– Professional knife sharpener: how to choose it and when to use it

The choice of a professional knives machine must be made paying attention to a series of characteristics, both aesthetic and, of course, technical.

Although it may seem excessive to pay attention also to the aesthetic side, it should be remembered that in many cases these tools are kept in view: for this reason it may be a good idea to choose a model that adapts to the context, ie that has a modern or classic design depending on the style of the kitchen in which it is used.

As for the technical aspect, it should immediately be pointed out that professional knives can be of two main types, namely manual or electric.

Furthermore, they can be subdivided into further categories according to the technology that allows them to function, ie that guarantees a perfect sharpening of the blades. This is not always quick and fast, since it depends on the state of conservation and the edge of the blade.

In the case of older knives, three different steps may be necessary, namely roughing, sharpening and finishing. In this case it will then be necessary to have a knife sharpener that allows you to carry out all three of these steps.

The section of the sharpener that allows sharpening can be different depending on the models, both in terms of type and materials. It may in fact be characterized by a grinding wheel, a disk or a plate while, as far as the materials are concerned, it will be possible to have a ceramic, stone, corundum, tungsten carbide or diamond knife sharpener.

The materials listed have been ordered in increasing prices: this means that a ceramic or stone knife sharpener will be on average cheaper than a diamond one. However, it should be emphasized that the cost depends not only on the section for sharpening but also on other factors, ranging from the dimensions to the design, from the brand to, of course, the materials with which the entire knife sharpener is made.

Those who love to use the different kitchen knives for the various tasks, ranging from slicing bread to meat, from cutting fish to sliced ​​meat, must also have a proper tool at hand to be able to redo the thread. Only in this way can you be sure of knives always at the top, which can be used to the best of their ability.

Of course, if you have a large number of blades of different shapes and sizes, it is important to choose a professional knife sharpener capable of sharpening all the types of knives you have: you must therefore aim for a versatile model of such length and width to be able to operate on the different types of blades in possession.

An important point to take into consideration is that all the blades, with time and wear, lose their sharpening. Even when the knife is preserved to perfection, therefore, it will be necessary to proceed with a regular sharpening to guarantee a correct use and a precise cut.

Although, in fact, regular cleaning and constant maintenance ensure a longer life than the shine of the blade, it should be emphasized that there is a series of foods that can dull the knives due to a higher acid content. The use itself therefore, is a source of stress for the knife which, even when the utmost attention is paid, can be ruined by losing its luster and thread.

– The best tools to redo the blade

Before highlighting the different types of professional knife sharpeners, whether manual or electric, it should be emphasized that these tools are not the only ones that can be used to make the blades with thread.

However, these are the most practical, versatile and easy to use tools. In fact, they represent a sort of evolution of two previous tools for sharpening the blades, which are illustrated below and which, in many areas, are still widely used.

The abrasive stone

This is the oldest tool for sharpening blades. Modern abrasive stones are made of silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. Choices of such dimensions are to guarantee a high versatility: in this way it will be possible to have the certainty of a use with each type of blade, both long and wide.

In addition to the dimensions, attention must be paid to the grain, which makes it possible to distinguish between roughing stones and those for real sharpening. The abrasive stones for roughing have a smaller granulometry, to be chosen between 100 and 400 grit depending on the specific needs of the use.

They are in fact recommended for those who must sharpen old knives and which are not regularly maintained. The stones for sharpening proper, on the other hand, have a grain that is around 1000 grit. They are the best choice for those who regularly care for their knives.

Those who are experts in the use of abrasive stone can also choose diamond models: these are, however, more difficult to use, as well as more expensive.

The sharpening steel

The steel is an instrument consisting of a handle that can be made of plastic, wood or other materials, it is a very hard and reinforced steel rod, with a circular section and a very fine knurling along its entire length.

It is a fundamental tool for finishing the knife edge, but it is not suitable for roughing very damaged blades. It can therefore be compared to fine grain abrasive stones. However, in the case of old and worn knives, it cannot ensure good sharpening. Usually it should be used before each use of the knife, so as to ensure perfect sharpening before each cut.

The main difference between steel and abrasive stone lies not only in the type of sharpening, but also in the time required to obtain a professional result. The finishing of the blade with the steel, in fact, is very rapid.

Conversely, more time and experience is required when using the abrasive stone. For this reason, sharpening with the abrasive stone should never be done when you are in a hurry or before using the knife itself, but in separate moments, when you are not in a hurry and need to use the blade immediately.

