The 7 Best Japanese Knife Sharpeners

Knives are the most important tool in your kitchen, but the blades must be sharp for optimal performance. When blunt, you have less control, and cooking becomes a hazardous process.

Keeping the knife’s edge sharp will make cooking safer and much more fun. Whether you’ve spent $150 on a high-end knife or under $10 on a paring knife, keeping it sharp is crucial. So, check out our reviews of the best Japanese knife sharpeners to keep your blades sharp!

The Best Japanese Knife Sharpeners

Top ProductsRatingColor
1. Brod & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener4.5Silver
2. KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener4.4Black
3. Presto Professional EverSharp Three-Stage Electric Knife Sharpener4.5Black/Silver
4. Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System4.6Black
5. Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect Electric Knife Sharpener4.7Black/Silver
6. Zulay Kitchen Premium Quality Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives4.4Black/Silver
7. Knitchellence 2-in-1 3-Stage Knife Sharpener4.5Black

1. Kai Cube Electric Knife Sharpener

Japanese-style knives are popular for being super lightweight and razor-sharp, and the Kai Cube electric knife sharpener will keep them that way. It’s a compact, high-quality electric sharpener. This sharpener’s slot guides will keep your knives at the correct angle so you can achieve the perfect 16-degree angle used by many Japanese knives. The white whetstone revives dull knives, and the finishing stone polishes them for a sleek finish.


2. Brod & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener

The Brod & Taylor offer a foolproof manual sharpener that looks like modern art. You can start by sharpening your knife and hone it to a smooth finish in the same slot. If your knife doesn’t need sharpening, you can use this tool for honing only. The Brod & Taylor knife sharpener self-adjusts and sharpens your knife’s edge to its original angle, which means you don’t need to adjust or fix the angle to sharpen your knife correctly. This ultra-hard tungsten carbide sharpener lasts a long time and delivers great performance.


3. KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener

The KitchenIQ knife sharpener comes at a bargain price and will sharpen both straight and serrated knives. If you want your knives to have long-lasting sharpness, this manual sharpener is a great choice.

It has a non-slip base for stability and control. Plus, it features a soft grip handle for convenience. It is suitable for polishing your knife and for quick touch-ups. Users love this sharpener because it gets the job done and doesn’t take up a lot of space in the kitchen.


4. Presto Professional EverSharp Three-Stage Electric Knife Sharpener

You can use this sharpener on knives of any thickness, from thin slicing knives to thicker chef’s knives. The interchangeable blade guides hold the knives at your choice of different sharpening angles, and a slider lets you choose thin, medium, or thick knives.

The sharpener creates a micro-serration on the edge of the knife that results in a super-sharp edge. It might take some time to perfect the technique of pulling knives through the sharpener, but it’s simple to use and worth the effort.  


5. Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System

This sharpener features five different sharpening stones. It also has a knife clamp that holds your knife during sharpening and a guide that lets you choose the proper blade angle. The package also includes honing oil.  

These stones have finger grips for a secure hold. Plus, they are color-coded so that you can tell which are finer and which are coarser. Unlike traditional whetstones, this sharpening system keeps the knife still as you move the stones along the blade. This manual system lets you sharpen knives at four different angles but requires practice to become comfortable with the technique.


6. Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect Electric Knife Sharpener

This sharpener is simple to use and robust enough to sharpen your Japanese knives to a fine edge. Its spring guides automatically adjust the blade angle, making it easy for anyone to use. It has three stages for perfect sharpening. Stages one and two have diamond abrasives to create micro-grooves, and the last stage polishes the knives. These micro-grooves “bite” into the food you cut for excellent performance.

You can use this sharpener for both straight and serrated knives. It comes with a user-friendly instruction and care booklet.  


7. Work Sharp Culinary E5 Kitchen Knife Sharpener with Ceramic Honing Rod

This knife sharpener has three different settings to shape, sharpen, or hone your knives. It automatically turns off at the end of the cycle to make sure the blades aren’t overworked.

You can also use this to sharpen serrated knives, scissors, and shears. It features an integrated vacuum that removes dust during the sharpening process to keep dust off your counters. It also includes a honing rod to touch up knives between sharpening. Guides on the rod have the proper angle for honing, so you don’t have to take any guesses.


