The best knife sharpener in the test

Sharp blade after sandpaper torture

09. 03. 2020, 16: 25 | by

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Die besten Messerschärfer im Test

After we tested eleven manual and electric knife shepherds – and sliced ​​around 5 kilograms of tomatoes – we named the Chef'sChoice Trizor XV best device for home use. It sharpens even severely blunted knives effectively (and is gentle on the blade): whether the kitchen knives were Japanese or German, punched or forged, cheap or expensive.

The test was carried out by carried out in America. For this reason, German products that are not available in the USA may be missing. You are reading the German translation.

Our favorite for a knife sharpener: Chef'sChoice Trizor XV

The boss 'sChoice Trizor XV probably creates the sharpest and most durable blades of all knife sharpeners we have tested. Not only once, but even several times, the Trizor XV was able to bring both a comparatively inexpensive, German-style kitchen knife and a Japanese high-end knife to the sharpness of a slice of bread and butter to the sharpness of a knife that sliced ​​tomatoes in one swipe.

Thanks to the detailed operating instructions and the clever design, it is practically impossible to make mistakes when sharpening; this is not always the case with other sharpeners. Precisely because the Trizor XV is so quick, effective and easy to use, people tend to keep knives sharp at all times. With its powerful engine and robust construction, the Trizor XV is built for durability. (We have been using it in our wirecutter test kitchen for years.) Chef'sChoice's knife sharpener is expensive, but we see it more as an investment that will be worthwhile.

Our top recommendation: Chef'sChoice Trizor XV

  • Source: Amazon

    Our top recommendation: Chef 'sChoice Trizor XV

    Der Knife sharpener Trizor XV from Chef'sChoice delivered the best results in the test.

Our number 2 in knife sharpener: Work Sharp Culinary E2

If you only cook occasionally and do not have too many knives at home, we recommend the Work Sharp Culinary E2 . It is not nearly as fast, powerful or robust as the Chef'sChoice Trizor XV, but it is easy to use and also produces a better cutter than any other knife sharpener in its price range. If you only need the sharpener a few times a year, the Work Sharp Culinary E2 offers the best price-performance ratio in the test.

Our budget recommendation: Work Sharp Culinary E2

  • Source: Amazon

    Our budget recommendation: Work Sharp Culinary E2

    Better than any other knife sharpener in its price range: the work Sharp Culinary E2.

Another recommendation for knife sharpening: Idahone Fine Ceramic sharpening stick

A sharpening stick is the best and easiest way to maintain the edge of a knife in between. Of the nine models we tested (five steel and four ceramic models), the Idahone made of ceramic due to its exceptionally smooth surface, which was gentler on the blades than the others Poles. He quickly realigned the edges of both German knives (made of softer metal) and Japanese knives (made of harder metal) and polished them to his full satisfaction. In addition, noticeably less material was removed than with the other sharpening rods made of ceramic – the knives wear out more slowly. The maple handle is also the most pleasant and visually appealing of the sharpening sticks we tested and is supplied with a stable ring for hanging (particularly practical because ceramic sharpening rods in drawers break easily).

Also a recommendation: Idahone Fine Ceramic sharpening stick

  • Source: Amazon

    Also a recommendation: Idahone Fine Ceramic sharpening stick

    The best sharpening stick in the test is expensive, but worth every penny.

Why you should trust this test

I have been sharpening my pocket knife on an Arkansas stone (also known as Washita stone) since I was nine years old. My favorite kitchen knife, a Santoku, I have been sharpening for a while 20 years with water stones and an antique sharpening stone for razors. A sharp blade is something wonderful and grindstones are an absolute guarantee for it. On the other hand, not everything has to be perfect; therefore I have been using almost 10 years an electric knife sharpener – for my rather cheap, punched vegetable and paring knife , but also mine expensive kitchen knife that was actually forged. Even if they do not quite match the quality of grindstones, electric sharpeners allow you to grind an excellent edge – in a fraction of the time. In short: I am absolutely not a knife nerd, for whom a blade is no good if it cannot split atoms. A knife is sharp when it cuts cleanly, lightly and above all safely – and there is more than one way to achieve it.

