6 Different Types Of knife sharpeners: Complete Buying Guide

If you are using a knife then a knife sharpener is one of the most important tools for your kitchen. As you know how important it is to have a sharp knife.

Knife sharpeners are the only device that you can use for sharpening your knife. There are also other methods of sharpening a knife, but they are not so effective.

The knife sharpeners can be used to remove clean files or hone the cutting edge of the knife blade. The knife sharpeners can make the process of sharpening quite easy.

If you are experienced in sharpening your knife then you can go with the manual knife sharpeners. However, if you are new to knife sharpeners then you can go with an electric knife sharpener.

There are many different types of knife sharpener devices and can choose any type of knife sharpener according to your requirements.

So, this article is going to be a complete guide on how to choose a knife sharpener. So, don’t skip any points.

Let’s start!!

Terms To Know Before Sharpening 

When you are dealing with sharpening your knives then these are some of the important terms that you must be familiar with:

  • Edge: The edge is basically the bottom of the front part of the blade.
  • Bevel: The bevel is also known as the grind of the blade. Single bevel vs Double bevel knife.
  • Grit: The grit mostly defines how abrasive sharpening stone you are using to sharpen the blades. The lower the grit level, the coarse the stone.
  • Spine: The spine is basically the top part of a knife blade.
  • Honing: This is the process of sharpening the knife blade.
  • Swarf: These are the fine metal particles that get left over after sharpening the knife blade.

Different Types Of Knife Sharpeners

This is the list of knife sharpeners and you can choose any of the knife sharpeners according to your requirements.

1. Electrictric Knife Sharpener

Electric knife sharpeners are one of the most effective and simplest of all types of knife sharpeners. The sharpeners are handy and simple to use.

Most electric knife sharpeners are low-profile machines and have two or more slots you can put your knife blade and it will sharpen the blade.

The type of sharpener has a spinning sharpening stone inside the grind and you have to pass the blades through and it will automatically sharpen the blades.

There are different levels of grit in an electric knife sharpener and you can fine-tune the edge of the blade.

There are many different types of electric knife sharpeners but a good sharpener will guide you through the right angle. It is very important to sharpen the blades at the correct angle.

The sharpeners are designed with all the basic features for home and modern usage. As there are different models of knife sharpeners and the lower models will contain only one sharpening slot.

If you are slicing and dicing frequently then you will require a heavy-duty model for a much better option and able to sharpen all types of knives.

Relates Post: Best electric knife sharpeners for hunting knives 

2. Manual Sharpening Stone 

Sharpening stones are also referred to as a whetstone and the type of sharpening method has been in use for years.

Sharpening stones are a great method of sharpening dull knives, but you have to know the right angle for sharpening the blades, or else it will go wrong.

Whetstones come in many different types of materials and coarseness. The coarse grit is used for sharpening dull knives and they require more upkeep.

The finer grit is great for precision and polishing the knife. When you are getting yourself a sharpening stone, it’s always recommended to get both the coarse and finer grit whetstones.

Also, whetstones come in a variety of materials such as diamond stone, oil stone, water stone, and ceramic stones. There is also a wide range of grits available.

Whatever choice of Wheatstone you are choosing a whetstone is a solid investment for your knife blade. It allows you to control the angle and refinement of the blade.

You can sharpen the blades at an angle of 20 degrees, and this is one of the perfect angles to sharpen a knife blade. To use a whetstone you need a certain level of expertise so that you won’t go wrong.

3. Honing Rod 

Honing rods are also commonly known as sharpening steel or sharpening rod. They are typically made of steel, diamond-coated steel, or even ceramic according to the grit level.

There are many different types of honing rods depending on the types of steel. The sharpening rod is primarily used by chefs and butchers before and after cutting.

Depending on the type of cut you are going to get a lighter or heavier hone on your blades. For lighter honing, you have to choose a finer or smooth honing rod.

For the heavier one, you can choose a regular or a diamond cut type. Hunting rods are highly effective for sharpening knife blades.

To use a honing rod perfectly you need a little practice to get the perfect hang of the honing motion, in which you run the blade are the right angle.