8. Zulay Kitchen Premium Quality Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives

This efficient sharpener won’t break your budget and will keep your knives in good shape. It is a two-stage manual sharpener that can sharpen both straight and serrated knives. It has a manual function and is simple to use. All you need to do is pull the Japanese knives through the slots.

The bar handle offers a secure grip and keeps the sharpener stable. Plus, the non-slip bottom keeps the sharpener from moving on your kitchen counter. The coarse slot is ideal for your dullest blades, and the ceramic slot is for honing and polishing. You can use it for slightly dull knives. This compact sharpener can fit in a drawer for easy storage.


9. Knitchellence 2-in-1 3-Stage Knife Sharpener

Put an end to your cutting struggles and introduce this efficient knife sharpener into your kitchen. This durable knife sharpener has high-quality ABS plastic and can sharpen a variety of knives for a fast and excellent cutting experience. The simple design features a non-slip base to make the sharpening a breeze. The set includes a cut-resistant glove for added protection.


10. Shenzhen Knives Electric Diamond Knife Sharpener

This sharpener has two grits of diamond grinding stones for sharpening and honing. It can even grind off small chips in Japanese blades. You can reset your Japanese knives back to their original factory sharpness with the Shenzhen knife sharpener.

The slots keep the knives at the proper angle, and the raised slot design accommodates most knife styles. The diamond wheel cartridge is removable for easy cleaning.


11. Minosharp 3 Sharpener Black/Red

This manual knife sharpener by Minosharp features a three-stage sharpening system to convert any dull knife into a professional, sharp knife. The Minosharp is a compact tool and easy to use. It includes a water reservoir and innovative ceramic wheels to sharpen blades at the perfect angle. The three stages go down from coarse to medium and then super-fine sharpening to achieve razor-sharp knives. You can use this sharpener for most knife types.


12. Amesser Kitchen Knife Sharpener – 3 Stage Sharpening Tool

All you need are a few seconds to get razor-sharp blades! With this fantastic sharpener, you can restore your knives to their former glory – sharp and efficient. The manual knife sharpener does not require electricity to operate. It is easy to carry with the ergonomic handle and has a slip-resistant bottom to keep it in place as you sharpen. It has high-quality material and finishes. This knife sharpener keeps the user’s safety as its top priority and also has a cut-resistant glove that comes with your purchase.


13. Chef’s Choice 1520 AngleSelect Diamond Hone Electric Knife Sharpener

This tool has all the features that users want in a knife sharpener. It can craft sharp edges on your kitchen knives. It has a 3-stage system and an ‘AngleSelect’ technology to help you achieve maximum efficiency and versatility. This tool works with various knife types and delivers an incredibly sharp edge. Another standout feature is the diamond abrasives for honing and sharpening. If you’re looking for ease of use and versatility, this one’s a great choice.


14. Zwilling J.A. Henckels 32602-001 4-Stage Pull Through Knife Sharpener

This knife sharpener can quickly and safely sharpen your knives. It features an integrated vacuum that removes dust particles during the sharpening process. The pull-through system makes it simple to use for the best results. The design makes it easy to handle and keeps your fingers protected. With a slip-free mat, you can easily place it on your countertop and get the job done. The knife sharpener has four sharpening stages and works for both Japanese and Western-style blades. The sharpener also features ceramic roads in the grits that can sharpen the dullest knives and restore them in just a few strokes.


  

15. Chef’s Choice 290 Hybrid Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener

This Chef’s Choice hybrid model works as both a manual and electric knife sharpener, which means you can sharpen your knives in two different ways. The popular product works on straight edge and serrated knives. It is also suitable for 15- and 20-degree class knives, hunting knives, and pocket knives. It features diamond abrasive wheels with CrissCross sharpening technology and delivers razor-sharp blades in no time.


Buyer’s Guide

How knife sharpeners work

You’ll find different gadgets and kits to help you sharpen a knife. Some have electrical power, while others use a manual stroke. We’ll help you identify the different types of knife sharpeners in the next segment.

As far as sharpening a knife goes, all sharpeners follow the same process. You’ll rub the knife’s blade against an abrasive surface that scrapes some of the metal to create a thin edge.

American and European knives use a 20-degree angle, while Asian knives use a 17-degree angle. To create the proper angle, many people prefer a sharpening machine to a simple manual stone. The device helps guide you to maintain the perfect angle on the blade.

