You've invested in a set of high-quality kitchen knives, and now they're not as sharp as they used to be. Dulled knives, however, should not be thrown out; hone and sharpen them, instead! Whether you choose to purchase an electric sharpener or a manual sharpener for your kitchen knives, you can maintain a high-quality set, keeping them like new for years.
If you're not sure which type of knife sharpener is the right choice for you and your kitchen knives, keep reading to find out everything you should know before choosing between an electric knife sharpener and a set of manual whetstones.
Top 5 Considerations When Choosing Between Manual and Electric Knife Sharpeners
Choosing between electric and manual knife sharpeners can be a tricky decision – especially if you don't know much about either. To find the best knife sharpener for your kitchen, we recommend considering the following factors to help you choose a knife sharpener that will serve you and your knife blades well.
1. Type of Knives to Be Sharpened
The type of knives you need to sharpen is the most important factor in choosing a knife sharpener. Asian knives, Euro/American-style knives, and serrated blades all have different honing and sharpening requirements.
For example, Asian knives, like Santoku and Nakiri knives, typically have thinner blades with an edge at 15 degrees. Comparatively, Euro/American knives, like traditional chef knives, feature slightly heavier blades and a knife edge at 20 degrees.
The unique edges of serrated knives can be extremely difficult to sharpen manually. As a result, manually sharpening a serrated blade is not recommended. With an electric sharpener, a serrated knife will need a sharpener specifically designed to accommodate its toothed blades.
When choosing an electric sharpener for your knives, you'll want to find one with enough sharpening slots to accommodate all of your kitchen knives. When selecting a sharpening stone for your Asian or Euro/American knives, you'll need to learn the proper knife sharpening process and techniques for each type of knife you own.
2. Storage Space
If you have a small kitchen, that means the economy of space is likely one of your top considerations when discerning between the items that are worth your kitchen's precious real estate. Manual knife sharpeners will provide you with the most utility in exchange for the space they take up. There's no need for a motor or power source, so manual sharpeners usually have a smaller footprint than their electric counterparts.
3. Your Budget
If you're budgeting space and money, then manual knife sharpeners win again. They not only take up less space, but high-quality manual sharpeners also tend to come with smaller price tags than high-quality electric sharpeners. While you can find affordable options in both categories of knife sharpeners, manual options usually cost less.
4. Sharpening Materials
When it comes to the budget, it's better to focus on the type of sharpening materials the knife sharpener uses. It's better to pay a little extra for a desirable sharpening surface than for an electric motor.
Whether you decide to purchase a manual or electric knife sharpener, be sure you choose one with a high-quality sharpening surface. Shop for an electric sharpener with 100% diamond abrasives or a set of manual whetstones with various levels of diamond-based grain.
5. Your Time
Some argue that electric sharpening tools are overly aggressive in knife sharpening, reducing the lifespan of your knives. However, the right electric sharpener will undoubtedly save you time. They have preset angle guides and are designed to be easy-to-use and intuitive.
Some manual sharpeners (not of the whetstone variety) feature preset angle guides. However, to properly use a manual sharpener, you'll first need to dedicate some time to learn the right techniques for your knives. Manual sharpeners also require quite more time and elbow grease to work through the sharpening process.
Manual sharpeners will extend the lifespan of your knives, but they're going to require that you dedicate a bit more of your own time to using them properly.
Knives Worth Sharpening: Start with a Set of High-Quality Kitchen Knives
If you're going to take the time to research knife sharpeners and to sharpen your knives, you should choose knives that'll make your dedication to your kitchen tools worthwhile. We offer premium steel kitchen knives with a variety of Asian, Euro/American, and serrated blades. If you’re looking for a sharp knife, we welcome you to browse Made In's kitchen tools for individual blades or to find a knife set that'll help you achieve your cooking aspirations.