10 Best Manual Knife Sharpeners: Pull-Through & Whetstone

Best Manual Knife Sharpener

Whether they are for home or commercial use, cutting tools need to be kept sharp and in good condition so that they can be easy to use and give the best performance.

Using a simple kitchen knife as an example, it would be really difficult to chop vegetables and meat using a blunt piece, but with a sharp one, you’ll be done in no time.

Manual knife sharpeners are ideal for maintaining this sharpness but there is a wide variety of them available in the market. However, this article narrows it down to the best manual knife sharpeners that you should consider buying for this job.

10 Best Manual Knife Sharpeners – Reviews

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​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Culinary Obsession CUL-MN-W01

1. Culinary Obsession CUL-MN-W01 (Best Whetstone Knife Sharpener)

  • Rough #1000-grit and smooth #6000-grit sides
  • Made using professional grade corundum material
  • Comes with a strong bamboo holding frame
  • Non-slip silicone base
Zulay Kitchen Manual Knife Sharpener

2. Zulay Kitchen Manual Knife Sharpener (Good Manual Knife Sharpener)

  • Tough coarse tungsten blades for stage 1
  • Fine ceramic blades for stage 2
  • Angled tungsten blades for perfect sharpening
  • Non-slip base
Smith's PP1 Multifunction Sharpener

3. Smith's PP1 Multifunction Sharpener (Manual Knife Sharpener with a Sharpening Rod)

  • Small, lightweight portable design
  • Equipped with a diamond-coated sharpening rod
  • Coarse carbide and fine ceramic blades
  • Lanyard hole for easy carrying
Wüsthof 2922

4. Wüsthof 2922 (Manual Knife Sharpener with an E-Z Grip Handle)

  • Easy to hold E-Z grip handle
  • Rubberized base for firm gripping
  • Weighted for safe and secure use
  • Carbide and ceramic 2 stage sharpening blades
KitchenIQ 50009

5. KitchenIQ 50009 (Cheapest Manual Knife Sharpener)

  • Affordable
  • 2-stage sharpener: carbide blades and ceramic rods
  • Patented edge grip
  • Small, compact size that is easy to carry and store
Priority Chef PCKN-03

6. Priority Chef PCKN-03 (Manual Knife Sharpener with a Diamond-Coated Wheel)

  • Tough and durable diamond-coated wheel system
  • Ceramic honing wheel for polishing the knife
  • Non-slip cushioned base for stability and control
  • Ergonomic handle for easy grip
Smith's 50264

7. Smith's 50264 (Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener)

  • Adjustable stage 1 and 2 blades from 14-24˚
  • Easy turn knob for blade adjustment
  • Serrated blade sharpener included
  • Replaceable abrasive components
Chef'sChoice 463

8. Chef'sChoice 463 (Manual Knife Sharpener with 100% Diamond Abrasives)

  • 100% diamond abrasives on both stages
  • Precise bevel control angle for 15˚ Asian knives
  • Sharpening edges in a crisscross design
  • Soft-touch handle
Chef'sChoice 250

9. Chef'sChoice 250 (Manual/Electric Knife Sharpener)

  • Hybrid design (manual and electric sharpening)
  • 3 sharpening stages for super-sharp results
  • 100% tough diamond abrasives
  • Ideal for 20˚ class knives
Chef'sChoice 4633

10. Chef'sChoice 4633 (Versatile Manual Knife Sharpener)

  • Ideal for 15 and 20˚ class knives
  • 3 sharpening stages
  • 100% diamond abrasives
  • Durable double beveled edges

PRODUCT

1. Culinary Obsession CUL-MN-W01 

(Best Whetstone Knife Sharpener)

Culinary Obsession CUL-MN-W01
  • Rough #1000-grit and smooth #6000-grit sides
  • Made using professional grade corundum material
  • Comes with a strong bamboo holding frame
  • Non-slip silicone base

2. Zulay Kitchen Manual Knife Sharpener 

(Good Manual Knife Sharpener)

Zulay Kitchen Manual Knife Sharpener
  • Tough coarse tungsten blades for stage 1
  • Fine ceramic blades for stage 2
  • Angled tungsten blades for perfect sharpening
  • Non-slip base

