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Knife sharpening Comparison
on September 30, 2012
I always wondered which knife sharpener is the best one to get. So I went ahead and setup a test. I just bought a new set of the following sharpeners from Amazon. This is my test:
Smith's TRI-Hone Sharpening stones($23)
Smith's Adjustable Pull Thru Knife sharpener($26)
Wusthof 9 inch Diamond Steels (1 Course and 1 Fine Rods. $60 x 2 = $120)
Wusthof Whetstone fine and super fine(4451 and 4452)($90 x 2 =$180)
I have 4 Chicago Cutlery Chef's knives that were collecting dust for years and stopped using them because they were all very dull and nicked. I didn't even bother sharpening them and I just kept buying a new one when the previous one gets too dull to cut.
For the test, I tried my best to get the sharpest edge possible within a 10 minute window. Anything more than 10 minutes for me is just too much time.
1. Fastest in getting a sharp edge - Accusharp and Smith's Adjustable Pull thru
2. Sharpest edge - Wusthof Diamond Steel
3. Simplest to use - Accusharp and Smith's Adjustable Pull thru
4. Smoothest in slicing Bond Paper - Wusthof Diamond Steel
5. Most expensive - Wusthof Whetstones
6. Least expensive - Accusharp
It seemed like the Smith's and the Wusthof Whetstones needed a bit more time than I allocated. So, I proceeded to continue sharpening until I got it as sharp as I could.
The Wusthof Whetstone would have won in the sharpest edge and smoothest slicing thru bond paper after about an hour of careful sharpening. The learning curve is considerably longer than the other 3 options.
The Smith's TRI-Hone would have been one step below or tied with the Wusthof Diamond Steel in Sharpest edge and slicing, except it took about 15 minutes. It helps that the stones have an angle guide that has 23 degrees.
The Accusharp only took 10 seconds to sharpen the knife to a point where it can slice paper and a tomato. I would say it gets you to a usable sharpness. This has no learning curve. Ridiculously easy.
The Wusthof Diamond Steels takes about 3 minutes to sharpen with the Course rod then the Fine. But I can clearly tell when I slice through paper that is a smoother edge than the Accusharp.
The Smith's Adjustable Pull Thru Knife Sharpener has a selector that you can actually dial in the exact blade angle you want. It is very easy to use and has more features than the Accusharp. I found that you can use this to set the blade angle then use the Wusthof Diamond steel FINE Rod to clean up the edge and give it a smooth sharp edge.
My Smith's TRI-Hone is the simplest stone to learn among Stone sharpeners and gives you a good manually created edge. If you are new to sharpening but want to take it a step further than a quick sharpen from Accusharp or the Smith's Pull thru sharpener, you won't go wrong using this. Instructions are clear and gives you performance like the WUSTHOF Diamond Steels for a fraction of the price. It just takes a little more time than the Diamond Steels.
Bottom line is you can be like me and buy all of these sharpeners and depending on how much time you can spare, you can use whichever will do the job in the time allocated. So if you have an hour to spare and you find it soothing, get the Wusthof Whetstones. If you are in a rush, a few swipes of the Accusharp and you are up and running. The best middle ground for me are the Wusthof Diamond Steel rods. Easy to use, quick and extremely sharp, but expensive.
Mix and match the different sharpening tools and you will find a setup that is perfect for you.
I hope this test helped you.