Are Electric Knife Sharpeners Bad For Knives – Don’t Take The Risk

Are Electric Knife Sharpeners Bad For Knives

In recent times, the use of electric knife sharpeners has become increasingly popular. Many people see them as a convenient and easy way to sharpen their knives, while others are concerned that they may be damaging the blades in the long run. So, what is the truth?

In this article, we will examine whether electric sharpeners are suitable for sharpening knives. Additionally, we will provide helpful tips and advice on how to safely and effectively use them.

Let’s Jump Right In: Are Electric Knife Sharpeners Bad For Knives?

Electric knife sharpeners offer many appealing benefits, including convenience and ease of use as they usually require little manual effort. They are designed to simplify sharpening, making them more accessible to those without advanced sharpening skills. They often come with built-in guides and automated systems to help maintain consistent angles and pressure when sharpening.

However, some critics argue that electric sharpeners can be detrimental to knives, mainly due to the aggressive nature of the sharpening process. They claim that the high-speed grinding or honing mechanisms used in electric sharpeners may remove excess metal from the blade, resulting in quicker wear and potentially shortening the knife’s lifespan.

While these concerns are valid, it is important to note that the impact of electric sharpeners on knives depends on several factors, including the quality and design of the sharpener, frequency of use, and the user’s technique. It is possible to mitigate potential drawbacks and achieve satisfactory results by following a few guidelines.

Choose a High-Quality Electric Sharpener: Opt for reputable brands and models that are known for their quality construction and sharpening capabilities. Look for sharpener features that allow adjustments for different blade angles and ensure even and consistent sharpening.

Use the Correct Sharpening Slot or Stage: Electric sharpeners often come with multiple sharpening slots or stages for different levels of sharpening. Start with the coarsest stage if your knife is very dull, and then progress to finer stages for honing and refining the edge. Avoid using excessive pressure and let the sharpener do the work.

Avoid Over-Sharpening: It is crucial to strike a balance between achieving a sharp edge and removing excessive amounts of metal. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the recommended number of passes or sharpening time. Over-sharpening can weaken the blade and shorten its lifespan.

Regularly Clean and Inspect the Sharpener: Metal shavings and debris can accumulate in the sharpener, affecting its performance and potentially damaging the knife. Clean the sharpener regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure it is free from any build-up.

Supplement Electric Sharpening with Manual Honing: To maintain the longevity of your knives, consider periodically using a honing rod or sharpening stone to realign the edge and remove any minor imperfections. This manual honing process helps extend the time between sharpening sessions with an electric sharpener.

By taking these precautions, you can minimize potential drawbacks and maximize the benefits of electric knife sharpeners while preserving the longevity of your knives.

Some knives are not suitable for electric sharpeners, such as single-bevel Japanese-style knives like Deba and Usuba, as they have an exceptionally thick edge that may be damaged during the sharpening process.

How To Use An Electric Knife Sharpener

Read the instructions that came with the sharpener. Different models have different instructions, so it’s important to follow the specific instructions before starting the sharpening process.

  • 1. Place it on a stable surface: Carefully unpack the sharpener from its original packaging and place it on a flat, stable surface.
  • 2. Place the knife into the sharpening slot: Gently place the knife into the correct sharpening slot and push the handle down to lock the knife in place.
  • 3. Adjust the sharpening angle: Depending on your knife, you may need to adjust the sharpening angle to get the desired results.
  • 4. Move the knife through the sharpening slots: Turn the switch on and move the knife through the sharpening slots in a slow and steady motion. Make sure to not apply too much pressure and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • 5. Check the blade for sharpness: After you have moved the knife through the sharpening slots, check the blade for sharpness. If it is not sharp enough, repeat step 4 until it is sharp enough for your needs.
  • 6. Clean the knife: Turn off the sharpener and remove your knife. Be sure to wipe the blade off with a damp cloth before using it.

Safety Tips

  • Wear safety glasses: Use safety glasses to protect your eyes when sharpening a blade.
  • Unplug the sharpener when not in use: Always unplug the sharpener before changing its settings or making any adjustments.
  • Don’t use a faulty sharpener: If you notice any problems with the sharpener, such as strange noises or unusual vibrations, stop using it immediately and get it serviced.
  • Keep blades away from the body: Make sure to keep the sharpened blades away from your body to avoid injuries.
  • Do not apply excessive pressure: Applying too much pressure can damage the blade. Instead, guide the blade through the sharpener gently and smoothly, using a light touch.
  • Sharpen blades in a well-ventilated area: Sharpen blades in a well-ventilated area or outdoors to avoid inhaling sharpening dust.

Manual vs Electric Knife Sharpener

Manual vs Electric Knife Sharpener


  • Manual knife sharpeners are typically more affordable and require no electricity or batteries. They provide more control and precision and are usually more compact and lightweight, making them ideal for traveling and outdoor use. Moreover, manual sharpeners are much quieter and require no additional maintenance. However, they do require more physical effort and take longer to use than electric sharpeners.
  • Electric sharpeners are a great choice for those who need to sharpen multiple knives in a short amount of time, as they are faster and require less skill than manual sharpeners. Additionally, they come with built-in guides and sensors to ensure the angle is held correctly during sharpening. However, electric sharpeners are bulky and take up counter space, and require more frequent maintenance than manual sharpeners.

Which One Is Best For You?

If you are looking for an affordable and portable option that does not require electricity or batteries, a manual knife sharpener may be the best choice for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an easier, more efficient way to sharpen your knives and do not mind paying a bit more, an electric sharpener can be a better choice.


Are electric knife sharpeners good?

Yes, they can produce very sharp edges on knives. They are an easy and convenient way to keep your knives in good condition.

Are electric knife sharpeners better than manual knife sharpeners?

It depends on personal preference. Some people prefer manual knife sharpeners because they believe they provide a better edge, while others prefer electric sharpeners because they are quicker and easier to use.

How long should it take to sharpen a knife with an electric knife sharpener?

It depends on the type of knife, but it usually takes a few minutes to sharpen a knife with an electric knife sharpener.

How do electric knife sharpeners work?

They work by using an electric motor to spin a grinding wheel. This grinding wheel sharpens the blade of the knife as it passes through it.

Are electric knife sharpeners noisy?

Yes, They can be quite noisy. It is best to use them in a well-ventilated area to avoid disturbing others.

Final Thoughts

Electric sharpeners can be a great tool for sharpening knives, but it is important to understand the limitations of this tool. While electric sharpeners can provide a sharp edge, they cannot achieve the same level of sharpness as traditional sharpening methods. Furthermore, improper use can result in damage to your knives. Be sure to read the instructions and follow the recommended settings in order to get the most out of your sharpener.

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