Chef's Choice Electric Knife Sharpener
Anyone have any comments or complaints about this product. I saw it at Costco and decided to finally get a "good" knife sharpener for my Henkels. I've looked at several types of electric models but they all say they're the best. I'm kind of leery about these gadgets that grind away at the metal but that's the only way to really sharpen a knife. I just want to minimize the process if I can. Is there a special way to run your knife through the sharpener? I hate to turn my 12" flat blade into a stilleto.
Here's a picture of it:
We've had one of these since they first came out years ago. I really like it and find it to work very well. Station one on it is a grinding wheel that you would only use on the oldest and dullest of knives. The other two stations are the diamond areas and just a quick 2 or 3 swipes in there and your knife is sharp. It sits on my countertop and gets used daily. Don't remember when they came out but I'm guessing our unit is atleast 10 years old or more and it's still sharpening like the day we bought it.
Oh, bet it's a lot cheaper at Costco than it was at Macy's or Nordstrums, where ever I bought it.
My knives are pretty sharp since I only use a ceramic or a sharpening stick to hone the blade and occasionally I use a wetstone to refresh the cutting angle. I just bought this gadget to basically hone the blade and to sparingly refresh the edge. I know they eat metal but I like new gadgets. You can help me mow the lawn if you like when you come and visit!
I have the 110, and it does a good job on respectable knives, but use it sparingly. Use a steel weekly, and use setting three first. Setting one will grind a lot if used regularly, but can be real handy for a knife that is really out of shape. I fixed a tip that had broken off, and removed some dents from bones using the first slot, so it is useful, just be careful. And do not use it on Shun or similar asian knives that have a 16 degree bevel (As opposed to the 20-22 degree german on), as it would destroy that edge.
My main problem is that it can grab and jerk the knife, messing up the edge, if you press too hard, or really really lightly. Place mild force down and let the machine draw the knife through.
what makes you think "that's the only way to really sharpen a knife."???
Whetstone and a steel, that's all you need. Then learn how to use them.
I used to sharpen all my knives by hand, but health problems have put a halt to that. I bought a 110 and have had nothing but problems with it. I have tried every variation I can think of -- light to hard pressure and all points between, dragging or pushing the knife and letting it get pulled, different angles, etc., etc.
I exchanged it for a replacement, made many a phone call to the company, etc. The knives bounced around and sharpening was abysmal. Now I take my knives to a restaurant supply store that does sharpening -- including the single bevel Japanese knives -- and hone regularly. What a relief.
Anyone think the Model 130, in which the 2nd and especially 3rd stages seem significantly different than prior models, might make this product reasonable to use? See top of this page http://www.chefschoice.com/page2a.html or see some comments at Amazon seemingly favorable http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-Pr... 150 bucks but maybe worth it for the convenience?
I'd like to think I could learn to use manual sharpening and steeling methods, but I've never found anything that makes the remotest sense to me in how to use particularly a steel. We only have 3 Wusthof knives, but even this is starting to feel like kind of a waste as we have no way to maintain their edges at home. "Professional" sharpening sounds at least as hit or miss as this latest machine.
Learn to use a steel regardless of how you sharpen your knives. Get a smooth, large steel (the round-file versions will eat up your edges) and either find someone who can show you (a good butcher, if you frequent such establishments) or practice. Here is a video that shows pretty much what I was taught:
The purpose of a steel is to straighten an edge, not to sharpen (hone) a dull blade. But it is surprising how often a 'dull' knife has simply got its edge pulled to one side or the other. You can usually find this out by dragging the blade backwards (as if you were shaving in reverse) up your forearm, a paper towel, or other fairly soft material, and seeing if it catches. That is usually a sign that the edge has developed a burr (gone out of true), but has not yet dulled.
I'm not going to take sides among the knife fanatics, but I will say that sparing use of an electric sharpener and generous use of a steel has not removed a perceptible amount of material from my blades in the 5 or so years I've been using them. I have used a whetstone to sharpen pocket and hunting knives in the past, but I don't think they are very practical for on-demand sharpening as you are rushing to get dinner prepared. But you certainly have a lot more flexibility regarding your bevel angle when you hone manually. Most reasonable choices are trade-offs.
Anyways, learn to select and use a steel properly, and you will likely discover that sharpening is not so frequent a need. If you can slice a ripe tomato skin-on and paper-thin without bruising it, then as far as I am concerned, the knife is sharp enough not to worry about it.
Your mileage may (probably will) vary. But a good steel is cheap, and useful. You can always get your knives professionally sharpened when they become dull.
The other posters who were suggesting you learn to steel correctly are right on.
The first stage is a moving stone, I think. The third stage is a moving strop, I think. The second, middle stage is - ummm - a stationary steel. I have a steel. I have a diamond steel. I have a ceramic "steel." It bothered me to pay top dollar for a gadget with a steel in it. I still don't know what I was thinking. Why not just buy a very fine wheel and a leather strop wheel for my double ended grinder? I already have enough steels.