What We Like
Sleek and attractive
Heavy and high quality
Works with serrated knives
Works with double- and single-bevel knives
What We Don't Like
More expensive than other sharpeners
No collection container for metal shavings
Made in Austria, the Brod & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener isn’t your average kitchen tool. It’s said to be just as effective as other top-rated knife sharpeners, but it boasts a beautiful, unique design and, handily, it doesn’t require electricity. Use it on any knife in your drawer, whether serrated or straight. In addition to traditional double-bevel edges, the sharpener can also hone single-bevel blades—a useful feature for seasoned chefs. We tried the sharpener for ourselves to see if it truly is a cut above the rest.
Design: Unique—and uniquely beautiful
A thick, stainless steel panel has a wide slot, in front of which rest two spring-mounted sharpening bars that cross to form a “V” that you pull your knife through. We found it to be a compact, elegant-looking apparatus.
For traditional European double-bevel knives—meaning both sides of the blade have been ground down to form an angled edge—you pull your knife through with either the tip lower than the handle for coarse sharpening (or a factory-bevel edge), with the tip higher than handle for fine sharpening, or with the blade parallel to the counter for polishing.
The sharpener also purports to work with single-bevel, Japanese-style knives, in which the surface of the blade is ground to a sharp edge on only one side. Such knives are favored by sushi chefs, as they can be made extremely sharp and allow for longer cuts, but they are also typically more delicate and can require more skill for sharpening.
If you are unsure whether your knives are single- or double-bevel, consult the manufacturer—don’t assume. Some Japanese companies, such as the popular MAC knives, beloved by professional chefs, make double-bevel knives.
Performance: Effective and easy-to-use
We tested this sharpener with two double-bevel chef’s knives as well as a serrated knife and found it was simple to use and quickly produced great results.
According to Brod & Taylor’s instructions, only the coarse sharpening removes metal from the blade, and, indeed, there were noticeable metal filings on the counter after we used the device on a particularly dull knife. (Note: Coarse sharpening should only be required rarely for particularly dull knives.)
“Polishing” is also known as honing, and most professional chefs hone their knives before every use using a simple rod. Honing does not technically sharpen a knife, so much as straighten and realign the edge of the blade, making the knife sharper and more effective. When used for fine sharpening and polishing, the sharpener did not remove any metal from the blade.
If you cook often, it seems worth shelling out for this heavy-duty knife sharpener.
When honing or sharpening knives, a good way to test sharpness is to try cutting a sheet of paper. With one hand, hold the paper between your thumb and forefinger; with your other hand, hold the knife and attempt to cut into the paper at a right angle. If the blade is adequately sharp, it will slice cleanly into the paper. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it: Do not test the sharpness of a knife by running your finger along the blade.
Overall, this sharpener quickly revived one of our dullest knives and effectively sharpened those that needed a more subtle tune-up. It also didn’t make us worry about potentially damaging our knives.
While we often rely on outside services to keep our favorite knives cutting, this gentle, effective tool made a believer out of us and quickly turned us into home-sharpening enthusiasts.
Price: Not cheap but worth it
With an MSRP of $119, the Brod & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener is pricey compared to other manual knife sharpeners and even some electric ones, but it’s worth the cash. Weighing nearly two pounds and made of solid stainless steel, the compact tool feels heavy and high-quality in the hand. It has a small footprint—the base is roughly 4.25 x 3.5 inches—and looks almost like a nice piece of art on your countertop.
Brod & Taylor also makes a cheaper version, the “Classic,” which works in the same manner but is made of nylon and weighs about half as much. However, if you cook often, it seems worth shelling out for the heavy-duty version.
Competition: Nothing quite like it
With its unique design, the Brod & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener doesn’t seem to have any direct competition. Sure, there are simpler, more traditional manual sharpeners available at a fraction of the price; there are also bulkier, electric models around the same price. However, these are likely no easier to use.
The most similar comparison is probably the Warthog V-Sharp Classic II Gunmetal, which retails for just under $80. It has a similar sharpening mechanism and good reviews, but we find it far less sleek and attractive than the Brod & Taylor. There are also some inexpensive “As Seen on TV” sharpeners that appear somewhat similar but are typically just cheap and ineffective.
- Product Name Professional Knife Sharpener
- Product Brand Brod & Taylor
- Price $119
- Material Solid stainless steel and Austrian tungsten-carbide
- Model Number KS-500
- Warranty Return within 30 days for a full refund