The best knife sharpeners for 2024, tested and reviewed

The best knife sharpeners for 2024, tested and reviewed

Four different knife sharpeners and 3 knives set on a granite countertop.

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As with most tools, the best sharpener is the one you’ll actually take out and use.

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Whether you spend four dollars or a thousand on your kitchen cutlery, the time is inevitably going to come when they require sharpening. And while you must be careful with sharp knives, dull knives can be even more dangerous. Sharpening can be an intimidating task, but you don’t have to be a master of the whetstone to give your knives the treatment they deserve.

We spoke with expert butchers who rely on well-maintained knives for safety and efficiency, and we also tested 22 sharpening systems. Based on that, the best knife sharpener overall is the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect. It’s an electric sharpener that is effective and easy to use, so experts and novices can keep their best knife sets in great condition. If that’s outside your budget, the Müeller 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener uses a smooth, pull-through motion to bring dull knives and even scissors back to life. 

Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches kitchen products.

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Our top picks for knife sharpeners

Best overall: Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect – See at Amazon
This three-stage electric sharpener makes sharpening knives at home as quick and foolproof as can be.

Best manual: Müeller 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener – See at Amazon
This four-stage pull-through sharpener takes care of most knives and scissors for a surprisingly impressive result without breaking the bank.

Best kit: Edge Pro Apex 2 – See at Amazon
This jigging system offers the whetstone experience with foolproof control, allowing you to get your edges (almost) as sharp as the pros.

Best compact: KitchenIQ Edge Grip 2-Stage – See at Amazon
If you don’t have much room in your kitchen or you want something you can take on the go, this little device will get the job done and neatly tuck away.

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Best overall: Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect

Several chef’s knives laid out on a granite countertop in front of the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV EdgeSelect knife sharpener.

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The Trizor XV is easy to store and requires almost no maintenance beyond occasional light cleaning.

Owen Burke/Business Insider


Pros: Fast, even, precise, multiple bevel angles and ways to sharpen for different types of knives

Cons: Doesn’t work well with small (paring) knives or scissors, not as fine as stones

Electric sharpeners are the fastest, easiest, and most dependable tools for sharpening knives, and the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV offers three different bevels of 25, 20, and 15 degrees, making it the best knife sharpener for most knives.

We took the edge off of a Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife (the best budget chef’s knife we tested) using concrete. After less than five minutes of running it through all three stages of the Trizor XV, it was shaving a path through the hair on the back of my hand — something it couldn’t do right out of the box.

Different combinations of stages (follow instructions) offer different edges. In summary, running your knives through the third stage every few weeks will keep the blades fresh and extend the time between sharpening. If a knife is really dull, start with stage two (or one at worst).

What we like most about the Trizor XV (the “XV” refers to the 15-degree sharpener) is the spring-loaded sharpening blades that grip the knife’s edge at the correct angle, preventing you from damaging the blade as you pull it through. 

The Work Sharp E2 is a more affordable electric knife sharpener that also passed our tests. It’s more compact, but you’ll have to operate it with a little more finesse or you’ll torture  your blade like you would misusing most any sharpener. Unlike the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV, it also works well with scissors.

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Best manual: Müeller 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener

The Müeller 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener on a granite kitchen countertop.

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For a quick but respectable edge freshening, the Müeller was better than everything else we tried within this price range.

Owen Burke/Business Insider


Pros: Sharpens scissors as well as knives, three stages for knives

Cons: Doesn’t sharpen serrated knives, doesn’t make the finest edge

A pull-through sharpener strikes a happy balance between quality and convenience. You’re not going to get an edge that will appease a sushi chef, but you’ll be able to slice tomatoes (or trim raw fish for that matter) with the end result. We tested seven pull-through sharpeners and found that Müeller’s Heavy-Duty 4-Stage Diamond Sharpener was the best knife sharpener in this style to turn out sharp edges with the least amount of difficulty. 

