The Different Types of Knife Sharpeners – Must Know!

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The Different Types of Knife Sharpeners

Hi everybody, thank you for choosing our website.  You will not be disappointed with this post on the different types of knife sharpeners because it has everything you must know.

We will list all of the different types of knife sharpeners.  Past and present.  Also the future of knife sharpening.

As well as the understanding of how to sharpen knives with each knife sharpener.

Because if you do not understand how to sharpen a knife properly then you will damage your knives and end up spending more money on new knives.

Do not make this mistake.  Make sure you read this article to ensure you are using your knife sharpener the proper way.

Or you will pay the price.  Literally.

Ready?  Let’s begin!

What are Knife Sharpeners Called?

There are 4 common knife sharpeners and one new age knife sharpener.  These knife sharpeners are called…

Common Knife Sharpeners
  1. Honing Rod
  2. Stone Sharpeners
  3. Manual Sharpener
  4. Electric Sharpener
New Age Knife Sharpener
  1. Laser Knife Sharpener


What Type of Knife Sharpener is the Best?

The Different Types of Knife Sharpeners

To say that they are all equal would be a lie.

There is a best knife sharpener and I will give my opinion below.

The different types of knife sharpeners can ALL be functional and effective if used properly.

Below I will speak on how to use each knife sharpener and which one is the best.

#4. Manual Knife Sharpener

The manual sharpener is somewhat conventional and requires a greater force for efficient sharpening. The user usually pulls the dull knife through a V-shaped chamber containing the abrasive material.

In a different design, manual sharpeners also have abrasives on non-motorized wheels. The chambers or slots are provided on a manual sharpener and you need to pull the knife blade through it.

The following steps are an easy guide on how you can make the best out of a manual sharpener.

Manual Knife Sharpener

  1. After inserting the knife blade into the chamber, slide it through three to six times from the base to the tip, while gently pushing down to ensure that the knife remains close to the sharpener.
  2. You need to apply adequate force and pressure while swiping the blade, otherwise the knife blade won’t be sharpened properly.
  3. Follow the knife’s curve to allow the whole length of the blade to be efficiently sharpened.
  4. A grinding sound indicates that you’re using the sharpener in the correct manner.
  5. Switch from coarse setting to fine setting, for final touches on the blade.

-Inexpensive and economical.

-Extremely safe to use.

-User has full control over the sharpening process.


-Useless for serrated knives and knives with waved blades.

-Require a lot of physical effort.

-Not as fast or efficient.

#3. Sharpening Stones

These low-tech, rectangular blocks, also called whetstones, are quite different from the other kinds of knife sharpeners in this post.

Some stone sharpeners are made of actual stones while others a modified version of synthetic stone that’s suitable for sharpening dull blades.

A stone sharpener usually has two sides: one for extremely dull blades that require more work, and the other side for slightly-dull knife edges that only need a few touch-ups. Here’s how to use this tool:

Stone Knife Sharpener

  1. Soak the stone sharpener into normal tap water for ten to twelve minutes.
  2. Once it’s dry, set it on a kitchen towel and start gliding the knife across the stone. While doing so, point the knife away from your body and make sure that the flat side of the blade maintains a twenty-degree angle with the stone surface.
  3. Start from the heel, gradually moving towards the pointed end of the blade. Using your fingers, carefully and steadily hold the blade while sliding it across the stone.
  4. Repeat these steps for the other side of the blade as well. Also note that five swipes per side are recommended and keeping the angle consistent is also critical for proper sharpening.

-Allows freehand sharpening.

-Flexible in use.

-One of the best ways to sharpen a variety of knives.



-Only efficient with a steady hand.

-Comparatively difficult to learn.

-Some types of sharpening stones aren’t budget-friendly.

#2. Honing Rod

In all honestly, the sharpening stone is better then the honing rod but if you are reading this post then you probably have never used a knife sharpener.

With that said, the stone sharpening method is comparatively more difficult to use then a honing rod.  So that is why the honing rod is #2 on this list.

Properly known as the honing steel or sharpening steel, a honing rod is approximately 30cm long and is usually made up of either steel or ceramic.

This metal rod can be found in most knife sets and serves to re-align the blades of a dulled knife. It’d be incorrect to say that it fully sharpens the knife. Rather, it hones the blade’s edges.

When the blade of a dull kitchen knife is swept across the steel, the edges are realigned so that the knife doesn’t need to be sharpened very frequently.