You can hone your knife every week so that you make sure that your knife remains sharp.

Honing rods are only recommended for straight-edge knives because they can only be used for straightening the edge of a regular knife.

4. Hand-Held / Pull-Through

The handheld knife sharpeners are similar to an electric knife sharpener where you have to put the knife in the slot and pull the knife and it will sharpen the blade.

Hand-held knife sharpeners do not have a spinning motion inside the V-shaped sharpener, so you have to process the knife slower.

The hand-held knife sharpeners allow more precise control over an electric knife sharpener. The hand-held knife sharpeners aren’t difficult to use, you just have to know the proper technique of pulling the blade.

In a hand-held knife sharpener, you have to insert the knife inside the V-shaped sharpener and pull the knife. 

The best thing about the sharpener is you don’t need electricity to operate it, and therefore you can carry the sharpener.

The handheld knife sharpeners provide a much better sharp edge and better control over an electric knife sharpener because you can guide the whole process.

Also, they are relatively cheaper than electric knife sharpeners.

5. Tactical Knife Sharpener

The tactical knife sharpeners are one of the smallest types of knife sharpeners, and they are mostly used for sharpening hunting and camping knives.

The sharpeners are small in size and the best part about the knife is you can use it for sharpening a regular knife as well as a serrated edge knife blade.

When you are especially in the outdoors the tactical knife sharpeners are one of the most important pieces of tools that you can carry in your EDC kit.

If you are having a hunting knife then it’s important to have a good knife sharpening system so that you can easily sharpen the edge of the blades.

Finding out the best tactical knife sharpener is really tough so I have prepared a complete buying guide about it.

Related Post: Best tactical knife sharpeners.

6. Professional Knife Sharpener 

These are the types of knife sharpeners that are mostly used by professional knife makers for sharpening big-size knives.

This type of knife sharpener delivers a very strong, long-lasting, razor-sharp edge so that you can sharpen a large about of knife in a single go.

You can easily sharpen your knives precisely at an angle of 15° to 30°, and you don’t even have to worry about the motor getting heated up.

The type of knife sharpeners are expensive and therefore, it’s not recommended if you are looking for a knife sharpener for home use.

Is a Sharp Knife Really Necessary?

You might be thinking that a sharp knife is more dangerous than a dull knife, but you are wrong.

A dull knife is even more dangerous than a sharp knife because when your knife blades are dull the blades slip and you might cut your fingers.

The dull knife actually requires more pressure to cut and therefore it increases the chance of slipping down when the force is greater.

A sharp knife actually safer because you don’t have to apply much force to cut the thing. You can easily cut, what and how you want more comfortably and safely.

Also, a sharp knife allows you to slice a perfect portion of meat, without crushing the meat. Hence, it’s very necessary to have a sharp knife.


Finding out the right type of knife sharpener is tough and confusing as there are many different types of knife sharpeners available on the market.

So all of the above lists of knife sharpeners are among the best ones which you can use for sharpening all types of knives.

If you are experienced in sharpening your knife then you can go with a manual knife sharpener.

However, if you are new to sharpening your knives then it’s recommended to get an electric knife sharpener or a hand-held knife sharpener.

I hope you would have chosen your knife-sharpening device. Let me know which knife sharpener you have chosen in the comment section.

FAQ: Best Sharpening Tool For Knives

These are some of the most commonly asked questions that people are confused about. So I have answered some of the most commonly asked questions and provided appropriate answers.

1. Do You Push Or Pull When Sharpening a Knife?

When you are sharpening your knife blades make sure that you never pull or drag your edge backward. Make sure that your blade edge should face the same direction as your stroke. So you are mostly moving the metal away from the edge of the blade.

2. How Do You Use a Coarse And Fine Knife Sharpener?

To start sharpening the blade pull your knife through the “coarse slot” (mostly made of carbide steel) and then pass through the “fine” slot (made of ceramic), depending on how dull your knife is. You will require one swipe or multiple passes.

3. Can You Over Sharpen a Knife?

Yes, it’s possible to over-sharpen your knife blades, especially if you are using a V-shaped knife sharpener, an electric sharpener, or a diamond stone.

Leave a Comment