5 Different Types Of Knife Sharpeners With Images

Types Of Knife Sharpeners

Knives have played an important role in the culinary world. Just imagine your kitchen without a sharp knife. That would be sad as you won’t be able to cut your ingredients properly. But would it be worse than having a dull knife? If that’s your problem, you just need to look for the right knife sharpeners. 

Whether you are using a home kitchen knife or commercial knife, there’s a right knife sharpener for you. There are different types of knife sharpeners that you can buy and use to sharpen your dull kitchen cutting equipment. 

Types Of Knife Sharpeners

What Are Types Of Knife Sharpeners?

When choosing a knife sharpener, you should check out if that suits what kind of knife you possess. Each knife sharpener has their own usage, and getting the right one means you can use its potential. The best knife sharpeners are definitely gonna be up to you. Experience level, time, and effort are also factors in deciding which option works best. 

Here are the different knife sharpeners that you can review and choose to buy later on: 

Electric Knife Sharpeners

Electric Knife Sharpeners

For convenience, faster and better results with enhanced safeness, electric sharpeners are a great choice. Electric knife sharpeners are also the simplest knife sharpener type aside from working with little effort applied and have almost no learning curve. The only downside of an electric sharpener is that it doesn’t allow maneuverability and control like the other types such as a manual sharpener. 

Electric knife sharpeners can be installed on your countertop and quickly sharpen any knife that you have. An electric knife sharpener usually consists of  two or more slots and an interior set of spinning sharpening stones. The stones have different levels of grits that help in easily fine-tuning the knife’s blade edge. 

To get the right angle when inserting the knives, a built-in guide is usually put on the machine. This makes the task of sharpening the knife blades easier and more convenient. Electric sharpeners are recommended to be used with Japanese knives and American made knives as they have different angles. If it is your first time using a knife sharpener, you might need to adjust in learning the angles as it is one of the challenges of knife sharpening. But with an electric knife sharpener, you don’t need to learn knife sharpening as an art.

Usually, an electric knife sharpener uses a multi-stage sharpener that enables it to restore an old, dull blade to a usable form. Just put your dull knives into the electric knife sharpener and let the machine get the job done. Just be aware that sharpening knives using electric sharpeners will shorten its life as the sharpening process often takes too much metal off by grinding off more edges than needed as compared to other types to sharpen knives. 

Sharpening Stone

Sharpening Stone

Also known as whetstones, sharpening stones are what chefs, knife collectors, and serious hobbyists use as a knife sharpener. Depending on the variety, a sharpening stone may need to be wet before using, while others don’t need water to be used to sharpen a knife blade. Either way, you can have a sharpening stone or whetstone knife sharpener that functions in dry and wet conditions. 

If you want the best knife sharpener, you might want to consider getting a sharpener. It is a simple knife sharpening process as you only need to place the stone in its holder or stand and move the knife over the stone at the appropriate angle. It might be challenging to produce sharp knives using this type as you need to get the proper angle for each knife and know how to discern the proper sharpness for each blade. 

One of the reasons why sharpening stones are used by chefs, knife collectors, and serious hobbyists is due to the steep learning curve that it takes to get knives sharp. But if you are looking for a manual kitchen knife sharpener that’s cheap, then get sharpening stones and practice your way in achieving the sharp knives with a perfect cutting edge. 

Knife Sharpening Systems

Knife Sharpening Systems

A knife sharpening system or guided system is the second favorite option to sharpening stone for chefs and serious hobbyist knife collectors. Combining the precise control of a whetstone or sharpening stone with a user-friendly electric sharpener, a knife sharpening system could be one of the best knife sharpeners. 

It consists of a built-in clamp that holds the knife in a stationary position and a device operator that moves the stone over the edge of the blade to sharpen it. There is also an  attached whetstone/sharpening stone that functions with the angled arm of the device. Since the user is able to change the angle to suit the knife through the device’s angled arm adjustments, you can use this on serrated blades or serrated knives. 

Depending on the model, some knife sharpening system devices allow you to sharpen both sides of the blades at once, while others would limit to one side at a time. With a fine grit or  various available grits, you will be able to restore damaged and dull knives or sharpen serrated knives.

Since a guided system may take time before you master the art of knife sharpening, that’s the reason why only chefs and serious hobbyist knife collectors are interested in using this knife sharpener. If you are looking for an easier way to sharpen knives, you might need to choose between an electric sharpener or a handheld/manual knife sharpener. 

Knife Hone

Knife Hone

Knife hone or Sharpening Steel isn’t here to totally sharpen your knives and may not be the best knife sharpener type, but it will help the process, especially if you are using manual knife sharpeners. Honing steel, honing rod, or honer will realign a bent blade’s primary edge. This will help with your knife blade cut better and a perfect way to maintain your knives between sharpening.

Most chefs and kitchen staff would use sharpening steels or honing rod before cutting or carving a turkey and other large bird. To strengthen the knife blade, you will need to pass the two blades across one another. A manual sharpener might not be needed to sharpen a knife’s edge as what it needs would be a sharpening steel to straighten some bents.

Handheld/Pull Through Knife Sharpeners

Handheld/Pull Through Knife Sharpeners

A hand-held or pull-through knife sharpener is just the manual version of an electric sharpener. It is one of the manual sharpeners that lets you pull the knife through the slot or pull the sharpener across the blade to get a sharp knife. This means you have more control over the sharpening process while benefiting from the preset angles denoted on the side compared to an electric sharpener. 

On the contrary with an electric sharpener that needs to be on the countertop, this sharpening tool can be placed in your knife drawer. One of the main downsides of a pull through sharpener is that the grinding process needs fine hand control and physical power, thus, it is not the best knife sharpeners for those with manual dexterity or those who are suffering with medical conditions, such as arthritis on their hands. 

How To Choose the Best Knife Sharpener

To make a knife sharp, you will need to choose the right type of knife sharpener. It varies by your needs and abilities, as well as what kind of knife you are using. Chefs who have studied in culinary school can use whetstone or some professional knife sharpener easily, especially when sharpening knives with serrated blades or what are called serrated knives.

If you are the type of people that’s on-the-go and don’t have enough time as you are busy tending other stuff, an electric knife sharpener would be best to acquire. This type of knife sharpener provides convenience and a faster way to sharpen the knives. 

For those perfectionist and active types of people who love to work their hands out, the sharpening stone is the best knife sharpener for them. For those who need an efficient knife sharpener, the sharpening system is ideal to be used. Sharpening steel would work perfectly for those talented folks with their hands. A handheld sharpener is suggested for adult family members who are in need of something easy and simple knife sharpener. 


There are pro’s and con’s when using these different types of knife sharpening tools or devices. Electric type is indeed easy-to-use and you don’t need fine motor skills to sharpen a knife set as it is simple to learn and to operate. However, it can shorten the lifespan of the knife’s blade. The handheld type also doesn’t have a steep learning curve and most adults can use it with ease. But it could use a little bit of hand power during sharpening sessions. 

One of the best methods for sharpening premium knives or high quality knives and extending its life span would be the guided system. You might only need to invest time as it takes time to learn using this method. Its downside would be the amount of time needed to set up the device and a time-consuming sharpening method. 

Whetstones are those types that require minimal set up but it needs a lot of effort to sharpen your knives. You should be able to determine the precise angle, which results in a great learning curve and very time consuming.

Whether you are using simple kitchen knives or a chef’s knife, the type of knife sharpener to be used is up to your convenience and expertise. It takes time to study the different types of knives and the knife sharpeners, but it’s going to be worthwhile as it will help in providing the best function for your kitchen utensil. 

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