Who needs a knife sharpener?

If you have a knife, you have to sharpen it again. Either you pay someone for it or you do it yourself: with grindstones, electric or manual knife sharpeners – the kind we have tested here. The latter are more reliable (and practical) than service providers and far easier to use than grindstones. This means that the knife sharpener is much more likely to be used, which in turn means that you will always have sharp, safe, effective and comfortable knives at hand. A blunt knife is more dangerous than a sharp one.

We also strongly recommend a sharpening stick (also known as honing steel, knife steel or sharpening steel). These are not real knife sharpeners, although they are often called that. Rather, a sharpening steel helps to keep the edge of a blade sharp in between times by compensating for tiny dents and bumps that arise from daily use. Honing is a simple and quick process – it only takes a few seconds and can extend the life of a sharp edge by weeks or even months. Therefore, we consider sharpening sticks as an essential tool for every cook.

Criteria for our knife sharpener selection

For this guide we have focused on mechanical and electrical knife sharpeners that sharpen sharp edges on knives with abrasive materials. Our previous tests showed that the best tools are safe and easy to use, but still effectively sharpen knives of various sizes and shapes.

That means we excluded three other types of knife sharpener from the outset: V-shaped notch sharpener, grindstones and grinding devices. In previous tests, we found that inexpensive notch sharpeners removed too much metal from the knives and thus radically shortened the lifespan – in addition, left an uneven cutting edge that is not really sharp and does not last long.

With sharpening stones you are able to sharpen excellent cutting edges – that's why I use them at home for my knives – but it is difficult to master them and thus more suitable for advanced users. You will also need at least two of them (a coarse and a fine one to grasp the edge and then polish it), so the cost can be significant. In addition, it can take a long time to sharpen a knife – 10 to 20 minutes it takes even with practice, unlike the maximum 5 minutes with a good electric or manual sharpener. Finally, grinding devices that pull the knife at fixed angles over grinding stones can also produce really good edges. However, these are too much of a good thing for most hobby cooks.

Although there are manual and electric sharpeners in different sizes and designs, all of our test objects should have some properties in common :

usability : Several factors affect how easy or difficult a sharpener is to use. Electric models have a powerful motor that grinds the knives quickly and with little effort. Both manual and electric sharpeners have built-in guides that help orient the knife and hold it at the correct angle. A little later in our tests, another factor appeared: the quality, or its absence, of detailed operating instructions.

A smooth, sharp blade: Not all definitions of “sharp” are the same, and ours is probably more stringent. So in order to create fair conditions, we were looking for sharpeners who consistently sharpen knives to a degree that can be used to cut a ripe tomato with a quick cut without sawing, tearing the skin or the flesh or the blade too much to have to press firmly down. We also looked for sharpeners that would sharpen a consistently sharp edge from one end of the blade to the other. Depending on what you want to cut, use the heel of the blade (near the handle), the tip or the entire blade.

Variability : In almost every kitchen you will find different types of knives: at least a kitchen knife and a vegetable knife, often also a slicer, a boning and fillet knife and a carving knife. We were looking for sharpeners that could handle all of these types of knives. The ability to sharpen serrated knives was not important to us – in general, they do not need to be sharpened either, as they saw with the teeth rather than with pure sharpness – we have therefore not deducted any points for this.

Another thing that we did not attach any further importance to was whether a sharpener is optimized for the German or Japanese knife style or whether a sharpener is suitable for both options. In the past, European knives were made of softer steel and at an angle of about 20 degrees, while the Japanese knives are made of harder steel and at a more acute (“sharper”) angle of about 15 Degrees were sharpened. This distinction no longer applies: The modern alloys used today by knife manufacturers worldwide are generally tough enough to support pointed edges, no matter how hard the metal is. The German knife manufacturer Wüsthof has its forged European blades with a 14 – Grad cutting edge – even more pointed than many Japanese knife manufacturers.

