The Best Way to Sharpen Your Knives at Home

Chefs Choice 130 Knife Sharpener

I’m kind of a freak about sharp knifes. When I cook in other folk’s kitchens I usually find their knives are as dull as a wiffle ball bat, and I can’t figure out how they stand it.

Few things make your life in the kitchen more enjoyable than truly sharp knives. They make your work faster, easier, and safer (because you don’t have to use excessive force which is likely to lead to unfortunate slips.) And yet the honest truth is that few of us will take the time to sharpen knives by hand on oilstones or waterstones, and who has the time to take them out for frequent professional sharpening? 

There have been a thousand gadgets invented to make sharpening easier and more foolproof. I’ve tried lots of them over the years, and far and away the standout solution is this Chef’s Choice 130 Professional Sharpening Station. It has three powered grinding wheels. The coarsest is only used if your knife has a knick. The middle wheel is for routine sharpening, and the final wheel is for putting on a razor edge. A few strokes on that and your blade will go through tough vegetables like butter. You can even use the finest wheel on serrated blades like your bread knife to restore their edge. For all 3 wheels, the angle guide takes all the guesswork out of it. Just be sure and read the manual so you know how many strokes to take on each side.

The whole process of sharpening a dull knife just takes a minute or two and requires no special skill, so there really is no reason you ever need to suffer with blunt instruments again. The only real caveat is that you can’t adjust the angle if you have a strong personal preference. They do make a different model that trades out the coarsest wheel for an option between Asian and European standard angles, but I haven’t tried that myself.

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 in My Kitchen, Small Appliances.

12 Responses to “The Best Way to Sharpen Your Knives at Home”

  1. Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    I also find that this $9 sharpener works really damn good. It won’t really repair long-neglected knives, but it’s great for putting on an edge every time I take my knife out. It looks like crap, but it puts a razor edge on my Dexter in less than 5 seconds.


  2. Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I have the Chef’s Choice 120, very similar and I love it!!

  3. Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    I considered spending that much but ended up with an under $10 sharpener called AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener. It actually shaves off minute slivers of steel and would be the wrong choice for expensive Japanese blades (which have a different blade angle anyway).
    But with a few light strokes any knife becomes razor sharp.
    One deciding factor for me was: it takes up no space at all in my knife drawer, requires no power, or counter space, and I can simply take it along when I cook at a shelter.
    I also bought their garden tools variety.

  4. Reply
    October 29, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Great article, I have been looking for a new sharpening tool and this may just fit the bill!

  5. Reply
    October 30, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    I’ve a Chef’s Choice 130 & working great.

  6. Reply
    December 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    The problem with machines is they take off too much of the edge, plus if the knife has a thick heel, like the one in the photo, it will not pass through the grinder and you’ll end up with a concave profile on your blade. You’re better off buying a decent sharpening stone and learning how it use it, or taking it to a professional.

    • Reply
      December 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      Not all machines are the same. The fine wheel on the Chefs Choice is akin to a strop; it definitely doesn’t take off too much of your metal. I’ve used it on my knives hundreds of times with no ill effect, and it gives me a very nice edge. Not quite the absolute razor edge I can get with practiced use of the finest stone, but very respectable.

  7. Reply
    March 1, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    I have a small grinder, portably and quickly sharpen very well, but I admit that it looks very cool device also does not take much space.

  8. Reply
    May 15, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    Thats awesome! I’m a hunter for more than adecate now.
    I was looking for something new to sharpen my knifes.
    That once, just ticks all my boxes!

  9. Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    A great idea, how many times have we been trying to sharpen our knifes with ordinary sharpener and they never get very sharp or become blunt quickly. I like the chefs choice.

  10. Reply
    March 13, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    I am a disaster in the kitchen with knives. Been to the emergency room enough times to know that a sharp knife is far safer than a dull one. Thanks for the link to this gadget. Will check it out.

  11. Reply
    June 8, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    Like someone mentioned above, some electric knife sharpeners do grind a little bit too heavily on the blade, but the Chef’s Choice you recommend above manages to strike the balance really well while also being great for newcomers in guiding the angle at which to sharpen effectively.

    Great post!

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