Manual or electric sharpener? How to choose between the two types

Unlike what you can imagine, the difference between manual and electric knife sharpeners does not lie in the quality and results they offer but only in the sharpening speed and practicality of use.

The manual models, in fact, require a greater amount of time for the sharpening process and a high experience: only with a lot of patience and attention, in fact, it will be possible to obtain sharp and sharp blades. For this reason they are the main choice of professionals who need to always work with reliable knives and who can have high quality abrasive stones.

The professional manual knife sharpeners can be of three different types: the classic sharpening stones, the steel sharpening rods (steel type) or the steel wheels.

The electric models, while guaranteeing excellent precision in sharpening, are more suitable for those who love to cook but cannot spend too much time on kitchen utensils. They can therefore be considered a fundamental tool for amateur cooks.

The choice of this type of knife sharpener must be made taking into account not only the grain size of the sharpening area but also the motor and any other available functions.

Furthermore, it must be emphasized that some models allow not only sharpening of kitchen knives, but also scissors or screwdrivers. Therefore, depending on your needs, you can opt for a type of professional knives or for another.

Particular attention must be paid to the power of the knife sharpening machine. When you opt for a professional model, in fact, you need to know that the engine can have variable power, but usually between 40 and 100 watts.

Unlike what happens with many household appliances, the power of the motor in a knives set is not an effectively discriminating element. It therefore becomes much more important to take care to choose a brand specialized in kitchen tools and made of high quality materials rather than focusing on power.

In particular, as already highlighted, it is important to evaluate the quality of the disc and its particle size, to know if your machine can be used both for roughing and for the wire.

Finally, in choosing the electric knife sharpener, two other characteristics must be taken into consideration, namely the size and the exposure or otherwise of the surface to be sharpened.

The dimensions (and the weight) are very important to evaluate above all according to the use made of this appliance. If it is used regularly, in fact, it will be necessary to keep it in sight, so it must be characterized by such dimensions that it can be inserted in the present furniture.

When, on the other hand, its use is more rare, it must be kept inside a piece of furniture or a pantry, so it is important that it be manageable and not too heavy to be moved when the need arises.

Regarding exposure of the grinding area, it must always be remembered that, in the presence of children or pets at home, it can be a problem. An accidental turning on of the arrota coltelli, in fact, could become very dangerous. In this case it may be convenient to opt for models that have the hidden sharpener, ie within a protected area.

Finally, it must be emphasized that the costs of a knife sharpener can be very variable and depend both on the model (electric or manual) and on the external construction materials and, of course, on the quality of the grinding stone.

To better understand the quality of a hard knifes it can be helpful to carefully evaluate the reviews that are easily found online today, so that you can better understand both the quality of the product and whether it is suitable for your needs.


As already pointed out, a professional electric knife sharpener is a household appliance that is used a lot by those who love good food.

Being able to count on a knife that is always very sharp, in fact, allows to reduce the preparation time of many foods, thus being able to better organize the different menus, be they meat, fish or vegetables.

In the previous paragraphs the different parameters that must be taken into consideration to choose a good product, ie the type of grinding wheel, the power, the dimensions and the weight have already been highlighted.

Before presenting some of the best products on the market, we want to highlight another important aspect for the choice of knife sharpening, namely that of sharpening speed.

The best tools are electric knives, although they are certainly faster than manual models, but they are tools that operate relatively slowly. This is because sharpening too quickly would risk either overheating the blade too much or not allowing a good evaluation of the wire, thus risking to irreparably damage the knives.

* Graef CC 120 Knife Sharpener

This electric knives is a complete model, characterized by the presence of three different types of discs for the various blade sharpening phases.

Its design is simple and essential and is black and white. The dimensions are 25 × 11.2 × 11 centimeters and the weight is three kilos. The anti-slip feet allow the knife sharpener to remain firmly attached to the table during the blade grinding phase.

The upper part of this model has three different slots, marked by the numbers one, two and three. Inside there are the three different disks for the various sharpening phases. The first slot is the one dedicated to roughing the blade: inside is a diamond disk that allows the knife to be pre-sharpened.

Inside the second one, another diamond disc but with a thinner grain, is used for the actual sharpening phase. Finally, the slit three is the one dedicated to the remaking of the wire. Inside there is a ceramic disk.

The power of the device is 75 watts: despite everything, the discs rotate very slowly to ensure accurate and homogeneous work on the whole blade and, above all, to avoid overheating.