This Criteria have significantly reduced our list. We then spoke to representatives of some of the remaining test objects to gain a better understanding of the technologies behind them. A total of 7 knife sharpeners remained, which 2019 getting tested should.

So we tested

To test knife sharpeners, you first need blunt knives. We have our favorite kitchen knife, the Mac MTH – 80, and our budget Recommendation, the Wüsthof Pro 4862 – 7 / 20, concerned and first the razor-sharp edges – fresh from the factory – ruined. We wiped out any chance of using the knives normally by using them for two minutes on 80 chopping and sawing the sandpaper; then we rounded and blunted the remaining edge. For two more minutes we sawed, scraped and turned on the knives 220 er sandpaper. We repeated this process after each test to ensure that all of our knife sharpener faced the same challenge.

Both knives were initially sharp enough to hold a tomato without applying any pressure cutting the blade clean – the weight of the knife was enough for that. We wanted to see the knives so sharply again and therefore took this sharpness as a benchmark: with the relatively robust shell and the soft interior, you can quickly identify poor quality tomatoes. Squeeze blunt knives instead of cutting and rough or uneven edges tear the skin open. In order to assess the quality of the performance of each individual knife sharpener, we dulled the knives, sharpened them and then cut pound plum tomatoes into thin slices.

We carefully followed the manufacturer's instructions of sharpening steels. Since we made the knife edges completely unusable before each test, we initially operated the sharpeners in the “re-shaping” setting, which creates a completely new cutting edge on a knife by quickly removing metal with high-speed or coarse abrasives. Then we completed the sharpening and (if possible) polishing processes of each participant, in which the new cutting edge is refined with lower speeds and / or finer abrasives.

We also tested our candidates (without the sandpaper torture) on the knives from the Wirecutter kitchen and on those of several Wirecutter employees – a total of more than a dozen knives, including chef's knives, paring knives and boning knives of various sizes, ages and decay conditions. This gave us a sense of how versatile each sharpener was in terms of the type of knife, and it also subjected the sharpener to a stress test that was supposed to reveal defects or defects in motors or other weaknesses.

In a separate test, we looked at nine sharpening steels. These rods are used to maintain the knife edge between sharpening; honing repairs minor damage to the cutting edge caused by daily use. Our selection process, test protocols and results for whipsticks are contained in a corresponding paragraph below in the article.

We have blunted the blades of the knives on sandpaper. Wirecutter / Michael Murtaugh

Detailed test report: Chef’sChoice Trizor XV

The Chef'sChoice Trizor XV enabled us to always and always sharpening the sharpest and cleanest cutting edges in the test. It was more reliable and faster than all other products tested. Due to the intelligent design, it is next to impossible to make mistakes when using it, even if you have never sharpened a knife before. The Trizor XV could consistently use our two test knives – the one with 30 Euro quite cheap knife from German production, the other one 150 expensive knife from Japanese smithy – bring back to old size (and sharpness). The easy-to-understand and detailed operating instructions explain each step clearly and the particularly emphasized, robust construction promises many years of good performance. (We have since 2016 a Trizor XV in our wire cutter -Kitchen.)

The Trizor XV was convincing due to the excellent performance. Wirecutter / Michael Murtaugh

Especially We were convinced by the ability to make even completely blunted knives extremely sharp. Even after we had destroyed the knife with sandpaper and left over from the original blade, let alone the sharpness, the Trizor XV was able to repeatedly reset both knives to the factory condition. It was not a question of the quality of the knives: one was punched and comparatively cheap, the other was forged and expensive. The different alloys and the blade geometry turned out to be irrelevant. (Editor's note: XV stands for the 15 degrees that the last angle of the Trizor XV sharpens .. Trizor is based on the three different subtleties that sharpen the three wheels of the device – roughly , medium and fine.)

It is also particularly important that the Trizor XV grinds the blades evenly. The Work Sharp Culinary E3, which is in the same price category and is in close competition with the Trizor XV, could not meet this requirement – the front part of the blade was not as sharp as the rest of the knife.

