Even the sharpest knives dull after extensive use, so having a good sharpener in your kitchen is necessary. But how do you figure out which is the best manual knife sharpener available? If this is your first time to buy one of these, it’s essential you choose the right products for the job.
You’ll find that many of your friends use an electric knife sharpener for their kitchen and utility knives. Yes, it’s a speedy and hassle-free way of sharpening regular knives. However, if you care to preserve your knives’ quality and edge, you should get a manual knife sharpener.
While a manual knife sharpener takes a long time to sharpen the knives, and you would have to exert a bit of power, they also give you better control. You can afford to be careful about the knives’ angle, and there isn’t the risk of taking off too much steel from the edge of your knife.
Top 10 Best Manual Knife Sharpener Reviews in 2023
Here are more detailed Manual Knife Sharpener reviews to help you decide which one of these to get.
Chef’sChoice 4643 Diamond Hone
The 4643 is a 3 stage knife sharpener aimed at various types of knives including those made in the US, Europe, and Asia. It uses criss-cross sharpening technology so your knife’s edge is burr-free. The 4643 provides a more durable arch-shaped edge for the blade, and the bevel panel control is very accurate for 20 and 15 degrees.
Like other Chef’s Choice knife sharpeners, the 4643 abrasives are diamond so it sharpens knives quickly. The sharpener works for different types of blades, making it compatible with a wide array of knives in the market.
The honing stage is separate from the sharpening, so by the end of the process, your knife has a sharp edge and suited for heavy-duty use again. The knife is fully made and assembled in the United States. Those who bought the 4643 say the sharpener is effective and fast, and others claim it is very good at prolonging the lifespan of kitchen knives.
- Very fast
- All diamond abrasive
- Makes sure knife edges are burr-free
- Takes effort to sharpen very dull blades
- Leaves rough edge if not done properly
Wüsthof Hand-Held Sharpener
This sharpener uses hard carbide steel to sharpen dull knives, and during the honing stage, it uses ceramic rods. This procedure ensures the blades receive maximum sharpening without leaving any nicks or dents. The Wusthof also comes with a slot so you can hone scissors, and the rubber base provides you with a comfortable grip.
The Wusthof is easy to use and it is durable enough to handle several knives and blades. There is no need to apply a lot of pressure when sharpening a knife. Just a small amount is necessary and the Wusthof will do the rest. There is even less pressure required during the honing stage.
Customers say the Wusthof does sharpening and honing very well, and it is also one of the durable. Lastly, we have to point out the compact design makes this an ideal choice if space is limited in your kitchen. Wusthof has several knife sharpeners already, but this is one that manages to stand out.
- Non-slip base
- Comfortable to use
- Sharpens quickly
- Works better on hard than soft steel
- Takes some work when sharpening very old knives
Smith’s Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener
This sharpener is aimed primarily at sports buffs who like their knives sharp. It is compatible with all popular knives including serrated and straight, and it also uses a two-stage process for fine and coarse knives so you get the best possible results. The sharpener can also be used on sharp knives so they retain their edge, and it comes with a knob for 14 or 28 degrees on the side.
If you have a serrated blade you can use the fixed angle slot so it is sharpened fully. The sharpener is durable but you can replace the components if necessary. With its soft handle, you’ll feel comfortable holding the sharpener as it hones your knife.
Those who use the Smith tend to like its rubber feet as it is non-slip and doesn’t move when you apply pressure. New users also like its safety features. While aimed at sports buffs, the sharpener is versatile enough to be used on kitchen and hunting knives.
- Compatible with several knives
- Easy to adjust controls
- Abrasive components are replaceable
- Abrasive components are too recessed in the casing
- More suited for soft than hard steel
Wusthof Unisex Hand-Held Sharpener
The Wusthof Precision Edge is designed to sharpen standard American knives and Asian-type knives. The sharpener comes with carbide steel which it uses for sharpening without damaging the blade. The sharpener base is rubberized so it remains stable as you use it. The Wusthof has a weight to it, and that’s a good thing as it adds balance to the unit.
You can set the carbide blades to 28 or 14 degrees to give your knives that sharp edge. If you have Asian knives, just move the cover so you can sharpen the knife to 10 or 2 degrees along the side. Either way, the V-shaped head is going to sharpen the knife quickly.
The honing stage involves the use of ceramic rods, and the process works the same way for different knives. Customers like the sharpening and honing process as it doesn’t take too long and you will see the difference with the knife. Your knife won’t just feel sharp, but it’s going to retain the edge longer.
- Safe to use
- Stable base
- Sharpens different types of knives
- Feels a bit heavy
- Works better on Asian than European knives
Chef’sChoice 130 Sharpening Station
The 130 sharpens all kinds of 20-degree knives, and the diamond abrasives work on serrated and straight blades. The versatile design also means it is compatible with santoku knife, pocket knife, and different kinds of kitchen knives. The 130 works in three stages.
