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Updated Apr 14, 2022 11:55 AM

Getting the most out of your knives requires some maintenance and upkeep, which is easily accomplished with the right electric knife sharpener. While sharpening your knives at home used to be an arduous process, it is now much easier and safer with the advent of these modern marvels. Now, you can get your hunting, pocket, filet, or kitchen knives razor sharp with minimal effort.

Picking the the best electric sharpeners requires some careful thought and consideration. Every knife won’t work for every sharpener. You must determine the type of knives you plan to use and sharpen before making a decision. Once you understand what sharpeners are better for your knives, you can tailor you pick to fit exactly what you need. A sharp knife is a safe knife and the best electric knife sharpeners will ensure you have a razor edge every time you use it.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Electric Knife Sharpener

When buying electronics of any kind, it can be challenging to tell which ones are of the best quality. In many cases, electronics are not intended to last more than a few years before they need to be replaced. To avoid that, make sure that you are at the very least buying a product that fits your specific needs. Then, you can branch out and search for better quality from there.

Intended Use

What kind of knives are you sharpening? How often do you need to sharpen your knives? How much time do you have to devote to knife sharpening?

These are the types of questions that can help guide your buying decisions. It’s easy to hop online and type in “best electric knife sharpeners,” but that will leave you with a mix of results. Some of them are good, some of them bad. So, for starters, identify the knives you need to sharpen and how often you need to sharpen them. 

Electric knife sharpeners aren’t necessary for everyone. If you’re someone that sharpens a few kitchen knives, a more compact manual sharpener may be all you need. Most folks gravitate towards electric sharpeners because they tend to have less of a learning curve and don’t take quite as long to get a similar result. 

Consider two specifics regarding intended use when shopping for electric knife sharpeners:

  1. Edge Angle: the edge angle of a knife is the measured angle from the imagined vertical line to the edge. Knives with a 20-degree angle on both sides are usually American or European knives. Ones with a 15-degree angle are generally Asian-manufactured knives. Always look for the correct sharpening angle on the knife. If you can’t find it, contact the manufacturer. 
  2. Knife Type: this is easier to determine than the angle in most cases. The type of knife could be serrated or non-serrated, a hunting knife, pocket knife, folding knife, kitchen knife, or ceramic knife. Don’t discount any tools you may need to sharpen either. Things like scissors or cleavers can be sharpened with some electric knife sharpeners as well. 

Knives can have varying blade angles and needs for maintenance and sharpening. So, before you invest in a knife sharpener of any kind, it is helpful to research the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance. Most sharpeners will also list the angles they sharpen to, which will help you narrow down options. 

And check out our roundups if you need some suggestions for the best hunting knives, best pocket knives, and best folding knives.

Ease of Use and Safety

Most people invest in electric knife sharpeners because they are easier to use than manual methods. Ease of use can become tricky with knife sharpeners, though. You want one that will effectively improve the quality of your knife, and to do that, you likely need several knife sharpening stages. 

When looking at electric sharpeners, be wary of ones with only one sharpening stage. Yes, these may be easy to use, but how good of a job are they at actually keeping knives sharp? Most of the best electric knife sharpeners will have multiple slots and sharpening stages. 

Beyond that, also check for any safety functions on the device. Knives can be dangerous at any stage of sharpening. Look for safety features on the sharpener, like guards to protect your hands when sharpening. You can wear cut-resistant gloves while sharpening knives, and this is recommended.

Slots and Sharpening Stages

Electric knife sharpeners with more than one slot and multiple sharpening stages allow for greater versatility and precision. It can be easy to dull the bade too much or not be able to remove any burrs with just one slot and sharpening stage. 

While also considering this, it is important to recognize the grit. Sharpeners come in varying grit levels. Grit is what decides how much metal is being sharpened off. Many eclectic sharpeners will have more than one setting, allowing you to achieve a fine, medium, or coarse grit. 

Electric knife sharpeners with three stages will usually move through all three, starting with coarse. The coarse stage helps create the proper sharpening angle but should be used with caution as it can damage knives with any existing chips in the blade. The medium steo then moves the dull knife edge into a precision edge. Finally, the fine grinding refines and polishes the edge of the blade. 

Some sharpeners may also have an extra-fine setting.

Materials

Looking at the entire devices materials can reflect the quality, but the most important part to evaluate is the sharpening wheel. The sharpening wheel is what is refining the bevel on the edge of the knife blade. It grinds away any dull material and sharpens the edge. 

Diamond embedded sharpening wheels are argued to be one of the best. They are abrasive, thin, and durable. Other materials used include stones, metals, steel, ceramic, and abrasive belts. 