The sharpener’s internal angle is twenty degrees: it is therefore a perfect solution for all types of blades, as long as they are made of steel and not serrated. This knives knives, in fact, is not suitable for sharpening ceramic knives.

The cleaning of the shavings that form as a result of the different operations of roughing and wire must be carried out regularly after each use. In this way you can be sure of keeping the instrument clean and well functioning.

The Graef CC 120 Knife sharpener is equipped with a small magnet positioned on the bottom that allows the shavings to remain firmly fixed to the bottom. For proper cleaning, simply remove the magnet and clean it, being careful not to cut yourself with shavings.

The operation of this knife sharpener is very simple: at the base, in fact, the start / stop button is positioned, which must be pressed both for commissioning and for switching off. The use of this model of rotator is very intuitive. Inside it is however possible to find an instruction manual which, however, is only available in German.

* Graef sharpener model CC80

This model of knife sharpener has relatively compact dimensions, being characterized by measures equal to 85x96x197 millimeters. Even with regard to weight it is very low, being only one kilo.

If the small footprint can cause doubts about the choice of this model, it should immediately be emphasized that the high versatility and quality of the results guarantees and pays for the small dimensions that seem to make this knife sharpener almost a toy.

Like the best models of professional electric knives, this one also has three different spaces for sharpening, ie one for roughing, one for the actual sharpening and the last for making a precision wire.

The discs ground inside the apparatus are made of abrasive diamond with different grain according to the needs. The precision on the sharpening angle is guaranteed by the presence of guides characterized by flexible springs that allow you to follow the characteristics of the blade to perfection, always maintaining angle control.

This Graef knife sharpener model is highly accurate and allows perfect control of the different knife sharpening phases. It therefore manages to guarantee impeccable results, but not on every type of blade: in fact, it is perfect on smooth blade knives while it is not indicated if they are made of ceramic or with a serrated blade. Moreover, the high quality of the wire grinding wheel allows the blades to last a long time.

The use of this electric knives is very simple and intuitive: switching on and off is allowed by the button at the base that activates all three wheels. It is not necessary to have a high level of experience for professional sharpening, but it may be useful to read the instructions carefully to evaluate the timing and method of positioning the knives according to the models and characteristics of the blades themselves.


Manual knife sharpeners are particularly versatile and very varied instruments, both in shape and size.

As already pointed out, although manual they are more appreciated by kitchen professionals who can, through the movements of the blade on the abrasive area, evaluate the sharpening process more carefully.

When buying a manual model for knives it is important to first evaluate the type of knives that need to be sharpened, both in terms of construction materials and the use made of them.

For knives that are all used regularly, in fact, a knife sharpener characterized by a single element, or by a grinding machine with a single grain, may suffice.

When instead you want to have a more complete product, to be sure of being able to use even rarely used knives, for which an initial roughing may be necessary, then it is better to focus on models characterized by different grains and abrasive materials, to choose from depending on the needs of the blades.

Also, be careful not to confuse the shine of the knife with the sharpening of the blade. When the knives are used continuously, infected, the metal that characterizes them can become opaque on contact with slightly acidic foods, such as lemon, tomatoes or other. However, the blade can still be perfectly sharp.

In the same way, when making the new sharpening, it is not necessary for the blade to become as shiny as new to guarantee a perfect cut.

* E-Prance three-phase manual knife sharpener

This manual knives can be considered an excellent quality product. Despite the small size of 20.5x5x7 centimeters and the weight of just under 200 grams, in fact, it is characterized by grinding stones capable of ensuring a professional sharpening.

Its design is essential: it has an ABS handle that guarantees a solid grip, thanks both to the ergonomics of the handle and to its lightness.

The body of the instrument is characterized by three different slits, one for roughing the blade, one for retouching and one for the wire. During the various operations, the knife sharpener remains firmly anchored to the support surface thanks to the presence of anti-slip feet.

The three different slots for the blades are characterized in different materials depending on the type of treatment they must receive. Roughing should be carried out in the central part, where the term Coarse is given: this sector has a tungsten carbide wheel.

The real sharpening, on the other hand, should be done in the sector where the word Fine is reported: this area is characterized by a diamond plate. The third area, on the other hand, bears the wording Ceramic and provides for the remaking of the wire. This sector of knife-sharpening is not suitable for use with ceramic blades, but only to redo the steel knives.