The first level uses 100% diamond abrasives while on stage 2, hardened steel is used, and in stage 3 it uses stropping disks. The 130 sharpener also uses accurate angle guides on each stage so there is no guesswork involved.
The sharpener also makes full use of miniature steel that has been hardened, and its angle guides have sharpened serrations so your knife has that extra bite. During stage 3, you can use its abrasive disk mechanism to get a smooth, very sharp edge. It is also the stropping disk that aligns and straightens the serrations.
Those who bought the 130 like its easy operation, with the press of the button is all it takes and the sharpener does the rest. During the sharpening process, the 130 utilizes diamond-based rotating conical disks for superior results.
- Has diamond abrasives
- Foolproof design
- Works with all popular knife brands
- Angle can’t be adjusted
- A bit slow in sharpening an entire blade
Chef’sChoice 463 Pronto Diamond Hone
This manual knife sharpener operates in two stages, sharpening the blade and then polishing it. The sharpener uses diamond abrasives on both instances so it is able to sharpen different alloys without the need for oil or water. The sharpener gives you precision control over the bevel angle so you can sharpen knives at 15 degrees.
This makes the 463 ideal for Asian knives as well as those from other countries. The soft-touch handle makes the sharpener comfortable to hold even for long periods. Even those who haven’t used knife sharpeners before will find this tool handy and convenient to use.
Most people are happy with the sharpener and use it to hone Japanese knives. They also like its comfortable grip and that it can be used by left and right-handed people. Either way, this sharpener does the sharpening quickly and safely
- Easy to use
- Sharpens different types of knives
- Sharpens quickly
- Reading of instructions a must
- Sharpening of very dull knives takes time
Chef’sChoice 4633 AngleSelect Sharpener
The Chef’s Choice 4633 sharpens and hones blades in three stages so you get optimum results during the process. The sharpener is designed for American, Asian, and European knives, giving you lots of flexibility. The 4633 lets you sharpen knives at 20 and 15 degrees, the most commonly used for knives.
The sharpener also works with serrated and straight blades as well as sports, pocket, and santoku knives. The abrasives used in stages 1 to 3 are diamond so you get fast results. The 4633 also uses the Chef’s Choice sharpening technology so the edge stays longer and you get a double bevel. The 4633 sharpens the length of the blade so you get maximum performance from the knife.
The sharpener provides the same results for serrated and straight-edge blades, so no need to use separate sharpeners for your knives. People like the slip-resistant sharpener handle and its rubberized bottom ensures the sharpener won’t slip while you’re using it. It’s also earned good feedback from the right and left-hand users.
- Provides sharp edges
- Suited for various knives
- Easy to use
- Takes more time with very dull knives
- The handle feels a bit heavy
ChicAid Kitchen Knife Sharpening Tool
Coarse grinding and fine grinding with ceramic rods for better finishing are used on this tool. Named among the best manual compact knife sharpeners, it is truly capable of delivering sharp knives in minutes. The 2-stage sharpening process requires taking the blade from course tungsten to fine ceramic grinding.
Also seen among the best cheap manual knife sharpeners, it requires a small investment. Of course, it doesn’t have all the features you’d see in a more expensive sharpener. But for me, it’s not about how it looks but about how it performs. Without a steel case, it can never be seen among premium sharpeners. But it can certainly be seen among the best when it comes to sharpening capacity.
It even includes scissor sharpening. But for plastic design, it’s quite capable. I also love its ergonomic handle. Many other affordable knife sharpeners are simply hard to hold. You need to press down with considerable force just to keep them in place. But with ChicAid’s sharpener, you may even hold it in your hand by its thin handle. It is why I also highly recommend it to beginners.
As a word of advice, you should also know the sharpener doesn’t include a user’s manual. You should check out a few kitchen knife sharpening guides to get up-to-date on best practices. In the end, your knives can be impacted by improper use of this otherwise capable sharpener.
- Sharpens with pulling movements
- Includes coarse tungsten grinding steel
- Includes fine grinding ceramic rods
- Doesn’t include a user’s manual
Tasera Kitchen Knife Sharpener
This is certainly one of the cheapest and best kitchen knife sharpeners. It offers plenty of versatility beyond a classic design. It has 3-stage sharpening and it sits among the best when it comes to the overall versatility in the kitchen. I’ve seen sushi being made to precision as a result of this kitchen knife sharpener. I’ve also seen it sharpen the most expensive steak knives.
You shouldn’t fear it slow price cannot deliver. I’ve even seen chefs sharpen their scissors with it. This is why they were able to quickly cut mushroom and asparagus with shaper scissors. But most importantly, this kitchen knife sharpener is durable. It comes with no moving parts and there are no reasons to worry about its durability.
As the best manual knife sharpener reviews show, it has plenty to offer. Using it is not complicated either. Take scissors sharpening for example. You simply hold the sharpener firmly with on hand and insert the scissors in their dedicated slot pushing up to 5 times for the best results.
The same process is used for the sharpest kitchen knives. When compared to electric kitchen knife sharpeners, it also sits well when it comes to durability. It’s not negatively impacted by the cooking steam and high humidity. It may as well be stored on a kitchen shelf to have it at hand as needed. I know I’d keep it close to always keep my professional knives sharp.
