The VonShef Electric Knife Sharpener promises to give your knives a professional sharpening at home. Who wouldn’t love that? Being able to take a dull knife and give it new life in just a few minutes by running it through two slots – one a grinding wheel and the other a honing and polishing wheel – sounds to good to be true, especially when the price is under $20. But unfortunately for us, the VonShef Electric Knife Sharpener never lived up to its promises.
Stage 1 – Precision Grinding
Stage 2 – Fine Honing
Slot size – 3/16″
Sapphirite™ Wheels (said to be what professionals use, I can only find this term in relationship to these types of electric sharpeners.
The company claims the sharpener works on kitchen knives and most sporting knives as long as they’re made of alloy, stainless steel, or carbon. It can’t sharpen scissors, serrated electric knife blade, and blades are limited to the width of the blade guides (3/16″).
After reading over the directions, I tried several knives, including a serrated knife which the inexpensive sharpener is said to sharpen, but I never received anything close to a sharpened knife. Instead the knives would bind and stop the wheel or jump off, even though I was proving very minimal pressure as the directions dictated. I checked my angles, made sure I was advancing the blade one second for every two inches of blade, and doubled checked its sharpness by trying to cut an orange. I reread the directions several times, tried to sharpen the knife two additional times, and finally gave up. Assuming it was user error on my part, I asked my husband to give it a try; unfortunately, he had the same results.
The reviews on Amazon are mixed. Some love the sharpener and say it does sharpen, though not razor sharp as advertised. Others had the same results we did – no discernible difference in the sharpness of the knife. Perhaps it’s user expectations that explain the difference or quality control. I only know that the sharpener we received has provided no sharpening whatsoever to my good knives.
After trial and error and using their troubleshooting guide, I was able to get a fairly sharp edge on a cheap Paula Deen knife. Now granted this knife was of such poor quality that it was dull upon arrival. At least now I can cut an orange with it, something it couldn’t do before. But it required 10 sessions of three passes each to see an improvement. The troubleshooter says this extensive sharpening should only be required the first time a knife is sharpened and is likely caused by a knife was improperly sharpened prior to using the VonShef Electric Knife Sharpener. I know that not to be the case because the knife is new and only been used a few times.
Still that doesn’t answer why this didn’t work on my high quality kitchen knives. Perhaps my good knives are too strong for VonShef Electric Knife Sharpener, but I won’t be experimenting with them again. I’ll admit I’m very disappointed in the product, I was hoping that it would work as advertised, and I could sharpen our knives without having to do it by hand. But because the results are hit and miss, I’ll use it for my cheap knives and have my good knives sharpened by a professional.
The VonShef Electric Knife Sharpener is available from Amazon.com by Designer Habitat. It’s currently retailing for $16.99 and includes a 1-year warranty.