Best Manual Knife Sharpener — Top 9 Easy to Use Models

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

A sharp knife edge enables you to cut, chop, whittle, skin, butcher, pierce, or slice with ease. But dull blades can easily slip, increasing the risk of cutting yourself.

And that’s precisely why you need a knife sharpener. Of course, you can bring your knives to a good knife shop to have them sharpened, but there are benefits to doing it yourself.

All you need is a good manual knife sharpener to get started. But the choice of these tools is huge on the market, and you may need to dig a little deeper to find your overall best choice.

So, in my selections I have considered all the essential features you would want your best manual knife sharpener to have.

The Tangsung 3 Stage Manual Knife Sharpener is the most liked model because of its steadfast performance, especially when sharpening the kitchen knives. Also, it has a very ergonomic handle and stable base.

The Best Manual Knife Sharpeners Are:

ProductDetails
1. Tangsung 3 Stage Manual Knife Sharpener

  • 3 in 1 sharpening tool
  • Lightweight and space-saving
  • Non-slip silicone base
  • Adjustable angle button
  • Ergonomic handle design
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2. Imarku 2 Stage Knife Sharpener

  • Two-stage foldable design
  • Detachable sharpener head
  • Integrated diamond sharpening stone
  • Tungsten steel coarse slot
  • Ceramic rod fine slot
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3. Ulwae 3 Stage Chef Knife Sharpener

  • Three-stage sharpening system
  • Advanced carbide coarse slot
  • Fine abrasive diamond slot
  • Barber-strop ceramic slot
  • Cut resistant glove
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4. AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener

  • V-notch sharpening slot
  • Diamond carbide abrasives
  • Large ergonomic handle
  • Reversible and replaceable blades
  • Suitable for most blade types, including serrated
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5. Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

  • Heavy-duty ABS plastic base
  • Two sets of ceramic stones
  • 30 to 40 degrees pre-drilled setup holes
  • Easy and quick setup
  • Instruction DVD and book included
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6. Smith’s CCKS 2 Step Knife Sharpener

  • Two-step sharpening tool
  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Preset sharpening angles
  • Fine ceramic rods (crossed)
  • Heavy-duty carbide blades (crossed)
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7. Work Sharp Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener

  • Convex carbide slot
  • Ceramic honing slot
  • Tapered diamond rod
  • Can sharpen both standard and serrated blades
  • Compact size
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8. KitchenIQ Edge Grip Knife Sharpener

  • Two-stage sharpening system
  • Patented edge grip
  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Preset sharpening angles
  • Three different colors for preference
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9. Smith’s 50264 Manual Knife Sharpener

  • Two-stage sharpening system
  • Adjustable sharpening angle
  • Replaceable abrasive components
  • Soft and ergonomic grip handle
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1. Tangsung 3 Stage Manual Knife Sharpener — Best 3 Stage Design

Knife Sharpener TANSUNG 3 Stage Kitchen Chef Knife and Scissor Sharpeners Restore Knives or Shears Blades Quickly Safely with Adjustable Angle Button for Various Household Knives Shear

The Tangsung 3 Stage Manual Knife Sharpener is a heavy-duty three-stage sharpening tool that’s great for working on folding knives, fixed blade knives, and scissors.

Specs

  • 3 in 1 sharpening tool
  • Lightweight and space-saving
  • Non-slip silicone base
  • Adjustable angle button
  • Ergonomic handle design

This is a three-stage knife sharpener with a tungsten steel slot for coarse sharpening, a ceramic slot for fine honing, and a scissors honing slot.

The handle is ergonomic and ambidextrous, meaning that it fits both left- and right-handed users and it offers a stable, secure grip.

The built-in angle adjustment button is a work of art because it is so easy to dial in the angles from fourteen to twenty-four degrees. Another good feature is the non-slip, lightweight, space-saving silicone base, which provides unmatched stability when sharpening your knives.

This is definitely a great sharpening tool, but it has a short angle adjustment range, which can prove to be an inadequacy when working on bigger knives.