The knives were absolutely blunt – not a challenge for the Trizor XV. Wirecutter / Michael Murtaugh

The Trizor XV works quickly. Within four minutes, the device brought the blades from the sandpaper-dull state back to the brand-new sharpness. While following the operating instructions, we found that a “pull” of the blade through the rough grinding of the knife sharpener took just under 5 seconds, while the fine grinding only took one to two seconds. Overall we pulled the knife 30 times through the knife sharpener. For comparison: With the Work Sharp Culinary E3, the process took at least 5 minutes and usually even significantly longer. Even if you had to pull the knives less often (20 times), it took a train eight whole seconds, so the total time was longer. Seriously damaged and blunt blades had to be 30 times, so you had to count on eight minutes. (When you do the calculations, keep in mind that you have to test the blade from time to time and set it down briefly – after all, this time is part of the working process.)

One reason why the Trizor XV is so reliable is its foolproof design that makes it impossible to mess up the process. Usually, no matter what you're sharpening with, be sure to hold the blade at a fixed angle. If this does not happen, the result is an excessively round, blunt edge that does not cut anything at all. Like many other electric knife sharpeners, the Trizor XV uses robust slots with angles in which the blade is held. Unlike alternatives, the Trizor XV offers spring-loaded auxiliary devices in the slots that hold the blade in the correct position. So the position of the knife cannot change during the process. Again, for comparison: the Work Sharp E3 does not use this type of mechanism. Instead, much more sense and manual work is required here. Since you have to check the blade yourself, our tests, despite great caution, failed to sharpen a knife without errors. (Further details on, Work Sharp Culinary E3 can be found in the “Other knife sharpener in the test” section.)

The operating instructions are another plus point for the Trizor XV. If you have ever used an electric knife sharpener, you make fewer mistakes, but the detailed instructions of the Trizor XV prevent mistakes in use in advance. In contrast, the instructions of Work Sharp Culinary are meaningless, they would benefit from more details.

We were also impressed by the quality of the Trizor XV. The knife sharpener is heavy and robust. The 125 – Watt motor with 2.1 amps makes up the majority of the 2.5 kg. In contrast, the Work Sharp E3 feels too light at a quarter of the weight – the engine is also significantly weaker. As already mentioned, the Trizor has been 2016 continuous use grown in the wirecutter kitchen. After the test a year 2019 we have more than a dozen different knives of our wire cutter Editors re-sharpened, whereby he continuously via 30 minutes has passed. Admittedly, the Trizor XV isn't really cheap, but if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the investment can definitely be worth it. (Editor's note: The last wheels that are responsible for fine-tuning will sooner or later be blocked by small metal shavings by design. This is not a problem, however, and can either be cleaned or replaced using the enclosed mechanism.)

The Trizor XV is big, heavy, expensive but still unbeatable. The different steps are numbered. Wirecutter / Michael Murtaugh

Detailed review: Work Sharp Culinary E2

If you do not expect too much from your knives and do not need them too often, we recommend the comparatively cheap, electrical Work Sharp Culinary E2 . While not nearly as fast or effective as the Trizor XV, it does produce a good edge. The result is strikingly better than that of similarly priced devices.

The E2 is about the size of a soda can and is the smallest and simplest model from Work Sharp Culinary. The device sharpens with flexible grinding wheels and uses smooth ceramic wheels to polish the edge of the blade. As with his “big brothers”, the Work Sharp E3 and E5 (see “Other knife sharpener in the test”), the spring-loaded guides in the sharpening slots of the Trizor XV are also missing on the E2; you have to align the knife yourself. The simple design of the slots of the E2 simplifies this considerably: the sides are parallel to each other and the distance between them is comparatively small, so that the design prevents errors during sharpening. The sides of the E3 and E5, on the other hand, are not parallel and the distance is wider, which means that you can quickly adjust the blade incorrectly and shake when sharpening.

