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    Best Knife Sharpeners For 2020

    No matter your preferred sharpening style, these are a ~cut~ above the rest

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    1. A handy lil' knife sharpener that saved my clumsy self from lots of close calls with dull knives and just might help you transform a bunch of your leftover past roommates' knives too! If you're not super picky about your knives, this is the one for you.

    hand holding the knife sharpener over a cutting board with knives
    Elizaebeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

    The sharpener comes with detailed instructions and actually fits in my knife drawer. When I first received it I ~excitedly~ gave it a go on a Rachael Ray knife (similar to these). It’s a pretty handy knife, but wasn’t what it used to be back in the day when I inherited it from a friend who left NYC in 2011. I set it on the edge of my cutting board and pulled it through the coarse notch three times, per the instructions. Even though mushrooms aren’t notorious for being tough to slice through, they’re oddly shaped and move around: with my newly sharpened knife, I was able to slice through them with no effort…even the stem! I also manhandled an onion and it was sooo easy slicing through the skin. So yeah, it's good. But there are tons of Amazon reviewers who have similarly lovey-dovey feelings about it too!

    Works on: kitchen knives

    Promising review: "I decided to actually come back to this nearly two years later to review it. Since I've bought it, I've heard my husband talk about it on and off. Just yesterday with my daughter he was going over sharp-knife safety, and he just said how much he still absolutely loves it. Of every gift I've ever given him, this is the only thing I've heard still get praise nearly two years later. So I figured that was worth going back to my orders, searching 'sharpener' and reviewing it. Highly pleased with it still." —Gluten Free Momma

    Get it from Amazon for $5.95+ (available in three colors).

    2. Or a handled sharpener with some similar looking notches to pull your knives through that are outfitted with diamond abrasives in each of the three stages.

    the knife sharpener with a gripped handle to hold the other end with three notched sections for sharpening

    Works on: straight edge, serrated, sports and pockets knives

    Promising review: "I am a retired chef and have always sharpened my own knives with a sharpening stone, which was a long and tedious process. This device is quick and sharpens my knives better than the old way. Be sure to exert downward pressure when using the unit and use more strokes than they recommend. I highly recommend wiping the knife clean after each step and be sure to clean the sharpened blade before using it." —Mark B.

    Get it from Amazon for $39.54.

    3. A mountable sharpener with a suction cup that'll stay put on your countertop surface. Heck, it's cheap enough to also buy one for your craft room or workshop!

    closeup of the sharpener sharpening a serrated knife

    A reviewer noted that if you don't want to keep it out, it'll easily fit in a drawer when not in use.

    Works on: serrated, nonserrated, and outdoor knives, and other cutting tools

    Promising review: "A very useful tool that has saved me from throwing away all my used knives! Now I am using all of them again as if they are brand new! Seriously worth the money you spend on it. And yeah — the customer service is 5-star rated!" —LoyMachedo

    Get it from Amazon for $12.97.

    4. A fast, precise machine sharpener with flexible abrasive belts that promises to handle every last type of knife that you own. Even your kitchen shears, hatchets, and gut hooks, among others!

    nine images of the machine

    Works on: hunting, serrated, pocket, kitchen, outdoor and fillet knives, scissors, gut hooks, axes, mower blades, hatchets, and more

    Promising review: "I’ve wanted one of these for a long time. I was not disappointed. I know there have been negative reviews. Mostly due to folks not following the directions. It is great for a wide range of applications and when used in accordance with the directions, works just fine. If you are looking for a sturdy reliable home sharpener you can’t go wrong with this one. An old 6000 grit can be used to polish. I’ve had a Schrade Walden hunting knife for over 50 years. It was nearly impossible to sharpen, that is until I used the KO sharpener. It re-beveled the edge and it’ll shave now. I used an worn 6000 grit belt to clean it up." —Moore

    Get it from Amazon for $129.69.

    5. Or a knife/tool sharpener from the same brand for half the price to do some major WORK on a variety of blades around your house and workshop with its abrasive grit belts.

    hand holding up a serrated knife to the sharpener

    Includes coarse (P80), medium (P220) and fine (6000) grit belts.