Pros

  • Has a lightweight design that doesn’t consume space
  • Suitable for fine and coarse sharpening
  • Adjustable angles allow you to work on different edge size and thickness
  • Non-slip base provide steadfast stability
  • Handle is ergonomic and ambidextrous

Cons

  • Has a short angle adjustment range
  • May not be the best choice for cleavers and machetes

Conclusion

The Tangsung 3 Stage Manual Knife Sharpener is a highly versatile 3 in 1 sharpening tool that’s super easy to use and maintain.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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2. Imarku 2 Stage Knife Sharpener — Best 2 Stage Design

Knife Sharpener - imarku 2-Stage Foldable Kitchen Knife Sharpener Knife Sharpening Tool with Sharpening Stone Helps Repair,Restore and Polish Blades

The Imarku 2 Stage Knife Sharpener will capably restore and help maintain a sharp edge on your straight blades. It is a great sharpening tool for American, European, and Asian style knives.

Specs

  • Two-stage foldable design
  • Detachable sharpener head
  • Integrated diamond sharpening stone
  • Tungsten steel coarse slot
  • Ceramic rod fine slot

There’s a coarse sharpener on the inside slot made of tungsten steel, which is great for coarsely sharpening and restoring V-shaped cutting edges.

There’s a fine sharpener on the outside slot made of ceramic rod, which is good for finely sharpening, polishing, and eliminating burrs on knife blades.

I really appreciate the detachable sharpener head that is easily removable for quick dust cleaning with flush water. There are non-slip rubber pads on the bottom to help keep a grip on smooth surfaces, just make sure the tool is on a flat surface.

But the thing is, the manufacturer doesn’t state the sharpening angle, which might be a problem for novice users.

Pros

  • Great for coarse and fine sharpening
  • Compact, foldable design is easy to store away
  • Sharpening head can be removed for cleaning
  • Diamond stone can be used for coarse sharpening
  • Non-slip rubber pads offer a strong grip on smooth surface

Cons

  • Sharpening angle of the slots is not stated
  • Not a great choice for sharpening scissors

Conclusion

This is a great two-stage sharpener that is compact, foldable, and exceptionally stable. Also, it will not take you more than five strokes to get the job done.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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3. Ulwae 3 Stage Chef Knife Sharpener — Best Chef’s Model

Upgraded Kitchen Knife Sharpener, Ulwae 3-Stage Chef Knife Sharpener to Restore Non-Serrated Knife Blades Quickly, Safely, and Easy to Use for Kitchen, Camping & Hiking

If you are looking for a chef preferred sharpening tool that will get the job done faster and efficiently, look no further than the Ulwae 3 Stage Chef Knife Sharpener.

Specs

  • Three-stage sharpening system
  • Advanced carbide coarse slot
  • Fine abrasive diamond slot
  • Barber-strop ceramic slot
  • Cut resistant glove

The first stage of this tool features advanced carbide abrasives for coarse sharpening, which is great for repairing dull edges with minimum metal removal.

The second stage is made of fine abrasives that do a great job of shaping finer facets of your blade and they also polish the micro-grooves to prolong your blade’s durability. The third stage is equipped with premium fine ceramic abrasives for smooth sharpening to help prolong the life of fine blades.

Make sure the tool is on a flat surface. There are foam pads on the bottom to help keep a strong grip on smooth surfaces.

The performance of this model is limited, though. You can’t use it to restore the edges of ceramic knives, serrated knives, shears, and scissors.

Pros

  • Great choice for straight edge knives
  • Foam pads on the base keep it stable on the surface
  • Ergonomic handle offers a strong and non-slip grip
  • Three different sharpening stages for added versatility
  • Comes with a cut resistant glove for added security

Cons

  • Not suitable for sharpening serrated and ceramic knives
  • Could be better with adjustable angles

Conclusion

The Ulwae 3 Stage Chef Knife Sharpener is exactly what you need for reviving all the straight blades in your kitchen. But it isn’t what you need for your serrated and ceramic blades.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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4. AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener — Best One-Handed Model

AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener

The AccuSharp 001C is the best one-handed manual knife sharpener for chef’s, serrated, parry, cleaver, and fillet knives. It is truly a user-friendly and versatile model.

Specs

  • V-notch sharpening slot
  • Diamond carbide abrasives
  • Large ergonomic handle
  • Reversible and replaceable blades
  • Suitable for most blade types, including serrated

This tool has a v-notch sharpening slot with diamond honed tungsten carbide blades, which improve sharpness, toughness, surface finish, and edge durability. The blades will restore your double bevel edge with just a few strokes, and the blades are also reversible and replaceable for extended durability.

I really like the ergonomic grip and full-length finger guard, considering how easy it is to hold and control when sharpening a knife.

