The Best Knife Sharpener For Our Kitchen
While no home cook would make do without at least a few decent knives, it’s amazing how much of a back seat a good knife sharpener takes in most kitchens. That surprises us, since a sharp knife, when used properly, is also a safe knife. Sharp knives have less risk of slipping, which reduces the chance that you will cut yourself. Of course, sharp knives also make kitchen prep work much faster and easier!
Option #1: Professional Sharpening
This option is fine, if you don’t mind the expense, and if there’s a professional sharpener in your area. We don’t have a local sharpener, and would not want to pack up our knives and take them somewhere each time we need them sharpened. Besides, what if we have only one knife that needs sharpening? Would it be worth the trouble?
Option #2: Sharpening Stones
Learning to correctly use sharpening stones takes an investment in a set of stones, lots of practice, and plenty of time. Even though there are a few guided sharpening systems that make it easier to hold your blade at the correct angle (Lansky, Edge Pro and Spyderco are a few of the best known), we feel that most home cooks want something easier and faster. We certainly do.
Option #3: Manual or Electric Sharpeners
Even if it is conceivable that you’ll get a slightly sharper edge through a professional sharpener or perfect technique with Japanese waterstones, we think manual or electric sharpeners, which have slots through which you slide your knife blade at preset angles, are best for most home cooks. After trying several manual devices, we’ve determined that an electric machine is the best knife sharpener for our kitchen, and our favorite is the Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV Knife Sharpener.
Who It Is For
- Assuming that every home cook uses knives, everyone needs a great sharpener like the Trizor XV. While this might seem obvious to some, many home cooks virtually never sharpen their knives. Often, they don’t even realize their knives are dull! When we sharpen knives for others on our Trizor XV, many people discover for the first time what it means to use a sharp knife.
- People who like a 15º angle on their knife blades. As its name implies, the Trizor XV only sharpens knives to a 15º angle on each side (30º total). As we discussed previously in our post about chef’s knives, this 15º angle per side has become an accepted standard for kitchen knives, and is our preferred blade angle.
Why It's Great
Ease if Use
You simply slide your knife through the slots. There are no settings, and just one switch – on or off.
Unless a knife is extremely dull or damaged, sharpening should take less than 1 minute. Regular maintenance (honing in the third slot, which is usually all that is needed) takes just a few seconds.
Knives will be sharpened at exactly the same angle each time, thanks to the precision angle guides. It’s easy to hold the knife steady too.
What's Not To Like
We’re always prepared to save up to buy the best tool for the job, especially if we know we’re getting a high-quality item. We think it’s important to keep our knives safe and effective, and when you consider that a sharpening service often charges $10 or more per knife, the Trizor XV is a worthwhile investment.
Also Worth Knowing
- The Trizor XV can convert knife edges to 15º angles. When we first got ours, we used it to convert a couple of European knives from their traditional 20º angles to our preferred 15º.
- Some users complain that a small amount of metal is removed during sharpening with the Trizor XV. That’s the definition of sharpening! All sharpening techniques involve removing a microscopic amount of material, and we have not found this to be a more pronounced issue with the Trizor XV.
- The Trizor XV comes with very detailed instructions to help you sharpen different types of knives. You can even optimize your knife for cutting different foods (fruit/vegetable, meat, fish, etc.)!
- CAREFUL: If you are new to sharpening, remember that the edges will be sharper than you are used to!
Did You Know?
EdgeCraft Corporation, which manufactures the Chef’sChoice line of knife sharpeners, was founded by 65-year old Daniel Friel in 1985. Friel, a scientist and engineer, also worked on the Manhattan Project and had a long career with DuPont Co. Frustrated by failed attempts to carve a turkey with dull knives, Friel created his first electric knife sharpener in the basement of his Pennsylvania home. It quickly became a worldwide success, even earning the admiration of celebrity chefs such as Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. Friel remained active with EdgeCraft until he died in 2012 at the age of 92.
- Patricia Talorico, Avondale company knows a sharp knife is a cook’s best friend, Delaware Online, November 19, 2015
- Jeff Murdock, Knife sharpener company started by ex-DuPonter sold, Delaware Online, June 6, 2016
- EdgeCraft Corporation Founder Daniel D. Friel Passes Away, press release, QSR Magazine, October 3, 2012