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on May 8, 2012
EDIT NOV 2014:

Two and a half years later - still loving this and it is still working fine. I've even managed to resharpen my Santoku knife after a botched "professional" sharpening job fouled it up. It took a lot longer - I think the guy who "sharpened" it changed the angle on the blade and it took longer to fix that than just touching the blade up.

Highly recommend this. I try to use it every time I use the knife. When I remember to do that it only takes a few seconds to touch up the edge. The longer I wait, the longer it takes to resharpen. That would be true of any sharpening method.

These have been replaced by the manufacturer with slightly modified versions, the Kyocera RSN-20BK Steel Knife Sharpener or the Kyocera Roll Sharpener RS-20-FP, both of which appear to work via the same mechanism but have different handle designs.

I'd recommend either of the new versions if you can't find the original, though the RS-20-FP looks like it might be more comfortable to use.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

I've been using the AccuSharp Knife Sharpener With Replacement Blades for about a year or maybe a little more. I'd been happy with it but recently have been having more and more trouble getting a good edge with it.

Turns out that little sharpener requires a fair amount of dexterity to use properly, which I didn't realize until I started to lose strength and dexterity in my hands. It did an OK job while I was able to use it properly, but that time has passed, so I went looking for a new knife sharpener.

This is what I settled on and I only wish I had had the opportunity to try it sooner. The Kyocera is MUCH easier to use and gives much better results than the AccuSharp ever did. Not that the AccuSharp is necessarily bad, but this is just a LOT better. The AccuSharp is more versatile - I can easily use it to sharpen pocket knives, tools that are beveled on both sides, and even our pizza cutter - but there is no question that the Kyocera is a lot easier to use and gives a much better, sharper edge on our kitchen knives with less time and effort.

I could not believe how quickly and easily this little sharpener brought my knives back to sharpness. Just a few swipes back and forth and everybody's happy.

The knife geeks will tell you the ONLY way to sharpen a knife "properly" is to get a couple hundred dollars worth of expensive whetstones, clamps, and guides and then spend hours sharpening your kitchen knives or you will "ruin" the blades. Well, I can't speak to somebody's $1000 Japanese blade made by some company I've never heard of, but for my plebian everyday kitchen knives, the Kyocera does an excellent job.

Seriously, the food doesn't care if it gets cut with a $500 Wusthoff that was sharpened with a precision diamond whetstone at an exact 18.5 degree angle, wiped clean with a lambskin hankie, then blessed by 9 priests and sprinkled with holy water before being wrapped in lambswool and put away in a Lebanon Cedar box, or the Chef's knife that came with your block set, which you cleaned off with the same scrubby you use for all your dishes before drying it on a paper towel and sticking it back in it's block.

My knives are tools, not fetishes, and this Kyocera knife sharpener is a good, affordable, effective tool that will keep my knives sharp so they can keep doing their jobs. It's affordable, sure, but it's also easy to use AND it's effective; can't ask for more than that.
22 comments8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 1, 2009
I purchased this mainly because of Kyocera's good reputation for producing innovative products with ceramics. Their ceramic knives are an outstanding innovation, even if somewhat expensive. They also make well manufactured grinders, including a manual coffee grinder that is superb and only available in Japan and from one vendor in the United States. Google Kyocera coffee grinder if you're interested in that.

This product is also ceramic based, with an inclined pair of dual ceramic wheels doing the sharpening. It's similar to other sharpeners of the same general design, but using ceramic sharpeners rather than steel. I received it today and this evening I took all the kitchen knives and my pocket knife to a table and worked on them with this sharpener, and for some knives I was having difficulty with, a Chicago Cutlery set of crock sticks.

The key to sharpening is precision. You want to have an accurate flat bevel on both sides, intersecting at a 25 - 35 degree angle (depends on what kind of use the blade will get, rougher uses need bigger angles). The more perfect the bevel at the edge (and I mean high powered microscope level), the 'sharper' the knife is. The whole thing depends on the 1/1000 of an inch at the very edge of the blade. Back from the edge, it doesn't matter.

I would say that this sharpener works pretty well on high carbon steel (the kind that rusts), and not quite as well on stainless steel, depending on what kind it is. For some stainless blades, I resorted to the crock stick for most of the work, then the Kyocera sharpener. Very high quality stainless blades may be too tough for this sharpener, cheap stainless won't really hold an edge for long, no matter what you do to it. Reasonably good stainless steel can be sharpened by this thing, but it takes some time. A damaged or very badly worn blade will have to be reprofiled with something more aggressive like a diamond hone or wheel. This sharpener works best on blades that are properly ground but dull at the edge. It also will not work on ceramic blades, which must be sent back to the factory to be sharpened with a diamond wheel, but only every 5 years or so.

I was unable to create a "razor edge" with any of the knives I sharpened. "Razor edge" means able to shave arm hair without trouble or any significant pulling. The edges I did achieve were just this side of razor sharp, but sharp enough for many uses. Given the price, this would not be a bad item to take on a camping trip or put in a kitchen drawer for touch ups -- it's certainly better that a sharpening steel. However if you are looking for something to sharpen very dull or damaged blades, or to sharpen at a razor sharp level, I don't think this is your item.
22 comments5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
For five or more years, I've had the Chef's Choice Sharpeners 460 Diamond Hone Two Stage Manual Sharpener with Chrome Overlay. It works fine, and I though it was a good hone until I tried the Kyocera.

This one has a single slot and a rotating blade. You can search youtube for a video about how it works, but short story is that it does coarse and fine honing simultaneously. All the knives I ran through this hone were as sharp or sharper than the Chef's Choice could do, and the Kyocera did the job it faster.

If your blade is curved, as most are, then you have to rotate your wrist to sharpen the curved portion in the Chef's Choice. This is unnecessary with the Kyocera, or at least less necessary, because the rotating blade arrangement handles the curve for you. For an extremely curved blade (scimitar?), you might still have to rotate a bit.

Great product for a low price. Five stars!
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on July 12, 2012
I've had the same knives for almost 20 years and they were just awful and absolutely terrible at cutting. In fact, my knives were so bad I almost became averse to cooking because the prep was so horrible and time-consuming without properly sharpened knives. There I'd be, sawing away at a chicken breast or hacking up cilantro with a knife that might as well have been made from cardboard. I've owned three different electric, mechanical knife sharpeners, each one more expensive than the previous. I was incredibly skeptical about trying this inexpensive hand-held knife sharpener, but I enjoyed one of the previous reviews on the Kyocera and decided why not? After the Kyocera arrived, I sharpened all the knives I could within 20 minutes and -- surprise, surprise! -- they were actually sharp and using them was like cutting soft butter. So easy! So precise! Now the Kyocera is not for ceramic, serrated, or non double-sided steel blades, so I wasn't able to get all my knives sharpened (at this point I'm considering investing in a really good, solid knife set in general) but the Kyocera really did do a very impressive, efficient job on my double-sided blades, including my ancient pocket knife. My $60.00 Chef's Choice 310 (diamond hone electric sharpener) is going to the Goodwill at the end of the month. I like the Kyocera's red color as well, and it's small size which makes for easy storage. I recommend this great little knife sharpener. It's easy to use (it leads the blade of the knife instead of leaving you to figure out the angle the blade needs to be in to be sharpened), easy to wash, easy to store, and quite a nifty little gadget.
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on January 11, 2013
I really like this knife sharpener. It's easy to use and has produced a very sharp edge on the knives I've sharpened with it.

I would highly recommend this knife sharpener
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