Searching for a good, affordable manual sharpener for your knife collection can be time consuming, which is why we decided to review the Zwilling J.A. Henckels knife sharpener. Attempting to find out if this sharper is worth the money, we break down its features and specs, talk about its efficiency when used, and even compare it to a few other sharpeners in its class.Before we progress through our review, please take a look at our interactive table below. Inside, we’ve compared the Zwilling sharpener to other manual (and even a couple electric) sharpeners so that you can quickly assess which item might be the best option for you and your kitchen.
$ = $1 – $30 | $$ = $31 – $60 | $$$ = $61 and above
|Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Sharp Duo||Manual||$|
|Wusthof Precision Edge 2||Manual||$|
|KitchenIQ Edge Grip 2||Manual||$|
|Presto 08800 EverSharp||Electric||$|
|Chef's Choice 220 Hybrid||Electric||$$|
Zwilling J.A. Henckels: Specs and Features
The Zwilling J.A. Henckels sharpener is a very good knife sharpener intended for use with fine edged blades. It uses a two-stage manual system with coarse wheels made of steel and ceramic wheels for fine honing.
The unit is small, compact, and light, making it easily portable. It is made of stainless steel, with rubber feet to prevent sliding, and is equally easy to use for both right handed and left handed people.
The key features of this unit are:
- 2-stage system for sharpening, then honing the blade.
- Portable, easy to store or carry in a pack.
- Very durable, made of stainless steel and high quality rubber.
- Stylish, as it will fit in well with any modern themed kitchen, particularly stainless-steal motifs.
- Very easy to use, simply slide the blade through the slots 3-5 times and you are done.
- Measure 9 x 7 x 2 inches and weighs just 2.1 ounces.
- Priced between $15 and $40
Below, please take a moment to view some of the best-selling knife sharpeners currently for sale on Amazon:
- SunrisePro Knife Sharpener
- Presto 08800 EverSharp
- Work Sharp WSKTS-KO (Ken Onion Edition)
- Wüsthof Hand-Held Sharpener
- Chef’s Choice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect
Using the Zwilling J.A. Henckels sharpener
This is a very nice looking unit, with a style easily able to fit in with nearly any kitchen motif. It is also a very simple to use knife sharpener, with both stages clearly marked, and sturdy guides to ensure the knife is also sharpened at the correct angle.
The rubber feet help prevent it from sliding during operation, while its small size make it a great choice for the outdoorsman or boater who doesn’t have the time or skill to use a sharpening stone correctly.
While not quite factory sharp, this sharpener leaves a blade with a very sharp edge even on high quality steel knives. It is not suitable for coated knives or porcelain blades though.
It is fairly fast when in use, and being manual means it doesn’t have any motors or noisy components. It is also quite user friendly, as the unit is designed to be handled by either left handed or right handed people, which is certainly a bonus.
What’s the Downside?
There are very few drawbacks with this model, and most are more user error related than actual problems with the design.
For example, if too much downward pressure is applied, the sharpener will likely damage the blade.
Several people also failed to read the instructions, and are now complaining that it damaged their expensive coated or porcelain blades–again this is user error and doesn’t indicate a problem with the design.
It also doesn’t quite return knives to factory standard, but this is more nit-picking than a true grievance.
The only real complaint that we’ve noticed has some serious merit is that it is so light-weight that it may move during sharpening, even with its rubber feet. However, this is easily remedied by holding the unit down with one hand while use the other to pull the blade through the sharpener.
Other complaints feature customers bringing up the fact that the sharpener is made in China or that it doesn’t do serrated blades (it clearly states it is for use with fine-edged blades.
Questions and Answers
In this section, we’re going to answer some of the most popular questions people have about this Zwilling knife sharpener.
- Does this sharpener sharpen Henckels shears, or just scissors in general? Answer: More than likely no. Knife sharpeners are designed for knives and so it is not recommended that you attempt to use them for shears or scissors.
- Can this sharpener be used on Santoku knives? Answer: While the manual doesn’t implicitly mention Santoku knives, some who have purchased this sharpener online have indeed mention that this sharpener successfully sharpened their Santoku knives. But it is important to know and understand that Santoku is not mentioned in the manual when it comes to compatibility with the Zwilling.
- How can I determine which slot is course and which is fine? Answer: Slot one with the black, steel wheels is course. Slot two with the white, ceramic wheels is fine.
Comparison to the competition
Compared to the competition, this is probably the best manual knife sharpener on the market. It is durable and easy to store or transport, and is very aesthetically pleasing as well. Many manual-type sharpeners simply do not work, or wear out quickly. Not this one though.
In fact, many of the less expensive units actually cause damage to blades and only create a very temporary edge at best, but this sharpener puts a sharp long-lasting edge to the blade.
Compared to electric models, this knife sharpener is just as easy or easier to use, while achieving results just a good or better than most. It also enjoys the benefits of not requiring a power source, and as such can be used anywhere there is a flat surface.
It is also less expensive than some of the 3-stage sharpeners, while still managing to deliver a consistently sharp edge. While certainly not as fast as electric models at bringing dull knives back from the dead, it does do the job quite adequately. The other big advantage is that it is more gentle on the blade then its powered competitors.
This product is a must have for the outdoorsman (or woman), or for the homeowner who is looking for an easy solution to keep knives in good shape.
Yes, the price seems a bit steep for a manual operated sharpener, especially when compared to other knife sharpeners on the market that go for the same amount of money and are electric. But always remember, you get what you pay for, and a many of these cheap sharpeners could damage your knives, costing more in the long run.
However, this sharpener will not disappoint, and will minimize damage to your blades, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars as the months and years roll on.
It is also favorably priced when compared to electric units, and doesn’t require any power to operate. As an added bonus, this unit is also much easier to use than some of the more complicated electric ones, and fewer moving parts means less opportunities for the unit to break.
Finally, this product is made by the Zwilling J.A. Henckels company, a company with a well established and well earned reputation for making only the highest quality products.
For more on how to sharpen a pocket knife, or fixed blade knives, please head back to our Reliable Knife homepage.
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