Pros: Sharpens well, easy to use, for left or right handers
Cons: Doesn't sharpen scissors
I finally got totally fed up with dull knives. I simply could not bring myself to hack through another tomato, smashing it rather than slicing it. I swear I have actually bought new knives just because my old ones were dull. Okay, okay, my stupidity is flashing like a neon sign, but that's where it was at for me.
I bought the Chef's Choice Manual Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener in the hope that even I, knife-sharpening challenged as I am, could make this work and keep my kitchen knives sharp.
~ What is it and How Does it Work?
Chef's Choice says that this is "the world's best manual knife sharpener." It uses separate sharpening and honing stages to create double-beveled edges that are sharper and supposedly stay sharp longer.
The Chef's Choice Manual Knife Sharpener is what is called a "two-stage" sharpener. The first stage removes the old weak edge and creates the first bevel on both sides of the blade. The second stage creates a second bevel, while polishing the edge.
The roller guides precisely control the sharpening angle while diamond abrasives take care of the sharpening.
This sharpener requires no electricity, oils or lubricants.
To use, take a clean knife and place it in the slot marked 1, for stage one. Lean the blade against the conical roller guides. Just keep the knife well seated in the slot and move the blade back and forth along its entire length. You should NOT apply downward pressure. You can tell if the knife is placed properly against the roller guides because you can see them turning as you move the knife back and forth.
It's very easy to just move the knife back and forth, keeping it against the roller guides. It requires very little pressure. It should take less than about 25 full back-and-forth strokes to sharpen in stage 1.
Then move the knife to the other side of the roller guides into the slot marked 2, for stage 2. This stage will hone the knife and create a second "micro-bevel" along the edge. Again, maintaining the blade in contact with the roller guides, move the blade back and forth through the slot. It should take less thank 10 strokes in stage 2.
~ My Experience Sharpening Knives with the Chef's Choice
I found the included directions very easy to understand. I picked out a dull old knife and began with stage one. I pulled the knife back and forth in the slot a few times. I noticed that I did have a tendency to apply downward pressure, which we're not supposed to do. I eased up, and the knife moved back and forth easily, with hardly any pressure. I could see the roller guides turning, so I knew the knife was positioned against them correctly. After about 15-16 passes, I switched over to the stage 2 slot. Back and forth again a few times. Hmm...gee...this is easy!
What I really liked was that you don't need to worry if you're holding the knife at the right angle. The slots and roller guides take care of that for you. As long as you can see the rollers turning, you know you've got the knife at the right angle. It's foolproof!
The unit has slip-proof rubber feet, and it stayed put while I was moving the knife back and forth. And I was using it on a tile countertop.
I felt the edge of the blade and yessireee, that baby was sharp! I can't remember when this knife ever felt so sharp. Now for the tomato test. I sliced up a tomato and the knife did a fine job. A vast improvement in fact.
Off I went to gather up all my dull blades and sharpened them up. It was actually fun! Hardly any elbow grease required. Frankly, I felt empowered - finally I can sharpen a knife whenever I need to. My household knives are now very sharp, and I can keep them that way.
Chef's Choice says that the double-bevel cutting edges are the key to knives that stay sharp longer. I would say that maybe the blade is holding an edge a little bit longer now, but my knives have been dull for so long I can't tell for sure.
~ Final Thoughts and Other Notes
The Chef's Choice Manual Knife Sharpener will sharpen a wide variety of kitchen and sports knives, including serrated blades. It's great for pocket, fish fillet, and hunting knives. The only bummer is it doesn't sharpen scissors.
I really love it. It's so simple to use. And it's also small and easy to store so you can have it at the ready whenever you encounter a less than sharp knife. It's extremely lightweight, yet sturdily built. I think even folks with arthritis or other hand or finger problems could use this, as it takes very little pressure.
I found the Chef's Choice Manual Knife Sharpener at Fred Meyer for about $19.
Made in the USA.