The tool is very easy to use. Simply place your knife on a stable surface with the cutting edge facing up, then place your sharpener at a ninety-degree angle and draw a few times.

But the thing is, this sharpener has a tendency of removing a great deal of metal from your blade. So, you have to be careful with the sharpening process.

Pros

  • It restores sharpness with just a few strokes
  • Blades are reversible and replaceable for extended life
  • Ergonomic grip handle offers superior control
  • Suitable for both straight and serrated blades

Cons

  • It can remove a lot of metal from your blade
  • Could be better with an extra-fine sharpening slot

Conclusion

The AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener is a compact, one-handed tool that does a great job of restoring sharpness of both straight and serrated blades.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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5. Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker — Best Knife Sharpening Set

Spyderco Tri-Angle Premium Sharpmaker Set with DVD and Two Sets of Alumina Ceramic Stones - 204MF

This is a self-contained knife sharpening set, which has all the necessary accessories you need for restoring the sharpness of any type of edged tool with just a few strokes.

Specs

  • Heavy-duty ABS plastic base
  • Two sets of ceramic stones
  • 30 to 40 degrees pre-drilled setup holes
  • Easy and quick setup
  • Instruction DVD and book included

This set comes with two fine and two medium grit triangular shaped ceramic stones, which snap into angled keyholes that are molded into the base.

The triangular stones are great for sharpening plain edges, SpyderEdges are very effective for restoring serrated blades, while the furrow on the stones is good for sharpening pointed items.

The 30-degree angle is great for back beveling, the 40-degree angle for sharpening blades, and the 12.5-degree angle for sharpening scissors.

I really appreciate the two included brass rods, which improve user safety by protecting your hands from the blade while sharpening.

But I am disappointed by the fact this set doesn’t come with diamond rods for working on harder steel blades.

Pros

  • Super easy to install the rods
  • Adjustable angles for sharpening and back beveling
  • Sharpens both plain and serrated edges
  • Brass rods protect the hands of the user
  • ABS plastic base is very stable

Cons

  • No diamond rods for sharpening harder steel blades
  • Requires some level of knowhow to use

Conclusion

The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker is a great manual knife sharpener for sharpening both plain and serrated edges. But it might require a little bit of practice to get used to.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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6. Smith’s CCKS 2 Step Knife Sharpener — Most Portable Model

Smith's CCKS 2-Step Knife Sharpener

The handy pocket sized two-step knife sharpener from Smith’s is suitable for obtaining a razor sharp edge on standard blade knives.

Specs

  • Two-step sharpening tool
  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Preset sharpening angles
  • Fine ceramic rods (crossed)
  • Heavy-duty carbide blades (crossed)

This sharpener features a coarse slot for restoring damaged or dull blades, and a fine slot for light honing and touch-ups.

Choose the slot you want to use and hold the sharpener firmly on a flat surface, then insert the knife blade and pull through the slot from heel to tip a number of times.

It has two ceramic rods that are crossed with preset angles for producing smooth finished edges on knives that are already sharp.

What I don’t like is the size of the gap between the slots, which is way too narrow for sharpening paring knives.

Pros

  • Two-step system for sharpening and honing
  • Both slots are easy to use on a flat surface
  • Preset angles produce a smooth finished edge
  • Compact design is suitable for pocket storage
  • Non-slip rubber feet add safety during use

Cons

  • Narrow slots aren’t suitable for sharpening paring knives
  • Not a great choice for sharpening scissors

Conclusion

With its coarse carbide and fine ceramic slots, the Smith’s CCKS 2 Step is the perfect tool for sharpening your standard blade knives.

Overall Rating – 4.5

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7. Work Sharp Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener — Best EDC Design

Work Sharp EDC Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener

The Work Sharp Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener is an easy-to-use every day carry sharpening tool that works on both standard and serrated edges.

Specs

  • Convex carbide slot
  • Ceramic honing slot
  • Tapered diamond rod
  • Can sharpen both standard and serrated blades
  • Compact size

This sharpener has a convex carbide slot with pivot response, which is great because it allows for fast sharpening and creates an edge with minimal drag.

I really appreciate the addition of the fine grit ceramic rods that do an amazing job of honing an edge back to its factory level sharpness. Another unique feature that’s truly impressive is the tapered diamond rod, which allows you to efficiently sharpen fine edge tools, serrations, and scissors.

My only concern about this model is how close your fingers can get too close to the blade when sharpening, which is a safety hazard, especially for novice users.