Although the electric motor of the E2 is significantly less powerful than that of the Trizor XV, it was able to sharpen both the cheaper Wüsthof knife and the expensive steel of the Mac to a good blade . Because of the weaker motor, sharpening with the E2 took a very long time, almost 10 minutes. In fairness, one has to say that situations in which one completely reforms a completely ruined cutting edge are extremely rare. If you then treat your knife with appropriate care, a quick repair every few months is enough. This is exactly what the E2 is best suited for.

Essential for the kitchen at home: our price-performance winner. Wirecutter / Michael Murtaugh

On fair comparison to the E2 is the manually operated Chef'sChoice ProntoPro 4643 , which is usually around the 50 euros, so about as much as the E2. The ProntoPro – our former top recommendation – uses ceramic discs to give the blunt blade a rather rough, saw-like edge (we are talking of microscopic “saw teeth” here, of course). This type of cutting edge is well suited for roughly cutting food and can be compared to the teeth of a wood saw. If you pull the blade through the fine grinding and honing discs of the E2, you get a cleaner blade that enables less strenuous cuts. With a peeling knife, fresh from the E2, we could even peel an apple slightly, which is only possible with very sharp knives.

The E2 unfortunately has an irritating error. It has a built-in timer that can be used after 50 Seconds arming switches off (40 Seconds with the more aggressive “reshape” setting, 10 seconds with the comparatively slow “sharpen” setting). In theory, this should prevent you from sharpening for too long. In practice, however, there is not even enough time to regrind a small paring knife, let alone a very blunt chef's knife. And so you switch the machine on again and again, cycle by cycle, until the knife is finally sharp. We needed something like 10 minutes and 50 Passages through the grinding wheels of the E2 – that's scarce 25 moves of 8 seconds per blade side, plus the time it takes to check and put the blade between the moves . (For a blade that becomes dull through normal kitchen use, we found 10 to 14 Trains, 3 to 5 minutes in total, sufficient ).

The small ceramic discs (just visible) continue to hone the blade after the actual sharpening. Wirecutter / Michael Murtaugh

Detailed test report: Idahone Fine Ceramic

Of our nine sharpening sticks in the test, the Idahone 30 cm fine Best sharpening stick made of ceramic. The Idahone model met all of our requirements. The surface was significantly smoother than that of the other three ceramic models we tested, and the Idahone rod had the edges of all the knives we tested quickly and gently aligned again. He also removed less metal from the blades than the competition, which significantly extends the lifespan in the long run.

We used the sharpening rods on several types of knives, including our best Chef's knife. In order to blunt the knives a little between tests, we repeatedly sawed through a three centimeter thick hemp rope. This is a fairly old method by which knife makers demonstrate the durability of their blades. We are on 20 cm rods concentrated, because a longer rod is simply easier to use – it offers more space to cover the entire length of a conventional 20 cm- or 25 cm chef's knife.

The Idahone ceramic sharpening rod performed better than all other sharpening steels and ceramic rods. Even Japanese knives were in good hands here. Wirecutter

We We quickly narrowed down our selection to ceramic sharpening sticks, which performed well on the Wüsthof and Mac blades. The German Wüsthof knife is made of relatively soft steel, while the Mac knife is made of hard steel. The ceramic sharpening rods rubbed the steel very little when sharpening, which helped us to smooth the blades along the bar – as it should be. In comparison, the steel rods were simply too smooth and hard blades also chipped off.

Nevertheless, the Idahone has proven to be noticeably finer than other ceramic rods and less abrasion just as good or even better results. A few small details set it apart from the competition: the ergonomic maple handle was more comfortable than the synthetic handles of the other rods, and the steel ring for hanging is large and robust. The other ceramic rods in the test had smaller or unstable plastic rings or no suspension at all. A ceramic rod should always be hung up, because the material is somewhat brittle and can chip or break if it is stored in a drawer or utensil holder.

Support the sharpening stick on a board and sharpen downwards, do not endanger your fingers. Wirecutter / Michael Murtaugh

One One of the few issues we see with the Idahone is the lack of finger protection. We therefore strongly recommend the safer technique for removing a knife, as in our Guide to Knife Sharpening (English) shown. With this method, the bar is held against the counter or the cutting board and the blade always moves away from the body and hand, which greatly reduces the risk of accidents.

