Knife Sharpener: How it Works

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Carbide Sharpening Surfaces

Unique, ultra-hard, precision ground tungsten carbide sharpening surfaces, like those used in high-precision machine tools, quickly create a more perfect “v” shape and a superior cutting edge. With a simple change in hand position, these sharpeners also fine sharpen (hone) and polish a perfect beveled edge.

Spring-Action Bars

The carbide sharpeners are mounted on patented spring-action bars that adjust automatically to accommodate different blade angles. With the variable angle capability, our sharpeners work beautifully on serrated knives and single-bevel Japanese knives, as well as standard smooth knives.

Long Lasting and Durable

The sharpening mechanism is durable and can be expected to last at least 5 years with normal use. Replacement sharpening bars are available for the Professional and Classic countertop models.

Fine Sharpening

Hone standard knives as often as necessary to maintain a sharp edge. To hone a standard knife blade, start with the knife handle lower and the blade tip higher. Press down lightly for delicate fillet knives and harder for choppng knives. The spring-action sharpeners will adjust to match the blade. Repeat several times. Regular honing will maintain a very sharp blade without removing metal. See our Guide to Knife Sharpening for more details.


Polishing creates an extremely smooth and sharp blade and does not remove metal from the blade. It produces excellent results on the finest knife blades, including Japanese knives. Spread the upper knobs of the sharpening bars fully apart and gently glide the knife back and forth, allowing only the weight of the knife to exert pressure on the sharpening surfaces

Coarse Sharpening

Standard knives that have become especially dull or worn may need coarse sharpening. To coarse sharpen a standard knife blade, start with the blade tip lower and knife handle higher. Coarse sharpening should always be followed by fine sharpening, also called honing. A light touch will create a thinner, sharper but less sturdy edge. Use for fine slicing or fillet knives. Pressing harder will create a thicker more sturdy edge for chopping. The range of possible blade angles is 12-20 degrees.

Serrated Knives

Serrated knives usually have serrations on the right side of the blade while the left side is flat. In this case, your hand should first move right, while the tip of the blade moves left. Then pull the knife smoothly through the sharpener. The knife blade should touch only one side of the carbide sharpeners, on the side with the serrations. If your knife has serrations on the left side, rotate the blade in the opposite direction.