At times, we’ve seen cooks demonstrate the honing rod method, during which a harsh rasping noise is often heard.

Contrary to the common belief, this isn’t the right way to use a honing steel. Instead, this technique requires light pressure because any amount of excessive force applied can damage the knife blade in the long run. How to use this tool:

Honing Rod

  1. Make sure you use your dominant hand for sweeping the knife across the steel rod. First off, hold the honing rod straight with its tip pointing downwards on a damp kitchen towel. This will anchor and secure the rod’s position.
  2. When you start the honing process, make sure the heel, or rear part of the blade’s edge, is in contact with the top of the rod. While maintaining a fifteen-degree angle between the knife blade and the steel surface, gently draw the knife down the steel rod. Make sure the knife slides from heel to tip, with minimal pressure.
  3. Switch sides of the honing rod with every stroke. At least six strokes on each side are necessary.
  4. In order to keep the knife’s cutting edge straight, you also need to ensure that you duplicate the pressure and motion on each side of the honing rod.

– Quite common.

– Easier to learn to use and beginner-friendly.

– Moderately improves cutting and chopping function.

– Adds to the aesthetic of your kitchen block.


– Unable to permanently fix a blade that’s fully dull.

– The surface of a honing rod may get clogged due to removed metal particles.

#1. Electric Knife Sharpener

This is the #1 way to sharpen a knife for the different types of knife sharpeners for common kitchen knife sharpeners.

Being a modern addition to the market, electric knife sharpeners arrived as a major upgrade to the manual ones.

With repeated use, when cutlery gets dull overtime, experts often prefer electric knife sharpeners because they have the ability to renew and maintain knife edges quite smoothly.

These efficient blade sharpeners are also re-shapers and polishers that are usually available in a variety of forms.

They contain at least two to three grinding wheels with different levels of grit or coarseness.

Hence, the varying levels of sharpening required by different knives can be dealt with separately. Here’s how you can use an electric knife sharpener:

Electric Knife Sharpener

  1. Before starting, make sure that the particular knife blade easily fits through the sharpener.
  2. After placing the knife blade in the slot on the sharpener, ensure that the knife’s heel is pressed furthest down so that it’s in close contact with the grinding stone.
  3. Start with the heel and slide gradually through to the tip of the blade.
  4. Pass the blade through twice on each side. Twice is enough since electric knife sharpeners are super-efficient.
  5. Now switch from the coarsest stone to the finer grit stone. Repeat the procedure described in the previous steps.
  6. Rinse your knife and dry. This gets rid of all the shavings. 

-Quick and extremely efficient.

– No flaws— no bending, breaking or denting of the edges.

– Easy to use.

– Contains various slots and sharpening stages.

– work with all types of knives.



Laser Knife Sharpener

Laser Knife Sharpener

This will be the way of the future for knife sharpening.

This is really the cream of the crop, numero uno when it comes to knife sharpening.

The concept behind this device and its usage is still alien to a lot of amateur cooks, but it depicts exactly how knife sharpening in the near future will look like.

Using a laser beam, this type of knife sharpener makes the whole process smart, more efficient and precise than ever before.

The idea was brought together by an international research team of scientists led by a renowned physicist at Harvard University.

The Laser Knife Edge Reader allows the user to not only select the accurate precision at which sharpening is required but also provides consistent results.

It’s the fastest way to accurately sharpen kitchen knives at a perfect, fixed angle.

The laser sharpener also has two distinct kinds of edges, one convex and other flat, for two different kinds of sharpening techniques.

This modern-day sharpener is still not as common as the other ones, but it’s definitely going to lead the way from here.

How To Buy a Knife Sharpener

It’s important to note that a knife sharpener should be chosen according to the material of the kitchen knives and the frequency of their usage.

A steel-sharpening rod or a honing rod is best suited for daily maintenance on already-sharp knives.

On the other hand, a stone sharpener is mostly used for reviving extremely dull blades.

When it comes to electric and manual knife sharpeners, both are suitable for regular maintenance of only slightly dull knife blades.

However, there are obvious differences between the two. When it comes to which one’s better— electric or manual— the answer is quite simple.

The advantages offered by modern electric sharpeners surpass those provided by the manual units.

Moreover, when compared to honing rods and whetstones, electric knife sharpeners are less complicated, easier to use, more convenient and also time-saving.

Additionally, an electric sharpener can swiftly improve the blade quality of almost any kind of kitchen knife, including both straight-edged and serrated knives.