    Works on: knives, bladed shop tools, lawn mower blades, garden pruners, shears, shovels, scrapers

    Promising review: "I think it's all about having correct expectations. If you're expecting this sharpener to give you the same edge that a professional can give you, or if you're expecting the same edge that you can get with 30 minutes on multiple stones, then you might not be super happy with this. With just a little bit of practice though, you can get a really nice edge on your knives in less than three minutes.

    That's what this was about for me, time. I had five kitchen knives, and about a dozen pocket knives in a box that were virtually unusable. They had been sitting in a box (except the chef knife which I used regularly) that I'd toss them in with the 'I'll sharpen them later' mentality. I started working my way through them all this weekend and by the time I made it to the end of them, I'd gotten pretty good with this tool. I can't get the 25-degree edge I'd like quite yet, but when using the 20-degree guide I can spend three minutes and get a usable, paper cutting edge pretty easily." —C. Mullins

    Get it from Amazon for $68.55.

    6. A two-stage sharpening machine novices will welcome with open arms thanks to all the perfect positioning it does for you. No more dealing with dull knives because you're afraid you'll sharpen 'em wrong!

    person putting knife in the machine with different slots for the knives

    Works on: non-serrated kitchen and sport knives

    Promising review: "Bought this item December 2009. Amazing device. I use it nearly once a week and it still performs the same as it did on day one. Amazing product! Highly recommend. Can't believe it's been 10 years!" —T. J.

    Get it from Amazon for $37.36.

    7. Or if you're feeling a little more spendy, a pro-level machine for both straight and serrated knives that looks ~sharp~ enough to leave out on your counter with other small appliances.

    the machine beside a table with food and knives in front of it

    Works on: straight and serrated kitchen knives

    Promising review: "I'm 47 years old and this is the first knife sharpener that I've ever used that actually worked and worked extremely well. I've tried sand stones, wet stones, Arkansas diamond stones, and countless electric knife sharpeners. This two stage sharpener with third stage strop is the real deal. I turned my cheap paring knife into a scalpel. It also worked on my very expensive Japanese paring knife, as well as my cheap set of kitchen knives. The biggest difference I see in this sharpener is how LONG my knives stay sharp. It's ridiculous. Two to three months and they're just beginning to dull (cheap knives). With my Japanese high carbon steel knife, it's been about six months and I use it quite frequently. Also, the edge this thing puts on blades is awesome. Really glad I picked this up!" —J. Ott

    Get it from Amazon for $137.95.

    8. An affordable as-seen-on-TV option that'll sharpen both sides of your blade at the same time and let you eye everything as your knife becomes its best self.

    person pulling a knife through the sharpener

    Works on: serrated, beveled, and standard knives

    Promising review: "The Bavarian Edge Kitchen Knife Sharpener is the best kitchen must have tool on the market. It does as it says and sharpens anything you put through it. I love how safe and easy it is to use to sharpen all of my knives. I even used it to sharpen my knife collection safely without damaging the edge of the blade. I highly recommend this product to every dull knife owner out there!!!!!" —ST Joiner

    Get it from Amazon for $17.97

    9. Or a similar sharpening design with a few more moving parts built for durability and a higher price tag.

    the knife sharpener

    Has an adjustable blade guide; three quick snap angles (20 degrees, 25 degrees, 30 degrees); lightweight aluminum sliders; 325 grit double-sided diamond rods and finishing steels. Includes instructional DVD.

    Works on: kitchen, hunting, and outdoor knives

    Promising review: "A friend of ours had one. After using their knives...I knew I had to get one. Super easy to use...small and compact...and my knives are razor sharp. I used to take my Henkels in every year to have them professionally sharpened. Won't be needing to do that ever again. I would highly recommend this sharpener. P.S. Be careful after sharpening. Knife blades are razor edge!!" —Linda

    Get it from Amazon for $84.99.

    10. A super portable knife sharpener that'll be a welcome addition to anyone's arsenal who spends a bunch of time outdoors and/or DIY-ing. It even has a lanyard hole for carrying!

    the sharpener on a tree stump with the different parts labeled

    Works on: all kinds of knives, fish hooks, edge tools

    Promising review: "I love it. My first time using it I was a bit cautious with but after sharpening. My first knife I realize how great the product was for $4– $5. My initial reason for caution was, it's a very small product and I'm a big man at almost 6'3". However using it was easy and again YOU CAN'T BEAT THE PRICE. YOU CAN'T!!! With just three or four swipes the knife was sharp. Again great product, even greater buy." —Barrington Lee

    Get it from Amazon for $3.95.