3. Smith's PP1 Multifunction Sharpener 

(Manual Knife Sharpener with a Sharpening Rod)

Smith's PP1 Multifunction Sharpener
  • Small, lightweight portable design
  • Equipped with a diamond-coated sharpening rod
  • Coarse carbide and fine ceramic blades
  • Lanyard hole for easy carrying

4. Wüsthof 2922 

(Manual Knife Sharpener with an E-Z Grip Handle)

Wüsthof 2922
  • Easy to hold E-Z grip handle
  • Rubberized base for firm gripping
  • Weighted for safe and secure use
  • Carbide and ceramic 2 stage sharpening blades

5. KitchenIQ 50009

 (Cheapest Manual Knife Sharpener)

KitchenIQ 50009
  • Affordable
  • 2-stage sharpener: carbide blades and ceramic rods
  • Patented edge grip
  • Small, compact size that is easy to carry and store

6. Priority Chef PCKN-03 

(Manual Knife Sharpener with a Diamond-Coated Wheel)

Priority Chef PCKN-03
  • Tough and durable diamond-coated wheel system
  • Ceramic honing wheel for polishing the knife
  • Non-slip cushioned base for stability and control
  • Ergonomic handle for easy grip

7. Smith's 50264 

(Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener)

Smith's 50264
  • Adjustable stage 1 and 2 blades from 14-24˚
  • Easy turn knob for blade adjustment
  • Serrated blade sharpener included
  • Replaceable abrasive components

8. Chef'sChoice 463 

(Manual Knife Sharpener with 100% Diamond Abrasives)

Chef'sChoice 463
  • 100% diamond abrasives on both stages
  • Precise bevel control angle for 15˚ Asian knives
  • Sharpening edges in a crisscross design
  • Soft-touch handle

9. Chef'sChoice 250 

(Manual/Electric Knife Sharpener)

Chef'sChoice 250
  • Hybrid design (manual and electric sharpening)
  • 3 sharpening stages for super-sharp results
  • 100% tough diamond abrasives
  • Ideal for 20˚ class knives

10. Chef'sChoice 4633 

(Versatile Manual Knife Sharpener)

Chef'sChoice 4633
  • Ideal for 15 and 20˚ class knives
  • 3 sharpening stages
  • 100% diamond abrasives
  • Durable double beveled edges

1. Culinary Obsession CUL-MN-W01 – Best Whetstone Knife Sharpener

Culinary Obsession CUL-MN-W01
  • Type: Whetstone
  • Surface: Corundum
  • Number of Stages: N/A
  • Angle: 10-20˚

Culinary Obsession’s CUL-MN-W01 is double-sided whetstone knife sharpener that consists of a rough #1000-grit side that is blue in color and a #6000-grit side that is white in color.

This setup allows you to sharpen your knife using the rough side at first, then polish the razor-sharp edge to complete the process.

However, you need to soak the stone in water first for 5-10 minutes before use, and then sprinkle water on the surface as you stroke your cutting tool across.

On the bright side, the material used to make the unit is corundum (aluminum oxide), which a tough, professional-grade material that will last while giving consistent sharpening performance.

Included with the sharpener is a strong bamboo holding frame, which is fitted with a non-slip silicone base so as to ground the stone in one position as you stroke your knife. Combined, these features make this the top-rated manual knife sharpener in this review.

However, after use, you must rinse the stone and let it dry for up to 48 hours before putting it back into storage.

Pros:

  • Double-sided with a rough #1000-grit side and a smooth #6000-grit side
  • Made using professional grade corundum material
  • Comes with a strong bamboo holding frame
  • Non-slip silicone base

Cons:

  • Needs to be soaked in water before use
  • Must be dried for up to 2 days before storing

2. Zulay Kitchen Manual Knife Sharpener – Good Manual Knife Sharpener

Zulay Kitchen Manual Knife Sharpener
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Tungsten, Ceramic
  • Number of Stages: 2
  • Angle: Preset

This unit from Zulay Kitchen is a pull-through sharpener and is equipped with 2 sharpening stages, the first being a coarse tungsten grinder. Tungsten is a very tough metal and it helps to reshape as well as restore your knife to have a sharp edge.

