Electric Knife Sharpeners
- Work Sharp Culinary E3 Sharpener Sugg. Price $150 Our Price $129.95
- Work Sharp Culinary E5 Plus Sharpener Sugg. Price $265 Our Price $249.95
- Work Sharp Culinary E5 Sharpener Sugg. Price $235 Our Price $199.95
Manual Knife Sharpeners
- KAI Serrated Knife Sharpener Sugg. Price $32 Our Price $24.95
Dull blades can make meal preparation a dull task. Our knife sharpeners collection offers you a great choice of tools and accessories to keep your knives and choppers sharp. Knife sharpeners include a variety of cook's tools, including electric sharpeners, manual sharpeners, honing steels and whetstones. These can sharpen many different types of blades, from chef's knives to utility knives. Williams-Sonoma offers several different options from brands such as Wusthof, Shun and Chef's Choice.
There are three basic steps to sharpening a knife: sharpening, honing and stropping. Sharpening is the first step of sharpening a very dull blade. It involves grinding down the blade to restore the sharp edges. Honing basically refines the blade. It removes less of the blade than sharpening does, so this step works best on a blade that has either recently been sharpened or is not yet dull. Stropping is the final step that polishes off the blade. Some sharpening and honing tools can restore both straight and serrated cutlery. However, some can only process straight blades.
Electric sharpeners are popular with home cooks because they are very easy to use and maintain. The box-like housing contains sharpening tools that automatically move and rotate when you start the device. You can simply move the knife through the slot and your blade comes out sharp. Many electric sharpeners include slots that offer different settings for sharpening, honing and stropping.
Manual sharpeners, or knife hones, are handheld devices that look like smaller electric sharpeners, but they do not contain electronic components. To use one of these, simply run the blade through the slots. The blade grinds against steel or stone components to sharpen the blade. Like electric sharpeners, many manual sharpeners offer settings for different stages of sharpening. They are convenient for small kitchens, as they do not take up as much space on your kitchen shelves or cabinets as electric versions do.
Honing steels are designed specifically for honing knives. These do not sharpen dull blades entirely, but they can help you maintain a sharp edge on your kitchen knives. Despite the name, honing steels can be made from a variety of different materials. Regular cut steels describe items made of steel. Diamond steels include diamond abrasive coatings. Combination cut steels offer two different levels of abrasion, which comes in handy for small sharpening jobs. Ceramic cut steels are made of ceramic and can sometimes perform minor sharpening as well as honing.
Whetstones are also known as sharpening stones. They are made of abrasive materials that grind down the blade of your knife. You must use this type of sharpener by hand, and it requires a fair amount of elbow grease. However, it offers plenty of control over the sharpness of your blade.
You can reduce the amount of time and effort you put into sharpening your blades by taking some extra care of your cutlery collection. Storage can help keep your knives sharp, as good storage keeps the metal from rubbing against other objects. Store your kitchen knives in knife blocks or drawer storage blocks, or use magnetic bars or blade guards. You may also find that a good drawer organizer can help you store and sort smaller blades. While preparing your meals, use different knives for different tasks. For example, using a chef's knife or a utility knife to cut bones can quickly dull your blade. Instead, use a cleaver for this job. Washing can also affect knife sharpness. Avoid cleaning your blades in the dishwasher, as the abrasive detergent can cause dullness. Instead, very carefully wash sharp cutlery with gentle dish soap and a brush. If food is stuck to the blade, leave it to soak in warm, soapy water until it loosens.