Our experts pointed us to three-stage sharpeners, and our testing confirmed that three stages seem to offer the best edge from a pull-through, but this model’s fourth stage, for scissors, certainly doesn’t hurt. Couple that with the fact that this sharpener is about the same price as less-intensive single-stage ones, and we had our pick.

We sharpened cheap drawer scissors and kitchen shears, as well as nearly-destroyed bait knives and fine German steel with this sharpener and while we didn’t get a perfect edge on the latter two (that would be tough with most sharpeners), we did get them serviceable again.

The most common issue we ran up against with pull-through sharpeners was getting a bite on edges without coarsely gouging away at them, which can be disastrous. With the exception of wider-angled pocket knife blades, everything ran through the Müeller smoothly.

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Best kit: Edge Pro Apex 2

The Edge Pro Apex 2 sharpening a chef’s knife with three other knives on a granite countertop.

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With this kit, we brought back everything from tortured bait knives to chipped carbon blades with little trouble at all.

Owen Burke/Business Insider


Pros: Sharpens all knives, adjustable bevel settings

Cons: Suction-cup grip doesn’t work on all surfaces, best for kitchen knives

A sharpening kit, specifically a jig system like Edge Pro’s Apex 2, is a whetstone kit with training wheels. You get absolute control while using the most traditional sharpening tools (ceramic stones) without too much hassle.

Edge Pro offers several different kits, but the Apex 2 is a great place to start for just sharpening kitchen knives. You get three stones of 220, 400, and 600 grit ceramic, the kit itself, an 8″ ceramic hone, a microfiber towel, a water bottle for careful dousing, and a black carrying case. 

Thanks to the marked angles on the vertical rod on which the jig pivots, we found the Apex 2 exceptionally easy to set up and put to work. Start with a cheaper knife and use the instruction manual: it offers tips like how to find the edge of your blade by using a permanent marker.

The thing we don’t like about the Apex station is the suction cups that secure it. While they work extremely well on high-gloss surfaces, they wouldn’t stick to my workbench. Since most people are sharpening in their kitchen, the suction cups should suffice for most. Ultimately, this kit will last decades and handle every kind of knife in your kitchen.

If the Edge Pro intimidates you, we suggest the Tumbler Rolling Knife Sharpener. It’s not as involved as the Apex and much simpler to use, but you’ll get a feel for how the steel responds to different sharpening angles. We like it as a middle ground between a pull-through sharpener and a jig system.

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Best compact: KitchenIQ Edge Grip 2-Stage

The KitchenIQ Edge Grip 2-Stage sharpener on a granite countertop.

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Out of almost all of the smaller sharpeners we tested, this was by far the least likely to topple over.

Owen Burke/Business Insider


Pros: Small, stable, effective for basic sharpening and finishing, works on serrated blades

Cons: You won’t get as refined of an edge as with a three-stage sharpener, not good for scissors 

The Kitchen IQ 2-Stage Knife Sharpener is almost as basic as knife sharpening gets, and if it’s the difference between you owning a sharpener — any sharpener — and not, spend the $10 and your knife work will become infinitely better, and perhaps more importantly, safer.

There’s not much to the smallest of our best knife sharpener picks: the carbide blades make up the coarse treatment and the ceramic ones do the fine work to touch up the edge. What we like about it over the others in this size class is that it does have two stages as opposed to one, and it is incredibly stable with a low center of gravity and a comfortable grip. 

Don’t expect it to perform any miracle work on far-gone cutlery, but keeping it in regular use will keep the working knives you do have in commission, which is all most of us need anyhow. It’s a great backup tool to have in your kitchen, and easy enough to pull out of the drawer and draw a knife or two through it a few times before prepping for dinner. 

Another compact sharpener worth a look is the Lanksy D-Sharp. This is a great pick for those sharpening on the go and keeping a variety of knives sharp. With 17-, 21-, and 25-degree angles as well as a ceramic edge for honing, you can use this palm-sized sharpener with anything from a fillet knife to a pocket knife. This doesn’t do the finest job, but it’s versatile, extremely thin (about half an inch) and only a few inches long, so it’ll fit in any kit.

