Good Question: Best Manual Knife Sharpener?

published Mar 7, 2008
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Here’s a question from reader artichoke queen. How do you keep your knives sharp?

Looking for a good, manual knife sharpener that will work on Global knives and others. The Furi has been recommended. Any suggestions?

We confess right now that we are not as diligent as wes should be at sharpening our knives, so this is a learning point for us as well. Sara Kate initially suggested just getting a steel and stone. You can buy a steel and stone at many cook’s resource shops – here’s one page of listings that we considered:

If you are going this route, read this eGullet guide to knife sharpening. It is absolutely helpful and fascinating. We learned a lot about sharpening our knives from this piece, and now we just need to put it into practice!

Ideally you will hone your knife on a steel almost every day before use. See the eGullet tutorial for photos and guides on how to do this. If you do this faithfully you actually won’t need to have your knife sharpened very often at all. If you just hone your knife with a steel, we recommend getting your knives professionally sharpened only when they need it – maybe twice a year.

If you really want a sharpener at home, see Cook’s Illustrated. They often update their guide to the best knife sharpeners. Most recently their top pick wasn’t a manual sharpener, which surprised us. (We have always been suspicious of the electric versions, which don’t allow you adjust very much for the different geometry and angles of different blades.)

Their electric pick:
Chef’sChoice Professional Sharpening Station 130 – Platinum, $149.99 at Amazon

You can see a PDF of their recentop manual picks here. They actually do not recommend the Furi as they found it damaged some of the knives they tested.

Their top manual picks:
AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, $9.95 at Amazon
Anolon Universal Sharpener, $29.95 at Amazon