You can find several models of these sharpeners on the market, with varying angles, number of sticks, abrasives, and prices (from about $10 to $50). To use, set the sticks into the base at the desired angles, hold the blade perpendicular to the work surface, and draw the blade down the length of the stick while pulling from the heel to the tip. Alternate sticks to cover both sides of the blade. We tried a $12 version with ceramic rods (right), as well as a $30 version with diamond-coated rods (below right).
What the experts say
Howard Korn, cutlery expert and owner of KnifeCenter.com, likes these systems because they’re compact, simple to use, and the clever design lets you vary the sharpening angle.
We were impressed by how effectively these sharpened. And one tester was very enthusiastic, exclaiming, “I would use this all the time.” Some testers noted that it took concentration to control the knife movement.
Pros: Compact and easy to store; low tech; very effective; design helps you set your knife at the correct angle yet leaves you in control.
Cons: Requires concentration to maintain correct knife position through the entire stroke.
Is it right for you?
If you’d like to get involved in the sharpening process but don’t want to devote the time that stones require, here’s your sharpener. As one user put it, “There’s a Zen quality to the motion and the sound. I like that.”
Option # 5: Electric Sharpeners
Electric sharpeners are similar to some pull-throughs: you pull the knife through several stages of abrasives, ranging from coarse to fine…Read more