Note that ceramic sharpening sticks have to be cleaned from time to time to remove metal from the surface (they form a gray layer over time). Melamine sponges (like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or similar) or mild abrasives, such as Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend , also work really well.

Other knife sharpeners in the test

The Work Sharp Culinary E3 is a popular, widely positive sharpeners and is therefore in direct competition with the Chef'sChoice Trizor XV. Both are particularly suitable for enthusiastic hobby cooks. In our tests, the E3 turned out to be able to grind a sharp edge just like the Trizor XV. (However, the two use different sharpening mechanisms: there are flexible grinding belts in the E3, ceramic discs impregnated with diamonds in the Trizor XV). We also discovered a few shortcomings that cost the E3 a place on the podium. As described in more detail above, the Trizor XV uses guides that correctly align the blade in the grinding slot. The design of the E3 does not. You have to carefully hold the knife against the side wall of the slot when sharpening. In addition, the sides of the slot are not parallel to each other and if you pull the knife along the wrong side, you will sharpen at the wrong angle. In addition, you may slip too easily, which further changes the sharpening angle. Finally, on the E3, we noticed that the blade occasionally got stuck in the knife sharpener and then slipped – something that never happened with the Trizor XV. Maybe that's why we sometimes got an unevenly sharpened cutting edge, with the tip of the blade being a bit blunt than the rest of the blade. But if you manage to actually finish the grinding process without incident, then you are cutting an exceptionally good cutting edge.

We also tested the Work Sharp Culinary E5 , in principle a better version of the E3. The E5 has a slightly more powerful engine and a choice of coarse and fine belts (the E3 uses a single belt with a grain size of 120). However, we didn't find a big difference between the E5 and E3 in terms of knife sharpness. We found that the automatic timer function – which the E3 lacks – is more of an obstacle than an aid: it switches the machine off every few minutes, often in the middle of the arming process.

The Chef'sChoice ProntoPro 4643 , our former favorite, costs about as much as the Work Sharp E2 , but produces a coarser edge. The E2 produces a finer cutting edge that cuts softer and with less effort.

After our long-term tests, we decided that the Brød & Taylor Professional Knife Sharpener , a former favorite, too easily misused can. Knives are therefore damaged rather than sharpened. When used correctly, it can quickly create a sharp, polished edge. But even a small mistake can produce an uneven chamfer or scrape too much metal from the blade.

In addition to our pick, we tested eight other sharpening rods. Three of them were made of ceramic: the Cooks Standard (30, 5 cm), the Mac black ceramic (27 cm) and the Messermeister (30 cm). Note d. Translation: Only the master knife is available from the ceramic sharpening sticks. 2650862795 The five remaining sharpening rods were made of steel: three from Messermeister (normal, fine and Avanta ), one from Victorinox and a winware, all 30 cm long. With one exception, we set an upper price limit of just under 40 dollar fixed, which meant that the sharpening rods manufactured by Friedrich Dick and designed for professionals were no longer an option; Although these are standard for butchers, only a few home cooks need this extremely high durability. As with our top recommendation, the three ceramic rods always provided a slightly grippy surface, which made it possible to pull the knife blades easily over their entire length. But they were all a bit rougher than the Idahone, so the Idahone was less stressful on the blades. The large ring for hanging was a huge plus for the Idahone.

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The contribution “The best knife sharpener in the test” is the German translation of the article “ The Best Knife Sharpener “from . The test was conducted in the United States and was first published in English on the Wirecutter website. The translation is based on the version from 07. 08. 2019. The CHIP test center was not involved in the investigation. We removed products that were not available from Amazon Germany at the time of translation. These are the knife sharpener: Chef'sChoice model 110, Chef'sChoice Hybrid 210, Kai Elektroschärfer, McGowan Diamondstone, Electric Knife Sharpener, Presto EverSharp 08800

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