If your blade is slightly dull, you can use a steel rod called knife honing steel. It gives the knife a quick touch-up by realigning the edge.

Types of Knife Sharpeners

Whetstones

Whetstones are gritty, rectangular stones that use water or oil to lubricate the sharpening surface. Many people prefer the synthetic surface of the Japanese whetstones, while others prefer natural stones. They both work by sharpening the edge of your knife. To use whetstones, you need to hold your knife at the correct angle as you run it down the stone. It can take several attempts over the stone before your knife is sharp.

Electric Sharpeners

Unlike the stones, these sharpeners have a V-shaped notch to carve a new edge into your steel knife. You’ll find table-top electric sharpeners that use a rotating wheel to cut the new edge. They’re quick and efficient because they only require a few attempts to sharpen your knife.  

Electric sharpeners have the added benefit of speed. They have both sharpening and honing slots. Grinding wheels spin inside these slots, and they’re spring-loaded. That means they can polish knife edges at the correct angle automatically.

Be sure to understand the instructions in the manual. Incorrect use of electric knife sharpeners may damage blade edges. Common mistakes include pressing downward, twisting, or pausing suddenly, which can cause over-sharpening or result in an uneven edge.

You can expect to pay a little more for an electric sharpener. The price ranges between $30 and $40 for quality knife sharpeners.  

Handheld Manual Sharpeners

Handheld knife sharpeners simplify the knife sharpening process. One advantage handheld sharpeners have is their portability. Their small size and manual operation make them perfect for professionals who travel frequently.  

Manual sharpeners work best with kitchen knives. You’ll pull the blade through the sharpener, which includes slots with the sharpening agent inside. Some manual sharpeners allow you to adjust the blade’s angle, which helps with different knife types. Some offer multiple guide slots, ranging from coarse to fine sharpening.

Handheld manual sharpeners are easy to use and reliable. They can put a razor edge on knives and easily sharpen a dull blade back to perfect cutting form.

Sharpening Stones

Sharpening stones are one of the common tools to sharpen a knife. The four most popular sharpening stone materials are diamond stones, oil stones (also called Arkansas stones), water stones, and ceramic stones. Arkansas stones are natural stones, while water stones and ceramic stones are man-made.

With a sharpening stone, you’ll drag the knife across the rough surface of the stone. The trick is to apply the right amount of pressure at the proper angle for perfect results.

Sharpening kit

You’ll find many sharpening kits in the market for knife sharpeners. They have multiple sharpening tools for those who want a perfect blade. The kit lets you set the desired sharpening angle for coarse and fine sharpening. Sharpening kits are great for sharpening and honing, but you may need to learn how to use them for the best results.

Serrated Knife Sharpeners

It’s difficult to sharpen serrated knives with stone, manual, or electric sharpeners. They can damage serrated blades. So, how can you find a suitable sharpener for serrated knives?

Some knife sharpeners can accommodate serrated blades, so you should always check the product label before purchasing. Most manufacturers state if you can use their sharpener with serrated edges.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Japanese Knife Sharpener

Grit

Knife sharpeners may have varying grit levels. Most stone sharpeners are double-sided, and the manual and electric sharpeners often feature two or more settings. The grit level determines how much steel is removed from the knife during the sharpening process.

You can use coarse grit on a damaged knife that has chips or nicks. Medium grit ( 1000 to 3000 grit) is suitable for un-damaged dull knives. Finally, fine grit (3500 to 8000) is similar to honing steel and helps refine your knife’s edge.

Size

Size is a critical consideration when purchasing a knife sharpener. The sharpener’s size doesn’t affect its sharpening ability, but it may affect how you store it.

You can easily store sharpening stones and manual sharpeners inside a drawer. But you may need more space for electric sharpeners. Look at the sharpener’s dimensions and consider how you’ll store it before making a purchase.    

Time

Almost all sharpeners will get the job done, but high-quality sharpeners are quick and efficient. Look for manual or electric sharpeners that are faster and easier to use.

Price

Knife sharpeners can range from $10 to $150. Consider your budget and buy the best sharpener in your price range. If you plan to use the sharpener every week, you may want to buy a higher-end model. But, if you’re only using it before the holiday season, you probably don’t need an expensive model.

