closeup of electric knife sharpener
Photo: Ted Morrison
Know What You Need
While the most expensive manual "sharpener" on the market can hone—and maintain blades in basically good shape—cheaper, more-aggressive models create sharp but coarse micro-serrations that soon bend, requiring more sharpening. To put a new, long-lasting edge on knives that have been neglected, an electric sharpener is best. We like this model because it uses diamond-particle disks to make 20-degree bevels on an edge so that it curves outward like a Gothic arch; the disks also create micro-grooves for more "bite." A second, gentler set of disks hones; a third set polishes for even smoother cutting. With regular honing and polishing, knives generally need the additional step of sharpening just once a year.

Know How it Works
Electric sharpeners grind metal at high speed and must be handled with care. This model's slots guide the knife—first on one side, then the other—so with practice, getting the right angle is easy. The polishing disks sharpen serrated knives, too. Now if only they could make dinner....
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