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Knife sharpeners put to the test

To reach ultimate sharpness on any knife edge, we will advice you to use Japanese water stones. However, there are also good reasons for us to offer you knife sharpeners in our web shop. There are several advantages to these sharpening systems. For one, they are very easy to use, which enables you to use them without having to master the art of sharpening in advance. The conduction of the knife automatically provides you with the correct angle; one of the most important elements of knife sharpening. The result of sharpening with a knife sharpener may not be as sharp as it could be when using a water stone. But our question is whether that sharpness is necessary with regular use of a kitchen knife. Our aim with this test is to answer this question.

The test

We have taken 6 different knife sharpeners to compare. We tested them in situations which were as similar as possible and used them according to the instructions of the manufacturer. If necessary, we kept sharpening until it was simply impossible to increase the sharpness of the knife. First we blunted some Eden Classic Damast Chef’s knives on a whet stone. By cutting paper, we were able to check whether the condition of each of the knives was equally blunt. Then we started sharpening and after doing so, tested the edge on a piece of paper again. Sometimes a knife may seem sharp after sharpening, but actually this ‘sharpness’ is caused by a false burr. That means that the knife has not yet reached it proper V-shape, but that a burr was created which makes the knife appear sharp. After a few cuts in paper, this burr will wear down and you will find the knife is still blunt, or at least, not as sharp as expected.

Minosharp Plus 3

Type This is a water sharpener. It sharpens your knife in three phases, using ceramic wheels.
Picture of cutting edge
Sharpness The Minosharp sharpener provided the best result of all sharpeners in this test. The picture shows a nice V-shaped edge, smoothly sharpened and polished. Because of this high cut V-shape, the knife stays sharp longer than it would otherwise.
Sharpening speed We used a total of 15 minutes to sharpen the knife through all three phases with the Minosharp sharpener.
Video Click here to look at the video.
Price
Overall rating

Without a doubt, the results of the Minosharp were sharpest and best of all knife sharpeners which we tested. It takes a little longer to reach a sharp edge than with some other sharpeners, also you need to add water. But if you want your knives to cut well, this is the choice to make for you.

Chef's Choice 460

Type The electrical sharpening machine Chef's Choice 460 has diamond sharpening discs in 2 different grits
Picture of the cutting edge
Sharpness The sharpness attained after going through both phases can be called reasonable. However, if you prefer working with truly sharp blades, this edge may dissapoint you. The picture shows clearly the signs of sharpening along the edge.
Sharpening speed We used 20 minutes to sharpen the knife with this electrical sharpener.
Video Click here to watch the video.
Price £ 35
Overall rating This Chef's Choice model is a very light type of electrical sharpener. Actually it doesn't score highest in any of the categories. Not pricing, speed or results.

Vulkanus Standard

Type The Vulkanus sharpener uses spring action sticks made of extremely hard carbide. The sharpener is available in a stainless steel or plastic version.
Picture of the cutting edge
Sharpness Coarse sharpening on the Vulkanis is done with the knife pointing down and the fine sharpening with the knife point up. If you use it correctly it will put a good edge on your knife. However, when using the knife you will find its blunts quicker than when it's sharpened with, for example, the Minosharp. The cause of this can be seen in the picture of the edge; you can still see little burrs on the edge. 
Sharpening speed We used three minutes to sharpen the blade with the Vulkanus sharpener.
Video Click here to check out the video.
Price € 64,95
Overall rating The Vulkanus enables you to effectively sharpen a very blunt knife within a few minutes. Quick results are definitely something the Vulkanus excels in. A disadvantage is that the grinding is very coarse, which causes a lot of material loss. 

Wüsthof 4343

Type This Wüsthof sharpener has two ceramic wheels.
Picture of the cutting edge
Sharpness The result is quite dissapointing. After more than 40 minutes of sharpening, we still did not have a satisfying result. The picture also shows that hardly any material was removed.
Sharpening speed We quit sharpening after 40 minutes
Video Click here to check out the video.
Price £ 35,-
Overall rating Unfortunately this sharpener seems to fail at what a sharpener is made for; sharpening your knives.

Zwilling Twinsharp

Type The Twinsharp sharpener has the ceramic wheels positioned in a line. This means that, with each move, you  go through both phases of sharpening.
Picture of cutting edge
Sharpness When pulling the knife through the sharpener, we heard a scraping noise. The picture shows that the knife was sharpened very coarsely and the edge finish isn't smooth. Cutting through paper is like using a serrated knife. It's quite sharp.
Sharpening speed Because of the 2-in-1 phase the Twinsharp sharpens very quickly. We were done in two minutes.
Video Click here to check out the video.
Price € 13,55
Overall rating This sharpener excels in sharpening speed. But it's also vert rough hewn and removes a lot of material. Because there is no seperate polishing phase, it is very hard to achieve the desired result. The edge is less sharp then one coming from the Vulkanis. It is the most affordable choice.

Zwilling Twinsharp Select

Type This Zwilling sharpener has 2 phases. Phase 1 uses carbide wheels. Phase 2 is for polishing on ceramic wheels.
Picture of cutting edge
Sharpness The sharpening wheels of the Twinsharp select are the same as those in the standard Twinsharp. However, in this sharpening system the phases are split up. This results in a slightly finer edge. Despite this, it is still hard to create a truly sharpe edge with this sharpener. We can get the edge to an average level of sharpness, but are hardly impressed with the results.
Sharpening speed Three minutes.
Video Click here to check out the video.
Price € 25,40
Overall rating In our opinion the Twinsharp Select, made of stainless steel has the most attractive design of all the sharpeners used for this test. The results are decent, but not well enough to really provide a pleasant cuttnig experience.

Conclusion

A pull-through knife sharpener is easy to use and definitely a good option for those who want sharp knives, if convenience and speed are a high priority with sharpening. The true ‘razor edge freaks’ will have to take a look Japanese water stones. These enable you to put the ultimate razor edge on any blade. However, they do demand some technique and practice at first. Of all the knife sharpeners which we tested, the Minosharp Plus 3 is an absolute winner. With it’s ceramic wheels it gradually transforms your knife in three phases, from blunt to nice and sharp. This is done within a very acceptable time frame. If speed is most important to you of all qualities a pull-through sharpener can have, we will advise you to choose the Vulkanus.