Ceramic sharpeners are very common because they are made from synthetic materials. The grain measurement of ceramic sharpeners is very accurate, providing an affordable and precise sharpening experience. No matter the product category, synthetics utilize the most raw materials, energy, and produce the most waste across every life cycle stage. They tend to have practical and affordable applications but aren’t the most sustainable options. 

Other materials to notice on an electric sharpener include the casing and working components. Unfortunately, plastic is an affordable material that many companies use to encase their electric knife sharpeners. The plastic casing will not be the most durable, so look for companies that use other materials that are easier to replace and less likely to break (i.e., stainless steel). Even if it isn’t the entire casing, reinforcement of high use or easily impacted areas can improve longevity.

Maintenance and Longevity

Most electric knife sharpeners do not require all that much maintenance, but to improve the device’s longevity, we recommend you pay close attention to upkeep. Most manufacturers will have instructions regarding cleaning and maintenance. Follow these recommendations to improve the lifespan of the product. 

The most common maintenance piece you’ll have is cleaning after sharpening. The blade will leave behind some metal shavings when you sharpen a knife. Find a machine that collects shavings and offers easy disposal. You may need to wipe down the machine’s exterior from time to time so look for materials that are easy to clean, like stainless steel. 

The electric and motor components shouldn’t need too much maintenance unless there is a specific mechanical issue. Make sure you turn the device off and unplug it when it is not in use. Keeping the motor running for extended periods can impact longevity and cause malfunctions. 

Ideally, a company that has a lifetime warranty or repairs products for any reason, but that is hard to find. 

Best Electric Knife Sharpener Overall: Presto Professional Electric Knife Sharpener

Best Overall

Presto Professional Electric Knife Sharpener Presto!

Why It Made the Cut

The Presto Professional Electric Knife Sharpener is a multifunctional sharpener providing optimal value and performance. 

Key Features

  • Material: Sapphirite wheels, plastic
  • Grit Type: Extra fine, coarse, medium
  • Dimensions: 18.43” x 11.25” x 2.18”

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Three stages of sharpening
  • Blade thickness selector 
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t secure well to all counter surfaces and you may need to hold the sharpener in place while in use

I wanted to ensure a well-rounded, sharpening experience when making my top pick. The Presto Professional Electric Knife Sharpener is a fantastic all-around option for people seeking versatility, affordability, and an easy-to-use product. 

Unlike some other options, you have a wide selection of blade sizes and angles. The blade thickness selector and three-stage sharpening allow you to sharpen hunting knives, kitchen knives, etc. 

It is a quiet machine, even when running a knife through it. Be careful to follow the manufacturer’s directions on using this multifunctional sharpener, or you may not be happy with the result. Don’t apply much pressure, if any, to the knife when pulling it through. Too much pressure will damage the blade. 

The ceramic wheel provides a quality sharpening experience for several knife varieties at an affordable price. It may take some time and practice to perfect knife sharpening with this specific sharpener, but once you get it down, all your knives will feel brand new. 

Best Hunting Knife Sharpener: Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener

Best for Hunting Knives

Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener Work Sharp

Why It Made the Cut

Work Sharp is a quality knife sharpening brand that provides top of the line sharpening experiences for hunting knives and more. 

Key Features

  • Material: Ceramic 
  • Grit Type: Medium, coarse, fine
  • Dimensions: 10” x 7” x 6”

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile application
  • Many parts are replaceable 

Cons:

  • No left handed model available at this time 

Although this is our top pick for hunting knives, you may want to look into the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener for much more. This is a highly functional tool to have in any home and can seemingly sharpen anything (except salon-grade shears). 

Since many people use a range of hunting knives, having a versatile sharpener is a must. The recently redesigned sharpening edge allows you to change from 25° outdoor knives to 20° kitchen knives.

It uses a two-speed motor to give you even more control as you move from high to low speeds. Low speeds are incredible when you’re just learning how to use the device and for more delicate projects. In contrast, high speed provides a more powerful sharpening experience for other tools like an ax. 

The edge guide is a standout feature that supports your knife to the tip. This makes sharpening much easier and more stable, providing the perfect factory profile. It was difficult to find many cons with this sharpener, but things that could be improved include having a left-handed model and an easier-to-understand user guide. Right now, this only works if you are right-handed.

Then, folks who have never used knife sharpening equipment before may have difficulty following the directions provided. Luckily, they also have plenty of videos available if you are more of a visual learner. 

Best Kitchen Knife Sharpener: Chefs Choice Trizor XV Edge Select

Best for Kitchen Knives

Chefs Choice Trizor XV Edge Select Chef’sChoice

Why It Made the Cut

The Chefs Choice Trizor XV Edge Select is a professional-grade kitchen knife sharpener that will bring any dull blade back to life. 