Additionally, these tungsten blades are mounted at a slight angle so that they shape each side of your knife at the perfect angle as you pull it through.

From there, a pair of fine ceramic blades handle stage 2, giving your knife a smooth edge with fine-honed sharpness. 

With this design, you can sharpen a wide range of tools such as stainless-steel kitchen knives, scissors, and pocket knives, but you must ensure that you only use the second stage for serrated knives.

Other features include a non-slip base for steadying the unit as you sharpen and an ergonomic handle for easier holding. However, you cannot use this to sharpen ceramic knives because they require diamond rods. 

Pros:

  • Tough coarse tungsten blades for stage 1
  • Fine ceramic blades for stage 2
  • Angled tungsten blades for perfect sharpening
  • Non-slip base
  • Ergonomic handle for easy holding

Cons:

  • Not suitable for ceramic knives

3. Smith's PP1 Multifunction Sharpener – Manual Knife Sharpener with a Sharpening Rod

Smith's PP1 Multifunction Sharpener
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Diamond, Carbide, Ceramic
  • Number of Stages: 2
  • Angle: Preset

Smith’s PP1 is a small-sized pocket sharpener that is equipped with a round, tapered, diamond-coated sharpening rod, which is ideal for sharpening serrated knife edges, and folds in/out of the unit’s housing for convenient storage.

Other than this, the unit also has coarse carbide blades for setting the edge of your knife and fine ceramic blades for finishing the edge. These two stages are clearly labeled to avoid any confusion and have preset sharpening angles for consistent results.

More features include a lightweight 1-ounce design that is easy to carry and a lanyard hole for attaching it to your keys or straps so as to carry it easily as you travel.

On the downside, the sharpener does not have a built-in handle for easy holding and also lacks a non-slip base for steadying it in place as you sharpen

Pros:

  • Small, lightweight portable design
  • Equipped with a round, tapered diamond-coated sharpening rod
  • Coarse carbide and fine ceramic blades
  • Blades are preset to the best sharpening angle
  • Lanyard hole for easy carrying

Cons:

  • No handle
  • Lacks a non-slip base

4. Wüsthof 2922 – Manual Knife Sharpener with an E-Z Grip Handle

Wüsthof 2922
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Carbide, Ceramic
  • Number of Stages: 2
  • Angle: 90˚

With an E-Z grip handle, Wüsthof’s 2922 is very easy to hold using one hand as you stroke your knife off the sharpening blades using your other hand.

The unit also features a rubberized base for firm gripping when in use, and this is enhanced by a weighted design for safe and secure use.

Sharpening is done in two stages, in which the first one consists of coarse carbide steel blades for setting the edge while fine ceramic blades complete the honing stage.

With these in place, you should ensure that you insert your knife into either slot at a 90˚ angle before pulling it back so that the V-shaped sharpening blades can get a perfect hold on the metal edge.

On the downside, this sharpening angle is not adjustable, and the unit does not have a sharpening rod built-in.

Pros:

  • Easy to hold E-Z grip handle
  • Rubberized base for firm gripping
  • Weighted for safe and secure use
  • Carbide and ceramic 2 stage sharpening blades

Cons:

  • The sharpening angle is not adjustable
  • Lacks a sharpening rod

5. KitchenIQ 50009 – Cheapest Manual Knife Sharpener

KitchenIQ 50009
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Carbide, Ceramic
  • Number of Stages: 2
  • Angle: N/A

If you are on a tight budget, KitchenIQ offers this model 50009 as a very affordable kit, but this does not mean that it is not well-equipped for the job.

The unit is a 2-stage sharpener with coarse carbide blades for setting the edge on dull, damaged knives and fine ceramic rods for honing the final edge.

Also included as part of the design is a patented edge grip, in which the sharpener’s bottom is designed to fit on the edge of a table or countertop, thereby allowing you to work on large knives without their tips dragging over the countertop’s surface.