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What to look for in a knife sharpener

The biggest consideration is the type of sharpener, whether that’s manual, electric, pull through, or a stone.

Manual vs electric: Our best knife sharpener overall is electric, which offers quicker and more consistent sharpening. However, our other three recommendations are manual sharpeners because not only did they perform comparably to the others we tested, but they also are cheaper and less bulky than electric ones. 

Pull through vs steel or stone: While whetstones and grinding wheels reign supreme, we found through experience and interviews with experts above that they require a certain level of prowess most home cooks don’t have. Further to that point, a grinding wheel is incredibly dangerous and has no place in most homes.

If you’re really after a whetstone, the ones we recommend based on past testing are Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas TRI-HOME Sharpening System, but generally, we’ve found that electric, pull-through, kits (specifically, jig systems), and portable options are best for most people.

Versatility: Some sharpeners — including most pull-through options — only offer a single setting. These work in a pinch, but we found that at least three options (one for coarse sharpening, one for fine sharpening, and one for polishing) were the best knife sharpeners, while a fourth, for scissors and serrated blades, offered the most versatility.

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How we tested

Several chef's knives laid on top of a cutting board beside a bowl of tomatoes.

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We ran knives through 11 sharpeners, weeding out ones that clearly, off the bat, weren’t working as well as others.

Owen Burke/Insider


We dulled different types of knives for this guide, ranging from lower-quality 440 stainless steel (including a cheap pocket knife) to mid-quality X50CrMoV15 steel to finer VG-10 (relatively high-carbon steel with vanadium and chromium and molybdenum for a hybrid between German- and Japanese-style blades).

We ran sharpened knives through a sheet of paper and along the outward sheet of a folded high-gloss magazine, which is Bob Kramer’s method for testing sharpness. We then took them back to the kitchen to see if they could slice tomatoes and skin-on onions under little to no more than their own weight.

Convenience: Above all, a sharpener must be simple enough to use that it doesn’t prevent you from ever actually using it. We made sure that each sharpener we tested worked with basic instructions. 

Speed: We also took note of efficiency: how long did it take to sharpen a knife sufficiently? Although, convenience and quality are generally non-correlative. Specifically, when pull-through sharpeners were quick to sharpen, they usually left edges fairly rough and jagged.

Safety: Sharpening knives can be dangerous, so a stable device is paramount to ensuring safety. Some options we tried didn’t necessarily inspire confidence in that department, so they were set aside.

Materials: We found that kits with whetstones offered the most precision, but a combination of diamond and ceramic pull-through options offered a lot for the relatively quick pass most home cooks are willing to give their knives.

Size: Some sharpeners fit in drawers, some require a devoted shelf within a cabinet, and others fit in your pocket. Larger sharpeners performed better almost across the board, but we also considered the needs of those looking for a portable sharpener.

We also spoke with metallurgist and MIT senior lecturer Michael J. Tarkanian, as well as Pat LaFrieda, the famed butcher behind LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, to learn what types of sharpeners work best, and which ones should be left to the professionals.

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Knife sharpener FAQs

Do knife sharpeners really work?

Yes, knife sharpeners work. You may be surprised at how long it takes to achieve a good edge, but you’ll have that much more appreciation for your knives afterward.

Do knife sharpeners ruin knives?

If used improperly, a knife sharper can ruin a knife or at least make it harder to regain an edge. This is why you want to carefully read instructions and consider watching (authorized) tutorial videos.

What is the best kind of knife sharpener?

The best knife sharpener is the one you’ll use. Consider how important a fine edge is to you and your household. Cutting fish and meat? A top-notch edge is paramount, and you may want a kit. Slicing the odd veggie? You can get away with anything, and a pull-through will suffice.

Do I need a honing steel?

Honing steels are great for upkeep but only align edges. We’ve been testing honing steels, but haven’t found one that stands apart. One tip: buy a steel as long as your longest blade. Material isn’t of big importance, but in order of affordability, there’s steel, ceramic, and diamond-coated steel.

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Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected].

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