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Feb 21, 2008 10:44 AM

Electric Knife Sharpeners

I'm a person who's probably never going to take the time to get the stone technique down, and I've been unimpressed by a local place that sharpens knives. That's why I'm thinking about purchasing one of these sharpeners.

I saw a piece about them on America's Test Kitchen, and it looked like they work well. Does anyone have one, and how what has your experience been?

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  1. I didn't see the piece on ATC, so I'm guessing that you're referring to the Chef's Choice brand sharpener? If so, they're probably the best of the electric sharpeners, but that's damning with faint praise. I have one that I bought in a moment of temporary insanity. In spite of testimonials to the contrary, I was unable to put what I consider to be a first-class edge on any knife and found that it was removing steel at an alarming rate. I suspect that more experience with the machine would have improved my results, but I had neither the time nor the knives that I would have had to sacrifice to obtain the requisite education. I've since gone back to using a stone (I like the DMT synthetic diamond "stones") and both I and my knives are much happier.

    1. I am not happy with my electric sharpener. It doesn't compare to having someone sharpen them with a stone. It does help some, though. Actually, it worked fairly well on my paring knife, but it never really did well with the knife that mattered (the chef). I have high carbon stainless knives, if that is relevant to the outcome.

      If you do buy one, buy one that can do the entire length of the knife. Some are such that the first part of the knife by the handle cannot be sharpened on some knives. You have to look at how the stones meet with how the knife drops into the slot. Chef's Choice have some that are right and some that are wrong.

      1. I couldn't stand my Chef's Choice 110. My knives never went through without bouncing around. It never worked no matter how many variations of touch/pressure and angles I tried; following e-mailed advice from the company and exchanging it for another made no difference.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Richard 16

          That's EXACTLY the result I encountered with the Chef's Choice 110. My knives bounced as I pulled them through, and I never felt as though they were placed at the right angle even though they're supposed to do that automatically when they're in the slot. The sharpener I've been using lately is a manual sharpener -- the MinoSharp 440 It does a fairly good job, but I'm still on the lookout for a good, no-fail sharpener designed someone like myself who just hasn't learned to master the honing technique.

        2. I have one of the Chef's Choice sharpeners and it is OK, but you'll never get as good an edge as you will with a stone. One other thing to consider is that most electric knife sharpeners available in this country are made for European style knives. Japanese knives tend to have a different bevel angle (traditional and western styles) than their European counterparts and should not be run through an electric sharpener that isn't designed for them.

          1. I bought a Chef's Choice non-electric shapener about a decade ago, and I have been using it ever since. I have discovered that puting the length of the knife blade through the honer side before each use does help hold an edge. I do sharpen as well, and as another poster said, you lose some steel when you do this often. However, if you cannot easily get professional sharpening, and don't have the stone skills (neither do I), you might try the non-electric chef's choice. It is not that expensive, so if it doesn't meet your needs, you will have invested relatively little.