Kitchen knife

Are Knife Sharpeners Bad for Knives?

Even though we’ve already discussed why sharpening knives in the correct manner is necessary, a common misconception that circulates among the masses is that knife sharpeners can prove to be damaging for kitchen knives.

Home cooks who are new to selecting knives and opting for knife sharpeners are often confused and a question arises, Are knife sharpeners actually bad?

It’s true that knife sharpening is an abrasive process and if done excessively, it can wear down the blade really quick.

However, if you follow the instructions correctly and use the right kind of knife sharpener that’s suitable for your own needs, the process of sharpening won’t be harmful for your knives in any way.

A Kitchen Must Have!

Most amateur cooks are guilty of using a dull knife more than they should.

After going through the different types of knife sharpeners guide, we’re confident that you understand why sharp knife blades make vegan meal preparation much safer, efficient and faster.

Even though knife sharpening is an essential culinary technique that requires practice, you’ll surely notice how it transforms your cooking experience.

Master the art of knife sharpening and invest in a suitable knife sharpener today. 

FAQs (Frequently asked questions):


Q:   What are the safety precautions to keep in mind when sharpening knives?


A:  Sharpening kitchen knives can be potentially hazardous since your fingers are exposed to the blades. Follow these safety measures:

-Wear kitchen gloves before starting the sharpening process.

-Make sure your sharpening device or tool is secure and stays intact. If it moves during the sharpening process, the blade can slip.

-Avoid directly touching the blade while using honing rods, and electric or manual sharpeners.

-While removing lingering shavings after sharpening is over, always use a dish cloth or a wet sponge instead of your bare hands.


Q:  After sharpening, how do I ensure that the knife blade stays sharp?


A:  Knife sharpening is itself a chore. Hence, once you’ve spent time doing it, you’d want to restore the sharpness of your knives. Here are some ways to do that:


-Avoid storing knives in a utensil drawer with other kitchen tools. An organized knife block or a magnetic knife rack makes sure the blades are protected from wear-and-tear.

-Always rinse your knife thoroughly to remove any excessive washing liquid. Make sure the knives are dried properly before storing them.

-Never chop your fruit and veggies on a marble worktop or glass surface. Only use a good quality chopping board.


Q:  How do I ensure that my knife is sharpened properly?


A:  Before you begin slicing and cutting, you’d want to test the sharpness of your knife and verify if your attempt at knife sharpening was successful. So, here’s how you can know if your knife is indeed sharp:

– Tomato test: For this test, a paring knife or chef knife is preferred. Place a ripe tomato on your chopping board and slice the knife through it. If it slides through the tomato easily, the knife is sharp enough. If not, it’s an indication that you need to sharpen your knife again.

– Paper test:  In case, there’s no tomato in the pantry that day, you can always test your knife’s sharpness using a piece of either construction or computer paper. If the knife slides easily through it, sectioning the paper entirely, then your knife’s plenty sharp. 


Thanks for reading everyone!  If you have more interest in our product reviews or kitchen product information then click here!



Hello I'm Eric and I am striving to educate people about plant based diets. I enjoy bowling, gardening and nature in my free time. Marilyn and I hope you find our site helpful in learning about a proper Vegan diet.


6 Responses

  1. My mother-in-law always made sure every knife in her house was sharp. I loved helping out in her kitchen, as I never worked with such precision knives.

    I know that she used a stone to sharpen her knives. I’m sure her years of experience led her to sharpen them to perfection, and I’m guessing she wouldn’t trust an electric knife sharpener. Most people usually like to stay with what they know works.

    The laser knife sharpener is pretty awesome. Do you know when these will become available?

    • great question about the laser knife sharpeners Willow.  I will be doing more research on this method and hopefully do a product review on one with a link on where to buy one.  Hope to help you in the future.

  2. Talking about what knife sharpeners are the best, pros and cons, what’s and what not is really fascinating. I have never had to sharpen any of my kitchen knives in the past. Maybe when I was not aware my fiancee may have taken them out to get them sharpened. Although they are never blunt but I should get some of these sharpeners you have carefully selected and detailed here. Makes my job easier. Thanks for this lovely information. 

  3. Helooo Eric, a big thanks to you for sharing this article on the different types of knife sharpeners must know… I really fundd this post interesting, I will definitely forward this to my  unclewbo is a Vegan, I am pretty sure that he is going to love it and find it.very useful . Thanks for sharing this once again, it helped.

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