What We Like
Works on serrated knives
Non-slip base and comfortable, ergonomic design
What We Don't Like
Isn’t as effective as other sharpeners
Can’t be used for scissors
The PriorityChef Diamond Coated Knife Sharpener is one of a number of similarly designed products priced under $20. Small and lightweight, the manual device is said to work well on both serrated and straight-edged knives. We put the top-rated knife sharpener to the test to see if it could bring our extremely dull blades back from the dead.
Design: Easy-to-use, if unoriginal
The PriorityChef Diamond Coated Knife Sharpener looks like many inexpensive manual sharpeners on the market, and at just 8 x 2.2 x 2.5 inches, it doesn’t take up too much real estate in the kitchen.
A cushioned, non-slip base keeps the product in place during use—and protects countertops from scratches.
Most importantly, we found the design very easy to use. The tool features two sharpening slots: coarse and fine. If you’re starting with a very dull knife, you first insert the back of it into the coarse slot (containing a diamond-coated wheel) at a 90-degree angle and pull the blade back, moving from the heel to the tip. Repeat the action several times until the knife is adequately sharp.
You’ll do the same for the fine slot, which contains a ceramic honing wheel. If you’re starting with a knife that is only slightly dull, just use the fine slot. The sharpener also works with serrated blades, but they should only be used in the fine slot. Both slots have the potential to remove some metal from the knife, but the fine slot should only remove a small amount.
Check out our guide to sharpening knives.
Performance: Works pretty well
We tested the sharpener on a European-style chef’s knife, a small paring knife, and a large serrated knife. The instructions advise running the knives through the coarse slot five to seven times, but we found a few more times were typically required. Our knives were noticeably sharpener afterward, but not shockingly so. We didn’t achieve the same results as when we sent them out to be professionally sharpened.
To test the sharpness of your knife, never run your finger along the blade. Instead, hold up a sheet of paper with your thumb and forefinger. Then, with the other hand, try to cut into the side of the paper at a right angle. A sharp blade should slice cleanly through the paper.
The instructions do not mention double- versus single-bevel knives. European knives are usually double-bevel—meaning both sides of the blade have been ground down to form an edge. Japanese knives are typically single-bevel, in which the surface of the blade is ground to a sharp edge on only one side. Such knives are favored by certain chefs, such as sushi chefs, as they can be made extremely sharp and allow for longer cuts. However, they are also typically more delicate and can require more skill for sharpening.
Overall, some cooks might find it handy to have this sharpener around for a quick touch-up for basic knives, but it’s not enough to keep every knife in your drawer perfectly sharp.
The low price would also make this a good gadget for second homes or travel, as rental vacation houses often have terribly dull knives.
Price: Cheap and fairly useful
Though the PriorityChef Diamond Coated Knife Sharpener has an MSRP of $29.95, you can typically find it for around $15. At either price, it’s an inexpensive gadget that could be helpful to the average home cook looking to maintain his or her knives in between the occasional professional sharpening.
You probably won’t completely alleviate the need for a more thorough annual or bi-annual sharpening, but it’s a handy tool to have in your kitchen drawer for a quick touch-up here and there.
The low price would also make this a good gadget for second homes or travel, especially given the fact that rental vacation houses often have terribly dull knives.
Competition: A good option, but there are others
If you’re looking for a cheap, simple, somewhat effective sharpener for under $20, this is a solid option. There are others to consider, though, a number of which boast a similar design and are priced about the same.
The brand Zulay Kitchen makes a similar style that costs less and can also be used on scissors and pocket knives. However, the Singapore-based PriorityChef is said to have excellent customer service, and it offers a “100%, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee” on all of its products.
A cheap, handy tool.
For the average home cook who isn’t a knife fanatic, this is an inexpensive, easy-to-use, effective tool that’s nice to have around. More serious cooks with more serious knife collections might not find it suitable for all of their blades, and any cook in possession of this sharpener might still want a professional to work on their knives once or twice a year.
- Product Name Diamond Coated Knife Sharpener
- Product Brand PriorityChef
- Price $29.95
- Product Dimensions 8 x 2.2 x 2.5 in.
- UPC 820103778732
- Material Metal, plastic, and “diamond coating”