The typology of piers for sharpening has been designed to be used without any problem both with smooth blades and with those with wide serrations, such as bread knives. This product is not suitable for knives with narrow serrations, for scissors or other types of blades.

The times required for complete sharpening may vary depending on the initial conditions of the blade. To have the security of a correct procedure it is important to remember that careful sharpening should be carried out without haste and taking care not to overdo the pressures to avoid damaging the blade itself.

The practical dimensions of this sharpener and the light weight allow an easy storage in the pantry or in the kitchen furniture. When not in use it is advisable to place the product in the box for a longer life. For safety reasons it should be kept away from children.

* Pro Metal sharpener with suction cup by AnySharp

Who does not want to give up a professional sharpener but does not have ample space for storing it, can choose the Pro Metal model with AnySharp suction cup. It is in fact an instrument characterized by extremely compact dimensions, equal to 6x6x6.4 centimeters and weighing just 163 grams.

Despite this aspect almost like a toy, it guarantees professional results on all types of metal blades, both smooth and serrated. It is not recommended for ceramic blades.

The use of this product is very simple: firstly it must be placed on a table or other support surface, to which it will adhere thanks to the presence of suction cups placed at the base.

Then the handle must be lowered which also acts as a protection element. The knives must therefore be inserted into the slot and slid in one direction, and not making a forward or backward movement of the blade.

The sharpening plate is made of tungsten carbide and is therefore highly effective for sharpening knives with different levels of wear. According to the needs, therefore, the blade will have to be passed several times inside the sharpener in order to have a perfect result.

It should be emphasized, however, that although the results obtained with the AnySharp Pro Metal Sharpener with Ventosa are highly professional, the presence of only one type of sharpening plate reduces the high quality of the instrument.

This, in fact, does not allow to roughen or make the wire and the polishing, but only to guarantee an excellent level of cut with knives that are used regularly.

– Manual knife sharpener as used

The manual knife sharpeners they are very simple to use even if to get a perfect result you need a good dose of experience.

To be sure you have perfectly sharpened blades it may be convenient to carry out the first tests with very damaged or old knives and do not attempt to sharpen immediately the most expensive models or in any case the best ones available.

In fact, for a correct sharpening it is necessary to learn to control the pressures and inclinations of the blade. Furthermore, depending on the type of material to be sharpened, a different speed of movement may be necessary.

The movements required for roughing and sharpening with manual tools are usually slow and homogeneous. It is therefore necessary to know how to calibrate the force so that the knife is not damaged.

Knowing how to distinguish when a knife needs roughing and when, instead, a thin sharpening, it is another important element that allows you to use the right grain of the stone. Even in this respect, however, a good deal of experience is needed.

When using an abrasive stone, it may be a good idea to wet the stone before sharpening.

Furthermore, even using water continuously to keep the stone clean and not to heat the blade can be a good way to have the security of a perfect sharpening. This must be carried out always keeping the blade with a specific inclination, of about twenty degrees.

This type of sharpening has been taken up by some brands that have started producing a type of professional water-based knife sharpener. These are very convenient machines for those who make continuous use of the grinding of knives: water, in addition to guaranteeing greater cleaning of the grinding area thus eliminating chips, ensures the maintenance of a constant blade temperature.

In electric instruments, in fact, much more than in manual ones, sharpening can lead to excessive overheating of the blade, making it more easily deformed.

The different models of sharpener & sharpener for manual knives are based on the typical abrasion concept of the grinding stone. However, the modern models of manual blades are characterized by having a plastic or steel structure around them that make them very practical and simple to use thanks to handles, anti-slip feet and protective covers.

The sharpening with these tools is easier than the one to be performed with the stone because usually they have fissures ending with the specific angle of twenty degrees required for a correct grinding. The best models also feature three different slots for three different types of operations, namely roughing, real sharpening and polishing. Each crack is characterized by stones or elements of different hardness and grain, so as to guarantee a perfect result.

However, particular attention should be paid to how to use it, as some grinding machines require that the sharpening be done using a standard movement.

Forward-backward slow, continuous and homogeneous while others require movement in a single direction, from the base of the knife to the tip, to then lift and reposition the blade to repeat the movement, again from the base to the tip. The instructions for use of each model always state which sharpening method to use.

Among the various models of manual sharpeners, one should never forget the steel that, in its professional versions, that is to say as a steel cylinder, is a tool much appreciated by kitchen professionals and by those who, like delicatessens and butchers, need knives always very well sharpened.

