectionist. A chef who requires control and likes to put a little individuality on their work.

Here is the sharpener I own and actually use. Work Sharp sent me a model to test and all opinions are my own.

See reviews of the E5 at Amazon

The chef who buys this particular sharpener:

  • Wants to have the best, the E5 is the most versatile model made by Work Sharper Sharpeners
  • Wants the ability to use different belt grits
  • An experienced chef with many different styles who would be interested in purchasing the optional upgrade kit that enables two more angles on the bevel. With the upgrade kit in addition to the 17º, there is 15º & 20º.
users guide

For the first time chef, maybe someone who is inexperienced in buying their own knife sharpener the E2 is a more economical option.

Check out the E5 at Amazon

Work Sharp Culinary E2

This might be the pick for you if:

  • You aren’t very experienced with sharpening your own knife so you want to keep it inexpensive until you get the hang of it
  • Still, want the versatility offered by Work Sharper Sharpening without the price tag.
  • It is versatile but also simple. The simplicity keeps a new chef from getting overwhelmed with the options available.
  • Replacement discs are available, so when you really like this sharpener you don’t have to go through this process again. You get to keep the sharpener you like!
close up view of sharpener

Work Sharp Culinary E2 Plus

This sharpener is great for a first knife sharpener purchase because it is similar to the E2.

The difference between the E2 and E2 Plus is that the Work Sharper E2 Plus includes a sharpener for pocket knives and other non-kitchen knives. The Plus also has another, faster sharpening speed for faster sessions.


All 3 models will get the job done. It really depends on whether you want to do some custom angles or have knives that require 15, 17, or 20-degrees.

Details about the E5

Some features to consider of the Work Sharp Sharpener E5.

As mentioned above it has an optional upgrade for the belts and angles. This allows the chef in your home to customize the knife a bit more. They are able to compound bevel edges with the additional 15 and 20-degree options.

You can get the Upgrade kit at Amazon.

However, even if you aren’t interested in the expansion this knife sharpener has lots of perks. The controlled speeds and timed sharpening takes a lot of the guesswork out of getting your knives carving ready.

exterior packaging of sharpener

The E5 has a ceramic honing rod to keep your knives edges lasting longer extending the time between sharpening. It also gives your cut more control making cooking and preparing a pleasure again.

If you are looking to save a bit of money because you aren’t sure about all those “bells and whistles” on the E5.

Then the Work sharp E2 is for you!

two sharpeners on kitchen counter

Details about the E2 and E2 Plus

The E2 is the first economical sharpener by Work Sharp. It is a compact sharpener so it doesn’t need a lot of space on your counter or in your drawers.

This knife sharpener has a 20-degree angle. With its built-in angle guide, the E2 ensures the perfect edge every time.

Being more compact doesn’t make this sharpener lose its functionality. Not only is it able to sharpen your kitchen knives it can sharpen your kitchen shears and scissors (even the fabric scissors someone used to cut the wrapping paper with last holiday!)

pocket knife

For just a bit more on this economical option, you can purchase a pocket knife sharpening guide.

This is the E2 Plus adding the additional function of sharpening pocket knives and other non-kitchen knives.

Learn more about the E2 Plus at Amazon

Making it more useful with not a lot more space required.

How they compare

As you can see from the features above the E5, E2, and E2 Plus are pretty similar.

No more fear that the knife you spent loads on that has been your go-to tool is going to be ruined or thrown out because you don’t know what you are doing with a sharpener. It used to just be easier to buy a new knife but with Work Sharp Cutlery that is no longer the case.

side of box packaging with sharpening belts

Both the E5 and E2 and E2 Plus leave way for a bit of customization.

You can upgrade the E5 to enable two more angles and the E2 Plus allows for more knives in your life like pocket knives.

A difference in the E5 and E2 is how they sharpen your knife.

The E5 uses belts to help your knife work like new after a session with the sharpener. The belts have different grits from very coarse to very fine. So if you have a extremely dull knife, you can sharpen it faster by using some of the coarse grit belts.

The E2, however, uses abrasive discs to keep it in the economical price range. The disc also makes for a gentler sharpen on your knives’ edge.


They both have precision guides for easy sharpening with controlled speeds.

Both sharpening tools have a ceramic honing slot for touch-ups between sharpening.

The E5 goes a step further with their honing rod, which is a MICROforge slot that will cold microforge micro-facets along the edge. These micro-facets increase the durability and enhance cutting performance.

The Work Sharp Cutlery E5 being the premium product has One Touch Programming that is exclusive to the series. You push the button for shaping, and sharpening and the E5 will make the adjustments necessary to make it happen.

cutlery sharpener


Whether you are an experienced chef with your perfect knife. Or just getting started with sharpening your own knives.

There are two things we can agree on. A sharper knife makes for a better job. And two being that Work Sharp Culinary sharpeners have an option for you!

Further Reading and Resources