Other features include a small, compact size that is easy to carry and store, stainless steel and soft-touch accents, and a non-slip base for stability and control when in use. However, there is no handle built-in, which makes it a bit difficult to hold.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • 2-stage sharpener: carbide blades and ceramic rods
  • Patented edge grip for perfect fitting on a table’s edge
  • Small, compact size that is easy to carry and store
  • Non-slip base for stability and control

Cons:

  • No handle

6. Priority Chef PCKN-03 – Manual Knife Sharpener with a Diamond-Coated Wheel

Priority Chef PCKN-03
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Diamond, Ceramic
  • Number of Stages: 2
  • Angle: N/A

Priority Chef’s PCKN-03 is a professional manual knife sharpener that has 2 sharpening stages, with the first one having a diamond-coated wheel for shaping the knife’s blade angle. Diamond is also very tough and can withstand repetitive, heavy use over time.

Stage 2 consists of a ceramic honing wheel, which is responsible for polishing the blade so as to smoothen and sharpen it from the spine to edge. Unlike the traditional V blade sharpening setup, this design is suitable for all types of knives, including ceramic ones.

Other features include a non-slip cushioned base for stability and control when in use, and an ergonomic handle for easy grip and use. However, the unit’s sharpening angle is not adjustable, and being a professional kit, it lacks the third stage for superior sharpening performance.

Pros:

  • Tough and durable diamond-coated wheel system
  • Ceramic honing wheel for polishing the knife
  • Suitable for all types of knives
  • Non-slip cushioned base for stability and control
  • Ergonomic handle for easy grip

Cons:

  • Lacks the third stage
  • The sharpening angle is not adjustable

7. Smith's 50264 – Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener

Smith's 50264
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Carbide, Ceramic
  • Number of Stages: 2
  • Angle: 14-24˚

This 50264 from Smith’s is quite unique because its sharpening angle is adjustable from 14-24˚ per side. Adjustment is done using an easy turn knob and this allows you to set the angle of the abrasive stages to match the original factory grind for the best results.

That said, you get two sharpening stages (coarse carbide and fine ceramic), as well as a serrated blade sharpener, but with this, the sharpening angle is fixed. However, the abrasive components are replaceable in all three slots, just in case they wear out.

More features include a comfortable soft-grip handle and non-slip rubber feet for stability and control. However, the sharpener lacks a third stage for fine-tuning the knife’s edge.

Pros:

  • Adjustable stage 1 and 2 blades from 14-24˚
  • Easy turn knob for blade adjustment
  • Serrated blade sharpener included
  • Replaceable abrasive components
  • Comfortable soft-grip handle

Cons:

  • Lacks a third sharpening stage
  • Serrated blade sharpener is not adjustable

8. Chef'sChoice 463 – Manual Knife Sharpener with 100% Diamond Abrasives

Chef'sChoice 463
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Diamond
  • Number of Stages: 2
  • Angle: 15˚

Though quite costly, Chef’sChoice 463 features 100% tough diamond abrasives on both the first and second stages, and these have a precise bevel angle control for ultra-sharp 15˚ Asian style knives such as the popular Japanese Santoku.

The sharpening edges are actually implemented in a crisscross technology, which results in lots of bite for aggressive sharpening, and is suitable to use on straight as well as serrated knives.

You also get a soft-touch handle, but no third stage. However, there is a newer version, which is the 4643, and this one features 3 sharpening stages. It is also suitable for 15 and 20˚ class knives but is slightly more expensive.

Pros:

  • 100% diamond abrasives on both the first and second stages
  • Precise bevel control angle for 15˚ Asian knives (also for 20˚ knives in the model 4643)
  • Sharpening edges in a crisscross design for an aggressive bite
  • Soft-touch handle

Cons:

  • Quite costly
  • No third sharpening stage in model 463

9. Chef'sChoice 250 – Manual/Electric Knife Sharpener

Chef'sChoice 250
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Diamond
  • Number of Stages: 3
  • Angle: 20˚

Chef’sChoice 250 is one of the best pull-through knife sharpeners because of a number of reasons.

For starters, it combines manual and electric sharpening, in which stages 1 and 2 are fully electric for easy use. The unit also has a third stage for super-sharp polishing, though this process is done manually.