    11. An ergonomic handheld sharpener with a finger guard made to be used in only 10 seconds — without any moving or electrical parts. Plus you can clean it with soap and water!

    person running the handle-like knife sharper over a blade with a loop that protects the fingers from cuts

    Works on: serrated and non-serrated knives, cleavers, axes, machetes, and other cutting tools

    Promising review: "I was prepared not to believe the reviews I'd seen for this before. I was so ready to try it out and be disappointed and feel like I wasted $9. Boy, was I wrong. I can't believe the difference a sharp knife really makes. The AccuSharp makes it so easy to get that perfect blade in seconds. Nothing to plug into the wall, no moving parts. Just a very straight-forward product that works exactly how you hope it would. There are instructions included for opening the tool and flipping the sharpening blades around. If, somehow, your sharpener gets dulled, you effectively get to double its life. Nowadays, this feels like getting two for the price of one." —youngtallman

    Get it from Amazon for $10.79.

    12. A 6-in-1 multi-use survival tool that's so compact, it'll take up hardly any room or weigh you down in your pocket or pack as you do all the things that make the great outdoors great. It can sharpen fish hooks, quickly restore dull or damaged edges, finely hone, and remove burrs. OH, and it has an emergency whistle and fire starter. What can't she do?!

    showing the tool used as a knife sharpener, light,

    Has tungsten carbide blades for quick edge setting, ceramic blades for fine honing, a tapered diamond rod (Medium 400 Grit) with grooves for serrations, gut hooks, and fishhooks.

    Works on: all kinds of knives, fish hooks

    Promising review: "Purchased this tool, to bring with fishing and camping. It is a very compact tool so it fits great in any time of back pack or tackle box. No need to bring fire-starting tools any more as this tool does it all. Perfect for sharpening hooks and knifes when outdoors and eliminates the need to bring multiple tools. The emergency whistle is a great addition and very loud when used." —Outdoor Oliver

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95.

    13. Or a field repair sharpener in case you don't need those extra bells and whistles while you hone your gut hooks on your next camping trip.

    close up of the sharpener

    Works on: standard, serrated, and fillet knives, and gut hooks

    Promising review: "I regularly carry a number of knives, suitable for different uses. Good things to have at hand. But I hate dull knives. I generally maintain my knives in pretty good shape with a Lansky sharpening system that features five different 'stones' (a couple that are not actually stones, but ceramic and diamond 'stones'), but when I am out and about and one of my regular carry knives needs a quick tune-up, this little tool is an excellent way to tune up an edge. I'm on my third (one given away, one left behind... somewhere, and the one in my pocket today), and give them as gifts to family members that carry knives. Yes, for minor tune-ups, the unglazed ceramic ring on the bottom of most coffee mugs or a car window's edge can do an OK job, but this little tool is my fav go-to sharpener when away from home. I never leave home without it." —D. Needham

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    14. And a super light handheld sharpener you can really get a grip on while you're quickly, safely sharpening your cheaper everyday knives on the go. This design is def more ergonomic than the super contact multi-use tools that will also sharpen while you're outdoors living your life.

    person using the sharpener outdoors to sharpen a pair of scissors

    Works on: a variety of knives, scissors

    Promising review: "I had a very dull pair of Scotch Titanium Scissors, and was debating if I should buy new scissors for $12 for 3 pairs, or this sharpener for $10. I'm glad I bought this sharpener. I just followed the instructions and in less than 10 seconds, my very dull scissors became sharp again." —JPDS

    Get it from Amazon for $9.98+ (available in two styles).

    15. A five-stone sharpening system in case you like to go above and beyond for keeping your knives in tip-top shape (or are trying to become that kind of person and as a result have stumbled across this story).

    the set in its special case

    This set has THE WORKS. It includes extra-coarse, coarse, medium, fine alumina oxide, and extra-fine ceramic hones; controlled-angle sharpening system with 17-, 20-, 25-, and 30-degree angle options; color-coded stones with finger-grooved safety holders; specially formulated honing oil; precision-engineered knife clamp and custom-molded storage/carrying case.

