The Best Knife Sharpener Equipment, Electric Knife Sharpeners and Sharpening Stones
Things To Consider Before Buying the best Knife Sharpener or sharpening stone (whetstone) you can find:
1. Type of Blade: The type of blade you choose will determine which knife sharpeners or sharpening stone (whetstone) you should use.
- Straight Edge on both sides. This type of blade can be sharpened on most types of sharpeners and on either side simultaneously, or one side at a time.
- Straight Edge on just one side. This type of blades requires a sharpener that will sharpen one edge at a time; such sharpeners include the bench stone (whetstone), crock stick, a sharpening rod or certain electrical sharpeners.
- Serrations. Serrations will require a diamond or a ceramic file to sharpen with, a triangular shaped ceramic rod or stone can also be used.
- Gut Hook. This type of blade will require a tapered ceramic or diamond rod or file for sharpening.
- Fish Hooks or Pointed Objects. You will require a straight line sharpening groove for these “darts, needles etc”.
2. Type of Knife Sharpener: The type of sharpener has to be taken into account to determine how well your tools will be sharpened. Here are some features you should take into consideration when purchasing one of the best knife sharpeners you can find:
- The Size of the tools and the sharpener.
- The skill level it will take to sharpen your blade.
- How portable is it?
- The Application.
You might find a single sharpener for a broad range of knives and tools, while there are others specifically designed for specific types of edges. A flat dimensional stone (whetstone) for example can be used on knives as well as a variety of tools like chisels, but it can’t be used to sharpen a serrated knife or a pair of scissors.
On the other hand, a tapered rod sharpener is ideal for some serrated edges, but won’t be able to sharpen woodworker’s tools. A precision guided system will work wonders in guiding the unskilled user, while a skilled user of a flat bench stone will achieve the same results with free hand sharpening. Consider your skill level carefully, study the different sharpeners, and then select the type and style that will be most suited and beneficial to your needs and applications.
Manual Sharpeners (whetstone):
- Fixed angle: This is great for a quick and effective sharpening, and it will ensure the right angle every single time.
- Flat stone (whetstone): This will require some skill to use or an angle guide to ensure the correct angle is achieved when using these stones. Great for sharpening items such as small tools like chisels.
- Sharpening Rods & Steels: Steels work brilliantly for re-aligning a knife’s edge; whereas ceramic and Diamond rods are good for honing the edges while it realigns them.
- Precision Systems: Guided sharpening systems hold the blade at the correct angle when sharpening and provide guaranteed results every single time.
- Electric sharpeners are perfect when you quickly want to restore the edge of a blunt knife and works wonders when you have loads of knives that need sharpening.
3. Sharpening Abrasive Material: There are 5 sharpening abrasive categories, each with their own unique characteristics and sharpening capabilities, Arkansas stones, carbides, ceramics, diamonds and synthetics. No matter the preference, all of the above abrasives will produce results, it will only come down to how much and quickly you want to remove metal from the blade.
- Diamonds: Diamonds are the hardest thing on this planet; as such diamond abrasive sharpeners last a long time, effective and really fast. Diamond sharpeners will remove metal a lot quicker than some other types of sanders. They are made by actually capturing the diamond particles inside a nickel plating process thus allowing it to bond with the metal substrate being used. Premium diamond sharpeners have a very unique interrupted surface that holds and collects metal filings that would normally hinder the abrasive surface in cheaper models, ensuring the surface stays clean from any obscure abrasives. Because of this, you can sharpen with, or without, a honing solution. Diamond sharpeners are perfect for very hard tools or stainless steel knives. Because Diamond stones are so hard they will always stay flat, unlike other stones that wear down with use and diamond sharpeners will even sharpen carbides. Available in a wide range of grits.
- Carbides: Carbides are very aggressive removing a lot of metal quickly, thus restoring tools to working condition in as little as three to four strokes.
- Ceramics: Ceramics will remove very little metal which makes it perfect for the finishing and maintenance of a sharp edge. Ceramics are available in different colours, shapes and grits.
- Arkansas Stones: Arkansas is genuine silica (novaculite), indigenous to Arkansas, hence where its name comes from, and also known as “the world’s finest finishing stone”. They are perfect for removing metal while also polishing the edge at the same time, no other sharpener can perform both sharpening and polishing at the same time. Arkansas stones will remove the least amount of metal from your blades and tools so they are perfect for finishing off the sharpening process.
- Synthetic: Synthetics are a man made stone; it is great for quick edge settings and final finishes. They also come in various colours, shapes and grits.
You should also get to know all the different types of Knife Blade Shapes to help you better understand why there is so many different types of knife sharpeners and to give you a better understanding of which sharpeners to use with which knife type.