All three contain 100% tough diamond abrasives, with the 3’rd stage having ultra-thin pieces for super-sharp polishing. The slots are designed to work on 20˚ class knives but on the downside, the piece is very costly, and it doesn’t have a built-in handle.

Pros:

  • Hybrid design (manual and electric sharpening)
  • 3 sharpening stages for super-sharp results
  • 100% tough diamond abrasives
  • Ideal for 20˚ class knives

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Lacks a handle

10. Chef'sChoice 4633 – Versatile Manual Knife Sharpener

Chef'sChoice 4633
  • Type: Pull-Through
  • Surface: Diamond
  • Number of Stages: 3
  • Angle: 15 & 20˚

Completing the list is this 4633 from Chef’sChoice and even though this one is purely manual, unlike the model 250 above, it is designed to sharpen 15 and 20˚ class knives (European/American and Asian style knives), making it very versatile.

That said, you get 3 sharpening stages filled with 100% diamond abrasives, with a sharpening technology that creates double beveled edges, which are very durable.

The unit also has an ergonomic handle with an ambidextrous design for easy holding using either the left or right hand and non-slip rubber feet for stability and control. On the downside, its sharpening angles are not adjustable

Pros:

  • Ideal for 15 and 20˚ class knives (European/American and Asian style knives)
  • 3 sharpening stages
  • 100% diamond abrasives
  • Durable double beveled edges
  • Ergonomic handles with an ambidextrous design

Cons:

  • Purely manual
  • Sharpening angles are not adjustable

How to Buy the Best Manual Knife Sharpener

How to Buy the Best Manual Knife Sharpener

1. Purpose

There are manual knife sharpeners designed for commercial use, and these are usually solidly built to withstand repeated use over time. If you want such, look for features such as 3 sharpening stages, diamond abrasives and the ability to sharpen multiple types of knives.

On the other side, if you want a unit for home use, it would not be wise to spend a lot of money to buy a commercial sharpener because the enhanced capabilities would be more than enough. In fact, even the small, pocket-sized piece can be enough for home use.

2. Type

The two main types of manual knife sharpeners include:

Whetstone

Whetstone pieces basically come as rectangular blocks. Their main advantage is that you can use them to sharpen just about any blade because there are no angles involved. However, they are quite difficult to use and you need to master them first.

Pull Through

Pull through pieces are very easy to use because you only need to stroke your blade through the sharpening slots. They usually have preset sharpening angles, and this contributes greatly to their ease of use. For casual users, this is the best type to buy.

3. Surface

This factor usually determines the capability of the sharpener, and the tougher it is, the better. For instance, diamond abrasives are very tough and can be used to sharpen just about any type of blade, including a ceramic knife.

However, carbide and ceramic surfaces are not as tough and therefore, wear much faster and are not suitable for sharpening ceramic knives. On the bright side, sharpeners with such surfaces are cheaper to buy.

As for the whetstone type, corundum is commonly used, and it is very tough. However, you need to soak it in water first before use, which slightly complicates the sharpening process.

4. Number of Stages

This factor applies only to the pull-through sharpener. It is recommended to get at least a 2-stage sharpener with coarse and fine abrasives so as to easily restore moderate to heavily dulled blades.

A 3-stage unit gives the benefit of fine-tuning and extremely sharp polishing, making this option much better.

5. Adjustable and Accurate Angle

For a whetstone type, the freehand sharpening action means that you can work any type of blade but for pull-through units, it is important that you buy a compatible one for the knives that you own.

Japanese and most Asian knives, for example, employ a 15˚ angle while those from America and Europe have a 20˚ angle. With that in mind, you should buy a compatible sharpener or better yet, get one with adjustable sharpening angles for universal compatibility.

6. Safety

To avoid cutting yourself during this process, ensure that the sharpener has a comfortable and easy-to-hold handle, as well as a non-slip base for grounding it in position the entire time. Without these, you may have a very difficult time as you stroke your knife through.

Conclusion

One special benefit that chefs and other users of these manual knife sharpeners greatly appreciate is the precision and total control that they give over the sharpening process.

Considering that there are different varieties with different features to choose from, selecting the best manual knife sharpener can be very difficult but the review and buying guide above contain enough information to help you make an informed decision in the selection process.