Key Features

  • Material: Diamond, plastic
  • Grit Type: Fine
  • Dimensions: 10” x 4.25” x 4.25”

Pros:

  • Can sharpen more than just kitchen knives
  • Works on straight and serrated knives
  • Three-year warranty 
  • Relatively compact

Cons:

  • Must read instructional manual for positive results

Even if you don’t have professional-grade kitchen knives, the Chefs Choice Trizor XV Edge Select can make any kitchen knife feel brand new. Although it seems to be an excellent kitchen knife sharpener, it can also work on various knives, including Santoku, bread, hunting, and pocket knives. 

Some users reported difficulty when trying to sharpen Japanese knives, but this could be because the sharpener requires careful attention to detail. Users must read the instructions before using it for the best results. If you plan to sharpen a different knife with this sharpener than before, you probably should reread them. 

You can buy either a two-stage or a three-stage machine. We recommend the three-stage sharpener for best results. The first two stages use the diamond abrasives to hone knife edges, and then the third stage smooths and refines the blade. 

Also of note is the size of the sharpener. It isn’t very big, making it an easy appliance to tuck away and then pull out when you need to use it. 

Best Pocket Knife Sharpener: Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener

Best for Pocket Knives

Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener Work Sharp

Why It Made the Cut

The Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener is a compact knife sharpener that works well for small jobs like pocket knives. 

Key Features

  • Material: Ceramic 
  • Grit Type: Fine
  • Dimensions: 5” x 7” x 4.5”

Pros:

  • Compact design 
  • Affordable 
  • Designed and assembled in the USA
  • Most parts can be replaced 

Cons:

  • Takes more patience than other tools
  • Need to read the user manual carefully to understand how to use

Another Work Sharp sharpener made the list! The Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener does not have as many features as some other designs or packages, but it will get the job done with pocket knives. It can sharpen various other knives, but if you only have an occasional knife to sharpen, this compact sharpener is a quality choice. 

The sharpening is powered, but it does require manual honing. This is where some people lose their patience with the device. Since the honing is manual, it can take some practice to do it properly and efficiently. It is advised to read the instructions very carefully and utilize the instructional videos produced by Work Sharp. 

Although it can take some time to get used to manual honing, it will soon become a favorite tool. It is a quick go-to sharpener with a flexible belt, ceramic honing rod, and parts that can be replaced. This one also happens to be one of the most affordable options on the list. So, if you can get past the learning curve, this is an excellent investment. 

How We Made Our Picks

Choosing the best electric knife sharpener was no easy task. There are so many options out there, and unfortunately, many of them just don’t work that well. You may notice two from the same brand on the list. While we tried to find different options, sometimes certain brands offer the ideal choices for several categories. 

Beyond the buying considerations outlined earlier, how we made our picks came down to a few essential categories: 

  • Functionality: How well does the sharpener work for the intended use? Is the sharpener easy to use? 
  • Versatility: Can I sharpen several types of knives with this sharpener? Are there limitations?
  • Durability: Are any of the parts replaceable or reinforced? What are the materials, and how durable are they? Is there a warranty of any kind? 
  • Sustainability: Does the company value customer satisfaction and respond to inquiries? Where are the products produced? What is the impact of the materials? Can parts be replaced? 

Other things that influenced our choices include experience with certain brands, brand-specific research, verified customer reviews, and performance for the value. 

FAQs

Q: Are knife sharpeners bad for knives?

Some knife sharpeners can be bad for knives, but sharpening a knife isn’t inherently bad for the knife either. It is sometimes thought that an electric knife sharpener may remove too much of the metal. When this happens, it can shorten the life of the knife by a few years, but generally, when used correctly, knife sharpening won’t impact a knife negatively.

Q: How long do electric sharpeners last?

How long electric knife sharpeners last is often correlated to the overall quality and the extent of the use. Most consumers buy mid-range, more affordable electric knife sharpeners. These will usually last anywhere from 1-5 years if used regularly before needing to be replaced. Low-end electric knife sharpeners can last anywhere from 3-6 months, while higher quality ones could last you 20 years or more.

Q: Do professional chefs use electric knife sharpeners?

Some professional chefs might use electric knife sharpeners, and some likely prefer more traditional knife sharpeners. Using a manual knife sharpener allows for more precise and careful sharpening, while electric knife sharpeners are meant to be quick and easy.

Final Thoughts

The best electric knife sharpener is equally durable, versatile, and easy to use. It should have several sharpening stages to provide a quality sharpening experience without the time commitment of manual sharpening methods. Even if you didn’t find the perfect one on our list, we hope you can use the buying considerations to find the best electric knife sharpener for you.