Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Brod and Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener at Amazon
“A nearly foolproof manual sharpener that looks like modern art.”
Best Manual: PriorityChef Knife Sharpener at Amazon
“Comes at a bargain price and will sharpen both straight and serrated knives.”
Best Electric: Presto Professional Electric Knife Sharpener at Amazon
“Creates a micro-serration on the edge of the blade that results in a sharp edge.”
“Manual system allows you to sharpen knives at four different angles.”
Best Budget: Smith’s Pocket Sharpener at Amazon
“Sharpens knives using carbide sharpening blades.”
Best Whetstone: Smiths SK2 Knife Sharpening Kit at Amazon
“Sharpen knives to any angle you prefer.”
Best Sharpening Steel: Wusthoff Sharpening Steel on Amazon
“Collects any metal dust created during the process.”
Best High-End: Chef'sChoice Diamond Hone Sharpener Box at Amazon
“Magnetic guides that properly position the knife.”
Best for Scissors: Victorinox Swiss Army Manual Sharpener at Wayfair
“A razor-sharp edge every time.”
01 of 09
Best Overall: Brod and Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener
A nearly foolproof manual sharpener that looks like modern art, the angle that the knife is inserted into the sharpener determines how aggressive the sharpening is (yes, there is a correct angle for sharpening your knives). You can start by sharpening the knife then hone it to a fine finish in the same slot. If the knife doesn’t need sharpening, you can use this for honing only. This sharpener self-adjusts, and sharpens the knife edge to its original angle, so you don’t need to know the edge angle to sharpen the knife correctly, and there’s nothing to adjust. The tungsten carbide sharpeners will last a long time, but can be replaced when necessary.
02 of 09
Best Manual: PriorityChef Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives
An Amazon best-seller this manual knife sharpener comes at a bargain price and will sharpen both straight and serrated knives. Not only does it sharpen knives for instant sharpness it does so in a way that they stay sharp for longer.
It has two wheels, a coarse diamond coated one that will shapen your knife to a double-edge finish while the second wheel hones the knife to improve any small imperfections. Users love this tool because it gets the job done and doesn't take up a lot of real estate in the kitchen.
03 of 09
Best Electric: Presto Professional Electric Knife Sharpener
This sharpener can be used on metal knives of any thickness, from thin filet knives to thicker chef’s knives and cleavers. The interchangeable blade guides hold the blades at your choice of three different sharpening angles, and a slider lets you choose thick, medium, or thin blades.
The sharpener creates a slight micro-serration on the edge of the blade that results in a super-sharp edge. It might take a short while to get the technique of pulling knives through the sharpener perfected, but then it’s simple to use. This cannot be used to sharpen ceramic knives.
04 of 09
Best Stone: Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System
This sharpener includes five different sharpening stones along with a knife clamp that holds the knife during sharpening, and a guide that allows you to select the proper blade angle. Honing oil is also included. The stones have finger grips for a secure hold and are color coded so you know which are coarser and which are finer. Unlike traditional whetstones, with this system the knife remains still while you move the stones along the blade. This manual system allows you to sharpen knives at four different angles, but requires some practice to become comfortable with the technique.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Best Budget: Smith’s Pocket Sharpener
This pocket-sized tool sharpens knives using carbide sharpening blades, then gives the knife a smooth finish using ceramic blades. A diamond rod is used for honing knives or for sharpening serrated knives. This is a great tool to keep in the toolkit, the tackle box, or to carry along when camping. Since it’s small, your hands will be close to your sharp knife blades as you work, so you might want to save it for occasional use rather than for sharpening all of your kitchen knives on a regular basis.
06 of 09
Best Whetstone: Smiths SK2 Deluxe Knife Sharpening Kit
If you want to start hand-sharpening knives, and you’ve never used stones, this kit has everything you need. It includes a medium-grit stone for sharpening and an Arkansas stone for finishing. It also includes a honing solution that protects and cleans the stone’s surface as well as a small plastic guide to help sharpening novices learn the correct angle for sharpening. This is the classic method for sharpening knives, which takes some time to master, but once you learn how to use a stone, you can sharpen knives to any angle you prefer.
07 of 09
Best Sharpening Steel: Wusthoff Sharpening Steel
Technically, a sharpening steel doesn’t sharpen a knife, it actually hones or straightens the fine edge that gets bent during use, which makes the knife seem dull. That bending isn’t visible to the naked eye, but it still effects the way the knife cuts.
This steel has an easy-to-hold handle and loop for hanging, or it might fit in your knife block. This steel is magnetic, so it collects any metal dust created during the process. Knives should be honed regularly, so a steel is an important tool to have in your kitchen. This steel is also available in shorter and longer lengths.
08 of 09
Best High-End: Chef's Choice Diamond Hone Professional 100 Knife Sharpener Box
With 100 percent diamond abrasives and proprietary Trizor Edge technology, this knife sharpener has been engineered to give your knives an incredibly sharp and professional edge. Although it’s designed to professional standards, it’s easy for anyone to use, with magnetic guides that properly position the knife in the sharpening slots and help increase control of the sharpening process.
The sharpener has three slots that perform different sharpening steps from pre-sharpening to sharpening to the final honing, for a perfect edge every time.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Best for Scissors: Victorinox Swiss Army Manual Sharpener
Scissors get dull, too, but many sharpeners can’t handle their unique shape. This easy-to-use manual sharpener can handle scissor easily, and will also sharpen all of your non-serrated knives with ease. It’s ergonomically designed for either right- or left-hand use and has a protective finger guard so you can safely sharpen all the knives in the block.
The v-shaped tungsten carbide plates are placed at the perfect angle for a razor-sharp edge every time. The plates can be turned to prolong the life of the sharpener. The sharpener is dishwasher safe if it needs cleaning.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought two top-rated knife sharpeners that our reviewers tested for four hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these knife sharpeners, from their edge angle to their footprint. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Knife Sharpener
Manual vs. electric Electric knife sharpeners are certainly easy to use, but if you don’t monitor what you're doing carefully, you may end up removing more metal than you need to. Manual sharpeners, on the other hand, can require some skill, but you’re less likely to thin out the blade too much.
Edge angle Most of the knives in your block are sharpened to a 20-degree angle. However, if you own any Japanese knives, they may be sharpened to a 17-degree angle. If you want to keep that 17-degree angle — or if you have specialty knives with other custom angles — look for a sharpener that can maintain those.
Specialty sharpening You’re likely buying a knife sharpener for your kitchen knives, but some models can also handle ceramic knives, scissors, cleavers, and other tools. Some sharpeners are only great for knives with long blades, while others are just as good at sharpening short ones. What’s in your kitchen drawer?
Test Results: Brod and Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener (Best Overall)
Sleek and attractive
Heavy and high quality
Works with serrated knives
No collection container for metal shavings
“I definitely do feel a difference between when I use this knife sharpener and when I don't,” reported one of our testers. “Vegetables are much easier to chop and bread is easier to cut.” She also thought the instructions were detailed and clear, and that the sharpener looked “elegant” on the countertop.
Test Results: PriorityChef Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives (Best Manual)
Easy to use
Can’t sharpen scissors
Not great for extreme sharpness
If you’re looking for a basic knife sharpener at a decent price point, our testers recommended this model from PriorityChef. Our reviewers particularly liked its small size and the fact that it was easy to use. However, one of our testers cautioned, “For cooks with more delicate knives or those who desire extreme sharpness, it might be disappointing.” One of our reviewers also wished it could sharpen scissors. Bottom line: “For the casual cook with simpler knives, it's a fairly effective sharpener at a good price point,” one of our testers reported.