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Those of us who cook on a regular basis know that quality tools are the lifeblood of the kitchen. Although they don’t make a cook “better,” they can help to make life significantly easier for those who prepare food.
To serve us well, a tool must be regularly maintained, and knives are at the top of the list when it comes to this required chore.
Not only is a sharp knife much easier to use as it requires less force for slicing and chopping, and not only does a keen edge cuts the food in a prettier fashion, this is most importantly an issue of safety.
A dull blade can easily catch, and when more pressure is applied, the tension can be released quite suddenly – sometimes causing the instrument to stab or slice the user.
The Chef’s Choice 130 Professional Electric Sharpening Station, available on Amazon, is a great solution to this irritating a nagging chore.
This is a fabulous knife sharpening system for your kitchen, utility, fishing, or even serrated knives when you really need to quickly and easily sharpen a knife, allowing you to put a keen edge on a dull blade in a matter of a minute or two with no special jigs, stones, or years of practice required.
This machine is perfect for the sharpening novice, as the knife is held in place and you have the edge of the blade held at the perfect angle every time, instead of having to guess and practice on your fine cutlery.
This sharpening station utilizes three different stages for sharpening any kind of blade easily and quickly, using 100% diamond abrasives in its first stage for a sharp arch-shaped edge.
The second stage utilizes a super-hardened miniature steel just like sharpening steels used by chefs to create an edge with super-sharp micro-serrations for an excellent bite, while the third employs a spinning stropping disk for polishing to sharpness so fine, you could split a hair.
Different combinations of these can be used to create custom edges suitable for your collection of cutlery. An an internal motor that powers that sharpener is easily turned on and off with a switch on the front of the station.
The 3-step sharpener measures 6.2 by 12 by 6 inches for easy storage in a cabinet or drawer. And the total weight of the station is 3 pounds, so it is easy to tote around if you need to.
To sharpen blades you have to first figure out which stages to use for the blade in question, and then pull the blade through the guide alone each side of the unit in a smooth, clean motion.
For a regular kitchen knife that requires a nice clean cutting edge for regular use, you would use the first stage followed by either the second or third.
The first will sharpen the blade while the second will give it that fine-toothed edge for superior cutting in the kitchen.
If you want an edge for smooth and clean cutting, like what you would typically see with a filet knife, the flexible stropping action of stage three would be best after you initially sharpen the blade in stage one.
For a serrated knife, you would only use the stage three stropping to sharpen the very edge of the serrations.
Keep this in mind. If you sharpened a serrated knife with stage one or two, you would be taking off the serrated teeth of the knife. And this machine is only suitable for single-sided blades.
The various stages offer a high-quality way to combine the effects of various types of sharpening that would typically be available as separate components, creating a unique and complete sharpening system for at-home use.
The guides are composed of plastic, and they hold the knife blade against the sides to create the perfect angle every time.
I tried this station on several knives and I can attest to the sharpness that resulted after using this professional, high-quality sharpening system. But you don’t have to just take my word for it – read customer reviews of this fine device and check current prices on Amazon now.
Sharpening for the first time typically takes about one-minute, and the unit is impeccably user-friendly. Resharpening after that can be done in about 10 seconds. So easy!
Sharpening serrated knives can be a bit tricky, and it’s often impossible with your standard sharpener. Many cooks, myself included, have allowed ours to go dull since sharpening them would require a visit to a professional. But with this simple system, at-home bread and steak knife sharpening is within reach, as long as the knives in your collection have the appropriate blade angle!
There is no worry about the station wearing out after several uses or having to replace the abrasive blades. And this product is made in the USA, complete with a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
The steel and 100% diamond disks are going to last a long time as they are made from very strong materials. The diamond disc has a coating of diamond abrasives on it that are harder than the steel it is grinding.
The third-stage stropping pads will also last a long time, and come complete with a built-in dressing tool. Note that you should use this sparingly, as it does flatten and take off some material from the pad when it is used, but you won’t need to use it all that often to keep your station working at its best. According to the product manual, this type of upkeep is required only about once a year with normal home use.
You can also clean out the first stage by removing the cover and the magnet inside that collects the metal shavings from sharpening your blades.
The magnet will collect the bits of metal, and you can easily pick off the majority of this by hand and replace the plug when you are done.
You can also shake out the inside, but I found very little material accumulated after sharpening several blades. The magnet did a great job of collecting the metal dust.
Particularly for novice users who aren’t already well-acquainted with the task of keeping their knives in tip-top condition, I highly recommend the Chef’s Choice 130 Professional Electric Knife Sharpening Station. Check current prices on Amazon now.
It may cost a bit more than other sharpeners, especially hand-held manual ones, but this is a professional-quality electric station and I believe you will find it is worth the investment.
This will give new life to old knives, and sharpen every knife you have with an appropriate angle to the blade – including any that you may have inherited or thought were no good. Furthermore, it will help you to keep them in top condition for ease of use in the kitchen.
Replacement parts and accessories are also available direct from the manufacturer.
I highly recommend the Chef’s Choice 130 Professional Sharpening Station for excellent sharpening every time on almost any knife blade.
I’m not able to use this unit for my very hard and brittle Japanese kitchen knives that require a delicate touch with a variety of water stones, for example. These are ground at a shallower angle than any Western knives, and special treatment is necessary, but I knew that when I invested in them.
However, if you are like what seems to be 99.9% of the rest of home cooks in the US and you use Western-style chef’s knives, then this model from Chef’s Choice would be a wise investment.
If you’re tired of trying to sharpen with those lesser-quality and cheaper hand-held sharpeners, and want quick and professional results in minutes, look no further. This is one product that will see plenty of use in my household, and I’m sure it will in yours as well.
For preventative knife maintenance, you should also look into a cutting board that imparts little damage to the blade every time you slice into it. Some are much better than others, and a good knife-friendly cutting board will keep your blades in tip-top condition and allow them to remain serviceable for much longer.
Have questions? Ask away in the comments below, or see all Foodal’s knife sharpening guides and reviews for further reading.
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product Photos via Chef’s Choice. Originally published on August 28, 2014. Last updated December 8, 2020. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!