Pros

  • Pivot response helps to create an edge with minimal drag
  • Hones a knife to factory level sharpness
  • Tapered diamond rod can hone scissors and serrations
  • Twenty-five-degree angle produces a more durable edge

Cons

  • Fingers can get too close to the sharpening edge
  • Needs some getting used-to for perfect sharpening

Conclusion

The Work Sharp Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener provides you with an easy, fast, and effective way for sharpening your standard and serrated EDC knives.

Overall Rating – 4.5

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8. KitchenIQ Edge Grip Knife Sharpener — Most Stable Base

KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener, Black

Don’t let the small size of the KitchenIQ Edge Grip Knife Sharpener fool you because it is a workhorse in the kitchen.

Specs

  • Two-stage sharpening system
  • Patented edge grip
  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Preset sharpening angles
  • Three different colors for preference

This sharpener has two stages of sharpening, which is great because it allows you to create a razor sharp edge on a damaged or very dull blade.

Both the crossed ceramic rods and carbide blades are fitted with preset angles that will help you produce perfect edges every time. I really appreciate the soft ergonomic grip handle and non-slip molded feet for firmness and comfort when sharpening your knife.

Another good feature that comes with the KitchenIQ Edge Grip is the v-grip bottom that will fit perfectly on the edge of your kitchen counter.

But this model is way too small for sharpening a larger kitchen or Chef’s knife.

Pros

  • Two sharpening stages for restoring damaged blades
  • Present angles help produce smooth edges
  • Soft ergonomic grip handle offer superior control
  • Non-slip molded feet provide unmatched stability
  • V-grip bottom allows you to use the tool on a surface edge

Cons

  • Small design may not be suitable for larger Chef’s or kitchen knives
  • May not be a good choice for sharpening serrated blades

Conclusion

The KitchenIQ Edge Grip Knife Sharpener is extremely simple to use on the top and the edge of your kitchen counter, and I think it is a great deal for the price.

Overall Rating – 4.4

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9. Smith’s 50264 Manual Knife Sharpener — Best Value for Money

Smith's 50264 Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener

The Smith’s 50264 provides inventive technologies never featured on a manual knife sharpener and unparalleled sharpening performance.

Specs

  • Two-stage sharpening system
  • Adjustable sharpening angle
  • Replaceable abrasive components
  • Soft and ergonomic grip handle

It can sharpen a wide variety of knives, everything from a kitchen knife, Chef’s knife, and even tactical outdoor knives.

This model provides two sharpening stages, the coarse slot for restoring dull edges and the fine slot for working on knives that are fairly sharp.

You will love the craftsmanship of the easy adjust knob, which allows sharpening at six preset angles that range from 14 to 24 degrees.

It is possible to receive a model with a wobbling angle adjustment mechanism, which can make it difficult to get a consistent edge on a blade.

Pros

  • Coarse slot does a great job on damaged edges
  • Serrated fixed angle works greatly on serrated blades
  • Abrasive components are replaceable for added versatility
  • Ergonomic grip allows for consistent hand placement
  • Fine sharpening slot helps to restore factory sharpness

Cons

  • Some models may come with flawed angle adjustment system
  • May not be a good choice for sharpening scissors

Conclusion

This is a resourceful and versatile sharpening tool that can restore the edges of straight, serrated, and fillet knives.

Overall Rating – 4.4

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Buying Guide: What To Look For When Buying A Manual Knife Sharpener

If you are reading this section of our buying guide, then you haven’t found what you have been looking for. No need to worry because we just have the tips you need to help you find the right knife sharpener that meets your search category.

Types of Manual Knife Sharpeners

Most manual knife sharpeners are quick to use, require no special skills, and are reasonably priced. They almost always come equipped with built-in angle guides.

They can be equally effective as long as your knife blade is not dreadfully blunt. This is quite a large category and types vary quite a bit.

But of those you are likely to come across, there are four styles of the manual knife sharpeners worth considering:

Pull Through Sharpeners

Pull through knife sharpeners come fitted with a set of abrasives that converge at a fixed angle to form a V shape.

To sharpen your blade, you need to hold the sharpener steady with one hand and pull the blade through the V-shaped slot several times with the other hand.

Most models have one angle setting, but you can always consider those with customizable angles.

I have heard a number of complaints about these sharpeners. Some people say that they are too rough on the blade, but I think it really depends on how you use them.

