These inexpensive, basic sharpeners have a tungsten-carbide abrasive set into a plastic handgrip. To use, hold the knife steady on a work surface with the blade facing up and, holding the sharpener in your other hand, run it along the length of the blade. Easy.
What the experts say
These are easy to use, but Bob Kufahl, of Lansky Sharpeners, says tungsten carbide is an aggressive abrasive that can leave the cutting edge more “ragged” than he likes; to smooth the edge, he recommends following up with a fine-grit sharpener.
We looked at several models with very similar designs and tried the $9 unit shown below. It got the job done, but some of us worried that we might slip and cut ourselves on the upward-facing blade. That said, no one got hurt, so perhaps we worried needlessly.
Pros: The sharpening angle is set so you don’t have to worry about it when you sharpen; very quick; very simple; very cheap; pretty effective.
Cons: Feels dangerous to some; doesn’t create a polished edge.
Is it right for you?
If you’re looking for a super-simple, super-quick sharpening option, and you don’t mind the finish being a bit rough, this could be the ticket. You can’t beat the price.
Option # 3: Pull-through Sharpeners
Most sharpeners in this category have guides to set the sharpening angle. To use them, you hold the sharpener steady on a work surface….Read more