The biggest advantage to getting an electric knife sharpener is safety. Dull knives cause more accidents than do sharp knives, plain and simple. Dull knives require the user to apply more pressure, and therefore, they are much more prone to slipping while you’re slicing and dicing. With an electric knife sharpener, you can keep your electric knife blades nice and sharp at all times, thus avoiding these dull blade mishaps. Injuries with knives are one of the most common injuries in the home. A Washington Post article dated January 7, 2013 reported that approximately 330,000 knife injuries resulted in a hospital visit during 2011. Of course, there are many more painful “close calls” involving knives. In fact, Dr. Oz, the popular TV host, reported on his show that knife cuts were one of the top three emergencies people face during Thanksgiving week!
Another major advantage to getting an electric knife sharpener is that you’ll no longer need to have your knives professionally sharpened. This is quite costly, so much in fact, your electric knife sharpener will usually pay for itself within a few uses, depending on how many knives you have. It’s important to note that many “professional” knife sharpening services will actually do more damage than good. They often use grinding stones and heat the blades as they sharpen them. This process can overheat (detemper) the blade which can damage it. A quality home use electric knife sharpener will use diamonds to sharpen the blade instead of heat and grinding stones, sparing your knives this type of damage. Conventional grinding stones will often remove too much metal unless the bladesmith is extremely experienced and knows exactly how to angel each type of blade. Even then, in fact, it is easy to make a mistake. a quality electric knife sharpener will set the angle for you so there is no guesswork involved.
The best electric sharpeners will have diamond coated sharpening disks. If the electric knife sharpener you are considering does not have diamond coated disks, then it is an inferior product and probably won’t perform any better that a manual knife sharpener. Electric knife sharpeners that have diamond coated sharpening disks will be on the expensive end of the price range but if you have expensive knives, they are well worth the extra price since they will extend the life of your knives and prevent damage to them during the sharpening process.
The best electric knife sharpener will also have magnetically guided and spring loaded slots to keep your knives edges precisely in place during sharpening. This essentially makes the process foolproof. Usually too, the best electric knife sharpeners will provide sharpening in three stages inn three separate slots. The first stage provides a course sharpening with diamond disks, the second stage providing a fine sharpening with diamond disks, and the final stage polishes the blade to remove scratches so your knives always look brand new.
The edge of a sharp culinary knife is actually thinner than a baby human’s hair, I.E. the width is microscopically thin! This means that the sharp edge of even the best quality culinary knife will have a tendency to fold over on itself. Therefore, you should look for an electric knife sharpener that also has a built in mechanism for unfolding the blade. This way, you don’t have to use a separate instrument to maintain your knives edges. Some electric knife sharpener do not have the ability to sharpen serrated knives. Not only is this important for steak knives but for knives that claim to never need sharpening. Unfortunately, this claim is never true and you do need to sharpen them occasionally. Moreover, if you look very closely at these types of knives using a strong magnifier, you will usually find that they are finely serrated. Therefore, you’ll need an electric knife sharpener capable of sharpening serrated blades to sharpen them properly without damaging them.