How to Find the Best Hand Operated Knife Sharpener

Furi makes a fantastic hand knife sharpener

Every home chef, whether he likes it or not, will eventually need to sharpen their knives.  You can go with a motorized type or a hand operated knife sharpener.  Advertising would have you believe that you simply can’t live without a motorized knife sharpener.  The truth is though that a hand knife sharpener has several advantages over the motorized type.  Let’s look at this a bit closer.

In order to properly sharpen a knife you need to understand what makes it dull.  There are two processes at work, and both need to be corrected in order to get your knife sharp again.

  • First off is the actual dulling of the edge.  This occurs from normal use.  A big culprit of this is using a glass cutting board, or worse, cutting on the kitchen counter tops themselves.  You’ll need to resharpen the edge to correct this.
  • Secondly the edge gets out of alignment.  This generally happens when you allow the blade to knock against other cutlery, such as in the cabinet drawer.  To correct this you’ll need to realign the edge.

The proper way to proceed is to first re-align the edge, and then sharpen it.

hand knife sharpener sharpening steel

A sharpening steel is necessary when sharpening knives by hand

To realign the edge by hand your need what’s known as sharpening steel.  The proper use is to hold the knife at about a 25-degree angle and run it down the steel 3 or 4 times per side.

Once you re-align the edge you’ll need a hand knife sharpener.  The best kinds will automatically guide the knife at the proper angle as well as have multiple grade levels to fine-tune the sharpening process.

The best thing about using a hand operated knife sharpener is you’ll be able to monitor your progress and not over-grind the edge as this is irreversible.  The last thing you want to do is grind the edge down on a very expensive knife, something that’s easily done with a motorized knife sharpener.

When you’re ready to go out and buy a hand operated knife sharpener I suggest reading knife sharpener reviews on sites like Consumer Search, Consumer Reports and even on  These knife sharpener reviews are written by people just like yourself and can help you pick the best hand knife sharpener for your money.

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About the Author

Hi there!, My name is Norm. I am a college grad, a veteran, a pet owner and a family man. I started writing articles both to make a little extra money, and to share my knowledge with others. I currently work in the IT department of a major NY hospital.
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