Buying knife set means you also need sharpening system. Many knife set products include sharpening tool, usually manual, while others do not include sharpening tool at all. Finding the best knife sharpening system requires understanding about how you will use your knife and which method that you feel more comfortable and convenient for maximum sharpening job. Since constant sharpening is required to keep the knife sharp and precise, you need to do research about various sharpening systems.
Luckily, now we have a lot of options for sharpening tools; from manual to electric and even the more advanced form of regular sharpening stone. There are many knife sharpening products that prove effective for some, while others may think differently. If you already have your knife set, get ready with the sharpening tool. Here are some reviews about the best knife sharpening system tools for your consideration; from traditional stone to electric knife sharpener that costs more than $100.
Our selections of the Best Knife Sharpening System
Manual Knife Sharpener
People used to sharpen their kitchen knives with stone. However, manual sharpening using stone requires accuracy in which you move the knife blade to one direction evenly until all the sharp edges are sharpened. Now, you do not have to use stone anymore. Manual knife sharpener comes in various shapes with handles, and there are even special gaps to place the blade so you know where to move the blade when you are sharpening it.
Some of the best products are very cheap, but super complete sharpening kits probably cost more than $100. Manual knife sharpener products that cost under $50 are, such as, simple Aladdin Sharpener, Edgeware Counter Safe that has both knife and kitchen shears sharpeners, Twinsharp from Zwiling Ja Henckels, and Asian Edge from Wusthof. If you want more expensive manual knife sharpener that costs over $100, you can choose products like Apex 1 and Apex 3 from Edge Pro.
Many people love manual sharpening system and consider it as the best knife sharpening system, because they can control the movement of knife blades well. However, this might be tiring and not really efficient if you need your knife every day in fast paced cooking activities.
Electric Knife Sharpener
Electric knife sharpener is better if you are not good in manual knife sharpening. You move the blade yourself with manual knife sharpener, but with electric sharpener, you only need to hold the knife because the sharpening tool is whirring to sharpen the blade. Many electric knife sharpening tools have different prices; some are under $50, and others are more than $100. Chef Choice 300, Chef Choice 210 Hybrid, Mino Sharp 440 and Chef Choice Food Slicers are less than $50, while Chef Choice 130 Professional, Chef Choice 120 Diamond and Chef Choice 1520 are more than $100.
Electric knife sharpener is more practical than manual sharpener because it saves more time in sharpening the blade. However, you must really control the timing and your way holding the blade to avoid thinning the blade too much.
Handheld Knife Sharpener
Handheld knife sharpener is even more practical than manual sharpener; it is usually not so big and used for quick sharpening or sharpening small, paring knife. This is perhaps not the best knife sharpening system because it is light and not really applicable for large chef knife or bread knife. However, this is a fun tool to have in the kitchen, because handheld knife sharpener usually has various shapes and colours. If you love collecting unique and cute kitchen tools, you can buy at least one or two handheld knife sharpeners that match both big and small knives.
Most of these handheld sharpening systems have handles to make sharpening movements easier and avoid your hands from getting hurt when the blade is accidentally slipped. They are not only for kitchen knives, but also outdoor knives. Smith BHS Broad Head Sharpener has unique army prints, Zyliss and Perfect Edge Handheld Sharpener have contemporary shapes with bright colours, and Samurai Shark has edgy form with special sharpener side for serrated knives. All of these items cost less than $30.
Handheld sharpeners are similar with manual knife sharpeners, but they are smaller and not intended for serious sharpening jobs, such as for large chef knife. You need to use constant and consistent sharpening movements when you are sharpening knife blades with handheld knife sharpener.
Do you often see professional chefs rubbing the blade of their knife with a kind of metal rod with handle, moments before they start using the knife? That is the sharpening steel, which is used to keep the blade sharp and precise during a long and/or intense cooking session. Since a knife blade can be dulled when used in an intense cooking session that involves a lot of cutting, slicing, mincing and dicing. You may not be able to use manual or electric sharpening tool all the time during cooking session, but you can keep the sharpness using sharpening steel rod.
Most sharpening steel rods are not so expensive; some cost less than $20 while others may be more than $30. However, metal rod for sharpening the blade during cooking session is used as contemporary helper, and that is why the metal rod is not expensive. Smith 50002-9 Inch, Forschner Knives 40982 and Mercer Cutlery are less than $30, while others such as DMT DS2E and Shun DM0750 are more than $30. They are great tools to have if you often do long and intense cooking session and often experience slightly dulled blade during cooking.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with having traditional sharpening stone at your kitchen. You may think that this is not the best knife sharpening system, but many people still surprisingly prefer traditional sharpening stone. When the electricity is down and you do not have manual sharpening kit, you can keep super cheap sharpening stone in the kitchen. Instead of a rough stone block, many sharpening stone products are made of polished, neat stone bloc, often with the manufacturer stamps on them.
There are smooth sharpening stones such as Kotobuki King Combo and traditional Japanese stone sharpener block from Waterstone. There are also coarser stone blocks or even combo stones that have both smooth and coarse sides like Norton India Oilstone. Even if you buy combo sharpener stone, the amount of money you should spend is usually less than $20. This is like the emergency kit for knife sharpener in any regular kitchens. Since sharpening stone must be in good surface condition to make sure it gives good performance, some brands usually come with case such as Norton 24450 and Norton 24336. However, sharpener stones that are sold with cases are usually more expensive.
Conclusion of The Best Knife Sharpening System
In the end, there are no actual decision about which one is the best choice, because each sharpening tool has its own upsides and downsides. Most people buy sharpening tools based on their usual knife sharpening systems, which they consider the most comfortable for them. Cheap sharpening stone is a favourite because it gives more control to the person doing the sharpening job, while electrical knife sharpener is better for others because it is cheap and quick. Meanwhile, many serious chefs and above average home cooks may buy steel rod to sharpen their blade in the middle of long cooking session, and this is bought together with other sharpening tools.
Manual sharpening tool is the more advanced version of sharpening stone and it usually has special handle and gaps to put the blade. Handheld knife sharpener may be kept as kitchen tool collection or a type of emergency tool, and often brought by people when they are doing outdoor activities. Therefore, there are no exact conclusions about which one is the best knife sharpening system. It depends on which one that you think more comfortable.