They should work properly, if you are using them correctly. I have seen them in action in commercial kitchens, and they are a work of art, considering the sharp edges they produce day in, day out.

They offer an affordable and efficient way of dressing your knives with cutting bevels on both sides. Okay, they aren’t the most perfect way of getting an edge, and they do eat through blades a bit quicker than other methods, but they are great options for DIY. Just draw the blade through from heel to tip and not back and forth.

V-Type Stick Knife Sharpeners

They are among some of the best manual knife sharpeners for a person with a tight budget because they are available at a reasonable price point.

These sharpeners use abrasive sticks or rods that are fitted into a base at a given angle. What I like about these systems is that they are quick to set up.

To set up any V-style sharpener is simple. There are holes drilled on the base for different angles. The most basic angle set up usually involves 20-degree holes.

It is always good to know the condition of your edge before you start a sharpening session, and to be able to evaluate it as you go along. V-style sharpeners lack aggressiveness; so, they may not be the best tools to use on extremely dull edges.

They are remarkably easy to use. Just draw your blade down the side of the stick and make sure you keep the knife vertical throughout the stroke in order to get a good edge. Most modern designs come with adjustable abrasives and angles for added versatility.

Handheld Knife Sharpeners

These are rudimentary handheld gadgets that you can pull over the edge of your blades to sharpen them. The sharpening abrasives are usually basic and may leave behind a rough finish, if not properly used.

Personally, I would not recommend this type of sharpener for a very fine edge, especially if your knife sharpening skills aren’t incredible.

Not to mention that this type of sharpener puts your hand dangerously close to the edge. They may not be the safest options for inexperienced users.

Fixed or Adjustable Angle Sharpeners

Whatever blade combination you choose, you have to use a more suitable choice between fixed angle and adjustable angle sharpener. Different types of edge tools have different requirements and ideal means of sharpening.

Failure to match your knife to a suitable sharpening tool can result in excessive removal of steel or inefficiency and a rough edge.

The different types of ceramic and carbon steel knife blades have good edge retention, but they may be difficult to sharpen with a conventional fixed angle manual sharpener.

The best manual knife sharpener that will always deliver optimum results is one that has adjustable angle settings. A fixed angle sharpener is a good choice, if you want a quick, rough fix.

Most fixed angle sharpeners are factory set at 20 degrees, but some knife makers produce sharpeners with a 15-degree angle. What you should be more concerned about when buying a fixed angle sharpener is the size of the angle.

The larger the angle, the more durable and stronger the blade. But a blade with a larger angle has a tendency of losing sharpness quicker.

When buying sharpeners with adjustable angles, you can consider the following ranges of knife sharpening angles:

  • 12 to 18 Degrees: This range is suitable for paring and fillet knives because they require extremely sharp edges. These angles are only appropriate for knives designed for slicing.
  • 18 to 25 Degrees: Most popular kitchen knives have angles that range from eighteen to twenty five degrees. The angles in this range produce a great balance between durability and sharpness. They are best for carving, boning, and Chef’s Knives.
  • 25 to 30 Degrees: When you are sharpening outdoor utility knives, you will need a manual sharpener that can be adjusted from twenty five to thirty degrees. The large angle range produces edges that can slice and cut in tough conditions.
  • 30 to 35 Degrees: Manual sharpeners that can produce these angles are suitable for sharpening knives that are mainly reserved for chopping and other chores that require unmatched strength and durability. These angles are perfect for sharpening cleavers and machetes.

The above stated angle ranges are supposed to guide you to choose the most appropriate manual sharpener with adjustable angles.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to use all the recommended angle ranges. Most everyday carry knives, including folders can be sharpened with angles ranging from 18 to 25 degrees.

It Should Match The Bevel Type

The manual knife sharpener you choose must be a match for your knife bevel type in order to realize the best results. The most common bevel types include, but are not limited to: convex, chisel, double, flat, hollow, and sabre. Most of these bevel types would need skill and experience to get the sharpening process done correctly.

Final Thoughts

The winner of this roundup is the Tangsung 3 Stage Manual Knife Sharpener. Its pull through design is highly recommended for American, European, and Asian style knives.

What makes it stand out when compared to other models in this guide is its versatile three stage design with a coarse slot that’s great for reviving damaged blades.

The sharpening angle adjustment feature makes this tool a great choice for producing a great balance between edge sharpness and durability.

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