- Suitable for chef’s knives
- Sharpens sushi knives
- Compatible with steak knives
- Doesn’t include instructions
Vokram Manual Knife Sharpener
Made with tungsten carbide and premium ceramics, this manual knife sharpener also has an ergonomic design. It’s so comfortable to hold that I almost look forward to knife sharpening when using it. No wonder it sits among the best manual kitchen knife sharpeners.
You can hold it both in your left hand and in your right hand. Now, some users complain about its plastic handle. But this is certainly not an issue for such an affordable product. Could the manufacturer use metal in the future? Probably yes. But this is certainly going to see a price increase as well.
But most users should rest assured it’s still very easy to use. It only needs up to 5 strokes to have your knives ready to cut anything you throw at them. It even sharpens scissors which says a lot about its versatility. Suitable even for specialty knives, it may be used both in restaurants and at home.
Some even use it on outdoor knives. But I see it as the right option to store in a drawer in the kitchen. Whenever you need quick sharpening, you can rely on this little solution. There’s no need to spend more to have your knives professionally honed.
- Made with an ergonomic design
- Includes tungsten carbon blades
- Backed by a lifetime guarantee
- Uses a plastic handle
Things to Consider Before Buying A Best Manual Knife Sharpener
The knife sharpener should hone knives without leaving scratches or nicks on it. You should also get a smooth edge consistently. Get the best knife sharpener you can buy if you are a chef or just use a lot of knives.
An Abrasive Surface
The sharpener surface must be hard and abrasive for efficient results. Diamond is the hardest and fastest material used for sharpening along with polished ceramic and tungsten carbide. Grit is used to measure abrasiveness, and the higher the number the finer it is. So a 1000 grit material is fine while 120 grit is coarse. Other sharpeners may use abrasives, so read the product description first.
Adjustable and Accurate Angle Guide
A good knife sharpener lets you hone knives at different angles like 20 and 15 degrees. Other sharpeners let you set the angles at 14 degrees or 28 degrees. The right angle depends on what types of knives you use.
Most of these tools have sharpening levels. Stage 1 usually hones the knife and the second stage polishes it. Some even have 3 to 4 stages.
The sharpener must have safety features so you don’t injure yourself while sharpening the knife. Manual sharpening tools usually have a wall that separates the blade and your fingers.
All good products have warranties, and knife sharpeners are no exception. This is true for knife sharpeners as well.
The only way you will really know if the knife sharpener works are if by trying it. In the event it doesn’t work out, you should be able to return it and get a refund.
Know What You Need
What type of knives do you sharpen often? There are many types of knives, and that should factor in your decision on what to buy. Some sharpeners are all-purpose, while others are for Asian knives, European or other variants.
Compact knife sharpeners are ideal if you have limited space on your kitchen countertop. A large sharpener may be ideal if you have lots of large knives.
Home or Commercial Use
A manual knife sharpener you purchase for your home might not be appropriate for commercial use as a restaurant. Hence, before you buy a manual knife sharpener, you need to be certain of where you want to use it.
If it is for commercial purposes, ensure you get a manual knife sharpener that is resilient irrespective of continuous use. On the other hand, it would not be beneficial getting a commercial manual knife sharpener when you will be using it for home tasks.
The price of a manual knife sharpener is an integral factor you should always consider. You can spend as low as $15 and as high as $500. Hence, you need to check your budget and set a price range for what you can afford. You need to know that if a knife sharpener’s price is high, it doesn’t mean it is more quality than those on the lower price cadre. That is why it is vital to do good research before venturing to the market to get a manual knife sharpener.
When you want to buy any product on the market, you have to ensure it is from a reputable brand. That helps you be confident that you are getting an original product that aims to increase your knife’s effectiveness. Buying from a reputable and trusted brand ensures that you can always return it if the product does not meet your kitchen needs, as informed before you got it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Do Manual Knife Sharpeners Wear Out?
A: Depending on the surface material, some manual knife sharpeners do wear out. Steel or ceramic sharpeners don’t wear out or lose their sharpening power. However, manual sharpeners that make use of a Diamond abrasive surface will undoubtedly wear out in time.
Q: Are Electric Knife Sharpeners Better Than Manual?
A: Manual knife sharpeners are better than electric ones in quite a few ways. You get much better control with manual sharpeners, and you can use them anywhere without the need for power. If you don’t particularly care about taking off too much steel or ruining the knife’s edge and just want it to cut better, you can always go for an electric sharpener. However, I’d advise against it.
Each manual knife sharpener review here took into account its features, pros, and cons. After going through each one, we have concluded the Chef’s Choice 463 Pronto Santoku Knife Sharpener is the best. We like how quickly it sharpens blades, the comfortable handle and that it is lightweight. The Chef’s Choice 463 Pronto Santoku/Asian Manual Knife Sharpener is also versatile and works with different types of knives.