Honing and sharpening: Know the difference

These two terms are not interchangeable. Honing refers to straightening a blade’s existing edge. Over time, the edge of a knife blade will curve or bend out of its original position.

Honing

When you hone a knife, you bring its pointed surface slightly back into its original position. It’s a gentle fix but can prevent serious blade damage.

The most common way to hone a bent knife is with honing steel. These inexpensive tools range from $10 to $30). The steel rod’s surface is coarse, and scraping a knife across the rod nudges its edge back in place.  

Honing Steel

Honing steel isn’t a knife sharpener, but it helps straighten blades. It is a long rod coated in a ceramic finish. Passing a knife on either side of this rod can straighten a bent blade without chipping away at the steel.

Here’s the thing:

It’s easier to sharpen a straight blade. Plus, straight blades offer better slicing! If you have expensive Japanese knives, you should buy honing steel to keep your edge straight and narrow. It only takes a few seconds to pass the knife along the rod, so most professional chefs use sharpening steel every day.

Sharpening

Sharpening refers to aggressively polishing a knife to renew its edge. You’ll need to do this for dull knives.

To reform the edge of your knife, you’ll need a tougher tool. The old school way is with a whetstone. The good news is whetstones are relatively cheaper, and you can find them for $10 and $20.

How can I Sharpen a Dull Blade with a Stone?

To begin, place a damp paper towel on a flat surface. You can place a rubber mat underneath the stone. Rest the sharpening stone on the towel to keep it from sliding. Wet the knife with a little water to lower friction. Now place the knife on the stone at a 15 to 20-degree angle. The tip of the blade should point away from you. Rest your fingers on the flat area and keep your thumb on the handle.

Drag your knife across the stone in a circular motion. Repeat this process three to four times. Next, follow the same process but on the stone’s smoother side. Your dull kitchen knife should now have a razor-sharp edge.

Additional Knife Sharpening Tips

Know Your Stone — Some stones degrade quickly. You’ll need to read the manufacturer’s guidelines on a sharpening stone for proper use.  

Test Your Knife — Test your knife’s sharpness by cutting a sheet of paper. If it slices easily through paper without tearing the page, you’ll know the knife is sharp.

A final tip: Never test the blade sharpness on yourself. Save your arm, hair, or skin. Inanimate objects are enough to determine your knife’s edge!

Call in the professionals

Sharpening cutlery is a hassle for some people. Many premium knife brands offer sharpening services. It is a budget-friendly service with fees ranging from $5 to $15 per item. All you need to do is ship knives to their facility. You’ll have to wait for as long as seven business days to get your knife back.

Some local grocery stores and supermarkets also offer knife sharpening services. You can ask at the butcher counter for more information.

Frequently asked Questions

Do knife sharpeners damage the knife?

Whenever you sharpen a knife, you remove bits of metal. It’s important to use a quality sharpener to protect your knife from damage and excess metal removal. If you don’t know the right technique for sharpening, it’s better to use an electric knife sharpener to protect the knife.

Can I use a knife sharpener on expensive knives?

Yes. If you buy the best knife sharpener, you can use it to sharpen your expensive knives. Some things to look for in a good knife sharpener are diamond abrasive wheels and quality guides for the sharpening slots.

Can my knife sharpener sharpen serrated knives?

 Most manual and electric sharpeners today can sharpen both straight edge and serrated knives. In a multi-stage sharpener, you have to use the final stage to sharpen serrated blades. Before purchasing a sharpener, be sure to read the label and check if it supports serrated blades.

How often should I sharpen kitchen knives with a sharpener?

You may need to sharpen your knife 3-4 times a year. Ideally, you should aim to keep your kitchen knife in great shape by honing it after every use. Running the blade over a steel rod will keep the edge straight and sharp.

Do manual and electric sharpeners sharpen hunting knives?

Most models on the market can sharpen pocket and hunting knives. But if you have a large knife, it may not fit comfortably between the guides. The guides on most kitchen knife sharpeners are suitable for smaller knives. They cannot accommodate hunting knives. Choose a model that is ideal for hunting knives if you avoid damaging your hunting gear.

What cutting board should I use to keep my knives from going dull?

The best cutting board for knives is a soft one. Wooden or plastic cutting boards are easier on knives than harder materials like granite, glass, ceramic, or marble. Harder materials can cause the edge to roll or become damaged.

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