    Works on: kitchen, outdoor, hobby, or garden knives

    Promising review: "Hear me out. I have used a variety of sharpening kits from Ken Onion's belt sharpener, all the way up to wicked edge. This is great for someone with a little time on their hands and they want to work on perfecting the art that is knife sharpening. Fair warning, the stones aren't super abrasive on finer steels like you would find on Benchmades. For most kitchen knives, you'll find it does relatively well in. The trick is to be patient. I don't understand all of the other reviews talking about the quality of the metal and what not. You're not using them to stake down a tent. You'll using them as arms that literally are not load bearing. They'll do just fine. You will not get a mirror's edge with this kit, I have gone out and bought their diamond line as well and a few other stropping bits. This kit is just fine on its own, but even better with more pieces." —Johnny F

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99 (similar kits also available with four-stone diamond system, four-stone universal tool system).

    16. A two-sided whetstone with 1000 grit and 6000 grit options and video instructions to help you feel like a total pro both during your sharpening sesh and after when you're cutting through everything like buttah.

    the two sided whestone block with wood base and instruction booklet

    Works on: all kinds of knives, scissors, drill bits, dental tools, nail clippers, ice skates

    Promising review: "I have a small collection of fine Japanese kitchen knives. I also have several high carbon steel kitchen knives that are almost 100 years old. This whetstone has changed my sharpening and user experience completely. I had 'retired' the old knives, as I was unable to get them as sharp as I wanted and needed. That is no longer a problem! This combination stone is worth every penny. All my knives are now performing like new once again!" —R. Curzon

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    17. A diamond combo bench stone that'll give ya' both coarse and fine diamond stones in one sharpener *also* equipped with an easy grip to keep things nice and steady while you transform your knives. If you're into some very intense sharpening but don't always wanna put in that effort, this is worth adding to your collection.

    person sharpening a knife on the thick stick-like sharpener

    Works on: knives, pointed tools, fish hooks

    Promising review: "I have a bunch of different sharpeners around the house and whenever i see something different i want to try them. I love having razor sharp knives, but somedays I am lazy and don't want to use my stone or wheel. This sucka is awesome, a couple strokes and i can shave arm hair or meat like butter." —Eric M. Schloegel Jr.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.48.

    18. An 8-inch sharp stick to help keep your kitchen knives and tools sharp — if you're a bit more coordinated than the average person and aren't intimidated by sharpening with a stick.


    Works on: kitchen knives

    Promising review: "I don't have fancy knives in my kitchen, just a collection of Thai and Chinese cutting tools. Sometimes they get banged around in the drawer and the edges get tiny imperfections and the cut isn't as smooth as when they were new. This tool fixed that instantly and with what I have to honestly say spectacular results. Absolutely amazing restoration of the edges. You do not need to buy an expensive stone and the accompanying oils and what not. Get this bar. You won't be disappointed." —Jose Luis Reyes

    Get it from Amazon for $10.12.

    19. A sharpener set that's novice-friendly and will let you set your sharpening stones at the perfect angle to take some guesswork out of the task for you. And when you're done you can slip everything into the *same* case for storage. We love a multi-use product!

    the sharpening set with sharpener rods mounted on it

    Includes an instruction book and DVD.

    Works on: knives, scissors, awls, and many other tools

    Promising review: "This is an incredible knife sharpener! The system is easy to master, and gives a perfect edge... on ANYTHING with an edge or a point!!!! There's a DVD with videos if you want to see how these tricks are done, or a booklet going through the various things to sharpen or hone and how they are done.

    Two sets of stones — a coarser one to get the burrs off, and a finer ceramic set to refine the edge. There are guards to keep your now ultra sharp blades from slicing your flesh, and it all folds up neatly into a box for easy storage — or in my case, transportation. Cuz everywhere I go, there are knives that need sharpening!" —Amacker

    Get it from Amazon for $73.50.

    Here's to some responsible fun with those newly sharp knives!

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    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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