How serious are you about sharpening your knife? Because…knife sharpeners can range from pocket carry touch up steels to a fully operational knife sharpening business. Your pick.
Here are my top picks for the Best Knife Sharpeners
I have a full article on sharpening knives and some crazy Internet suggestions, but the following sharpeners range in cost from inexpensive to “not too crazy expensive”. I would pick the following:
- Lansky 4-rod Turn Box Knife Sharpener
- Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
- KME Model KF D4
- Wicked Edge Precision Knife Sharpener – WE120
The Lansky 4-rod Turn Box knife sharpener is a bit of the old world and the new. It's reasonably priced at under $20 and comes with a diamond grit rough and ceramic fine set of sharpening rods. The box holds the rods and set up is simply selecting either the 20° or 25° placement holes, the two most common edge degrees.
There is no safety shield, as in the Spyderco sharpener, but sharpening is a breeze. The challenge with all these lesser expensive sharpeners is to keep your blade perfectly vertical to the stones – which sometimes is easier said than done. The unit is small and portable and doesn't need anything else to function perfectly.
The SpyderCo Sharpmaker shines in a number of areas, not the least of which is a great price point and the ability to sharpen almost any cutting tool. This is really the stepped up version of the Lansky and offers a safety guard along with two pairs of sharpening ceramic rods in two different angle configurations. They accurately set the stone's sharpening angle at a 30° (15° each side) or 40° (20° each side) for knives and a 12.5° scissor setting. Turn the base over, a channel lets you lay two stones side-by-side (flat-side up) for use as a benchstone.
Again, the challenge with either of these units is maintaining a consistent vertical angle of the knive to the stone. If you can do that, after some practice, you will be rewarded. It is, however, easy to get off and scratch your knife, so practice with some lesser knives first.
The KME Precision Model KF D4 may be the best of the bunch relative to price and value. It is substantially less than the Wicked Edge and may even have an advantage with respect to shapening folders and other small knives. It's drawback is simply that you have to flip the knive to sharpen both sides whereas with the Wicked Edge, both can be completed at the same time.
This may be all you need and the muscle memory and vertical issues discussed above are no longer issues. Really a nice kit at a great price point.
The next recommendation stretches the definition of “not crazy expensive” and comes in at around $375. Plus, unless you want to mount it to a work bench, will cost another$65 or so for a base plate. Crazy? Well, maybe not. The beauty of the Wicket Edge is that you can automatically maintain a consistent perfect edge, whereas with the $20 you need practice and muscle memory to do so. But is the difference worth over $300 more? That's something you need to decide.
The Wicked Edge locks in the exact blade angle you desire and positions and locks the knive so that an exact and consistent edge is achieved. Like I intimated before, you can all but go into business sharpening blades with this unit. Additionally, they even have more advanced, and way more expensive, units available. You'll have to see it to beieve it and Wicked Edge has some videos that show how the unit works.
Check out my article, above, to see some of the sharpeners I've reviewed. Additionally, you may want to see my YouTube video on sharpening.
Always be prepared, be well.