Using the steel is very simple and fast, even in its professional version: for this reason it is a tool widely used by those who make constant use of knives of various types and do not need initial roughing processes of the blade .

To sharpen a knife with the steel cylinder it will be enough to make a movement of sliding of the knife from the base of the blade towards the tip. Depending on the needs, it will be necessary to repeat this movement ten times and on both sides of the knife.

One of the strengths of this instrument is that it can really be used on all types of blades, even on ceramic blades, provided they are characterized by high quality.

– Knife sharpener and type of blade

This overview of the different types of professional knife sharpeners has probably highlighted a fundamental element when it comes to these tools: beyond the quality of the knife sharpener it is also important to understand the type of knife on which it is used.

For this reason, before choosing a knife, it is important to check which types of knives are to be sharpened. If you have only smooth and steel blades, the choice is certainly much easier and immediate, since almost all the blades are able to work on this type of knives.

A separate discussion should be made for ceramic knives. The knife sharpeners for ceramic blades are rarer and, moreover, the sharpening of the ceramic itself is more difficult, so it may be convenient, unless it is very practical, to request sharpening from an expert in the field.

In any case, the ceramic blades should be treated only with diamond abrasive stone and making very slow movements that allow sharpening of such a delicate material like ceramic.

Still with regard to the type of knives, if you have at home not only kitchen knives but also hunting models, that is with a hacksaw, you will need to opt for a manual knives or, once again, for an abrasive stone. This way you can better adjust the type of wire you want to get.

Almost always, when we talk about professional sharpening machines, we tend to opt for manual models. These, in fact, allow you to make a more precise type of sharpening as long as you have the right experience to use them.

Amateurs cooks, that is, those who like to dabble in the kitchen but do not work every day as great chefs, may find it difficult to achieve precise sharpening with manual tools. In this case, they can opt for electric sharpeners without any problems.

The electric models of knives are able to guarantee very good results realizing precise sharpening and refurbishing knives that no longer cut. However, their use is much simpler than the manual models because it is the instrument itself that provides the sharpening.

Actually, by pressing the start-stop button, the disks that proceed with the grinding will be set in motion and that, depending on the type of grain, can be dedicated to an initial roughing, to a precision sharpening or to a polishing.

The most complex part of the sharpening of a blade, namely that of keeping the knife at a precise angle of twenty degrees, is made extremely simple by the electric models that have guides that ensure constant maintenance of the angle during the sharpening process . The sharpening angle is another important element to evaluate. In fact, most kitchen knives have blades with a sharpening angle of between 15 and 20 °. For this reason many electric sharpeners have guides at this angle.

However, there are also other types of blades that can have a thread with a different angle, that is greater or lesser. In this case having an instrument with a fixed guide may not be the most convenient solution for your needs. That’s why, when buying a sharpener it is important to check compatibility with your knives first.

– To conclude

The choice of professional sharpener should be made taking into consideration the different parameters necessary for a smart purchase. The arrota lame, in fact, is a tool that can be very useful in the kitchen since it allows you to give new life to blades that do not cut more well often compromising the preparation of dishes of various types.

To have the security of buying a really useful and practical tool it is of fundamental importance to first evaluate the type of use that is made of one’s knives and, therefore, that one will make the knife sharpener. In fact, those who make a very rare use of professional knives may not need this type of tool.

On the other hand, those who like to cut different kinds of food with professional knives will find it very useful to always have at hand an instrument that allows them to redo the blades every time the excessive use rounds them, making even the most cuts difficult and unnerving. simple.

It should be emphasized, however, that when using an instrument like this it is important to pay attention to a number of things, that is also to use protection devices if necessary.

When, for example, electric knife sharpeners are used, sparks can be released, especially if the sharpener speed is relatively high. In this case, operating away from flammable elements is essential to avoid even serious accidents.

Again, when knives are sharpened, one often has the bad habit of checking the thread with a finger, risking to cut oneself even severely. For this reason it is always better to carry out cutting tests on bread, meat or other foods rather than risk being seriously injured.

Finally, when working with professional knives it is necessary to keep children away, so as not to risk serious accidents or attempts at imitation in the absence of adults.

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Elise Oliver
I am a food blogger and passionate about wine. I tell about recipes, places, and kitchens of our beautiful world. For me, the kitchen is the perfect place to hang out. One of Spotless Homes's first readers I finally managed to be part of this beautiful project.